Summary: We are Christ’s body here on earth to continue His work. You have been prepared and specially crafted to be part of that body. (Sermon also has a slight diagression into when Gifts might be given)
Gifts of the Spirit 2: the body of Christ. 1 Cor 12:12-27 WBC 12/9/4am
Illustr: On Alice¡¦s (& Charlie¡¦s) birth Pam and I both spent time just gazing at them- and at their hands and feet!
- hand (PPT): perfectly formed, in every way. Just smaller
- ready & perfectly formed for action and usefulness later in life
o chubby palm, little fingers, fat thumb
o muscles, tendons- in all its complexity
= just part of a wonderfully formed and planned body
- each bit custom designed
The Alpha course is so great. Towards the end it asks the question ¡¥what is the church?¡¦
- as people mainly think it¡¦s a building!
3 images in the Bible (all with B):
building, yes- but building of living stones, people, priests
- 1PE 2:4 As you come to him, the living Stone--rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him-- 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
o You are God¡¦s priests! Ministers. Made for ministry & saved to serve
o Relevant because this passage shows some of the WAYS
Bride: Rev 19:7 (preached 7th Dec am last year)
THE BODY OF CHRIST
Here (v12) Paul describes a body
- and then says ¡¥so it is with Christ¡¦
We immediately say:¡¨ yeah, the church, that¡¦s right¡¨
- but we miss something fundamental in going straight to that correct conclusion
- Paul hasn¡¦t mentioned the Church, yet. Saves that for v 27, 28: ¡§Now you are the body of Christ¡K and in the CHURCH¡¨
Before then he wants them to see the full significance of ¡¥body¡¦ and so spends 13 verses only using that term
So- what would/should this mean to a first-time reader?
- = ¡§well, you know a physical body? It¡¦s like that with Jesus¡¨
- ¡§Jesus had a physical body on earth, right?
o > He still has¡¨. ¡§You are it¡¨
„« ¡§YOU (pl) are the body of Christ. Physically here on earth¡¨
Jesus still exists, as a distinct individual person
- (has always done so. Eternal. Pre-existent)
But with regards to His workings here on physical earth
- YOU (pl) are it
Do you see why this is placed in the context of gifts of the Spirit, movings and manifestations of the Spirit? Spiritual dynamics
- Jesus does them, now, THROUGH YOU
In fact: the Spirit mentioned here (v7, 13) is the Spirit of Jesus.
- (Another word for the HS who does Jesus & the Father¡¦s stuff). Acts 16:7, Phil 1:19
Get this: while on earth Jesus healed, helped, brought God¡¦s word, gave words of knowledge, understood the source of spiritual phenomena, worked miracles
- all the list of v 7-11, 28-31, chapter 14, Roms 12, Eph 4, 1 Cor 7: 7 singleness, Phil 1:29: suffering
- ALL in Himself. All the gifts
Now- those gifts are STILL operative- but through YOU (pl)
And each of you has been hand crafted and prepared ¡¥just right¡¦ to ensure that the whole body¡Kgiftedness¡K of Jesus is here and functioning
- just like that little hand. Prepared in advance to do good works. Prepared to show God¡¦s holy arm
¡§Why doesn¡¦t Jesus show Himself?!¡¨
- he¡¦s busting to. Through you. Me
Do you see how important you are to all this? How needed you are? How planned and strategised by God your involvement has been?
- He brought you to Himself¡K and He brought you HERE for a specific purpose. Into the body.
o We¡¦ve got to release you into your gifts or Jesus won¡¦t be shown fully¡K body built up
¡§BUT I DON¡¦T FIT!¡¨ (v15)
Or maybe you think you don¡¦t have any gifts of the spirit
- then you¡¦re like that hand. It doesn¡¦t know what it was engineered for, yet
o has to discover it. Grow in it. Into it
Now- let me take a detour but within the scope of these verses and an essential question within the topic of ¡¥gifts¡¦
- >= when are these gifts given?
- This is a big question, and one that we should ask if we are ¡¥spiritually inclined¡¦
- It¡¦s one that has exercised me for 15 years, and 17,000 words (thesis for BU)
- = is this talking about gifts given at ¡¥regeneration¡¦ or birth or what?
A traditional viewpoint is ¡¥it¡¦s only talking about gifts given at spiritual re-birth¡¦. Nothing before that counts
- justify it with v12,13 ¡¥it¡¦s in the context of spiritual birth¡¦
But what does 12 & 13 say- ¡§that you were birthed in the same way into one body¡¨
- it¡¦s making the point about one body and unity. Not when gifts are given
- in fact: nowhere does it say anything about WHEN gifts are given