Summary: God has put us into the body of Christ through the Baptism of the Spirit in order that we might mutually benefit and support one another.
October 13, 2002 1 Corinthians 12:12-13
¡§All for One, and One for all!¡¨
One of my son Benjamin¡¦s favorite movies is ¡§The Three Musketeers¡¨. It¡¦s the story of the struggles that a young man named Dar Tanyan goes through in order to fulfill his life¡¦s goal of becoming a musketeer. The job of the corp of musketeers was to protect the king and queen of France. The musketeer believed so much in the importance of the role that he played and loved his homeland so much that he would defend France even to the point of losing his own life. Dar Tanyan¡¦s father had been a musketeer, and he had lost his life protecting the king.
The musketeers had a slogan that they lived by. It governed how they lived their lives and how they served their nation. ¡§All for one, and [let the congregation add the second half of the slogan]. The first part of that phrase simply meant that if one of them was in trouble, all of them would come to the defense of that one. And the second part meant that each of them would be willing to set aside their own personal ambitions and needs in order to be unified in accomplishing the common purpose of the whole group. They were a group that looked out for the individual, and individuals that were unified into a group. ¡§All for one, and one for all.¡¨ Sounds like a good slogan for a church, doesn¡¦t it.
Last week, we began an examination of 1 Corinthians 12-14 to help us understand what makes a church healthy and strong so that we could diagnose and increase the health of this church. We defined health this way - health is when all the parts of any given organism function together just as the designer intended with the result that they accomplish exactly what the designer planned. A healthy church is one in which the people use their gifts properly resulting in 3 things ¡V Jesus is lifted up as Lord, people are unified and needs are met.
This morning, we¡¦re going to look at the next 2 verses in 1 Corinthians 12. These verses will excite you when you discover that God is doing something huge. They will make you want to shout when you discover that you get to be a part of it. And they will motivate you when you embrace the reality that God¡¦s Holy Spirit is living in you to empower you for service and to make us all one. By the time that we are done, you will say with me, ¡§All for one, and one for all¡¨!
1. There is something that is bigger than you¡K ¡§The body is a unit ¡K they form one body.¡¨
From the moment of creation, God put a plan into motion. It began with the creation of a perfect world and two perfect bodies into which God breathed the breath of life so that they became human beings. God¡¦s plan was for these human beings to have perfect communion with Him and with one another and for them to have total dominion over the creation that He had made. When man sinned, it looked like God¡¦s great plan was going to be undone. But it was then that God made it clear that His plan would cause Him to send His only Son to be the Savior that could cleanse man from His sin.
Adam and Eve had children who had many descendants including a man by the name of Abraham. For some reason known only to God, He chose Abraham to be the father of a people that God would choose as His own treasure on earth ¡V the Israelites. God continued to work out His plan through this rebellious people allowing them to become slaves in Egypt and then setting them free and giving them a land of their own. And even when God could stand their idolatry no longer and caused them to go into exile, He watched over them and taught them so that they would be ready for the next step in His plan. He brought them back into the land of Israel and told them that soon, a deliverer would come ¡V a Messiah who would bring them the freedom that they had been searching for.
Four hundred years later, a child was born to a poor couple. They laid Him in a manger and called Him Jesus. This child would make possible the completion of God¡¦s plan for His creation. For this child grew up, lived a perfect sinless life and died on a cross to pay for the sins of all mankind and then rose from the dead three days later. It was this sacrifice that made it possible for men to once again have an intimate relationship with God. Man and God could live in communion again.