Summary: The church is called to be a team, just like our local team the Indy Colts.

1 Corinthians 12:12-27

Somebody Else is You

October 21, 2007

In the days before motor-driven or electric organs, a talented organist gave a magnificent concert in which the big pipes sent forth magnificent, thunderous tones. After people finished congratulating him, the boy who had worked the bellows, with all his might, said to the organist, “We did pretty well, don’t you think?”

The organist scoffed at his question and said, “And what did you do?” He gave the boy no credit at all. A month later, during another concert, the organist came to a passage that required all the wind that the bellows were capable of. Suddenly the organ began to fade away, the organist signaled for more wind. Instead, the boy pulled aside the curtain and said, “Is it I or is it we?”

This story illustrates the way it should be with the body of Christ. It isn’t the ministers, deacons, deaconesses, trustees, or anyone else you care to name who is supposed to do the work of the church. We are all to do the work.

That is the beauty of what Paul was driving at in this morning’s scripture. Paul took a look at our bodies and began to imagine one of those what if thoughts. We do it as well, we wonder what if my hands looked like feet. And what if I really did have eyes in the back of my head but my mouth was left right where it’s at. How would that work? Would I eat with my feet or with my hands . . . ugh, imagine how confusing that would be and I’m only considering a couple of our body parts.

God has intricately put our bodies together, and we are to use our bodies for God’s glory. At our spiritual gifts class the other week we learned that our pinky is vitally important because the outside of your hands are the strongest parts of your hand. I’ll bet you didn’t know that one. And it shows the need for your pinky, whether you are using it or not.

We cannot look at our bodies and think, some part is less important than another part, that is not healthy. Instead, Paul leads us to discover that every part of our bodies serve a God given purpose. Every part is vitally important. Whenever one part of our physical body breaks down, we learn very quickly how important it was.

But Paul wasn’t just referring to the physical body. He was really talking about the body of Christ - - - that is the church, but not the building - - - Paul’s talking about the people who make up the church, we are the body of believers and we celebrate that. If one of us is not here worshiping, or if one person decides they don’t have anything to offer the church, then we lose out. The church is less complete when someone is not here. But it’s not only when you aren’t here to worship, it occurs when you’re not here to serve in some capacity.

We’ve been talking about spiritual gifts and we need to understand God has given every believer in Jesus spiritual gifts, not just talents, but gifts that come from God which are to be used for the glory of God. Our spiritual gifts are not for our own glory, they are always to benefit others, to edify and build up and encourage others; and at the same time to bring glory to God.

That’s a great benchmark in our lives. Ask yourself this question with anything you do and say . . . ‘am I building up another person and bringing glory to God?’ If the answer is NO, then you know what you need to do. Stop doing it!! If the answer is YES, then go for it.

Because I am now a Hoosier, and because Indianapolis is playing much better than Chicago, I have decided to become a Colts fan. With that in mind, I want to give you a test on the Colts - - -

Without shouting out the answer, raise your hands if you know the name of the starting quarterback for the Colts?

Now, what’s his name? Peyton Manning.

Okay, same thing with the next guy. If you know the name of the head coach, raise your hand.

What’s his name? Tony Dungy.

Now, it gets a little harder. If you know the name of the left tackle, raise your hand?

Can anyone tell me his name? Tony Ugoh.

Why is he important, because he is the main blocker to protect Peyton Manning’s back. If Ugoh misses his blocks, Manning is going to get sacked, throw interceptions and get hurt. You may not know this but in the NFL the left tackle is the 3rd highest paid player on the team, that’s how important they are, but we don’t even know who they are.

Now, one last test. And I have to tell you, if you know this answer just say their name.

Who is this coach? Now who is this coach.

Their names are Jon Torine and Bill Caldwell.

Jon is the conditioning, strength and nutrition coach. He is the guy who makes sure the players eat the right foods and that they are maintaining an appropriate workout routine.

Bill is the assistant head coach, Tony Dungy’s right hand man; and he is the quarterbacks coach. He’s the guy who helps Peyton Manning.

What’s so important about these guys? Everything, because they are part of the team. Without them the Colts would be less complete, and in fact, they would not be near as good as they are right now.

Just like a football team that is playing for the championship, we are also a team, a team comprised of many individuals, with many different needs and desires, yet we are a community of faith.

When we have the heart and spirit of Christ, then we have one purpose. And that one purpose is to serve and glorify God. When we do that, when we reach out to one another in support and prayer; when our hearts and spirits combine in purpose we create a wonderful harmony of faith. There is no person who is greater than anyone else. But if we think that way, we are fooling ourselves. NOBODY, NOBODY, is greater or better than another. Some may be utilizing their spiritual gifts more than others, some may be more active, but that does not make you better. As we serve God, because of our faith in Jesus, we become a community of faith, a team.

God does not throw all of the gifts in a hat, and then randomly pick out a gift and say those are for you. The gifts God gives to us are selected just for you. God has taken the time to choose your gifts. When you go shopping for a special present for someone, you want to select the right present. You won’t settle for second best. You want it to be the best. So you take your time, searching and looking until just the right gift is found. And when you give that gift to someone, you don’t want them to say ‘thanks’ and then put it on a shelf. Yet, that is what happens when Christians don’t use their spiritual gifts, they become rusty and gather dust. God has selected spiritual gifts just for you, and nobody else. You want to use that special gift as soon as you discover what it is.

And you don’t have to be talented to be gifted. The Spirit has given you a gift that you can use to build up others. Maybe it is giving, or teaching or leadership. Using your spiritual gift puts purpose into everything you do. It becomes an act of obedience to God. You’re not just playing the piano, or working in the nursery, or leading a committee, or dropping a few bucks in the plate, you’re ministering to others. You’re doing the work of God. The result is the seemingly mundane details of your life take on a whole new meaning. Suddenly they are overflowing with eternal significance. Discover your spiritual gift and put them to use, it will help make your life a masterpiece.

My hope, prayer and goal for this church is that every believer is involved in something beside worship in a significant way. Every person is expected to be involved in the life of the church. In far too many churches too many Christians are content to sit back and let others do the work.

I recently read this poem - -

There’s a young fellow named Somebody Else-

There’s nothing this fellow can’t do.

He’s busy from morning ‘til night

Just substituting for you.

When asked to do this or that

So often you’re set to reply:

“Get Somebody Else --

He’ll do it much better than I.”

There’s much to do in our church;

And the workers are few.

And Somebody Else gets weary and worn

Just substituting for you.

So next time you’re asked to do something worthwhile

Come up with this reply:

If Somebody Else can give time and support,

So can I. - - - Anonymous

Friends, each of us have been gifted by the Spirit for the common good. Are we using our gifts to build up one another and glorify God?

You know all those pictures we’ve been taking? You are part of the team called First Baptist Church. We have tons of different gifts and talents and desires for this church. But our goal is to serve Jesus, with all that we have. Just like the Colts are a team, from the least known to the most famous, so are you.

We are a team, from the least known to the most well known. We are in it together, because when you said Jesus is your Savior, and you wanted Jesus to live within you, you became part of the team.

On the good side, there were no tryouts, no extra workouts to make the First Baptist team, instead, the only requirement was to say yes to Jesus.

You can see a quick shot of a bunch of the pictures that were taken of 99 families so far in the church. I still want 100%. But these are some of the members of our team.

So, how are you going to serve God? Pray about it, think about it, talk to others about it, because just like in that poem,

that somebody else is you.