ONE CHURCH – One Body
1 Corinthians 12:12-20 (p. 799) June 12, 2016
The human body is absolutely amazing! There’s an article on the web called, 100 very cool facts about the human body and they are cool…I won’t share all hundred, but here’s a few of those cool facts:
The brain operates on about the same power as a 10 watt light bulb, even when you’re asleep.
80% of your brain is water.
Nerve impulses to and from the brain travel as fast as 170 mph.
Every day we lose around 60-100 strands of hair.
Women’s hair is about half the diameter of men’s hair.
Fingernails grow 4 times faster than toenails.
The largest internal organ is the small intestine.
The human heart creates enough pressure to shoot blood 30 feet.
The acid in your stomach is strong enough to dissolve a razor blade (don’t attempt).
Your left lung is smaller than your right to make room for your heart (Unless you’re The Grinch).
Feet have 500,000 sweat glands that can produce a pint of sweat a day (awesome!)
A full bladder is the size of a softball (unless your kids on a car trip then it’s the size of a golfball).
Your nose can remember 50,000 different scents.
Your eyes are always the same size from birth, but your ears and nose never stop growing.
It takes 17 muscles to smile and 43 to frown.
Babies are born with 300 bones, but by adulthood it’s reduced to 206.
Humans are the only living beings to produce emotional tears.
Everyday our bodies produce 300 billion new cells.
As the Psalmist said, “We are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made!” (Ps. 139)
It’s this illustration that the Apostle Paul goes to when he writes about God’s plan for the Church… “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all it’s many parts from one body, so it is with Christ.” (1 Cor. 12:12)
I. BEING ONE IS GOD’S DESIGN
Do you remember Jesus’ prayer for His followers in John 17? Listen to how He even includes us in it:
JOHN 17:20-24 (p. 754)
Right after this prayer Jesus takes his disciples minus Judas into the garden. Where He will pray intimately to His Father. Where He will be arrested. It’s hard to imagine all that is on His heart and mind right before the cross…but we know without a doubt…We were.
“Father…make them one…as we are one.”
How in the world do you make Jews and Gentiles one? How do you make men and women one? How do you make introverts and extroverts one? How do you make zealots and tax collectors one? How can it be possible?
God’s Word says “For we were all baptized by one Spirit, so as to form one body. Whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free – and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.” (v. 13)
The truth of this bond is “the Holy Spirit does not work against Himself.”
He is the force God uses to convict the world (us) of sin (John 16:8) It’s what cut hearts in Acts 2 which led to repentance and baptism so believers could experience forgiveness of those sins…and the gift of this promised Holy Spirit…He calls…we answer in faith…or ignore Him. Jesus very clearly explained to Nicodemus: Unless we are born again by the Holy Spirit we cannot see or enter God’s Kingdom (John 3).
No, you cannot see Him…but God’s Word boldly proclaims:
ROMANS 8:5-9; 14-17 (p. 786)
If Jesus doesn’t return this week and God wills we will delve deeply into this subject next week…
But God designed His family to be led by the Holy Spirit…the Spirit of Jesus. There will be fruit in our “born again” attitudes that show our priorities…Kingdom priorities.
Jesus is the head of the body…It’s His Word…His thoughts…His plan and His attitude that should affect all our relationships and actions…The Holy Spirit makes those things known to the mouth, arms, legs, and hands and feet…so that the body functions as His Father designed it.
So, what happens when different body parts stop receiving messages from the Head.
II. THE BODY BECOMES PARALYZED AND INACTIVE
The Apostle Paul uses some pretty strong humor here in 1 Cor. 12…with some sarcasm as well.
He gives the ability to argue with each other to feet, hands, ears, eyes, noses and mouth, and pretends they revolt…there’s a mutiny. Hands are slapping other parts around, feet are running in different directions…ears are going “huh? huh? I can’t hear you!” Noses are telling everyone “You stink!” Mouths are saying “Listen to me you all…Listen up.” This mutiny exists because the different parts don’t think they need the other parts…Pretty ignorant, huh? But the glaring issue is…Hands, Feet, ears, and mouths don’t operate on their own…the impulses to move, speak, see and smell all come from the head.
In reality if different parts of the body start getting mixed signals or no signals at all there’s a disease or injury to the body…activity shuts down…the body is paralyzed. MS causes these issues. The spinal column being severed causes this…and the body begins to atrophy…life can continue…Positive things can be done…but it’s not what the body was meant for.
The same is true for the body of Christ. Christ is the head…He never, sends mixed signals through his holy Spirit…but if something blocks those signals..the body suffers…it doesn’t function as God designed it.
A couple of important truths to realize if you are paralyzed or inactive in your faith.
One amputated limbs don’t function anymore…“If you cut yourself off from the body there are consequences…we are to be branches connected to the vine and each other for the purpose of making disciples. (Jn. 15)
Two, the heart is more indispensable than the mouth. One you can see…the other you can’t (v. 18) says “God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as He wanted them to be.”
Each gift is different…each person here in the family of God at Gardenside is different, but you are not a member of the body of Christ with no purpose. The same Spirit which enables the mouth to speak God’s truth…enables the heart to love and serve…some of us will serve in places you can more readily see…It doesn’t make us better or more indispensable…maybe the opposite. The gifts of helping, guidance and healing…are listed with Apostles, teaching, preaching, and tongues in (1 Cor. 12:28) The body of Christ needs His heart so the mouth can speak…one is seen and heard, one isn’t…both are vital…so are you.
[There was a church in Watford England in the late 1990’s that encountered a spiritual problem. There was something powerfully missing in the worship…they had great and talented musicians, a great worship leader…but the Lead Minister came to him and said, “We’re struggling to worship…we’re missing it’s true meaning…we’re going to get rid of the musicians and the sound system for a while.
Some of the musicians left…Mike Pilavachi challenged his congregation… “When you come through the doors on Sunday morning what are you bringing as your offering to God.”
There was embarrassing silence…until finally gently people began to sing with just their voices. Eventually they brought back the sound system and musicians…After several months of seeking true worship.
Their worship leader said, “We gained a new perspective that worship is all about Jesus and He commands a response from the depth of our souls no matter what the circumstances and setting.”
It was at this time Matt Redmond, their worship leader wrote this song…one we will sing today:
When the music fades, all is stripped away, and I simply come.
Longing just to bring something that’s of worth that will bless your heart.
I’m coming back to the heart of worship, and it’s all about You, Jesus.]
One of our leaders was asked the other day…Do you think everyone will be happy about our worship time…I love his response…”It’s only important that One person is happy with our worship.”
Unless Jesus is at the heart of everything we do…and why we do it, it’s something else…Its entertainment…when you come through the doors of the Church building what are you bringing to God? And when you walk out of the doors this morning what are you bringing to God? This is your spiritual act of worship.
If we do this even when the body is hurting and injured God will take us to where we need to be.
[One of the most powerful memories of my one legged father happened at Gardenside Little League Park when I was about 10…At the end of the season we had a picnic…and a father versus son game. I was pitching for the “Budgeteers.” (We were sponsored by Budget Rental Cars) My dad came to bat…and all of you know good and well I wanted to strike him out…Dad had been an All-State Quarterback and tennis player at his High School, but with a prosthetic leg…he took up golf…I’m not sure what the count was, but I threw the pitch and Dad jacked it into left field and took off toward first…3 quarters of the way there the strap on his prosthetic leg snapped and he went down like a sack of potatoes…I then watched him crawl with everything he had to first.]
The church is filled with people…some are mature in their walk with Christ…some are not..we are all “sinners” saved by grace. Among whom I am the “most thankful” for grace…Getting to where God wants us to go isn’t easy…sometimes in the race something snaps and we go down. I pray for men and women who are like my Father…we’re going to get to first. We’re going where God wants to get us to.