How Did the Church Become the Body of Christ?
(Ver 2.8) I will warn you up front that this lesson will be different than anything you have probably heard before and therefore controversial because it is based upon mostly new Bible concepts and a revelation that few Christians know or understand. Basic human nature and intellilectual reasoning will cause some to automatically resist it and even others to reject what I will teach today completely. But, if you read the lesson very closely using your spiritual eyes to see what is written, you will begin to see that there is much more to it than you first realized. The human body is an amazingly complex designed creation of God. It is comprised of millions and billions of individual cells that come from the union of just two cells. This is the concept that I will be teaching you about today. The union of one male sperm cell with one female egg will cause all of the other cells to grow and develop into this amazingly complex unified carbon based unit called the body. If the millions of people on the earth who call themselves Christians are one unified spiritual body of Christ, what were the two spiritual cells that were joined to create this new body of Christ? Did you know that the Bible says in Romans 1:20 that the natural things created by God reveal the hidden spritual things of God? These are the spiritual concepts that I will be discussing today, are you ready to learn something new?
1 Corinthians 12:27 Now we are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
If you have ever read the New Testament, you have probably noticed that the church is described in numerous places to be the “body of Christ”. That is an absolutely fascinating piece of information that the majority of Christians just blindly embrace as doctrine without attempting to figure out how we became His body. It is very hard to ignore the scriptures that communicate this truth to us. You can find many references and I will just point you to some of them. The church is called the body of Christ in Colossians 1:18, Ephesians 4:15-16, 1 Corinthians 12:20, and Romans 12:5. These are a few of the obvious ones, but there are others.
What I have discovered lately is that while there are many Christians that embrace this foundational truth, there are some that exalt it in error to say the church is Christ. This is an example of falling into the ditch of extremism. Taking a truth and exhalting it beyond what it says is a very dangerous approach to understanding the Bible. We are required to balance all the scriptures on the subject in order to recognize the complete truth. Saying that the church is Christ is logic that in effect places the church on the exact same level as Jesus himself, saying, if Christ has a bride, then we also have a bride. They in effect have concluded in error, that the church is the bridegroom, making us God or at least His equal. That is a ridiculous assumption and Bible interpretation that is based and formed upon ignorance. I’ve heard these Bible teachers teach that in Revelation 21:2 where God describes the New Jerusalem coming down from heaven, that this city is the bride of the church. Many have also concluded that this city is the natural nation of Israel. This is just another example of wrong interpretations of the Word of God. So the Church is the husband and Israel is the bride they say. After all if we are the body of Christ, then if Christ has a bride we have a bride. But, there are so many problems with that mistaken logic. The first being in Revelation it does not say this city New Jerusalem is the Bride of Christ, it says that she is the Lamb’s wife (Rev 21:9) and that is a completely different concept. I’ve never heard the church called the Lamb of God, have you? I’ve also never heard the church called the body of the Lamb either. Ask yourself that question, are you the Lamb of God? If you are not the Lamb of God, then you are not the husband to this bride described in Revelation 19-21. If you are not the husband of the New Jerusalem, then you have a major problem with your interpretation of being the body of Christ. I know the Bible is complicated, but you have to think to figure things out. You have to be smart enough to hear and see exactly what God says and then not to be foolish enough to jump to the wrong conclusions using your limited understanding.
Then there is also this main unresolved issue, if the Church is the Body of Christ, how did we get to be the Body of Christ? That is the ignored mystery that no one has attempted to solve. I’ve never heard any of these Bible teachers even try to answer that question. I could probably write you a book on this subject, but I only have time for a few words. So you’ll have to give me some leeway in that I can’t teach you everything I know in this one lesson. But, here is the bottom line, in Genesis 2 we read about the creation of woman and we found out that the woman was taken from the body of the man. Do you remember reading about this? God created Adam first and then subsequently the woman came from the man. Adam then looked upon the woman’s body and said she is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. Are these all familiar subjects? Do you remember these? Let’s look at verse 23 of Genesis 2 to refresh your point of view:
Gen 2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
In other words Adam was literally saying to us, “she was his body”. Do you understand this? Is this too complex for you to believe? Is it possible for God to make a complete woman from just a part of a man? That is exactly what the Bible says happened so you have to decide if you want to believe it. According to God and the Bible, the woman’s body was the body of Adam. Doesn’t that sound familiar? We are talking about the Church, being the body of Christ? There was a law of God established in Genesis 2 about the subject of marriage between a husband and his wife. This law states that the wife’s body would be called the same as the husband’s body. What we discover from this law is God’s mathematical principal that declares two are to be called one. Read this next verse found in Genesis 2:
Gen 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
Two separate and distinct bodies being called one body. One male multiplied by one female equals one unified body. This is God’s mathematical law of marriage (1 x 1 = 1). This verse in Genesis 2:24 says that they are separate yet still one flesh! Wow, that is so awesome to me. What is a body made of? The human body is largely comprised of flesh and bone. So if the Church is the body of Christ, we are His flesh and His bones here on the earth. I’ll talk about that more in a bit. Adam and Eve were physically created representations of a much greater spiritual truth. I believe that Adam and Eve were natural patterns that reveal spiritual patterns and realities of the coming unity between Christ and the church. Adam and Eve were a prophetical type and foreshadowing of a spiritual marriage between Jesus Christ and the church. Did you know that Jesus is called the Last Adam (1 Cor 15:45) in the New Testament? Why is Jesus called another Adam?
1Co 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
Jesus is called the “Last Adam”, because of what God did with the first Adam, He has repeated in the Last Adam. Jesus Christ the Lamb of God takes a spiritual woman to be His wife and He marries her and becomes one spirit, one flesh and one body with her. Let me give you a another confirming witness found in the scripture about Jesus being a pattern of Adam to help you understand what I am teaching you today:
Rom 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
Adam is clearly stated to be a pattern or type of the coming Jesus. The Greek word translated as figure means “a die as struck”. If you understand printing press concepts this is what God is saying in this verse. Whenever you use a die to strike a piece of paper the same image is repeated consistently. God is trying to teach you that Adam is the pattern for what Jesus will do when He comes to the earth. Since God takes and gives Adam a wife as one of the first or techinically His last works of creation, this is what will occur with Jesus Christ and His wife. That is how the church became the body of Christ, it was by a covenant marriage. Did you know that a covenat was a marriage in the eyes of God? You can find this by reading in Malachi 2:14 and Jeremiah 31:32. God when He implemented a new covenant through Jesus Christ has established a new marriage and calls the church His wife and His bride. We can clearly see that by the church being called the wife of Christ we would also be called the body of Christ. It is really not that complicated, but it was a hidden mystery of the Word of God. There are numerous scriptures that verify this relationship and we can look at a couple of them. The church is said to be one Spirit with Christ and this is the natural Genesis 2 marriage terminology revealed in a spiritual format.
1 Corinthians 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
This verse in context is talking about a husband and a wife relationship. The same terminology of the marriage covenant is being conveyed with the terms “joined” and “one” that we saw in Genesis 2. This verse is clearly speaking to the church and says that we being joined to the Lord are now one spirit with Him. If we are one spirit with Christ this informs us that we are also the body of Christ. In Genesis 2:24 that verse used the word “cleave” but if you study it out you will find that this is the same word and means the same thing as to be joined. It literally means to “glue together”. Taking two separate pieces and super glue them to make one new even stronger piece. That is a clear definition of a marriage and a covenant relationship between a husband and a wife.
There are so many scriptures that say the Church is the Bride of Christ that I just can’t include them all in this lesson. But, I will leave you with one more reference that says it more clearly than you have ever imagined. Those that teach that the church is not the bride of Christ obviously just ignore these verses or explain them away with some lame excuses. If you read in the 5th chapter of Ephesians you see an almost entire chapter devoted to husband and wife relationships. In fact, if you do a count of the number of times husbands are mentioned either directly or indirectly I came up with around 14 separate references. If you count the number of times wives are mentioned either directly or indirectly, I came up with at least 11 references. Then if you count the number of times Christ is mentioned either directly or indirectly I came up with 11 times. Finally if you count the number of times the church is mentioned either directly or indirectly, I came up with 12 times. I tell you have to be spiritually blind not to see that Christ and the church are revealed in the same terminology and language as a husband to a wife. But, the real clincher for me was the fact that God repeats the law of marriage found in Genesis 2 again in verse 30 of Ephesians 5:
Ephesians 5:30 For we (the church) are members of his body (Jesus Christ), of his flesh and his bones.
This is the stated law of marriage found in Genesis and the words of Adam to his wife. She is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. Adam said very clearly that the woman/wife Eve was his body! But, this time here in Ephesians God is talking about Lord Jesus Christ and His bride/wife the church. Immediately following this verse we have this Genesis 2 law of marriage being restated for our benefit:
Ephesians 5:31 For this cause shall a man (Christ Jesus) leave his father (God the Father) and his mother (Israel/Mary), and shall be joined unto his wife (the church) and they two shall be one flesh (One Body).
Again we see that the church became the body of Christ by becoming the bride of Christ. I inserted the subject’s names into the verse so that you could more clearly understand who God is speaking of. The references are very clear and almost impossible to ignore. It is very important to note that when an Old Testament verse like Genesis 2:24 is quoted in the New Testament that it is given to us for the purpose of explanation. God is linking the life of Adam in Genesis to the life of Christ and explaining their similarities. The subject discussion of husbands and wifes is concluded with this outstanding confirmation:
Ephesians 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
So we finally see the icing on the wedding cake in Ephesians 5:32. God declares this to be a great mystery. What is a mystery? A mystery is something that is hidden from our plain sight and from many who still haven’t seen it. It is a puzzle that had to be figured out or solved. That is what a mystery is, something that is confusing to many people on the surface only reading until you dig deep and learn the real truth. That was the mystery of God that was revealed to you today. God finally tells us clearly that all of this talk about husbands and wives in Ephesians 5, is speaking of Christ and the church. So if any one asks you how the church became the body of Christ you can now tell them exactly how it happened; it was by a covenant of marriage. Thanks for studying the Bible with me and if this has been a blessing to you, then share it with someone else that you know to bless them with the same knowledge of the truth of God.
If you would like to continue learning more about the subject of the Bride of Christ being the church you can continue reading in this series with “Part 1“.
Posted on November 18, 2009, in The Church and tagged Bible, Christianity, Church, God, Interpretation, Jesus, man, marriage, Religion, Revelation, Truth, understanding, woman. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.