Christians, in general, do not understand what the Body of Christ is or what God’s purpose is for it. The fact is, though, God is creating a many-membered Body of Christ and He has a purpose for doing so.
Ephesians 1:22-23a (God) hath put
all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the Head over all things to the
23a Which is His Body…
The Church is the Body and Jesus Christ is the Head of the Body. The feet are the foundational ministries (Ephesians 2:30). It is the Church of the Scriptures that is the Body of Christ and not necessarily every religious organization that calls itself a church. Also, a careful study of the Scriptures plainly shows that it takes more than just becoming a Christian to become a member of the Body of Christ. The Body of Christ is a functioning organism and not an organization.
Ephesians 1:22-23 (God) hath put
all things under His feet, and gave Him to the Head over all things to the
23 Which is His Body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all.
The Body of Christ is the fullness of Him that filleth all in all. It doesn’t take much thought to realize that the Scripture is speaking of a Body of Christ we have not yet seen. The Body of Christ today is in the process of being created. It is not yet the fullness of God. We are learning how to partake of His life and as we do, we are being filled.
There is also a matter of oneness. Each individual is not a Christ. The fullness is only found in the Body as a whole. There must be no schism in the Body (I Corinthians 12:25). There is oneness of Spirit among the members of Christ. The Body of Christ can only function in the will of God when there is oneness.
Ephesians 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.
Notice the change of terminology from the Body of Christ to the Household of God.
Ephesians 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner ston.;
The Body of Christ is built on the foundation of apostles and prophets, and we see in Ephesians 4:11-16 that they are given for the perfection of the saints. They build up the Body of Christ until it becomes the fullness of Christ.
Ephesians 2:21-22 In whom all
the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
The Body of Christ is the fullness of Him that filleth all in all: it is the Household of God; it is a holy temple in the Lord; it is a habitation of God through the Spirit. And modern preachers are relegating it down to what we see in the church-world today!
Colossians 1:18-19 And He is
the Head of the Body, the Church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the
dead; that in all things He might have the pre-eminence.
19 For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell.
Don’t lose sight of the oneness. The Head cannot be separated from the Body. It pleased the Father that in “Him” should all fullness dwell. The “Him” is the Head and the Body.
When is God going to do all of this? When will we become His habitation and all fullness will dwell in us? It doesn’t just happen apart from our faith and our hunger for Him. It is very important for us to learn how to appropriate His life.
The Body of Christ is to become God’s unique dwelling place. The Scriptures are quite clear on this, but is this the sole purpose for the Body of Christ or is there yet something more that God has in mind for His Church?
Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Ah, now we see that God has something more in mind. The Body of Christ is created by God in Christ Jesus unto good works. It is important for us to understand what these good works are. They are not just good deeds that Christians do. Jesus told the young, rich ruler that only God was good (Matthew 19:17). Then the Scripture tells us that there is none that do good, not even one (Romans 3:12). Thus, we understand that the word “good” in the Scriptures is a word for “God.” He is the only one that can do good, for only He is good. Therefore, “good works” are “God works.” The “good works,” then, are not good works that the Body of Christ does for God, but they are works that God does through the Body of Christ. For this purpose God is creating a many-membered Body of Christ. This is not necessarily the church we see in the world today, but it is the Church we see in the Scriptures.
Ephesians 3:8-11 who am less than the least of all saints,
is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable
riches of Christ;
9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by (through) the Church the manifold wisdom of God,
11 According to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Greek reads “through the Church.” The manifold wisdom of God is to be ministered through the Church. It is not something the Church is doing apart from God. It is God ministering through the Church. The Church becomes the channel through which the Lord functions and brings about His will in the earth.
Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
God has begun this work of creating the Body of Christ as His channel and He will complete it. When is the day of Christ? Those members of the Body of Christ through whom the Lord can accomplish His will are in the day of Christ. The day of Christ is not a time but a realm. It is ever expanding, and while it is completed for some it is just beginning for others.
Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.
It would be good to meditate on this verse for awhile. The Body of Christ is a people that have transcended self-centered Christianity. God is working in them for His good pleasure.
Ephesians 3:20-21 Now unto Him
that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,
according to the power that worketh in us,
21 Unto Him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
God can do anything, exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think. What we must understand, though, is that He chooses to do this “abundantly above all that we ask or think” through the Body of Christ. It is “according to the power that worketh in us and through us.” Can’t God do His anything apart from the Body of Christ? He could, but He chooses to be glorified through the Body of Christ. The Church is for this purpose.
John 14:10,12 Believest thou
not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak unto
you I speak not of Myself: but the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the
12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father.
Do you understand that of all the works that Jesus did it was really the Father in Him doing them? He also said that He did nothing of Himself (John 8:28). So it is with the Body of Christ. They will not only do the works that Jesus did, but greater works will they do; that is, God will do greater works through the many-membered Body of Christ than He did through the individual Christ. So, you see, the Body of Christ Is “predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will” (Ephesians 1:11).
Copyright © 2003 by Henry DuBose