Bullinger says the body of Christ started at Acts 28; O'Hair says Acts 18 and Stam says Acts 9 and I say it started at the cross which incorporates the resurrection and below are the reasons. My comments are in […..]
Rom 16:7 Salute Andronicus and Junia, *** my kinsmen, *** [Jews] and my fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. [these people were in Christ before Acts 9. the phrase “in Christ” is referring to being in the body of Christ:] Rom 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Also Gal 1:13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: [The body was present before Paul was saved. Paul persecuted the "church of God" before he was saved and in 1 Cor 10:32, it says, “Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to *** the church of God”*** and the "church of God" is the body of Christ, 1 Cor 12:13 For by one Spirit are ***we all*** baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. NOTE: Paul wasn't baptized into the Corinthian church, he was already baptized by Ananias in Acts 9:18]
Alright now we’ll go verse by verse in Eph. 2:12-3:11
Eph 2:12-22 That at that time ***
ye *** [Gentiles] were
without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers
from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
13 But now in Christ Jesus ***ye*** [Gentiles] who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
14 For ***he*** [Christ] is our peace, who hath ***made both one,*** [Jew and Gentile in one body] and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, [the body of Christ] so making peace;
16 And that he might reconcile both unto God [Jew and Gentile] in one body by the *** cross,*** [Jesus Christ's death was "by the cross", but in order for His death to do any good, there had to be His burial and His resurrection, so the body had to begin at the resurrection] having *** slain the enmity *** thereby: [mutual hatred]
17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
18 For through ***him***[Jesus Christ] we ***both*** [Jew and Gentile] have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
20 And are built upon the foundation of the ***apostles*** [Peter, James and John, etc.] and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
22 In whom ***ye*** [Gentiles] also are builded ***together*** [with Jews] for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
Eph 3:1-11 For ***this cause***
[what cause? Eph 2:12-22] I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for
2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is ***given me*** to you-ward: [notice it didn’t say it was given “to me”, like God gave Paul a special dispensation, it said, “given me to you-ward”, God dispensed “grace” to Paul so he could give the “mystery” in verse 6]
3 How that by revelation ***he made known*** [it was already there, but wasn't made known] unto me ***the mystery;*** [What is the mystery, verse 6] (as I wrote afore in few words,
4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
5 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;
6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the ***same body,*** and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: [the mystery revealed to Paul is Jew and Gentile in the same body]
7 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.
8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
9 And to make ***all men*** [Jew and Gentile] see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
1. How does a person get into the body of Christ?
[We're baptized into the body by the Holy Spirit,] 1 Cor 12:13 For by one Spirit are ***we*** [Paul wasn't baptisted in the local church at Corinth] all baptized into ***one body,*** whether we be Jews or Gentiles, [… then the Holy Spirit is the one that puts us in Christ.] Rom 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. [According to the above verses, there is one body and the way to get in that body is to be baptized by the Holy Spirit, so no one is in the body of Christ unless the Holy Spirit is inside his body.]
2. How many bodies are they?
Eph 2:16 And that he might reconcile both unto God into ***one body*** by the cross, [Eph. 4:4 says there is ONE BODY and the cross is the beginning of body of Christ, however no one was in the body but the the Apostles in Jn 20:22 and the rest that were in the room, Lk 24:33, until Pentecost] having slain the enmity thereby: [ Definition - enmity = “Deep-seated, often mutual hatred between the Jews and Gentiles”; but they were put together in one body by the cross Eph 2:12 and 3:6]
In John 20:22 And when he had said this, he breathed on
them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: [At
this time they received the Holy Ghost, Rom. 8:9 for salvation and SERVICE;]
Jn 20:23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose
soever sins ye retain, they are retained.. [That
“SERVICE” was applied at Pentecost and 3000 were saved.]
[Let’s compare Acts 11:16 with 1 Cor 12:13. Acts 11:16] Acts 11:16 Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that ***he*** [Jesus] said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.
1 Cor. 12:13 17 Forasmuch then as God gave ***them*** [Cornelius and those with him] the like gift as he did unto us, [Peter and the disciples on the day of Pentecost spoke in tongues] who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God? [He's not saying that on the day of Pentecost WAS when he received the Holy Spirit, that was in Jn 20:22, but that was when he got the "like gift". Cornelius and those with him spoke in tongues in Acts 10]
This had to be at Pentecost, because that is when Peter and the rest of the disciples spoke in tongues when the Holy Spirit came fulfilling the promise in Luke 24:46-49 and Acts 1:4.
So in view of the above, I believe
the “Body of Christ” started at the Cross, which included the burial and
resurrection of Jesus Christ. If Christ hadn’t risen from the dead, there
wouldn’t have been a body.
Heb. 9:16,17 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17 For a testament is of force ***after men are dead:*** otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. [The N.T. didn't really start until Christ's death burial and resurrection]
The body of Christ was there in John 20:22, but it wasn’t REVEALED until the Apostle Paul’s writings.