Summary: A message concerning how the church can have an impact for Christ in an area.
What’s a Body Good For?
(May 27, 2001)
We’ve all heard the phrase, “good for nothing.” Some of us have been called that.
It is never a compliment, is it? It hurts to be called that, especially by those we care about.
Too often the church, the Body of Christ, is thought of like that. Good for nothing.
When was the last time you heard anyone on the streets mentioning such and such church as having a positive influence in their life, if they weren’t a regular attender?
I don’t think it happens very often.
It used to be that the church was considered a God-send to a community, helping to bring a positive moral influence.
Nowadays it seems that the church is as much of a nuisance as anything else.
This breaks my heart. Because it is not how it should be. It certainly is not how Christ views us.
I want to spend some time this morning continuing in our theme of the Body of Christ, and I want to focus on how the church can impact an area or society.
Time won’t permit going into all the ways it is possible, and multitudes of books have been written and continue to be written about it.
However, I want to illustrate three ways in particular that the church can influence our friends, neighbors, and family for Christ.
And as we do that, I would invite you to let your mind brainstorm a bit about how this church can implement these principles.
My purpose this morning is to show us that not only are we not “good for nothing,” but we are “good for a lot.”
First, I want to show us that the body of Christ is good for…
I. Good Works.
Ephesians 2:10 says this:
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
The church does not exist for the sole purpose of having a place to worship, or even to lead people to Christ.
Coming from an evangelist, that may seem hard to swallow. Believe me, it’s hard for an evangelist to say. But it’s true.
It is certainly one of the church’s primary missions. But there’s more to it than that.
We are to do good works. Good works that God Himself has prepared for us to do.
And they are numerous. But I think they can be summarized by looking at the words of Jesus in Matthew 25 – listen as I read them. They are familiar to you.
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 "Then the King will say to those on his right, `Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
Meeting the needs of people is crucial. Jesus also said we are to love our neighbors as ourselves.
When a religious leader sought to justify himself by asking Jesus who his neighbor was, Jesus told the parable of the good Samaritan.
The Samaritan had to overcome not only the inconvenience of stopping to help a hurt man, he had to overcome something even bigger – his prejudice.
Samaritans and Jews hated each other with a passion. Yet this Samaritan saw the need of the man as being a bigger issue.
Where are your prejudices? We all have them, and we are the worse for them.
May God have mercy on us for acting on them rather than on the life-giving Word of God.
The Body of Christ is good for Good Works. And good works have at least two results: first, they…
A. Bring Glory to God. (Mt. 5:16)
Matthew 5:16 says this:
In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
When people see the people of God doing something in the name of God, they take notice. The sad part of that is that they take notice so much because it doesn’t happen as much as it should.