Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
Thoughts for Today:Paul uses the terms "the body of Christ" and "the church" interchangeably. As far as Paul is concerned, this includes all born-again believers. Regardless of an individual's spiritual maturity, nationality, or to which physical church they might happen to belong. The key is to be "born-again". (John 3:3-6: "In reply Jesus declared, 'I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.' 'How can a man be born when he is old?' Nicodemus asked. 'Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!' Jesus answered, 'I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.'")
So no one can be a part of the body of Christ without being born again. And conversely, no one can be born again without being a member of the body of Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:13: "For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.") The whole point is inclusion and unity without division.
This terminology is also important in describing the relationship between members of Christ's church. Paul has been telling us there are no unimportant members. It takes all of us working together in harmony, as one body, to demonstrate the evidence and reality of Jesus to this world.
Questions to Ponder:Each of us is critically interdependent upon one another. We are all necessary and valued members of the body of Christ. Look closely at your own responsibility. What is your role? Have you been operating effectively? If not, what has been the cost to the church?