Page 6 - September 2023 - Truth & Tidings
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he Church is presented under a   the Head and the provision of His head-
              wide variety of metaphors. There   ship. He is “the beginning” (origin) of a
        Tare figures relative to God, such as   new creation and the source of the body’s
        the “house of God” (1Ti 3:15);  then there   spiritual life (1:18). He provides both sal-
        are figures relative to Christ, such as the   vation and sustenance for the body. Colos-
        “epistle of Christ” (2Co 3:3). The clear   sians 2:19 reads, “From whom [Christ as
        implication is that the Church belongs to   Head] the whole body, nourished and knit
        these divine persons and exists for their   together through its joints and ligaments,
        glory, something we would do well to   grows with a growth that is from God”
        remember every time we gather.        (ESV). Thus, flowing down from Christ
          In this article, we are particularly con-  is a complete supply of spiritual food
        cerned with the “body of Christ” in which   (nourishment), fellowship (knit together)
        every believer is a member (1Co 12:13,27),   and fruitfulness (growth). Such supply
        and “God’s building” in which every be-  may reach us through the “joints and
        liever is a living stone (1Co 3:9; Eph 2:22;   ligaments” of the ministry of the saints,
        1Pe 2:5). Both figures are used of the dis-  but the ultimate source of provision and
        pensational Church (every believer from   growth is the Head of the body, Christ.
        Pentecost to the Rapture) and applied to   Ephesians emphasises the privilege of
        the local church.                     the body, first, as the perfect complement
        Members of the Body                   of the One who fills all things (1:22-23)
          The body of Christ was formed on the   and, second, as those who are responsible
        Day of Pentecost by the baptism in the   to submit to His authority (5:23-24).
        Spirit (Act 2:2-4; 1Co 12:13). This was a   First  Corinthians  gives  the  practical
        once-for-all historic event, the blessing of   application of the doctrine in the local
        which is reckoned to every believer at con-  context of Corinth. The assembly was
        version. It accomplished two things. First,   body-like in character, and each believer
        Christians (as a body) were vitally linked   an individual member of that body (12:27).
        to Christ, the exalted Head in heaven. This   This was much needed at Corinth. The
        truth is emphasised in Ephesians and   unity  of  the  assembly  was  being  un-
        Colossians. Second, Christians became   dermined because those who exercised
        vitally linked to one another (as members   “spectacular” gifts, such as tongues, were
        of the same body). This is the subject of 1   being exalted, whereas believers with
        Corinthians 12 and Romans 12.         “lesser” gifts were being undervalued.
          Colossians emphasises the Person of   With divine wisdom, Paul superbly uses
        ¹ Bible quotations in this article are from the KJV   the illustration of a human body to reflect
        unless otherwise noted.               the spiritual body and show the value of

        262 TRUTH kTidings   September  2023
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