The Church vs The Body of Christ

Preached by Victor Tey


Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

What is the body of Christ? (00:52)

  1. Believers are the body of Christ
    1. Romans 12:4-5 – we being many are one body
    2. 1 Corinthians 12:27 – ye are the body of Christ
    3. Ephesians 5:30 – we are members of his body
  2. You join the body by the baptism of the Holy Ghost
    1. You are added to the body by the baptism of the Holy Ghost
    2. 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 – one Spirit baptized into one body
    3. Romans 6:3 – baptized into Jesus Christ
    4. Galatians 3:27-28 – baptized into Christ have put on Christ
  3. There is only one body
    1. Ephesians 2:11-16 – reconcile both to one body
    2. Ephesians 4:4-6 – one body

What is a church? (10:11)

  1. The word ‘church’ means ‘congregation’
    1. Psalms 22:22 – in the midst of the congregation
    2. Hebrews 2:12 – in the midst of the church
    3. A congregation is a gathering of people.
  2. The church is a physical assembly of the members of Christ’s body
    1. Matthew 16:13-20
      1. First use of the word ‘church’
      2. When the bible uses the word ‘church’ it is specifically referring to Christ’s church
      3. Christ’s church – ‘church of God’ or ‘church of Christ’
      4. False ‘churches’ – ‘church of Satan’ or ‘church of Scientology’
      5. Built on the rock of Jesus Christ
        1. Psalm 18:31 – who is a rock save our God?
        2. Matthew 7:24 – wise man built his house upon the rock
    2. Matthew 18:20
      1. Gathered together in my name
      2. Jesus Christ is the reason of the gathering
        1. word
        2. preaching
        3. singing
        4. prayer
        5. fellowship with the body of Christ
      3. Church members assembling for another reason is not church
  3. A church can rightly be called ‘the body of Christ’
    1. Ephesians 1:22-23 – the church which is his body
    2. Colosians 1:18-24 – head of the body, the church
    3. there is one body, but can be many churches
      1. The church is like a physical subset of the body
      2. My hand is my body, but I have two hands.
      3. There is no ‘universal church’ because not all believers are assembled
      4. The word ‘churches’ appears 37 times in the bible
  4. The word ‘church’ seems to be used to describe both
    1. When believers are assembled
      1. 1 Corinthians 11:18-19
      2. 1 Corinthians 14:19
    2. The believers that assemble
      1. Acts 8:1-3
      2. Acts 14:27
    3. We are in church, and we are the church.
  5. A church doesn’t need to have an ordained elder to be legitimate (30:06)
    1. Acts 14:19-23
      1. Elders ordained in existing churches
      2. What if a church’s bishop quits or dies, is it no longer a church?
    2. Having qualified leaders is better and safer for a church – Hebrews 13:7-9, 17-18
      1. An example for the church to follow
      2. Prevent and expose false doctrine
      3. This is why traditionally churches start with a bishop
      4. It’s wise to have ordained leadership from the beginning
      5. We should seek to be part of a church with ordained leadership rather than be open to disorder or ‘self-appointed’ bishops.
      6. If a family only has one parent, it’s still a family but not ideal and not something we should be seeking to emulate
      7. This is the reason we don’t seek to have separate fellowships and youth groups because it’s safer that we learn together with ordained leadership overseeing things.
      8. We don’t separate the children when we assemble because we want children to be part of the church.
      9. What you call a group of believers is not so much the issue but rather seeking to have the ideal situation. A fellowship group is a legitimate ‘church’ but it’s not ideal.

What church is not: (43:18)

  1. Not a building
    1. Missionaries that want to build church buildings all over the world as opposed to gather churches.
  2. Not a single part of the gathering eg. preaching
    1. If there’s no preaching it’s still church when we assemble eg. prayer meetings
    2. If you’re not there for the whole time you miss out on the blessing, it’s all profitable for you
    3. This is where double and inconsistent standards of dress are apparent
  3. Not a religious ritual to make you more holy
    1. No good work will make you more holy
    2. But more profitable to others, obedient to God, better relationship with God/others, more eternal rewards.
  4. Not a legal entity
    1. May be required for legal, tax or financial reasons
  5. It’s a good idea to correct your children when they use words incorrectly
    1. eg. Simon reading a book and calling the building a ‘church’
    2. You should use words correctly so that wrong ideas aren’t perpetuated
  6. Therefore a church is legitimate without these things.

When did the church begin? (50:27)

  1. Acts 2 – the church being the body of Christ began at pentecost with the baptism of the Holy Ghost
  2. Matthew 18:15-20 – tell it unto the church
  3. Acts 7:38 – the church in the wilderness
  4. Ephesians 3:20-21 – throughout all ages [my position]

How do you join a church? (56:12)

  1. Not a members list
    1. Why do churches have a membership?
      1. assets/financial
      2. legal/tax reasons
      3. certification requirement
  2. Not by baptism with water
    1. Where do people get the idea from that being baptized adds you to a church?
      1. Being baptized into the body of Christ – mixing up church vs body
      2. Mixing up baptism with water vs baptism with the Holy Ghost
      3. Water doesn’t add you to a physical or spiritual body
      4. The Holy Spirit doesn’t add you to a physical body
    2. ‘Added to the Lord’ vs ‘baptized into Christ’
      1. Acts 2:41-47 – added to the church
      2. Acts 5:14 – added to the Lord
      3. Acts 11:24 – added unto the Lord
  3. Joining a church is simply:
    1. Saved – must be part of the body
    2. Physically present – how often?
  4. Does there need to be a tangible factor if it doesn’t make a difference?
    1. Breaking of bread and the cup
    2. Voting either finances or authority
      1. If you don’t trust what I do with the church money then give to God another way.
      2. I don’t trust majority vote to do the right thing with God’s resources.
      3. Because I’m responsible, I’m not going to give the authority away to another entity.
    3. To prove for enrolment to a school or club
    4. Legal documentation

Save this link to download the audio file for this sermon



  1. Malorie 17 September 2015
    • Victor Tey 17 September 2015

Leave a Reply