Christian Universe ™
Members Of The Body
July 31, 16
Citizens of the kingdom of God are members of the body of Christ. That spiritual body consists of baptized believers who are said to be parts, or organs, in that body. As members of the same body, we love one another, care for one another and see that we build each other up and make each other strong. We must mature the body to fit the mature, spiritual head, which is Jesus Christ. - Bernie Parsons
Members Of The Body
A sermon by Bernie Parsons
Presented to Globe church of Christ on 07-31-2016
Presented to Load church of Christ on 08-07-2016
We studied about the ekklesia, called out of sin and the world, sanctified to do God’s work, as the spiritual body of Christ. Let us now examine how we are members of that body.
Romans 12:4 "For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness."
Like members, or parts, of the human body have different functions to make the body whole and well, so it is with the members, or parts, of the body of Christ.
We ought not to think that every person can be the same part, or must have the same function, in that body.
1 Corinthians 12:1 "Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.
3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit
1 Corinthians 12:8 “For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
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.
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.
14 For the body is not one member, but many.”
The one Holy Spirit of God works in all of us to bring about the health
and growth of the spiritual body of Christ, the
ekklesia, or called out. Just
as the human body consists of many parts working together for the good
of the whole body, so it is with the church of Jesus Christ. We are all
part of one another, and we are all a part of Christ, yet we are each
1 Corinthians 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?
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?
17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?
20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.
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.”
If our body had been brought into this world as a single organ, or member, how would we survive – and what good would we be? We could not survive. Each member of the body of Christ has a job to do, but we are not all the same member, but members of the same body. We need each other in order for the body of Christ to function in a healthy, mature manner.
1 Corinthians 12:22 “Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:
23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.
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:
25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”
1 Corinthians 12:28 “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way."
God has put us into the body of Christ -- the called out -- to accomplish different functions. This includes those who can recruit new members, those who can take the gospel to strangers, those who explain the word of God, those who work to heal the body of Christ, and those who maintain the called out congregations of God to see to the health and work of that body.
In shorter form, the same basic message was given to the Ephesian Christians.
Ephesians 4:11 "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."
We, as different “body parts” in Christ, work together for the good of the whole body, to build it up and bring it to maturity so that the Lord’s work might be done here on this earth. We must function correctly together, increasing our spiritual knowledge until the body of Christ is mature, matching the maturity of our head, which is Jesus Christ.
This means that we must be stable, secure in our knowledge of Christ and God, rooted and grounded in the truth and trust of those two holy ones. We must not be frightened by the fabricated prophecies and man-made predictions that cause us to bend first in one direction, then another. There are people who manufacture doctrines and create fear in order to extort us.
Our method is to lovingly speak the truth in order to obtain growth of the body of Christ so that it matches the maturity of the spiritual head, which is Christ. By receiving direction from this head, we fit one another perfectly, working together to bring about growth through love of the truth, and love of one another as parts of the same body. We build one another up.