Members of the Church – the Body of Christ

Ephesians 2:14-22 

“For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.”

Nicholas Afanasiev writes in  The Church of the Holy Spirit (pg 13):

“And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near.  For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Peter’s teaching on the Church as a “spiritual house” is just another expression of the teaching of Paul on the Church as the body of Christ.  Both are grounded in the primordial tradition going back to Christ himself:  “He spoke of the temple of his body” (John 2.21).  The idea concerning the royal priesthood of the members of the Church stems from the teaching about the Church.

“So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ…tend the flock of God that is your charge…, not as domineering over possessions [of God] (tôn klêrôn) but by being examples to the flock” (1Peter 5.1-3)  In each local church, the Holy Spirit has set apart the presbyters (or bishops) to tend the flock of God (Acts 20.28).  God’s flock which the presbyters tend is their possession (klêros) which they have received from God.  God’s people is one, God’s flock is one and the klêros is one.  Belonging to God’s flock, each member of the Church belongs to the possession that the presbyters tend and through them to the possession (klêros) of God.  Thus one could say that each laic as a member of the people of God is a cleric.”

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