A STUDY ON THE BODY OF CHRIST

By Terry Somerville
1 Cor.12
Romans 12:3-8


     Today as never before, the church needs to rediscover 
what it means to be the body of Christ. The church is weak 
because the body is weak. The body is weak because each 
part is not functioning properly and upbuilding according 
to Ephesians 4:15-16.

     Today we need to know what the body of Christ is, how 
we are part of it, and the implications for the church.


     "Now you are the body of Christ and      individually 
members of it." 1 Cor 12:27 
I note that it says NOW you are the body of Christ.  This 
is our present state. I ask:

-What does this mean?
-How did it happen? -What are the implications?

Lets look at it.


              1. YOU ARE THE BODY OF CHRIST

It does not say we are like the body of Christ.

We ARE the body of Christ.


About Christ coming it said "a body you have prepared for 
me"  (refering to His physical body) Heb. 10:5

Then Jesus says of us " as thou hast sent me into the 
world, so I have sent them into the world."  John 17:18


He was sent into the world in a body prepared for Him.He 
offered Him self a living sacrifice and His body was
nailed to the cross for us. He was raised and is seated at 
the right hand of the Father. On earth He has a body - us! 
The Church! 

We are the only physical presence  of Christ on earth NOW!  



THAT'S WHY IT SAYS:
-" I AM THE VINE AND YOU ARE THE BRANCHES"
    John 15

-" AS YOU HAVE DONE IT TO THE LEAST OF THESE MY BRETHEREN 
, YOU HAVED DONE IT UNTO ME."

-" I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME"  
Phil.4:13

- "IT IS NO LONGER I WHO LIVE, BUT CHRIST WHO LIVES IN 
ME."  Gal. 2:20



            2.YOU ARE JOINED TO CHRIST'S BODY

We ARE the body of Christ. You ARE right now individually a 
part of it. 

How did you become a part of the body of Christ? Did you 
join it when you joined the church?

NO! You were joined to it by the Holy Spirit when you 
believed.



      "For by one Spirit we were baptized into one body" 
              1 Cor.12:13


This passage doers not refer to water baptism. Water 
baptism is baptism into the death of Christ. 

ROMANS 6:3 SAYS "we were buried with Him by baptism into 
death"



But it is the Holy Spirit  who makes you part of the Body 
of Christ.

"For by one Spirit we were baptized into one body" 1 
Cor.12:13



                      IMPLICATIONS :

1.)Joining is not optional. Every believer is a part of 
Christ's body the church.


2.)We are joined together "members one of another"  
    Romans 12:5  THEREFORE:

    -When one hurts, the rest hurt.

    -We must be co-ordinated to work as the body.

     READ 1 Cor 12:12-26



Like a childs body, we learn to walk, till both feet head 
the same way.

    -We are to bless each other, be humble with each other, 
     submit to each other, in short, love each other as we 
     love ourself.



                   3.WE MUST SEE JESUS

     The whole body is supplied and nourished by Christ, 
the head. However, He can do nothing until we recognize 
he is the head.


THE PROBLEM: The church nevers seems to live like it is 
true, even though it acknowledges Christ is the Head.



         SOME EXPECTATIONS IF CHRIST IS THE HEAD


1. EXPECT THE CHURCH TO DIFFER FROM THE WORLD

     If Christ is recognized and obeyed as the head of the 
church we could expect startling differences from the 
world, such as:

- decisions would not necessarily be practical or 
convenient, but loving and sacrificial.

- action would not necessarily be popular.
(instead it seems the church tailors its actions so as not 
to offend the least committed amongst them)



2. EXPECT UNITY

 - worst problem in the church is division.
                 BUT:

-When the whole church received its directions from one 
source the result would be unity. Everyone would be united 
in God's plan.

     "I do not pray for these only, but also for those who 
believe in me through their word, that they may all be 
one; even as Thou Father, art in me,and I in Thee, that 
they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that 
Thou hast sent me."  John 17:20,21


-Being the body of Christ means leaving off doing "our 
thing" and expecting Jesus to be the head in real living.


3. EXPECT EVERYONE TO BE CALLED

- Snce we are all part of the body,and since the body is 
called,THEN you ,as an individual, are called.

     "Now you are the body of Christ and individually 
members of it." 1 Cor.12:27



NO SPECTATORS! Every part of the body has a ministry to 
do. 

     "...when each part is working properally makes for 
bodily growth and upbuilds itself in love." Eph.4:16


You are one of the parts of the body of Christ
- Expect God to show you your place and part of the body. 
That's how it works



4. EXPECT JESUS TO BUILD THE CHURCH

It's His church, not ours. " I will build my church" 
Matt.16:18

-The church is not ours to build. Why worry?


We can expect Jesus to supply our needs.
We can expect Jesus to raise up people to do the work.
We can expect Jesus to enable every work He calls us to.


                        

CONTINUED IN NEXT STUDY

THE CHURCH THE BODY OF CHRIST - part II

REVIEW LAST STUDY We ARE the body of Christ, not like the body of Christ. We were individually joined to the body by the Holy Spirit and made members of it. IMPLICATIONS: - Church must recognize Christ as head in practice. - We are members one of another. Special care required. - No spectators, every part is important. - God's will for the church is His will for you.

FINDING AND TAKING YOUR PLACE IN THE BODY

You are NOW part of the body of Christ. But how can you take up your role in the church. What attitude shoul;d you have? How can you know which part of the body you are? REMEMBER: Jesus will show you through your open approach to taking your place in the body. READ ROMANS 12:1-8 WE FIND 4 STEPS OUTLINED 1: PRESENT YOUR BODIES 2. DO NOT BE CONFORMED TO WORLD 3. BE TRANSFORMED - RENEW YOUR MIND 4. THINK WITH SOBER JUDGEMENT - BY FAITH PRESENT YOUR BODIES vs 1 " present your bodies as a living sacrifice, Holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship." Christ surrendered His body for sacrifice, now as His body the church, we present our bodies. -Present yourself to God, -in a Holy and acceptable way. -This is true worship. Your whole self, nothing less. PRESENTING LESS THAN WHOLE SELF IMPLIES you don't view yourself as a member of His body. -You try to reserve some or most of your life for yourself. -You give offerings as guilt money or a bribe. -WORSHIP is only something you do rather than are. SCRIPTURES CLEARLY INDICATE WE ARE A SACRIFICE " You are not your own, you were bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your bodies." 1 Cor. 6:20 " I am crucified with Christ.." Gal 2:20 " We were buried with Him by baptism..." Romans.6:4 " Consider yourself dead to sin..." Romans 6:11 TO WORSHIP is to present your bodies a living sacrifice. (also called a "reasonable service") YOU WILL ONLY FIND YOUR PLACE IN CHRIST'S BODY IN AS MUCH AS YOU LIVE TO PLEASE HIM! 2. DO NOT BE CONFORMED VS.2 "Do not be conformed to this world, .." Also translated "do not be pushed into this world's mold" This world's mold is the old, natural way of doing things: - looking to best - education, talents, etc. - using worlds ways, convincing arguements, attractive programs, entertainment ,etc. Some people feel they have no part in the body of Christ because they lack in the world's ways, education talent etc. In fact , the church has bought into it and expects God to use the old ways. BUT look at what it has created: Higher education produces doubt, not faith! Slick gospel advertising on TV is turning so many people off. YOU ARE TO BE DIFFERENT ; TRANSFORMED! 3. BE TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND This is the other side of not being conformed to world, YOU ARE PART OF THE BODY, AND GOD WILL USE ANY PERSON, TOTALLY DEDICATED TO DOING HIS WILL!!! MORE POWERFULLY THAN THE MOST WORLDY QUALIFIED PERSON!!! We are called to be a new person, by thinking differently. "we have the mind of Christ" 1 Cor:2:16 (speaking of the spirit) " Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who , though he was in the form of God did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant...." Phil. 2:5-8 "Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.For you have died and your life is hid with Christ in God." Col.3: 2,3 (READ VS 5-17) Romans 12 goes on to say that by being of renewed mind we will "prove what the will of God is, what is good and acceptable and perfect." That means, you will carry out the will of God and prove it by being transformed by the renewal of your mind. YOU WILL LIVE AND PROVE WHAT PART OF THE BODY OF CHRIST YOU ARE. 4. THINK WITH SOBER JUDGEMENT " For by grace given me I bid every one of you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgement, according to the measure of faith God has assigned him." Romans 12:3 Danger: high thinking will be mistaken for the renewed mind. Danger: we'll feel obligated to achieve high goals we are not called to Danger: we'll reach without faith and be discouraged. The text says we will be able to: 1. Think soberly, calmly 2. to judge how we fit into the body. 3. Discover our faith work in it. ***************************************************************** EXAMPLE: Someone presents themselves to God totally. Then: WORRY! -'I FEAR I SHOULD BE A MISSIONARY? " - panic sets in! They say " but God I love working at the mill." I want to reach these people. I dislike everything about missionary work." WHAT HAPPENED? - they looked to the lofties ideal - too high - they didn't think soberly - panic - they didn't judge how they fit, worried - they didn't look for their faith. ***************************************************************** (Remember if you are a "hand" then its not that you are "like a a hand" or "become a hand" but rather ARE a hand NOW. Therefore: THREE THINGS ABOUT FINDING YOUR PLACE: 1. The part of the body you are will look basic (to you), not high. 2. The part you are will be very "right" to you inside. ! 3. The part you are will draw you and excite you spiritually, and well up in side your spirit. That's faith. TEST YOURSELF Have you presented yourself a living sacrifice, as God's own person ? Do you deliberately live as a sacrifice unto God. Putting off the things of the world and putting on the thngs of heaven? Will you by sober judgement take your place in the body as God shows you and enables you?

THE CHURCH - THE BODY OF CHRIST III

REVIEW 1st teaching - being the body

We are the body of Christ, not like the body. We were individually joined to His body by God's power. We are members one of another. What we do affects each other. No spectators, God's call to His body is a call on you.

REVIEW second teaching - finding your place.

1." Present your bodies a living sacrifice." "you are not your own, you were bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your bodies." This is the only true worship. 2." Do not be conformed to this world." (don't be pushed into its mold - body is not human creation.) 3. "Be transformed by the renewing of your minds." As the body of Christ "we have the mind of Christ". So we set our minds on things above. This way we prove what the will of God is. 4. "Think with sober judgement , according to the measure of faith." You are now part of the body, Soberly, faithfully you will function as the part you are! HOW THE MEMBERS FUNCTION CORPORATELY READ 1.COR.12:14-26 Like the human body, the body of Christ functions as the sum of its component parts. This means: 1. WE NEED EACH OTHER EXAMPLE : We can't live and grow apart from the body. A severed hand will die, though the body will live on handicapped. A severed heart will die and so will the body. You need the body of Christ to stay spiritually alive. The body of Christ needs you to be complete. The least presentable parts are the most necessary. (that doesn't fit the world's mold) EXAMPLE: you can live without beauty, speech, sight, limbs. You can't live without intestines, yet who would ever want to see them? SO - BE HUMBLE WITH EACH OTHER!! 2. OUR FUNCTIONS COMPLEMENT EACH OTHER God has assembled his people according to the combination of skills and gifts necessary to fulfill His call to his church. YOU ARE HERE BY GODS DESIGN.(unless you are being disobediant) GOD ASSEMBLES HIS BODY, NOT US. -"... Having gifts that differ according to His grace" Romans 12:6 -" To each one is given a manifestation of the Spirit for the common good." 1 Cor. 12:7 - " God has so composed the body..." 1 Cor.12:24 _ " God has appointed in the church..." 1 Cor 12:28 3. WE NEED TO RECOGNIZE AND CO-OPERATE WITH GODS PLAN Everything we experience is a conditioning process God allows so that we are equipped to serve Him.It is all from Him EXAMPLE: Some people experience affliction so that they "may confort those in affliction with the same confort which we ourselves are comforted by God" 1 Cor.1:4 As a Christian, even your personal lives are designed by God to equip you for the particular function you have in the body of Christ. PERSONAL EXAMPLE: the Holy Spirit told me before, during and after my 3 years in Bermuda that it was a time of preparation for me, as well as ministry for them. God fit it together. HOW THE MEMBERS FUNCTION INDIVIDUALLY " Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit, there are varieties of service, but the same Lord, there are varieties of workings (of power), but the same God who inspires them all in every one.To each is given the manifestation fo the Spirit for the common good." 1 Cor. 12:4-7 YOUR FUNCTION IN THE BODY OF CHRIST IS A COMBINATION OF: WHO YOU ARE + THE SUPERNATURAL GIFTS GOD GIVES YOU Simply put, God takes you, the person, (not including the old nature) and adds his own power to enable to take your place in the body of Christ. HOW GOD TAKES A PERSON Note how throughout the bible God takes a man or women and uses them. - He doesn't obliterate their personality. - He forgives their sin. - He calls them to serve Him. - He makes use of their skill. - He adds His power. Think about David. His devotion of heart was his own. His power in battle was Gods. His skill in music was his own. the inspiration was Gods. Think about Moses. He said "I can't speak to pharoe. God said "I made mouths!!" His humility was His own, His miracles were Gods. READ Exodus 35:30-36:2 IT WAS ALL GOD'S ANYWAY!!! Remember, God is working in your circumstances to equip us! This means a combination of: -your personality as sanctified by God. -your talents and skills -your experience -your love, your compassion. THE COMMON ERROR People who understand very well how God uses their talents don't understand God's power, and the necessary Baptism with the Holy Spirit. HOW GOD ADDS HIS GIFTS GIFTS means grace. We don't deserve it. It is simply given. These are supernatural powers that work through you to enable you to function in the body of Christ. TO RECEIVE IT WE ARE BAPTIZED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT -IMMERSED -SOAKED ' to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit..." 1 Cor 12:7 " Having gifts according to the grace given us.." Roman 12:6 God takes the person, you , and adds His annointing, or power. -He may inspire your speach - prophecy -He may give eagerness in your helping - faith -He may put insight in you encouragements - thats wisdom. -He may put miracles in you witnessing - -He put understanding in your administration - knowledge OH, why do we wait. God wants it done. He's ready to give it. Ask, he says. COMMON ERROR People who know God wants to pour out the Spirit often don't see How God uses our talents. In scripture it says "God working with them.." - "It seemed Good to the Holy Spirit and to us" - "Paul tried to go to Bythinia but the Spirit forbade him" WE NOTE HOW THIS WAS A COMBINATION OF THEIR OWN FAITHFUL EFFORTS AND ASKING THE POWER OF GOD TO FILL THEM. READ ACTS 4:29-32
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