There are a lot of terms used in the New Testament to describe the Lord’s church, and there a lot of insight to be gained from knowing these terms better. One example is the term “body.” Ephesians 1:22-23 teaches that the church is Christ’s body (Colossians 1:18, 24).
Although there are many members in the Lord’s church, there is only one body (Romans 12:4-5; 1 Corinthians 12:20; Ephesians 2:16). Just accepting this simple fact would alleviate so much confusion in the religious world. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one body (Ephesians 4:4-5).
Christ is the head of His spiritual body. His dominion over the church is complete (Ephesians 1:23). Just as the members of one’s own physical body must be subject to his mind, we too must be subject to Christ in everything as members of His body (Ephesians 5:24). What the head commands we can and must do, and what He does not command and teach we must not do (2 John 9). The head broadcasts the impulses that move the members of the body (Ephesians 4:15-16).
Christians are members of the body of Christ. Our relationship to Christ as head is to be one of complete subjection. Our relationship to fellow Christians as members is to be one of complete union and harmony. There are several Bible statements that express this relationship.
- First, every joint supplying their part makes the body strong (Ephesians 4:16).
- Second, members are united in one body (Romans 12:4-5; 1 Corinthians 12:12-20).
- Third, each member has a work to perform (1 Corinthians 12:14-19).
- Fourth, each member is equally important (1 Corinthians 12:21-23).
- Fifth, there must be no schism or discord among the members (1 Corinthians 12:24-25).
- Sixth, there should be sympathetic interest and mutual care for each other (1 Corinthians 12:25-27).
- Seventh, we are bound together as one body in Christ by the ties of fellowship (1 Corinthians 10:17).
Why is it so important to be a member of the body? Ephesians 5:32 says that the body is made up of people who are saved. People who want to obey the gospel are called unto the peace of Christ in one body (Colossians 3:15), and are reconciled to God in the body (Ephesians 2:16). We cannot be subject to the head and united with Christ without being a member of the body. You can become a member of this body by being baptized into Christ (Acts 2:38, 41, 47; Galatians 3:27).