Summary: This message is about how individual Church members are given gifts that are needed within the Church body to ensure the Church accomplishes what Christ has called us to do without jealousy.
Out of Many Comes One
Scripture: First Corinthians 12:4-30
In my message last week I shared with you that Jesus’ birth was a gift of love from God. He came so that we could have a Father-child relationship with God that was broken when Adam sinned. With that gift the door was opened for all of us to have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Last week we looked at First Corinthians chapter thirteen and this morning we will return to First Corinthians. This morning we will focus on the chapter preceding chapter thirteen – that many have described as the love chapter – and focus on chapter twelve. If you have not spent much time in chapter twelve it is a chapter focused on the body of Christ working together in unity and harmony. It is interesting that this chapter precedes chapter thirteen. What we will see this morning is Paul encouraging the people to work as one and not being envious of the gifts of others. He made it plain that all gifts were needed in the body, even if some people saw some gifts as being “greater” than others. In the last verse of chapter twelve he tells the Church that there is a more excellent way to live. In chapter thirteen, as we read last week, he explains that the more excellent way is living a life that emanates out of God’s love. New Light, unless we have love one for another and do things because of that love, nothing else matters. So if you are complaining about your role in the Church; the role that Jesus has you fulfilling in His ministry, then you are probably not walking in love. If you are not walking in love, then whatever it is you would like to be doing is fruitless because the love is missing. The title of my message this morning to close out 2020 is “Out of Many Comes One.” I want you to keep in mind that while we are unique, we are also the same.
For those of you who are Star Trek fans, you know about the Borg. The Borg are an alien group that co-opt the technology and knowledge of other alien species to the Collective through the process of “assimilation.” They forcibly transform other life forms into "drones" by injecting nanoprobes into their bodies and surgically augmenting them with cybernetic components. The Borg’s ultimate goal is “achieving perfection”. Borg civilization is based on a hive or group mind think known as the Collective. The mental energy of the group’s consciousness can help an injured or damaged drone heal or regenerate damaged body parts or technology. The collective consciousness gives them the ability not only to "share the same thoughts", but also to adapt quickly to new tactics. When they are attacking a new species they say, “We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.” The Borg was made up of many species and cultures, but once the new species was assimilated they lost all individuality and became part of the “Collective.” In other words, their sole purpose was to serve the whole versus themselves. Their individuality was lost when they were assimilated. Now of course this is not a positive outcome for the species being assimilated, but I want you to think about this in another way. What if when someone accepted Christ as their personal Savior their whole focus shifted from self to Christ. What would happen if all of my gifts were used in service for Him and I was never jealous of someone else getting more attention than I was receiving? What if the small job I was doing for Christ satisfied me and I did it with everything within me because I knew that what I was doing for the kingdom of God or “the Collective” was just as important as the person receiving all the attention? Can you imagine what Church would be like? Can you imagine how free we would become when we were not obsessed with what another group was doing? This is the focus of my message this morning. There are many parts in the body of Christ, but we are still one body and we should be operating as one. This is my desire as we enter into 2021 – that we would become “in theory” Borg Christians.
This is the last Sunday of 2020 and next Sunday we will be in 2021 if God allows us to see it. We will have the opportunity to continuously adapt and do things differently than we did in 2020. To do this will take each of us making a decision to start letting the love of God flow through us as we fulfill our role in His ministry. One of the ways in which we do that is by getting involved in His work and doing whatever we can, on a daily basis, to ensure that His work goes forward. In 2021 I pray that all of us, for whatever area we are serving in, will truly say “I will serve….” and then begin to do that. Everyone who is willing to serve is needed. As you will hear in this message, there is something that you can give that will be unique to you which will be a blessing in this ministry (or whatever ministry you are a part of.) For those of you listening and are members of other Churches, I pray that you too will choose to get involved in the ministries of your home Church.