Summary: Examines the importance of each believer in the church.
YOU ARE THE BODY OF CHRIST, Part 1
In the past month we have examined a number of ways the Bible describes you and me. The Bible describes us as disciples of Jesus Christ. We are soldiers in the army of God. We are perfume bottles, carrying the sweet fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ. You are called to be a fisherman, catching, rescuing others. You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world, and I want you to know my friend, that if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, then you are part of the Body of Christ.
- 1 Corinthians 12:4-7,12-27
Paul wrote this letter to the church in Corinth. If there was ever a church with problems, this was it. The people in that church were allowing themselves to be led by their flesh, instead of being led by the Holy Spirit. Because of that, they quarreled with one another. They took each other to court. They fell back into immoral lifestyles. They messed up their marriages. They argued about what preacher they were going to follow. Some said they were following Peter. Others said they were following Paul or Apollos or Christ. They became self-centered, over confident & worldly. They were more interested in being noticed and praised than they were in being obedient and faithful. They were even selfish and petty when it came to sharing in the Lord’s Supper. It was a church with issues.
We find that Paul wrote this letter, 1 Corinthians, in response to some of the problems he was hearing about. In it he addressed the different issues he heard about.
One of the issues he was forced to address was the question of spiritual gifts. It seems that some of the people in the church thought they were something special, or somehow more important, because they had certain spiritual gifts. Others, since they didn’t have those gifts, were beginning to feel that they were unimportant or somehow lacking. Paul attempts to deal with this problem in chapters 12-14 of this letter.
As we look at this issue, I want you to notice first that in this passage Paul is talking about spiritual gifts. He is talking about gifts of the Holy Spirit, not the fruit of the Spirit.
In Galatians 5:22-23, Paul says, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and self control.” Those are the fruit of the Spirit and each of those should be present in every believer.
Here in 1 Corinthians Paul is talking about gifts of the Spirit and they are different. The gifts of the Spirit are gifts given specifically to individuals. While you should have all of the fruits of the Spirit, no one has all of the gifts of the Spirit.
Now, as we study this passage together I would like you to notice that:
I. YOU ARE PART OF THE BODY OF CHRIST
My friend, when invite Jesus Christ into your heart to be your Lord and Savior, you become part of the Body of Christ. Now, Paul here is writing to a specific church, a specific group of people worshipping together, and he tells them they are part of a local Body of Christ.
Did you know that? You are to be part of a local body of believers.
> Romans 12:5 In the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another.
You and I are part of each other. We are connected. We are part of the same Body.
II. YOU ARE PLACED IN THE BODY OF CHRIST
Different people have different gifts and different responsibilities in the church. It is God Who has placed you here. It is He Who has equipped you in a special way to serve in a specific place.
You and I, if we are led by the Spirit and not by our flesh, don’t get to decide what we will or will not do in the local church or in the Body of Christ. It is God who equips us and it is He Who gives us our assignments.
Now, my body is different than yours. How many of you can say “Amen” & “Thank you Lord” to that? Your body is different than mine. According to the Bible, God formed me in the womb, just the way He wanted me. He made me this way because He had a specific task for me in mind. He gave me the looks He did, the personality He did, and the experience He did, because He wanted to use me in a specific way.
Now what is true of my body and me is also true of the church. God is building this church, this local body of believers in a specific way because He has a specific mission for this church. In other words, you are not here by accident. God brought you here for a reason. He placed you in this body of believers, with Christ as the Head, for a specific reason.