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The Greatness of God’s Body, the Church
1 Corinthians 12:12-27
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - July 15, 2012
*How do you feel about your body?
-Denn Guptill says: “Most of us would rather not think about our bodies, and if we do we probably don’t think very complementary things.
It’s too fat or too skinny, too short or too tall, -- bumpy, lumpy or just plain ugly.
At least that’s the way we think about it.
So it’s kind of strange to hear Paul say that Christian, right now, you and all believers are Christ’s body.”
*The church is the Body of Christ, and we believers are all part of His Body.
-Understanding this truth can transform the way we look at ourselves, the way we look at one another, and the way we live.
*There are people all around us not going to church today.
And one of the main reasons why is because when they look at the church, all they see is the building and the flawed people like us.
*They need to see the church like God sees the church!
-We need to see the church like God sees the church.
-So let’s explore what God’s Word has to say about His church.
1. Christians: First, we see our placement in the Body of Christ.
*Listen very carefully to what Paul said in vs. 12&13:
For as the body is one and has many members (or parts), but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.
For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.
*These verses are not just symbolic language.
They reveal a mysterious, but literal, spiritual truth.
When we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we literally become a part of the spiritual body of Christ.
We are “baptized” or “submerged” into the Body of Jesus Christ.
The water baptism we go through is symbolic of the spiritual baptism that God performs on every believer.
Verse 13 tells us that the Holy Spirit does this work of placing us into the spiritual body of Jesus Christ.
From the moment we believe, we are literally in Christ.
*The phrases “in Christ,” “in Christ Jesus” or “in the Lord” are used this way almost 100 times in the New Testament.
So this truth is extremely important.
When you place your trust in Jesus, by His Holy Spirit, Jesus literally comes to live in your heart.
But at the same time, the Holy Spirit places you into the Body of Christ.
*Listen to a few of the verses that talk about believers being in Christ:
-Romans 8:1.
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are IN CHRIST JESUS, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
-Then in Romans 16:7, Paul said: “Greet Andronicus and Junia, my countrymen and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were IN CHRIST before me.”
-2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is IN CHRIST, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
-Ephesians 2:13 says, “But now IN CHRIST JESUS you who once were far off have been made near by the blood of Christ.”
-And Ephesians 2:6 tells us that God “raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places IN CHRIST JESUS.”
*Christians: In a way, we are already in Heaven, because, right now we are literally and spiritually IN the Body of Christ.
That is an amazing, miraculous place to be.
-Here God talks about our placement in the Body of Christ.
2. And He talks about our profit to the Body of Christ.
[1] God wants you to see your value in the Body of Christ.
*And the truth is that all of us have great value in the Lord’s church.
This fact helps us avoid the error of low self esteem.
That’s important, because a lot of people feel inferior due to their background, education, income, or looks.
*One of the things that always disturbed me about pop star Michael Jackson was the way he kept having surgery on his nose.
It was grotesque at the end.
Have you ever wondered why he kept having those plastic surgeries?
-- Kent Crockett tells the sad story that when Michael was a little boy, his abusive father constantly mocked him, saying he was ugly because his nose was too big.
*Maybe someone in your past has hurt you and made you feel worthless.
But God doesn’t want you to feel that way! Christian, God wants you to see your value in His Body.
This was Paul’s message to Christians in vs. 14-19.
*Listen to these verses from the New Living Translation:
14. Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part.
If the foot says, "I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand," that does not make it any less a part of the body.
And if the ear says, "I am not part of the body because I am only an ear and not an eye," would that make it any less a part of the body?
Suppose the whole body were an eye -- then how would you hear?
Or if your whole body were just one big ear, how could you smell anything?
But God made our bodies with many parts, and he has put each part just where he wants it.
What a strange thing a body would be if it had only one part!
*The point is that every part of the Body is significant.
God wants you to see your own value.
He wants you to know how important you are in the Body of Christ.
*Think about your physical body.
Nobody in their right mind would trade a finger for a thousand dollars.
Would you trade your arm for $100,000?
Would you trade your tongue for a million?
-- Of course not.
And these are just parts of the temporary body God gave us for this world, things we can really live without.
*Your real life, your soul, is worth more than all the riches of the world.
Think of the incredible value of your life.
Jesus wants you to know, and so in Matt 16:26, He asked this question: “What is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?
Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”
*Your life, your soul is worth more than every dime, every diamond and every drop of oil.
Your soul is priceless.
There is nothing worth more.
*On top of that, think of the incredible value God has put on your life.
God the Father values you so much that He was willing to send His only Son into the world to die on the cross for your sins.
That is why in 1 Peter 1:18-19, the Apostle tells believers that we should live our lives in Godly reverence, “Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
*Your life has incredible worth.
But you cannot find the ultimate value of your life, until you trust in Jesus and take your place in the Body of Christ.
-God wants you to see your value in His Body.
[2] But He also wants you to see the value of others.
*So listen to vs. 20-22, in the New Living Translation.
-- There Paul says:
Yes, there are many parts, but only one body.
The eye can never say to the hand, "I don't need you."
The head can't say to the feet, "I don't need you."
In fact, some of the parts that seem weakest and least important are really the most necessary.
*Every part in the Body of Christ has importance.
We all matter.
We all need each other!
Christian, never think you don’t matter in the Body of Christ, because we all have God-given value.
-So God talks about our profit to the Body of Christ.
He also talks about our purpose in the Body of Christ.
*We all have great purpose in the Lord’s Body.
And Paul shows us 3 major ways to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives:
[1] The first is Godly service.
*Jesus calls all believers to a life of Godly service.
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