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The Body of Christ - Part 4

Good Morning My Beloved.

I'm glad to have all of you here today.
Thank you for joining us.

Heavenly Father,

We thank You for the time You give us anytime we come to You
though it always seems to be limited, we often seem pressured
and we aren’t sure exactly why all things have to be conformed to time frame
we know that You understand that. We also thank You for what You
give us, each day, in Your Word and the Holy Spirit, though our finite minds often
experience difficulty in trying to absorb what You are saying to us..
We thank You for this truth that comes, today, and though we may feel like those on the road to Emmaus, our hearts burn within us over these things, help us that we may rejoice with clarity and understanding these truths.
Help us O Lord to embed these truths in our minds, that we might indeed become one
We thank You and offer up our praises to You
In Christs' precious name

"For as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many, are one body—so also is Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. So the body is not one part but many. If the foot should say, “Because I’m not a hand, I don’t belong to the body,” in spite of this it still belongs to the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I’m not an eye, I don’t belong to the body,” in spite of this it still belongs to the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed each one of the parts in one body just as He wanted. And if they were all the same part, where would the body be? Now there are many parts, yet one body.
So the eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” Or again, the head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” But even more, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are necessary. And those parts of the body that we think to be less honorable, we clothe these with greater honor, and our unpresentable parts have a better presentation. But our presentable parts have no need of clothing. Instead, God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the less honorable, so that there would be no division in the body, but that the members would have the same concern for each other. So if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and individual members of it." 
I Corinthians 12:12-27

Today's Message: The Body of Christ - Part 4

Beloved, as one in the body of Christ, we are to love, help, care for one another and sharing in our joy and encouraging each other when experienced something aggrieved. In this way the whole body must be built up to the intended position God set. Now is the time to stop striving to win self-reputation and self-glory, and help our fellow brothers and sisters, who are left behind without no one to help them. It is my prayer, that by the end of this series, you'll agree. That we can all do more than talk about Jesus, but we can become the image of Christ in the body and in the world.

Let's begin shall we..

You know how to convince the world that Jesus is for real and that we really believe what we proclaim, and we really love Him? Just start loving one another. Listen to me, the greatest evangelism in the world is not going out necessarily preaching in the streets or having a big tent revival. The greatest evangelism in the world is so much love that the world can’t figure it out.

Now, listen; if the principle that brings our unity is humility, the mark of our unity is love. Isn’t it? Love. Paul said to those Thessalonians, he said, "O, the Lord make you to increase and abound in love toward one another."

The apostle John said, "This is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that ye should love one another." Do you really love? I mean do you love like Christ loved, or are you so protective of your ego that every time something goes wrong, and you don't receive the recognition you feel you deserve, do you want to retaliate and react and get bitter? And if everything isn’t like you like it, and if the Church isn’t like you like it, and if Sister So-and-so or Brother So-and-so is that the kind of person you are, or are you still just as kind and loving as a person? And it doesn’t matter what the circumstances, your love just gushes, and who ever is out there gets it?

We are one. And the principle of our oneness is humility and the mark of our oneness is love. The kind of love that humbles us. You know? The kind of love that goes to his brother and says, "Brother, I have had a bitterness against you, and I want to ask you to forgive me, and I want to begin to love you. I want to love you the way Christ loves me" That’s the kind of love it is. And then it’s the kind of love that says, "Brother, I forgive you." And it’s the kind of love that says, "Hey, I’m sorry, brother." And that's kind of love that says in return, I’m sorry too." It’s the kind of love that doesn’t criticize others to build up itself. And it’s the kind of love that loves no matter what it costs: money, prestige, position, power – it doesn’t matter. Our oneness will rise and fall on our humility and love for one another. Love will increase and abound toward one another!

And let me say it this way. If you have anything, anything but love for any other believer, whether here today or somewhere else out in the world, before the body of Christ is ever going to be healthy, you’re going to have to get down on your knees, kneeling to pray before God, repent, and confess, and then go to that believer and find a way to make it right. And yes, I know that it's not an easy thing to do, facing someone, I do know that, but I've been there, I've done it and I'm still here. It didn't kill me. Even though I was sure at the time that it would. And you know something, 99.8% of those times, God changed the relationship. Now there were 1 or 2, now that there was that many, but there were definitely a few, that just weren't having any part of it. But that's on them, I did my part, I did my best at attempting to right the wrong. They have to answer for their part, and I'll answer for anything I've done. Not for my sin, but for what I have done to serve Christ since receiving salvation.That's how it works. But I'll take 99.8% any day, yeah sure, I'd like it to have been 100 %, but it wasn't. And who knows, maybe the next time we cross paths, they'll approach me and say, "Hey, I'm sorry I didn't accept your apology." The seed of forgiveness was planted...

Listen, we must have love for each other. That’s right, yeah you. Every single one of us. We must have your love for the total unity of the body. We’ll never accomplish it without yours. We may have unity positionally,  we’ve got to have it in practice or the world, those out there, they’re never going to know it. And we’re not going to experience the true joy of the body life. And so, we are to be one. So let’s start practice our positional oneness.

The next thing about the body. Wait, let’s turn back to quickly to I Corinthians 12 for a minute. If the first aspect of the body is unity, the second aspect is diversity. Diversity. We’re one, and yet we’re many. Now, verse 14 of I Corinthians 12, "For the body is not one member, but many." All right, unity is our base; diversity is our operation, isn’t it? Sure, the body’s one, and yet there are arms and fingers and all various parts, and ears and eyes, and all of the various members of the body, each with a unique function operating distinctly and yet as one. Verse 14 says the body is many members. There is diversity with the body. You know, we’re all different, aren’t we? We’re all different, Romans 12. We’ve been given different gifts, and the measure of faith to go with the gift. In other words, if God gives you a spiritual gift, He gives you the amount of faith to operate it. Doesn’t he?  

Can you imagine what would happen if God gave any one of you a particular gift and then not the faith to operate it. Wouldn't that be so frustrating? Or if God gave you too much faith for the measure of the gift that He gave you. Thankfully, God is perfect in all of His ways. He matches the measure of faith with the gift we been blessed with, so that we always have the exact amount of faith to operate the right gift. Isn't He amazing? Every last detail, thought out meticulously, and given to us.

All right, these are going to be brief. But I’ll just mention them to you rather quickly. But the diversity is important. We all have distinct gifts. We’ll talk about the gifts of the Spirit as we get into Ephesians. So, we won’t belabor the point. But looking at verse 4 of this chapter, let me just read them to you. “Now there are diversities of gifts." Now, these aren’t talents, friends. These aren’t innate abilities; these are Spirit-given gifts. When you become a Christian, God, through His Spirit, gives you a specific gift. Watch them. These are Spirit-given, divine gifts that you have. There are diversities of gifts but the same Spirit.

Now, do you see, the body needs this? We’ve got to all complement each other. We all can’t be everything to everybody, right? So, I can do one thing; you can do one thing; somebody else can do another thing. And in the process, we minister to each other, don’t we? Do you see it? And we're doing this all for the health of the body. If any organ in our natural body, if it doesn’t function properly, it effects the rest of the body. If your heart is malfunctioning, it cripples the body, right?
The Body of Christ has to operate in the same manner.

All right, so, there are diversities of gifts with the same Spirit. There are differences of administrations of the same Lord. There are diversities of operation but the same God. See how it’s diversity and unity?

"to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom." There’s a gift; some people have wisdom. "To another, a message of knowledge." Some people are learned; they know the Word of God. "To another, faith by the same spirit." Did you know that faith is a Spirit-given gift? Some people have that gift; some people don’t. Now, all of us have faith to believe God, but some have the gift of faith, which is faith beyond the normal kind of faith.

"to another, gifts of healing by the one Spirit, To another the performing of miracles, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another different kinds of languages, to another, interpretation of tongues." And, of course, if you study carefully the Word of God, you’ll find out that there are all kinds of other gifts mentioned in Romans 12 and Ephesians 4 as well. Some of them are temporary, some of them are permanent, some of them are for the unbeliever, and some of them for the edification of the body. We won’t get into all of that.

But basically, there are diversity of gifts. Verse 11, "But one and the same Spirit is active in all these, distributing to each person as He wills." Is anybody getting this? Anyone at all? "Dividing to every man severally as He will."

So, in order to allow for functioning in the body so that we can all minister to each other, and I can work with you, and I can be to you what you can’t be, I can instruct you, and you can perhaps do something – operating another gift for me, we can all work together. The Spirit has divided up the gifts in beautiful balance. And I’ll put it simple: if you’re not using your gift, somebody’s getting cheated.

Ephesians tells us that even the diversity of gifts make for unity. You know that? Now listen to this; Ephesians 4:11-13, "And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into a mature man with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness." You see, the diversity of gifts brings unity in faith.

You say, "But pastor, how?" Well, because as we all minister to each other, as all of us are being ministered to and ministering our gifts in a perfect exchange, we’re all together maturing. Aren’t we? And the full complement of gifts is being bestowed upon every member. So, we’re all coming together. Because if you’re ministering to me, and I’m ministering to you, and together we’re ministering the gifts that God’s given us, we’re all together growing into one perfect, mature body.

And diversity, diversity is so important. Your spiritual gifts are a sovereign, a God-given blessing, and you must utilize them. You say, "Well, pastor, I tried that. I applied to the Sunday school and they apparently don’t need a third-grade teacher."

Well, bless your heart. I don’t know if this ministry needs a third-grade teacher or not; I don’t really care, in your case. You know why? Because of this: Scripture does not say, "Find an organization and assign your gift to it." I've read it, it doesn’t say that. If you have a spiritual gift, operate it. You say, "There aren’t any openings." Oh, yes there are. If you have the gift of helps here or there, go help somebody. You don’t need the structural church organization, to do it; Just go do it.

If you have the gift of teaching, go find a class and teach it. If it’s a class of one, two, even in your neighborhood, go find somebody that needs to be taught. If you have the gift of evangelism, go find somebody that doesn’t know Jesus Christ and evangelize them. You don’t need the church organization. So many people sit around. They’ve got spiritual gifts that the body of Christ is just hungering for, they're craving it. And somebody needs you to minister to them. Don’t wait for the organization to fit you in the slot; go find somebody and minister your gift. And I’ll clue you in on this, if you can’t find somebody to minister your gift to, then you’re probably not in the mainstream of the body life to begin with. This ministry needs your gift to be ministered. The Spirit didn’t give it to you to put it on a shelf.

I've heard a great many number of Christians say, "Well, I don’t even know what my gift is." Then find out. How? Read the list of gifts in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4. Find out the one that is yours by prayer and by studying the gifts and determining what you like to do and what you do with the Spirit’s blessing and a measure of success. Now, you know you don’t have the gift of pastor teacher, if you’re a woman. So, that eliminates that.

"since God is not a God of disorder but of peace. As in all the churches of the saint, the women should be silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak, but should be submissive as the law also say. As if they want to learn something, they should ask their own husband at home, for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church meeting. Did the word of God originate from you, or did it come to you only?"
I Corinthians 14:33-36

If you know you don’t have the gift of evangelism, if you don't have the ability stand to get up in front of people and speak, at least on a somewhat larger scale. Yet you love to work with people, maybe you have the gift of help. Or perhaps you’re a great organizer, maybe you have the gift of administration or ruling. Whatever it is, you read them over and over. You discover them, and I’ll promise you, if you’re honest and you want to know, the Holy Spirit will show you. It may not be instantaneously, but you will be shown. And the same is true when praying, earnestly, how to utilize your gift. If you pray, I mean really pray, opportunities for your gift, will arise.
You don’t need this or any other organization in order to minister your gift. If you do, you’re just leaning on a crutch. Oh, listen; you that are working here in this ministry, I know this is where God has you, use your gift. But if you can’t find an opening, if there’s not a place as far as you know in the structure, go and minister to somebody. somewhere to use your gift.

Go teach somebody. Go find somebody who wants to know what you have to offer. I know, some of you may say, "Well. where are they?" This world right now is full of people who need to know the Word of God. You could probably strike up a conversation with an acquaintance, go and meet them, and just sit down and teach them some things. There are so many new Christians in this world that need to learn more about God. Find a some place with this or some other ministry. If there isn't one, that showcases your gift. create one and start sharing it.

If your ministry is the ministry of nurturing and compassion, you know, caring for people, then go visit some sick people. We have a list of them. Go find them. Don’t wait for the structure; minister your gift. As my great grandpa used to say, "get after it." Fast.

Point three, harmony. The last thing that the body must have is harmony. We’re all ministering our gifts, and yet it’s got to blend, doesn’t it? I love this. This is so rich. Verse 15. If there’s not harmony in a body, it’s ridiculous. "If the foot should say, “Because I’m not a hand, I don’t belong to the body,” in spite of this it still belongs to the body." Of course not. "And if the ear should say, “Because I’m not an eye, I don’t belong to the body,” in spite of this it still belongs to the body."
You know, the idea of insignificance. Well, I’m so insignificant I don’t even belong in this situation. That’s not true; You have a function.

Verse 17, "If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?" You know, as well as I do, there's a lot of people out there, "Well, if only I was only an eye, man I’d really operate; but I’m just a foot. so I can't do anything"
So, Paul says, "If the whole body was an eye, where would the the hearing? If the whole body were hearing, where would be the smelling?" Do you not see it? It takes all of us to function and operate fully. There’s got to be diversity. There’s no place for attitudes, envy or jealousy, because there’s no hierarchy. You don’t need to envy anybody else’s gifts. God’s blessed you with yours; they are as absolutely astounding gifts! And even more, they are 100 percent just as critical to the life of the body as mine or anybody else’s gifts.

And then in verse 18, "But now God has placed each one of the parts in one body just as He wanted."
Isn't that amazing? God knows what He’s doing! We can be confident of that. Every one of them were placed within the body as it pleased Him.  God provided a master plan for unity. "And if they were all the same part, where would the body be?" Why did He do this? Everybody can’t do the same thing, discover your gift and use it. Find a place to use it in.We’re all part of the same body. But we have different things to do. I can't do what many of you do. But I can do my part, to the best of my ability.

Well, we'll stop there for today and pick up where we left off, somewhere around I Corinthians 12, verse 18. However, as always, I strongly courage you to continue reading this and study it on your own.

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name
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Brian Monzon Ministries

The Brian Monzon Ministries



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