Spiritual Gifts 7: The Church Is a Body
Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:12-31
But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 1 Corinthians 12:18 (NIV)
I. We are the Body of Christ
A. God is better than Picasso!
1. All the parts are where they should be!
a. At birth, the 1st thing we check.
b. If parts of Christ’s body are missing, or out of place, it’s not God’s fault!
2. God makes beautiful things!
a. God arranged us to be beautiful!
b. He made us to be glorious
c. He made us to glorify Him.
B. The Church is an Organism
1. An organism not just an organization
a. It’s good to have/be an organization!
b. But a body is an organism
c. It doesn’t take a committee to scratch my nose!
2. A collection of interconnected systems
a. Of mutually dependant systems/parts
b. Not everything is skeletal, or circulatory, or lymphatic, or digestive, etc.
c. All the parts need all the parts!
3. Living, growing, maturing, purposeful
a. An organism is living.
b. We grow together, learn, mature.
c. We have a purpose–we’re not just here taking up space.
C. We are His Hands and Feet
1. We are Christ’s Body!
a. A new kind of incarnation
b. As scandalous as the first!
2. We’re all a part of Christ!
a. We are intimately connected with Him
3. Christ is in the world thru His Church
a. The way God most clearly works is through His Church (scary huh?)
b. It is not my job to do it all, but it is our job to do it all.
II. The Spirit makes us One Body
A. We are Baptized into the body
1. God pours out His Spirit & we get soaked!
a. Not about the sacrament of baptism
b. Baptize = to be immersed, sunk, drown
c. God pours out His Spirit since Pentecost
2. Not dunked into water but into His body!
a. Usually baptized into Christ or His name
b. A strange/mixed metaphor–we become an integral part of His Body.
B. We all Drink the same Spirit
1. The Spirit enters us too!
On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. John 7:37-39 (NIV)
2. This is about the Spirit, inside & out!
a. We swim in the Spirit
b. The Spirit swims in us
C. Our unity Overwhelms our diversity
1. Be baptized ≅ be overwhelmed
a. Overwhelm=be flooded out
b. The USS Disunity has sunk.
2. We are immersed in/drink from one Spirit!
a. There comes a time when differences don’t make much difference.
b. Sinking into the Spirit, Who sinks into us, the differences are petty.
3. Any disunity is imported from the outside
a. We are one. Division takes effort!
III. Remember our Membership!
A. Don’t Covet your neighbor’s part
1. Just ‘cause your not a hand, doesn’t mean you’re not a valuable part of Christ’s body!
a. Your value comes from being a part of Christ’s body–not the part itself.
2. If you think you’re not a part, that doesn’t dismember you (or us!)
a. If you think you don’t count, does that mean you don’t count?
b. If you think you don’t belong . . .
3. Be content to be what God made you to be
a. Be the best small toe knuckle ever!
b. It’s great to be any part of something great–and nothing is greater than Christ
B. Don’t Dismiss your neighbor’s part
1. Just ‘cause s/he isn’t like you . . .
a. Is everyone as smart or spiritual as you?
b. Should everyone be the same part?
2. If they “only do [blah, blah, blah] . . .”
a. Maybe you don’t think the duodenum doesn’t do much–but we need one.
3. Don’t “one-up!”
a. “If you were only like me . . .”
b. Encourage others in their area of service
C. Be Concerned for all the members (v.25)
1. In place of division, concern
a. Interesting remedy, isn’t it?
b. In place of thinking you don’t matter, or matter more–be concerned.
2. In place of one-uping, share hurts/joys
a. Be concerned by sharing hurts–who are you to think you (ought to?) suffer alone
b. Share joys– are you the only one happy about God’s work/blessing in your life?
c. Rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn.
d. BTW, this doesn’t mean the prayer and share time (mostly)!
3. This is God’s design for us (24b)
a. We are to share the work He gives us.
b. We are to share our hurts and joys
c. We are to reflect the oneness He gives
The Bottom Line:
|We are One Body, created by God to work in Harmony to build His Kingdom.|
I will respond to God today by: ____________________
R#546 We Are God’s People. v.3