The body of Christ is everyone who has put on Christ (Galatians 3:27-29). The body of Christ is composed of those who live for Him, who are actively changing their lives to pursue the righteousness of God (2 Timothy 2:22). The body of Christ is made up of those who have responded to the one call, God’s call (Ephesians 4:4-6). In its simplest terms, the body of Christ is you, it’s me, it’s the church.
So you may ask, “How do I know if I’m part of that body?” I think I’ll let Jesus speak in response to this question.
“7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” (John 15:7-8)
In order to be a part of the body of Christ, we must be his disciples and disciples bear fruit. Today, and in the next few posts, we will study some examples of fruit that the body of Christ should be producing. I ask that you remain honest with yourself and be real about whether or not these fruits are evident in your life. Since the body of Christ is made up of individual Christians, we must look first to ourselves and consider whether we are living in a manner that brings glory and honor to God.
The body of Christ is…
- CARING (“25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.” –1 Corinthians 12:25) How well do you care about other Christians? Do you place more importance on yourself or do you seek to remain unified with the members of Christ’s body? If there is no divisiveness among you, you will care deeply for every child of God.
- LOVING (“34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” –John 13:34-35) Did you know that loving one another is such an important command to God that he placed it second only to loving Him? This is how those outside the body of Christ will know if he truly exists and is a loving God. If they see our love for one another, then they can believe that there’s a Father that loves them too.
- ACCEPTING (“Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” –Romans 15:7) What is one way to glorify God? By accepting one another the way Christ has accepted us. No, this doesn’t mean accept a “live and let live” mentality that ignores the commands of God. It means not to play favorites, but to treat everyone the way you want to be treated.
- GIVING (“And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.” –Acts 2:45) Just stop and think for a moment how generous God has been to you. You can’t even count all the blessings you’ve received, can you? Whether we like it or not, there are many in the body of Christ who suffer from want. Who is to meet their needs? We are!
- SERVING (“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” –Galatians 5:13) God has granted us tremendous freedom in the body of Christ and that has been given to us for a purpose…so that we will serve one another. The body will always have its needs met when we are looking out for one another and considering the needs of others before our own. There’s no better way to emulate Christ than to have a heart of a servant (Philippians 2:3-8).
Be sure to check out the next post as we examine more fruits of the members of the body of Christ.