The Body of Christ is Not the Church, Which is His Body - Part 2

Posted in: 2009
By Tom L. Ballinger
Aug 5, 2009 - 10:18:09 AM

August 5, 2009
Part 2
“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ … For the body is not one member, but many” (1 Corinthians 12:12, 14). And that’s not all; in 1 Corinthians 12, we note that “the head” is even considered a member: “And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you” (Verse 21). This shows that the “head” of the “body,” in 1 Corinthians 12, is not the Lord Jesus Christ. Compare this with Ephesians 4:15: “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the HEAD, (that is) Christ.” This clearly reveals that the Church, which is His Body is not synonymous with “The Body of Christ.”
1 Corinthians 12:12-20 illustrates that the “Body of Christ” is made up of many “members.” “Members,” here, are not like members of a congregation, or members of a choir. Rather, each member, mentioned, is a different body appendage—like a foot, a hand, an ear, an eye, a head, or feet. Some members are more comely than others. Some are more honorable than others, but they are all necessary because, “Now ye are the BODY OF CHRIST, and members in particular” (1 Cor. 12:27).
Not only did “The Body’s” many parts serve a particular function which the eyes see, the ears hear, and etc., but there was a distinction between Jew and Gentile. A “middle wall” separated the two (Ephesians 2:14). During the Acts Period, there was no unity. There was a distinct difference between the two parties. The division within “the Body of Christ” was real, as far as privilege and priority were concerned. The Jew was first. The Jewish believer had the advantage. With the ushering in of the new dispensation, the Lord Jesus Christ raised-up and appointed men to fill the special offices which are enumerated in Ephesians 4:11. These men were to be used “till we all come in the unity of the faith.” The goal was never reached as it was pointed out, previously. Of course, the Lord Jesus was not surprised. Man always fails and falls short of God’s goals. He made provisions for such a failure. Those who rejected the new revelation will, one day, stand in amazement when the realization dawns on them that the noblest calling of all, the calling with the most dignity and most privilege, is the one they rejected. (Phil. 3:14).
All of this has been said to point out that the term, “the Body of Christ,” needs to be re-examined. Our conclusion is that the term refers to those believers, both Jews and Gentiles, who made up the Church of God during the “Acts of the Apostles.” The apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers were given, specifically, to direct “the Body of Christ” into the unity which was to be inherent in the new body of Truth—The Mystery.
It should be carefully noted that the Apostle Paul never says that the Church of the Mystery is the “Body of Christ.” Neither did the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit was careful not to refer to the Church of the Mystery as the “Body of Christ,” so should the student. Notice the references to the Church in Ephesians and Colossians.
“… and gave Him to be the head over all things to the Church, Which is His Body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all” (Eph. 1:22-23).
Paul does say that the Church is “His Body,” but he avoids saying the Church is the “Body of Christ.” Here, he asserts the Church is “the fullness of Him.”
“And that he might reconcile both unto God in one Body by the cross, …” (Eph. 2:16).
“That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same Body, …” (Eph. 3:6).
“There is one Body, and one Spirit, …” (Eph. 4:4).
“But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ: From whom the whole Body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the Body unto the edifying of Itself in love” (Eph. 4:15-16).
“Even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the Body” (Eph. 5:23).
“For we are members of his Body, of his flesh, and of his bones” (Eph. 5:30).
Only in Ephesians 4:12, does the Apostle Paul use the exact term, “the Body of Christ,” and as it has been pointed out, it refers to the body of believers coming out of the Acts period.
“The Church, which is His Body” is also prominent in the “Epistle to the Colossians.” Set forth, below, are the verses in which reference is made to the Body which is the Church.
“And He is the Head of the Body, the Church” (Col. 1:18).
“Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his Body's sake, which is the Church” (Col. 1:24).
“And not holding the Head, from which all the Body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God” (Col. 2:19).
“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one Body; and be ye thankful” (Col. 3:15).
In the Colossians Epistle, no mention is made to “the “Body of Christ.”  The fact that mention is made, in both epistles, to “His Body” does not give us the liberty to refer to the present Church as “the Body of Christ.”
“The Church, which is His Body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all” (Eph. 1:22-23) IS NOT “THE BODY OF CHRIST”! It is “His Body,” over which He is the Head. It is not said that Christ is the Head of “the Body of Christ.”
 The conclusion we have reached is that “the Body of Christ” was the body of believers, both Jew and Gentile, who were united to Christ by being baptized  by one Spirit  into one body (1 Cor. 12:13). The Acts Period believers made up “the Body of Christ,” many of whom lived through the change of dispensations at Acts 28:28.
The Church over which Christ Jesus is the Head is the calling of those who have embraced the Mystery which is made known after Acts 28.  These two Bodies need to be rightly divided. If they are not, then, there will be workmen who will be ashamed when their workmanship will be examined (2 Tim. 2:15).