Last blog post I said this: “Christ’s body is the church. This is a simple and profound statement. But this means that those not united with Christ, those who aren’t His body, cannot be the true church. So the next thing to look at is this: What does it mean to be united with Christ? What does it mean to be the body of Christ? What does the body of Christ look like?”
So now I want to begin answering those questions. I say begin because there is far more to say that what I’m going to put here.
What does it mean to be united with Christ? Simply put, it means that God the Father has given you into the hands of Christ to be cared for and nurtured as sheep of Christ’s. God’s view of you is one that cannot be separated from the work of Christ. The Father sees your sin dealt with by Christ upon the cross. The Father views Christ’s obedience as your obedience. In God’s view, our lives are wrapped up and sewn to Christ’s. This is amazing, beautiful, staggering, and humbling.
Something to keep in mind is that the fullness of the reality of our unity with Christ is not yet. We have only been given a down payment for the unity we have in Christ.There is still more blessings to be had because of Christ, but we will not receive those now until we enter into the new heavens and new earth. But, we don’t need to the fullness to receive the riches of the blessings of being united to Christ.
If you want some scripture proves of this, read Ephesians 1-2. There is enough there to prove this, though there are numerous passages elsewhere in the New Testament to demonstrate the reality of what I have said.
When God changes the way He sees you, it changes your reality. Thus, when He sees you (true children of the faith), He sees Christ. But of course, He doesn’t see Christ in a physical way. He sees the covering of Christ over you. He sees you as a part of Christ, united to Christ. This is what it means to be the body. To be united to Christ, and in subjection to Him as head. To be the body of Christ means to be united to Christ and obedient to Christ.
Which is why the body of Christ is invisibly united to Christ. There is fruit that comes from being united to Christ, but you can’t simply look at someone and say they’re in Christ. There is no physical characteristic that demonstrates unity to Christ. Which is also why the deciding factor to if you are united to Christ is not gathering together to worship God once a week and calling yourselves Christians. The uniting with Christ comes from Christ uniting Himself invisibly with His people, and this cannot be seen or touched, since it is beyond what we see. And so many people will attend Church and do Church things, but this does not guarantee they’re in Christ.
This is why when we discuss the Church we have to make the proper distinctions that the logic and principles of the Bible lead us to.
A church can profess to be a true church by pointing to all the good they do for the community. But Judas also wanted to help out the poor, but mostly because he was in charge of the money purse and could take some of the money.
So there are differences between churches. There are true churches and false churches. There are good churches and bad churches. There are faithful churches and unfaithful churches. We need to know more of God’s Word so we can make the distinction between them.
Be weary. Know what the church truly is. For Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.