You Are The Body Of Christ

“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” – 1 Cor. 12:27

Let’s face it, we are a nation of consumers. We love our products and services. We buy what we want, when we want it and just the exact way we want it. And if we aren’t satisfied, we won’t be back. We value the freedom to choose, or not to choose. One thing is certain about all of this, I am in control and I make the decisions. In a sense, consumerism is all about me. Which also means we are a nation of individuals. We don’t like anyone telling us what to do. After all, we began our country with rebellion by breaking free of the authority of the king and the Pope. Add it all up and we can be me-centered and a little rebellious.

In 1 Corinthians 12, we see a drastically different picture of the Church. The Church is a body. To be more exact, it is the body of Christ. In this body there are individuals, but they are defined by their connection to the rest of the body. A hand has no power to function without the rest of the body. In this body, there is no consumer mentality. The Church isn’t all about me. In fact, it is all about Christ and what others need. In this body, Paul talks about service, but in reverse of how we think of it today. Instead of being served, we are called to think about how we can serve others with our gifts. In this body, Paul talks about making decisions, but it is the head that does this and we are not the head. Christ is the head of the Church. He leads us and guides us, but we are called to follow and obey His direction. It is the head that makes the foot wiggle its toes. In the body, there is no walking away if we are dissatisfied either. Paul reminds us that we would do well not to severe a hand or any other limb from the rest of the body, because it would make the body lame. The Church is hurt when people leave the body and they are no longer present. The whole body suffers when we walk away. However, much more does the whole body rejoice and exhibit a healthy well-being when we are united as one in Christ!

All of Paul’s body theology begs the question, how do you view the Church? Do you see it as a place where the visible manifestation of the body of Christ is present in the world? Or do you see it as a place where you can come to get what you want? Do you see it as a place to follow and obey Jesus? Or do you see it as a place where you want your own power and control? Do you see it as a place where you can serve God and serve others? Or do you see it as a place where you can be served?  Paul wants us to have an elevated and otherworldly view of the Church, one that is a glimpse of Heaven where human mentality doesn’t reflect the sinfulness of our flesh, but aspires to the holiness and godliness of our Savior.

Paul does this by reminding us all that we ARE the body of Christ. It is God who in Christ has made you a part of this very body to be the Church in faith and in reality.

God bless,

Pastor Joel