You Ole Tater-Head
You Ole Tater-Head
1 Corinthians 12:4-7, 12-27, 13: 1-3
- Good morning church! Let me remind you of our study on Wednesday nights at 6:30pm. God’s Amazing Grace through the eyes of Paul in the book of Romans.
- Let’s open with a word of prayer.
- Did you know that the church is called the body of Christ?
- Well, it is and I was trying to figure out how I could show you a visual of that and talk to you this morning about the body of Christ.
- The best way I can show that is with a Mr. Potato Head. If you will notice on the screen the picture of the way Mr. Potato Head and the way he is supposed to look.
- Now if you will imagine with me a few scenarios in the church about the ways that we come up with our leadership (by the way I have experienced these personally but the names have been changed to protect the innocent):
- Personnel Search committee – hurry up and get done move: “well we really haven’t looked at a whole lot of resumes or talked to our director of missions, but I have heard some good things about Billy Bob and he seems like a pretty good guy”.
- Nominating committee – outreach to our estranged members move: “well you know ole Susie has not been here in a while. I bet if we put her on the finance committee she would start coming back. You know she was good in accounting back in high school.
- Committee on committee – whose left on the board move: “ok John said he would not be on the building committee or the nursery committee but we have got to plug him in somewhere – he is such a great guy”
- Deacon search committee – hey that guy there is here a lot & I don’t think he is divorced move: “Have you noticed Bob, he seems to be here all the time, I bet he would make a good deacon”
- Deacon Chairman – last guy that stutters or is not here is the new chairman move: “ I nominate Joe – nope my work is crazy, Ok how about Stan – well you know my health is bad, what about Jeff – let me pray about – OK YOUR IT.
Point 1 “Unity with Diversity”
Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. (KJV 1 Cor 12.4-7)
Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are different ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are different activities, but the same God is active in everyone and everything. 7 A manifestation of the Spirit is given to each person to produce what is beneficial: (HCS 1 Cor 12.4-7)
A Spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church.
(Life Application Study Bible 1 Cor 12.7)
- The first thing we need to understand here is that Paul is talking about a local congregation (ekklesia) and not the universal church of Christ.
- Paul compares the diversity / unity of each member to the body by pointing out the diversity / unity of the Holy Trinity (Notice Spirit v 4, Lord v 5, and God v 6)
- Within each local body God provides the Spiritual Gifts necessary to accomplish His work that He has for that body.
- Note that everyone has a gift – if you are believer in Christ you have at least one gift and are placed specifically in the body. If you are here and a member it is because God led you here in order to use your gift to “profit withal” or to edify the body.
- Do you know what we say about our physical bodies when one of our members does not work correctly? We say that they body is handicapped. In the same way, if you are a member of this or any other congregation and you are refusing to use the gifts that God has given you – then you have personally handicapped the body of Christ.
- I hope that statement challenges you but don’t get to proud of your little self because you see the scriptures are quick to show us that there is always a “Joshua” that can be raised up to replace you.
- We do it all the time with our physical bodies. Susan’s mom’s knees were worn out and she could no longer walk, guess what they did? They cut those bad boys out and hammered in some new ones.
- Don’t you sit on the sidelines and refuse to do your part and then think you are holding your church hostage. My friend God wants to use you in a mighty powerful way but if you are stubborn or unwilling just get ready. The church was here before you got here and she will be here long after you are gone. You didn’t build her and you can’t destroy her. She is the bride of Christ and scripture says that Jesus is coming back for her. Oh God wants to use you, He even made you perfect to be a part of this body, but He can do it without you.
Point 2 “Know Your Part”
For as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many, are one body—so also is Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. 14 So the body is not one part but many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I’m not a hand, I don’t belong to the body,” in spite of this it still belongs to the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I’m not an eye, I don’t belong to the body,” in spite of this it still belongs to the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But now God has placed the parts, each one of them, in the body just as He wanted. 19 And if they were all the same part, where would the body be? 20 Now there are many parts, yet one body.
21 So the eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” nor again the head to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, all the more, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those parts of the body that we think to be less honorable, we clothe these with greater honor, and our unpresentable parts have a better presentation. 24 But our presentable parts have no need ⌊of clothing⌋. Instead, God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the less honorable, 25 so that there would be no division in the body, but that the members would have the same concern for each other. 26 So if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and individual members of it. (HCS 1 Cor 12. 12-27)
- Aren’t our physical bodies an amazing thing? If you have ever taken a biology class or an anatomy class then you are just in awe of this work of art we call our bodies. David was so amazed with his body that he cried out to God and said “you knit me together in my mothers womb, I am fearfully and wonderfully made”.
- Now you know if God is so concerned with a physical body that is only going to last 80-90 years then how much more care has God put into building the church, the body of Christ?
- Look back at v 18. Paul wants us to see the sheer majesty and glory of being placed into the body of Christ. We should not complain because we can’t sing like Michael Jackson or play the piano like Bubba Spain. We should be thankful for the position that God has given us in His work for His Kingdom.
- Let me illustrate it like this - I heard a man speaking one time that talked about his mom and dad who had served in the church all their life. The mom was singer and a piano player. Every Sunday people would come up and tell her how marvelous she played or how she touched their heart with a song. The dad on the other hand was a real nerd. Mr. pocket protector, who carried around a little circuit tester in his shirt and he would go around every Sunday and check the electrical outlets and would also make sure that there was toilet paper and paper towels in the restroom. This man quoted that no one ever told his dad thanks for his service to the church but if you have ever run out of toilet paper or paper towels – then you know what a blessing they can be. A seemingly lesser gift but yet just as important to the body.
- What is your gift that God has given you? Are you a teacher – then teach. Are you a helper – then help. Are you a lover of babies – then wipe those hinnies with pride. Whatever God has equipped you to do – do it for His glory – not the praise of man.
- You will only be able to fully use your spiritual gifts in the church and you will only find your true calling / purpose as you allow God to use you in the church.
- Note that when the members “know their part” and function in unity will the whole body be in harmony and be able to care for / minister to the body. (v 25 & 26)
Point 3 “Love is the Key”
But desire the greater gifts. And I will show you an even better way.
13:1 If I speak the languages of men and of angels, but do not have love,
I am a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have ⌊the gift of⌋ prophecy,
and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so that I can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I donate all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but do not have love, I gain nothing. (1 cor 12.31-13:4)
- What is the key to all our spiritual gifts and how we should use them in the church? It is love. Paul understood the words of Jesus who said “the world will know that you are my disciples by the love you have one for another”
- It is love that penetrates the heart, it is love that causes men to melt, it is love that our souls most desire, we were created in the image of God and God is what? LOVE.
- For God so Loved that He gave His Son, It is because of Love that Jesus died on the cross, and personally it because of my love for you that I stand here this morning. I never asked Richard or Mike how much I was getting paid for this gig. I just came because I wanted to use my spiritual gifts to love on my home church for a little while.
- HoneyRun is here this morning to share their gifts with you to love on you and give glory to God. No one ever asked me how much are we getting paid? They just wanted to come and serve.
- All over the building this morning there are people that have shared their gifts with us because they love God and they love this church and they love you.
- Paul understood when love is the motivation you will know and do your part, there will be unity, and ultimately that is all that will matter in the end.
- Read 1 Cor 13.13 Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.
- Paul says hey – when Jesus comes back there will be no need for the spiritual gifts of apostles, prophets, teachers, healing, or speaking in tongues. In heaven you don’t want to hear me talk about Jesus when you can talk to Jesus, you won’t want me to prophesy when you can go to the Alpha & Omega.
Conclusion “The Body of Christ”
- The Church is the body of Christ made up of members that are necessary and important. We should have diversity but walk in unity, we should each do our part, and we should have love as our main motivation.
- We stand as an earthly representation of Jesus Himself. Sometime go back and look at all the spiritual gifts and realize that Jesus has them all. He could teach, do miracles, prophesy, He could do it all. We are just the parts that are put together to form the body so that a lost and dieing world can still see Jesus.
- Are you here this morning and saying I don’t have a clue what you are talking about? Well, that probably means you have never accepted Jesus as savior & lord. Until you do that you are not part of the body. You can get that settled this morning just come down and talk to Mike or myself and we can share with you how to start a walk with Jesus.
- Are you here this morning saying I know I am a Christian but I have just been a spectator at this church? You need to get busy using the gifts God has given you. How about making that decision public? There is something about step out that will help you step up.
- There may be other decisions that you need to make this morning but whatever that is will you give Mike or myself the privilege of talking with you.