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Sunday, May 26 2013

Why Is The Church Called The Body Of Christ?

"For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection"

The Messiah "is the Head of the body, the church" (see also the series of studies: The Church In The Garden, The Church In The Wilderness, The Church Today, The Church In The End Time, The Church In The Kingdom Of God and The Church: Mission Accomplished).

An Open Tomb

"1:12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son [see The Kingdom Of The LORD God]: 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him [see also Adam and Adamah and What Makes Physical Life Possible?]: 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 1:19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

1:21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works [see What Does Wicked Mean?], yet now hath he reconciled 1:22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: 1:23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; 1:24 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:" (Colossians 1:12-24 KJV)

But just when, in relation to the righteous life of Christ, does the term "Body" apply? Consider carefully the struggle described by the apostle Paul in "the body of this death" - and the reason why there must be a "dead" body for the new life to be possible.

"7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? 7:2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. 7:3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. 7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. 7:6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. 7:8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. 7:9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. 7:10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. 7:11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. 7:12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.

7:13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.

7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 7:15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 7:16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. 7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 7:20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin." (Romans 7:1-25 KJV)

The true Church of God is about figuratively putting to death the old unrepentant life, while thereafter living a life of overcoming the route to the eternal death that will otherwise surely happen. No one is "saved" yet (see Who Can Be Saved?) and no one is "born again" yet (see What Was The Lesson Of John 3:16?).

Crossing

"8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 8:10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." (Romans 8:1-11 KJV)

What is the purpose of living a "death" so that life will be possible? "For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection."

"6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

6:8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 6:9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 6:10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 6:18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

6:19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. 6:20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 6:21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:1-23 KJV)

Fact Finder: Why is the Body of Christ, the Church, also called the Bride of Christ?
See Brides From Their Sides


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This Day In History, May 26

47 BC: Julius Caesar visited Tarsus on his journey to Pontus. There he met more supporters, although among them were some of those who would eventually assassinate him (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).

Julius Caesar 17: The Roman general Germanicus made his triumphant return to Rome after victories over some of the German tribes (that wasn't always the case; see Hermann).

735: The English historian and monk known as the Venerable Bede died.

946: King Edmund I of England died at age 25.

1135: Alfonso VII of Leon and Castile was crowned the Imperator Totius Hispaniae ("Emperor of all of Spain").

1232: Pope Gregory IX sent the first Inquisition "investigators" to Aragon in Spain.

1293: An earthquake in Japan killed about 30,000 people.

1328: William of Ockham was forced to flee from Avignon by Pope John XXII.

1521: The Edict of Worms (i.e. Worms is the English rendering of Vorms, a city in Germany) banned Martin Luther following his Papal excommunication in April.

1647: Alse Young was hanged in Hartford, Connecticut; she was the first woman to be executed as a witch in the "new world."

1670: A treaty was signed in secret in Dover, England, between Charles II and Louis XIV ending the hostilities between them.

1691: Jacob Leiser, leader of the popular uprising in support of William and Mary's accession to the throne, was executed for treason.

1805: Napoleon Bonaparte was declared the King of Italy.

1879: Britain and Russia signed the Treaty of Gandamak; it established Afghanistan as an "independent" state (Russia invaded Afghanistan in the 1980s, Britain took part in the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001).

1896: The last czar of Russia, Nicholas II, was crowned.

1940: During the Second World War, the 10-day evacuation of Dunkirk began. It saved 300,000 allied soldiers from the German advance.

1970: The Russian Tupolev Tu-144 became the first commercial transport to exceed Mach 2 (twice the speed of sound).

1983: A magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck Japan; a tsunami followed, killing over 100 people and injuring thousands.

1986: The European Community adopted the European flag (gold stars on a blue background).

2004: U.S. Army veteran Terry Nichols was found guilty for his part of the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City that killed 161 people (it was the deadliest act of terrorism in the U.S. prior to the 9-11 attacks in New York and Washington).





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