The term “The Body of Christ” is a Biblical term that describes the whole church and the role of every believer who is a part of it.
Christ is the head of the church,
His body, of which He is the Saviour.— Ephesians 5:23
There are two aspects of “Being the body of Christ.”
Relationships in the Body of Christ
The Biblical context of this phrase is found in 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4. Both of these letters from the Apostle Paul stress the need for each Christian to be in right relationship with every other Christian. We all take our place in the one body of whom the head is Jesus Christ Himself.
That means right relationships with every other member in our fellowship and right relationship with every true believer in every other church in Britain and around the world. The context of these two passages show the need for each of us to respect the different gifts and ministries of others. Without each gift and ministry being used under the guidance of the head of the church, the Lord Jesus Christ, the whole body, the church cannot function to its full potential.
The Body of Christ at Work in the World
The church believes that after the death and resurrection of Jesus, He ascended to heaven and is now seated there at the right hand of the Father. However He has not left us alone. He has sent His Holy Spirit into the world. The Holy Spirit comes and indwells the life of each believer. The Holy Spirit brings gifts of ministry to each believer.
These gifts are to enable the church to reach and touch our world in a similar way that Jesus came to earth and reached out to touch people in their various needs. This is the challenge for RCF. People only find out about the love of Jesus when we reach out and meet with them, share their lives and touch them at their points of need.
For some members of RCF, being the Body of Christ means going onto the streets of Ipswich at night and perhaps serving the homeless or perhaps the people as they come onto the streets from the bars and night clubs. For some at RCF being the Body of Christ means offering advice and friendship to those who are in debt. For others, it is playing football on a Saturday evening or baking a cake for a neighbour!
For all of us, being the Body of Christ should affect every relationship we are in, from those people we live with, our neighbours and other friends and contacts. To every one of these people we can be the hands and feet of the Body of Christ that reaches out and with His love, care and grace. The challenge is that if we don’t reach out to them in Jesus name then perhaps they will never become aware of who Jesus really is and of His love and care for them.