What is “The BODY of CHRIST”?

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If you have grown up in Christian circles, the term “The Body of Christ” might be familiar to you.  But to most outside people this term is lost.  We looked last week at how we are able to walk like Jesus on this earth by having the mind of Christ.  

If you haven’t seen that post, I would encourage you to go check it out before reading this post. 

Today, we are going to talk about the body of Christ. 

Our Texts

12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink [a]into one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many.

1 Corinthians 12:12-14 KJV

What is the “Body of Christ”?

When we hear this term, we might immediately think of the physical body that Jesus has.  The body that was nailed to the cross.  We might think about the lashes for our healing or simply think about how Jesus might have looked on the earth.

But Paul here is talking not about a physical body but about a body of believers (christians) that make up the church universal.  These believers are the hands and feet of Jesus.  We are his body on this earth. 

Maybe you’ve heard it said, “You might be the only Jesus anyone ever sees.”  We are supposed to live a life that reflects Christ in everything we do.  

So the question still remains, “What is the Body of Christ?”

It’s … 

  1. The Church Universal
  2. Rich or Poor
  3. Jew or Greek

Church Universal

If we return to our text for this post, it says the body isn’t one member but many. You and I are members of the body of Christ when we drink from the same Spirit. 

When we receive Jesus as both our Lord and Saviour, we are adopted into the family of God.  At that point we are a partaker of His divine nature.

Think of your own body.  If you have an all access pass to get backstage somewhere, the security guard doesn’t stop you and say, “I’m sorry.  Only your foot is allowed back here.”  

That’s ridiculous! 

Yet we sometimes think that about other Christians.  

“Well he couldn’t possibly be a Christian! Did you see what HE did?”

It’s not about the way He’s living.  The thing that matters is whose family he’s in.  If he believed in his heart and confessed with his mouth Jesus is Lord, he’s saved.

Rich or Poor

2 For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in [a]fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in [b]filthy clothes, 3 and you [c]pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “You stand there,” or, “Sit here at my footstool,” 4 have you not [d]shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?

James 2:2-4 NKJV

The next important thing to remember is that we are all equal in the eyes of God.  This verse is saying here that regardless of physical appearance or monetary ability all should be treated equal.  

We sometimes want to make a big deal about the very rich or famous Christian. 

26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

1 Corinthians 12:26 NKJV

This is a gauge of showing your age.  What impresses you?  Are you focused on the christian that has it all figured out (or so you think) and has the nice fancy house and car?  Are we ignoring those in need coming to church with nothing while giving those we like attention?

Jew or Greek

Paul says regardless of if they are Jew or Greeks (those with covenant or without covenant by birth) they are all equal.

The Jews and Greeks did not mix.  The Jews had the covenants of Abraham and are God’s chosen people. They had the Bible, but Paul is challenging their thinking by telling them that those people you thought were heathen should be treated the same.

Sometimes we see baby Christians (people who just accepted Jesus) walk into church and long time believers will walk around them.  They’ll say, “Well I don’t want to sit next to _____ he used to be addicted to _____.”  Or “Did you see what he was doing last week?”

Paul is saying, “In Christ all things are brand new.”

17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV

So Again… What is the “Body of Christ”?

It’s us! It’s every person regardless of social status, birth, age, race, or anything else.  The body of Christ is made up of all Christians with Jesus himself as the head.  

Our job is to be the hands and feet of Jesus. 

14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Romans 10:14-15 KJV

WE are the body of Christ sent to heal the sick, cast out devils and preach the gospel to all who are broken and oppressed by the Devil.  Whoever we come in contact with should see Jesus through us because we are part of the body of Christ.