Summary: Looks at Paul's comparison between the Church and the body of Christ.
How do you feel about your body? Strange question isn’t it? Most of us would rather not think about our bodies and if we do we probably don’t think very complementary things. It’s too fat or too skinny, too short or too tall. Bumpy, lumpy or just plain ugly kind of like the guy who was so ugly when he was a kid that his parents took him everywhere they went so they wouldn’t have to kiss him good bye. At least that’s the way we think about it. So it’s kind of strange that Paul would say in 1 Corinthians 12:27 Now all of you together are Christ’s body, and each one of you is a separate and necessary part of it. What a statement. You, you are the Body of Christ.
Pretty awesome isn’t it? Look around you; each one of you makes up a part of the body of Christ. As Paul reached out to find a simile to adequately describe the church of Jesus Christ the one he came back to time and time again was the comparison between the church and a body.
In Romans, 1 Corinthians, Ephesians and Colossians Paul makes over 30 references to the body of Christ. Those of us who are familiar with the Bible tend to skip over things like that without really taking the time to think about it. We all know what a body is, after all each one of us occupies one every day, but do we really take the time to look at these vessels that we reside in and see where the similarities are between this which is flesh and blood and the church of Christ?
The first thing we need to recognize is that the analogy of the body applies to two definitions of the church. Yes it does refer to the church universal. That is the great all encompassing group of Christians throughout the world who call themselves by so many different names. So Bedford Community Church is part of the same body as the Rock Church, Temple Baptist, Grace Chapel, Hills Christian Life Centre in Sydney Australia and North Point Wesleyan Church in Brisbane Australia.
However, the local church, Bedford Community Church also needs to be viewed as the body of Christ. But why? Why did the Apostle Paul chose to use something as imperfect as our material body to illustrate something as mystical as the church of Jesus Christ?
William Barclay sates “There is an “I” a personality which gives unity to the many and varying parts of the body” This is a hand and this is a hand and that’s a foot and there’s another foot and here’s a head and they’re all separate, but “I” Denn brings unity to make all of those things part of my body.
Barclay goes on to say that what “I” is to the body, what Christ is to the church, it is in Him that all the diverse parts find their unity. Alone you are just a Mike, a Sajonna, a Paul, a Greg , a Heather, a Raya. But add Jesus Christ and you become a body. Christ is no longer in the world, he no longer has a physical body and so if he wants a child taught in Junior Church then he needs someone to teach. If He wants someone touched in compassion then He needs to use our compassion and if he needs to cry then He needs our tears.