Paul’s Third Journey
The Church of God
What do I mean when I say there is one church, with two branches?
I am referring to God’s plan of redemption and salvation through the complete believing of Jesus Christ. One branch is the Bride of Christ, and the other branch is the Body of Christ, together they are the Church of God. Two distinct doctrines that come to one focal point of unity, the accomplished work of our Lord Jesus Christ.
To understand this, we must begin with Abraham.
Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
God made promises to Abraham when he was in Ur of the Chaldeans beginning with these promises in the opening of Genesis chapter twelve. Abraham (I will use the name Abraham throughout) is promised a land, and that he will become a great nation, and that from him will come the Christ to bless all the families of the earth. These promises all speak to that which will become the branch that is known as the Bride of Christ, which we will also consider.
And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.
This promise of the land will become the home of the Bride of Christ. God adds more form to this promise of the land in Genesis chapter 15.
In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:
This is the Promised Land that Israel partially occupied after God brought them out of slavery in Egypt. These boundaries also add another layer to Abraham being the first person who is identified as a Hebrew. (See Covenants: A Completed Record of Israel)
Although these boundaries do not fit the promised land in ancient Israel, they do set the boundaries of Israel during the Millennial Kingdom when Jesus Christ will rule the world as Lord of lords and King of kings. It is in the Millennial Kingdom when God will fully meet His promise to Abraham of the land.
God adds still more clarity to this promise of the Land when David is the king of Israel.
2 Samuel 7:12-13
And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.
Jesus Christ, as the King from heaven, will sit upon the throne of David. This is the Kingdom of Heaven spoken of in the Gospel of Matthew, this will come to pass in the Millennial Kingdom.
During his lifetime Abraham knew this promise of the land was something for the future.
By faith [pistis = believing] Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith [pistis = believing] he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
This is the city Abraham looked for, its arrival is in the Millennial Kingdom.
Abraham understood that he would not receive the promise of the land until after he was raised in the resurrection of the Just. How did he know he would be in the resurrection of the Just? Because God called him righteous.
And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
The word counted (hasab) means to reckon, to account, to credit. God could not make Abraham righteous at that exact time because the righteousness of God was not yet available.
That is a brief summary of the land.
Next, let’s consider the great nation, which will be Israel; however, this is also not seen immediately.
Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; and I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.
God is speaking with Isaac in these verses. The figure of speech Parcemia is used here, as well as many times when God speaks of the size of this great nation. The phrase, “stars of heaven” or “the sand of the sea” and others like this are all this figure of speech. The term Parcemia literally means a wayside saying, a saying in common practice.
The first time we see the great nation it is in Jacob. Jacob is Abraham’s grandson.
And he said, thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.
Jacob’s name is changed to Israel. His twelve sons become the twelve tribes of Israel. But even with this change of his name it will be centuries before Israel becomes a nation. It will be after God delivers the twelve tribes from the bondage of Egypt.
And all the people answered together, and said, all that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.
This takes place at the foot of Mount Sinai. This is when God desires to change the covenant He made with Abraham. Judaism considers that the twelve tribes became a nation, when “all the people answered together.”
It is estimated that over two million people were delivered from their bondage in Egypt. As great a number as that is, it hardly compares to other statements God makes about the size of this great nation.
And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.
Two million is a lot of people, but hardly compares to the “dust of the earth.” (The same figure of speech Parcemia is used here.)
And he brought him forth [Abraham] abroad, and said, look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, so shall thy seed be.
“Dust of the earth” and now, can you number the stars. Consider how many stars you can see at night when you are away from the glare of city lights. They literally are countless!
Some years ago, I lived in a portion of our country that had utterly no city lights. No town within fifty miles. Looking up into that night sky revealed an innumerable array of magnificent stars. Abraham was like that; he had no city lights like as what we know. How great a number shall be the family of Abraham.
After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.
This promise will not be completely realized until the Millennial Kingdom of Christ, after the resurrection of the Just, the resurrection unto Life. When all in Abraham’s bloodline, who believed, will be raised from the dead.
Israel will truly be a great nation.
Now let’s consider “in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.”
In a later conversation with Abraham, God shares all the families of the earth in a different manner.
As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.
This is part of the covenant with Abraham and should be considered with Matthew and that which is called the great commission.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the [my – Acts 2:38, 4:12] name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
As the twelve hold forth the Word of God they were taught, Gentiles who believe, like Cornelius, become a part of Israel and of the Bride of Christ.
After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
Of all nations, kindreds is better translated tribe or clan. It is referencing groups of people of a common ancestor like all of Israel coming from Jacob. The description in verse nine lines up nicely with the statement in Genesis 12:3 about all the families of the earth being blessed in Abraham.
But this promise goes further than a vague general reference to the coming Christ.
Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it and was glad.
The word see is the Greek word horao. While the word saw is the Greek word eido.
Helps Word-studies: horáō – properly, see, often with metaphorical meaning: "to see with the mind" (spiritually see), perceive (with inward spiritual perception).1
Helps Word-studies: eídō (oida) – properly, to see with physical eyes, as it naturally bridges to the metaphorical sense: perceiving ("mentally seeing"). This is akin to the expressions: "I see what You mean"; "I see what you are saying." ("seeing that becomes knowing") then is a gateway to grasp spiritual truth (reality) from a physical plane. (eídō) then is physical seeing (sight) which should be the constant bridge to mental and spiritual seeing (comprehension).2
Abraham saw in his mind the day of Christ; it was a seeing that became a knowing. Abraham understood the spiritual reality that the Christ would come from his line and that Christ would accomplish redemption and salvation. Abraham saw the reality of Genesis chapter three, verse fifteen.
And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, in thee shall all nations be blessed.
There are those who think Abraham seeing “my day” in John chapter eight is what has been called the day of the Lord.
The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low:
The day of the Lord is about God judging. It is about the wrath of God.
The eyes of the arrogant will be humbled, and human pride brought low; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day. The LORD Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled),
New International Version
The day of the Lord is about God’s judgment, not our Lord Jesus Christ.
Others think it is about the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. Was Abraham looking forward to the earthly ministry of Jesus? In John chapter eight, what was the day Jesus spoke of concerning Abraham?
Jesus answered, my kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
The Greek word for world is kosmos which means the arrangement or order of the world. The arrangement of the world of Jesus Christ was under the god of this world, the Adversary. Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry was during the times of the Gentiles. But there is a time coming when Jesus Christ will return to this earth and the Adversary will be bound in chains and tossed in a pit. The arrangement of the kosmos will change. The times of the Gentiles will be concluded.
Christ’s day will be when he returns to eliminate the antichrist, and set up the Millennial Kingdom, and rule as Lord of lords and King of kings. This, the Millennial Kingdom, is the day of Christ that Abraham saw.
These all died in faith [pistis = believing], not having received the promises, but having seen [horao] them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
Abraham understood the promises of God and he believed God.
Next, before we move away from Abraham and the promises he saw and believed I want to establish exactly who is the Bride of Christ. The phrase “Bride of Christ” does not appear in God’s Word. Yet there is a marriage feast for Christ and his bride in the Millennial Kingdom.
It is during the ministry of Jesus Christ that God declares the marriage of the believing elements in the Nation of Israel with His son, the Christ. When I say marriage most immediately think of a ceremony.
Did you know that there is no prescribed marriage ceremony in the pages of the Bible, neither for Judaism nor Christianity.
There is a process or protocols and a commitment, but there is no ceremony in Judaism. That is why we open the Millennial Kingdom with the marriage feast and not the marriage ceremony. When the process is complete, God can send His son back to claim his bride. When will the process be complete? Only the Father, who knows the end from the beginning, has that answer.
And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
The marriage contract in Judaism begins with the father of the groom selecting the bride for his son.
And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things. And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.
This tradition goes back to Abraham selecting the bride for Isaac.
No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, and they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
Those in Israel that hear the call of God and answer in believing, will be the Bride of Christ. Then, in the resurrection of the Just, Christ will raise his bride.
This then is the beginning of the marriage contract in Judaism, the father selecting the bride. This is the Father of Jesus selecting his son’s bride, it will be those who answer God’s call in believing. Once the bride has been selected this process or protocols will be followed:
1.Have a meal, a cup to seal the betrothal 2.Groom pays a price showing the bride his love for her 3.Groom makes a speech, promising to come soon for her 4.Groom leaves and builds a place for her in his father’s house 5.Groom gives the bride love gifts 6.The Father of the Groom gives the bride love gifts 7.Bride takes a purifying bath 8.Friends attend the bride and provide light for the groom’s arrival, who will come as a thief in the night 9.Father decides when it is time to go get the bride
Let's take a look at these one by one.
1.Have a meal, cup to seal the betrothal.
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
This is the betrothal meal. With the coming of the New Covenant, all protocols will have been met, so that, they can have the marriage feast.
2.Groom pays a price showing the bride his love for her
I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
The price Jesus is willing to pay is his life.
3.Groom makes a speech, promising to come soon for her
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
4.Groom leaves and builds a place for her in his father’s house
And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
5.Groom gives the bride love gifts
And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch. Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, how long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
His gift is eternal life.
6.The Father of the Groom gives the bride love gifts
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you and shall be in you.
God gives the gift of holy spirit.
7.Bride takes a purifying bath
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Christ continues to feed his bride with the words of God.
1 Peter 1:13-16
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
Let us be glad and rejoice and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
8.Friends attend the bride and provide light for the groom’s arrival, who will come as a thief in the night
And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.
The Light these witnesses provide is the Light of the words of God.
9.Father decides when it is time to go get the bride
But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray for ye know not when the time is.
And he said unto them, it is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
Israel is indeed the Bride of Christ.
… Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.
God has made of Abraham a great nation, and prepared for Abraham and his seed a land beyond compare, and God has surely arranged for all the families of the earth to be blessed in Abraham. When God cut a blood covenant with Abraham in Genesis chapter fifteen, He was the guarantor, the one responsible to bring to pass all that He had promised Abraham.
God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
Abraham’s connection to Israel is easy to see and understand, but what is his connection to the Body of Christ.
Now, the Church of God from the view of the Body of Christ and its connection to Abraham.
In the latter portion of Romans chapter three we learn of God’s answer for the justification and righteousness of the Gentiles under the ministry of the Apostle Paul.
But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Twice in these verses the righteousness of God is mentioned and both statements are in the genitive case. In verse 21 righteousness of God is a genitive of origin so that the emphasis is placed on God, the righteousness that comes from GOD. In verse 22 righteousness of God is a genitive of character to emphasize what a person receives, RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Verse 22 also adds how the righteousness of God became available to humanity, by or through the accomplished or completed believing of Jesus Christ. He lived a life whereby he believed God every step of the way, the decisions he made, the actions he took, the words he uttered, everything was rightly believing God.
Then verse 22 ends with how the individual can receive this righteousness of God in their life, believe in Jesus.
Verse 23 shows us no man, from the line of Adam, will earn the righteousness of God on their own. All fall short of the glory of God.
Now, to be righteous, you must first be justified. Justification is the legal aspect to making a person righteous. Justification is the removal of charges against you. Justification is what allows a believer to stand before God without any sense of sin, guilt, or condemnation. Consider this carefully. There would be no sense of these things, sins, transgressions because there would have been no wrongdoing on your part.
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Justification comes first, then God can make you as righteous as He is, for you are completely sinless. It is the righteousness that allows you to be in the presence of God. All justification is by God’s grace based on the redemption in Christ Jesus. He is the perfect sin offering.
Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.
God set Christ Jesus as the payment for righteousness. Yet, before righteousness can be given an individual must be justified, the remission of sins. The doctrine of the Administration of Grace preaches the righteousness of God to the individual, right now! Present tense! Continual present tense.
2 Corinthians 5:21
For he [God] hath made him [Jesus Christ] to be sin [a sin offering – figure of speech metonymy] for us, who [Jesus Christ] knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
The righteousness of God!
Just one sin is enough to condemn an individual to death (Romans 6:23). But God arranged for a way that every person could simply believe and thereby receive eternal life.
To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
The individual must believe that Jesus paid the price, that we could not pay on our own, because we all have come short of the glory of God.
Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith [pistis = believing].
Believing is a Law, a spiritual law and spiritual law is greater than physical law. That is why believing God can and will heal a person of injury, sickness, disease. Physical laws say there is no cure, no hope. But the law of believing is a spiritual law, and spiritual law supersedes physical laws and people are healed. Consider Abraham.
It is this law of believing that connects us to Abraham.
What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory, but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
Abraham is not my father. I am not of the line of the twelve tribes or the later children he had with Keturah. What does God mean when He inspires Paul to call Abraham our father?
Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith [believing], the same are the children of Abraham.
Abraham was the first to see Christ coming out of his line. God promised Abraham that in him, all the families of the earth would be blessed, and he believed. The first is known as the father, as Paul, the first to know the doctrine of the Administration of Grace, is called our father in the Word of God.
Abraham had the words of God, and he believed those words. He did not see the resurrected Christ physically. Christ was not around in Abraham’s day; Christ will come on the scene about two thousand years after Abraham. Abraham believed the promises of God. God built the picture for Abraham, Abraham could see it mentally, he knew it spiritually.
When God spoke to Abraham of the nations being blessed in him, it was a reference of Israel taking the Word of God to the nations. We are not included in the promises to Abraham, for our Administration was hidden in God until revealed to the Apostle Paul.
And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
Like Abraham, Jesus Christ did not appear to you on the road to Target one afternoon. You did not have a road to Damascus experience is what I am saying. Someone held forth God’s Word to you, promises from God. Maybe of peace, maybe forgiveness, maybe eternal life, maybe a healing you needed, but always through Jesus Christ, and you believed. Just like your father in believing, Abraham. He wanted an heir and later he needed healing.
He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore, it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences and was raised again for our justification.
Like Abraham, we believed. He is the father of believing and we, therefore, are his children in believing.
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
We believed the word of truth, the gospel of our salvation. We were sealed with God’s gift of holy spirit and became members in the Body of Christ.
And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
Christ is the Head, and we are his Body.
The phrase the Body of Christ is used only twice in God’s Word. Once in First Corinthians and once in Ephesians. Five other times a form of this phrase is used and contextually it is referring to the Body of Christ, as we just read. This phrase, referring to Christ as the Head and those who believe as his Body, is not used outside of the Pauline Epistles, because it is only directed, by God, to those in the Administration of Grace.
1 Corinthians 12:12
For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also, is Christ.
This verse of scripture begins a double analogy. An analogy compares the similarities between two apparently different items or things. In this case, the manifestations of God’s gift of holy spirit are compared with a physical body.
Verse 12 opens with the word “for” translated from the Greek word gar. Gar is a conjunction connecting verse 12 with that which has preceded it, the nine manifestations. Gar is defined by the Englishman’s Greek as, “used to give a reason or an explanation for what has just been said.”3 Like a body, the manifestations work together and are all part of the same unit, like a physical body.
One body with many members. One manifestation with many evidences.
First, it is an analogy of the manifestation of God’s gift of holy spirit. They are nine in number, but they work together as one manifestation. Second it is an analogy of the Body of Christ consisting of those who have believed in the Administration of Grace.
1 Corinthians 12:27
Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
Many members, but one body. All moving in unison, a harmonious agreement, in perfect accord. A song sung perfectly by different instruments, but at the same pitch. This is only possible as the members of the Body receive and act on the directions of the Head, Christ Jesus.
The only other time the phrase, the Body of Christ, is used is in Ephesians.
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
The Greek word translated “for” to open this verse is pros, which means with a view to. The context tells us Jesus Christ gave gifts to men. He gave apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. He gave these gifts with a view to the believers in the Body of Christ being perfect, which means fully equipped, with a further view of the work of the ministry, with still the further view of edifying the Body of Christ.
So, the Body of Christ consists of those, currently living, who have believed God’s plan of salvation. Within this Body of believers Christ, as the Head, has set up leadership and given specific instructions as to their purpose and function. Further God has declared to us the importance and necessity of every member in the Body of Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:14-15
For the love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
The life that we now live in the flesh, we should live for him who died for us.
1 Corinthians 5:20
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.-
The Greek word translated “ambassadors is presbeuo. Helps Word-studies defines this word in this manner: “presbeúō ("act as an ambassador") means to act as an established statesman (diplomat) a trusted, respected ambassador who is authorized to speak as God's emissary (represent His kingdom).
This term is used in the ancient phrase, "I am on embassy to the Emperor, I am an ambassador" (Souter) – as someone respected as trustworthy (loyal, knowledgeable), especially in the opinion of those they know (belong to).4
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith [believing] of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
The life I now live in the flesh, I live by the perfect believing of God’s son, Jesus Christ. In our day and time believers have the privilege to walk forth in place of Christ. We do not live in the place of Jesus; we live in the place of Christ.
How can you live up to such a standard?
Whereof I [Paul] am made a minister, according to the dispensation [administration] of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
Christ in you! God in Christ, Christ in you. Nothing on earth is more powerful than a child of God in the Administration of Grace.
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
What measure have we been given?
But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
The measure of the gift of Christ. The Christ in you. God’s gift of holy spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:5
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.
2 Corinthians 4:7
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
It is not us, but God in Christ in us! The emphasis is not on the receptacle, but on the treasure inside the receptacle. It is not magic. It is not a formula. It is accepting and believing that God works within us, that God energizes the spirit within us, to accomplish whatever He has asked us to do.
Now unto him [God] that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
You are God’s masterpiece (workmanship)! Created in Christ Jesus! For good (agathos) works! Remember the statement of Jesus, there is none good (agathos) but God! Now, God has created holy spirit within you to do agathos works for Him, you can imitate God! You are as righteous as God! You can walk with the power of God within you, by way of God’s gift of holy spirit.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
This is the Body of Christ, with Christ Jesus as the Head of the Body.
We receive directions from the Head, and as we act in believing, we will see the power of God and the Will of God in manifestation.
Therefore, it is of faith [believing], that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law [The Bride of Christ], but to that also which is of the faith [believing – the Body of Christ] of Abraham; who is the father of us all,
One church, the Church of God.
Two branches, The Bride of Christ, and the Body of Christ.
1. Strong's Greek: 3708. ὁράω (horaó) -- to see, perceive, attend to (biblehub.com)
2. Strong's Greek: 1492. εἴδω (eidó) -- be aware, behold, consider, perceive (biblehub.com)
3. Englishman's Greek - Dr. James Boyer (middletownbiblechurch.org)
4. Strong's Greek: 4243. πρεσβεύω (presbeuó) -- to be the elder, to take precedence (biblehub.com)
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