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The Body of Christ
by Pastor John Khng
Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:1-31
Picture of the Body of Christ - Remember putting your face above a headless frame painted to represent a muscle man, a clown, or even a bathing beauty (mermaid)? Many of us have had our pictures taken this way, and the photos are humorous because the head doesn’t fit the body. If we could picture Christ as the head of our local body of believers, would the world laugh at the misfit? Or would they stand in awe of a human body so closely related to a divine head? - Dan Bernard - Source unknown
I. The Body of Christ is Dependent on God – 1 Cor. 12:1-11
A. The Holy Spirit is the Distributor of Spiritual Gifts – v. 4, 7-11
B. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Administrator of the Body – v. 5
C. God the Father is the Operator of the Body – v.6
II. The Body of Christ has Many Members – 1 Cor 12:12 to 19
A. You are a member of the Body – v, 12-16
B. The whole body is not just one member – v. 17-19
C. Members are to carry out the work of the Body so that their own needs can be met.
“The human body does not exist to meet the needs of the hand. The hand exists to meet the needs of the body and in doing so gets its own needs met. The Church (Body of Christ) does not exist to meet our needs. We exist to carry out the work of the Body and in doing so our own needs are met.”
One day it occurred to the members of the body that they were doing all the work and that the belly was having all the food. So they held a meeting and after a long discussion decided to strike work until the belly consented to take its proper share of the work. So for a day or two the hands refused to take the food, the mouth refused to receive it and the teeth had no work to do. But after a day or two members began to find that they themselves were not in very active condition. The hands could hardly move, the mouth was all parched and dry, while the legs were unable to support the rest. Thus they found that even the belly in its dull quiet way was doing necessary work for the body and that all must work together or the body would go to pieces. – Aesop
III. The Many Members Have One Body – 1 Cor. 12:20-26
A. Members need one another – v.20-24
Benefits of being members of the body.
- It identifies you as a genuine believer. In every other organization, you join as member, you are saying that you are one of them, eg. As a scout, you will join the Boy Scouts to show that you are a scout, just like as a Christian, you will join the local church which is the body of believers meeting for worship and service for God at a certain location to show that you are a Christian.
- It provides a spiritual family to support and encourage you in your walk with Christ.
- It gives you a place to discover and use your gifts. Can a hand function that is detached?
- It places them under the spiritual protection of godly leaders.
- It gives the accountability needed for spiritual growth
After an accident in which she lost her arm, a girl named Jamie refused to go to school or church for an entire year. Finally the young teen thought she could face her peers.
In preparation, her mother called her Sunday school teacher and asked that he not call attention to Jamie. The teacher promised, but when he got sick on Sunday and had to call a substitute, he forgot to tell the second teacher.
At the conclusion of the lesson that day, which was about inviting friends to church, the sub led the class in doing the hand motions to the familiar children’s poem:
Here’s the church.
Here’s the steeple.
Open the doors.
See all the people.
Jamie’s eyes filled with tears.
A 13-year-old boy realized how she must be feeling. He knelt beside her.
With one hand apiece, they supported each other, making the church, steeple, and people.
Together they illustrated what real church is.
[Body of Christ, Citation: Billy Waters, Teacher Touch (Colorado Springs: Cook, 1999)]
IV. Members of The Body of Christ must Stay Together – 1 Cor 12:27-31
A. Why must members of the Body stay together? Because the answers to all the rhetorical questions from verses 29-30 is the word, “NO” so this means we need everyone to be together to do their part.
B. Each Individual has to serve out his God given function – v. 27-30
C. Members are to stay together to perform their God given function – There should be No Roving Christians around because members don’t change bodies at will.
Conclusion: Beautiful Music
At a meeting of the American Psychological Association, Jack Lipton, a psychologist at Union College, and R. Scott Builione, a graduate student at Columbia University, presented their findings on how members of the various sections of 11 major symphony orchestra perceived each other. The percussionists were viewed as insensitive, unintelligent, and hard-of-hearing, yet fun-loving. String players were seen as arrogant, stuffy, and un-athletic. The orchestra members overwhelmingly chose “loud” as the primary adjective to describe the brass players. Woodwind players seemed to be held in the highest esteem, described as quiet and meticulous, though a bit egotistical. Interesting findings, to say the least! With such widely divergent personalities and perceptions, how could an orchestra ever come together to make such wonderful music? The answer is simple: regardless of how those musicians view each other, they subordinate their feelings and biases to the leadership of the conductor. Under his guidance, they play beautiful music. Today in the Word, June 22, 1992
“The Christian who is not committed to a group of other believers for praying, sharing, and serving, so that he is known, as he knows others, is not an obedient Christian. He is not in the will of God. However vocal he may be in his theology, he is not obeying the Lord.” Dr. Ray Ortland
Show me a church where there is love, and I will show you a church that is a power in the community. In Chicago a few years ago a little boy attended a Sunday school I know of. When his parents moved to another part of the city the little fellow still attended the same Sunday school, although it meant a long, tiresome walk each way. A friend asked him why he went so far, and told him that there were plenty of others just as good nearer his home. "They may be as good for others, but not for me," was his reply. "Why not?" she asked. "Because they love a fellow over there," he replied. If only we could make the world believe that we loved them there would be fewer empty churches, and a smaller proportion of our population who never darken a church door. Let love replace duty in our church relations, and the world will soon be evangelized.
Moody's Anecdotes, pp. 71-72.
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