Summary: You are not one in one million. You are one in 6-and-a-half billion. There is nobody else like you on the face of the planet, and there is nobody else like you in this body. You are a unique member of the body of Christ.
Open your Bibles please to Romans, chapter 12. I’m preaching through the book of Romans verse after verse. If you did not bring a Bible look there in the pew rack and you should find a copy of the Bible and also maybe somebody beside you will offer to share his or her copy. We are an open Bible kind of church, which means we open our Bibles and keep them open, and we study from the word of God.
Today I want to talk to you about “How beautiful is the Body of Christ.” Now you must admit that some human bodies are more beautiful than others, but for sure the most beautiful body is what we call the church, the body of Christ. Today we are going to be looking at a couple of questions to ask yourself.
Sometimes too many questions can become a little irritating. If you have ever been on a long trip and had little kids in the back seat, you know they constantly ask, “Are we there yet? How much farther do we have to go?” I heard about one fellow who had driven all day with his three children in the back seat. They had not been gone five minutes when they started asking, “Daddy, are we there yet? Daddy, how much longer? Daddy are we there yet?” Finally, he had all he could take. He turned and pointed his fingers to those kids and said, “It is going to take us all day to get there. We won’t get there until it is dark so nobody ask me again, ‘Are we almost there?’” So he pulled off and it was quiet for about five minutes and one little voice in the back seat said, “Daddy, is it almost dark yet?”
I hope these questions that we ask today are not irritating. I hope that they are informing and help us understand who we are in relationship to Jesus. Look at Romans 12:1-2. Last week we talked about how if we are going to be totally committed to Jesus it means that we offer our bodies to God once and for all, “God, I am yours.” In order to do that, verse two says that we must not allow the world out there to conform us, to press us into their mold. Instead, we ought to be allowing God to transform us, to metamorphose us by changing the way we think about things.
Immediately you may be thinking, “All right, if I am supposed to think differently, give me an example of how I should be thinking differently.” We have it right here in Romans 12:3-5, “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, (that means to be serious in your self evaluation) in accordance with the measure of faith that God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, (that means our physical body) and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”
I want to introduce next week’s topic, verse six, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.” Now Paul is going to mention seven spiritual gifts and we will talk about that next week. He starts by saying in verse six, “If a man’s gift is prophesying let him use it in proportion to his faith.”
I. WHO AM I? Know Yourself Realistically!
Let’s answer two questions today. You are the only one who can answer these questions. The first question we need to ask our self is “Who am I?”
An ancient philosopher said, “Know thyself.” Who am I? I’m going to encourage you to know yourself realistically, to develop an honest, serious evaluation of who you are. Somebody said “I’m not who I think I am and I’m not who you think I am. I am who I think you think I am.” In other words, you must understand how other people see you, but more importantly, you must understand how God sees you so you can see yourself realistically.
If you will look at verse three Paul says there is a real danger here. If you’re not careful you will think too highly of yourself. Let me mention two extremes.
1. Extreme #1: Over-Estimation
Extreme number one is what I call over-estimation. Many people overestimate their value and their worth. They say, “I’m somebody. I’m the cat’s meow.” The person in this extreme thinks they are right and everybody else is wrong. They think they are the only one who can do the job right. Nobody else can do it any better than they can. As I said, they are the kind of people that stand in front of the mirror, look at themselves and sing “How Great Thou Art.” They think, “I’m just the pinnacle of greatness.” It’s like Mohammed Ali saying, “I am the greatest.” They may not say that out loud, but secretly they really think they are the greatest on earth. Satan comes up and whispers this to people who are prone in that direction. Satan says, “You are better than everybody else, in fact you’re as good as God.” Satan doesn’t want you to worship Satan. Satan wants you to worship yourself. He wants to let you believe that you’re just as good as God and if you’re not careful, you will fall into that trap of thinking that you are so special.