Summary: It’s all about God... and each other!
This morning, I want to try something different. Usually, I give at least three points in a message. Some of you commented… you know who you are…God also knows… that at times I try to cram so many things in a sermon. You feel like you’re trying to drink from a fire hydrant. So, to give you a break, I would only focus on one point today. It will not always be like this. But I just would like to see how it works out. Any reaction, violent or otherwise, you can text or call or e-mail me. You can also talk to me personally. Help your pastor improve, okay?
Now, there’s nothing like the body when it is working right. I believe the same goes for the church, which the Bible calls the body of Christ. Bill Hybels, pastor of Willow Creek Community Church and included in Time magazine’s “The 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America,” wrote, “There is nothing like the local church when it is working right. Its beauty is indescribable. Its power is breathtaking. Its potential is unlimited. It comforts the grieving and heals the broken in the context of community. It builds bridges to seekers and offers truth to the confused. Still to this day, the potential of the local church is almost more than I can grasp. No other organization on earth is like the church. Nothing even comes close.”
Let us open our Bibles in Romans 12:4-5. “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.” Note the last part of verse 5: “each member belongs to all the others.” I like how The Message version goes: “Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body.” Do you want to find your meaning and function in life? You will find it when you see yourself in the context of our community, our church, as parts of His body. That’s why I believe we cannot really enjoy life unless we enjoy it together as a church. That’s the body of Christ when it’s working right.
We continue our study of the “one another” in the Bible. In Romans 12, we see four “one another’s.” In verse 5 we read, “so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” This will be our focus today. Verse 10 says, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Lastly, in verse 16, “Live in harmony with one another.” We will study them some other time.
Verse 5 in the New Living Translation goes like this: “And since we are all one body in Christ, we belong to each other, and each of us needs all the others.” I like that. We belong to each other. We need one another. Life is all about God… and EACH OTHER. That goes against the selfish, consumer mentality that is prevalent in our times. For we tend to ask, “What’s in it for me?”
In one of our classes in the International Graduate School of Leadership, we discussed philosophy or worldviews. Now I know philosophy can be boring. In fact, while reading one of our textbooks, I realized I just discovered the cure to insomnia! But as I tried to make sense of it, I noticed a pattern. Let me simplify it. At first, man believed, “It’s all about God, not me.” Life revolved around Him, not us. However, later on, man thought, “I think it’s also about me.” Actually, it’s an old lie in a new packaging. Satan tempted Eve with this promise: “For God knows that when you eat of it [the fruit of the forbidden tree] your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” The enemy did not deny that there is a God. That fact that there is a God is too obvious to Adam and Eve. Satan instead gave a subtle but deadly lie, “You can be God, too.” To wrest control away from God is to swallow this lie. Though God is not denied, He is defied and dethroned. Man in turn is deified and enthroned. But man is not satisfied sharing the stage with God. In the end, man said, “It’s all about me, not God.” It’s a shallow boast. Man realized and felt it’s empty. That’s the reason why I believe Rick Warren’s “The Purpose Driven Life” became a bestseller. He brought back God in the spotlight. Life is not about me. It’s about God.
However, let me expand on that. I fully agree with Rick Warren on that point. But, we tend to say, “All I need is God.” Is it the truth? It’s a half-truth. It is just one side of the coin. The whole truth is, we need God and each other. Let me ask you, what was the first human crisis? Most of us would say, “When Adam and Eve fell, that was the first human crisis.” But that was not the first. In Genesis 2:18, God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” When God created light, He said it is good. Every time He creates, the Bible says, “God saw that it was good.” But then, He looked at man and said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.”