Class Notes: 3/3/2010
The body of Christ with TLJC as it's head is the result of the baptism of the Holy Spirit
John 1:14 - And the Word (undiminished deity) became flesh (true humanity), and dwelt among us (the Incarnation), and we (James, Peter, and John) beheld His glory (the visual manifestation of the Uniform of Glory), glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth (Bible Doctrine).
In our previous lessons we reviewed the doctrines that relate to TLJC in his first advent when he was incarnated via the virgin birth.
We started our study with a discussion of the doctrine of the virgin birth that was necessary for there to be no transmission of the OSN and then took up the doctrine of the hypostatic union that explains the mechanics of how undiminished deity and true humanity reside in the person of TLJC and then discussed the doctrine of the kenosis that defines God the Father's protocol for the deity and humanity of TLJC in hypostatic union.
In the context of these doctrines, we have been looking at some of the names and titles for our Lord Jesus Christ in order to see more clearly what God has done for us through him, so we can more completely understand who he is and what he has done for us, and from our knowledge of him have our confidence established in our occupation with him. Heb 12:2;
In view of this, we are presently looking at the phrase "body of Christ" that is used to describe all Church Age believers in their relationship with Jesus Christ. In fact, each person of the Trinity is related to the "body of Christ."
God the Father appointed Jesus Christ as the ruler of the Church, "the Head of the body," Eph 1:22-23;
Jesus Christ is involved as the head of the body, Col 1:18; "He is also head of the body, the Church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything."
The Holy Spirit is related to the body of Christ, 1Cor 12:13; "For by means of one Spirit we are baptized into one body..."
The analogy of the body of Christ is used to show the unity between Christ and the church.
Christ is the head of the body, that is the royal family, Eph 1:22-23; Eph 5:23-24; Col 1:18.
The Church or royal family of God is the body of Christ, 1Cor 12:12-14; Eph 2:16, Eph 4:4; Eph 5:30,32; Col 1:24 Col 2:19; Rom 12:4-5.
When the Holy Spirit regenerates and baptizes every believer into union with Christ in positional sanctification, every believer is given the eternal life of God the Son.
In John 10:28, Jesus said concerning Church Age believers as members of his body, "I give unto them eternal life. They shall never perish, neither shall anyone pluck them out of My hand."
The life of the body of Christ is the eternal life of the head of the body. 1 John 5:11-12; The life we possess is the eternal life of the second person of the Trinity, the Lord Jesus Christ.
The "One body," that Paul taught in Eph 4:4, is part of an analogy between Christ and the Church. Christ is the head of the Church and therefore the head of the body.
The dispensation of the Church is the time for the formation of the body of Christ, the Biblical term for the royal family of God while it is on the earth in time, Eph 2:16.
The "body of Christ" analogy indicates that the members of the body of Christ are in their union with TLJC, formed into one new identity with a common plan, a common goal, common objectives, and a common purpose.
"One body" emphasizes the positional unity among the members of the body of Christ. But being in the same family doesn't mean the members of the family always have experiential unity.
Members of the body do not always get along even though God has provided a way for that to occur through the application of Bible Doctrine via the 10 PSDs.
Believers are entered into the body through the baptism of the Spirit at salvation. The baptism of the Spirit also results in the creation of the new spiritual species and the Royal Family of God.
We have seen that because our Lord had no royal family for His third royal title, "King of kings and Lord of lords, the Bright Morning Star, that the Church Age was inserted into human history for the purpose of calling out his royal family.
This means that what we possess as members of the royal family is absolutely unique. It is designed not only to give us the most fantastic happiness and blessing in every circumstance of life, but it also provides everything we need so that we can get along together.
We're not combined by the same genetics; we're combined spiritually through the ministry of God the Holy Spirit.
The body is the recipient of spiritual gifts, initially supplied by our Lord Jesus Christ Eph 4:8; to those who were alive when he ascended and subsequently by the Holy Spirit to all other believers in the Church Age. 1Cor 12:27-28;
The body of Christ is composed of two categories of Church Age believers, those presently located on earth in physical bodies and those who have died physically who are presently located in heaven.
The formation of the body of Christ is the salvation ministry of God the Holy Spirit. The mechanics are the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
The body of Christ is a synonym for the Church as the royal family of God. Every time a person in this dispensation believes in Jesus Christ, the baptism of the Spirit enters them into the body of Christ.
When the construction of the body of Christ is completed the Exit Resurrection or Rapture of the Church will occur.
Jesus Christ as the head of the body refers to the integral relationship between our Lord and each member of the royal family. The head and body analogy indicate this unity.
Therefore, head and body is an analogy that indicates precedence between the two Christological dispensations. Because of this, all precedence for the Church Age is taken from the dispensation of the beginning of the Hypostatic Union.
This means that all precedence for the Church Age originates from Christ as the head of the Church, and not from Israel or from the Mosaic Law. This means that the analogy of Christ as the head and the royal family as the body emphasizes the life and activity of the Church Age believer as a member of the new spiritual species as a result of the baptism of the Spirit.
The analogy of Christ as the head of the body emphasizes the importance of the mystery doctrine of the Church Age, where believers receive their thought pattern, mental attitude, and motivation from Bible doctrine, described in 1Cor 2:16; as the mind or thinking of Christ.
Just as the function of the body is based on the mentality of the soul, the function of the Church Age believer is based on the thinking of our Lord Jesus Christ who is the head of the body.
All Church Age believers, therefore, have a common life based on the PPOG provided for us. We also have a common purpose, to glorify God by becoming invisible heroes.
Although we have a common life and a common purpose, God has given different spiritual gifts so that all the needs of the body can be provided for. 1Cor 12:4-31;
The source of our motivation and direction comes from Jesus Christ who is the head, just as the source of the motivation in the natural body comes from the soul that resides in the head.
The analogy of the body of Christ emphasizes the unity of the royal family with it's common life and common purpose. Believers in union with Christ, are integrated with Him just as the human body is integrated with the head.
In the analogy, the body is totally dependent upon the head to provide the thinking, motivation, decisions, and execution of the PPOG.
The increase of the body of Christ comes through evangelism. Evangelism is a grace function from God. The salvation ministry of Christ on the cross is the issue. The ministry of the Holy Spirit in common and efficacious grace are the mechanics.
All the power of evangelism comes from the Holy Spirit, but there are three human sources of evangelism under the ministry of the Holy Spirit. The three sources are Evangelism from the spiritual gift of evangelism, Evangelism from the pastor-teacher, and Evangelism from personal witnessing.
The cleansing of the body of Christ occurs in three phases.
Positional sanctification is the work of the baptism of the Spirit whereby we are entered into union with Christ. This is the basis for the new spiritual species and the formation of the royal family of God.
Experiential or progressive sanctification functions under the filling of the Spirit inside the PPOG resulting in the believer's thinking being transformed and renovated through the mentorship of God the Holy Spirit and the persistent consistent PMA of Bible Doctrine.
Progressive sanctification is the momentum from doctrine that results in the execution of the protocol plan and the manufacture of the invisible hero in time.
Ultimate sanctification is achieved when we receive our resurrection bodies that are patterned after our Lord's resurrection body. This is the ultimate experiential cleansing of the Church where the believer's experience is conformed to their position.
The royal family of God is one integral body with the Lord Jesus Christ as the head. There are three concepts of Christ as the head.
Christ is the head of the corner, that means He has two crowns. Jesus Christ as the Son of David is the ruler of Israel. He is also the ruler of the Church because of His victory on the cross. Acts 4:11; 1Pet 2:7;
Christ is the supreme ruler over the Church as the body of Christ, Eph 1:22-23; Eph 4:4,15;Eph 5:23;
Christ is the ruler over all of creation. Col 1:15-17; Col 2:10;
Every member of the Trinity is involved with the formation the body of Christ.
God the Father appointed the Lord Jesus Christ as the head of the body, Eph 1:22;
Jesus Christ is the Savior of the body, Eph 5:23,25,30; Jesus Christ is also the sanctifier of the body, Heb 2:11; Heb 13:12; Jesus Christ is also the head of the body, Eph 1:22-23; Eph 5:23-25;
God the Holy Spirit is the active agent in the formation of the body, 1Cor 12:12-13; After salvation, the body is sustained by the Holy Spirit, 1Cor 6:19-20;
This means that Christ is not the active agent in the formation of the body agent, but he is the source of its life and it's thinking as its ruler.
The purpose of the royal family or body of Christ on earth is the glorification of God through the execution of the protocol plan for this dispensation.
In union with Christ, every Church Age believer is joined to the other members as part of the same body.
While we have different spiritual gifts and different personalities, just as a body has different parts with different functions, we all belong to the same royal family of God.
One of the major functions of the body of Christ is the exercise of the spiritual gift that each member received at the moment of salvation.
The exercise of spiritual gifts is compared to the function of the various members of the human body. Some people are hands, some are feet; others are eyes or ears. This is the subject of chapter 12 of 1Corinthians and Romans chapter 12.
Unity in the body is the result of the baptism of the Spirit at salvation. God the Father provides the potential for being in a state of harmonious relationship with other believers regardless of how obnoxious or evil they may be.
The unity of believers in their position is based on the fact that all members of the royal family of God are one body of Christ with equal privilege and equal opportunity to execute God's plan.
Positional unity is provided through the ministry of God the Holy Spirit, Eph 4:4; The Holy Spirit provides positional unity among believers through his seven ministries that are completed at the moment of salvation by grace through faith alone in TLJC alone.
These seven ministries are; Efficacious Grace, Regeneration, The Baptism of the Spirit, The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The Filling of the Holy Spirit, The Sealing Ministry of the Holy Spirit, and the Sovereign Distribution of Spiritual Gifts to every Believer.
Efficacious grace is the enabling power of the Holy Spirit to the believer in Christ, or the work of the Holy Spirit which enables the believer to have an effective faith in Christ as Savior. It is the Holy Spirit picking up a person's positive volition toward the gospel of faith alone in Christ alone and carrying it to the point of salvation.
When we hear the Gospel before salvation we are spiritually dead. When we believe in Jesus Christ, it is the faith of a spiritually dead person. A dead person cannot hear anything, and the faith of a spiritually dead person is useless. This means that we were totally helpless and unable to obtain eternal salvation in our status of spiritual death.
But God the Holy Spirit in His infinite grace comes to our rescue. First, He makes the Gospel clear to us through his ministry of common grace. Then He makes our faith in Christ effectual through his ministry of efficacious grace.
In John 10:27-28, Jesus said, "I give unto you eternal life, and you shall never perish, neither shall anyone pluck you out of My hand."
It is the ministry of the Holy Spirit in efficacious grace that makes our faith effective so that we can be given this eternal life.
Therefore, the ministry of the Holy Spirit in common grace may be regarded as the inhale of the Gospel and the ministry of the Holy Spirit in efficacious grace may be regarded as the exhale of faith in Jesus Christ.
The total helplessness of the spiritually dead person is divided into two categories.
Inability to understand what is heard in the Gospel and the ineffectuality of faith in Christ.
The positive volition of the spiritually dead person does two non- meritorious things.
When listening to the Gospel; the Holy Spirit makes the Gospel message lucid.
When believing in Jesus Christ; the Holy Spirit makes their faith effective.
Being spiritually dead, we cannot understand what we hear as unbelievers. Therefore, without the ministry of God the Holy Spirit in common and efficacious grace, none of us would have eternal salvation.
Effectual faith means the power to produce the intended effect and purpose, that in this case is salvation. This is described in Eph 2:8-9; "For you have been saved by grace (efficacious grace) through faith (effectual faith), and this (matter of being saved) is not from yourselves; it is a gift from God, not from works, lest any man should boast."
So in our salvation, there are two acts of sovereign grace.
The first is the ministry of the Holy Spirit in making the Gospel understandable called common grace. Common grace means that, being spiritually dead, we can't begin to understand the spiritual information contained in the Gospel.
The second is the ministry of God the Holy Spirit in making our faith effectual, called efficacious grace.
For those who reject the Gospel, remain in unbelief, and there is no efficacious grace. John 3:18,36
Efficacious grace is the first part of the sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit, Eph 1:13-14; God the Holy Spirit makes one's faith effective for salvation and then guarantees it, or seals it.
The second ministry of the Holy Spirit at salvation is called regeneration and is taught in Titus 3:5; and 1Pet 1:23;
Regeneration is often called being "born again," because that's the way Jesus described it in John 3:1-18, in his discussion with Nicodemus. John 3:6-7; "That which is born of flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I say to you: you must be born again."
Regeneration is the technical theological term for being "born again." Being born again is a result of faith in Jesus Christ. This occurs at the instant anyone personally believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
We are born physically, dichotomous, having a body and soul, but no human spirit. However, at the moment we believe in Christ, God the Holy Spirit creates a human spirit, making us trichotomous. (body, soul and spirit)
The moment God the Holy Spirit creates a human spirit, God the Father imputes eternal life to that human spirit.
Remember that life must have a place to reside. The human soul is where the human life that was imputed at our physical birth resides. The human spirit is where eternal life that is imputed at spiritual birth resides.
Soul life exists forever. The believer will live forever in heaven; the unbeliever will live forever in the Lake of Fire. John 3:36; "He that believes in the Son has eternal life. But he that does not obey on the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."
So regeneration means the creation of a human spirit for the imputation of eternal life. The soul is the residence for human life; the human spirit is the residence for eternal life.
The description of the believer in Jesus Christ as being trichotomous is found in 1Thes 5:23;
Conception is the origin of the biological life of the human body. When biological life emerges from the womb, God creates a human soul with human life and imputes it to the emerging biological life thereby creating human life at birth.
The next ministry of God the Holy Spirit is the Baptism of the Spirit.
The baptism of the Spirit was prophesied in Acts 1:5. It is mentioned in principle and mechanics in 1Cor 12:13; Gal 3:26-28; Eph 4:5.
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