Body language

8 11 2009

I’ve been doing some work on the ways in which union with Christ is expressed through Pauline metaphors, and I’ve been reminded how rich the metaphor of body or the body of Christ is.

As the body, the church is one and many; it expresses unity and diversity. There is one body, but each member plays its role according to the various gifts given to the body (1 Cor 12; Eph 4). In fact, the diversity of the body actually serves its unity (Eph 4:11-14).

The body is organic and dynamic. It grows and changes, it matures and is built up. In an interesting twist of the metaphor, the body grows out from Christ, but also grows into him (Eph 4:15–16).

Christ is the Head of the body. The body grows from him and into him, while he cares for and nurtures it. The body is united to its head in an organic way. He not only leads his body, but is her saviour (Eph 5:23).

The body metaphor is not merely a metaphor. There is an ontological reality that lies behind it, which has implications for the way in which believers treat their own bodies (1 Cor 6:15–17).

The very nature of the idea of the body of Christ denotes solidarity, union, and coalition between Christ and his people.

Posted by Con Campbell


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2 responses

8 11 2009
Gordon Cheng

What a glorious two words, “in Christ. They are the whole of the Christian life, crucifixion, resurrection, the life of service and in this age the daily crucifixion.

15 11 2009
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