Summary: This is the 15th sermon in the series "Church On The Rocks". This sermon looks at the Body Of Christ, its purpose, and how it is doing.
Sunday Morning March 2, 2003 Bel Aire Baptist Church
Series: ¡§Church On The Rocks¡¨ [#15]
1. Why did Jesus come to this earth? To seek and save what was lost. In order to fulfill His purpose, Jesus had to pay the price for sin on the cross. As Jesus was nailed to the cross and His blood flowed from His body, it was for a purpose. The Bible says, ¡§Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.¡¨ Jesus, knowing His purpose for having to hang on that cross like a ¡§dirty¡¨ criminal said, ¡§It is finished¡¨. Then He died. He was taken down from the cross and placed in a borrowed tomb. During the next few days Jesus descended into Hell and defeated death, sin, and Satan. On the third day He arose from the grave. He did this for me and you.
2. God doesn¡¦t wish that any person would die without salvation. He sent Jesus to this world because He loves us so much. What is God¡¦s goal for humanity? That we would all be saved. He¡¦s God; why not just let everybody ¡§off the hook¡¨? Because He is a perfect, righteous and holy God He cannot let sin go unpunished. So He sent Jesus Christ to pay the ultimate price for us so we could have the opportunity to be saved; but salvation is not inherited, earned, or bought by us. How do we accept this free gift of salvation?
Romans 10:9-10, 13
3. The moment you are saved, you are baptized by the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit takes residence in your life, and you become a part of the Body of Christ. As a child of God we are told to strive to be like Jesus Christ in all that we do. That means that if Jesus¡¦ main purpose was to seek and save what was lost so that none would have to perish in Hell, our purpose is the same. This is a huge task! We, as a Body, are to the reach the entire world with the Message of Jesus Christ. How effective are we being in reaching the world for Christ? Let¡¦s get a little more personal. How effective are we being in reaching Hobbs for Christ? I believe we have to admit that we are not ¡§hitting the mark¡¨ as the Body of Christ. Why not? Did God not give us enough tools to reach the lost? We will find in our text that when we are saved, we are given gifts from the Holy Spirit. All believers make up the Body of Christ. This means that every believer matters. This morning I pray that you would realize how important you are to fulfilling Jesus¡¦ purpose of seeking and saving the lost. I also want you to understand that if you do not use your gifts that part of the body will not be functioning. God needs each one of us to come together, with our gifts functioning, so that more people will be led to Jesus Christ. Do you know what your gifts from the Holy Spirit are? If not, you must discover what they are so you can begin to use them. Let¡¦s begin at this point as we first look at the different gifts that the Holy Spirit gives Christians. To do this we must look in several passages of Scripture.
1. As you have been listening to this lengthy list of gifts you may be thinking, ¡§How do I know which of these gifts I have?¡¨ I have inserted a spiritual gift survey in the bulletin that you should take. I have also included a sheet that summarizes most of the gifts. Will this show you which gifts you have. No, but it will point you in the right direction.
2. Once you are going in the right direction, then you must be willing to take the next step. That step is, work! The way you find out what you are gifted in is by serving God. You will find out quickly if you are serving in an area that you are not gifted in. Once you discover your gifts and you begin using them for God¡¦s purposes, you will be exercising those gifts and your part of the Body will begin to help the Body become stronger and healthier.
3. You must understand that you can use your gifts in a negative way by simply exercising them for the wrong reasons. For example: If I use my gift of preaching to ¡§beat someone up¡¨ because I want to get even with them for doing something to me, then I am using my spiritual gift, but not for the purpose of edifying the Body and leading the lost to Jesus Christ. Don¡¦t forget that God needs the whole Body functioning. It¡¦s not about just me or you.