Introduction to identification
In the New Testament, God refers to the people of God by the same names as the Old Testament.
Deut 10:15     chosen people     1 Pet 2:9
Ex 19:6           holy nation          1 Pet 2:9
Ex 19:6           priesthood          1 Pet 2:9
Ps 100:3         people of God     2 Cor 6:16
Ex 19:5           God's treasure     1 Pet 2:9
Is 54:6,62:5     bride of Christ     Rev 19:7, 2 Cor 11:2-3
church - Greek ekklesia - Strongs #1577, Vines - assembly
means called out ones, used as called out ones of Jesus Christ
The children of Israel were called out of Egypt to enter into the land of God's promise. Deut 6:23
The body of Christ is called out of Babylon world system to be sons/daughters of God. 2 Cor 6:16-18, Rev 18:4
metaphors for the church - flock Ps 100:3, John 10
house 1 Pet 2
body 1 Cor 12
Jesus is the head of the church (body). Col 1:18, Eph 1:22-23, 5:23
We are the body. 1 Cor 12:27, Eph 1:22-23
The body (church) is to function as the head (Jesus) directs.
The body of Christ (church) is an organism.
organism as defined by Webster's dictionary -
1) complex structure of interdependent and subordinate elements whose relations and properties are largely determined by their function in the whole.
2) an individual constituted to carry on the activities of life by means of organs separate in function but mutually dependent: a living being.
We are individual members of Christ's body. 1 Cor 12:27
God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. 1 Cor 12:18
God will equip and enable us with giftings for what we are called to do.
Some gifts come by impartation - Paul's example with Timothy. 1 Tim 4:14
Everyone has a place and function in the body of Christ. 1 Cor 12
We must believe what God says about us.
Just as the days of life are ordained (Ps 139:16), so is our function.
God's desire is for each person to do their part in the body of Christ. That is where real life fulfillment comes from.
Frustration comes from not knowing or walking in our function and giftings.
The four fold ministry is given to the church to equip the saints for the work of service and to build up the body of Christ until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ. Eph 4:11-16