The Body of Christ, Sermon 1/27/2019


Ps. 19:1-4 1 Cor. 12:12-26

One of the hymns, entitled “We are the Church” in 1 verse, “l am the church, you are the church! We are the church together, all who follow Jesus all around the world, Yes, we’re the church together! The church is not a building, the church is not a steeple, the church is not a resting place, the church is a people!”

The church is like a human body with various members.

Another meaning is that literally the church is the body of

Christ. The church is the contemporary incarnation of Christ.

According to the New Testament, I Corinthians 12: 12-26, apostle Paul compares the body of Christ to a human body. Each part has a specific function that is necessary to the body as a whole. The parts are different for a purpose and in their differences they must work together. Christians must avoid two common errors:

* being too proud of their abilities or

* thinking they have nothing to give to the body of believers. Instead of comparing ourselves to one another, we must use our different gifts together, to spread the Good News of salvation.

The church is composed of many types of people from a variety of backgrounds with a multitude of gifts and abilities. It is easy for these differences to divide people, as was the case in Corinth. But despite the differences, all believers have one thing in common- faith in Christ. On this essential truth the church finds unity. All believers are baptized by one Holy Spirit into one body of believers, the church. When a person becomes a Christian, the Holy Spirit takes up residence and he or she is born into God’s family. As members of God’s family, we may have different interests and gifts, but we have common goal to build up the church.

The Bible says, “Christ is like a single body, which had many parts; it is still one body, even though it is made up of different parts. In the same why, all of us, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether slaves or free, have been baptized into the one body by the same Spirit and we have all been given the one Spirit to drink. For the body itself is not made up of only one part, but of many parts” (1 Cor. 12:12-13).

The body consists of members-arms, hands, feet, eyes, ears, etc. Each member is a vital part of the body and is essential for the body to be complete and to unction adequately. Indeed, the body can exist without an eye, arm or leg, but it is handicapped. As a person can be physically handicapped by the loss of a member, so the church is handicapped by members not present or not doing their part. For the body to be healthy, every organ needs to do its part.

The Scripture says, “It was he who “gave gifts to mankind” he appointed some to be apostles, others to be prophets, others to be evangelists, others to be pastors and teachers. He did this to prepare all God’s people for the work of Christian service, in order to build up the body of Christ. And so we shall all come together to that oneness in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God; we shall become mature people, reaching to the very height of Christ’s full stature” (Ephesians 4:11-13).

The Holy Spirit has given each Christian special gifts for building up the church. Some of us can do one task, some can do another. Together we can obey him more fully than any of us could do alone. Together, as the body of Christ, we can do far more than we would ever dream possible.

The Bible says, “Be always humble, gentle, and patient. Show your love by being tolerant with one another. Do your best to preserve the unity which the Spirit gives by means of the peace that binds you together. There is one body and one Spirit just as there is one hope to which God has called you” (Eph. 4:2-4).

Unity does not just happen; we have to work at it. Often differences among people can lead to division, but this should not be true in the church. Instead of concentrating on what divides us, we should remember what unites us; one body, one Spirit, one future, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God!

Have you learned to appreciate people who are different from you? Can you see how their differing gifts and viewpoints can help the church as it does God’s work?

God has chosen us to be Christ’s representatives on earth. Apostle Paul challenges us to live worthy of the name “Christian” meaning Christ’s one. This includes being humble, gentle, patient, understanding and peaceful. People are watching our lives. Can they see Christ in our lives? How well are we doing as his representatives?

The Scripture says, “You are the people of God; he loved you and chose you for his own. So then, you must clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience” (Colossians 3:12).


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