MEMBERS OF AN ORGANISM,
THE BODY OF CHRIST
We have to see that the church as the Body of Christ is an organism. I have the burden to point this out because when many Christians talk about the church, they have the understanding that it is an organization. We have to reject this concept. We are not a part of an organization. We are members of an organism, the Body of Christ.
If we go to visit another local church, do we consider ourselves as being one with the saints in that locality? We may unconsciously feel that we belong to the organization in our locality and that now we are guests in the church which we are visiting. Humanly speaking, the saints we are visiting are the hosts and we are their guests. But spiritually speaking, as Christians, believers in Christ, we are members of the one Body of Christ. If we go to visit the saints in London, are we merely a group of Americans in London? Humanly speaking, we are Americans in London. But in the Body of Christ there are no human members; there are only divine members. In the Body of Christ as a divine organism, we all are members in life. When we go to visit any local church, we should not consider that we are foreigners.
Today we practice the administration of the local churches according to the Bible. A local church is comprised of the saints with the elders, deacons, and deaconesses (Phil. 1:1; Rom. 16:1). Do you consider yourself as a saint, an elder, a deacon, or a deaconess in the local church where you are? My point in asking this question is this—in the local churches, we should not consider ourselves in an organizational way, considering ourselves as a part of an organization. We should only consider ourselves in an organic way. Wherever we are and whatever we do, we should consider ourselves as living members of the organic Body of Christ. When we gather together in the Lord, we all should function as living members. Wherever we go, we are the living members of the Body of Christ. When I go to Anaheim, I go there as a member of the Body of Christ. When I go to Taipei, I go there as a member of the Body of Christ. I never consider myself as someone who belongs to an organization. As the members of the organic Body of Christ, we should live in an organic way.
(The Body of Christ, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)