Summary: God’s heart desire is that we not be ignorant about spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12 :1) and He longs for everyone to be an active member in the “Great Commission.”
Turn your Bibles to 1 Corinthians 12:12-31
Title: Grasping Your Value
Theme: Exercising True Church Membership
Series: Essentials for Church Growth
Introduction: The passages of Scripture I am about to read is one of the most meaningful descriptions of the church of Jesus Christ. Therefore is it one of the most beautiful passages of Scripture that can be expounded upon in times such as these. Satan has used the flesh and the world’s view to convince many that they have no value in the Body of Christ. Many sit in the pews convincing themselves that they play no important role in the building of the kingdom of God or in the act of public worship. Others have withheld their presence, their Spiritual gifts and their support because things don’t go the way they had hoped.
Proposition: I would propose to you that each and every born again Christian has gifts from God that can be exercised under the anointing of the Holy Spirit of Christ. Regardless of how you feel or what you have been told you have great value in the Body of Christ and when you are not exercising your gift out of sacrificial love, the Body of Christ cannot reach her full potential in the building of the Kingdom of God.
Listen as I read 1 Corinthians 12:12-31, "The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 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 cease to be part of the body. 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? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as He wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 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!’ On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 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, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But eagerly desire the greater gifts. And now I will show you the most excellent way." Pray!
Transitional Sentence: God’s heart desire is that we not be ignorant about spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12 :1) and He longs for everyone to be an active member in the “Great Commission.”
We are told there are different kinds of gifts, different kinds of service but the same God and Lord works all them in all men. We are told that each and every person in the Body of Christ is given a gift for the common good. (Jamieson, Fausset and Brown)
1 Corinthians chapter 13 tells us the way of exercising our Spiritual gifts is through sacrificial love and 1 Corinthians 14:40 gives us this exhortation as we search for understanding about true church membership that is pleasing to the Lord Jesus Christ, “But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.” 1 Corinthians 12-14 holds truths about active church membership that opens the door to Holy Spirit revelation and empowerment for the operating of the church (1 Corinthians 12:7-10)