Summary: Today, we will see that as a Christian I am part of the body of Christ. Let’s see what that entails.
WHAT AM I? (part three)
INTRODUCTION: In part one of ‘what am I’ in Christ we saw that since we have been born again we are now a child of God. I have been given God’s Spirit and I have an inheritance waiting for me in heaven. Last week I talked about how we are a temple of God and we are a slave of God. Since the Holy Spirit has come to live in us we have a responsibility to act in accordance with our new nature. And we realized that being a slave of God wasn’t something appalling; it was appealing. Today, we will see that as a Christian I am part of the body of Christ. Let’s see what that involves.
1) One body, many parts. 1st Cor. 12:12-27. We are different but all make up one body. This is not just true in a worldwide sense but in a local sense too; perhaps even more so. Each church is the body of Christ and each member a part of it. And we all need each other.
You have two groups represented here: those who think their part is insignificant and those who think their part is so wonderful it doesn’t need the others. The Minister shouldn’t be proud, thinking he is better than any other part of the body. And the custodian shouldn’t think the part he plays doesn’t matter.
I might think my role as a Minister is most important but what if there was no one here to hear me preach? Why are there people here? A big reason is because the body has reached out to others and invited them to church. I can do that too but not by myself. All parts need to function together and each part is important in the overall function of the church.
All you need to do to realize that is take one part away and see how that affects the whole unit. If one person became discouraged, thinking their role was dispensable and started shirking their responsibility what would happen? People would start to wonder why this or that isn’t getting done. And somebody else would have to fill that role. If my left arm isn’t functioning what does that mean for my right arm? It has to work twice as hard. So it wouldn’t take long to realize that the body suffers when one part isn’t doing his work.
Before I get up to preach many things need to happen to prepare the people to hear the sermon. First they need to get here. This is where the ride ministry is important. Some people might not be able to get here if they don’t have a ride. Then they get here and it helps when the sidewalk is shoveled. Or those who drive here see the parking lot has been taken care of. They walk in without seeing garbage on the church grounds. They come in and are met by the Greeter, welcoming them with an affectionate smile.
They might go to the coffee area and have a pleasant encounter by the person running that ministry and with those who are fellowshipping there. They need to go to the bathroom and are pleased to find it clean. They come into the sanctuary and are greeted by the usher and perhaps helped by him in some way. They have others coming up to them and greeting them and making them feel welcome and at ease here. They have a sense of security for their vehicle knowing the parking lot is being watched.
Then the service starts and the worship leader and team lead the congregation in song. This is greatly helped by the sound ministry and technical staff having gotten all the electrical equipment up and running. They hear encouraging messages by the meditation speaker and then by the Lord’s Supper speaker. If they have kids they are helped with the nursery worker, junior church teacher and Sunday school teacher.
And I’m sure I’ve left someone out so please don’t get offended; I’m just taking the time to illustrate a point. All of these things I mentioned and more need to happen before I get up to preach. And if they don’t happen, if people aren’t working together, this can greatly affect a person’s attitude and openness by the time I get up to preach a message. Can you see the importance of everyone doing their part?
We’ve all been given different gifts and functions in the body and they are all important. “A concert violinist had a brother who was a bricklayer. One day a woman began talking to the bricklayer about how wonderful it was for him to be in the same family as the noted musician. But then, not wanting to insult the bricklayer, she added, "Of course, we don't all have the same talents, and even in the same family some just seem to have more ability than others." The bricklayer replied, "You're telling me! That violinist brother of mine doesn't know a thing about laying bricks. And if he wasn't able to make some money playing that fiddle of his, he couldn't hire a guy with know-how like mine to build his house. If he had to build a house himself, he'd be ruined." Some of us are violinists; some are bricklayers. Each of us is equally important in the whole scheme of things. We all need each other and we need to work together and do our part in the body of Christ.