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Faithful in Fellowship

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers
The Truth Network Radio
May 21, 2021 8:00 am

Faithful in Fellowship

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers

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May 21, 2021 8:00 am

In this message, Adrian Rogers shares the church’s function, formation and fellowship, and how we can remain faithful to it.

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Can we be Christians without going to church? When they're married, they go. And then when they die, perhaps the funeral is there.

So they go when they're hatched, and matched, and dispatched. The first time, they throw water. The second time, rice.

The third time, dirt. That's it. But the Bible says that we are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is. Welcome to Love Worth Finding, featuring profound truth simply stated by pastor, teacher, and author Adrian Rogers. It's important that we understand that while Jesus Christ and the church are not identical, they are inseparable. Pastor Rogers said, you are important to Jesus, therefore you are important to his church, and the church is vitally important to you.

We cannot forsake the church. We must remain faithful in fellowship. If you have your Bible, turn now to 1 Corinthians 12, verse 12, as Adrian Rogers instructs us in how to be faithful in fellowship. 1 Corinthians chapter 12 and verse 12. We're talking about this factor of faithfulness, and the factor we're talking about today is fellowship. And we're talking about fellowship in the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Listen. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all of the members of that one body being many are one body, so also is Christ. So what is the body of Christ? First of all, I want you to think with me about the function of a body. What is a body? Now, we know what a physical body is, a human body, and the church is analogous to that. So what is the purpose of my body? Well, first of all, in my body there is a manifested person.

Did you get it? A manifested person. Look up here. Do you see me? No.

You don't. What you see is my body. All you ever know about Adrian Rogers is his body. You cannot know anything else about me apart from my body. Or you say, yes, I can read what you wrote.

Who wrote it? This body. You say, well, I can hear what you say.

Who says it? This body. You see, there's no way that you can know anything, not one iota, not one scintilla of a fact, can you know about me apart from my body. It is my body that manifests me.

Everything that you know about me you have learned through my body. The body is a manifested person. What is the purpose of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ? It is to manifest Jesus, to make him known to this world. As he inhabits our humanity, we display his deity and Jesus Christ is known through his body.

Now, in a body, there is a manifested person. In a body, there is a ministering purpose. Why does my body exist? To serve me. It doesn't exist for any other purpose except to do the will of the person who lives inside this body.

I don't want my body to be doing anything for me. Nothing. I want to do something through it.

I want it to be there. To do the bidding of the person who lives inside. There is a ministering purpose. The body is to minister the life of the person who lives inside that body. Thirdly, in a body, not only is there a manifested person, not only is there a ministering purpose, but there must be a motivating power.

Got it? A motivating power. What makes my body a body is not only does it have eyes and hands and fingers and feet and legs and arms, but it has life.

Life. There is a spirit in me. The spirit of life. And when a man dies, he does what?

He gives up the spirit. Now, what makes the church a body is this, that the church has life. The church is more than an organization.

It is an organism. The life of my body is my spirit. The life of his body is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit of God.

We sing it and say it. Brethren, we met to worship and adore the Lord our God. All is vain unless the spirit of the Holy One comes down. A body without a spirit is a corpse, but a spirit without a body is a ghost. And the church is neither a corpse nor a ghost. It is a body. It's the body of the Lord Jesus Christ to manifest his person, to minister his purpose, motivated by his power, the power of the Holy Spirit of God. Now, because there is a manifested person, because there is a ministering purpose, because there is a motivating power, there must be a mutual program. A mutual program.

What? We do it together. Now look in verse 13. For by one spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free, and have been made all to drink into one spirit, for the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body, is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body, is it therefore not of the body?

If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? So what's he saying? He's saying we have a mutual program. We have many members, but they all have one agenda. So therefore the Bible is not against organization. Your body is organized. That's the reason they call the parts of your body what?

Organs. Because they are organized. Now organization is not the purpose we exist for. It is to help us to meet our purpose. It's like digestion. When organization is working correctly, you're really not aware of it. But like digestion, when it's not working correctly, that's about the only thing you are aware of. And so we are to work together.

The Bible says, Let everything be done decently and in order. Now that is the function of the body. Let's talk about the formation of the body. How does this body get to be a body? Well look in verse 13.

Look at it. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free, and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. That one Spirit is the Holy Spirit. How is the formation of the body?

Three things. First of all, there's a supernatural birth. You are born again. When you receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, verse 13 calls it drinking into one Spirit. That one Spirit is the Holy Spirit. He is to you what water is to your body.

He is indeed that water of life. And we drink into that Spirit. There will be a supernatural birth. And after a supernatural birth, there will be a spiritual baptism.

Look at it again, verse 13. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body. Who is the baptizer? The Holy Spirit. Into what does He baptize us? The body of Christ. Who does He baptize?

All of us. Who have drunk into that Spirit? A supernatural birth, a spiritual baptism, and then a single body.

Look at it again in verse 13. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into how many bodies? One body. A single body. He takes many of us, and He makes us one body in the Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians chapter 4, verse 4, there is one body and one Spirit.

Hallelujah. That's why there's the true unity of all true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, let's move on to the third thing. I've talked to you about the function of the body, and I mention those things, the manifested person and so forth. I've talked to you about the formation of the body. There's a supernatural birth, a spiritual baptism, and a single body that results. Now, let me talk to you about the fellowship of the body. What is the fellowship of the body?

Well, first of all, because we're in the body, we share a common life. Look in verse 15. If the foot shall say, because I'm not the hand, I am not of the body, is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, because I'm not the eye, I am not of the body, is it therefore not of the body?

What is He saying here in these verses? He's saying that we are bound together. We share a common life because the Holy Spirit that's in you is the Holy Spirit that's in me. We belong to one another.

We can't be in competition with one another, nor should we live in isolation from one another. The foot and the hand both belong to the body. Now, look at your hands, relatively attractive. You put jewelry on your hands. You can't see your feet, because I doubt anybody here is barefooted, but most of you don't have gloves on.

Interesting, isn't it? Hands are a little more attractive. Feet generally are ugly.

That's true. When we say, you know, hands, there's something about hands that are beautiful. People like to paint hands and look at hands and so forth.

But the foot is not as noticeable as the hand, but you'd have difficulty getting in here today without yours. And each member of the body is important. You see, God made us where we need one another.

Isn't that wonderful? Do you know why God made us different? So He could make us one.

So none of us could function apart from ourselves. Eyes are beautiful. Eyes are the mirror of the soul. You look in a person's eyes, and you can just seem to see the beauty of Jesus in a person that really loves the Lord. But suppose you opened a dresser drawer, and there are about nine of them rolling around in there. You'd faint. Suppose you walked in the lobby of the church this morning, and there were a hand out there on the floor.

Ugh. You see, we have significance as we find ourselves in the body. God made us different that He might make us one. Now, some members of the body, therefore, they don't seem necessary, very necessary. Question, when's the last time you ever said, Lord, I really do thank you for my pancreas. Bless God for my wonderful spleen. You don't do that until your pancreas starts acting up.

Then you might say, thank you, Lord, for my pancreas. I, Joyce, had gone somewhere, and I was doing the cooking in my house. So I didn't want to cook, so I went to the corner restaurant for lunch and got a chili dog covered with chili. And then that evening, I thought I'd cook for myself, and I went in the shelf, and there was a can of tamales that Joyce never would open that somebody had given us.

So I put that thing in there and opened it and filled it with Tabasco sauce and put it in the oven and heated it up and wolfed it down. Then about nine-thirty or ten o'clock at night, I was in my recliner going over my sermon notes for the next morning, and I started to get up and didn't want to move. There was a pain that started here and went here and down around here and there. And I said, well, you know, that's indigestion, chili dog and tamales. And so I got some Alka-Seltzer, and that didn't help, and I got some aspirin, and that didn't help.

And now it's getting to be one or two in the morning and excruciating pain. So I got a medical book and began to read, find out what's wrong with me. And it's about one in the morning to my daughter who happened to be there said, Daddy, you're going to the hospital.

I said, no, not me. I'll be all right. She said, Daddy, you're hurting. You're going to the hospital. I didn't want to go to the hospital. I mean, who won't? I mean, that's like saying I surrender.

Walk in there at nighttime. And so I get in there, and the doctor begins to poke around on me and so forth, and I said, now, doctor, it's not my lungs. It's not my heart. The doctor said, would you be quiet for just a moment? And I said, sir, you've had a gallbladder attack. You know, all these years, I had never praised God for my gallbladder. Never one time had I thanked God for my wonderful gallbladder done so much good. Let me ask you a question. Don't you take certain things for granted until they're gone or they begin to malfunction? And so what I'm saying is this.

Why? What is the fellowship of the body? We share a common life, and not only do we share a common life, but we are to show a common love.

Look in verse 25. God says He does this, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care, one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it, or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it.

Think with me. Beloved brother or sister in Christ, because we're in the same body, there can be no arrogance. I can never say I don't need you. There can be no envy.

I can't say, well, I want to be an eye like you rather than an ear or whatever. There can be no rivalry. We belong to one another.

I don't need to try to get ahead of you. There can be no self-sufficiency where I try to operate apart from you. There can be no disunity where I don't like you. We are not divided. All one body, we, one in hope and doctrine, one in charity, onward then ye people, join our happy throng, blend with ours your voices in the triumph song. We belong to one another.

He says here, when one member suffers, every member suffers with it. I frequently use this illustration. Have you ever hit your thumb with a hammer? I mean really hit it?

I'm talking about wanting to give you a blue thumbnail for six months. What's the first thing you did? I wasn't there, but I'll tell you exactly what you did. You grabbed it. Your hand came to the rescue.

Hmm. Second thing you did, you popped it in your mouth. Don't say you didn't. You did. You popped it in your mouth. And the third thing you did, you did a little dance. Hmm.

Sure you did. Now what do the knees have to do with the thumb? I don't know, but you've got to have that dance. I mean, it's all together. When one member suffers, every member suffers with it.

You eat ice cream, it feels good all over. One member rejoices. Every member rejoices with it. That's what God has intended the church to be. Friend, when we come to church and we share our sorrows, they're divided, and we share our joys, they're multiplied. That's why we have church.

That's the fellowship. We are the body of the Lord Jesus. We share the same life. We show the same love.

Why? Because we serve the same Lord. Look in verse 27. Now ye are the body of Christ and members in particular. Loyalty to Jesus means loyalty to His body. You cannot love Jesus without loving what Jesus loves. Friend, if for no other reason, I can tell you why you ought to love the church, because God's Son loves the church.

Well, all of its faults, all of its flaws, all of its failures, all of its foibles, God loves the church, and so should you. If you love Jesus, you will love what Jesus loves. And if you love the head, you'll love the body.

May I make some suggestions to you? You're somebody in His body. Accept yourself. You may not be a shoulder to bear burdens.

You may simply be an ear to listen or an eye to watch. Accept yourself. Number two, be yourself. Don't try to be somebody else. When I first started preaching, I would look at other preachers and I'd say, I want to be Him, or I want to be Him. I figured out I could never be one of them, but I can be the best Adrian Rogers there ever is. Accept yourself.

Be yourself. And then give yourself. Every part of the body gives. The heart gives. The lungs give.

The liver gives. And you have to give to get to live. We're in it together. Accept yourself. Be yourself. Give yourself. Work together.

And when we do, do you know who will be shown? Jesus, because He lives in this body. What a fellowship. What a joy divine. We are the body of Christ. Isn't that wonderful?

That's wonderful. And you get into the body when you get saved. I want you to pray this prayer. If you're not certain that you're saved right now, I want you to pray this prayer.

Dear God, just talk to Him right now. If you're not certain that you're saved and you want to be, dear God, I know that you love me and I know that you want to save me. Jesus, you died to save me.

You promised to save me if I would trust you. I believe you're the Son of God. I believe you died for my sins and paid for my sin with your blood on the cross.

I believe that God raised you from the dead. And now by faith, I receive you into my heart. Come into my life. Now, right now, take control of my life and begin to make me the person you want me to be. And Lord Jesus, I will make it public. I will not be ashamed of you if you'll just give me the strength. I'll make it public today that I love you. Can you pray that?

If you can, tell Him that. In the name of Jesus, amen. And if you prayed to receive Jesus just now, we would love to celebrate with you and invite you to our website's Discover Jesus page. You'll find answers there you may need about your newfound faith.

We have a response section. You can share your testimony or tell us how this message has impacted your life. Go to lwf.org slash radio and click Discover Jesus. Welcome to God's Forever Family.

We can't wait to hear from you. Now, if you'd like to order a copy of today's message, call us at 1-877-LOVE-GOD and request the title Faithful in Fellowship. This message is also part of the Insightful Factors of Faithfulness series. For that complete collection, all seven powerful messages, call 1-877-LOVE-GOD or you can order online at lwf.org slash radio or write us at Love Worth Finding.

Box 38600, Memphis, Tennessee 38183. We are all somebody in His body. Accept your role, whether you're an ear to hear or an eye to see, be yourself and give yourself to the church. As we work with each other, Jesus Christ will be seen through us. And we hope you'll join us next time for more timeless truth right here on Love Worth Finding.

Hi, I'm Kerry Vaughn, CEO of Love Worth Finding with Adrian Rogers. I hope you and your family have enjoyed a beautiful Easter season. As we celebrate the most important event in history, here's the two-word question. Now what? 2,000 years ago, Jesus gave us the answer in the Great Commission, go into all the world and proclaim the gospel. Friend, I want to ask you today to grasp the baton with Love Worth Finding, to run what the Bible says and to grasp the baton with Love Worth Finding, to run with all the strength the Lord gives us and to extend the gospel together as far as we can reach.

How far is that? Through broadcast, digital and print media, the LWF website and app, Love Worth Finding reaches across the nation and around the globe with the good news of Jesus Christ. I'm humbly asking you to consider a special and generous love offering gift to expand the ways LWF is working to fulfill the Great Commission. Let's grasp the baton together and run the kingdom race until Christ returns.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-15 22:31:11 / 2023-11-15 22:40:12 / 9

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