How do you feel about your body? Strange question for a sermon, isnít it? Most of us would rather not think about our bodies and if we do we probably donít think of them very highly. Itís too fat or too skinny, too short or too tall. Bumpy, lumpy or just plain ugly -- kind of like the guy who was so ugly when he was a kid that his parents took him everywhere they went so they wouldnít have to kiss him good bye. Thatís how we think about it. So itís pretty amazing that when Paul reached out to find a metaphor to adequately describe the church of Jesus Christ -- the one he came back to time and time again was that of the human body. He says in 1 Corinthians 12, "The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up only one body. So it is with the body of Christ....we have all been baptized into Christís body by one Spirit, and we have all received the same Spirit. Yes, there are many parts, but only one body," and in verse 27 he says, "Now all of you together are Christís body, and each one of you is a separate and necessary part of it." Look around you; each one of you makes up a part of the body of Christ. Just as God put together our physical bodies together in our mothers wombís, so He put us together as the Body of Christ!

In the Epistles of the NT, Paul makes over 30 references to the body of Christ. What we do often is to skip over things like that without really taking the time to think about it. We all know what a body is, we all occupy one every day, but do we really take time to look at how these vessels of flesh and blood that we live in are a living illustration of what the Church is Jesus Christ is meant to be like?

According to the Bible, the church is not an organization or an institution, itís an organism - ever growing and becoming. Itís not a community group -- Itís a whole new community, with a new order, with new values, very often in sharp conflict with the values of the surrounding society. By one and the same Spirit, God has called us to be "one body in Christ." Letís look at SEVEN BLESSINGS in WHAT WE HAVE BEEN CALLED TO IN BELONGING TO THE BODY OF CHRIST:

As members of His body at Our Savior we have been called to... 1. Share in the promises in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 3:6) "..through the gospel...(we) are heirs...members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus." NIV Very often we go through life and we donít even begin to realize the blessings that we have! It says in 2 Cor 1:20 "For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes " in Christ." All of the promises of God are "yes" to us in Christ Jesus. God said His yes to us, when in love He sent His Son to be one of us -- and as our substitute to die our death with the wrath of God the Father heaped upon Him. And because the Father accepted His sacrifice for us, we know ourselves to be forgiven and redeemed -- bought back to Himself. We are made co-heirs together with Christ of Godís eternal kingdom. We are given