Summary: We would all love to have a church that has the real "power" God intends the church to have, this sermon explores how.
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KEYS FOR A MUSCLE CAR CHURCH
Recently I saw a show on television where a guy was very upset that his 1970 muscle car had been stolen. He was very attached to this powerful car, its racy motor and its REAL car look. Unfortunately for him his car was not only stolen BUT destroyed as well. At the end of the show, his partner spends some money and buys him a wrecked up, beaten down old car, and throws him the keys. He was so excited!! I thought about what it would feel like to have someone throw me the keys to a revved up, on fire, energized muscle church. I would be so excited.
We truly live in a very impersonal world. Technology has changed the way we interact with one another, e-mail, texting, Skype, tweeting, Facebook, cell phones and home computers have many people developing a tendency to isolate themselves from one another. In today’s passage of scripture 1 COR 12:12-26 Paul speaks clearly concerning the absolute necessity of involving ourselves with one another. He will use analogies about the physical body and drive home a point about how the church should look and act. The people in the church at Corinth lived in a world that was not so different from the world we live in. They were plagued by people who had bad habits and wanted only to take care of number one. Their world was very hostile toward the basic message of the Gospel which shows the necessity of love for one another.
Membership in the church means we have become an extended family and our relationships with one another should look the way a functional family would look. Now I understand that today the functional family is the minority, but with God’s help and following His written plan we should have a very functional church family. Unfortunately, Satan has worked to steal away our muscle car church, the church that could have so much power. I believe in my heart that when god’s children get together and use the gifts that God has given them, for His glory, the church becomes a very powerful force. It is our gifts that advance the Gospel message into the world and unifies us as a family. However, there are two things that are happening in our churches today that are keeping the church from having the power God intended it to have. Some tend to be proud and arrogant about their gifts and therefore bring God no glory, and push other family members away. Others have a tendency to neglect their gift altogether, instead they simply go through the motions of attending and fellowship, and the church remains a lemon.
This morning I want to take this passage and point out three things that might help us become the muscle car church God intended us to be.
1 Cor 12:12-26: 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. 13 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. 14 Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15 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. 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 cease to be 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 arranged 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 combined the members of the body and has given 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.