This week Pastor Chris preached through 1 Corinthians 12, sharing the apostle Paul’s message about the importance of each individual piece that makes up the united body of Christ. Like in a puzzle where all pieces join together to create a full picture, the church is not complete until we are each connected and unified. Are you committed and connected into what God is doing in the church? Chris encouraged us to understand what unique gifts we have been given to steward, and to intentionally connect into the body of Christ.
Romans 12:6 (ESV)
6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them…
One Diverse Body
1 Corinthians 12:12–13 (ESV)
12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
Ephesians 2:13–16 (ESV)
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.
Ephesians 2:19 (ESV)
19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
Fellow Citizens & Members of God’s House
• Jew and Gentile are reconciled in Christ.
• Sinners and God are reconciled in Christ.
• You and others are reconciled in Christ.
One Body, Many Parts
1 Corinthians 12:14 (ESV)
14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many.
Romans 12:4–5 (ESV)
4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
Ephesians 4:7, 12-13 (MSG)
7 But that doesn’t mean you should all look and speak and act the same. Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given his own gift. 12 to train Christ’s followers in skilled servant work, working within Christ’s body, the church, 13 until we’re all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God’s Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:15–18 (ESV)
15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.
The Early Church was…
Connecting into the Body
1 Corinthians 12:19–26 (ESV)
19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
Circles of Involvement
- What does real life flow from?
- What is the “one new man” described in Ephesians 2:14-16?
- Pastor Chris shared that the early church was unified, diverse, and interdependent. Does the church look like this today? Why or why not?
- Have you ever been disconnected in the body of Christ? What was the root of this disconnect? How did you make a change?
- What do you believe God is doing at City Central? What is your unique part to play in what He is doing? Are you actively involved, utilizing your gifts to push forward His purposes?
- Do you struggle with being independent? Do you need to become more connected into and committed to the body of Christ? Ask the Lord where He has designed you to serve and commit to do so within a specific ministry.
- Are you in a Life Group? If you’re not, commit to joining one this week, since this is a place where the body of Christ becomes more connected and interdependent.