FIRST IN SERIES OF TWO
Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:12-27
(a) Down through the years, just about every time I have spoken about BAPTISM, some people seem to have got WATER ON THE BRAIN!
(b) The BAPTISM about which we speak, is something that is PERFORMED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, Who, remember, is referred to in the Scriptures as LIVING WATER Himself!
(c) If you can catch the mental picture, of THE HOLY SPIRIT BAPTISING US INTO THE BODY OF CHRIST!
(d) This is another way of speaking about what HAPPENS AT THE MOMENT WE ARE SAVED -
WE BECOME A PART, A MEMBER OF THE CHURCH WHICH IS THE BODY OF CHRIST
(a) As in our own body, each member has a specific part to play, as ordained by God!
(b) EACH of us, has a talent, a gift, or a personality, that fits us for a VERY SPECIFIC TASK which God had planned for us even before we were born!
[c] In one corps, we had a CSM who would have been much more suited to children's work as YPSM. But throughout the whole area he was known as the Salvation Army Sergeant Major. Many people thought that he was actually in charge of the local corps.
They used to ask me how my boss was?
Although because of work commitments, he was unable to fulfill his function properly, he did not fancy losing the seeming importance of his position, and indeed was not afraid to say so, and perhaps the Lord's work suffered because of it.
(d) Have you ever tried walking on your hands or your knees?? Not easy! Some Christians have been trying to do it for years, because they insist, for whatever reason, to carry on in the job they are unsuited for!
(e) Sometimes there is an unwillingness to sit down and honestly ask "WHY IS THIS SO?"
(f) When everything else is right and fitting into place, THE LORD WILL PROVIDE THE OTHER PARTS OF THE BODY. AFTER ALL, AS WE SO OFTEN SAY, IT IS HIS WORK - NOT OURS!
(g) There are many others in the Body of Christ, who are NOT FITTING INTO ANY place! Not even the one that GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THEM - and indeed PREPARED THEM FOR!!
BUT THANK GOD FOR THE MANY FITTING INTO THEIR GOD ORDAINED PLACES!
[h] Remember Ezekiel's vision in Ezekiel 37? The vision in the valley of dry bones - it says, "they came together, bone to his bone."
(a) From the smallest to the largest part. our body is CONTROLLED BY THE BRAIN!
(b) Immediately the brain sends out it's message, the part of the body concerned immediately reacts and obeys!
(c) The BODY OF CHRIST must work no differently, with CHRIST as the HEAD!
(d) When a part of our body does not react to the brains message, we say it is paralysed!
How many Christians are not in tune with the mind of Christ! It means He cannot control them! THEY ARE PARALYSED!! They are not reacting to the impulses from their HEAD, CHRIST!
(f) There are other members who just go to sleep and cause SPIRITUAL PINS AND NEEDLES WITHIN THE CHURCH!
(g) When you hurt yourself, it is your BRAIN THAT FEELS THE PAIN!!
When you or I are hurt or injured - in whatever way, CHRIST FEELS OUR PAIN!!
Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
[*] Unity or togetherness and true sharing, are not easily won things! At Burger King an elderly couple ordered one burger, one order of fries and one coke with two glasses.
When they got to their booth, the man placed a napkin in front of himself and one in front of his wife, then
proceeded to divide the fries, cut the burger in half and divided the coke equally.
A gentleman nearby noticed and offered to buy them another burger, fries and Coke.
The woman then said, "No you don't understand. We've been married over 50 years and all our life we agreed
to split everything right down the middle."
Her husband then began eating, as she sat with her hands in her lap.
The gentleman nearby noticed and asked the lady why she wasn't eating.
She replied, "As I said before, we split everything right down the middle, and it's his day to use the
(a) Because we are ONE BODY, we do not and CANNOT EXIST as SEPARATE UNITS DOING OUR OWN THING! WE MUST HAVE ONE ANOTHER'S SUPPORT!
[*] How often have we heard it said, "United we stand - divided we fall!"
Never has it been truer of anything, than it is of the Christian Church.
(b) What others do within the Body of Christ, does effect us and effect the efficient working of the Body as a whole!
(c) We've all heard the cliché about not letting the right hand know what the left hand is doing! That's all very well, but if the ONE HAND WAS HINDERING THE OTHER FROM DOING IT'S WORK, or trying to stop the leg walking for example, what an IMPOSSIBLE SITUATION IT WOULD BE! BUT SO OFTEN IT HAPPENS IN THE CHURCH!
(d) If we are to have a hope of fulfilling God's purpose in this world, we must work together, feel for one another and support one another!
Phillip's Translation of 1 Corinthians 12:25 says,
"The Body should work together as a whole, with all the members in sympathetic relationship with one another."
(e) This is not a picture of some sort of wonderful euphoria to aim for and never reach!!! IT IS RATHER A GUIDELINE OF WHAT GOD REQUIRES OF US - RIGHT NOW, IF THE CHURCH, THE BODY OF CHRIST, IS TO BE EFFECTIVE FOR HIM IN THIS WORLD.
(f) HE HAS ENTRUSTED THE WELFARE OF HIS KINGDOM TO US - LET US BE CAREFUL WE DO NOT BETRAY HIS TRUST!
SALVATION ARMY SONG BOOK
CHORUS Bind us together Lord