One Body of Christ Part 5
Paul was a Jew, and the Jewish temple had the same fascination for his thought and the same powerful hold upon his imagination as in the case of all Jews. Paul had ceased to worship there, but his attachment to the ideas that the temple represented were so strong that it became with him the easiest way to comprehend what the Holy Spirit had revealed about the Church of Christ! No one denies there is ONE TEMPLE AND BUT ONE!! Now, as a building, the temple of Jerusalem was one of the most beautiful in existence; and as the chosen residence of Jehovah God, it was sacred in the minds of all Jews. And there was only ONE! How, then, can anyone deny the same oneness that is represented in the Body the Church?
Church—The word “Church” is used in the New Testament upwards of one hundred times; and the fact that it has no equivalent in the Greek language is very interesting. The word actually came from the Anglo-Saxon language which had a strong Germanic influence. When the Scriptures were being translated from Latin to English the translators could not come up a word equivalent to the Greek word ecclesia. The closest they could come was to the word in Anglo-Saxon which meant the assembly of the governing. NEVER did the word mean, nor is there a usage in the New Testament for the word which meant a building!! When someone invites you to “go to church with them” they are not asking you to visit a building. Fundamentally, the word is “an assembly”; not ecclesiastical, but civil. Nor is it used exclusively in the ecclesiastical sense in the New Testament. The town clerk of Ephesus “dismissed the assembly,” (church). There is only ONE governing body per city!!
Body—the only point about the use of the word “body” to be observed at present is the distinction between Christ’s body which He took of Mary and His body which is the Church!! Christ’s body was that which He wore when He was among men, personally; Christ’s body is that in which He is housed and represented as He reigns over His kingdom and again, there is only ONE!! Christ STILL is incarnate in this flesh, if you please, in His Body, the Church!! Through her and in Her He speaks and acts among men. So as He said while here among men, He said again and again, “He that seeth Me, seeth the Father”; the same would be true: “he that seeth My Body, seeth Me”. Why did our Lord institute the Church in the world? What is the one great doctrine? It is summed up in words most exact that human speech could find-the Church, the immortal Body of Christ. That body which was mortal once, the immortal body of Christ is visible, now. The body in which the change from mortality to immortality was seen will one day again do the same!! “That which is sown in weakness will be raised in power.” The body in which He now speaks the truth of God, to work the works of God; He still teaches men and women “what they must do to be saved”!!
All of my life I have heard of the “mystical body of Christ”. I admit to having NEVER seen it. When denominationalism uses the term “mystical” associated with the Church, or we should say that the hierarchy is describing the Church when it speaks of knitting “together Thine elect in one communion and fellowship”. In other words, they are taking ALL those who think they are in any way SAVED and putting them into an inter-denominational mockery where all can be satisfied with his or her religion and none deny it!! The closest I have come to seeing this monstrosity would be at a “union” meeting or an inter-denominational revival like Billy Graham uses. What a mockery this makes of Christ prayer in John 17:21!! Maybe Billy and the boys did not read that verse?