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Building up believers and the New Testament church

The Body of Christ - A Glorious Reality

The Body of Christ, An Expression of God's Nature

When we think of a body, we think of that which gives expression to the life within. Man was created in the image of God. More than that, man was created by God to contain His life. Adam did not choose life, but rather chose to be self-sufficient; thus he led the whole human race down the path to destruction. Mankind as a whole is not interested in God. Men do not want to be dependent upon anyone else. When we come to Christ, God deals with that independent spirit. A man who has been dealt with by God has a submissive spirit. He knows in reality, "Apart from Him I can do nothing."

In addition to this, when a man comes to the Lord, the whole purpose of his life is altered. We are not saved so we can live our lives for our purposes, but now for the purpose of God, "who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began" (II Timothy 1:9). God's purpose is found in Christ. He is summing up all things in Christ. When Jesus came to this earth, He said, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father" (John 14:9). Christ was a full expression of God manifested, or revealed, in human form. Everything God is that could be revealed through human form, Christ was in grace and truth (John 1:14, Hebrews 1:3). God's heart is to reveal Himself to men. God is love, and that love moves in care and concern. God so loved that He gave Jesus Christ. He moved through Christ to show His very nature of love. He did not stand afar off, but humbled Himself for our sake, that we might be brought near to God. "A body You have prepared for do Your will, O God." Christ revealed God through His body.

Now, God has not changed in His purpose. He is still revealing His love and nature through a body. But that body takes on a different form. Instead of the one solitary body that Jesus had, it is now a many-membered body made up of those who are in Christ Jesus. This is not a lesser purpose, but an even fuller purpose. "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to my Father" (John 14:12). "And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be Head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all" (Ephesians 1:23).

God is still summing up all things in Christ, and still revealing Himself through the body of Christ. Where is that body? It is the company of those who have been baptized into Christ and have been made to drink of one Spirit. It is those who know Christ as the Head of the body. Every purpose of God is being fulfilled in Christ. Our calling is into that purpose. No wonder we are exhorted to "walk worthy of the calling with which you were called" (Ephesians 4:1). How much greater calling could we desire than to be a full manifestation of God Himself? What responsibility this brings to us, to properly represent God to a needy world. What a great price was paid that we may enter into this fellowship! May the Lord open our eyes to see this calling for what it is and give ourselves to it without reservation.