When we consider the Church as “the body of Christ” we must understand one thing and one thing alone: “of Christ.” Without these last two words a church is simply a building, little different from any other structure. These words capture something holy, capable of transforming the world we live in. “Of Christ” indicates that a body of believers needs only one focal point, to be a product and a reflection of Christ.
First, a fellowship of believers “of Christ” wholeheartedly devotes itself to the Word of God, and stewards that Word in the world. This first requirement is not to be taken lightly. Just as Jesus Christ taught that man does not live on bread alone but on the words of God, this word of God is life. We must understand that with the word of God is life, just as there is life in nutritional sustenance. In the same way, lack of God’s Word brings death just as a life without food will cause the body to shut down.
Devotion to the Word of God does result in clarity, purpose, and direction, but more important than these, it is the means by which we enter into a deeper and more complete understanding of God himself. Without this personal understanding of his character we will never fully trust and faithfully love him. Devotion to the Word provides a path to follow and the hindsight for where we have already been and God always was. It reunites us with our first Father, giving us insight into where we came from: we were created to be like him, with him and to be loved by him.
Second, a fellowship of believers must reflect the character of Christ. This character is always aware of worldly temptations and their effect on the gospel of Christ. Few worldly temptations throughout Scripture garner more warning than money. Money has the power to displace the value God created us with and substitutes its own deceptive, illusory perception of value. The closer we move in partnership with money as our primary end, the further we distance ourselves from God as our ultimate authority. A fellowship of believers can change the world through money by approaching it as a means to transform this world, but they must be united in the truth that the power of money should only be measured in how fast it is being applied to a need. Uniting both of these characteristics is love, the essence of Christ himself. This love is in all and for all, is charitable and supportive. Furthermore, this love is not a character trait. It is the character of a believer transformed by the love of Christ. And in a group of believers, this character multiplies, yielding a body of believers overcome by the love of God, resulting in “the body of Christ.”