Faithlife
Faithlife

That's the Way God Wants the Church To Be

Let's Be a Christ-Centered Church  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Notes & Transcripts
Introductory thoughts:
The issue in Corinth, at this point, seems to be that there were some who were:
Exalting the gift of tongues above other gifts within the body of Christ.
Considering that someone was spiritual if they could speak with such a gift (12:1 - 3)
Application:
This is not an uncommon tendency. Based on a person’s ability, we tend to assign value to them based upon what they can do. Some can sing well, so we desire to either be like them more or they become more popular in our thinking than others.
Paul gives the test of spirituality to the church in Corinth, and it is not based upon the talent or gifting of an individual. The test is based on what they say about Jesus Christ. Do they declare that Jesus Christ is Lord!
Application:
For many today, they don’t see any relevance because most people don’t go around talking about Jesus as Master, or they don’t use this language today. But, this nonetheless should be something that is being declared when the church gathers together. While we want to get to know people better personally, there is not greater truth that could be declared as evidence of God’s Spirit than this truth that Jesus is the Lord!
Today, people declare that by:
(i) teaching lessons that exalt who Jesus is
(ii) leading conversations that are not self-centered but are Savior-centered
(iii) selflessly serving others
Paul continues on in the passage to help people understand that regardless of the means through which a person shows forth the Lordship of Jesus, it is the same Spirit of God that has been given in gifting. This shows that though there are many people, there is one Source. The gathered church is a unity of diverse people. This is rooted in the Godhead. Though there is three Persons in the godhead, there is only one God.
Application:
This means that just because you can’t do what someone else does, does NOT mean you are less valuable. Every person has a part in using their gifts for the building up of the body of Christ.
Current Text:
In our current text, Paul continues the admonition. The center piece of our current text is found in , “as it hath pleased him.” Of whom is this speaking? It is speaking of God, and Paul is pointing out that the way the body is put together is according to God’s pleasure. It is what God wants.
Who really picks who does what in the body?
Who decides what gifts are in the body?
Who is really in charge in all of this?
Now, most people are thinking about who decided that “someone else” would have that gift and do that function, but I want you to make this personal right now. Ask yourself, “Who decides how I am to serve?” “Whose wish should I be submitting to?
Illustration: “The Princess Bride” - “As you wish...” In one dramatic scene towards the end of the movie, the princess pushes the hero down a hill. As he is tumbling, he yells out “As—You—Wish” and then the princess realizes that the one she has pushed down is her hero. She says, “Oh, my sweet Wesley, What have I done.” This she says before she throws herself down the same hill tumbling behind him.”
Paul’s point here is quite obvious, the function within the body of Christ is according to the “want” or “wish” of God. This is the way God wants the church to be.

(1) God wants the body of Christ to be a unity of different parts (members) (v. 12 - 14)

(i) As the human body is a unit, so is the body of Christ (v. 12)
(ii) What is the body of Christ? (v. 13) -
Colossians 1:18 KJV 1900
And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
These are the individual who have the same Spirit of God indwelling them. Being that Paul is speaking to a local assembly, he would not be expecting them to see this about other people who are not there. Hence, Paul is speaking to this local assembly. Notice what he says in - the context is the gathering of the local body.
1 Corinthians 11:20 KJV 1900
When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper.
Secondly, it should also be noted that baptism was so understood as part of those who were saved in the first century that it would have been uncommon for anyone to have received the Spirit without them being opening baptized.
Acts 10:45–47 KJV 1900
And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
In other words, those who were:
(1) indwelt by the Holy Spirit
(2) were baptized
(3) were clearly added to the assembly -
Acts 2:41 KJV 1900
Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
(4) they were evident members of the body of Christ -
1 Corinthians 1:13–14 KJV 1900
Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;

Application:

These are the individuals who have
So, while some of you are waiting to see if Grace is the right fit for you, know that GOD WANTS THE BODY OF CHRIST TO BE A DIVERSE GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO FUNCTION AS A UNIT.

Principle: The valuation of a member of the body of Christ is not the same as the method of valuation in the culture

Let’s take a test:
What makes you valuable to your employer? Do you have the answer in your mind?
What makes you valuable to your teen or tween children? Do you have the answer in your mind?
What makes you valuable to your athletic team? Do you have the answer in your mind?
What makes you valuable in the body of Christ? Though Paul answers this in the beginning of the letter to the Corinthians, I want you to see how he expresses this unity elsewhere:
,
Ephesians 2:16–18 KJV 1900
And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
Ephesians 2:22 KJV 1900
In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
Ephesians 3:5–6 KJV 1900
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; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
,
Ephesians 3:10 KJV 1900
To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
Ephesians 3:21 KJV 1900
Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
, , ,
Ephesians 4:4 KJV 1900
There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
Ephesians 4:7 KJV 1900
But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
Ephesians 4:12–13 KJV 1900
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
Ephesians 4:16 KJV 1900
From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
Every part of the body of Christ is valuable because Christ gave himself for the church.
Concluding thoughts:
1. Do not belittle the sacrifice of Christ by being a pew warmer.
2. Rejoice! You can be a part of something for which it is not your job to maintain the value or worth of. (Illustration: Have you ever heard of the phrase “mint condition”?) You see some people think, “Well I could never be as good as them.” “Or, I don’t want to do something if I can’t do it well.” The problem with these statements are that the value of the ministry is not based on what you can or can’t do. The value of the ministry is based on the price it took to have the ministry available - the blood of Christ. The value of the ministry is based on who’s pleasure we are serving - We serve at God’s pleasure.
3. Take some serious inventory today: Are you valuing what God wants? God wants the body of Christ to be a unity of different parts.
(i) for those of you that currently serve, this means that people don’t need to do ministry the same way you do ministry.
(ii) for those of you who need to be openly baptized, this means that you need to speak to a staff member about what it would take for you to be a clear member of this local body.
(iii) for those of you that need to join by statement/letter from another church, you need to show this local body that you are not just a squatter but that you are committed.
4. Some of you are looking to be included in something that matters, but you’re concerned that your background is too shameful or you don’t look or act like the rest. (). You’re just the person that God wants in Christ’s body. Come and give your life to the Lord today.
(2) God wants the different members to see their value as part of the whole (v. 15 - 16)
Principle: The wrong self-assessment can lead to wrong conclusions.
(3) God wants the whole body to be different so that it can function together according to His wishes (v. 17 - 20)
Principle: A wrong conclusion about the body is inconsiderate of God’s sovereign purpose.
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