Church, the Body of Christ
Church, the Body of Christ
In order to have a spiritual awakening in the Church, it is necessary to understand its role as the Body of Christ. Paul (I Cor. 12:27; Eph. 1:22, 23) clearly states that the Church is the Body of Christ. Not only that, but it demonstrates how the Body of the Lord should behave. We see that in God’s Word, the Body is not only a doctrine, but a practical reality. As a living Body, in which the Holy Spirit operates, the Church needs to be connected to the Head, the Lord Jesus. Therefore the Church needs to live in fellowship with the Lord Jesus and receive the spiritual gifts through which the Lord Jesus speaks to His Church.
However, the Lord Jesus can only fulfill His function as the Head of the Church entirely when it is organized as a Body, in the way described in chapter 12 of I Corinthians and in Ephesians 4:1-6: each part does its share with faithfulness. Moreover, in the Body all the members are edified by the operation of the Holy Spirit through the spiritual gifts and the operation of the Ministry of the Word (the five ministries described in Ephesians 4:11).
The Body of Christ should be healthy and normal. En any healthy body the parts depend on the commands from the brain in order to operate. If there is no order from the brain, no part of a normal and healthy body moves. Likewise, in the Body of Christ, the Lord Jesus reveals His will in relation to the operations of the members and of the Churches collectively. This was the reason for sending the Holy Spirit to always be with the Church (John 16:13-14).
In a human body, each member is formed to occupy a certain place and perform a certain function. In the Body of Christ, likewise, the members do not have the possibility to choose their place or their function. It is the Lord God, through the Holy Spirit, who pus the members in the Body as He wants (I Cor. 12:18,28). This choice is confirmed by the servants to whom the Lord attributed the Rule of the Church (pastors, elders). Every faithful member should submit to the Rule of the Church, for it was established by the Lord.
The Church is made up of faithful and diligent members who obey the determinations of the Lord and the orientations of the pastors. Faith and faithfulness are two qualities that characterize the Church. Faithfulness means obedience to the determinations of God’s Word and the orientations of the Lord for the daily life of the Church, transmitted through the spiritual gifts and through the pastors. The Church should be taught regarding the responsibility of each member to participate in the edification of the Church, faithfully fulfilling their function in the Body of Christ, as revealed by the Holy Spirit.