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Doctrine of Body of Christ

March 29, 2012

DOCTRINE OF THE BODY OF CHRIST

A.  Definition and Description.

1.  The phrase “body of Christ” is used to designate all Church Age
believers in their relationship with Jesus Christ.  In fact, each person of
the Trinity is related to the “body of Christ.”
a.  God the Father appointed Jesus Christ as the ruler of the Church,
“the Head of the body,” Eph 1:22-23.
b.  Jesus Christ is involved as the head of the body, Col 1:18, “He is
also head of the body, the Church; and He is the beginning , the
first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have
first place in everything.”
c.  The Holy Spirit is related to the body of Christ, 1 Cor 12:13, “For
by means of one Spirit we are baptized into one body,….”

2.  The analogy of the body of Christ is two-fold.
a.  Christ is the head of the body, which is the royal family, Eph 1:22-
23, 5:23-24; Col 1:18.
b.  The Church or royal family of God is the body of Christ,
1 Cor. 12:12-14; Eph 2:16, 4:4,5,12,16, 5:30,32; Col 1:24, 2:19;
Rom 12:4-5.

3.  While the Holy Spirit regenerates and baptizes every believer into union
with Christ (positional sanctification), it is the eternal life of God the Son
which is actually given to us.
a.  In Jn 10:28, Jesus said concerning the Church Age, “I give unto
them eternal life.  They shall never perish, neither shall anyone
pluck them out of My hand.”
b.  The life of the body of Christ is the eternal life of the head of the
body.  1 Jn 5:11-12 says that the eternal life we possess is the
eternal life of the second person of the Trinity, the Lord Jesus
Christ.

4.  “One body,” as taught in Eph 4:4, is part of an analogy between Christ
and the Church.  Christ is the head of the Church and therefore the
head of the body.

5.  The dispensation of the Church is the time for the formation of the body
of Christ, the Biblical term for the royal family of God, Eph 2:16.

6.  The analogy indicates that the members of the body of Christ are formed
into one organic whole with a common plan, a common goal, common
objectives, and a common purpose.

7.  “One body” emphasizes the status of unity among the members of the
body of Christ.  Of course, being in the same family doesn’t mean you
always get along.  But God has provided a way so we can all get along in
the same family.  The moment we believed in Jesus Christ, we entered into
the royal family of God.

8.  The baptism of the Spirit at salvation is the means by which we entered
into this body.  The baptism of the Spirit results in the creation of both the
new spiritual species and the royal family of God.

9.  Because our Lord had no royal family for His third royal title, the Church
Age was inserted into history for the calling out of a royal family.
Therefore, what we possess as royal family is absolutely unique.  It is
designed not only to give us the most fantastic happiness and blessing in
every circumstance of life, but also so that we can get along together.
We’re not combined by the same genes; we’re combined by something far
greater through the ministry of God the Holy Spirit.

10.  The body is the recipient of spiritual gifts, initially supplied by our Lord Jesus
Christ, 1 Cor 12:27-28; and subsequently by the Holy Spirit.

11.  The body is composed of two categories of Church Age believers.
a.  Those located on earth.
b.  Those located in heaven, who have died physically.

B.  The Formation of the Body of Christ.

1.  The formation of the body of Christ is the salvation ministry of God the
Holy Spirit.  The mechanics are the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

2.  The body of Christ is a synonym for the Church as the royal family of
God.

3.  At the ascension and session of our Lord Jesus Christ, He received His
third royal patent but was without a royal family to accompany it.

4.  Therefore during the Church Age, there is the construction of the royal
family.  Every time a person in this dispensation believes in Jesus Christ,
the baptism of the Spirit enters him into the body of Christ.

5.  When the construction of the body of Christ is completed, then will occur
the Rapture of the Church.

C.  The Head and Body Analogy.

1.  Jesus Christ as the head of the body refers to the integral relationship
between our Lord and each member of the royal family.  The head
and body analogy indicates relationship.

2.  Therefore, head and body is an analogy which indicates precedence
between the two Christological dispensations.  All precedence for the
Church Age is taken from the dispensation of the Hypostatic Union.

3.  So all precedence for the Church Age originates from Christ as the head
of the Church, and not from Israel and not from the Mosaic Law.  This
means that the analogy of Christ as the head and the royal family as the
body emphasizes the life and activity of the Church Age believer as a new
spiritual species, one of the results of the baptism of the Spirit.

4.  The analogy of Christ as the head of the body emphasizes the importance
of the mystery doctrine of the Church Age, where the believer receives his
thought pattern, mental attitude, and motivation from Bible doctrine,
described in 1 Cor 2:16 as the mind or thinking of Christ.

5.  Just as the function of the body is based on the mentality of the soul, so
the modus operandi of the Church Age believer is based on the thinking of
the head, which is our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, all precedence comes
from the dispensation of the Hypostatic Union and not from the
dispensation of Israel.

6.  There is only one head to the body, and that head is the Lord Jesus Christ.

7.  All Church Age believers, therefore, have a common life based on the
protocol plan of God provided for us.  We also have a common purpose,
which is to become invisible heroes.  Though we have a common life and a
common purpose, yet we all have different spiritual gifts.

8.  All Church Age believers have a common life which is eternal life,
received at the moment of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
Jn 3:16b, “For whosoever believes in Him shall never perish but have
eternal life.”
a.  The Holy Spirit in regeneration created a human spirit for the
imputation of eternal life.

b.  Eternal life is the life of Jesus Christ.
(1)  1 Jn 5:11-13, “And this is the deposition:  that God has
given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.  He who
has the Son has life, but he who does not have the Son of
God does not have [eternal] life.  These things I have
written to you who believe in the person of the Son of God
in order that you may know that you have eternal life.”
(2)  The body derives its life from thinking.  The body is not
dead until the brain stops working.
(3)  Jn 10:28, “I give unto them eternal life.  They shall never
perish; furthermore, no one shall ever pluck them out of
My hand.”

9.  Summary of the body and head analogy:  we have a common purpose; we
have a common plan; we have a common life.

10.  The source of our motivation and direction comes from the head, Jesus
Christ, just as the real you is your soul.

11.  The analogy of the body of Christ emphasizes the organic union of the
royal family, and therefore its common life and common purpose.  Being
in union with Christ, we are interrelated with Him just as the human
body is interrelated with the head.  In the analogy, the body is totally
dependent upon the head to provide the thinking, motivation, decisions,
and execution of the protocol plan.

D.  The Increase of the Body of Christ.

1.  The increase of the body of Christ comes through evangelism.

2.  There are three human sources of evangelism under the ministry of the
Holy Spirit.  The power of evangelism comes from the Holy Spirit.
a.  Evangelism from the spiritual gift of evangelism.
b.  Evangelism from the pastor-teacher.
c.  Evangelism from personal witnessing.

3.  Evangelism is a grace function from God.  The salvation ministry of
Christ on the cross is the issue.  The ministry of the Holy Spirit in
common and efficacious grace is the mechanics.

4.  The increase of the body of Christ is the function of evangelism on planet
earth.  There are three sources of evangelism.
a.  The gift of evangelism is the most spectacular of all spiritual gifts
extant today, causing the unbeliever to pay attention.  The
evangelist preaches salvation outside the local church.
b.  The pastor-teacher teaches salvation in the local church.
c.  Personal witnessing is one of the categories of Christian service as
part of the believer’s royal ambassadorship.
d.  Some people come to know Jesus Christ through reading a
salvation passage.

E.  The cleansing of the body of Christ is threefold.

1.  Positional sanctification is the work of the baptism of the Spirit by which
we are entered into union with Christ.  This is the basis for the new
spiritual species and the formation of the royal family of God.

2.  Experiential or progressive sanctification is the filling of the Spirit inside
the operational-type divine dynasphere and post-salvation epistemological
rehabilitation.  Progressive sanctification is the momentum from doctrine
which results in the execution of the protocol plan and the manufacture of
the invisible hero.

3.  Ultimate sanctification is achieved when we receive our resurrection
bodies patterned after our Lord’s.  This is the ultimate cleansing of the
Church.

F.  Jesus Christ is the head of the body.

1.  The royal family of God is one organic body with the Lord Jesus Christ as
the head.  There are three concepts of Christ as the head.
a.  Christ is the head of the corner, which means He has two crowns.
Jesus Christ as the Son of David is the ruler of Israel.  He is also
the ruler of the Church because of His victory on the cross.  Eph 2;
Acts 4:11; 1 Pet 2:7.
b.  Christ is the supreme ruler over the Church as the body of Christ,
Eph 1:22-23, 4:4,15, 5:23.
c.  Christ is the ruler over angels, Col 2:10.

2.  Therefore, the Lord has an authority over us.  We can recognize it and
have great blessing, or we can reject it and be the most miserable people
in life.

3.  The role of the Trinity in forming the body of Christ.
a.  God the Father appointed the Lord Jesus Christ as the head of the
body, Eph 1:22.
b.  Jesus Christ is the Savior of the body, Eph 5:23,25,30.  Jesus Christ
is also the sanctifier of the body, Heb 2:11, 13:12.  Jesus Christ is
also the head of the body, Eph 1:22-23, 5:23-25.
c.  God the Holy Spirit is the active agent in the formation of the body,
1 Cor 12:12-13.  After salvation, the body is sustained by the Holy
Spirit, 1 Cor 6:16 cf 1 Cor 6:19-20.

4.  So the function of Christ in the formation of the body is not as an active
agent, but as the source of its life and as its ruler.

G.  The body of Christ is a synonym for the Church as the royal family of
God.  At the ascension and session our Lord Jesus Christ received His
third royal patent, but did not have a royal family.  Therefore, the
construction of the body of Christ during the Church Age is the means of
forming that royal family.

H.  The purpose of the royal family or body of Christ on earth is the
glorification of God through the execution of the protocol plan for this
dispensation.

I.  Differences among Members of the Body of Christ.

1.  Being in union with Christ, every Church Age believer is joined to each
other as members of the same body.

2.  While we have different spiritual gifts and different personalities, just as a
body has different parts with different functions, yet we all belong to the
same royal family of God.

3.  One of the major functions of the body of Christ is the exercise of our
spiritual gifts.  Every believer receives a spiritual gift at the moment
of salvation.

4.  The exercise of spiritual gifts is compared to the function of the various
members of the human body.  Some people are hands, some are feet;
others are eyes or ears.  This is the subject of 1 Cor 12 and Rom 12.

J.  The Unity of the Body.  (See also the doctrine of the Unity of the Royal
Family of God.)

1.  As a result of the baptism of the Spirit at salvation and the resultant
formation of the body of Christ, God the Father provides the means
of being in a state of harmonious relationship with other believers.

2.  Even though the most obnoxious and evil people are believers, God has
provided a means for us to tolerate all believers.

3.  Consensus of thought among believers is based on the mystery doctrine of
the Church Age, while guarding against fragmentation is the u
understanding and the utilization of the ten problem solving devices of the
protocol plan of God.

4.  The unity of believers is based on the fact that all members of the royal
family of God are one body of Christ with equal privilege and equal
opportunity to execute God’s plan.

5.  Unity is provided through the ministry of God the Holy Spirit, Eph 4:4.
The Holy Spirit provides unity among believers in seven categories.
(See the doctrine of the Seven Salvation Ministries of the Spirit.)

6.  Some of the things provided for us at salvation which unify us as the body
of Christ are as follows.
a.  We possess God’s perfect righteousness.  We all possess the same
amount of perfect righteousness.
b.  Having God’s righteousness causes us to be justified.  “Therefore,
being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our
Lord Jesus Christ.”
c.  We received eternal life.  Jn 3:16, “That whosoever believes in Him
shall never perish but have eternal life.”

K.  Summary.

1.  Christ is the head of the body, 1 Cor 11:3; Eph 1:22-23; 5:23-24.
2.  Christ is the savior of the body, Eph 5:23,25.
3.  Christ is the sanctifier of the body, Heb 13:11-12.
4.  The body includes Gentile believers, Eph 3:6.
5.  The body is the recipient of multifarious spiritual gifts, Rom 12:4-5;
1 Cor 12:27-28.
6.  The communication gift of pastor-teacher is designed for the edification of
the body.