The Church is the Body of Christ
Ephesians 1:22-23 – 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.
Ephesians 4:15-16 – But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
Colossians 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.
One Body, Many Members, Added by the Holy Spirit
Romans 12:4-5 – For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
I Corinthians 12:12-20 – 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. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body.
Colossians 3:15 – And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
“Members” is a metaphor for body parts (foot, hand, ear, eye), and not referring to being on the membership roll of a 501(c)3 church organization.
The members of the body of Christ are individual Christians.
“Members” are not individual churches:
- A church organization is an inanimate object
- Church organizations may contain non-Christians, who are not part of Christ’s body.