Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: If we do not desire God's will for the life of the church, then we will see the Body of Christ fall far short of God's will.

"Let The Body Beware!"

1 John 2:18-28

The human body gives us one of the most awe-inspiring illustrations of a deep biblical truth that all of us should aspire to live out as we seek to be obedient to God's call upon our lives. Once we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we are placed within the Body of Christ by God. God has created each of us with very special gifts and abilities and placed us within the Body to live out our designed purpose. As we live out our God-ordained purpose God uses us to build and bless the Body and to bring glory and honor to His holy name. Our function within the Body of Christ is much like the function of a cell within our bodies. Let me explain.

From the moment of fertilization the union of the sperm and the egg brings about a remarkable series of events as they begin to divide and reproduce. Written into each cell is its design and purpose contained in the DNA of the cell. The function of the cells within the eye is different than the function of the cells in the liver or brain of kidneys. Let me give you an example. Dr. Paul Brand in his amazing book, Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, shares with us the complexity of the specialization of the eye cells when he writes,

Inside my human eye there are 107,000,000 cells. Seven million are cones, each loaded to fire off a message to the rain when a few photons of light cross them. Cones give me the full band of color awareness, and because of them I can easily distinguish between a thousand shades of color. The other one hundred million cells are rods, backup cells for us in low light. When only rods are operating, I do not see color (as on a moonlit night when everything looms in shades of gray), but I can distinguish a spectrum of light so broad that the brightest light I perceive is a billion times brighter than the dimmest. (Dr. Paul Brand, Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, pg. 23)

Our ability to see with such amazing detail is made possible because of the specialization of the cells within our eyes. The intricate beauty and specialization of the millions of cells within our eyes is matched by the same complexity and intricate design of the other functions of the human body. Each of these billions of specialized cells working together allows you and me to function as living human beings.

If each of the cells is obedient in carrying out the instructions they have been given in their DNA, then we will experience good health and our bodies will function as they were designed to function. On the other hand, if a cell decides to commit mutiny, disregard the instructions it has been given, and forsake its purpose as established by God, then things go awry and trouble sets in.

Cells that decide to do their own thing and disregard their God-ordained purpose cause tumors to grow in our bodies. Dr. Brand says,

A tumor is called benign if its effect is fairly localized and it stays within membrane boundaries. But the most traumatizing condition in the body occurs when disloyal cells defy inhibition. They multiply without any checks on growth, spreading rapidly throughout the body, choking out normal cells. White cells, armed against foreign invaders, will not attack the body's own mutinous cells. Physicians fear no other malfunction more deeply: it is called cancer. For still mysterious reasons, these cells - and they may be cells from the brain, liver, kidney, bone, blood, skin, or other tissues - grow wild, out of control. Each is a healthy, functioning cell, but disloyal , no longer acting in regard for the rest of the body. Even the white cells, the dependable palace guard, can destroy the body through rebellion. Sometimes they recklessly reproduce, clogging the bloodstream, overloading the lymph system, strangling the body's normal functions - such is leukemia. (Dr. Paul Brand, Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, pg. 59-60)

God did not design the cells of our bodies to declare their independence and do their own thing. He established their design and purpose and wrote it into the very heart of each cell. When tumors, benign or cancerous, take root in our bodies it is because cells have declared a mutiny within our bodies.

The intricate design of God in creating our bodies to work together in harmony and unity is a visible representation of the design of God for the Body of Christ. In our Scripture for today we will take a look at those in the church who John labels as antichrists, "cells" if you will, that have decided to cast aside God's design and purpose. Turning away from their "spiritual DNA," they have decided to place themselves in the place of the Lord Jesus and do their own thing. John casts a light upon these mutant teachers who try to deceive the other members of the Body.

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