The Body of Christ
By Art Dmytriyev
As many of us remember the words of the hymn “I am the church! You are the church” where the very first stanza is: The church is not a building; the church is not a steeple; the church is not a resting place; the church is a people.” What is the Church? Is it a building with stained glass windows? Is it people dressed up, congregating to sing hymns? What is it?
To answer this question, we need to go to the very beginning of human civilization. Adam and Eve were the first church on Earth! The first community. God does not just call individuals to work on their own for the kingdom of Heaven. He calls the church community as a whole to work together. Church members are the people who spread the gospel by working together. The Bible tells us the church is the community of believers who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Also, one famous Christian author said: “The church is God’s appointed agency for the salvation of men. It was organized for service, and its mission is to carry the gospel to the world. From the beginning, it has been God’s plan that through His church shall be reflected to the world His fullness and His sufficiency.” (White, E. G. (1911) The Acts of the Apostles, p. 9. Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Publishing Association.)
The authority of the church and church leaders always remained in Jesus Christ. As the Bible tells us in James 1:27 KJV: “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”
The Bible refers to the Church as Christ’s Bride, and just as a bride prepares to meet her groom at her wedding, so the Church prepares itself for the Second Coming of Christ.
The Church is the Body of Christ, which contains many believers – the parts of the Body with Jesus Christ as the head (1 Corinthians 12). Just as the body needs each organ to survive, each part of the Body of Christ is important. It illustrates that every person, no matter their gifts or talents, is valuable and has a purpose in the Church. In Ephesians 4:11–13 KJV we read: “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ…”
In the Bible, the church is called the family of God, where God is our Father, and fellow Christians are our brothers and sisters in Christ. Jesus is the reason that we are a church. We strive to foster a community of believers who love, support and encourage one another, and to help our friends find freedom, healing, and hope in Jesus. In the book of Revelation, we read: “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Revelation 12:17 KJV). In this great conflict, we can only overcome “by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of our testimony” (Revelation 12:11), and Jesus Christ guarantees victory!
Dear Reader, what is Church for you? How do you define it? What is your relation to the Church? Wherever you are in your journey with God, do not delay any longer. Join His Body by proclaiming the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Pastor Art Dmytriyev is originally from Siberia. He has traveled the world in Evangelism and pastoral ministry. He serves as a pastor in North Carolina, holds a Master of Divinity degree, and is currently a Doctor of Ministry candidate. More information at: https://burnsvillenc.adventistchurch.org/pastors-blog
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