Church of God, New World Ministries

Bible Q & A

Q. You have stated: ‘The true church is [today] small, and its people are scattered.’ But remember, no organization is the body of Christ. Rather, the church is an organism often composed of scattered individuals (see I Cor. 12).’ The Bible completely disagrees with you! The Church of God is most definitely the body of Christ!
 
A. We must not confuse the Church of God, the body of Christ, with the configuration into which members of that body organize in order to achieve the goal of preaching the gospel in an orderly fashion. It is quite correct to say that the Church is the body of Christ.

This body is a spiritual organism composed of those individuals who have been given the Holy Spirit by and from God. But these individuals may at different times in history organize into groups of people (the Greek word ekklesia, translated “church” in the New Testament means “a group of people”) dedicated to a common set of purposes. Organization, in this sense, is what the church has, not what it is. The Church of God today has an organized ministry, deacons, deaconesses and various other leaders or “governments” (see I Cor. 12:28).

In I Corinthians 12, the apostle Paul likens the Church to a human body which has many members or parts. But this is only an analogy. The structure of the Church in the physical sense is merely a tool for doing a job. God has used various structures in different ages. Today the Church may have a corporate structure for the purpose of dealing with the world on its own business terms. But that corporation is not Christ’s body – it is something that the body of believers uses to get the job done.
 
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