by: Tim Olson
The Church Body
More than 30 times, the New Testament refers to the church as the “body of Christ.” When Paul discussed the members of the church in 1 Corinthians 12, he used hands, feet, ears, and eyes to emphasize the fact that “there are many parts, but one body.” Just imagine how Paul would have described the church if he had the advantage of what modern science has taught us about the human body. He would have told us that just as the body’s cells work in unison with one another to sustain the larger parts of the body, so life in the church, the body of Christ, is kept going by the way in which individual Christians serve one another in the church.
Human cells cannot exist without the larger body in which to do their work. Neither can the body exist without its cells actively carrying out their tasks. The body and the cells need one another. So it is with us and the church.
Each one of us “cells” needs the church. We need the church to encourage us in our spiritual lives. When we are wrestling with what it means to be fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ, we need to be able to sit down with friends in the church and talk about our questions.
We need the church to protect us from trying to live the Christian life alone. God made us to live in relationships with one another, and we will only experience the life he intended when we live in relationship with him and with his people.
We need the church to help keep our human spirits in line with God’s Spirit. Just as our car can get out of alignment and needs a mechanic to get it back where it needs to be, our lives can get off track as we encounter the bumps and bruises of this world. The church can help get us back in line with God’s will.
We need the church, and the church needs us. The church needs us to share our gifts. All of us have been put together by God with a unique set of experiences, passions, spiritual gifts, and specific skills. This makes us unlike anyone else, which is why we need to use our uniqueness to benefit the church.
If you are a good encourager, we need you to encourage us. If you have the gift of teaching, we need you to teach us. If you are generous with your time, talents and money, we need you to put that generosity into practice. If you enjoy caring for others, we need you to care for those of us who need your help. If you are a good administrator, we need you to show us how to be effective as a church.
When we use our gifts to serve others and receive their love in return, we might just find ourselves less tempted to find alternatives to being involved in the life of the church. For, you see, our church just is not the same without YOU!
Yours in Christ,