Eph.5:30 – For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.
The fact that we are corporately the body of Christ speaks to the incredible intimate relationship we share in Christ. The closest relationship to the one we have with the Lord in this life is a Christian marriage. The Bible says that when a man joins himself to a wife they become one flesh or body. When a man is joined to the Lord he becomes one spirit with Him. The church is by far the most significant community in this life. We are joined together by the Spirit with the Lord and with His church. This is where we find spiritual life, acceptance and love, and a place to use our gifting to fulfill God’s kingdom purposes in this life. Here is how John Calvin describes this incredible intimacy.
“As Eve was formed out of the substance of her husband, Adam, and so was part of him, we also must grow into one body by sharing in Christ’s substance if we are to be true members of him. Paul is here describing our union with Christ, of which a symbol and pledge is given to us in the holy supper. Some people think that it is twisting the passage to make it refer to the Lord’s Supper, but they are wrong. Although they teach that the death of Christ is commemorated in the Supper, they do not allow that there is an ongoing communion of the kind Christ speaks about. Paul declares that we are part of Christ’s body. Are we surprised then that in the Supper he offers us his body, in order to nourish us for eternal life?”
Calvin is describing the practical application of this spiritual truth. We are to grow in this relationship as we develop a lifestyle of sharing in His substance. How would one do that? Of course that would include daily Bible reading with personal prayer and worship. It would also include a spiritual interaction with His church. Involvement in small groups and large church gatherings are essential for Christ to be formed in us; after all He lives and moves in His church as we gather in His name. Separating ourselves will lead us into a weak Christian experience separated from the life of God found in His church.