Q. Throughout my life as a Christian, I was always taught that the Body of Christ was made up of all born-again believers. But lately, I’ve been hearing some pastors are teaching that the Body of Christ refers only to members of a local church. I’ve read the scriptures they use to justify this teaching, for example 1 Corinthians 12:27: “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” I’m confused and upset, since I’m disabled and can rarely attend church. I would greatly appreciate any insight you can provide.
A. 1 Cor. 12 is about spiritual gifts. The lesson of 1 Cor. 12:12-31 is that every born again believer is a member of the Body of Christ, but each has different gifts. In explaining this Paul compared the Church to a human body. Although it’s one whole, the body is made up of many parts that he called members. Each of these parts (head, hands, feet, eyes, ears, etc. ) belong to the same body but all have different functions. All the parts have to perform their specific function to make the body complete.
So it is with the Church. Each of us belongs to the body of Christ but we all have different gifts. We all have to exercise our unique gift to make the body of Christ complete.
As you can see this is not about local church attendance. Nor is it about performing religious works on Sunday morning. It’s about every believer exercising the Spiritual gift he or she has been given for the good of the Church in general. If your disability prevents you from attending a local congregation, ask the Lord to show you some other things you could do to exercise the gift He has given you for the benefit of the Body of Christ.