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October 20, 2020 1:00 am
Christians are blessed to be a part of an invisible assembly—the body of Christ that transcends denominational barriers. It is so vital that we understand the body of Christ and our part in it.Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)
Rain forests looking to Jesus. Christians are blessed to be part of an invisible assembly body of Christ worldwide transcends denominational barriers today why it's so vital that we understand the body of Christ and are part stay with us. The church in Chicago this morning to win with Sir was clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line.
I've been overseas and met believers for the first time, with whom I felt an immediate bond. Is this because the body of Christ is worldwide. Not only that David's worldwide certainly is a transnational community, but the same blessed Holy Spirit who dwells all believers in this country and in the different countries of the world that Holy Spirit, who is a person unites the body in a way that is an encouragement and an immediate connection that you spoke about. I think that this series of messages can be a tremendous blessing to people, especially as we talk about spiritual gifts where we fit how we should regard the gifts for a gift of any amount. This series can be yours.
The series is entitled finding where you fit. Here's how you can connect with us. Go to RTW offer.com that's RTW offer.com.
Or, as I frequently remind you you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 thanks for remembering that we are all part of the same body working toward the same goal for the same glory of God. Now let's open our Bibles and listen to what the Lord has to say about us, the bride of Christ want you to look at the body that you brought with you today.
I think that you didn't bring yours, you've already seen it in the mirror and we can tell that by the way, as we look at you've already seen your body in the mirror want to begin today by talking about a part of your body that you have never seen, but one I know you have the requirement to attend Moody church.
It's your brain Donald and McKay as specialist in brain research.
Describe the complexity of the brain. This way in order to form a realistic idea of the structural complexity inside your head. Imagine that one cubic millimeter of your cerebral cortex were magnified to the size of a lecture hall in this magnified 1 mm to we might expect Dan, we would find something to the order of 100,000 nerve cells. If each of these had 1000 to 10,000 connections each connection adjustable in ways that might be functionally important then within this hall we would have a tangle struck your containing up to thousand million functionally significant elements depicted on the same scale.
The nerve fibers running from the brain to other parts of your body would extend for distances up to a thousand kilometers but now let's take the arithmetic a step farther. The human cortex that your brain is about 2000 cm² in area and on average about 3 mm thick in order to complete our imaginary model of your brain on the same scale then we would need something like 600,000 of these lecture halls stacked side-by-side, and three deep.
That is the kind of complexity that challenges the scientist as he contemplates your brain ticking peacefully away inside your head as you drift off to sleep in church that's not the way the sentence ended but that's the way I handed it. Can you imagine that you have that kind of complexity taking place in your mind at this very moment. It would be almost impossible for any scientist to tell us what's happening just in the communication process to think that I am forming words in those words are able to communicate.
It is a mystery that confounds us well when God gave you the body that you brought with you today, he uses it in the Bible is a metaphor of the mystical body of Christ. I'm not sure if I like that word mystical because many people think that it means that it somehow on real know it's very real, very, very real and direct, but the body of Jesus Christ in the Bible is likened unto the human body, and you know the passage of Scripture. Of course, is first Corinthians chapter 12 first Corinthians chapter 12 last week. Our focus was on the first 10 verses and today we pick it up at verse 11 and 12.
Particularly, there at verse 12 first Corinthians chapter 12 verse 12 and wanted like us to do as we go through this passage of Scripture is to notice three characteristics of the body of Christ, that we should celebrate and let us celebrate them today with great joy and great freedom. What are they, first of all that we have unity unity verse 12 even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body. Even though they are 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 we were all made to drink of one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many Paul is saying. First of all, how do we get into the body. He's answering that question, the body of Jesus Christ. We don't get into it by birth. We don't get into it by water baptism we get into it by what he calls the schism of the Holy Spirit that makes this members of this very special body. The body of Jesus Christ. He goes on to say verse 15 if the foot should say because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body, is it not for this reason any less a part of the body of the year should say because I am not an I am not a part of the body, is it not for this reason any less a part of the body. The answer is no. It's still a part of the body, even if it doesn't like where it has been placed first of all, unity. Notice that we are unified because we become members one of another. Paul says my thumb can wake up someday and say to myself you know I don't like the other four fingers because they have much more sameness and I am different and I am tired of playing this role. I'm leaving now it's stuck with the other members of the body. And if you're a member of Jesus Christ, you can walk away from the church. You can walk away, even into the world and you will be severed from the body emotionally and in some sense spiritually, but if you're a true believer use will belong, but you're going to look very gruesome. I like to tell that story.
It's a true story.
In Canada of a man who was visiting with a medical doctor and the vet, medical doctor, was on coal. Some of you doctors know how often that happens. And so the doctor had to leave and he said make yourself at home with your hungry just take whatever you like and so the guest after the doctor left open the fridge to get something to eat and there he saw a human hand wrapped in a plastic bag in the story that I heard was that after he saw that he wasn't hungry anymore and you know that's all it is that why why should that be repulsive. After all, what's wrong with the human hand. I'm looking at both of mine and you can look at yours and the hand is very beautiful, intricately made by God. Nothing wrong with it.
You can easily look at it, but what I hand is severed from the body. That's when it is awful. I want to tell you today that there is no believer who is more miserable. No believer who is more difficult in his spirit that someone who says I'm a Christian, but I don't like Christians. I'm not going to associate with Christians. I'm going to leave the church.
Now they still are members of the body, but because they have cut themselves off, emotionally and spiritually. They begin to shrivel up and they begin to look pretty terrible.
The apostle Paul says that when we were baptized by the Holy Spirit of God. We became members one of another.
And nobody can walk away from the body of Christ. Like it or not, folks, you are stuck with us. If you're a believer and as unity means not only that I am a member with somebody else and joined to you. It means more important that we are members of Christ. Let's look again at verse 13 for by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, we were all made it to drink of one Spirit. Now here's the the astounding truth that the apostle Paul shares even in verse 12 he says, for as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body we would expect to read and so is the church that's not what he says in the text he says so also is Christ and you look into your body. You look at your body.
I should say in a mirror and you notice that it comes. Generally speaking into parts, there's the head. And then there's the torso and Jesus Christ is the head of the body. It is the place the control center that controls all the different parts of the body, but the same blood the same life that is in my head is in the rest of the body because the union is so direct the union is so complete that the head and the rest of the body share the very same life. And so it is that we share Christ are takers of him and astounding passage of Scripture and in verse 13, Paul uses the little word all two times we are all baptized into one body. He didn't say now all those of you who are spiritual at Corinth you were baptized into one body. He didn't say now all those of you who speak in tongues at Corinth you were baptized into one body, he said.
For by one the body by one Spirit we were all baptized into the same body, and then he said we were all made to drink the same spirit when you drink water it goes inside of you to aspects of the ministry of the Holy Spirit that ought to bless us.
It is the baptism of the Holy Spirit that puts me into Christ. It is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that puts Christ into me. Jesus said I in you and you in me more than 100 times in the Bible. The apostle Paul uses that little expression in Christ. In fact, time God gives us a command in Scripture. It is based on the fact that we are already in Christ.
Remember everything that we are asked to do is based on what Christ has already done and we are in him but him are ye in Christ Jesus, who love God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.
Our connection with Christ is so direct that Paul says in Ephesians, we are members of his body, of his flesh and of his bone's and you can't get rid of bones without destroying the body. That's how integral it is. That's how connected it is a part of him while you say that's true why all this misery in the world why all these tri-trials. While these heartaches.
While these difficulties, does he feel what we are going through because the body is a unit many years ago and it is getting to be. Many years ago when I was on the farm. Growing up we were building something and I took a hammer and I was trying to pound in spikes and see see how few hammer blows I could get the spikes and with probably not in the best of mood may be working out some of my aggression. I remember hitting my finger.
You know to this day I know which one it is, is this one here because the fingernail is supposed to is considerably larger than my other fingernails because I got a brand-new one and you know when I get it.
We didn't go to the doctor until the next day, but all the other members of my body were so concerned about what happened that they stayed up all night with does Jesus feel your pain. That's what some of you are asking and the answer is yes. Soul solo white persecutors vowel me. My body is feeling the hurt and the torture of believers who are being cast into prison and put to death. I hurt yes we have a high priest who can't be touched with the feelings of our infirmities. Our head is not detached from the body is a part of the body. It deals with the body. It shares its life with the body and it also shares its honor with the body.
Ephesians chapter 1 Christ is above all principalities, and above all powers. What does it say in Ephesians 2 that he has raised us up together with him that we might be seated.
Also, at the right hand of God the father if the head is in heaven.
The body has to be there to because the head is not separate from the body, he shares his honor with as he shares his victory with us.
Romans chapter 6, shall we continue in sin that grace may abound, God forbid.
How shall we who have died to sin, live any longer therein. Know ye not, that so many of us as are members of Christ to have been baptized into his body. Again, a reference to Spirit baptism like as Christ was raised from the dead, so we too should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in his resurrection.
So we shall be united with him.
Also, in his death and ascension, and that's essentially what Paul is saying, and therefore we can walk because the head and the body are connected. We are one. We have unity right down. We had unity.
Secondly, we also have diversity.
We pick up the text in verse 17 if the whole body were and I were with the hearing date. Imagine the whole body and I you take this big guy put it on the couch and all that it can do is watch television.
If the whole body were hearing, where the sense of smell late one day year. Imagine that if you have to turn off the TV and turn on the radio pull this news this illustration, but it came to my mind that if the whole body were a mouth of what would we be and do you say, well, you know, there've been people for whom that description, at least remotely may apply. Paul is saying there is diversity there is diversity. You know what this means in practical terms number one no such thing as inferiority, no such thing as inferiority. Paul goes on to talk about those lesser members that we give no honor to it. He says they are even more necessary. Verse 22 on the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be necessary or excuse me, which seem to be weaker are necessary and then he goes into the destruction of the description I should say of those that are less honorable and what he's talking about is those parts of our body that we would never display in public pulses. They are just as important as those that we very gladly display it is because the body has no such thing as inferiority. You can't say to the toll. I don't need you know why there is inferiority in the church.
I would like to take care of that in the next couple of minutes if I could. I'm going to try but I'm not so naïve as to think that I can accomplish it. Let me tell you why. It's because of the idea in the perverse idea that church is going to church on Sunday and having a wonderful meeting and that's church and when you go to church. You notice that there are certain people who leave the service. There are certain people who sing because they're particularly gifted and and therefore people say will I can't sing like that I can't read the Scripture like that. I can't speak like that. And therefore there is nothing for me to do hope please get rid of that idea forever.
Gary it what we need to do is to understand that the body of Jesus Christ is to go about the earth healing the broken hearted. The body of Jesus Christ comes together on Sunday, but it has its ministry on one day and on Tuesday as we go out into the world and represent Jesus in stores and trees and office buildings, and where ever we may find ourselves as is represented, and that's what we need to understand and we will never electrify the church again. We will never see the church transforming society unless once again we understand the vision of Jesus going about explaining to people how they can have a relationship with God explaining forgive us and reconciliation to God and going into the highways and the byways being willing to be identified with the people of the world to lead them to the Savior, about whom we sing so beautifully.
That's the responsibility of the church. You know my friend. I think that the church of Jesus Christ is much more prepared for the crisis that we face. Then we realize it is God who is brought us to this moment and the church.
Jesus Christ has trimmed men.
This potential if you been encouraged as a result of the ministry of running to win. I want to remind you that the reason that running to win can bless so many people is because there are those who invest in this ministry and were so thankful, particularly for those who stand with us regularly with their prayers and their gift would you consider becoming an endurance partner endurance partners are those as I've already mentioned who stand with us regularly. You want more information. Here's what you do go to RTW offer.com that's RTW offer.com and then click on the endurance partner button and it'll give you the information that you need or if you prefer you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 because of the fact that so many people invest in this ministry thousands upon thousands are blessed. Thanks in advance for taking our hand in standing with us now for another chance for you to ask Pastor Lucerne, a question about the Bible or the Christian life loyalty to a nations flag what is a Christian's obligation. A man named Lance wrote to us with this story I want to church on Sunday, the day before Memorial Day and we were asked to stand and say the Pledge of Allegiance to the US flag. After that, we were asked to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the Christian flag.
I was wondering about your thoughts on saying the Pledge of Allegiance to the US flag in general and also setting it in a sanctuary church. Lance, I commend you for your question. It's good. I'm going to give you the answer that I'm comfortable with and I hope that our audience is able to listen in and also to respond to what I have to say first of all, I don't think that there is any necessary conflict between our loyalty to the flag in our loyalty to the Lord Jesus Christ. Remember Jesus said render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's. So we need to understand that we have two commitments and here on 4 July in an afternoon concert.
We also say the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, so I think that it is perfectly fine to do that. However, I would also like to caution us. It's possible to become so nationalistic. This is exactly what happened in Germany under Hitler. When the people were so nationalistic. They believe that whatever was good for Germany was good for Christianity and vice versa, and as a result of that, their nationalism took precedence over their commitment to the cross of Jesus Christ. That is a terrible danger.
So, I think, in answer to your question is fine if we understand the two spheres and making sure that that we are not guilty of excessive patriotism, but that when ever there is a conflict between Caesar and Christ. We always defer to Christ, and we never give to Caesar that which belongs to Jesus. Thank you Dr. Luther and thank you Lance for your question. If you'd like to hear your question answered. Go to our email@example.com and click on ask Pastor lutes or or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 in the body of Christ. There is great diversity. Mature Christians enjoy the gifts of every member of the body. Since each believer is a unique contribution to make to the growth of the kingdom of Christ on earth.
Next time I'm running to win more on the wondrous diversity that marks the body of Christ and why it takes each one of us to make that body complete running to win is all about helping you understand God's roadmap for your race of life.
Thanks for listening, Dr. Erwin lutes or this is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the Moody church