Today I want to share a simple yet profound truth: The church is the body of Christ. He is the Head, she is the body. They are one. Inseparable. This is not metaphorical or positional; the church is the ACTUAL body of Christ.
What? Nah. That sounds a bit far-fetched, right?
Well, don’t take my word for it. These Saints had something to say about it:
“Christ corporate is the church.” -T. Austin Sparks
“In the eyes of God, the church is nothing more and nothing less than Jesus Christ on earth. Its a new species that’s kin to divinity; a body to the Son and a family to the Father. Kind of His own kind.” -Frank Viola
Don’t believe those fellas? This guy also had something to say about it:
“For as one body we have many members, and the member do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one of another.” -Paul in his letter to the church in Rome (12:4-5)
“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.” -Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians (12:12)
“He is also head of the body, the church…” -Paul in his letter to the Colossians (1:18)
Even Jesus had some things to say about this:
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” (Matthew 25:35-40)
“As Saul [who was persecuting the church] drew near to Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?’
‘Who are You, Lord?’ Saul asked.
‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ He replied.” (Acts 9:3-5)
So, if even Jesus does not separate himself from the church it must be true. But if so, what does this mean?
When you help a brother or sister, you are helping Christ.
When you are in divine fellowship with your brothers and sisters you are spending time with Christ.
When you hold a grudge against a brother or sister, you are holding a grudge against Christ.
When you love a brother or sister, you are loving Christ.
When you put the church first, you put Christ first.
If you don’t put the church first in your life, Christ cannot be first.
Jesus said, “When you see me, you see the Father.” When the church is functioning according to her nature, you see Christ. She is His actual body. There is no higher calling than to be Christ on earth.
The church and Christ are one. The church is Christ.