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How to Function in the Body B

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
June 28, 2021 4:00 am

How to Function in the Body B

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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We all are possessors of spiritual dips when you were save the spirit of God deposited with you. Certain abilities.

The idea is that every one of us in a certain place to fill the body of Christ were all able to minister back and forth with various spiritual gifts Pastor to the nursery director to the audio guide vital to its life to what your role if you're not sure how you find out. Consider that today on grace to you as John MacArthur continues his study titled spiritual boot camp so you know John someone listening to us day after day may wonder what we this organization, grace to you would see as our role with regard to the local church. I mean as a ministry were not a church where technically parachurch organization, but some might say we are in competition with local churches. How do you answer that well know, we are designed to be a supplement. What we are no different say than Christian publishers. The church is always been supplemented by resources in addition to say this Sunday service in the Sunday school classes and in Bible studies and that's all grace to you is where coming alongside the people in the church to feed the word of God to them on a regular basis.

In a way that the church can't do the church meets send you go to the church and you go to the meeting and that's great.

That's the priority, but that the rest of the week, grace to you is, is there available on radio on the Internet through books and CDs and whatever we have in order to make the word of God available to people all the time that let me let me read what grace to use purpose statement says I'm quoting our role is not to supplant the churches ministry but to support it by providing additional resources for those hungering for the truth of God's word. Media ministries can never substitute for involvement in a biblical church. A biblical group study or interaction with the teacher. Yet we sense the need for more in-depth resources. Evidence by the many Christians and Christian leaders worldwide who depend on our ministry to supplement their own study." Now that is exactly why we do what we do. We here to support the local church, not replace it. We do that by helping equip the people of the church as well as the leaders of the church in the biblical truth so that they can be more effective in their ministry.

We focus narrowly on the Bible alone.

We teach it. We we hope we elicit confidence in it to help men and women like you handle it effectively and accurately in your ministry reaching people every day were able to do that because folks like you who share our vision and support us and we honestly stand in awe of God's goodness to us in his faithfulness to sustain us but were not surprised because he promised to honor his word. Yes friend we give all the credit to God. This ministry has succeeded because he empowers his word and if you want to have a part in strengthening God's people with lifesaving biblical truth. I'll tell you how to do that before we end today, but right now, stay here as John continues his study spiritual boot camp how to function in the body of Christ. Now there's a very important verse in the Bible would be the place to start and that would be first Corinthians chapter 12 in verse 13 for by one Spirit were we all baptized into one body.

The moment you received Jesus Christ as Savior. You were placed into the body of Christ, whether we be Jews or Greeks bond or free and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

When you became a Christian, you are placed in. That's with the baptizing of the Holy Spirit means were baptized or placed in the body of Christ.

It's like baptism means dipping somebody under a putting somebody into you were put into the body of Christ. He became a member of the body of Christ that synonymous with the concept of the church became a member of the church of Christ.

You may not join a local church. Yet, you may not have a an official membership in the local church.

But the moment you are saved you became a member of the church of Christ's body, and that's one of the terms used for the church. The Bible uses several terms for the church. It calls us a flock Christ as the shepherd calls us branches and he is the vine calls us subjects of the kingdom and he is the king it calls us children in a family and he is the father. There are many metaphors for the church but one of them in the very unique one is the concept of the body that we are members of the body of Christ were all one in Christ, everybody's in the body of Christ were all part of his body but within that body become the concept of gifts, though we are all one. There are diverse cities of gifts within the body. The idea is that every one of us has a certain place to fill the body of Christ we are all able to minister back and forth.

The various spiritual gifts that we have now when some of us don't do that we don't study the word of God.

We don't recognize our obligation to other Christians in the body. Then we cease to minister and we cease to minister the body of Christ becomes critical. And then the testimony of Christ in the world is hindered because the world is get a true picture. So where there is unity in the body of Christ. There is also diversity because there are different gifts and there is also thirdly mutuality or the multiple sharing of those various gifts that just give you an idea about the body of Christ works, let me just talk about that for a minute, we all are possessors of spiritual gifts when you are saved, the spirit of God deposited with you certain ability. Nobody is in the church just to sit there and take it in were all there to mature and so that we can minister to one another. The word minister mean serve. We serve one another with our gifts.

There are a multiple of gifts. The gift of prophecy, teaching, faith, wisdom, knowledge his arm in a spirits mercy exhortation giving government ministry, miracles, healings, tongues, interpretation the last four being temporary sign gifts, but those were the gifts given to the early church. The top group continue even through today and those gifts were given for mutual ministry by the saints. That's very important that we accept the ministry that we have been given by God.

Now we believe that every believer has certain gifts. First Corinthians chapter 12 again describes this whole idea. It says this now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit, and there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.

There are diversities of operations but the same God who works all in all what he means there is there are different gifts, etc. what now I may have the gift of teaching gift of preaching and you may have the gift of giving. You may have the gift of faith. You may have the gift of showing mercy. You may have the gift of helps. You may also have the gift of teaching so there may be various gifts and surely there are among us a gift is a lesson is a God-given channel through which the Holy Spirit can minister is not human ability guessing my gift is playing the piano. That's not a spiritual gift that's a talent or my gift is writing that I can write no that is not your gift that's an ability that you have that is not a spiritual channel through which the Holy Spirit ministers.

You may use your writing to express your gift maybe have the gift of showing mercy and you can write lovely letters that are that are kind letters that help people through times of trouble.

Maybe your gift is a gift of exhortation you can write letters that exhort or maybe it's a gift of teaching and you can write books that teach, but don't confuse physical abilities and mental abilities with gifts.

There different things that clear what you have spiritual gifts.

Another not only different gifts and every believer has them according to verse 11. All these works. The ones in very same spirit, dividing to every man severally as he wills spirit determines who gets what, you can't seek for it. You can't earn it.

You can't wish for and receive it Gotto give it to you if that's his plan and he puts the gifts together. The way he wants.

The building was church but they're not only different gifts verse five says there are differences of administration.

There are different ways of those gifts are administrated. For example, in our church. We have many people with the gift of teaching many of but not all of them stand up here and teach because there are different ways that the same gift can be administered so that you have the same gift but different ways that it can be used so you don't need to feel that if you have the gift that somebody else as you got to do the same thing they do know there's just as many diverse administrations as there are gifts and probably more, and there are diversities of operations but everybody in the body of Christ has a gift and I would be convinced in my own heart from study of Scripture that everybody in the body of Christ most likely has more than just a gift, although I can't be dogmatic. There may be somebody somewhere with only one but it seems to me that a plurality of gift seems to be the norm rather than just one and the gift at any given point that is used most dominantly may be the one that is most needed in a given situation, but all of us have spiritual gifts and those are abilities through which the Holy Spirit can minister to his body.

My gift is it for me it's for you my gift of teaching doesn't do me any good.

It does you good. Your gifts do me good seats and interchange. So those are very important.

Now, in addition to spiritual gifts and the recognition in the body of Christ that you have to function in that area you need to know your gift and you need to use your gift. There is also the area fellowship. It's very important that we understand that we are to fellowship now we talk about fellowship. We don't always have everybody thinking about the same thing. So let me just mention what it means. We not only are to minister to one another in spurts of gifts were not only to share those gifts. What fellowship means that we interchange a mutual concern and care for each other.

For example, the New Testament says, confess your faults one another. You could just go to the New Testament final the one others edify one another.

Rebuke the one who sins exhort one another restore one another love one another. Pray for one another, build up one another. All of those one others are the responsibility of a Christian to his brother and sister trust so we not only to minister our gifts, but we are also to express that mutual fellowship back and forth one to another very important thing.

So when you became a Christian, you entered the body of Christ. You are in Christ positionally so that everything is secured and you are perfect position your practice needs to come into harmony with that when you became a Christian, you are not only in Christ. But you are in the body of Christ and is a member of the body. You have to function together. A body that doesn't cooperate with itself as fast again.

It's a dishonored body.

We look at it we feel pity for a body that cooperates is a beautiful thing. We look at an athlete who is well coordinated and skilled and we say is that a tremendous thing to see the development. We are excited about somebody was that will coordinate what's true in the spiritual realm as well.

Our testimony in the world depends upon what kind of presentation we make of the body of Christ to the world of functioning body that's cooperating where the foot in the hand are doing the things are supposed to do and not standing around saying I wish I were the nose. So for the soreness problem prescriptions 12. So where there is cooperation there will be witness an effective ministry. And then, in addition to the to the mutual gifts that we use in the body we are responsible for one another to make sure were living the kind of lives. We should, we want to build each other up. Pray for one another counsel one another.

Rebuke one another. If need be, confess our faults to one another, etc. etc. etc. those are the responsibilities of the believer in the body. Now the key. The key you everything I believe is love where love exists in the body of Christ. All these ministries will work and I would add love only exist where there is humility, love only exist where there is true humility and we really need to have a sense of humility and it only comes I think from knowing God. Knowing Christ, and we see how glorious they will understand how low we are, and that's the beginning of real humility and where were humble were able to minister to other people are.

That's just a basic introduction to how you function the body announce Ronald for some questions for a while.

One thing the body does and we do it together is worshiped. Would you explain to things what worship is and why do we do it on Sunday worship is simply praising God. I could take a lot of different forms any way that you praise God is worshiped. I really feel that the two key things and worshiping God would be to extol his character or speak of his character. For example in the Old Testament, they worship the Lord by saying God is great and God is wonderful and God is holy and God is righteous in God is a pure God and God is Almighty God. And anytime you recite the character of God that praises God that incenses worship. Another aspect of worship is not just reciting the character of God and thinking on the character of God, and meditating on the character of God, but on the works of God we worship God. When we say God, you're the God who created the world you the God who made man. You're the God who parted the Red Sea of the God who led Israel out of Egypt. You're the God who restored Israel from babbling.

You're the God who sent Jesus Christ or the God raised him from the dead, you're the God who gave the Holy Spirit in the day of Pentecost. You're the God it was done this in my life you're the God is build your church or in other words, when you not only extol his character by his works. You are a true sense worshiping God.

Worship is a simple thing that it's simply our concentration upon the character in the works of God and of course the heart from which worship comes must be a pure heart. God accepts our worship when it comes out of a pure you can't say well God I want to tell you how wonderful you are and how thankful I am for you while you're harboring sin in your life that's mocking God so worship must come from a pure heart worship in Scripture can include many things it can include reading the Scripture we have illustrations of that it can include praying worship can include singing many times in the Old Testament, they worship the Lord in song, stalling his character and his mighty works in song or in prayer or in reading of the word worship can also include the communion table because the communion table exalts the work of God in Christ on the cross. It exalts not only his work on the cross but doesn't the communion table remind us of his love and his forgiveness and his mercy and his grace and all those aspects of his character, so the communion table is an act of worship. You can worship God alone can worship God with the group. You can worship God with any size group worship is in stained-glass windows and organ music worship is the attitude of your heart, praising God for who he is, for what he is done now. The reason Christians worship on Sunday is simply because Sunday was the day that the Lord Jesus rose from the dead. In the Old Testament, they worship the Lord on the last day of the week, the Sabbath day is a day of rest, but when Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the first day of the week.

They began to celebrate the resurrection, the church was born out of the resurrection and the very next time we see the disciples meeting together is on the first day of the week and then again on the first day of the week that became the pattern in all the way to the book of acts you begin to see the meeting on the first day of the week and this was to commemorate the resurrection. The Sabbath law the Old Testament was set aside for Israel for the rest is interesting that even though it's in the 10 Commandments, the only one of the 10 Commandments it's never repeated in the New Testament is the commandment to keep the Sabbath day more than a day of rest, the Christians Sunday is a day of remembrance of Christ's resurrection from the dead, and there is plenty of evidence in the New Testament that the early church met for worship, corporate worship on the first day of the week so we accept that but that is that is simply the traditional day our worship of God should occur all day long every day, seven days a week and it really doesn't matter. You're as much involved in worshiping the Lord today. On Saturday morning as would be on Sunday morning. Is nothing sacred, particularly about the day. Simply a day that was established because of the remembrance of his resurrection and rebuking a brother and going.

Truman love the sale is in center having problems and try to help him out of his problems and he is stubborn, nor just doesn't he's not seeking help nor wants any of what is you was the responsibility of of myself or someone else at that point. If you rebuke him, and he does not confess the sin and turn from the sin, then follow the pattern of Matthew 18 you take two or three witnesses.

If they don't hear.

Then you tell it to the to the church, which means you may tell it to a group of Christians to the elders of the church and they should go deal with. If they don't deal with it and it says you treated like a heathen and a tax collector, Matthew 18, put them out.

The other passage indicating that would be that if he does respond somewhere along the line, then you would love them and restore them as a brother. Galatians chapter 6 but if he does not respond then you turn them away. Second Thessalonians 3 has the same issue. If your brother will not do what is right, then you admonish him as a brother but you sever your fellowship day.

Is it necessary to join a local to each. That's a good question. Why is it necessary to join a local church for many reasons. Number one it says in Hebrews 1025 forsake not the assembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some, and much more as you see the Day approaching.

There is a command there to attend the assembly of Christians very important so we are to be involved in an assembly of Christians now from the historical argument to take it a step further, there is never seen in the New Testament are Christian who doesn't belong to a local assembly. There is no such thing in the New Testament. Every one of them belong to some local assembly and that becomes the pattern and we know that they had lists in those local assemblies of their people. They had for example, Paul wrote to Timothy and talked about the widows list that they had an actual role of widows. We know that there were between the churches, letters of recommendation sent commending one member to another church.

When he left a certain area, so we do know that they kept roles in the Lists of the people who were in their congregations and there is no such thing in the New Testament as a Christian it doesn't belong to some local assembly not beyond the. The statement of Scripture and beyond the argument of history you have. Thirdly, the fact that Hebrews 13 says that all Christians are to submit themselves to the rulers over them and we know that Christ rules through the local assembly the church if you are not submitting yourself to some rulers of Christ in the church then you're disobedient. Hebrews chapter 13. Let me just read that you see understand what it says.

Remember those who have the rule over you who have spoken unto you the word of God's faith follow your to be under these people, rulers, elders in the church and you are to follow their faith. Verse 17 obey them that have the rule over you and submit yourselves for they watch for your souls. Here again you have the statement that the congregation is to be submitting to elders and leaders and that assumes that you will be in a local congregation to be able to do that.

No Christian is along himself just autonomous running around. They all historically were in a local congregation.

The Bible says not to forsake the assembly of yourselves together.

We are to come together in the early church, they came together the first day of the week for sure and probably several other times during the week for fellowship and the reason we do this is because Hebrews 10 says we stimulate one another to love and good works. When you stay away you grow cold.

You need that peer pressure if you will that spiritual stimulus that comes from the community of Christian fact in the earliest years of the early church.

They met every day in many cases people are a little bit confused and it comes under this area of admonishing a forsaking that the selling of yourselves together.

What is in a proper definition of a local assembly or a local church. Some people feel it's 5 miles 10 miles. They have very definite feeling.

I I think anytime Christians get together in a local community they can constitute a church. Church is a place where there are elders with our teachers, whether the congregation can be if your true Christians on a desert island that's a church that's a local assembly if there's 5000 Christians in the church that's a church very hard to define that because of denominations in different churches so the porn thing realizes that you are a member of the total body of Christ and you are to attach yourself to a local assembly. Oh, you mean you ice what you're asking is can a guy come for 35 miles away still be part of a local somebody. I don't think that's the issue. I don't think the distances houses from the assembly is the issue.using their uses gifts their news abilities there as well as anywhere else. There are advantages to being close. Obviously the sake of ease of involvement.

I know we try to cover a very, very broad subject in this idea of how to function in the body and it's very difficult to cover it. Total, but I hope maybe just a little bit of his help.

Let me take it a step further and offered this thought in the life of the church.

It is important that all of us have a ministry using our gifts and using the responsibilities of fellowship, sometimes that ministry will be within the organization of the church sometimes will be without another word, so you may teach a Bible study this just an independent Bible study meet together on evening in your home and you have a Bible study. Others of you may teach a class. Either way, but be ministering if that's your gift. Some of you may be helping in some ministry officially in the church like working with convalescence and helping in the convalescent ministry or you just might be helping another way certain questions that you know and certain rather catch as catch can ministries. Either way at all I'm saying is that your ministries can be within the structure of the church or without the structure of the church. However, the spirit of God directs, but it's important to recognize that the church has needs and that the Spirit of God leads the church to develop certain ministries and certain patterns of ministry and we need help from the people who make up that assembly and so from time to time you will be hearing that maybe there's a training class for somebody like to work with children or training class for somebody like to work with you Thor or a training class for somebody would like to be in a convalescent ministry if they have the gift of showing mercy or the gift of helps her. Or maybe somebody to help in the administration of something and do some projects.

If you have the gift of the of administration or whatever you will hear about this from time to time and date the spirit of God speaks to your heart and challenge you to do that.

That's a good thing to do, but it can be within the structure.

Will that I think it's good also to offer yourself to the local assembly that you're in whatever wanted is to say, you know, I feel that these are the gifts that I have and if the spirit of God, the can use me in this ministry here somewhere. I'd like to make myself available. We have people to do that all the time. No commitment say I have certain gifts and and a certain the talents can use me and if you can be really happy to work in were talking yesterday about a follow-up visitation ministry and were talking about a certain approach to it were a church just hires a whole bevy of people to go out and do all of visitation. Sometimes they'll have as many as 25 people in full-time salary just visiting people was really no need to do that. If all of us as Christians accept the fact that visitation is just part of pure religion.

James said and we go and we share the lives of the people we care for Lula so we would rather see the laypeople doing the ministries of God is given them then go out and hire a lot of professionals to do it so we would do that but it's important that we be available to the local church to minister and serve within that local search is best. We are able. I might add one of the footnote of that is, be sure you pray for your leaders very very important.

BCs grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us today. John continued his look at the practices that lead to a vibrant spiritual life.

The series is titled spiritual boot camp. Now, as John mentioned before the lesson we are committed to taking the teaching of God's word to people in your area and around the world and it's the support of listeners like you that makes this far-reaching ministry possible. If you'd like to stand with us as we bring biblical truth to spiritually hungry people worldwide. Consider making a donation when you contact us today. You can send your gift to Grace to you.

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The web address one more time. now for John MacArthur and the entire Greece. Do you staff, I'm Phil Johnson with a question for you. Why doesn't God take you to heaven as soon as you become a Christian. Consider that tomorrow when John returns to his study titled spiritual boot camp.

It's another 30 minutes of unleashing God's true one verse at a time on grace to you

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