Ask A Pastor
Scott T. Sharp, Pastor
First Baptist Church Nasville
Question: "How do you see the body of Christ?"
Genesis 2:24 says, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Over the last 34 years, my wife Beth and I have chuckled many times at just how true this verse has become in our marriage. We often find ourselves doing the same things, saying the same things and even thinking the same things at the same time. We each have truly become an extension of the other and this was God’s intention where marriage is concerned. Marriage is designed to be a picture of the relationship that is also supposed to exist between born-again Christians and Christ, between the church as the body of Christ and Christ himself.
Revelation 19 describes the relationship between Christ and the church on earth in the same terms as the marriage relationship described in Genesis 24. The passage from Revelation reads as follows: “Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb (Jesus) has come, and his Bride (the church) has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.”
As the body of Christ on the earth, the church (Christian believers) is to prepare herself for the coming of her bridegroom, Jesus. And how does this passage say the church is to go about this preparation? “By clothing herself in the fine linen of righteous deeds.” In other words, church members are to be an extension of Jesus Christ himself, part of His family who do, say and think the same righteous things Jesus does, says and thinks. This concept is further defined for us in Romans chapter 8 where it says, “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.”
Being part of the body of Christ is about being one with Christ through the marriage of our souls which takes place when we yield and submit ourselves to the Lordship of Christ through the act of salvation. And how do we find salvation for our souls? Romans 10 tells us: “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”