The church has many names. ① “Bride of Christ”. Jesus is the bridegroom and the church is the bride. ② “Family of God”. Those who believe in Jesus as their Savior are born again and become children of God. We will be added to the church, which is the family of God, and grow. ③ “Army of Christ”. There are enemies in this world who is demon. They want people to perish. We are called to fight spiritual warfare. We are entrusted with the task of transferring people from the rule of the devil to the rule of God. ④ “God’s palace”. Wherever we gather, Jesus will be with us and the Holy Spirit will be present. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit. As a worshiping people, we give praise and worship to God. ⑤ “House of prayer”. We pray for the world. Another important name is “the body of Christ.” Here is what the Bible says: And he is the head of that body, the church. The Son is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead. Thus he himself was first in all things (Colossians 1:18).
The church is “the body of Christ”. His Son, Jesus Christ, is the “Head of the Church.” Jesus used his body to minister during his earthly life. With his own mouth he preached the gospel of the kingdom of God. He was taught the Word. He saw the world with his own eyes. He listened to people’s needs with his own ears. He used his own hands to work healing. Using his own feet, he moved and expanded the kingdom of God.
How does Jesus do His work now? How will Jesus Christ, who was resurrected and ascended to heaven, sits at the right hand of God the Father, and now has no body on this earth, develop his work? It is through us, through the church, which is “the body of Christ.” Through us, through the Church, which is the Body of Christ, Jesus continues His ministry.
When Saul (later Paul) was persecuting the church (christians), Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus and said, ” Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? ” (Acts 9:4) Jesus did not say, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting the church?” Saul was persecuting christians and the church. But Jesus said to him, “Why are you persecuting me?” Because the church and christians are one with Jesus.
Christ is the head, the church is the body. It’s one. To hurt the church and to hurt his disciples means to hurt Jesus Christ Himself, to persecute Him.
In other letters Paul describes the church as “the body of Christ” (Ephesians 1:23, 1 Corinthians 12:27, 1 Corinthians 12:14-21, etc.). Here come the feet, hands, ears, eyes and nose. Each one has a function. walking, grabbing, hearing, seeing, smelling, etc. Each has a role. We need each other. Each of us has been given a role by God, so it is important that we do what we are entrusted with. In other words, each has a gift (Romans 12:4-8).
The gifts given to each of us by God are used to build up the church, which is the body of Christ. There are two important things. It is unity and diversity. First, unity. We are all united in one body. The church must be united in its mission and goals. “The Head of the Church,” Jesus Christ, clearly commands us. It is the command to “Love God and love your neighbor” and the Great Commission “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creatures.” These commands are transmitted from the head. The church must obey this order. Another important thing is diversity. We are one body, but we are made up of many parts. Each work is important.
The body, hands and feet listen to what the head says. It should not be the other way around. The same is true of the relationship between the church and Jesus Christ. The Church, the “Body of Christ,” follows Jesus Christ, the “Head of the Church.” Do what Jesus says and commands. That is the work of the church. Even though we are commanded by Jesus Christ, the head of the church, if the body does nothing, if we do not use the gifts that have been given to us, the work will not progress.
When each of us works as an organ of the body, makes use of the gifts that we have been given, and when it functions, the glory of God will be revealed. An example of this is found in Mark’s gospel chapter two. It tells the story of a paralyzed man who was paralyzed and bedridden and was brought to Jesus by four men. This man was healed by Jesus and God was glorified. This is what the Bible says when they brought in the paralytic. ” Jesus saw their faith ” (Mark 2:5).
The paralyzed man was able to be forgiven of his sins and healed from his sickness not so much through his own faith, but through the faith of those who brought him to Jesus. I think that the four people who brought this man to Jesus used their respective gifts.
1. The first is the “gift of mercy”. There was a person who sympathized with the paralytic, felt sorry for him, and strongly wished for him to be healed. And there must have been a central person who started to take them to Jesus. The starting point for a person’s healing is through the gift of mercy. So was Jesus’ ministry. The work unfolds as Jesus “feels sorry” for the afflicted.
2. Next is the “Gift of Service”. First, when one of the four had compassion and said, “Let’s bring him to Jesus,” he needed someone to actually bring him to Jesus. Moved by this man’s words, some people started saying, “I will bring the paralyzed man to Jesus. I will help him.” No one with a heart of mercy could bring him to Jesus. He needed someone to actually put the person on the stretcher. This is the gift of service, the gift of serving. He devoted his time, energy to one person’s healing and recovery.
3. Next is the “Gift of Faith”. However, they faced an unexpected situation. They were unable to approach Jesus because of the crowd. They could have given up. “We’ve come all the way here, but we can’t get closer to Jesus now. Let’s give up. Let’s try again next time.” However, among these four, there was a person who had “the gift of faith.” He said. “Don’t give up. Now that we’ve come all this way, let’s have Jesus lay his hands on him and pray. What should we do? Let’s go up to the roof, tear off the roof, make a hole, and Let’s take hang him up.” It’s a very bold idea. If it weren’t for someone with this “gift of faith”, they probably would have given up and gone home. Then this paralyzed man never met Jesus and was never healed.
4. Finally, there is the “Gift of Offering”. This bold idea is wonderful, but when they heard this “Let’s tear off the roof”, the other three people could have objected. “Oh, seriously, you’re going to destroy the house. So what are you going to do? Who’s going to pay for it?” I think. He may not have said it out loud, but he said, “Leave it to me.” Otherwise, can you demolish the house? We can’t. There was a person who said, “It’s okay, leave the money to me.” Otherwise, they would have been too frightened to tear off the roof. One dear brother was needed, someone willing to sacrifice for the paralytic to be healed. This is the “gift of offering.” The church cannot go forward without those who are willing to give it for the salvation and healing of men, for the glory of God, for the progress of the gospel, and for the expansion of the kingdom of God.
In this way, by combining four people and four gifts, the paralyzed man was saved and healed. Each of us has been chosen and called by God to build up the church, which is the body of Christ. We are the ones who carry the church (part of the body). It’s not just about the church we belong to. There is also work for the entire kingdom of God. Combined with other parts, we can help others and God will be glorified. By working together, we can achieve what we cannot do alone.
Let us firmly believe that each of us has been chosen and called by God to be an important part of the Church, which is the Body of Christ. Help each other. And follow Jesus Christ, the “head of the church.”