Summary: Gifts are to be used for the building up of the body. However, our greatest strength is our greatest weakness, and when a gift is used in the power of the flesh, it has destructive consequences illustrated in 1 Corinthians 12
Unwrapping Your Spiritual Gifts – Part 3 “Some Assembly Required”
a. This is the third week that we have been exploring our spiritual gifts. By now, you should be familiar with what they are and why we have them. If you have been coming on Sunday nights, you likewise would be learning some practical ways to use them.
b. For today’s context, I am going to simplify the definition of a spiritual gift - is the God-given capacity of every Christian to carry out his function in the body of Christ.
a. Let me ask you this… what does your hand and your foot have in common? What about your hand and your liver? What does your spleen have in common with your kneecap? What does your head have in common with your back? Besides hair? What all these body parts have in common is, YOU.
b. If we could stand every true Christ follower in the world on this stage, and we could look at their lives and cultures and gifts and perspectives, we would be overwhelmed with their differences. We might even wonder what they all have in common.
i. What links us together is Jesus Christ.
ii. He is our common ground.
iii. He is our bond, he is our tie, he is our unity, He is our Savior, he is our Lord.
c. That brings us to our passage for today:
3. 1 Cor. 12:14-30
a. 14 For the body is not one member, but many. 15 If the foot says, "Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear says, "Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. 19 If they were all one member, where would the body be? 20 But now there are many members, but one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; or again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." 22 On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; 23 and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, 24 whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, 25 so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
b. 27 Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.
4. I want to start off by saying that The Church Is Not an Organization
a. Christianity has become very organized, so much so that it sometimes appears to be just another religion among many..
i. I heard someone say that "When Christians get organized, they get very un- Christian."
b. While the church must have some organization, it is fundamentally an organism. That is why the illustration of a body is used in this passage.
i. The bible describes the church as: a bride, a vine and, a flock, a family – all living things, organic in nature!
ii. So, when God shows us a picture of the church, He shows it to us in organic terms -- in terms that say to us, "Everybody is a living part of it."
c. The church was never meant to be a structured organization run by professionals; It has always been a living, breathing, vital organism.
i. You know that a corpse is organized:.
1. A corpse has all the limbs in the right place, the bone structure is perfect, all the organs are in the right spot and connected to the right things -- everything is there -- but it is not living.
2. It is an organization at that point, but it has ceased to be an organism because it isn’t alive.
ii. Unfortunately, the church sometimes looks more like a corpse than a living body because we have not understood its purpose or our role in it. That is what we will learn today.