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!
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"
-" 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"
- "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
"For by one Spirit we were baptized into one body"
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
But it is the Holy Spirit who makes you part of the Body
"For by one Spirit we were baptized into one body" 1
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
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.
-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
"...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"
-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
- 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
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
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
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.
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
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.
Have you presented yourself a living sacrifice, as God's own
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
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
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
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 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
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
" 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.
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
TOTAL CHANGE CHRISTIAN MINISTRIES - TERRY SOMERVILLE
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