We're not all the same body part.
Now as much as I say that and you go, well, yeah, yeah, duh. But you look around expecting people to be just like you. You are uniquely gifted. There's nobody else in this room like you. When you look at your spouse expecting her or him to be just like you, you know what, it's not going to go well.
They're different. But see, we're all members of the body and we fit together. Turn with me to Romans chapter 12. Last week we went through verse one and two. Now we only got through two verses last week, but I kind of think we all left here with plenty to do, plenty to apply, plenty to begin to walk in. So we're going to pick it up with verse three. Romans chapter 12 verse three says, For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
So this verse is saying, think realistically. And it's kind of interesting as a believer because, you know, we're made righteous by the grace of God. And so we stand righteous and yet we still have this sin nature. So it's the balance of understanding that according to the Bible, if you've asked Jesus to forgive you of your sins, you are heirs of Christ.
That's incredible. And yet we're still saved by grace. So you can't really get prideful. Well, you can, but you shouldn't get prideful about what God has done or what God is doing in your life. Now, think honestly of yourself is another way to put this, not more highly than you ought to think. And let's understand, we're all tempted to read this verse and go, yeah, this is the other guy's problem.
You know, my wife struggles with this, you know, my husband struggles with this, this kind of thing. Gang, let's let's make personal application today. Let's not make application for the person beside you, behind you or front of you. It says we need to think honestly about ourselves. Now, the cool thing is the Christian life is really an awesome life of balance because it mentions grace and thinking of yourself honestly.
Do you understand? And the Bible makes this incredible claim. It says that all things work together for those who love the Lord and are called according to your purpose. No, that's not what that verse in Romans eight says. It says according to his purpose, according to his purpose. So what happens? Sometimes you're on a spiritual high, if you will, a mountaintop.
Things are going great. And when you're at that point, it's good to remember that you're at that point because God has brought you to that point. That's what God is doing inside of you. That's not something you accomplish because the moment you get on that spiritual mountaintop and you look around and you say, look what I've done, you're getting ready to slide down that same mountain you just climbed up. You say, well, Pastor David, how can all things, I mean, I understand some things and maybe even most things, but how can all things work together? Because sometimes we struggle, sometimes we fall, sometimes we fail. How can that be used for his purposes?
Well, the simple answer is I don't know how it is, but I do know it is. I do know that in the falls that we take that we see a clearer picture of the grace of God. And I don't know about you, but it seems like any time I'm getting kind of spiritually uppity that I slip or I make a mistake. And then all of a sudden I'm going, wow, it's all about the grace of God. And the wonderment of the Bible is God takes the mistakes of people. If you look at Moses, Moses wandered around the desert. He got basically kicked out of Egypt before he came back to be the deliverer. How did God use that time when he was accused as a murderer?
Well, if you remember, Moses led Israel through the desert, the same desert he'd been hanging out in for years. We obviously see Peter and what happened in Peter after the denial. When he came back, he was a different man. Here's the life lesson. We can gain insight into God's grace when we fall, and we can gain insight into God's strength when we stand. And so it's the balance of God's grace and God's strength in our life. And when we begin to understand that balance, when you're doing great, you can be thankful for God's strength. When you're getting hammered, you can be thankful for God's grace. And we need to maintain the balance of who we are in the Lord.
This chapter is going to be talking about giftings and whatnot. And part of that is Paul saying, hey, think of yourself realistically. We tend to see things with tunnel vision, if you will. We see them as we see them. And we begin to think that everybody else needs to be just like we are. We think everybody should eat like we eat. If you eat poorly, then you look at people that eat healthy and you go, oh, a bunch of health nuts. If you eat healthy, you look at people that eat poorly and go, oh, they shouldn't eat like that.
You know? And so we tend to look at things as we are and think everybody else needs to be like us. The world would be a real mess, wouldn't it? I don't want to pastor a church of David McGee's.
That would just, to me, be a nightmare. You know, I'd be up here teaching and then, excuse me, in the Hebrew, that word actually, yeah, I mean, it just. So we need to be grateful for one another's gifts. And we tend to look at other people's gifts and diminish them.
And we tend to look at our gifts and think they're better or more valuable to the kingdom of God. There's an old joke, old musician joke. You know how many guitar players it takes to change a light bulb?
Fifty-one. One to actually change it and 50 to stand around and go, well, I can do that. There's a lot of truth in that in Christianity and in the church itself. A lot of people come to church and go, well, I can do that. Well, they need to do this. Well, time out, you're they.
You're part of they. Let's look at this in the New Living Translation. As God's messenger, I give each of you this warning. Be honest in your estimate of yourselves, measuring your value by how much faith God has given you. So according to your faith, you look at your faith or what God has done through you. Always remember it is God doing it through you and giving him the glory. There's another in First Timothy, chapter three, there's a warning from Paul. It says the pastor must not be a new Christian because he might be proud of being chosen so soon. And pride comes before a fall and Satan's downfall is an example. So there's things in the Bible that says, hey, be careful about the way you look at yourself. And I can identify with this verse. But really in ministry, boy, I just I thought I was God's gift to evangelism and the ministry. And, you know, as I've grown and matured in the Lord, I'm amazed that God still desires to work through me and to use me. First Corinthians four seven says, For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive?
Now, if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? Paul points out here, you don't have anything that you've not been given. That's a very humbling thing to think about.
Again, this balance thing. You are unique. OK. And at the same time, we look at this and say, OK, but who made you unique?
Well, God did. And that term, I'm a self-made man. What do you mean you're a self-made man? What, you like were in your mother's womb putting your arms and your legs together? Well, is that what is that how you were born? That's an amazing story.
I'd love to hear more about it. No, there's no such thing as a self-made man. Now, understand the term. Sometimes we if somebody gets ahead in business or does well, we are self-made men.
But wait a minute. They're using the brains that God gave them. They're using the ambition and possibly the drive that God gifted them with. So they've been given those things. God anoints us or gives us these giftings.
And it's according to his anointing. Now, God has anointed me to do something that I'm just still every day I'm amazed at. And yet I'm reminded that I was born a deaf man.
I'm reminded that, you know, man, when when I've tried to grab the steering wheel and dread my life, it's been a tragedy. You know, and to see what the Lord is doing in this place. And, you know, I'm a musician, which is kind of interesting because typically people don't take musicians seriously.
Occasionally it's kind of interesting. We'll play worship and I'll come out here to teach. And so I actually hear somebody say, that's the pastor?
Yeah, well, through some cosmic joke of God on the whole community here. Yeah, I guess I am. I wasn't born a pastor, but God evidently has gifted me to be a pastor. And so, you know, I take what I do very seriously, but I'm really not very impressed with myself. I take the mission very seriously to reach people, to see people come to the Lord. But, you know, I'm honest about who I am and especially how weak I am without the Lord.
And everything that I offer here is something I've already been given. You know, I offer salvation to people. I've been given salvation. You know, I teach the Word. I've been given the Word.
And if God has anointed me or gifted me to teach the Word, that's His doing in me and through me, not of my own doing. We're providing food and shelter in our communities to those struggling with these issues. And we need your help. Not only are we providing food and shelter, we're sharing Jesus with them, teaching them the Bible and discipleship, helping them with job skills. The needs are overwhelming. But if we all do something, if you do something, we can help so many.
The Bible said we're to be doers of the Word, not just hearers. And Jesus said, what you've done to the least of these, you've done for me. Please help us reach these people in our nation and our communities who are dying every day without our help. Please commit to give monthly or a one-time gift to The Bridge House by going to our website at crossthebridge.com. That's crossthebridge.com. Or call on 877-458-5508.
That's 877-458-5508. And together, we can change the world. Now let's return to David McGee's verse-by-verse teaching in the book of Romans. Let's look at verse four.
For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function. Now this makes sense. And I've been talking lately about the Bible is the best commentary on the Bible. So here's what I want to do. Right now, put your finger in Romans chapter 12 and kind of mark that. The next book towards the back is Corinthians, another book that Paul wrote. Let's go to 1 Corinthians chapter 12.
And I'm going to just try to read through here. 1 Corinthians 12 is talking about the same analogy, which when you see something several times in the Scripture, makes it even more important. And early in the church, Paul is trying to paint the picture that not everybody is supposed to be doing the exact same thing.
So 1 Corinthians 12, really you could probably read the whole chapter later, but we'll pick it up in verse 12. It says, For as the body is one and has many members, 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 all have been made to drink into one spirit. For in fact the body is not one member, but many. And the foot should say, Because I'm not a hand, I am not of the body. Is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, Because I'm not an eye, I am not of the body, is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were not, where would be the hearing?
The whole were hearing, then where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them in the body, just as he pleased, and if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now indeed there are many members, yet one body, and 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. No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, needs we bestow greater honor.
And our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body or division, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it, or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
Now you are the body of Christ and members individually. And God has appointed these in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles and gifts of healings, helps, administrations, variety of tongues. Are all apostles, are all prophets, are all teachers, are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the best gifts, and yet I show you a more excellent way. Now Paul goes into 1 Corinthians 13, we're not going to read that this morning, and then goes right into 1 Corinthians 14 that talks about spiritual gifts and whatnot. But let's go back to Romans chapter 12. It's just illumination on verse 4.
And it paints the picture, and it's such a great picture. I mean, what if we were all noses, and what would we be? We'd be nosy, wouldn't we? What if we were, you know, on Sunday morning, Thursday nights, I'm kind of the mouth here.
You've probably noticed that. I'm the mouth of the body of Christ up here, yakking, yakking, yakking. But what if we were all mouths?
That wouldn't make sense, would it? We'd be what? We'd be mouthy. So, you know, if we all came in here, and we all started talking, that would be crazy. What if we were all ears? Then we'd be what?
We'd be eerie. We're not all the same body part. Now, as much as I say that, and you go, well, yeah, yeah, duh. But you look around expecting people to be just like you. You are uniquely gifted. There's nobody else in this room like you. When you look at your spouse expecting her or him to be just like you, you know what?
It's not gonna go well. They're different. But see, we're all members of the body, and we fit together.
New Living translation of this is, just as our bodies have many parts, and each part has a special function. There are people that are really gifted listeners. I'm not one of them, just to be honest. I mean, I have to really, I have to really focus to listen. You know, I did, at one time, did all the counseling here, and then as the church grew, praise God, other pastors were raised up, and we've got some guys here that are really gifted at listening. When I'm listening, I have to really focus. I don't know how many of you share this, but you know, I mean, I have to like, oh, I'm most focused, you know? And especially if somebody talks about, they begin talking about something that doesn't really click with me, you know?
I mean, I've got the attention of a three-year-old. You know, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da. Oh, oh, sorry, sorry, sorry, listening, listening, listening. So we've got other people that do counseling. Praise God. Why?
Because they're gifted listeners. See how the body fits together? Now, the body is made weaker if it's missing some of its parts. And Paul, again, in this analogy of the body, Ephesians 4, important verses for us to hear. Ephesians 4, 11 and 12 says, He, capital H, talking about God, He is the one who gave these gifts to the church, the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists and the pastors and the teachers. Now, before we go to verse 12, let's understand, and at one time this was my perception of church as well. Church, you know, you go to church and there's some people that are like, they're paid to be there and they do the stuff and pretty much they're responsible for doing everything and, you know, they shouldn't ever ask, you know, the people who go there shouldn't ever ask them to do anything and they're like, whatever, they're like professional Christians, they're paid to be Christians, they're paid to be at the church and, you know, you're supposed to. That is an unbiblical model.
That is an unbiblical mindset according to this next verse, verse 12. It says, their responsibility, who's responsibility? The apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors, the teachers.
Their responsibility is to equip God's people to do His work and build up the church, the body of Christ. So what I'm supposed to do is come in here as a pastor teacher and perhaps as an evangelist and equip you guys to do the work of the ministry. Well, I'm not actually in the ministry.
Oh, yes, you are. The moment you said yes to Jesus, guess what happened? You went into the ministry. Now maybe you're going, well, I'm not ordained and I'm not in full time.
No, no, no, no, no, no. Ministry is serving. It's serving God and every one of us who are called to be saved are called to serve. We get into this, well, some are called. No, all are called, some listen. Some are called to do different things. You're not called to do exactly what I'm called. I'm not called to do exactly what you're called to do, but we balance each other out. Next life lesson here is we all play a different part in the body of Christ.
We all play a different part in the body of Christ and we have to respect the different parts. What happens in a body when one part or a group of cells begins to emphasize itself, begins to feed itself, doesn't care what else is going on in the body. It's all about itself.
It's something that we call cancer and it will kill the body if left unchecked. This cancer of only considering ourselves will kill the body of Christ. I'm reading one thing, something now that's kind of interesting and part of what it talks about is the fact that, you know, when we're born, we're all dependent. I think we recognize that.
It's not like you came out of the womb and you, you know, had your license and were ready to drive a car and work or something. So you're dependent as a child and then you learn to be independent and we place a high value on independence here and I understand that in this nation and that is important. We're independent from other nations and whatnot, but that is not where you achieve your greatest significance and contribute your greatest gifts. Your greatest significance and gifts are contributed when you're interdependent with the community because what can a foot do by itself? Well, not much.
What can a mouth do by itself? Not much. I expound the word and then like the media team expands the work. In other words, they take what I'm saying, they film it, they put it on television, they put it on radio, they put it on the internet and all that. Those aren't things I'm doing. I'm simply up here doing one part. But as we join together, it's incredible what we see the Lord doing. If you think about it in an artist, we think, one artist, he's kind of independent.
No, he's not. Where did he get the canvas? He make the canvas? No, he bought the canvas. Where did he get the paint? Somebody else make the paint. He's dependent upon the canvas and the paint and then if he's, you know, if he's going to make a living at it, guess what? He's dependent upon a gallery to show his work.
Artist is not independent. So why do we think that we don't need that? Why do we take pleasure in saying things, well, I don't need anybody? You don't need anybody?
I need people. I mean, even if I wasn't in the ministry, I didn't, you know, I garden, I grow some of my food. I don't want to be killing chickens and cows and stuff. I just, I've got no desire to do it.
If I had to do it, to be honest, I would probably, I'd probably go vegetarian. Well, at least for a little while. You know? So the ultimate height is not why I'm independent and don't need anybody.
No, no, no, no, no. The height of spirituality is to admit that you do need people and that you do need the Lord. And what happens if we don't play our role in the body? It's not good, friend.
We're uniquely gifted, each and every one of us, and as we contribute, incredible things happen. But what happens, and it seems to happen more as you get older somehow, but, you know, sometimes I'm reading and I'm sitting in a chair for a length of time, and then, you know, like my leg or something goes completely numb. It falls asleep. And then, you know, I go to get up, and then you feel weird, you know, because, you know, especially, you know, I got to walk down the hall and my leg's asleep, so I got two choices. I can stand there until my leg wakes up, or I can go ahead, you know, and I start down the hall, and I'm like, you know, and somebody will go, what's wrong with your leg? Nothing, it's nothing, it's asleep, it'll be all right, you know. That's okay for a little while, but that leg needs to return to be fully functioning in order for me to function.
Guess what? The body of Christ needs you to be fully functioning. And understand people falling asleep every now and again. Or maybe you've been in a tough spot and you need people to minister to you and to pour into you. Praise God, we're here for you. But the goal is for you to become a functioning part of the body of Christ. Let's look at verse five.
It says, so we being many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. See, you have different gifts than I have. I have different gifts than you do. There are things that you do better than I could ever do.
There are things that God has gifted me, that are better than you'll ever do. But as we join together, there's this powerful thing that happens, because no one does everything better than everybody else. No one.
Not one person. And if you think that you do, you're going to be very frustrated, because whenever you see somebody doing well or excelling, you're not going to be happy for them. Why? Because you think you can do that better. You're going to be frustrated, you're going to be jealous, you're going to be envious of any success that anyone ever has, and not going to be a healthy part of the body. But here's what happens.
That sleeping leg thing. If you don't pour out your gifts in a body, whether it's this body, this church, or another church, then you're missing out, and people are missing out. So you have to make a decision to be committed. Oftentimes in the scripture, we're given a military analogy that we're supposed to fight, that we're supposed to serve, that we're a soldier and whatnot. Can you imagine going out to a battlefield and seeing a soldier and going, Hey, soldier, how you doing?
I'm doing good. Hey, well, what platoon are you fighting with? Well, I'm not really with a platoon. What do you mean you're not with a platoon?
I'm kind of doing my own thing. Yeah, I mean, I go from one platoon to another. How do you fight? Well, I just kind of fight when I feel like it. Well, I mean, how do you know when the battle's going on? Well, I just kind of feel internally when the battle's going on. You would know that you were dealing with somebody that wasn't all there, because that's not what soldiers do.
Soldiers serve alongside one another, or it's a very weak and frail effort. Friend, do you know for sure that your sins have been forgiven? You can know right now. I want to lead you in a short, simple prayer, simply telling God you're sorry and asking Him to help you to live for Him. Please pray this prayer with me out loud right now. Dear Jesus, I believe you died for me that I could be forgiven, and I believe you were raised from the dead that I could have a new life, and I've done wrong things. I have sinned, and I'm sorry. Please forgive me of all those things.
Please give me the power to live for you all of my days. In Jesus' name, amen. Friend, if you prayed that prayer according to the Bible, you've been forgiven. You've been born again. So congratulations, friend.
You just made the greatest decision that you will ever make. God bless you. If this was your first time praying that prayer with Pastor David, we would love to hear from you. You can call us toll free at 877-458-5508 to receive our First Steps package with helpful resources to help you begin your walk with Jesus. Also, if you have been blessed by the ministry of Cross the Bridge and David McGee, would you consider supporting us with a financial gift? This month, when you give to Cross the Bridge, we will send David's powerful booklet on biblical fatherhood, entitled, A Father's Blessing. The number to call is 877-458-5508.
That's 877-458-5508. Or go online to crossthebridge.com. While you're there, make sure to sign up for David's email devotional and begin receiving daily inspiration in your inbox. That website again is crossthebridge.com. Thanks for listening today. We pray you will join us next time as we cross the bridge.
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