Sunday Morning 6/23/2013

Posted by Sherry

I Need You
(1 Corinthians 12:12-27)
CBC 6/23/2013

I. Each Member Is Indispensable
A. Not all the same
B. But each is essential
II. Each Member Is Interdependent
A. Not all the same
B. But each relies on every other
III. Each Member Is Interconnected
A. Not all the same
B. But each part affects every other part

Cartoons, Lucy demands that Linus change the channel on the TV and then threatens him with her fist if he doesn’t.
“What makes you think you can walk right in here and take over?” asks Linus.
“These five fingers,” says Lucy. “Individually they’re noth-ing but when I curl them together like this into a single unit, they form a weapon that is terrible to behold.”
“Which channel do you want?” asks Linus.
Turning away, he looks at his fingers and says, “Why can’t you guys get organized like that?” (Bruce Shelley, What Is the Church, p. 38).

  • powerful illustration 
    • how the Church, the Body of Christ, is designed to work together. 
    • Remember, “Individually they’re nothing but when I curl them together like this into a single unit, they form a weapon that is terrible to behold.” 
    • It is when we come together. AS A CHURCH...
    • that we become an effective instrument for tearing down the strongholds of Satan 
    • and for communicating the love of the Savior. 
12 For just as the body is a unity and yet has many parts, and all the parts, though many, form [only] one body, so it is with Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
13 For by [[d]means of the personal agency of] one [Holy] Spirit we were all, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free, baptized [and [e]by baptism united together] into one body, and all made to drink of one [Holy] Spirit.
14 For the body does not consist of one limb or organ but of many.
15 If the foot should say, Because I am not the hand, I do not belong to the body, would it be therefore not [a part] of the body?
16 If the ear should say, Because I am not the eye, I do not belong to the body, would it be therefore not [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 has placed and arranged the limbs and organs in the body, each [particular one] of them, just as He wished and saw fit and with the best adaptation.
19 But if [the whole] were all a single organ, where would the body be?
20 And now there are [certainly] many limbs and organs, but a single body.
21 And the eye is not able to say to the hand, I have no need of you, nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
22 But instead, there is [absolute] necessity for the parts of the body that are considered the more weak.
23 And those [parts] of the body which we consider rather ignoble are [the very parts] which we invest with additional honor, and our unseemly parts and those unsuitable for exposure are treated with seemliness (modesty and decorum),
24 Which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so adjusted (mingled, harmonized, and subtly proportioned the parts of) the whole body, giving the greater honor and richer endowment to the inferior parts which lack [apparent importance],
25 So that there should be no division or discord or lack of adaptation [of the parts of the body to each other], but the members all alike should have a mutual interest in and care for one another.
26 And if one member suffers, all the parts [share] the suffering; if one member is honored, all the members [share in] the enjoyment of it.
27 Now you [collectively] are Christ’s body and [individually] you are members of it, each part severally and distinct [each with his own place and function].

  • Paul compares the Church to the human body. 
    • communicates the important truth of our need to accept our differences as individual members of the Body of Christ 
    • and to recognize these differences as vital to the proper functioning of the whole. 
    • Our differences are not to be accentuated, resulting in division. 
    • Rather, they are for the purpose of meeting the various needs that exist within the Church
    • —both locally and globally. 
    • There are many parts because there are many needs
    • And without the various parts, some needs would be neglected.

  • The point that Paul is trying to make can be summed up in this motto:  
    • I need you! 
    • Let me repeat it so there’s no mistaking it: 
    • I need you!

  • focus our attention on applying these words to our lives. 
  • three principles of body life within the Church 

Each Member Is Indispensable
  • While each member of the Body of Christ is not the same, 
    • each of us is essential to the whole.
    • analogy of the human body 
    • which is made up of many different parts 
    • to show us how the variety of parts-
      • eyes, 
      • hands, 
      • ears, 
      • nose
    • is essential to the whole-ness of the body. 
    • Each part must be present in order for the body to be complete.
    • If the human body was made up of only one part,
    • then it would cease to be a body
    • —by definition, a body is made up of many parts.
  • if it were possible for a body to be made up on only one part, 
    • it would it would be an extremely limited body
    • —it would miss out on all the functionality 
    • and potential of all the other parts. 
      • eyes to see, 
      • ears to hear, 
      • hands to touch, and 
      • noses to smell. 
      • various parts contribute to the whole in unique and significant ways that no other part can do.

  • So it is with the Body of Christ. 
    • God has made us all different and unique. 
    • He gifts us each in particular ways like no one else. 
    • We are each special and necessary. 
    • And we are to carry out the function for which we were created and gifted by God, 
      • whether it is for seeing, 
      • hearing, 
      • smelling, 
      • touching or 
      • whatever. 
      • “Each part…must be willing to perform its own function 
      • and not seek to function in a role for which it was not made” 
  • ILL: Mrs. Floyd Crook recalls, “I came home from school one day crying because I had been given only a small part in the children’s program, while my playmate got the leading role. After drying my tears, my mother took off her watch and put it in my hand. ‘What do you see?’ she asked. ‘A gold case, a face, and two hands,’ I replied. Opening the back, she repeated the question. I told her I saw many tiny wheels. ‘This watch would be useless,’ she said, ‘without every part—even the ones you can hardly see.’”
  • Not all of us will play the leading roles in the Church. 
    • Some have to be the supporting actors and actresses. 
    • But we all have a purpose and a place in the Church. 
    • Each of us is important and essential. 
    • In order for the Church to function properly, 
    • it must have a variety of parts that work together as a whole. 
    • Remember: I need you!

Each Member Is Interdependent
  • second principle
    • Every part of the Body of Christ relies on the proper functioning of every other part.
    • Without cooperative and corporate participation 
    • many (if not all) vital tasks would be impossible. 
    • example: speaking, 
    • Speech is possible only when my brain, nerves, tongue, jaws, lips, larynx, lungs, diaphragm, heart, veins, arteries, capillaries and parts unknown to me all work together for that specific purpose. 
    • What appears on the surface to be the work of only one part of the body is actually a very complex and precise cooperative act of many members of the body.
    • same is true of the Church. 
    • Each member is interdependent. 
    • Even the most menial functioning of that Body requires a coordinated effort between the various members. 
    • Kenneth Chafin, “All the pictures of the church are group pictures. The more mature we become in Christ, the more we realize that throughout our entire life we will continue to need each other” (1, 2 Corinthians, p. 157).

* ILL: In a certain mountain village in Europe several centuries ago, a nobleman wondered what legacy he should leave to the townspeople. At last he decided to build them a church.
No one saw the complete plans for the church until it was finished. When the people gathered, they marveled at its beauty and completeness. Then someone asked, “But where are the lamps? How will they be lighted?”
The nobleman pointed to some brackets in the walls. Then he gave each family a lamp that they were to bring with them each time they came to worship.
“Each time you are here the area where you are seated will be lighted,” the nobleman said. “Each time you are not here, that area will be dark. This is to remind you that whenever you fail to come to church, some part of God’s house will be dark” (Church Bulletin Bits).

  • God has placed you here in a strategic role! 
    • You are part of the successfulness and effectiveness of this church. 
    • Everyone else is depending on you to be here and carry out your function. 
    • when you fail to be here and/or carry out your function in this body...
    • the whole church suffers. 
    • So use your gifts to the glory of God and leave the results to him. 
    • Remember: I need you!

Each Member Is Interconnected
  • final principle 
    • whatever affects one member of the Body of Christ is felt by all of the members.
    • Most don’t give a lot of thought to our little pinkie toes 
    • But suppose you carelessly bump that pinkie toe into the leg of a chair. 
    • Let me assure you, 
    • it will become immediately evident that your pinkie toe does, in fact, exist. 
    • Every part of your body will join in its pain. 
    • The leg and foot that is not injured will begin to jump up and down. 
    • Your back will bend over in order to enable your arm and hand to ex-tend a soothing massage. 
    • All the members necessary for speech will join in and offer groans that words cannot express. 
    • No part of your body will go untouched by the injury to your pinkie toe. 
    • All will be affected. 
    • All will come to its aid  
    • That’s what Paul is saying in v. 26: If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. We are all related. There are ties between each of us that make us inseparable. 
    • Paul describes those ties in v. 13, For we were all baptized by one Spirit, into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 
    • We are interconnected.

  • When something happens to one member of our church body, 
    • whether it is good or bad, 
    • all of the other members of the body are to respond accordingly. 
    • we cannot be blind to what is happening in our church members life and 
    • to remain a vital part of this local body, 
    • we must do our part in seeing that we are in touch with all of the other members of this body. 
    • We have to know if they are hurting, and join them in their suffering. 
    • We have to know if they are rejoicing, and join them in their happiness.

  • One of the major diseases affecting the Body of Christ today 
    • spiritual leprosy. 
    • physical leprosy 
    • Webster’s “a germ disease causing gradual loss of feeling.”
    • they become numb to the conditions surrounding them. 
    • They can’t sense what is happening around them. 
    • One who has leprosy could cut himself/herself and never experience the sensation of pain. 
    • As a result, the wound receives no attention, 
    • infection sets in. 
    • If not treated in time, 
    • the infection could progress to gangrene and 
    • eventually destroy the whole body.

  • Body of Christ infected by spiritual leprosy. 
    • unable to sense what is occurring in the lives of the other members of the body.
    • One member may get injured. 
    • If that injury is not attended to, 
    • it will become progressively worse until that person is finally ruined. 
    • In time, it will destroy the entire body. 
    • We must beware that we do not become infected with this fatal disease.

  • We are interconnected to one another. 
    • We must share in the experiences of one another. 
    • Get to know the various parts. 
    • Don’t just spend all of your time with certain parts
    • —make yourself known to others. 
    • You take the first step; 
    • don’t wait until they come to you. 
    • And keep your eyes focused outward to the needs of others. 
    • Join others in their grief and joy. 
    • Remember: I need you!

  • Aesop. 
    • famous for his many fables that teach important moral lessons. 
    • Fable of the Belly.

“One day it occurred to the members of the body that they were doing all the work while the belly was having all the food. So they held a meeting (presumably without inviting the belly) and after a long discussion decided to strike work until the belly consented to take its proper shareof the work. So for a day or two the hands refused to take the food, the mouth refused to receive it and the teeth had no work to do. But after a day or two, the members began to find that they themselves were not in very active condition. The hands could hardly move, the mouth was all parched and dry, while the legs were unable to support the rest of the body. Thus they found that even the belly in its dull, quiet way was doing necessary work for the body and that all must work together or the body will go to pieces.”

Invitation: everyone stand up and turn to those around you—all around you—and look them in the eyes and say, “I need you!”


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