6. Living in the Resurrection Life of Christ under the Unique Headship of Christ and Growing Up into the Head, Christ, in All Things for the Reality and Building Up of the Body of Christ
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Scripture Reading: 2 Cor. 1:9; Col. 1:18; 2:19; Phil. 1:19-21a; 3:10; 1 Cor. 6:17; Eph. 4:15-16

2 Cor 1:9       Indeed we ourselves had the response of death in ourselves, that we should not base our confidence on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead;

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.

Phil 1:19       For I know that for me this will turn out to salvation through your petition and the bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,

Phil 1:20       According to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I will be put to shame, but with all boldness, as always, even now Christ will be magnified in my body, whether through life or through death.

Phil 1:21a      For to me, to live is Christ…

Phil 3:10       To know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,

1 Cor 6:17     But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit.

Eph 4:15       But holding to truth in love, we may grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, 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.

 

I. The church as the Body of Christ is an organism absolutely in the resurrection life of Christ—Col. 1:18; John 11:25; Acts 2:24; Rev. 1:18; 2:8; Phil. 3:10:

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;

John 11:25    Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes into Me, even if he should die, shall live;

Acts 2:24      Whom God has raised up, having loosed the pangs of death, since it was not possible for Him to be held by it.

Rev 1:18       And the living One; and I became dead, and behold, I am living forever and ever; and I have the keys of death and of Hades.

Rev 2:8         And to the messenger of the church in Smyrna write: These things says the First and the Last, who became dead and lived again:

Phil 3:10       To know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,

A. The principle of resurrection is that the natural life is killed and that the divine life rises up in its place—2 Cor. 1:9.

2 Cor 1:9       Indeed we ourselves had the response of death in ourselves, that we should not base our confidence on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead;

B. In our natural life and in the old creation, we are not the Body; we are the Body in the new creation germinated by Christ’s resurrection—Eph. 1:19-23.

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.

C. To be in resurrection means that our natural life is crucified and that the God-created and redeemed part of our being is uplifted to be one with Christ in resurrection—Rom. 6:4, 6; 8:2, 11; Gal. 2:20.

Rom 6:4        We have been buried therefore with Him through baptism into His death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so also we might walk in newness of life.

Rom 6:6        Knowing this, that our old man has been crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be annulled, that we should no longer serve sin as slaves;

Rom 8:2        For the law of the Spirit of life has freed me in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and of death.

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.

Gal 2:20        I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

D. When we live not by our natural life but by the divine life within us, we are in resurrection, and the issue of this is the Body of Christ—Rom. 6:6; 8:11; 12:4-5:

Rom 6:6        Knowing this, that our old man has been crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be annulled, that we should no longer serve sin as slaves;

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.

1. The leadership among God’s people must be Christ Himself as the resurrection life that buds, blossoms, and bears almonds—Num. 17:8.

Num  17:8    And on the next day Moses went into the Tent of the Testimony, and there was the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi: it had budded; it even put forth buds and produced blossoms and bore ripe almonds.

2. Everything we say, everything we do, and everything we are in the church life as an expression of the Body of Christ must be in resurrection.

II. Christ is the unique Head of the Body, the church, corporately and of all the believers individually; He is the Head directly of every one of us—Col. 1:18; 1 Cor. 11:3:

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;

1 Cor 11:3     But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of the woman, and God is the head of Christ.

A. The Head is a matter of authority; for Christ to be the Head is for Him to have all the authority in the Body—Col. 1:18; Matt. 28:18:

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;

Matt 28:18    And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

1. To be under the headship of Christ is to be absolutely under His authority—Eph. 4:15.

Eph 4:15       But holding to truth in love, we may grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, Christ,

2. The authority to direct the Body and all its members rests with the Head.

B. Whether we are under the authority of the Head determines whether we know the life of the Body—1 Cor. 11:3; Eph. 4:15-16; Col. 1:18; 3:4:

1 Cor 11:3     But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of the woman, and God is the head of Christ.

Eph 4:15       But holding to truth in love, we may grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, 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 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 3:4          When Christ our life is manifested, then you also will be manifested with Him in glory.

1. The Body can have only one Head and can submit only to one Head—1:18.

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;

2. Christ is the unique Head, and we must submit to Him, honoring and testifying to the unique headship of Christ—Eph. 1:22-23; Matt. 23:8-12.

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.

Matt 23:8      But you, do not be called Rabbi, for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers.

Matt 23:9      And do not call anyone on earth your father, for One is your Father, He who is in the heavens.

Matt 23:10    Neither be called instructors, because One is your Instructor, the Christ.

Matt 23:11    And the greatest among you shall be your servant.

Matt 23:12    And he who will exalt himself shall be humbled, and he who will humble himself shall be exalted.

3. The members of the Body are fitted together and are able to live the Body life through holding the Head; our relationship with the Head determines our relationship to the other members—Eph. 4:15-16; 1 Cor. 12:18, 27.

Eph 4:15       But holding to truth in love, we may grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, 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.

1 Cor 12:18   But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, even as He willed.

1 Cor 12:27   Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.

III. The reality of the Body of Christ is a group of God’s redeemed who have been made the God-men by God and who live not by themselves but by another life, which is the processed and consummated Triune God—Gal. 2:20; Phil. 1:19-21a; 3:10:

Gal 2:20        I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Phil 1:19       For I know that for me this will turn out to salvation through your petition and the bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,

Phil 1:20       According to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I will be put to shame, but with all boldness, as always, even now Christ will be magnified in my body, whether through life or through death.

Phil 1:21a      For to me, to live is Christ…

Phil 3:10       To know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,

A. The reality of the Body of Christ is a corporate living by the perfected God-men, who are genuine men but who do not live by their own life but by the life of the processed and consummated Triune God, whose attributes are expressed through their virtues—1:19-21a.

Phil 1:19       For I know that for me this will turn out to salvation through your petition and the bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,

Phil 1:20       According to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I will be put to shame, but with all boldness, as always, even now Christ will be magnified in my body, whether through life or through death.

Phil 1:21a      For to me, to live is Christ…

B. The reality of the Body of Christ is a living by all the God-men, united, mingled, and constituted together with God by mingling humanity with divinity and mingling divinity with humanity—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.

C. The reality of the Body of Christ is a corporate living of the conformity to the death of Christ through the power of His resurrection—Phil. 3:10.

Phil 3:10       To know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,

D. Because the Body of Christ is in the mingled spirit, to be in the reality of the Body of Christ is to be in the mingled spirit and to live in the mingled spirit—Rom. 8:4; 12:4-5; 1 Cor. 6:17; 12:12-13, 27:

Rom 8:4        That the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the spirit.

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 6:17     But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit.

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.

1. To live, act, and move in the mingled spirit is to live, act, and move in the Body and to be in the reality of the Body—Rom. 8:4; 12:4-5.

Rom 8:4        That the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the spirit.

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.

2. To be in the mingled spirit is to be in the Body of Christ actually and practically—1 Cor. 6:17; 12:12-13, 27.

1 Cor 6:17     But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit.

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.

IV. We need to grow up into the Head, Christ, in all things—Eph. 4:15:

Eph 4:15       But holding to truth in love, we may grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, Christ,

A. To grow up into Christ is to have Christ increase in us in all things until we attain to a full-grown man—vv. 15, 13.

Eph 4:15       But holding to truth in love, we may grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, Christ,

Eph 4:13       Until we all arrive at the oneness of the faith and of the full knowledge of the Son of God, at a full-grown man, at the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,

B. The word Head in Ephesians 4:15 indicates that our growth in life by the increase of Christ in us should be the growth of the members in the Body under the Head.

Eph 4:15       But holding to truth in love, we may grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, Christ,

C. We need to grow up into Christ in all things, that is, in every single thing, whether big or small—v. 15:

Eph 4:15       But holding to truth in love, we may grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, Christ,

1. There are still many things in which we have not grown up into Christ; in these things we are not in Christ but are outside of Christ.

2. When we all grow up into Christ in all things, we will all be one in Christ.

D. To grow in life is to grow with the growth of God; the growth of the Body depends on the growth of God, the increase of God, within us—Col. 2:19.

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.

V. The growth of the Body is the building up of the Body—Eph. 4:16:

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. The growth of the Body of Christ is the increase of Christ in the church, which results in the building up of the Body by the Body itself—3:17a:

Eph 3:17a     That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith,…

1. When Christ enters into the saints and lives within them, the Christ within the saints becomes the church—Col. 3:10-11.

Col 3:10        And have put on the new man, which is being renewed unto full knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,

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.

2. The Body of Christ grows by the growth of Christ within us and is built up this way—1:18; 2:19; Eph. 4:15-16.

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.

Eph 4:15       But holding to truth in love, we may grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, 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 Body builds itself up in love—v. 16:

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. The love in which the Body builds itself up is not our own love but the love of God in Christ, which becomes the love of Christ in us, by which we love Christ and the fellow members of His Body—1 John 4:7-8, 11, 16, 19.

1 John 4:7     Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God, and everyone who loves has been begotten of God and knows God.

1 John 4:8     He who does not love has not known God, because God is love.

1 John 4:11   Beloved, if God has loved us in this way, we also ought to love one another.

1 John 4:16   And we know and have believed the love which God has in us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God and God abides in him.

1 John 4:19   We love because He first loved us.

2. Love is the inner substance of God; when we enter into God’s inner substance, we enjoy God as love and enjoy His presence in the sweetness of the divine love, and thereby love others as Christ did—Eph. 5:25.

Eph 5:25       Husbands, love your wives even as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her

3. We need to be brought into love as the inner substance of God for the building up of the Body of Christ—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.

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