Summary: We are in our series on Core Values. Core Values are the DNA that define who we are, what we are in infancy and in greatness. What God has called us to be. They are not just creeds on plaque or notes in book somewhere. They are the essence of who we a
Core Values: Relationships – The Fellowship
1 Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.
2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
3 If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself
4 Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else,
5 For each one should carry his own load.
Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us."
One of the tragedies of our contemporary age is the loss of a sense of community. North Americans have been known for their rugged individualism. We have viewed their identity in personal or individualistic terms. However, there is more to our identity than just ourselves. Paul tells us in our second lesson today that we are members of the body of Christ. He describes the Church as similar to the human body. There are many different parts or members of the body. Each part or member has a special function and purpose. Each part or member is connected to the whole body.
I. We believe in the unity of the body of Christ
A. How do you feel about your body?
a. Strange question isn’t it?
b. Most of us would rather not think about our bodies and if we do we probably don’t think very complementary things.
c. It’s 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 wouldn’t have to kiss him good bye.
d. At least that’s the way we think about it.
e. So it’s kind of strange that Paul would say “Now all of you together are Christ’s body, and each one of you is a separate and necessary part of it.”
f. What a statement. You, you are the Body of Christ.
B. Pretty awesome isn’t it? Look around you; each one of you makes up a part of the body of Christ.
a. “There is an “I” a personality which gives unity to the many and varying parts of the body” This is a hand and this is a hand and that’s a foot and there’s another foot and here’s a head and they’re all separate, but “I” brings unity to make all of those things part of my body.
b. What “I” is to the body, what Christ is to the church, it is in Him that all the diverse parts find their unity.
c. Alone we are just a BO, an Ian, a Charles, a Les, a Gerard, & a Brian.
d. But add Jesus Christ and you become a body.
C. We have a problem today. Our body is missing parts. We have hands and feet, eyes and ears, arms and legs that are missing from this body.
D. THE BODY HAS MEMBERS
a. As I said, we have a problem today. Our body is missing parts. We have hands and feet, eyes and ears, arms and legs that are missing from this body. For in fact the body is not one member but many.
E. THE BODY NEEDS EACH OF ITS MEMBERS.
a. We often think of hands that work, feet that take the Gospel, etc. when we think of the body. There are many other parts – SHOULDER & KNEES
b. The human body does not exist to meet the needs of the hand.
i. The hand exists to meet the needs of the body and in doing so gets its own needs met.
ii. The Church (Body of Christ) does not exist to meet our needs.
iii. We exist to carry out the work of the Body to reach the world for Christ
iv. It is tragic to think of the members that for some unknown reason are absent from this body. Think of what could be done if all the body parts were working together.
c. There are two reasons for missing members of the body
i. The need for each person to connect & commit
ii. The mandate for us to reach pre-saved souls
F. EACH OF THE MEMBERS NEEDS THE BODY.
a. Imagine an arm or leg or other body part that was detached/amputated from the body. What would happen? It would die. So is the Christian that is not a part of a body.