The Body of Christ
Our discipleship both deepens and is expressed through the Body of Christ. The Trunk of the ‘Tree of Life’ represents the Body of Christ and connects both the below and above the surface aspects of our discipleship.
Paul explains that the church is the representation of Christ’s body here on earth (1 Corinthians 12:12-31). As disciples, we are all a part of the Body. ‘Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.' 1 Cor 12:27 (NIV)
We all belong to the global Body of Christ, and the local expression of the Body of Christ. This is the place where we belong, where we are known and know others, where we contribute through our spiritual gifts and where we discover true christian community.
‘Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.’
Romans 12:4-5. (NIV)
God places us in local Bodies of Christ, which become our very own spiritual family; with spiritual brothers and sisters; mothers and fathers. This is the place where we belong, are nurtured, raised to maturity and released to serve the Kingdom of God through using our unique spiritual gifts. It is also the place where we encourage one another and build each other up in our faith.
‘We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use itin proportion to his faith.If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.’ Romans 12:6-8.