‘And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence (Colossians 1:18).’
Simplicity and Complexity of God’s Word
I tend to test physical things according to how they function mechanically. When I was a kid, motorcars were simple, they had few electronics: a magneto, a distributor, a dynamo, a starting motor, a battery and wiring to spark plugs and lights. They were so simple their owners could repair and service them. Today, the majority of cars have to be serviced by qualified motor mechanics who use specialist equipment to check their functioning.
Now when it comes to the functioning of God’s kingdom, analysing the mechanics of its workings is like trying to understand the complexities of a modern car, the workings of which are controlled by a sophisticated computer. Indeed, it is far more complicated! But one should not be surprised at this, because God is beyond our comprehension. He made us, and when we examine the mechanical and biological workings of our own bodies (Psalm 139:14) we can have a little insight into the complexity of God’s creation. The vastness and variety of His universe which He spoke into being (Genesis 1) is mind-boggling.
The Revelation of Christ’s Body
In view of this, God gives us His Word (1 Thessalonians 2:13) the Bible, and His Word the Son (John 1:1), to reveal His nature and His will for us, so that we are without excuse (Romans 1:20). We cannot ignore Him. At first, when we examine His Scriptures to learn about Him, they appear to be complicated and without form, but as we come to hear Him (Matthew 17:5) speaking through His Word by His Spirit (John 3:34) He opens up our understanding so that we can have some inkling as to His nature (Ephesians 3:18, 19).
We discover that He is vast, powerful, awesome, beautiful, merciful, gracious (Exodus 34:6) and loving (1 John 4:8). He is *glorious beyond compare. He gives His light (John 8:12) to those who believe in Him. He is the Light of their life (John 1:4), and He dwells (Romans 8:9-11) in all who are called according to His purposes (v 28). He makes them members of His body (1 Corinthians 12:27) and provides them with all they need to function in serving Him. His Church is composed of believers, wherever they may live. Structurally and mechanically that’s amazing. It may be better to refer to His Church as His Temple (1 Corinthians 3:16), and to think of it as being an organic body that grows ever bigger as more people are drawn into His Kingdom (John 6:44).
The Functioning of God’s Body
Although we are made in His image (Genesis (1:26; 9:6), and we function as His earthly body, He does not expect us to understand the complexities of His workings. He explains all we need to know for our salvation (John 20:30, 31; 2:Timothy 3:16) and for our effectual working in His name (2 Corinthians 9:8). The manual for action and obedience is His inspired Word (2 Timothy 3:16), the Bible. He speaks through it by His Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:13).
Sometimes I think we Christians are dull and unresponsive (Hebrews 5:11). Here on earth we are God’s living body powered by His Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:4), wired up to Him and in Him (Ephesians 2:13; Colossians 1:2), and yet we are happy to doodle along with little zeal (Revelation 3:14-22). That can’t be right, for God sent His Son to redeem a people for Himself (Matthew 1:21), and that redemption continues today. He has made us to function within His purposes and He has commissioned us to make disciples in His name (Matthew 28:19, 20). He gives us the tools (1 Corinthians 12:4-11) and we are His means (1 Corinthians 12:1-11). We have been foreordained to do good works (Ephesians 2:10), and we are to proclaim the gospel of salvation in Jesus (Luke 4:18, 19). We are all baptised by one Spirit into one body (1 Corinthians 12:13), namely Christ’s (v 27), to the praise of His glory (Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14).
So let us take note; repent and be zealous, as the Lord rebukes us in His love: ‘So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth (Revelation 3:16).’
Rather let us be like Paul who wrote: ‘I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body which is the church (Colossians 1:24).’
*The Glory of God