Summary: What are the vital signs of a healthy Church?
When does a person become a part of God’s church?
When that happens you are not automatically a part of a local church body. You are a part of the church as a whole.
What does that mean, local church body? All around the world there are different kinds of churches, all of which have similar but different doctrinal beliefs. Some are like us and are Pentecostal in thought. Some are Catholic, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist, and the list goes on.
Because a person is a part of God’s church, does that mean that it is not important to be a part of a local church body?
The author of Hebrews gave the local church some good advice in Hebrews 10.
19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:19-24 NIV
There are some great benefits from being a part of the church as a whole and there are some great benefits from being a part of a local church body.
Some people however do not believe that you need the local church body to survive as a Christian. Debbie and I have given our lives to the service of the church because we believe that the local church body is extremely important.
Even though we believe it is important for a believer to be a part of a local church, there is something you should know about the local church, it is not perfect.
I know that some of you might be shocked right now.
But even though the church is not perfect it is an important part of the believers life. The important thing to remember when thinking about the local church is to make sure that it is healthy.
A healthy church will have healthy vital signs.
I remember as an EMT back in Iowa, when we received a medical call one of the first things we did when we arrived on scene was to check the vital signs of the patient.
There are three very important vital signs. They are called the ABC’s. That stands for airway, breathing and circulation. For example part of the circulation is the blood Pressure, super high BP’s are not good! Personal Experience!
If the patient did not have good ABC’s well then we had a problem.
When it comes to a healthy, living body, good vital signs are important.
The same holds true for the church, the body of Christ.
open my eyes so I can see Your truth.
Open my ears so I can hear Your voice.
Open my mind so I can understand Your Word.
And open my heart so I may receive all that You want me to receive. AMEN
Today we are looking at 1 Corinthians 12:12-27. The Apostle Paul discusses the body of Christ and he mentions 5 vital signs for a healthy church.
Let’s look at this.
2 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 NIV