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CHAPTER SEVEN: THE CHURCH, TEAMWORKING IN THE LORD’S WORK
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The Way of the Church – Volume Two: Understanding the Eight Aspects of the Church from the Biblical Point of View
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CHAPTER FIVE

THE CHURCH, THE BODY OF CHRIST

   Ephesians 1:22 to 23 says, “And he put all things under His feet and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all,” (ESV).

   The church is the body of Christ, and Christ is the head of the church, which is His body. The practical living of the church to reflect the reality of the body and her submission to Christ, who is her head, is the main subject of our discussion in this chapter. To illustrate this point more vividly, this subject will be discussed in three sections. In the first section, we will discuss the practical living of the church to reflect the reality of the body of Christ. Moving on to the next section, we will discuss the practical living of the church to reflect her submission to Christ, the head. Then in the last section, I will briefly narrate the history of how division and dissension began to creep into the church. May the light of His word shine in our hearts, Amen!

SECTION ONE:

THE PRACTICAL LIVING OF THE CHURCH TO      REFLECT THE REALITY OF THE BODY

   Reading Scripture: First Corinthian 12:12- 27

   First Corinthians 12:12 to 13 says, “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. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.” The church as a spiritual body means all the members, those who believed in Christ Jesus, are joined together in the Spirit to form one new man or one entity (Ephesians 2:15). In other words, all the many individuals who have given their lives to the Lord in every part of the world are joined together as a single unit.

   Christ is building and nourishing His body, not isolated individuals. For this reason, He said, “I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” Christ did not say, “I will build those who believe in Me individually,” but He said, “I will build My church,” referring to His body. This unveils that Christ is building those who are joined together and are in fellowship with one another wherever they are. The gates of hades can prevail against isolated individuals but cannot easily prevail against the churches in the various localities. It is important to note that the only way the gates of hades can conquer a local church, the church in a certain locality, is when her members are no longer having proper fellowship and are not seeking the Lord to His satisfaction. As for the body of Christ, the universal church – the totality of all believers, the gates of hades can never prevail against it. It is unprecedented in the history of the church, which will neither happen now nor in the future, that Satan has conquered the universal church, or else Christ is defeated. There are always some people who are reserved for the Lord and His testimony in every generation (Romans 11:2 to 5).

   Yes! Salvation is indeed an individual affair and the choice to seek the Lord, to live for Him, and to work with Him depends on every individual. It is also true that once an individual receives Christ, he automatically becomes a member of the church and is joined together to the body, the universal church. But it must not be forgotten that Christ is aiming at building the church as a body, not building isolated individuals. Therefore, when an individual becomes part of the universal church through regeneration, he must not delay to attach himself to a local church, which is the expression of the universal church in where he is and constantly have fellowship with them. Otherwise, his spiritual life will die slowly, pitifully, and grindingly if he has isolated himself from fellowship.

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