Christian Universe ™
The Church As The Body And Blood
December 16, 2012
When we are baptized into Christ, we are baptized into His death, burial, and resurrection -- into His body. He is the head of the church -- the ekklesia, the called out -- and the church is His body. As His body, we recognize that His body is in our body, and we are in His body. His blood is in our blood, and we are washed in His blood. Jesus will purify His body, and He will save His body.
The Church As The Body And Blood
by Bernie Parsons
Presented to Globe church of Christ on 12-16-2012
Last time, we looked at the Lord’s Supper as the body and blood of Jesus. We saw that believers take the bread and the fruit of the vine as the body and the blood. We also saw that this body and blood of Jesus becomes one with our own bodies and blood. Now, I want to look at the ekklesia, or the church, the called out people of God, as relates to that body and blood of Jesus.
Ephesians 5:23 "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body."
Paul describes the ekklesia, or church, as the body of Christ. The communion with the body of Christ, means that His flesh, the bread, is in us. We are His flesh. We are His body. He is our head, from which the instructions to the body flow, and which preserves the body in love.
Ephesians 5:23 "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."
By taking our instructions from the head – which Christ is to the church – our spots and wrinkles are removed. While baptism in water initially brings us into contact with the blood of Jesus, which cleanses us of our sins, the continued receipt of the word of God keeps the body cleansed.
Colossians 1:20 "And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;"
The blood that Jesus shed brings all into one body – His body, the church – and brings us into a pure relationship with God. The blood is what cleanses the believers in the body of Christ, in a similar way that our own body’s blood system cleanses the body of toxins and recharges parts of the body with nutrients and oxygen. When in good health, we can do good work.
Hebrews 9:11 "But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"
Hebrews 13:20 "Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."
Our acts of righteousness do not buy for us the blood of Jesus. Contrariwise, the blood of Jesus buys us back for God, cleanses us of our sins and puts us in a pure relationship with God.
Titus 2:13 "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."
Titus 3:4 "But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;"
We then, being cleansed, produce fruitful works of righteousness. That is to say, the body of Christ – the church – does the work of God as directed by our head, Jesus Christ.
Colossians 1:9 "For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;"
Philippians 1:9 "And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;
10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;
11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God."
Ephesians 2:10 "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
We are put here to do God’s work. Just as Adam and Eve were assigned the work of tending the garden in Eden, we are assigned to do the spiritual work of God through the body of Christ.
Just as we do not expect the little infant to go to work to support himself or his family, we must be a robust, mature body for Christ. In order to grow, as we have stated recently, we have to feed upon God’s teachings and commandments, that we may grow thereby.
As we learn the ways of God, and teach one another, building one another up in the most holy faith, the body of Jesus Christ grows strong and mature, able to do His work.
Ephesians 4:11 "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."
As we work together to strengthen and increase the body of Christ, we love one another, speak the truth to one another, and so build up the body of the son of God. Once strong and mature, that body can then effectively accomplish the works of God as delivered us through Christ.
We are the body of Christ, and we are cleansed, nourished and detoxified by the blood of our Lord and Savior. It is He who keeps us growing, and pure.
Hebrews 10:22 "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:"
The light of God’s love and greatness shines into the world by the good deeds that we do as the body of Christ.