Summary: Our responsibility is to discover our gifts, use them effectively, and work in harmony with other believers.
A. There is nothing like a well oiled machine.
B. Take the car engine for example. Some of us know the intricate parts of it while others just know we’re glad it starts and lets our car take us where we want to go. We tend to take it for granted.
C. But a lot of things have to happen for it to do so. The oil has to be changed regularly so it won’t get gummy. The pistons have to work correctly so the spark plugs will fire properly. Belts have to be in good shape. The alternator has to charge properly so all the functions that it controls will take place. If it fails, everything will run strictly off the battery and shortly you will find yourself walking. The radiator has to be filled with water and antifreeze to keep the engine cool. The compressor must be in working order so you can keep cool. On and on we could go.
D. Having explained how our bodies are temples of God’s Spirit, Paul now moves to detailing how all parts of that body must work together in harmony for God’s church to be effective.
E. The believer’s body is the temple of God’s Spirit, but collectively, believers are the body of Christ on earth doing the work he left us to do.
F. Only as we understand how God has gifted us and as we use those gifts to take advantage of opportunities in his Kingdom work, can the church universal be effective.
I. God’s Grace Assists Us In Effectively Evaluating Ourselves (v. 3-4)
A. The issue of self esteem.
1. Self esteem is an issue for many people. Some have too much self esteem while others don’t have enough. A middle evaluation is best but perhaps most people fall on one of the two extremes.
2. There are many verses in the bible that warn about pride. Pride results when we have too much self esteem. These are the people who walk around with their noses in the air thinking they are better than others. You have met people like that. I have as well. They may have been born with the silver spoon in mouth or acquired wealth and possessions by their hard work. Either way, these things have affected their attitude about themselves and others.
3. If you don’t fall into their circle by virtue of some characteristics you must possess, they want nothing to do with you.
4. I remember the Andy Griffith episode where Andy-and Barney by virtue of association, was invited to attend a meeting of the Esquire Club with the possibility of becoming a member. Barney was quick to let everyone know of this opportunity. Unfortunately, his efforts to make an impression made him a fool, and they turned him down.
5. On the other hand, there are those persons who don’t think highly enough of themselves. Perhaps they were given derogatory messages as a child by parents who had been given the same messages and didn’t know how to break the cycle. Maybe it has resulted from being in an abusive marriage with a spouse who has constantly demeaned them. Or perhaps it was some body image that caused kids at school to make fun of them and not pick them for games that were played.
6. Whatever the reason, they don’t think much of themselves.
B. What should the believer think of themselves?
1. Paul warns us to be honest in our estimate of ourselves.
2. While on the one hand, we cannot let pride destroy us; neither should we think less of ourselves than God says we should.
3. We need to realize who we are apart from Christ but also who we are in him. Paul has already detailed our condition apart from Christ. We are sinners, and the wages of sin is eternal death-separation from God eternally.
4. But after accepting Christ as our Savior, that is no longer our condition. Saved, sanctified, forgiven, cleansed, and justified are all words that now apply.
5. So we have to do a balancing act. Knowing what Christ has done for us can also lead to pride if we are not careful.
6. Grace helps us remember all that has taken place is all of grace and not anything on our part.
7. We are no longer judged or condemned based on what we were.
8. We should be confident in who we are now while at the same time realizing we had nothing to do with it. This will result in us having an honest estimate of ourselves and will help us avoid the difficulties that come with low self esteem.
C. We all have special functions.
1. To reinforce this, Paul alludes to the human body.