It is more than just going to a church and being affiliated with the body, our life must show we are the body of Christ.
GOLDEN TEXT: 1 Corinthians 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular……..To me the strongest point of this scripture is where it tells us we are the body of our Lord Christ, and what an amazing privilege. Question here, can someone explain what it means to be the body of Christ? But, so much focus is placed there that often times we forget that it is affiliated with the second point that cannot be fulfilled without, ”and members in particular “, meaning every single person has a particular or different job to do! If the first part will ever be fulfilled, the second part must follow! Knowing the truth in this verse, my mind goes to 1 Peter 1:2, The disciple Peter is greeting in his letter that was forwarded to the church, and has been used to greet every Christian to read it until the end of time. And the scripture states: Elect (select, chosen) according to the foreknowledge (the ability to see ahead) of God the Father, through sanctification (purity, holiness) of the Spirit (of what?), unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied……..We have been called out (from this world) for a purpose (there is no elite in the church), selected to the unity of the Body of Christ to be in fellowship with Christ and the Spirit to fill us with power to perform His will! And the end of that purpose is to draw others to Him!
Thinking about this lesson I am reminded of the song by Casting Crowns “If We Are The Body”.
It’s crowded in worship today, As she slips in trying to fade into the faces. The girls teasing laughter is carrying farther than they know, Farther than they know.
But if we are the body, Why aren’t His arms reaching? Why aren’t His hands healing? Why aren’t His words teaching? And if we are the body? Why aren’t His feet going? Why is His love not showing them there is a way? There is a way, there is a way.
A traveler is far away from home, He sheds his coat and quietly sinks into the back row. The weight of their judgmental glances, Tells him that his chances are better out on the road.
But if we are the body, Why aren’t His arms reaching? Why aren’t His hands healing? Why aren’t His words teaching? And if we are the body, Why aren’t His feet going? Why is His love not showing them there is a way?
Jesus paid much too high a price, For us to pick and choose who should come. And we are the body of Christ.
1Co 12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ……..We are one! In order to be “one” we must conform! No man joins the military desiring to be apart of a particular company and the whole time trying to change their strategy. That person will be left behind in battle! The good soldier comes to the team, presenting his/her abilities and says, use me how you see fit! If we want the will of God to flow we must be plugged in where we fit in! It may look ugly from the outside in but sometimes that’s just the way God works! He can take ashes and turn them into beauty!
1Co 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit……..No matter what a background check shows, what neighborhood we’ve lived in or the dialect that we speak, God can save and baptize anyone into this body!
1Co 12:14 For the body is not one member, but many……..The body is one, having many members or parts to make it work.
1Co 12:15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
1Co 12:16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?…….Look at how the Apostle Paul uses the fleshy body to compare to the Spiritual. Just because in your eyes you don’t think you fit doesn’t mean your calling isn’t necessary. The best Children’s Church teachers have never looked like choir director! It’s a trick of the enemy to convince a person that they are useless without being on a stage! Side note: A choir is no good with a bunch of people that can only sing lead! It’s the harmonies that make it beautiful!
1Co 12:17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?…….If every person was a preacher, who would sing? If every member was a singer, who would work nursery? If every member had cleaning abilities and no one cooked, we would all starve!!!
1Co 12:18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him……..I don’t want to do anything that isn’t pleasing in God’s sight. If it’s not my job to do the work, I won’t be able to handle the pains that come with it! YES, the will of God has pains! The fact is, when you are in His perfect will, no matter how painful the trial gets, your focus never wavers due to the peace, joy and assurance that comes with the Spiritual success! And then we look back and say, I never would have been able to settle with giving up!
1Co 12:19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?…….I can see it now, a body with four arms and no legs! Yes, they are moving alright but they aren’t going anywhere…
1Co 12:20 But now are they many members, yet but one body……..Many pieces of the puzzle, but one beautiful picture!
1Co 12:21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you……..Even your legs aren’t so ignorant that they try to operate without the eyes! Think about it on a deeper level, when a body’s kidneys shut down, so will the liver and every other vital organ without an outward support. Most of the church today is on life support due to the lack of operating members of the body. The Spirit also has never said to Christ, I’m going to run things for a while, step aside! No not ever! The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one and have always from the beginning of time operated that way!!!
1Co 12:22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:…….Don’t ever think the work is too small! The loss of a toe will impair a man’s balance. Not only will it impair balance but will also disqualify a man from meeting military standard!
1Co 12:23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely (not noble, not decorated) parts have more abundant comeliness……..The ones who seem to be overlooked are the ones who hold the torch the most! No one sees the lighthouse keeper, but without him there would be no light!
1Co 12:24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:
1Co 12:25 That there should be no schism (split or gap, division) in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another……..Matthew Henry cometary says this: Divine wisdom has contrived and ordered things in this manner that the members of the body should not be schismatics, divided from each other and acting upon separate interests, but well affected to each other, tenderly concerned for each other, having a fellow-feeling of each other’s griefs and a communion in each other’s pleasures and joys,
1Co 12:26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it……..Just as we all fight with each other, we all feel the joys of success together! I can remember the feeling of success during and after the community outreach. I also remember the attacks we have endured since then! God has a way of trimming the fat. If they won’t work in the long run, he will eliminate!
1Co 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
…….Don’t ever forget this and look back to it many times over and again! God desires your service and has created you for such a time as this. Refuse to be the one in years ahead who looks back and regrets not picking up the sword for battle. May He ever find you dedicated and willing to perform the task at hand! Sometimes this is the main scripture that keeps me going;
Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven……”but he that doeth the will of my Father”