Summary: The Church is the Body of Believers IN CHRIST, with many similarities, but also with much diversity.
One Body in Christian Community
We are getting into the “nitty-gritty” of being a follower of Jesus Christ in Romans 12. We are looking at the heart of the matter of being a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ; we are not PERFECT followers or PERFECT disciples, but we are being transformed into the very Image of Christ, while we are doing everything that we can do to respond to the Grace of God in Christ and to be obedient to God while living in the reality of His Saving Grace. We trust in His Grace to save and in His Faith to forgive, and in the power of His Spirit to PLEASE HIM because we know that God alone deserves the glory of our lives.
And so Paul writes under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God:
Romans 12:1: Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. 3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you NOT to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment,(think soberly) as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.”
4 “For just as (or “even as”, by way of comparison or example) we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly.”
I love it when people ask me questions about God’s Word, (RC Sproul wrote a great book answering hundreds of theological issues, “Now That’s a Good Question!”) and last week someone asked me this good question: “What do you mean when you say “the Body of Christ.”
1. He said that he thought about the Crucified body of Christ, and that’s right! At the Lord’s Supper we celebrate and profess the astounding biblical fact that Jesus offered His physical body to be crucified as the payment FOR sin for anyone who trusts in Him as their Savior. Colossians 1:18-20 makes that clear: “And he (Christ) is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have ALL HIS FULLNESS dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” God appeared in the flesh and died in the flesh, the Crucified body of Christ. (John 1:14)
2. In Romans 12:1 we are told to offer OUR BODIES as living and holy sacrifices to God. Hmmmm. Jesus offered His body through death, so that individually, we might identify with His BROKEN body and then individually AND we offer our bodies BACK to Him through the new lives that He has given us. So YOU Dedicate Your Body to Christ in service to God. You offer ALL of your life, every part, back to Him to be used as He sees fit. We voluntarily relinquish our personal rights of ownership to Him, because He died for us. (Ours is an imperfect sacrifice!)