Why is the Church called the Body of Christ?

The reason the Church is described as a body is that, like a physical body, it has many individual members functioning together as one, all directed by the head. For the Church, Christ Jesus is that head. "For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12). Ephesians 4:15 also says, “but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ.”

In the body, members do not function in the same way—the foot cannot be a hand, and the hand cannot be an eye. In the Church, believers are each given specific gifts or abilities to function within the body as directed. Ephesians 4:11-12 says, “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”

As we, the body, work together in the ministry of Christ, we must do so humbly. The heart may seem to be the one of most importance, but how would the blood get past the heart without the veins carrying it out beyond? Likewise, the pastor of a church may appear to have the most significant role, but the members take the message into the community and have a greater reach than one man. So, when one is honored, we should all rejoice and not be jealous or envious of a position. If one member hurts, we should all hurt. “That there should be no schism (division) in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Corinthians 12:25-26). When the world sees the unity of the body of Christ, lives are eternally impacted for the kingdom and there is rejoicing in the body.