There's no such thing as a part of the body that is worthless or useless. There's no vestigial organs in the body of Christ, no useless organs. If the foot should say, well because I'm not a hand, I'm not of the body, is it therefore not of the body? 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 an eye, where would be the hearing? God sees everyone in his family as equal. He loves and cares for each believer equally. Today on Connect with Skip Heiting, Skip shares why you are essential to the body of Christ and carrying out God's purposes on earth. Now, we want to tell you about a resource that will encourage you to be a part of cultivating a more loving church than ever before. The most recent US census revealed that our population is much more diverse than ever before. In fact, over the past 10 years, our multiracial population increased 276%, which presents new challenges.
Here's Skip Heitzig. To say that this nation is divided would be a gross understatement, but I am not going to take sides politically. I am going to take sides morally and spiritually and biblically. I'm going to raise the conversation to a different level, to a higher level, to a biblical level, because the issue as I see it is not a skin issue as much as it's a sin issue. We want to help you understand this divisive issue from a divine perspective. When you give $20 or more today to this Bible teaching ministry, we'll send you Pastor Skip's booklet, The Church and Racism, plus his teaching featuring a conversation with Pastor Tony Clark.
Get these relevant resources today when you give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer, or call 800-922-1888. Okay, let's join Skip Heitzig as he begins today's study. There's real teamwork involved in a task. It's dinner time, and a message from your stomach is sent to your brain that says, I'm hungry, gotta eat. So the brain sends a message to your feet to walk toward the barbecue in the backyard where they're barbecuing burgers, and as you get closer, your nose is involved. You start smelling the meat and smelling the grilled onions, and your body is cooperating, and then as you get closer, your eye spots the ketchup and the mustard and the bun and the burger, and the brain says to your hand, grab it, and grab the mayonnaise and mustard and put it on, and then your mouth cooperates. You open your mouth and chop and swallow it, and you're fearfully and wonderfully made.
When your body is working together, it's a beautiful thing. Years ago, I'm from California, and we would go to Venice Beach. I don't know if you've ever had the interesting and sometimes awkward experience of walking Venice Beach, but there's all sorts of interesting characters on the beach from bodybuilders and weightlifters to people who do magic tricks, and I remember one evening, there was a guy out there who was a juggler, but he wasn't just juggling apples or bowling pins. He was juggling chainsaws, live chainsaws. So he'd start up a little chainsaw, start up another one, start up another one, and he'd toss one in the air and catch the handle. Everybody's standing way back, but it was a marvel, and I thought if the message doesn't make it at the right time from the brain to the hand, he's in trouble. He's in trouble. If there's a malfunction in this beautiful coordination, there's going to be blood everywhere. There's going to be a news story.
There's going to be bad news. So the church, like the body, only works when we are receiving the messages that come from Christ, and we're discovering our gifts and operating smoothly together. So I should have read the text before I went into that long tirade. Verse 12, for as the body is one, there's the unity, the body is one, it has many members, that's the variety, but all the members of that one body being many are one body, so also is Christ. Just like the human body that has a variety of different units and members, so also is the church, the body of 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. For in fact, the body is not one member, but many. Verse 15, if the foot should say, because I am not a hand, I am not of the body, is it therefore not of the body. Now verse 15 introduces us to a third little principle here. So church of Corinth, not a beautiful body, it's an ugly body, it's a malfunctioning body. And so Paul is saying we need to recognize variety, we need to emphasize unity. Third, we need to maximize equality.
We need to maximize equality. There's no such thing as a part of the body that is worthless or useless. There's no vestigial organs in the body of Christ, no useless organs. If the foot should say, well because I'm not a hand, I'm not of the body, is it therefore not of the body. 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 an eye, where would be the hearing?
The whole were hearing, 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? The body of Christ, the church, malfunctions when we emphasize one gift over another gift. When we put a certain gift or a certain gifted person on a pedestal.
Pedestalizing any person is bad for that person and bad for the rest of us, because you're saying that certain people are more important than other people, not according to Paul. All parts of the body are necessary. And so what he does is compares two parts of the body that are rarely seen, and he compares those to two parts of the human body that are often seen, more visible. Ones that are often seen are the eye and the hand. Parts that are not seen as regularly, the foot and the ear, but they're important. But what if my foot said, I'm tired, I'm always down here, down low. I want more visibility.
I'm always in this dark, dank, wet, smelly place. I'd rather be a pie. If I could just be on the forehead, I would be a happy big toe. You'd be an ugly dude. You'd have to call a tow truck, I suppose. I know, I know.
I nailed it, right? Hands are visible. You reach out and grab somebody's hand.
We shake with our hand. You don't shake feet, but you don't walk on your hands. You don't walk on your feet. But you don't walk on your hands. You could, some people can, but it's not normal and you won't go very far. You wouldn't take a walk on your hands.
You might do it as a fun party trick, but you need your feet to give that cadence to the rest of your body. But the feet aren't as visible as the hands. The eyes are more visible than the ears. When I first met my wife, Lynette, her eyes were stunning, still are.
I went, wow. I noticed her brow. I just, the gleam in her eye. I didn't walk away from meeting her going, man, she's got great lobes. Her ears are like awesome. Because honestly, ears are never awesome. They're ugly. They're twisted.
I mean, right? I mean, do you think ears are beautiful? They're not. But they're formed a certain way to direct sound. So they're not as visibly stunning as the eyes.
They're important. So that's the analogy that he's making. And then just to kind of go off the chart and almost be ridiculous, Paul in verse 17 says, if the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? Now you just have to picture that. I mean, because that's just highly impractical. I mean, what would you do with a five foot six eyeball? You'd roll around and see a lot, but wouldn't be able to hear or speak. You'd have to put a big sunglass on it out in the sun. I guess drive it in your car. I don't know what you do with it.
It's ridiculous. So if the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the smelling be? But God has set the members each one as he pleased. So he is talking about the equality and the necessity of each part of the body, whether you see it or not. And he's going to go on to say that you have parts of the body that are never seen or rarely seen and you protect them. You can thank God that your body, your physical body doesn't act like the church of Jesus Christ.
What if your lung decided it wanted more exposure? I wanted to be seen. I'm tired of being under the shirts and blouses and under the skin and I'm important. Yeah, you're so important. We don't want you out and about. You got to stay tucked in there in a bacteria-free environment, breathing away. But so many times you'll have people just trying to leave their giftedness, leave their calling, leave the importance because they think wrongly that I am not as important as somebody else.
And we can give them the disservice by putting certain ones on pedestals and saying, well, we really esteem those over the rest of the body. Paul says you can't do that. You shouldn't do that. You ought not to do that.
Maximize equality. Verse 21, 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. So that's another principle.
We need to minimize self-sufficiency. Nobody can say I don't need anybody else. I don't need to go to church.
And I've heard people say that. I don't need to go to church. I don't need to go to a place and be around people.
I can watch it now on my phone or on my computer or on television. I can get the information. Yes, you can get the information, but you won't nearly get the amount of transformation that you get by the accountability of being with other believers. By the way, for you to say I don't need church is a lie.
It's a lie. God created us not to be independent but to be interdependent. We need each other.
We do. And it's not until you have real life-giving relationships within the community of the body of Christ that you really that you really understand that. That's why we tell people get involved in a connect group. Don't just come to listen and gather information, but now spread the inspiration and see the transformation that comes from those kind of relationships.
So the eye can't say to the hand, I don't have any need of you, nor can the head say to the feet, I have no need of you. I just want to say especially to the American church, I realize that these studies go around the world, but there is a problem in the American church, and I love them. Listen, I'm an American. I love America. America. But one of the hallmarks of America is self-sufficiency.
Don't need anyone. We put on a pedestal the rugged individualism of the pioneer who goes it alone and and forges his way and doesn't need anybody else, doesn't rely, self-reliant. But God created us to be interlocking and interdependent on other people. The body of Christ ought not to function like any other institution, especially the government, which is one of the worst forms of malfunction on the planet. Any government is.
Any form of human government is. So we need each other. The point, we need each other. So verse 22, no, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary.
Now, think about that. Your hand is important, but you can afford losing a hand. I don't suggest you try, but you can survive. You can't survive without a liver. You can't survive without a heart or a brain, or you can survive without some of your intestine, but certainly not your whole alimentary canal.
So you don't see them, but you need them. You need your pituitary. You probably didn't go through the day at all thinking about your pituitary gland today. You did if recently you've been diagnosed with a disease that affects the pituitary gland. See, that's the point. There's so many parts of the body that are vital and necessary, and you really don't know or think about them until one malfunctions.
So it is in the church. If there's malfunction, and then all of the focus and all the attention goes to that one little member that is creating the difficulty, well, now you have to address that. You have to attend to that.
You have to get that fixed. You have to go through radiation therapy or physical therapy or surgery, whatever it might take to address the issue. But on a normal day, you shouldn't have to think about your pituitary or your lungs. It's just automatic, functioning away, creating chemicals, exchanging synapses, et cetera.
Your body should just function. But those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. Sometimes those gifts and those gifted people that you see on the platform, and we think, oh, that person is so important. When you get to heaven, you're going to see who really is important. You're going to see people that maybe you saw in church, but you wonder, why are they in the front row? Oh, they were the prayer warriors.
They were the reason that the church had any success at all. Well, where's Pastor Skepp? Oh, he's here. He made it. He's in the back row.
I'm not just saying that to be in self-humility. I really think that sometimes God places people in the church in places of visibility, because He knows we need church more. You see, I come to church. I'm at church all the time. I listen to the message on the weekend three times. Used to be four times.
We had four services pre-COVID and Wednesday night. So I'm always in the Word, and I'm learning and speaking and thus listening to the message. I think God is the message.
I think God knows that I need to be in church that much. I think, you know, it's like when Jesus spoke at the Sea of Galilee, He said to Peter, Peter, launch out from the shore. I need to use your boat here to speak to the crowd. So Peter did that and probably was there with Jesus.
Maybe he even felt like, man, I'm special. I'm holding the boat for Jesus. People are going to look out here in this little cove at the Sea of Galilee. They're going to see Jesus and Peter together because I'm Peter, and I'm important, and I'm holding the boat. Well, maybe Jesus knows, Peter, you need to hear this message.
That's why you're so close to Him holding the boat. You need this more than anybody else, and I think the Lord knows I need to be around this stuff, maybe more than the average bear because He knows me. So those members that seem to be unnecessary yet are vital are necessary, and those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these 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. Certain parts of our bodies need to be made presentable, and so we select clothing that will make us more presentable. We want to wear certain things to cover up love handles or bulges here, right? I mean, we're presenting. We're clothing. We're covering ourselves up to make ourselves presentable. Verse 25, that there should be no division or schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another, and if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it.
If one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. It's that way in your physical body. If you get hurt, your body compensates for the hurt. So if you're swinging a hammer and you miss the nail and you hit your thumb hard, full swing with the hammer, where do you hurt?
Everywhere. It's not like you go, oh my, my thumb hurts right now. There's a reaction. You ride. Your face contorts.
You're like that slow motion cartoon. And if you stub your toe, your whole body is impaired and you are compensating for the problem. So in the church, if one member suffers, all the members suffer. We are only as healthy as the health of each member together, as the cooperation of each member getting the signals from the mind of Christ and being obedient to that. We're only as strong as that. We're also as weak as people who are not involved, not plugged in, not using their gifts, not listening to the Holy Spirit.
And so we might limp and the whole body is affected. If one member suffers, we all suffer. If one member is honored, we are all honored and we rejoice. 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, gifts of healings, helps, administration, varieties of tongues. Interesting list because first what Paul puts first is not what some of us might put first. We might say, first of all miracles and healing.
That's way down the list for Paul. It's the apostles, those church planters, who go out and then those teachers who bring maturity to the body of Christ. And then way below that, healings, administration, varieties of tongues. Are all apostles?
Now these are rhetorical questions. Are all apostles? Is everyone here an apostle? No. Are all prophets? No.
Are all teachers? No. Are all workers of miracles? Nope. Do all have gifts of healings? Nope. Do all speak with tongues? The context is in the congregation. Nope. Do all interpret?
Of course not. But earnestly desire the best gifts and I will show you a more excellent way. So it's not about superiority and it's not about inferiority. It's about variety and it's about unity and it's about equality. It's about finding our part and doing our part, being part of the church, the body of Christ. Now I love how it closes. He said, but earnestly desire the best gifts.
Which brings up a question. Okay, which gifts are the best gifts? My answer is it all depends.
It all depends what work needs to be done. Certainly the best gifts you could have are the ones that God has ordained that you have. The best gift for you isn't the gift that I have. The best gift for me isn't the gift that you have. It's the gift or the gift mix and variety of expression and administration just for me, just for you.
So earnestly desire the best gifts. That's like saying earnestly desire the best tool. If you were to say, Skip, which tool in your toolbox in your garage is the best tool?
I would say it depends what you want to do. Well, I need a saw. What's your best saw? Again, it depends what you want to cut. If you're trying to cut a pipe, I'm not going to give you my skill saw. I'm not going to give you a tree saw. I'm going to give you a hack saw. But if you want to cut holes in wood, I wouldn't give you a hack saw. I wouldn't give you a skill saw. I'd give you a jigsaw. It all depends on what work needs to be done.
What is the best gift? Depends on what God needs to do. Then he gets the people with those gifts and applies that to that need, and it gets done.
That's how the body works. That's how the church is to work. That's Skip Heitig with a message from the series Expound First Corinthians. Now, here's Skip to share how you can help keep this broadcast going strong, connecting you and others around the world with the Lord. God's Holy Spirit lives in us.
Why? To help us live out our faith in this world, and our heart is to come alongside of you to do the same. That's why we work to make these Bible teachings available to friends like you, and you can help connect even more people to God's Word today through a generous gift. Here's how you can give now to impact others' lives with God's truth. To give today, simply call 800-922-1888. That number again is 800-922-1888. Or visit connectwithskip.com slash donate.
That's connectwithskip.com slash donate. Your generosity helps keep this biblical encouragement coming your way and going out around the world to help change more lives. Come back tomorrow as Skip Heitig brings the gifts of the Spirit into perspective, sharing how your life and gifts can be fueled by love. The true gauge of spirituality is the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, gentleness. Jesus spoke about true prophets and false prophets. You will know them, He said, by their fruit. Not you will know them by their power, or you will know them by their gifts.
You will know them by their fruit. Cast all burdens on His word. Make a connection, a connection. Connect with Skip Heitig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
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