Summary: Third of a four part series on how our church cares for our community through the ministry of our members.
[Note: This sermon was given by both of our pastors]
Pat: I’m a Mac
Dana: I’m a PC
Pat: I’m from the Southwest
Dana: I’m from back East
Pat: I live in a one story house
Dana: I live in a two story house
Pat: I love synonyms
Dana: I loathe them
Pat: I try never to preach more than 35 minutes
Dana: I live in a two story house… I love to fly airplanes.
Pat: I know how to fly a kite.
Dana: I married a woman who is taller than me
Pat: I married a woman who is shorter than me
Dana: I like to preach from behind a pulpit
Pat: What’s a pulpit?
Dana: I have a full head of hair
Pat: I live in a one story house
As you already knew before that introduction, Dana and I are as different as night and day in many respects. But in spite of that, God has called us both to serve together as partners in ministry right here at TFC for the common purpose of making disciples of Jesus. But the idea of partnership in ministry isn’t just our idea – it’s God’s idea. And that principle doesn’t just apply to the two of us, it is relevant to every one of us who are part of this local body.
This morning we’re going to look at a passage that is quite familiar to many of you. If you have your Bibles go ahead and open them up to 1 Corinthians 12 and follow along in your Bible as Dana and I read that passage out loud, beginning in verse 4:
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.
All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines. 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. 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.
Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 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. 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. 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?
But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 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!"
On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 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, 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, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.
If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
This is the third of four Sundays that we have devoted to examining how we as a church are to develop fully-devoted disciples of Jesus Christ who care for our community. We’ve already seen that we are to be like leaven, salt and light and permeate the world around us without being contaminated ourselves. We’ve also discovered that as we pray for the needs of others, God often calls us to participate in the answer to those prayers.