1. The Intrinsic Building Up of the Organic Body of Christ (1) Governed by a Vision of the Universal Body of Christ as the Goal of God’s Economy
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RK  Hymns: 1226, 824
Scripture Reading: Eph. 1:22-23; 2:21-22; 3:19; 4:10, 12, 16; Col. 2:19; 3:15; Rev. 21:10
Eph 1:22        And He subjected all things under His feet and gave Him to be Head over all things to the church,
Eph 1:23        Which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.
Eph 2:21        In whom all the building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord;
Eph 2:22        In whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit.
Eph 3:19        And to know the knowledge-surpassing love of Christ, that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God.
Eph 4:10        He who descended, He is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens that He might fill all things.)
Eph 4:12        For the perfecting of the saints unto the work of the ministry, unto the building up of the Body of Christ,
Eph 4:16        Out from whom all the Body, being joined together and being knit together through every joint of the rich supply and through the operation in the measure of each one part, causes the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love.
Col 2:19         And not holding the Head, out from whom all the Body, being richly supplied and knit together by means of the joints and sinews, grows with the growth of God.
Col 3:15         And let the peace of Christ arbitrate in your hearts, to which also you were called in one Body; and be thankful.
Rev 21:10      And he carried me away in spirit onto a great and high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,
 
I.     The direction of the Lord’s move today is to build up the organic Body of Christ as the organism of the processed and dispensing God in His Divine Trinity for His full expression—Eph. 4:12, 16:
Eph 4:12        For the perfecting of the saints unto the work of the ministry, unto the building up of the Body of Christ,
Eph 4:16        Out from whom all the Body, being joined together and being knit together through every joint of the rich supply and through the operation in the measure of each one part, causes the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love.
A.     This organic Body is full of Christ Himself and is built up with Himself as the life-giving Spirit, who is the essence and reality of the Body of Christ—Col. 3:11; Eph. 4:4.
Col 3:11         Where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all and in all.
Eph 4:4          One Body and one Spirit, even as also you were called in one hope of your calling;
B.     Such a Body becomes the organism of the processed and consummated Triune God, who is dispensing Himself in His Divine Trinity to saturate the Body of Christ organically so that it might be His full expression in the universe—John 15:1, 5, 8a; 2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 3:19.
John 15:1       I am the true vine, and My Father is the husbandman.
John 15:5       I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.
John 15:8a     In this is My Father glorified, …
2 Cor 13:14    The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
Eph 3:19        And to know the knowledge-surpassing love of Christ, that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God.
 
 

II.   The Body of Christ is a divine constitution of the Triune God with the believers in Christ—4:4-6:
Eph 4:4          One Body and one Spirit, even as also you were called in one hope of your calling;
Eph 4:5          One Lord, one faith, one baptism;
Eph 4:6          One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
A.     The Father, the Son, the Spirit, and man are blended and built together to become the Body of Christ—1:23; 4:12, 16.
Eph 1:23        Which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.
Eph 4:12        For the perfecting of the saints unto the work of the ministry, unto the building up of the Body of Christ,
Eph 4:16        Out from whom all the Body, being joined together and being knit together through every joint of the rich supply and through the operation in the measure of each one part, causes the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love.
B.     The building up of the Body is the constitution of the Triune God and the tripartite man in the Spirit of God and the spirit of man—1 Cor. 6:17; Rom. 8:16:
1 Cor 6:17      But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit.
Rom 8:16       The Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit that we are children of God.
1.      This constitution is the union, mingling, and incorporation of God and man— John 14:20.
John 14:20     In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.
2.      Such a constitution is a matter of divinity constituted into humanity to be man’s dwelling place and of humanity built into divinity to be God’s dwelling place—Eph. 3:16-17; 2:21-22; John 14:23; Rev. 21:2-3, 22.
Eph 3:16        That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit into the inner man,
Eph 3:17        That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith, that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
Eph 2:21        In whom all the building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord;
Eph 2:22        In whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit.
John 14:23     Jesus answered and said to him, If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make an abode with him.
Rev 21:2        And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Rev 21:3        And I heard a loud voice out of the throne, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will tabernacle with them, and they will be His peoples, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.
Rev 21:22      And I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.
C.     The Body of Christ is an organism, both divine and human, to express Christ— John 15:1; Eph. 1:23; 3:19-21.
John 15:1       I am the true vine, and My Father is the husbandman.
Eph 1:23        Which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.
Eph 3:19        And to know the knowledge-surpassing love of Christ, that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God.
Eph 3:20        But to Him who is able to do superabundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power which operates in us,
Eph 3:21        To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all the generations forever and ever. Amen.

 
III.  God’s economy is to produce a Body for His Son; this Body fulfills God’s desire for His expression and the destruction of Satan—Rom. 12:4-5; 1 Cor. 12:12, 27; Eph. 1:22-23; 4:4, 16; Col. 1:18; 2:19; Gen. 1:26-28:
Rom 12:4       For just as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function,
Rom 12:5       So we who are many are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
1 Cor 12:12    For even as the body is one and has many members, yet all the members of the body, being many, are one body, so also is the Christ.
1 Cor 12:27    Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
Eph 1:22        And He subjected all things under His feet and gave Him to be Head over all things to the church,
Eph 1:23        Which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.
Eph 4:4          One Body and one Spirit, even as also you were called in one hope of your calling;
Eph 4:16        Out from whom all the Body, being joined together and being knit together through every joint of the rich supply and through the operation in the measure of each one part, causes the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love.
Col 1:18         And He is the Head of the Body, the church; He is the beginning, the Firstborn from the dead, that He Himself might have the first place in all things;
Col 2:19         And not holding the Head, out from whom all the Body, being richly supplied and knit together by means of the joints and sinews, grows with the growth of God.
Gen 1:26        And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of heaven and over the cattle and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.
Gen 1:27        And God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Gen 1:28        And God blessed them; and God said to them, Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of heaven and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.
A.     The work of the Triune God in us is to produce and build up the Body of Christ— Eph. 3:16-21; Rom. 8:11; 12:4-5.
Eph 3:16        That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit into the inner man,
Eph 3:17        That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith, that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
Eph 3:18        May be full of strength to apprehend with all the saints what the breadth and length and height and depth are
Eph 3:19        And to know the knowledge-surpassing love of Christ, that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God.
Eph 3:20        But to Him who is able to do superabundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power which operates in us,
Eph 3:21        To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all the generations forever and ever. Amen.
Rom 8:11       And if the Spirit of the One who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you.
Rom 12:4       For just as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function,
Rom 12:5       So we who are many are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
B.     The ministry of the new covenant is for the producing of the Body of Christ; without the new covenant ministry, there is no possibility to bring forth the Body of Christ—1 Cor. 12:12-27; 2 Cor. 3:6, 8-9; 4:1; 5:18.
1 Cor 12:12    For even as the body is one and has many members, yet all the members of the body, being many, are one body, so also is the Christ.
1 Cor 12:13    For also in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and were all given to drink one Spirit.
1 Cor 12:14    For the body is not one member but many.
1 Cor 12:15    If the foot should say, Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body, it is not that because of this it is not of the body.
1 Cor 12:16    And if the ear should say, Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body, it is not that because of this it is not of the body.
1 Cor 12:17    If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were the hearing, where would the smelling be?
1 Cor 12:18    But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, even as He willed.
1 Cor 12:19    And if all were one member, where would the body be?
1 Cor 12:20    But now the members are many, but the body one.
1 Cor 12:21    And the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you; nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
1 Cor 12:22    But much rather the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary.
1 Cor 12:23    And those members of the body which we consider to be less honorable, these we clothe with more abundant honor; and our uncomely members come to have more abundant comeliness,
1 Cor 12:24    But our comely members have no need. But God has blended the body together, giving more abundant honor to the member that lacked,
1 Cor 12:25    That there would be no division in the body, but that the members would have the same care for one another.
1 Cor 12:26    And whether one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or one member is glorified, all the members rejoice with it.
1 Cor 12:27    Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
2 Cor 3:6        Who has also made us sufficient as ministers of a new covenant, ministers not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
2 Cor 3:8        How shall the ministry of the Spirit not be more in glory?
2 Cor 3:9        For if there is glory with the ministry of condemnation, much more the ministry of righteousness abounds with glory.
2 Cor 4:1        Therefore having this ministry as we have been shown mercy, we do not lose heart;
2 Cor 5:18      But all things are out from God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Christ and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
C.     The Body is the intrinsic significance of the church; without the Body, the church makes no sense and has no meaning—Rom. 12:4-5; 16:1; 1 Cor. 1:2; 12:12-13, 27.
Rom 12:4       For just as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function,
Rom 12:5       So we who are many are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
Rom 16:1       I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a deaconess of the church which is in Cenchrea,
1 Cor 1:2        To the church of God which is in Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, the called saints, with all those who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, who is theirs and ours:
1 Cor 12:12    For even as the body is one and has many members, yet all the members of the body, being many, are one body, so also is the Christ.
1 Cor 12:13    For also in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and were all given to drink one Spirit.
1 Cor 12:27    Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
D.     All the problems in the church today are due to ignorance concerning the Body; the biggest problem, the unique problem, is not knowing the Body, not caring for the Body, and not honoring the Body—Eph. 1:17-23; 1 Cor. 12:24-27.
Eph 1:17        That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the full knowledge of Him,
Eph 1:18        The eyes of your heart having been enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of His calling, and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
Eph 1:19        And what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the operation of the might of His strength,
Eph 1:20        Which He caused to operate in Christ in raising Him from the dead and seating Him at His right hand in the heavenlies,
Eph 1:21        Far above all rule and authority and power and lordship and every name that is named not only in this age but also in that which is to come;
Eph 1:22        And He subjected all things under His feet and gave Him to be Head over all things to the church,
Eph 1:23        Which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.
1 Cor 12:24    But our comely members have no need. But God has blended the body together, giving more abundant honor to the member that lacked,
1 Cor 12:25    That there would be no division in the body, but that the members would have the same care for one another.
1 Cor 12:26    And whether one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or one member is glorified, all the members rejoice with it.
1 Cor 12:27    Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
E.      To know the Body is the proper recovery of the Lord; the Lord desires to recover the Body of Christ and the oneness of the Body—Eph. 1:23; 4:4.
Eph 1:23        Which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.
Eph 4:4          One Body and one Spirit, even as also you were called in one hope of your calling;
F.      The Lord has an urgent need on earth; He desires that the reality of the Body of Christ will be expressed in the local churches—Rom. 12:4-5; 16:16; 1 Cor. 1:2; 12:27:
Rom 12:4       For just as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function,
Rom 12:5       So we who are many are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
Rom 16:16     Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.
1 Cor 1:2        To the church of God which is in Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, the called saints, with all those who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, who is theirs and ours:
1 Cor 12:27    Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
1.      What the Lord wants today is not only the churches on the ground of locality—one locality, one church—but also the Body in its fullness—Eph. 1:23; 3:19.
Eph 1:23        Which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.
Eph 3:19        And to know the knowledge-surpassing love of Christ, that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God.
2.      Unless there is a substantial expression of the Body, the Lord Jesus will not return—1:23; 4:16; 5:27, 30; Rev. 19:7.
Eph 1:23        Which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.
Eph 4:16        Out from whom all the Body, being joined together and being knit together through every joint of the rich supply and through the operation in the measure of each one part, causes the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love.
Eph 5:27        That He might present the church to Himself glorious, not having spot or wrinkle or any such things, but that she would be holy and without blemish.
Eph 5:30        Because we are members of His Body.
Rev 19:7        Let us rejoice and exult, and let us give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.

 
IV.  The Body is the governing law of the life and work of the children of God— Eph. 4:4, 16; 1 Cor. 12:4-6, 12-13, 27:
Eph 4:4          One Body and one Spirit, even as also you were called in one hope of your calling;
Eph 4:16        Out from whom all the Body, being joined together and being knit together through every joint of the rich supply and through the operation in the measure of each one part, causes the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love.
1 Cor 12:4      But there are distinctions of gifts, but the same Spirit;
1 Cor 12:5      And there are distinctions of ministries, yet the same Lord;
1 Cor 12:6      And there are distinctions of operations, but the same God, who operates all things in all.
1 Cor 12:12    For even as the body is one and has many members, yet all the members of the body, being many, are one body, so also is the Christ.
1 Cor 12:13    For also in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and were all given to drink one Spirit.
1 Cor 12:27    Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
A.     The church, the ministry, and the work are all on the ground of the Body—Eph. 1:23; 4:16; Col. 3:15:
Eph 1:23        Which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.
Eph 4:16        Out from whom all the Body, being joined together and being knit together through every joint of the rich supply and through the operation in the measure of each one part, causes the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love.
Col 3:15         And let the peace of Christ arbitrate in your hearts, to which also you were called in one Body; and be thankful.
1.      The churches are the Body expressed locally, the ministry is the Body in function, and the work is the Body seeking increase—Acts 13:1-2; 21:19.
Acts 13:1       Now there were in Antioch, in the local church, prophets and teachers: Barnabas and Simeon, who was called Niger, and Lucius the Cyrenian, and Manaen, the foster brother of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
Acts 13:2       And as they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, Set apart for Me now Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.
Acts 21:19      And having greeted them, he related one by one the things which God did among the Gentiles through his ministry.
2.      The church is the life of the Body in miniature, the ministry is the functioning of the Body in service, and the work is the reaching out of the Body in growth—1 Cor. 1:2; 12:27; 16:10; 2 Cor. 3:6.
1 Cor 1:2        To the church of God which is in Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, the called saints, with all those who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, who is theirs and ours:
1 Cor 12:27    Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
1 Cor 16:10    Now if Timothy comes, see that he is with you without fear; for he is working the work of the Lord, even as I am.
2 Cor 3:6        Who has also made us sufficient as ministers of a new covenant, ministers not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
B.     The church, the ministry, and the work derive their existence from, find their place in, and work for the good of the Body—Rom. 12:4-5; Col. 2:19; 3:15:
Rom 12:4       For just as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function,
Rom 12:5       So we who are many are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
Col 2:19         And not holding the Head, out from whom all the Body, being richly supplied and knit together by means of the joints and sinews, grows with the growth of God.
Col 3:15         And let the peace of Christ arbitrate in your hearts, to which also you were called in one Body; and be thankful.
1.      The importance of this principle cannot be overemphasized, for without it everything is man-made, not God-created.
2.      If this principle of relatedness to the Body and interrelatedness among its members is not recognized, there can be no church, no ministry, and no work.

 
V.   The Lord’s recovery is based upon the truth that Christ has only one Body— Eph. 1:23; 4:4:
Eph 1:23        Which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.
Eph 4:4          One Body and one Spirit, even as also you were called in one hope of your calling;
A.     The one Body is the one church of God, manifested in many localities as local churches—1 Cor. 10:32b; Rev. 1:4, 11.
1 Cor 10:32b  … both to Jews and to Greeks and to the church of God;
Rev 1:4          John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is coming, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,
Rev 1:11        Saying, What you see write in a scroll and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamos and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.
B.     The Lord’s recovery is for the building up of the Body of Christ; the recovery is for the Body, not for any individual or merely for any individual local church— Eph. 4:16; Col. 2:19.
Eph 4:16        Out from whom all the Body, being joined together and being knit together through every joint of the rich supply and through the operation in the measure of each one part, causes the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love.
Col 2:19         And not holding the Head, out from whom all the Body, being richly supplied and knit together by means of the joints and sinews, grows with the growth of God.
C.     In our consideration the Body should be first, and the local churches should be second—Matt. 16:18; 18:17; Eph. 2:21-22.
Matt 16:18      And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
Matt 18:17      And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to hear the church also, let him be to you just like the Gentile and the tax collector.
Eph 2:21        In whom all the building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord;
Eph 2:22        In whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit.
D.     The Body of Christ is the goal of God’s economy, and the local churches are the procedure God takes to reach the goal of His economy—1 Cor. 12:12-13; 1:2; Rom. 12:4-5; 16:1, 4-5, 16b.
1 Cor 12:12    For even as the body is one and has many members, yet all the members of the body, being many, are one body, so also is the Christ.
1 Cor 12:13    For also in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and were all given to drink one Spirit.
1 Cor 1:2        To the church of God which is in Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, the called saints, with all those who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, who is theirs and ours:
Rom 12:4       For just as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function,
Rom 12:5       So we who are many are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
Rom 16:1       I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a deaconess of the church which is in Cenchrea,
Rom 16:4       Who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles;
Rom 16:5       And greet the church, which is in their house. Greet Epaenetus, my beloved, who is the firstfruits of Asia unto Christ.
Rom 16:16b   … All the churches of Christ greet you.
E.      All the local churches are the unique Body of Christ in the universe—Eph. 4:4:
Eph 4:4          One Body and one Spirit, even as also you were called in one hope of your calling;
1.      Every local church is part of the unique, universal Body of Christ, a local expression of the Body—1 Cor. 1:2; 12:27.
1 Cor 1:2        To the church of God which is in Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, the called saints, with all those who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, who is theirs and ours:
1 Cor 12:27    Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
2.      Universally, all the local churches are one Body, and locally, every local church is a local expression of the universal Body—Rom. 12:4-5; 16:1, 16.
Rom 12:4       For just as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function,
Rom 12:5       So we who are many are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
Rom 16:1       I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a deaconess of the church which is in Cenchrea,
Rom 16:16     Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.
3.      The universal Christ has part of Himself in every local church; every local church is a part of Christ, and all these parts constitute the Body—Eph. 1:23; 2:21-22.
Eph 1:23        Which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.
Eph 2:21        In whom all the building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord;
Eph 2:22        In whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit.

 
VI.  We need to be universal Christians with a universal view of the universal Body of Christ—1:17-23; 4:16; Rev. 21:10:
Eph 1:17        That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the full knowledge of Him,
Eph 1:18        The eyes of your heart having been enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of His calling, and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
Eph 1:19        And what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the operation of the might of His strength,
Eph 1:20        Which He caused to operate in Christ in raising Him from the dead and seating Him at His right hand in the heavenlies,
Eph 1:21        Far above all rule and authority and power and lordship and every name that is named not only in this age but also in that which is to come;
Eph 1:22        And He subjected all things under His feet and gave Him to be Head over all things to the church,
Eph 1:23        Which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.
Eph 4:16        Out from whom all the Body, being joined together and being knit together through every joint of the rich supply and through the operation in the measure of each one part, causes the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love.
Rev 21:10      And he carried me away in spirit onto a great and high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,
A.     The Body of Christ is the mystical Body of the universal, all-inclusive, all-extensive Christ—Eph. 1:22-23; 3:19; Col. 3:11:
Eph 1:22        And He subjected all things under His feet and gave Him to be Head over all things to the church,
Eph 1:23        Which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.
Eph 3:19        And to know the knowledge-surpassing love of Christ, that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God.
Col 3:11         Where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all and in all.
1.      Christ, the Head, ascended far above all the heavens, and we are the mystical Body, the fullness, of this Christ—Eph. 1:22-23; 3:19; 4:10.
Eph 1:22        And He subjected all things under His feet and gave Him to be Head over all things to the church,
Eph 1:23        Which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.
Eph 3:19        And to know the knowledge-surpassing love of Christ, that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God.
Eph 4:10        He who descended, He is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens that He might fill all things.)
2.      The Body is the fullness, the expression, of the Christ who fills all things— 1:22-23; 4:10:
Eph 1:22        And He subjected all things under His feet and gave Him to be Head over all things to the church,
Eph 1:23        Which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.
Eph 4:10        He who descended, He is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens that He might fill all things.)
a.      Christ is the Head over all things to the church, the church is the Body of this universal Christ, and the Body of this universal Christ is the fullness of the One who fills all in all—1:23.
Eph 1:23        Which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.
b.      Christ Himself is universally vast, universally extensive, and the Body is the fullness of this universally vast and extensive Christ; this means that the Body also is universal—3:18-19; 4:16.
Eph 3:18        May be full of strength to apprehend with all the saints what the breadth and length and height and depth are
Eph 3:19        And to know the knowledge-surpassing love of Christ, that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God.
Eph 4:16        Out from whom all the Body, being joined together and being knit together through every joint of the rich supply and through the operation in the measure of each one part, causes the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love.
c.      Ephesians 4:10 says, “He who descended, He is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens that He might fill all things”:
(1)     All things must surely include the entire universe.
(2)     The result of Christ’s descending and ascending is that He fills all things, the whole universe.
B.     A universal Christian is one who has the universal view presented in Ephesians 1:22-23 and 4:10:
Eph 1:22        And He subjected all things under His feet and gave Him to be Head over all things to the church,
Eph 1:23        Which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.
Eph 4:10        He who descended, He is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens that He might fill all things.)
1.      Although we may have a view of the Body, our view may be very small compared to a universal view of the Body of Christ—1:23.
Eph 1:23        Which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.
2.      We need to get out of our small, narrow self and be in an ecstasy, seeing and touching the universal Body of Christ—the fullness, the expression, of the universal, unlimited Christ—3:19.
Eph 3:19        And to know the knowledge-surpassing love of Christ, that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God.
3.      We need to be overwhelmed by the vision of the immensity of the universal Body of Christ—Rev. 21:10:
Rev 21:10      And he carried me away in spirit onto a great and high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,
a.      Like John, who was carried away in spirit onto a high mountain to see the New Jerusalem, we need to be carried away in spirit to a “high mountain” to have a universal view of the universal Body of Christ—v. 10; Eph. 1:22-23.
Rev 21:10      And he carried me away in spirit onto a great and high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,
Eph 1:22        And He subjected all things under His feet and gave Him to be Head over all things to the church,
Eph 1:23        Which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.
b.      In our spirit we need to have a view of the universal Body, which is infinitely greater than anything that has ever entered into our mind concerning the Body of Christ—vv. 17-23; Rev. 21:10.
Eph 1:17        That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the full knowledge of Him,
Eph 1:18        The eyes of your heart having been enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of His calling, and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
Eph 1:19        And what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the operation of the might of His strength,
Eph 1:20        Which He caused to operate in Christ in raising Him from the dead and seating Him at His right hand in the heavenlies,
Eph 1:21        Far above all rule and authority and power and lordship and every name that is named not only in this age but also in that which is to come;
Eph 1:22        And He subjected all things under His feet and gave Him to be Head over all things to the church,
Eph 1:23        Which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.
Rev 21:10      And he carried me away in spirit onto a great and high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,
4.      The goal of God’s economy is to build up the universal Body of Christ, and it is such a universal Body that will consummate in the New Jerusalem— Eph. 1:22-23; 4:12, 16; Rev. 21:2, 10.
Eph 1:22        And He subjected all things under His feet and gave Him to be Head over all things to the church,
Eph 1:23        Which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.
Eph 4:12        For the perfecting of the saints unto the work of the ministry, unto the building up of the Body of Christ,
Eph 4:16        Out from whom all the Body, being joined together and being knit together through every joint of the rich supply and through the operation in the measure of each one part, causes the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love.
Rev 21:2        And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Rev 21:10      And he carried me away in spirit onto a great and high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,
 
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