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The Church - Lesson 2

The Church in 25 Lessons

Jon Gary Williams

Lesson 2 - The Church: The Body

Several descriptive words used in a figurative way are applied to the church found in the New Testament. These words give emphasis to various features of the church and set forth different aspects of its nature. These figurative descriptions enable us to have a clearer, more complete concept of the Lord's church. We begin with the church pictured as a body.

I. The church - identified as the body of Christ
A. This shows a unique relation between Christ and Christians.
B. The church is Christ's body (Eph. 1:22,23). The body is his church (Col. 
II. There is one body - an emphasis on the singularity of the church
A. Though there are many members, yet there is one body. (Rom. 12:4,5; I Cor. 12:20)
B. Jews and Gentile were brought together in one body. (Eph. 2:16)
C. The "body" is a part of the oneness mentioned by Paul. (Eph. 4:1-5)
D. If the church is the body and is there is only one body, the conclusion is 
III. Christ is the head of his spiritual body - the church
A. His dominion over the church is absolute. He is over "all things." (Eph. 1:22)
B. Just as members of one's physical body must be in subjection to the mind - so 
Christians must be subject to Christ, the head, in everything. (Eph. 5:24)
C. What the head commands we must do, what the head does not authorize we 
must not do. (II Jn.9)
D. From the head comes the incentive that moves the members of the body to perform their responsibilities. (Eph. 4:15,16)
IV. Christians are members of the body of Christ - the church
A. The body is made up of the saved. (Eph. 5:23)
B. Christians are called to peace in the one body. (Col. 3:15)

C. Christians are reconciled to God in the one body. (Eph. 2:16)
D. The fullness of Christ is in his body. (Eph. 1:23)
V. The relation members of the body (the church) have with each other
A. Every joint supplying his part makes the body strong. (Eph. 4:16)
B. Members are to be united. (Rom.12:4,5; I Cor. 12:12,13)
C. Each member has a work to perform. (I Cor. 12:14-19)
D. Each member is equally important. (I Cor. 12:20-24)
E. There is to be no division in the body - rather, a mutual care. (I Cor. 12:25-27) 
(cf. I Cor. 1:10; Rom. 15:5; II Cor. 13:11; Phil. 2:2)
VI. Becoming members of the body - by obedience (I Cor. 12:13) (cf. Acts 2:41)