BODY OF CHRIST
- Parent Category: Orthodox Terminology
- Category: Glossary B
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BODY OF CHRIST - The Church is the Body of Christ both because its parts are united to Christ through His divine mysteries and because through her, Christ works in the world. We partake of the Body and Blood of Christ, in the holy Mysteries, so that we ourselves may be members of Christ's Body: the Church.
In the Holy Scriptures the Church is repeatedly called the Body of Christ."Who (Paul) now rejoice in my sufferings for you, ... for His Body's sake, which is the Church" (Col. 1:24), the Apostle Paul writes about himself.
Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, says he, are given by Christ ". . .for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ" (Eph. 4:11-12).
At the same time, bread and wine are made into the Body and Blood of Christ during the Divine Liturgy, and the faithful partake thereof. Christ Himself ordained it so, communicating His apostles at the Mystical Supper with the words, "Take, eat; this is My Body; ... Drink ye all of it; For this is My Blood of the New Testament" (Mat. 26:26-28).
The faithful are at the same time, both members of the Body of Christ, the Church, and also communicants of the Body of Christ in the Holy Mysteries.