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October 2, 2020 1:00 am
The body of Christ involves accountability to “those who have the rule over you.” This means being part of a local fellowship. In this message we’ll turn to First Corinthians chapter 12 to learn what the local church is all about, and how to find out where we fit.Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)
The body of Christ involves accountability to those who have the rule over you. Only when we're part of a local fellowship and accountability take place. Today we turn to first Corinthians chapter 12 and learn what the local church is all about the Moody Church in Chicago. This is running to win with Dr. Irwin sir whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line, pastor leads her final watch has a lot of gears inside. If any of them fails to work as designed. The watch can tell the right time. Is that a good analogy for today's teaching will Dave.
That's an analogy I kind of like because wouldn't it be wonderful if the church always work as smoothly as most clocks but at the same time we have to recognize that sometimes there are difficulties in the church. But here's the point when we must be willing to do is to resolve those difficulties and sometimes compromise on issues that are really not biblical so that the church may indeed be in harmony. You know, we hear it running to win are delighted whenever we hear testimonies about people whose lives have been changed. I'm holding in my hand a letter received from a couple who said that as a result of your ministry. We have dealt with resentment and bitterness in our marriage.
They go on to say our marriage was eroding and God's word brought healing. Nothing could bless my soul more than that the healing power of the word of God. When you stand with us regularly with your prayers and your gifts would you consider becoming an endurance partner. Those are people who stand with us. Here's how you can receive more information go to RTW offer.com RTW offer.com. Click on the endurance partner button or if you prefer, call us at 1-888-218-9337 now, let us focus our minds.
Once again, as we begin to talk about the church and God's relationship to you as a part of the body purpose of my message today will be stated up front will be very clear. It is not possible for you to progress in the Christian life and be what God intended you to be without being connected to and involved in a local church doesn't have to be Moody Church obviously geography and other factors dictate as to what that church is but to join a church to become part of something larger than anyone of us is by ourselves. That's what it means to have a Christian community to be connected as believers, I'm disturbed about this because a recent book is come out by George Barna entitled revolution. In it he says that the church of the future. He says that this is a trend is that people no longer meet in an organized church. What they do is meet at Starbucks and really build deeper relationships with one another and with God or the golf course or somewhere else that's understandable if that's the trend I can see that he would write that.
But what is surprising is that he thinks it's a good idea.
That's what surprising I'm here today to tell you that I'm in favor of Starbucks golfing. The one time I hit 200 and lost and wondered why it was way more than anybody else.
By the way, the most interesting thing about that experience is that we came across a dock sitting on golf balls. Vera felt that way. Seriously long upon the dock got up and she is sitting on some golf balls.
There's a lesson there somewhere, but the point to be made is this that that that that's a disastrous view that that's the church you can have fellowship and you can develop. That's not the church very hard for me to believe that you can be subject to those who have the rule over you, as the Bible says it's difficult for me to believe that that can happen when you don't have anyone above you when you don't have anyone ruling when there is no organization, and when everybody's doing their own thing at Starbucks or of the golf here to obey those who have the rule over you. Don't ever join a church that is unwilling to discipline you.
You get off the track. The Bible is very clear that the elders of the church are to watch out for people's souls snuck in a happen just and personal friendships. And furthermore, if we are all bricks in the same building and the bricks never get together to build the building were stones in the same temple in the temple never comes together for any reason.
What are we saying that this is the church.
The church is to be gathered and then the church is to be scattered, but the church is to gather it is to commit it's not a club.
As we shall find out today something much more profound. The passage is the first Corinthians chapter 12 where there are three characteristics of the church that we should celebrate today. Three characteristics of the church that we should celebrate in first Corinthians chapter 12. The first is this.
We are united body. We are a united body verses 12 and 13 and 14 and all the rest of the verses for just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so also is Christ. He sang just like you came here today your legs brought you into the church. Your arms are there. Your eyes are there. Just as we are. Many members, but were one body, so also is Christ in one spirit or by one spirit you can translated either way. We are all ties into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free, and all were made to drink of one spirit. How do you get into this church, the body of Christ you're not born into it. You can sign on the dotted line and become a member of it. You can't be talked into it only God put you into the body of Christ.
Only God can do it and when that happens you and I become a part of one another.
You'll notice what it says is for the body does not consist of one member but of many. Verse 14 if the foot should say because I'm not a hand, I don't belong to the body that would not make it any less a part of the body, and if the ear should say because I'm not and I and I do not belong to the body that would not make it any less a part of the body were joined to one another.
My thumb can't say I won't be a part of the body because I don't like the other four fingers there very very different from me.
I want to go somewhere where I fit in better with my kind can't say that. Let me be clear today and say if you're saved if you have received Christ as Savior. You're stuck with the rest of us like it or not, you're stuck with us all the faults and all the rest. I love to tell that story. It's a true one man was speaking at a church and he was to spend the night with in the home of the doctor and the doctor was on call and so he got called away and said to the man while I'm gone if you're hungry open the fridge have whatever you like and so the doctor left and the man opened the fridge and their wrapped in a plastic bag was a human hand. The version of the story that I heard was after he saw that he didn't have any more hunger. At that point what so gruesome about that. What's wrong with hands, you can look at yours today and give you permission if you are here with two take a look at them. I'm looking at my now they do not stifle my appetite. What makes a hand gruesome is cut off from the body and what makes people weak and shrivel and and spiritually. Adrift is for them to say well because I'm not this and that, therefore I'm going to try to separate myself from the body of your Christian you really can't eventually do that because your member of Christ body but if you separate yourself from the local congregation.
You can become like that hand in a plastic bag because God says that the only way that you can be whom I intended you to be is to become part of the local community that we call the church.
So Paul says. First of all, he says it connects us to one another. It also connects us to Christ, so also is Christ. He says he is the head. He exercises control and what does the head do.
What does my head do. It has the very same life as the rest of the body. Jesus is in heaven.
His body is there by his spirit. Of course he's everywhere and and we participate in his life.
We we share his life. In fact, the relationship is so strong that it says in the book of Ephesians that we are members of his body, of his flesh and of his bone's we are one with Jesus. Now how does this happen.
It's the baptism of the Spirit so many foolish things are taught today regarding the baptism of the Spirit. Notice that Paul uses that little word all in verse 13. Twice, he says, for by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, Jews or Greeks, and all made to drink of one spirit, he didn't say now only those in Corinth who speak in tongues are baptized. He didn't say now only those who are particularly spiritual are baptized know if you've trusted Christ as Savior and that of course is the condition for everything that were talking about today, but if you've trusted Christ as Savior. It says that you have been baptized whole have been baptized into the body of Christ and what does it mean to drink of one spirit.
When you drink water it goes inside of you. Now listen carefully what this text is teaching is that the baptism of the Spirit puts me into Jesus, but Jesus is also put into me. Jesus put it very succinctly and clearly didn't he when he said you in me and I in you. That's how were connected to Jesus when we are accepting the Savior went there the relationship is that direct an end of the head is in heaven. Are you there to what the Bible says in the book of Ephesians that we are joined with him and we are seated with him in the heavenly places. If Jesus is in heaven. I am already there because I am in him death only changes the nature of the relationship. That's all I don't expect any hassles at the border. When I go from this life to the next.
No hassles of the border because I'm already there. Thank you very much you stable. When one part of the body suffers. The other suffers with a yes. Does that mean Jesus fields are paying does Jesus care, does he feel or think of what he said to Saul, who was on the way to Damascus to persecute Christians, he said, Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me be very careful about this.
You attack the church in your attacking Christ's body protecting him every attack uses every persecution, every attack against the church is an attack against me because I'm in this with you because after all I'm the head. And you're the body and were not separated any point so first of all, we are so gratified by the fact that we have unity in the body, but we also have diversity for the body does not consist of one member, but many of the foot should say because I'm not a hand, and not a part of the body. I'm skipping out of her 16 and if the ear should say because I'm not and I do not belong to the body that would not make it any less a part of the body.
If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing the if the whole body were an ear were with the sense of smell be, but as it is, God arranged the members in the body.
Each one of them as he chose diversity just like our bodies is diversity within the church.
As Paul says if the whole body would be in high would you do with the body. The only thing it had was and I guess prop up on the couch so that it could watch television.
If the whole body were an ear, then you turn off the TV and you turn on the radio.
I guess that's it that's it.
All that's an ear.
Paul doesn't use the illustration but I can't help but refer to it. One of the whole body word-of-mouth. Fill in your own blank as to what that would be like the whole body were mouth.
Pulse point is simply that there is diversity and this means there is no inferiority, you'll notice there in verse 18, it's where God placed it. Nobody is inferior to someone else. Sometimes we associate importance with public ministry.
So we think will that ministry is really important because it's public, but if you are asked to walk the holes as a whole monitor during our Sunday school has some of the deacons in the church are asked to do. That's not important because who in the world thanks you for that. So we think to ourselves that there are some jobs that are more inferior, we think, for example, it's important for the pastor to show up on time church would not be terrible if the whole service had to wait because I had a habit of coming in late, so we sell. No, no, no, it's because it's a public ministry. He'd better be here on time, but whether or not I am is another story. Know the Bible says that there's no such thing as inferiority. There's no such thing as superiority the I can't say what you just like me. The hand can say why isn't everybody like me. One of the greatest sins of the church throughout the centuries.
Is this why can't people be like me syndrome is devilish pride.
That's what it is. The Bible is very clear that in Jesus we have a bond that is stronger than race in Jesus we have a bond that is stronger than economic opportunity, it is stronger than education. It is stronger than geography because it is as strong as the body of Jesus Christ, God himself is that's how strong we are united in Christ there is no room for a lack of acceptance will, this is Pastor Luther I can think of a message that would be more relevant to our situation in America than that message which stresses the unity of the body in the midst of a nation that is so polarized, you know the ministry of running to win exists to help people exist to lead people to Jesus Christ by always presenting the gospel is the answer to the deepest problems that you and I face annual you're a part of that because some people have invested in the ministry of running to win. You are blessed. Would you consider standing with us regularly with your prayers and your gifts, consider becoming an endurance partner that someone who stands with us regularly.
As I've already mentioned with their prayers and their gifts and helping us make a difference in more than 20 countries of the world.
Here's what you do go to RTW offer.com that's RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. I know for another chance for you to ask Pastor Luther question about the Bible for the Christian life. Is it possible to love your children more than God loves them. Beverly sister going to win and she thinks this may be the case here is her story of always been taught that God loves all people unconditionally, and that when we accept Jesus as Savior we go to heaven if not then we go to hell without any opportunity for repentance.
I have two children whom I love and would die for. If they someday would turn against me or commit heinous crimes. I would be heartbroken but would continue to love them words that spirit of grace come from. Surely not Satan who only wishes ill to befall all of God's creation, the spirit of unconditional love must come from God and whose image we were created.
However, God does not hold to the same standard. He made it clear that when our physical lives and so does any hope of mercy.
If we've not accepted Christ. Suppose I were to tell my children that if they left me, I would punish them forever. I could never tell them that. Why does it seem that God does that. I want to love and serve God with joy at this point is making it very difficult for me to do so any clarification would be appreciated.
Beverly, I've been a pastor for many many years I've had many many questions asked me, and in many respects, I have to say that that what you've asked is one of the most difficult questions that I've ever had put to me.
Now the good news is that it's not as if I haven't thought about these things I thought about them for years, but they are very difficult and I can only hope that I speak here in accordance with God's word. Couple of things I have to challenge your premise that God loves everyone unconditionally. I know that we hear that a lot, but you know the Bible says, for example in the book of Psalms that God is angry with the wicked every day. I don't think you could prove from the Bible that God loves everyone unconditionally. I believe that he loves his children unconditionally and that's a different kind of love. I think Jesus made this clear in the 17th chapter the book of John where he talks about the love wherewith you have loved me.
That is the love with which I have loved them, but that's a reference to his children and not the world generally.
So that's the first point at like to make as a matter fact, if you study the word love in the Bible you know that there are different ways that God loves people and I think he loves his own children unconditionally, but I can't say that about everyone.
Secondly, you ask whether or not God plays by different set of rules. I think he does. God doesn't do the same things that we do.
I could give examples of example if you are beside a swimming pool in the little two-year-old fell in and you just sat there and watched him drown.
You'd be culpable because there something that you could do about it. God sees that kind of thing happen every day and does nothing and yet we don't hold him culpable and say that quote, it's his fault, so you can see here that God is God and we aren't so even though you love your children unconditionally and think that you would never turn against them.
The simple fact is that God loves the world differently and yes it is true he has chosen that if they do not respond to him.
They will be punished and that leads me to another point. Remember this God deals differently with people because he not only has love but also his justice needs to be balanced with that love you. Think of your love toward the children and all that you think of basically is love and you don't have to worry about the justice and of it. God does because of his searing holiness justice enters into the picture and so justice demands that people who turn against God pay for their sin on their own if they don't accept Christ as so the justice of God is fulfilled when we think of the doctrine of hell we don't necessarily think of the love of God, but we do think of the justice of God and that enters into the picture. Beverly have to commend you for wrestling with huge issue and I hope that you continue to wrestle with it. Even as I do, and at the end of the day we bow and simply say let God be God. Thanks for asking. And thank you Pastor Luther for answering if you'd like to hear your question answered. Go to our firstname.lastname@example.org and click on ask Pastor Luther or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us have run into when 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 running to win is all about helping you understand God's roadmap for your race of life, the local church you attend is one small part of an enormous worldwide assembly will never meet until eternity. Until then we serve others we are knowing that our present experience only foreshadows what lies ahead. Next time I'm running to win more about the amazing body of Christ, and about how to find your place in the local part of that body, your church is involved and help others grow in their faith.
This is Dave Callister running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church