Sunday, January 16, 2011

The” Body of Christ” is His Church!

In this hectic world we live in today, we sometimes loose sight as to the true meaning of the word “church”. Usually most Christians meet once or twice a week in a building that they commonly refer to as their church. But is the building that we all gather to worship and praise our Lord and Savior really the biblical church that God instituted?

Let us look into what the Word of God has to tell us in Ephesians 1: 22-23, where the Apostle Paul encourages and strengthens the Ephesus believers in their Christian faith by explaining the nature and purpose of the church, the body of Christ.

"And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all." (Ephesians 1: 22-23)

Having been raised from the dead, Christ is now the head of the church, the ultimate authority over the world. Jesus is the Messiah, God's Anointed One, the One Israel longed for, the One who would set their broken world right. As Christians we can be confident that God has won the final victory and is in control of everything. We need not fear any dictator or nation, or even death or Satan himself. The contract has been signed and sealed; we are waiting just a short while for delivery. The Apostle Paul says, in Romans 8:37-39, that nothing can separate us from God and His love.

In Ephesians 1:23, “fullness” refers to Christ filling the church with gifts and blessings. The church should be the full expression of Christ, who Himself fills everything (Ephesians 3:19). When reading Ephesians, it is important to remember that it was written primarily to the entire church (all believers), not merely to an individual.

In Ephesians the Apostle Paul emphasizes Christ as head, just as his letter to the Colossians, written during the same imprisonment, emphasizes the body of Christ. The church here does not refer to any one local assembly but to all believers. Christ is the head and we are the body of His church. Paul uses this metaphor in Romans 12:4, 5; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27; and Colossians 3:15 as well as throughout the book of Ephesians.

The image of the body shows the church's unity. Each member is involved with all the others as they go about doing Christ's work on earth. We should not attempt to work, serve, or worship merely on our own. We need the entire body of Christ… we need Christ’s church.

The fellowship of Christ’s church to each believer is very important in this dying and condemned world that we live in today. As believers in our Lord and Savior we need the companionship and guidance of our fellow Christians to give us encouragement to press on daily in doing God’s will in our lives. Without that fellowship we are more likely to go astray and become vulnerable to Satan’s attack.

Father God, it is my prayer today that all believers find a church home where they can come together with other believers to give praise and glory to You and offer encouragement for those who are struggling with worldly temptations. I pray this all in Jesus’ name. Amen.

References: NKJV Holy Bible, Life Application Bible (NIV), and the Nelson Study Bible


GOD thinker said...

I totally agree. Believers need fellowship with other believers. I do think "the church" can look very different than what most people think though. As a pastor of a home fellowship group some people feel that it is not a true "church" but any where 2 or 3 are gathered in His name, He is there. The church is anywhere members of His body meet to lift Him up and worship Him! Excellent and well needed post.

Ian Curtis said...

Good evening, LLoyd.
I couldn't agree more. Hebrews 10:25 commands the same thing: not to forsake the assembling of ourselves, as is the manner of some. Gillian and I have found a good house church where the word of God is taught clearly and there is great worship, testimony, and fellowship. Would to God that everyone who calls Christ Lord would be directed by His Holy Spirit to find like-minded brethren to gather with. Unfortunately the misconception of "church" denominations, our own fallen nature, etc, seem to get in the way. God's blessings, Ian.

Gorges Smythe said...

Good post, Lloyd.

"We should not attempt to work, serve, or worship merely on our own. We need the entire body of Christ… we need Christ’s church."

That is exactly what my wife and I are doing right now, and I can't say as I care for it. Unfortunately, My wife was so deeply hurt by the behavior of some in our last church that she's still afraid to leave herself vulnerable again by making new friends. Pray for us, my friend.

middle child said...

Very timely post. My husband and I are looking for a new church. I think we'd best be looking a little more often. Thanks and Blessings.

bibelaventyr said...

Amen :D

Nicole said...

The strength and testimonies from other believers is crucial. We need each other...we need encouragement, prayer, and fellowship. God set it up this way. Church is his idea. I love the idea of Christians gathering together in the home to fellowship and study the word of God. It alleviates all of the pomp and circumstance, doctrine and propaganda, and strips us to the bone of what Christianity is all about. To God be the glory for the things he has done. To God ALONE be the glory!

Clint said...

I like your post but I also like Gorges' reply. It is certainly not a rarity to get one's feelings hurt in church. I could write a book.In fact, I might. Blessings.

dfish said...

In his teaching about the church as one body, Paul refers to the different parts each one plays. He also uses the marriage as an illustration, where they become one flesh. Conflicts arise when we fail to recognize our own weaknesses and need for help from each other. Pride, the source of all conflict, tells us we can do it ourselves.

Great post.

The Angulo's said...

It's better to fellowship. It's a command. God knows what is best for his children.

We (believers) are all one body in Christ. Every part needs all the others. Nobody who loves Jesus should be treated like they don't count or that they belong to a counterfeit church therefore they follow a counterfeit Holy Spirit.

Everyone is responsible to only one God for whatever they know about him and his expectations.

We need to keep loving Christ and doing whatever it is we do for Him primarily sharing Jesus to a lost world.

God bless you Lloyd. Keep on being a light.

Mrs. A

Lill said...

Thank you for the encouragement and inviting me to your blog! Great stuff here!

Joe Haward said...

Thank you Lloyd - Good post. We do need each other. God Himself is in community within Himself and so shows us how important the church community is.

Come over and look at my blog, be great to have you!


Lloyd said...

GOD thinker - Whether the gathering of the saints is in a private home or in a building makes no difference to our Almighty God. What matters is that His children are gathered together to worship Him. It amazes me sometimes how folks have this pre-conceived idea that a "church" has to be a building with a steeple with a bell inside it. I guess a lot of them forget that back in the early days of Christianity believes met in caves and later in private homes to worship our Lord and Savior. Blessings.

Ian - I agree with you that the misconceptions of "church" and denominations are sometimes stumbling blocks for many believers. I truly believe that this is the devils tool to keep believes from joining a local community church. I know that I've personally attended several churches where there was a lack of Christian love and fellowship. I now belong to a small Baptist Church that has Jesus as the head and the fellowship and worship is God centered. Blessings to you my brother in Christ.

Gorges - I will certainly keep you and your wife in prayer my friend. Over the years I have learnt not to allow a single person or group to offend me when it comes to worshiping my Lord and Savior. My mind set is to go to church and worship and praise the Lord. It's hard however if members of a church congregation does not show the love of Christ. Blessings.

middle child - It is my prayer that you and your husband find yourselves a church family. The longer we wait to get back into fellowship with other believers, the easier it is for the devil to get a foot-hold in our lives. God bless.

Lill and bibelaventyr - I want to thank you both for your visit and comments. blessings.

Nicole - I agree with you totally. The "home church" is not a new concept and it seems to meet the needs of believers when it comes to worshiping and giving thanks to our Lord and Savior. If you are a Christian you will always have a base-line doctrine that must be followed whether attending a home church, community church or denominational church. Blessings.

Clint - I'll be waiting for that book to come out my friend. You are right when you say that it is not a rarity to get one's feelings hurt in church. Unfortunately when a large group of people get together there will always be someone who intentionally or unintentionally offends you, but like I mentioned in other comments, if we stay focused on worshiping our Lord and forgiving our trespassers we would be surprised how those little annoying "comments" just sort of fade away. God bless.

dfish - You are right...Pride is usually the culprit when it comes to conflicts within the church body. Every member of the body of Christ has a purpose within the church....if we could only keep our pride from being a stumbling block. It is my prayer that all believers strife to be more "Christ-Centered" and less "Self-Centered" which would allow us to over look the faults in others and concentrate on their good traits. Blessings.

The Angulo's - Thank you for your comments. The closer we get to God the more like Jesus we become. Like dfish pointed out about "pride"... we must not let it take control of our life. That is why it is so important for believers to meet together for worship and prayer, meeting each other's needs and encouraging each other in their walk with our Lord. Blessings.

Miss Slick One said...

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The Wired Journal said...

I'd like to thank you for reading and commenting on my blog but some how I don't think it was by coincidence that you commented which on my blog in turn led me here to read your Blog...

The” Body of Christ” is His Church!

I have for far to long been trying to wing it on my own with out fellowship and a home church and weekly bible study to keep myself grounded and maturing in the word and my faith. The timing was impeccable...I really needed the reminder and reinforcement of how important fellowship is.

Graced! said...

Unity and fellowship are key to the proper function of the Church, you are right.

Amen to your comment "we need Christ's church." Your words cause me to think of folks not going to church regularly (forsaking the regular gathering together of God's holy people)...whatever the reason...Their absence is not just about what they are missing; but what are they denying the Body with their absence? Each of us are all useful parts with purpose...when one doesn't go and show, that one is neglecting his/her specific part in the Church...a purpose only that individual can expression only he/she can give.

Billy Joe said...

No matter where we go, someone is going to step on our toes. And more than likely, we are going to step on someone's toes. We're imperfect. There is no problem if we don't take offense. If we can't do that, then we must forgive immediately. Forgiving isn't saying that the offending person was right in their words or action, it's not holding a resentment.

Love and Peace,

Shay said...

I absolutely believe in the importance of fellowshipping together with my fellow Brothers and Sisters in Christ. It is one of the ways God moves.

The church is more than a location, however. It began as a movement.

I think it is interesting to note that the Greek work for church is actually both a verb and a noun.


Whitey Lawful said...

I go to literally praise the lord. If a church doesn't sing hymns; then that isn't the type of church i would go to.

Katherine ( Katie) Corrigan said...

Hello Lloyd, thank you for visiting my blog. Wishing you happiness, God Bless, Katherine