[Column] Church is the Body of Christ

Recently, a story of an Indian baby born with six legs has made a headline. While this type of congenital abnormality is not unheard of, there has never been a case in which an infant was born with its entire head missing. Man cannot survive without the head. We have seen people without arms, feet, or the kidneys but never have we seen people without heads. Jesus Christ is the head of the church (Ephesians 1:22; Colossians 1:18). Therefore, the church that does not have Christ as its head is not a true church. Whether it is a senior pastor, elder, or a founding member, usurping the headship of Christ brings demise to church. As a result, only tares instead of wheat, doubt instead of faith, and desolation instead of hope will remain. A true church must confess and acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Son of the Living God and affirm the assurance of salvation (Matthew 16:16-18). Only Jesus Christ must be the head of the church.

Church is the body of Christ (Ephesians 1:23; Colossians 1:24). I have encountered many people in street evangelization in Waikiki who say, “I believe in Christ but do not go to church.” Church is a living organism and the body of Christ purchased by the precious blood of Christ. It is through church that we receive heavenly blessings and divine grace. The Korean Embassy may be physically located in Washington but it is under the jurisdiction of the Korean government. Therefore, it is considered Korea territory. Likewise, church is heavenly territory in spite of its physical presence on earth. Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “Christ exists as the church-community.” Jesus Christ proclaims divine truth and saves souls through church. Furthermore, He heals, revives, and restores souls and provides heavenly manna, water, oxygen, and grace through His body, church. Through church, Jesus pours down upon us abundant blessing.

When a church member visited his pastor and informed him that he would no longer attend church and worship God in private, the pastor picked up a pair of fire tongs and took out a piece of burning coal. It died out shortly while other coals were burning brightly in the fireplace. Having seen this, the church member said to the pastor, “From this moment on, I will attend church regularly and be devout.” The Bible likens Satan to a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Living a spiritual life away from church is no different from a sheep exposing itself to the constant threat of attacks by lions and wolves by running away from the flock. Rev. Kungjik Han, the founder of Youngnak Church in Korea, also said, “Just as logs burn strongly in group, the faithful generate spiritual strength when praying and praising in group.”

That church is the body of Christ signifies the unity of all Christians in Christ (Ephesians 4:5-7; 1 Corinthians 12:25-27). If one body part aches, the whole body must feel its pain. A wise teacher asked his student, “How would you access the pot of gold hidden behind the iron fence?” The student answered, “Use the explosives to destroy the fence and reach it.” “How right you are. Now, how would you bring the life out of an eagle egg?” the teacher addressed the student. After deep reflections, he responded, “You embrace it with warmth and wait for it to hatch.” Each part of the body of Christ is a saint and a precious soul. If you embrace him or her with love, life will grow and soon emerge from him or her. We must not use hammers and explosives in the name of divine justice. If we truly love the body of Christ, we must treat its members with love like parents.

Only the love and the Word of God can renew and glorify the church. Even a new, small church with a rusty church bell and a cheap looking church sign is more glorious than the White House because church is the fullness of him who fills everything in every way (Ephesians 1:23). Therefore, the true church must grow in number and prosper. Church like human body must grow until “attaining to the whole measure of the fullness” (Ephesians 4:10-13). A leader is to be equipped excellent leadership and serve church through the Gospel of Christ and the Word of Truth. The laity are to build up the church by rendering their service according to their gifts and responsibilities. Gifts and responsibilities have been given by God (Colossians 1:25). Also, those who have been given a trust are required to be trustworthy (1 Corinthians 4:2). When Jesus Christ comes again, our body will transform into an incorruptible and glorious body. The church and the Kingdom of God in the earthly realm will also be sanctified in entirety. The 1st verse of the hymn entitled I love Thy Kingdom, Lord goes as follows: “I love thy kingdom, Lord, the house of thine abode, the church our blest Redeemer saved with his own precious blood.” Let us love church, the body of Christ, with our whole hearts and fulfill our God-given responsibilities by serving it according to our gifts and talents so that we may manifest God’s glory and light.

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