The body of Christ started the same time the Church started, on the cross at Calvary where Jesus made a payment for sin in God’s shed blood.
Nothing like a King James Bible to clear up false teaching, and today we take a look at when the body of Christ, and the Church, actually began. The hyper-dispensationalists will try and tell you that it started in Acts with the commission of Paul, and nothing could be further from the truth. Paul himself tells you in Romans 16:7 that there were many people in the body of Christ before he was. In fact, the body of Christ doesn’t begin anywhere in the book of Acts, it begins on the cross at Calvary.
“And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:” Ephesians 2:16 (KJB)
What was Jesus doing on the cross? Lots of things. First of all, Jesus went to the cross to make a payment for sin, and that payment is the shed blood of God as we see in Acts 20:28. That payment is the thing that makes reconciliation between lost sinners and a holy and righteous God possible. Heretics like John MacArthur and the ‘reformed’ crowd will try and talk you out of it, but don’t you let them.
“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” Ephesians 1:7 (KJB)
“But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” Ephesians 2:13 (KJB)
Secondly, Jesus shed blood on the cross established something on this earth the bible calls the body of Christ. What is the body of Christ? It is Jew and Gentile come together by faith in Jesus Christ and His work on the cross, and it is called the church, the called out assembly. On the day of Pentecost, this assembly, the Church, was placed into the body of Christ where it will remain for all eternity. Everyone who becomes born again by saving faith in what Jesus did on the cross, and receives that payment made in God’s blood, is placed into the body of Christ through the Church.
“And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” Ephesians 1:22,23 (KJB)
By the time Paul meets Jesus on the road to Damascus, the Church is well established and made up exclusively of Jews and Jewish proselytes. But when the Holy Ghost is offering them the Kingdom of Heaven in Acts 7, all they have to do is believe and repent at the preaching of Stephen, they instead murder him, an act which simultaneously put the Kingdom of Heaven on a 2,000 year pause, and ushered in what we call the dispensation of the Church Age. From this point on, Jews will be side-by-side with Gentiles in a mystery called the body of Christ which Jesus will task Paul with revealing. It didn’t start with Paul, but the knowledge of it comes through Paul by the Spirit. It began on the cross at Calvary.
“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.” Ephesians 3:1-7 (KJB)
Paul was given the job of revealing the mystery of the body of Christ, but it did not start with him as you can obviously see. The hyper-dispensationalists get it wrong, as they usually do, because they don’t understand what the ‘rightly dividing’ of 2 Timothy 2:15 actually is. True biblical rightly dividing is not a hammer to smash things with in large pieces, as evidenced in the ‘Romans to Philemon!!’ battle cry of the hypers. No, rightly dividing is done on a verse-by-verse-basis anywhere in the Bible, comparing what you read, in the context that you find it, to what God has written through the apostle Paul.
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The post Contrary To What The Hyper-Dispensationalists Tell You, The Body Of Christ Began At The Cross And Not Somewhere In The Book Of Acts, And It’s Before Paul appeared first on Now The End Begins.