Are You A Member of the Body Or Just A Member of the Church?

“The very word membership is of Christian origin, but it has been taken over by the world and emptied of all meaning,” wrote C. S. Lewis in one of his essays.

Lewis further opined, “I am afraid that when we describe a man as ‘a member of the Church’ we usually mean nothing Pauline” as he referred to Paul’s statement regarding “members of the Body” of Christ (1 Cor. 12:22).

Being a member of the Body is not like being a member of a club, business organization or some kind of fraternity. For example, when I joined Rotary, I was a member of a local club and was expected to do three things: (1) Attend a local meeting. (2) Abide by the rules of the club. (3) Pay monthly dues. Failure to do so could result in my termination from the club.

Too many Christians have that kind of view of the church. They attend just enough, behave well enough, and give just enough so their membership won’t be revoked. According to 1 Corinthians 12, that’s not a Biblical view of being a member.

Being a member is an analogy. Paul compared it to the physical body. The illustration is simple and obvious, and almost humorous. The physical body has different members–eyes, ears, hands, and feet. The body is not one member.

Can you picture someone who is all nose? A giant eye? A huge hand? An enormous ear? Or a humongous head?

Just as the physical body has many members and work together in unity and harmony, so should the spiritual body function in the same way. This analogy teaches us several lessons.

(1) The rich diversity of the members.

Just as the human body has different kinds of members, the body of Christ is composed of people of different nationalities, genders, education levels, occupations, and ages. The diversity adds to the richness and beauty of the body.


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