Faithlife
Faithlife

You are the body of Christ, Diversity in Unity - Part 2

Notes & Transcripts

Acts 20:28-31
28
Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. 29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 Therefore, be alert. ESV
 

·        Today we would like to conclude our introduction to our series on the church, Brother Brad will return next week and finish his series on sin and I look forward to the additional preaching and teaching that will result from it

·        Our prayers are with you Brother Brad

·        I am still moved and being moved by this passage in Acts,

·        The choice of words like the followers of Christ are referred to as a ‘flock’ and not a herd or a pack, like a pack of wolves that Paul mentions in verse 29 as the external attacks on the flock

·        And the word ‘overseer’ has the meaning in Greek (episkopos) and English of a person who oversees, supervise, manage, superintend, a guardian or a keeper


·        But notice how the Scriptures, the Word of God, softens these strong, and in many situations, that you and I can relate to, impersonal descriptions of the word overseer, by immediately explaining how this overseeing should take place and why; first the Holy Spirit gave you this position, not you nor the flock, second your job is to care for them, third they are not your flock but they are really the church of God, and fourth they were purchased or brought by the blood of Jesus

·        The overseer therefore has the responsibility of caring for the spiritual concerns of the flock.  And responsibility implies accountability

·        Or in the words of our young people, I am reminded by this passage, don’t go around thinking that you are all of that, you made nothing, you own nothing, and you purchased nothing, do the do because one day the real boss man is going to return for his flock and you got some explaining to do,  Amen

·        And so, paying careful attention to you, we return to 1 Corinthian 12:12-26.  Turn there in your Bibles and stand with me one more time to hear what the Lord says to His Church


1 Corinthians 12:12-26
12
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. 14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. ESV

·        Amen and you may be seated

·        We continue with the topic, “You are the body of Christ, diversity in unity”

·        We looked at the first point last week dealing with the imagery of the church, you and I saints, compared to the body, an din this case our own human bodies

·        This is summed up in verse 14.  For or because,  the body does not consist of one member but of many

·        Using verse 14 as our spring board, let’s look at the last two points, the application of this imagery, this metaphor

·        In each case Paul begins with a personification of some of the parts of the body, in which they are disallowed to say things either about themselves or about others, and the reason why is because what is said is senseless, illogical and absurd.

·        And then Paul applies these pictures to the body itself thus keeping the imagery or metaphor alive.  Listen

·        15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.

·        We have here the extremities of the two limbs (foot and hand) and the sensory organs (ear and eye) being personified.

·        Knowing the body we know that in both case these parts carry on comparable functions in the body and there is no hint that one is superior to the other.

·        Notice that the same thing is disallowed Listen

·        If the foot or ear should say, “Because I am not a hand or eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not make it any less a part of the body.  That would not make it any less a part of the body.

·        So what does it mean and what is it saying to us

·        There are a few but I see envy, and ignorance in just not knowing, as leading the list.  It is a desire on the part of many of you to be something in the body of Christ other than what you are.  And that in itself cause a plague in the body or as I said last week it is cancer to the body.

·        Envy – because I can’t pray like Brother so-in-so, there is no need in me praying at all; Listen at Sister sign man she got a voice, I don’t sign like she does, I can’t be a part of them.  Because I am not a preacher or a teacher then I am not a part of the body.  Why do many pastors have problems with other preachers and why is it so hard for them to face plurality is because someone may question their calling because they don’t preach, teach or what ever like the other Rev.  These things in themselves do not make you any less a part of the body

·        Ignorance, that is just not knowing; I just don’t understand the Scripture like the rest of the group so I will just stay home; same old dress that I wore last month, I don’t have the clothes like most of the members, I just don’t fit in. I’m not sure what the Lord is calling me to do or I don’t know what my Spiritual gift is, am I really saved?  These things in themselves do not make you any less a part of the body

·        Listen to how Paul apply this in verses 17-19

·        17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be?

·        Question, statement, and then a question again.  And the question points out how illogical this type of thinking is.  Do you hear this New Hope?  All preachers and no listeners, all soloist and no support choir and no listeners, everyone a teacher and no one is a student.  This does not make sense when we stop to take a look at it but we can get wrapped up in it to the point that it effects our Spiritual well being

·        Here is the gospel, the good news; it is not left up to you nor I any way.

·        The contra, ‘but as it is, God’.  I am so glad that it comes back around to God and what He does and not what we try to do.

·        God arrange the member in the body, each one of them, as he chose. AMEN!

·        Using the image this body that we have was designed by God himself and He arranged it as he chose from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet. 

·        And what is implied by this statement is that He did not make any mistakes New Hope.  So your being a part of this local fellowship, He did it!  And your being a part of the Universal or Catholic Church, at this time period, He did it!  And all the saints can say – AMEN!

·        Verse 20 is a transition; As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.

·        Diversity, yes and amen, but in unity, yet one body

·        Listen

·        21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

·        The church at Corinth had rich members and also poor members and yes you guess it the rich did not care much for the poor, even at communion.  We see this in 1 Cor. 11 starting with verse 17.

·        Where the first application may be the result of envy, here we are talking about put downs because you don’t have what I have.

·        Notice the correction; ‘the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you, nor the head to the feet, I have no need of you, how senseless that is.  Taking the point further, so when the eye itch or gets something in it and the call goes out for the hand, can you see the hand saying to the eye ‘oh just talk to the hand because you don’t need me!  Or when the head decides that this sun is too hot upon me and the call goes out to the feet to move the head in shade the feet respond, I’m all right, I uses to being in cramp and hot places.

·        The end result in both cases is that the body in total suffers

·        Verse 22 – 24a is just a reminder of simple biology and hygiene.  Your insides are tenderer than the outside.  Your intestines including your bladder and bowel are less honorable until something goes wrong then they require all of our focus.  And we cover with clothing our private parts; this usually refers to our sex organs.  Our face and hands do not require this.

·        Again, my brothers and sisters, God did this verse 24b.

·        New Hope verse 25 and 26 is our application and it is here where we will look when we come back to this series in the future weeks – Lord willing

·        That there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.  If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

·        Isn’t that what happens with our bodies.  The parts must work together and stay together.

·        And one of the role of the overseer is like the nervous system, monitoring the conditions of the body and sending messages to the brain for action or reaction.  Too hot here, too cold there, a pain here, an itch there.  Something too tight here but loose there, sending the right signal for the right body part to become active to address a given need the same hand that will slack a bug on the arm will scratch the leg, rub the eye, cut the food and carefully put it in the mouth.  The same teeth that can crush bones avoids the tender tongue and the two work together along with the taste buds to get a good meal down that the body can say all is well let us take a nap now.

·        God has given me to you and you to me my orders are to pay attention to myself and to all of you, the flock in which God the Holy Ghost has made me one of your overseers, to care for you because you are the Church of the living God and we all were purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ.

·        My prayer is that I will do a better job at this and I ask for your prayers that the Lord will bless us pastors in this wonderful ministry and charge

·        Let us pray in Jesus’ name

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