The Body of Christ, Every Member is Important Part 2
Intro: If I asked you what your favorite sports team was, what would you say? Tell me not only the team, but why they are your favorite team.
There are some things every team has in common. Teams have coaches, they usually have captains and they have team members who know what their job is. Teams function together in order to perform at their best and win whatever the competition is. There are often star athletes on each team, but the real star athletes know they can’t win without the support and help of their fellow teammates.
I was working with a pastor a number of years ago who had a “song leader” who said, “You don’t pay me so you can’t tell me what to do.” At the very least, we can say that gentleman didn’t understand what it meant to be a part of a team.
Recently, I began a short series on what it means to be a part of the body of Christ. We began by saying that Jesus is the head of the body and is supposed to be the one giving direction to everything the body does. When the body doesn’t listen to the head, it doesn’t function well.
Today we are continuing on the subject of the body of Christ and want to make the point that every person who is a member of Christ’s body is important to the health and success of the body.
Paul talks extensively about the body in I Corinthians 12. Beginning at verse 12 he makes a couple of very important points:
There are many members in the body of Christ.
Vs. 12. Paul uses the analogy of the human body to teach us about the body of Christ, the church. The human body is made up of many parts, i.e. arms, legs, eyes, ears, fingers and toes, to name a few, but you still only have one body. He tells us that Christ is like that. Christ’s body, the church, is made up of many people and each person is a part of that one body.
Vs. 13. Here we are told how one becomes a part of the local body of Christ. When you came to faith in Christ, you were made to drink of the Holy Spirit and were born again. Regardless of who you are ethnically, racially, and socially you are a part of Christ’s body when you follow the Lord Jesus in baptism.
NAS Acts 8:36 And as they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?” 37 And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” 38 And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch; and he baptized him.
NAS Acts 16:30 and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, you and your household.” 32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house. 33 And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household.
Faith in Christ precedes baptism, but baptism is a means of publicly identifying oneself as a follower of Jesus and is a requirement to becoming a member of the local body of Christ.
Every member is important to the Body of Christ.
I’m sure that all of us have had some minor injuries that sent pain throughout the body. How many of you have smashed a finger with a hammer or gotten a finger slammed in a car door? Your whole body experienced that pain didn’t it? A tooth is a relatively small part of the body, but having a tooth ache can make life miserable and most of us would rather not have to have a cavity filled or a tooth pulled without some anesthetic.
Listen to what the Bible says:
- We all need to be a part of a body. Vs. 14-17, 21
Last Easter we had a couple of guys come to our Sunrise service on their motorcycles. They seemed like nice guys and professed to be Christians. I don’t doubt that they were. However, in conversation they both told me their motorcycles were their churches. I have to say that is a misunderstanding of what a church is. A church is a body with many members and every member needs the rest of the body to function properly.
- God decides how each of us should function in the body. Vs. 18-20.
I was looking at a website recently (Nov. 2017) to see a list of the best players for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Let me just name 3 who were on the list: Randy Johnson, Pitcher; Luis Gonzales, Left Fielder; and Curt Schilling, Pitcher. Here’s something all of those men have in common: when they showed up for a game, they didn’t have to ask the coach what they were supposed to do that day. They were supposed to play their position to the best of their abilities and they were supposed to help the team win the game.
God is the one who gives us gifts and abilities. God places each person in the body of Christ as it pleases him and he is the one who uses us for his glory and the accomplishing of his mission.
- We should take care of one another. Vs. 25-26.
If we neglect our teeth, we will end up suffering. If we neglect our heart health, we will end up suffering. We must care for one another. Every member, regardless of age, regardless of social status, regardless of gender, etc. is important and deserves to be cared for by the other members of the body of Christ.
Conclusion: I want you to understand that every person who is a member of a local church is important and can have an important part in the church’s ministry. Some will question that because they can’t do as much as they once did or much of anything at all. Some will say, “I don’t have any talents to be used in the church.”
You may have heard of Charles Hadden Spurgeon, known as the Prince of Preachers since his ministry in England in the 19th Century. You may not have heard of his wife, though. Susannah Spurgeon was a follower of Christ who suffered from some debilitating illness much of her adult life. This unknown illness left her bedridden from many years, but did not keep her from serving the Lord.
One of the ministries she is best known for was providing books for poor ministers all across England. When Charles had the first volume of his work “Lectures to My Students” published, Susannah began a fund to get that book into the hands of ministers across England who could not afford books to help them grow in the ministry. This is a ministry that she led the rest of her life. In addition to that she raised her twin sons who became faithful followers of Christ and wrote several books of her own.
Susannah Spurgeon could have laid back in her sick bed and complained about her lot in life, but she chose instead to use her time helping others.
Every follower of Christ has a contribution to make to the body of Christ.
What can you do? What is God calling you to do?
©Copyright Rik Danielsen 2017
For personal use only. If you want to use any or all of this material for group Bible Study or Sermons, please give credit where credit is due. No part of this material may be republished either in print or electronically without the written permission of Dr. Rik Danielsen. firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Body of Christ, Every Member is Important Part 2