Our Church – The Body of Christ

Understanding the Household of God

1st Corinthians 12


Aug 10, 2014 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland



I.       Introduction (Galatians 6:10)


A.    Our memory verse this month, Galatians 6:10

B.     Understanding “The Household of Faith”


1.      A born again Christian is more than a religious expression

2.      He or she is part of the family of GOD Almighty

3.      It is a new relationship – more real and better than any relationship we have ever had before


C.     This morning we are looking at what else God describes us as – a Body. The Body of Christ


II.    Background (John 1:1-3, 14; 1Corinthians 12:27)


A.    God prepared a BODY for His Son


1.      God’s Word ACTUALLY Became Flesh

2.      He literally Lived, ate, slept, walked, helped, and served as he lived

3.      And then He died on the cross, and was buried


B.     But then, three days later, He rose again out of His sealed tomb

C.     And then 37 days, He ascended up to heaven, and is sitting at the right hand of God the Father

D.    So, I guess that is it, huh? Christianity is finished, right?

E.     No. He gave US the job now! (1Corinthians 12:27)


III. Message


A.    What We WERE (1Cor 12:2) – I love the word “WERE”…


1.      Gentiles


a.       That may not mean much to you, but it means we are NOT in God’s program

b.      God’s people have always been the Jews – not Arabs, Europeans, Americans!!!

c.       We are outsiders. We are pagan idolaters. Foreigners, strangers


2.      Carried away with our idolatry of anything we want to label as a deity

3.      Controlled by unholy spirits, and only following animal instincts

4.      That’s who we all WERE


a.       Those of us who have been born again!

b.      Thank God some things can change!


B.     What Salvation Made of Us (1Cor 12:13)


1.      We were immersed into Jesus Christ Himself!

2.      It made us Christian – not Jewish or Gentile now

3.      It made us part of the family of God – sons and daughters of GOD as we learned last week!

4.      It made us each a part of the BODY of Christ Jesus


a.       Living, working together kind of like a sports team works together for a goal

b.      But actually working together much more than that

c.       More like a HUMAN body


5.      By One Holy Spirit


a.       All the various ideas of what the holy Spirit is doing, aren’t all true

b.      Not everything spiritual, is holy!

c.       The work of the holy Spirit in every person’s life is only


1)      To convict us of sin

2)      To direct us to a life of righteousness and personal holiness, getting us ready for God’s presence in heaven

3)      And to honour ONE person – the Lord Jesus Christ – NOT Mary, or the Pope, or some great guru or pastor or teacher!


6.      All this is hard to understand how we work together until we understand how the human body works


C.     The Example of a Human Body (1Cor 12:14-25)


1.      It is Many members (12:14)


a.       You are not a body of just one member – there are an innumerable number of parts to you, working together to keep you alive and well!

b.      206 bones (26 bones in each foot alone)

c.       62,000 miles of blood vessels

d.      20 feet of small intestine

e.       A heart that beats 100,000 times a day

f.       A brain that stores every smell, every sound, every touch from childhood, and can recall any of it decades later, with the right stimuli

g.      Two lungs that if opened up and laid out flat, would be as large as a tennis court!

h.      There are over 700 known muscles in the human body – the eye muscles are the strongest muscles in your body

i.        Two of the most amazing eyes ever imaged

j.        Ears that can hear so many different sounds

k.      A nose that can smell so many different smells

l.        Every bone is joined to another bone by incredibly strong tendons and ligaments

m.    Two kidneys, a huge liver, a spleen, gall bladder, stomach, lips, tongue

n.      All different – all of them important!


2.      Each member important


a.       Did you ever hear of any of these?


1)      The pituitary gland in the middle of your head (oversees skeletal growth)

2)      The thymus gland just between your two lungs (creates vital white blood cells)

3)      The pineal gland (affects the development of the sex glands)

4)      The tonsils, and appendix (both now known to fight disease)

5)      They ALL were thought of as vestigial – worthless, unnecessary parts – until the last 20 years!!! Funny how science finally catches up with the Bible


b.      Including the good bacteria in your stomach that HELPS you digest food – without them, you will die!

c.       Even though UNSEEN! Think about it – MOST of a person’s body is invisible to the outside viewer! There is a whole lot more to a person that what you see on the outside!


3.      No Envy by any of the body (1Cor 12:15-16)


a.       The foot is not to compare itself with the hand – both are marvellous


1)      The foot cannot believe it is not important because it is not a hand

2)      It cannot believe it doesn’t belong to the body simply because it is not a hand, or it cannot do the work of a hand!


b.      The same with the ear


1)      Which one is more important?

2)      Which one would you want to live without?

3)      Neither!

4)      Both are marvellous, and very good to have around!

5)      The ear cannot say that sine it is not an eye, and cannot do what the eye does, that it is not important to the body, and can be thrown away or ignored!


4.      A Human Body Needs EVERY Part (1Cor 12:17)


a.       If the entire human body were just one big eyeball… Would we miss hearing? The sound of rain, or birds singing, or the words, “I love you”?

b.      If we were only an ear… Wouldn’t we miss smelling Apple tars, lasagne, fresh popcorn, fresh baked chocolate cookies?


5.      God designed the human body – not an accident (1Cor 12:18)


a.       Totally disproves evolution – the fact that we are here and alive and living!

b.      Rocks don’t breed living things!

c.       Every member has its design

d.      Its place in the body

e.       As it pleased Him – you may not be happy with His design, but HE is, and it works quite well I think!

f.       Thank God our feet aren’t sticking out of our head

g.      And that our thumbs aren’t sticking out of our tongue

h.      If evolution were true, anything goes!


6.      All the parts of a body, are part of ONE body (1Cor 12:19-25)


a.       Every member of a body needs all the other members


1)      The eye cannot think it doesn’t need the hand

2)      The head cannot say to the feet that it does not need them

3)      A head would be stuck in one place all its life if it weren’t for feet

4)      An eye could never reach out and touch and feel what something it sees feels like, if it didn’t have the use of hands!


b.      A human body EVEN NEEDS its feeble members – weak members (22)


1)      They are necessary


a)      The little toes

b)      Nose hairs – very important

c)      Eyebrows

d)     Skin over every square inch of your body


2)      All are vitally important


c.       The weaker and even uglier parts usually get more attention and more honour


1)      A broken wrist get pampered and coddled

2)      A scratch, gets ointment and a protective plaster

3)      A hurting muscle gets massages

4)      A stubbed toe gets much attention and protection

5)      A cramp in the stomach gets much attention


d.      Our comely parts need no attention (12:24)


1)      Strong muscles… they just work

2)      Healthy eyes… they just work too

3)      Strong legs, just walk and run and jump as needed

4)      Healthy skin, just works

5)      It is when something goes wrong that we give it our attention, and we honour it so that it gets repaired, and can work with the rest of the body again!


7.      God has tempered (Balanced) all together into ONE magnificent body (24)


a.       Every part is designed to link up together with other parts, to make a whole - a body!

b.      Not loads of separate bodies, but one, unified whole!

c.       That is how God designed each and every one of us


8.      You know this is true because:


a.       When just one part of you is hurting… Your whole body hurts! Your whole attention is on getting it restored

b.      And when just one member is blessed, your whole body is blessed


1)      Taste a good cup of coffee, and your whole body just smiles!

2)      Hear a grandchild say, “I love you Grandma”, you your whole body just melts!

3)      Sit in a comfortable chair, and your whole body just sinks in comfort and rest!


D.    The Body of Christ (1Cor 12:26,27) All of that is the same with the Body of Christ!


1.      Some of you were taught a piece of bread was the Body of Christ – it wasn’t – YE are the body of Christ!!!  (See also Rom 12:5)

2.      There are so many members – it is not all about any ONE person here, but Jesus

3.      God designed the Church – not designed by its members, or by its headquarters, but marvellously, by God!

4.      There is to be NO envy by any of the members


a.       What if this church were just the pastor – would be terrible, and lonely

b.      What if it was only full of pastors - boring


5.      How you feel about how you are not like someone else, does not matter – you are a member of Christ’s body!

6.      Every member in a Church needs ALL the other members – EACH contributes!


a.       Even the less honourable, the feeble, the weak


1)      The addict, the sick, the dying, the needy, the confused

2)      Along with the strong, the faithful, the godly, the labourers


b.      We all desperately need each other!


7.      God tempers us – balances us – joins us together (Eph 4:15,16) – links us up, tightly


a.       Alone we are useless! When tempered, joined up & balanced together, we are amazing

b.      Eph 4:15,16 … the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.


8.      No Division in Christ’s body – should be none here! If you get upset, let’s deal with it.


IV. Final Conclusions


A.    Ye all are the body of Christ – if you are born again! So, Take it SERIOUSLY!


1.      God made each of us a part of the BODY of Christ Jesus

2.      Living, working together like a HUMAN body does

3.      By the working of the Holy Spirit


B.     And you are all particular members of His body, already – the Holy Spirit put you in His body at your salvation


1.      This is not a body of ONE, but of many

2.      This isn’t about some important person, leader, teacher, speaker, performer

3.      Each member here important

4.      Figure Out What part of the body you are.


a.       Maybe you are His mouth, or a helping hand, or a carrying leg

b.      Or maybe you are His beautiful feet carrying the Gospel

c.       Or maybe you are His soft heart, full of compassion

d.      Or maybe you are part of the strong backbone of this church, determined to stand straight and tall for the Lord, not giving in to sin and the pressures of the world

e.       Even though what you do is UNSEEN! Remember – MOST of a person’s body is invisible to the outside viewer! There is a whole lot more to a person that what you see on the outside! There is a whole lot more to this church than just the choir and the preaching and the Sunday School teachers!


C.     Take good care of each other - Members should have the same care for every member


1.      When just one of you is hurting… Believe me, we all hurt with you; And our whole attention is on getting you better

2.      And when just one of you is blessed, everyone is blessed


D.    Without Envy by any of us

E.     Let’s have No division


1.      God has tempered (Balanced) all together into ONE magnificent body (24)

2.      Every part is designed to link up together with other parts, to make a whole - a body!

3.      Not loads of separate bodies, but one, unified whole!

4.      That is how God designed each and every one of us


F.      Stay together – stick together – PULL TOGETHER - like bones to tendons to muscles, to skin

G.    Join together in a local, physical group of believers and BE PART of that Church!

H.    A church needs everyone in it – strong, and feeble

I.       God designed us to be this way


1.      Every member of a body needs all the other members

2.      When one is missing, it affects the others

3.      Even FEEBLE ones, and weak members! They are necessary

4.      GOD gives honour to the weaker members! We should too!

5.      I spend more time and attention on those that have needs – and that is how it is supposed to be  - this is not a social club where I spend all my time with the wealthy and important people so I can get your money – NO!


V.    Invitation


A.    Are you even IN the body?


1.      Not the building of a church, but the body of a church!

2.      Have you been BORN AGAIN?

3.      You can be today!


B.     Are you a member of THIS church?


1.      If you are born again, We need you!

2.      You can join today!