Sunday Service Sermons

26-April-2020

The Church-The Body of Christ
Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 12:27, Ephesians 3:6, Romans 12:4-5
“Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to the others”  Rom. 12:4-5
Good time to think about the body, right?
We have been doing unprecedented things to assure us that our body survives.
How about the Church Body?
Will it survive?
There are some who want social distancing from now on.
We, all of us, need closeness to be reassured.
I can’t imagine church or Christianity with distance between each of us.
We are, as it says above, one body with many members.
The closer we get to that image the better we do as Christians.
Just as the human body is an amazing creation so is the church.
Just as we take our own bodies for granted so we do in regard to our church body.
These past weeks we have seen just how much we need our Church body.
It is amazing what our bodies can learn to do.
Complicated tasks become second nature with repetition.
I have come to realize just how special our church body here at Empire is.
The way we take care of one another.
We might not be perfect but we are well on our way to what Christ wants of his body, the church.
The Church, as the body of Christ, needs to operate with the same kind of coordination as an athlete.
Each part knowing its function to bring the whole into line with the goal.
Paul even speaks of this in regard to discipline.
He uses the image of  training and bringing the body into submission to accomplish the goal set before it.
Self discipline is the key to life.
It was the key to the experiment in self government once known as the United States of America.
But now we look to the Government and the Government has other goals than the individual.
The Church is like a human body.
It is a single functioning organism.
The church is not an organism made up of many pats assembled together.
Rather it is a living organism that has many parts.
The church has many diverse members.
In 1 Corinthians 12”12 Paul wrote, “The body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts from one body.”
He states that a foot cannot downplay itself because it is not a hand.

2
An ear cannot say that it doesn’t belong to the body just because it is not an eye.
All parts of the body, though diverse, are necessary for the body.
In the church we remain individuals who are quite diverse in nature.
We are created unique individuals to make the whole more complete.
No one can be all things to all people.
We are to be individuals knitted together by our common Lord and purpose.
Members realize their own importance as they relate to the body.
It is functioning within the body that our uniqueness and importance comes to light.
No organ of the body would have any value or meaning if severed from the body.
Just as the hand and the foot have identity simply because of their membership in the body so it is with church members.
In the church our diversity is a blessing if it is supported by a strong sense of unity.
We, as members of Christ’s body, complement one another.
Together, in Christ, we are greater than our individual parts.
The foot takes the hand where it wants to go.
The eyes turn to see what the ears have heard.
Not only does meaning depend on the members functioning together; survival depends on it.
This body, we call the church, is Christ’s body.
The church is Christ’s body functioning under his direction; he is the head.
The Church began with the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus  Christ.
There were people of God in the Old Testament, but the church in the full sense of the world originated in Jesus The Christ.
Therefore we should not presume to think of ourselves as members of it unless we acknowledge the One who is the head of the church, who gave himself for her.
We become members of Christ’s body, his church, by being born into this kingdom.
For an organization to be a church it must be the body of Christ.
Not every organization that calls itself a church functions as the Body of Christ continuing His work on earth.
To often and too easily they can become social clubs.
We should be aware to keep our church functioning as Christ’s body.
Christ’s body, as a church, derives its origin and its power from Him.
In a specific instance, a local church is merely an expression of the church in this place and at this time.
If it is organized to do our will, we probably should call it our club.
If, however, it is the body of Jesus Christ doing his will, we should call it a church.
Each member of Christ’s church is important.
Individual members are important to Christ.
For Jesus cares for and guides the members of his body.
He corrects them when they go astray, and he forgives them when they come back.
In him they realize their full meaning as individuals and as members of His Church.

3
In church we find some of the most meaningful relationships in life, some as important as those in our immediate families.
In our church families we find the strength to thrive in our day-to-day lives.
The church family is our source of encouragement and support.
Each individual is important to the whole.
Just as some of the organs of the body are inconspicuous, so are some of the members of the church.
Whether you stand out or are not all that visible each member has their role in making the church family complete.
Each member has an important function even if it is behind the scenes.
We all need to use our special talents and gifts to enhance the body of the church.
The Church is dependent on Jesus Christ.
In John 15 Jesus used the figure of the vine and the branches to illustrate his relationship to the church.
He is the vine, we are the branches.
No branch can live apart from the vine.
In the church each one of us has a relationship to Christ and to others.
Our relationship is that of dependence on Him.
Christ is the source of our life and strength.
Just as the vine brings the moisture and nourishment from the earth to the branches, so Christ is the source of our energy and power.
Apart from him we would perish.  We depend on Christ for meaning in life.
Next to life itself in importance is meaning. Life must have direction or purpose.
Without such meaning we wither away.  Jesus Christ is that meaning in our lives.
The church is one whole functioning unit.
There is oneness in the church.
One body with unity of purpose.
One Spirit who leads us all.
The Holy Spirit structures us in our direction and purpose.
One Hope, faith that Jesus is alive and directing us and the church.
One Lord, Jesus Christ our Lord and Master.
We believe in him and obey him because he is Lord, the head of the body, the Church.
One faith, personal commitment to Jesus Christ.
One baptism, with a confession and commitment to the one Lord of all.
One God, Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
The body of Christ, the church , is held together by God, who is the Father of all human kind.
You and I are members of the body of Christ.  We belong to and depend on him.
And since we are members of this body we belong to one another.
Won’t it wonderful when our body is back together ?





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