Sunday, January 18, 2015

Are You Part Of The Body?

1 CORINTHIANS 12:12-27

Today in the 11:30 service our focus was on one thing—going ALL IN on being connected with others; being intentional about “doing life” with other men and women who are going the same direction we are going. In this Christian life there are no Lone Rangers. We are meant to live out our faith in the context of Christian community. In today’s teaching we unpacked so much good stuff out of 1 Corinthians 12:12-27. Let’s skim over the highlights.

WE ARE ONE BODY: “The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. 13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.”

Just like our physical bodies are made up of different parts, so it is with the body of Christ. We may be of different races or come from different socio-economic backgrounds, but none of that matters in the Kingdom. We are all connected together. Maybe you grew up singing in the church choir or maybe your story is sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll. Let me tell you today that in God’s eyes we are ONE. We all have a singular identity. You are just as much a part of the body of Christ as anyone else.

WE HAVE DIFFERENT FUNCTIONS: “Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. 15 If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything? 18 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. 19 How strange a body would be if it had only one part! ”

Isn’t amazing how our “one” body is made up of “many” parts that accomplish numerous functions? And it is all happening at the same time! So cool! That’s the way the church should be! You have some people who are taking care of babies. Others who lead Bible studies. Some may function as an encourager or prayer partner. This brother serves the body by playing a musical instrument. That sister serves by helping out in the cafĂ© on Wednesday nights. It’s a good thing that we have different people doing different things. Paul says if we all did the same thing we would be a “strange” body. So whatever gift God has given you, use it to serve the body.

WE ALL NEED EACH OTHER: “Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 21 The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” 22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. 23 And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, 24 while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. 25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.
27 All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it”

Some of us have been guilty of thinking that there are “important people” in the church and then there are “the rest of us.” The Bible says we all need each other. Each of us bring something different to our church. Our gifts, talents, and experiences are different than those of others for a reason—God wants it that way! Let me say it again—we all need each other! The beauty of living in community is you get to benefit from someone else’s gifting. By being connected, you become what you could never be on your own. To illustrate this fully, Paul says we should be so tightly knit together as a faith community that we feel what everyone else is going through. When my brother or sister is hurting, so am I. When they are rejoicing, so am I. This is how the church should be.

So to close, my question is this: are YOU living in community? Have you connected to a small group? I have to be VERY honest with you when I tell you that you will not experience true community on a Sunday morning. You just won’t. Don’t get me wrong. I love Sundays. Man I love them! But on Sundays it’s easy to blend-in with the crowd. On Sundays you can slip in and slip out without being truly known. In a smaller setting the dynamics are drastically different, and exponentially more conducive to you connecting with others. So the ball is in your court. Many of you reading this are on the “Sundays only” plan right now. Can I lovingly tell you that you are robbing yourself of God’s best? Take that next step in your faith and get connected in a small group. Yes, it will require effort and commitment. But the last time I checked, anything that is valuable requires effort and commitment. How much more should your faith?

Here are some opportunities—the ball is in your court.

Monday Night Bible Study | 6:30 PM | 4527 Maple Shade Ave. Sachse, TX 75048 | Mike & Lori Redd | 214-924-4772

Tuesday Night Bible Study | 6:30 PM | 7702 Bluewood Dr. Rowlett, TX 75089 | Scott & Jacquie Vertz | 214-558-9083

Thursday Night Prison Ministry | 6:30 PM | Hutchins Unit | Contact Katie Milholland 214-448-6097 or Sean Reynolds 214-455-2560

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