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The Body of Christ - Part 5

Good Morning My Beloved,

Thank you all for joining us today
as always, it's such an honor and privilege for me to be
able to share the Word of God with all of you 

Heavenly Father,

You are a kind, patient and loving Parent
Yet, we remain disobedient to Your truth 
and continue to be obedient to unrighteousness 
as a way of life, help us Lord to be more obedient to You
Father, we know that You have no respect of persons
that You judge equitably. You have provided us a way
that we can receive the righteousness of Christ 
by simply believing in Him. 

Father, we just pray today, that You will bring those to prayer 
those that You would desire to come, that we would see the great miracle 
one of transformed lives, of regeneration, occur even today
and we gather today in Your Holy presence, worshiping and we're praising You
in Christ’s 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 5

Open your Bibles to I Corinthians chapter 12, please. I Corinthians chapter 12. As I mentioned previously, in preparation for a study of the book of Ephesians, we have been studying the concept of the body of Christ. Please turn to the 21st verse.

We have. in some depth, talked about the body of Christ in a variety of terms, and as you know, we’re not talking about Christ's physical body, but the Church which is His new body. We’ve talked about the witness of the body, that is, the importance of the body communicating. That is we who belong to Christ, who are His Church, who make up this body of believers, witnessing not only by our individual testimony, but by collective love and unity.

Then humility is the key, verse 21, "And the eye cannot say to the hand, 'I have no need of you;' nor again the head to the feet, 'I have no need of you, feet.' "

You see, this is the idea of lording it over. See? "You know, you’re just – you’re nothing; you down there, I’m the head. See?"

And then I like verse 22, "But even more, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are necessary." In other words, someone says, "I’m the nose. really beautiful, makes for a nice looking face, doesn't it? And the most important thing is not to notice it’s the feet that gets you somewhere. You’d be better off to have an injured nose than crippled feet." That’s what he’s saying right here. You know, the ones who are always saying, "Well, we’re the ones in public view. We’re the ones that everyone sees. Obviously, we're more important!" We've all known people like that, am I right?

And Paul says, "Wait a minute, it’s the stuff going on in the background that may be really the necessity." I’ll tell you something, that you learn that in the ministry. I see people coming to Christ, and I go into the situation of people coming to Christ, and you know what I discover? That there has been somebody who has been working with them. That's right! There's been some feet and some hands in the body that have been laboring just because I happen to be the mouth who stands up and gets the preeminence. That means nothing. My gift is not one bit anymore significant than yours. In fact, in reality, it may even be less necessary than yours. Maybe I couldn't do what I do, if you didn't do what you do.

Look at verse 23, "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." You see, the parts that aren’t so visible or beautiful, they’re the ones that are really doing the job. It really takes the starch out of somebody who stands up and says, "Well, I’m really the most beautiful part of the body." What do they really do, just sit there and look good? Let me tell you something, not a single one of us are that good looking! Get up and do something for Christ.

I Corinthians 12:24, "But our presentable parts have no need of clothing. Instead, God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the less honorable." Those internal organs that are not really attractive, that are not pretty to look at, they are the essence of life. It’s not just the visible ones, the beautiful ones. It’s that part that does the real work, the stuff behind the scenes, that no one sees, that maintain the functions of the body. That's the work that gives the body life. And, you know, we’ve got to be sure we don’t get this kind of a dichotomy, don’t we? Where we find ourselves saying, "Well, we’re the ones who make this church, and you, you’re just this or that." No, ma'am. No, sir.
That couldn't be further from the truth! Every single part of the body plays a critical role in the body.

Look at verse 25, don’t do it, There should be no schism in the body. No division. "so that there would be no division in the body, but that the members would have the same concern for each other." There’s no difference. No difference. None. Verse 26, "So if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it." Unity. Diversity. Now, Harmony.

Beloved, we have got to be a healthy body. We have just got to be. We must be healthy, and we need you, every single one of you to be onboard in order to do it. We don’t really need more structural unity. We don’t need more organization. We do, however, need more body unity, not division, we all definitely need more body ministry. That’s what Jesus prayed for isn't? Let’s all answer His prayer.
Our unity is the unity of the Spirit, not the unity of the denomination, or the church, or the organization. And there will be true spiritual unity when we all learn to truly humble ourselves, when we do not look upon the things of others, but when we love with a love that could care less what happens to us as one individual but as a one body. And when we begin to minister in harmony, sharing our spiritual gifts to each other.

We must all work together, no matter the cost, caring for each other as one. That’s what Jesus prayed for, that’s what we should want, all for His glory. The Holy Spirit has specifically empowered and enabled those of us who belong to Jesus Christ to carry out some very, very important specific functions.

And so, by way of introduction, I have some thoughts. We know that God wants to reach this whole world with His truth. Isn't that true? I agree, obviously. In the Old Testament, Israel was God’s vehicle to reach the world. In the Gospels, it was Christ Himself and His disciples were the vehicle to reach the world. Primarily, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Today, and since the 2 Chapter of Acts, right up until this very day, the Church is the vehicle through which God has designed to communicate Christs' message to the world. Do we agree? Good.

It is not only by the words that we say that we communicate, but it is also by what we are that we communicate. And that’s the reason that Jesus said in John 13, "By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, that you have love one for another." And in John 17 "That all men would know that the Father sent Christ if we were one." And He prayed that they may be one, "That all men might know that the Father sent Me." Our witness then is not only our verbal witness, it is not only a communication of the Gospel in specifics, it is the witness of love and unity through our actions and behaviors.

When we are at last one in love, then and only then, the world will find our witness devastating and begin to believe. And so, the Church is the vehicle by which God designed to communicate to the world His nature and His truth. And that, beloved, we know to have been the case since the 2nd chapter of Acts, when the Church was first begun, on the day of Pentecost.

It must start with unity within the Church! Unity on the basis of humility and love then becomes our greatest and powerful testimony. Needless to say, although all believers are one in terms of position, that is what I Corinthians 12:13 says. You can see it right here. "By one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jew, Greek, bond, free; we’ve all been made to drink into one Spirit."

So, although we are one in position, thought we have been made one in terms of the Holy Spirit’s ministry and salvation and putting us into the body of Christ, though we are one in fact, we are not one terms of our individual activities or our actions. And, I must say, we most certainly are not one in spirit and witness. Christianity’s testimony has been decimated, because it has been severely fractioned and whacked up, chopped into little pieces, just like Humpty Dumpty.

Now, we have this little group over here, and this little group over there, and that great big group over there, and so forth and so on. And people stand up and say that we’re this group, we do most of the work and when we do that, and we're all fractioned and broken. Then the body is then shattered. It takes work to restore it, on everyone's part. Every Single Person! From me to all of you, and from all of you to me. It doesn't just happen, everything will not "just fall into place without great effort on everyone's part!"

So consequently, though we are one in position, this is not what the world sees! They do not see us in practice of what we preach, instead they see a singular testimony.

Beloved, we do not have a singular testimony of humility and love! We just don't. You know as well as I do, that if God wants us to be one, than Satan wants us not to be one. And so, while the prayer of Christ was that we would be one, while the activity of the Spirit was to make us one, all of the energy of Satan is to fraction us up into little pieces. So, whenever you come into a situation where it's you or me or anybody else and it is a divisive issue, we can be assured, if it’s in the body of Christ, that we are the agent of Satan rather than Jesus. Because I can assure you, Christ wants to unify, Satan wants to divide.

Now, if I may add just a footnote here. There is no scriptural justification for the existence of all of the present divisions of the Church. You know, there weren’t any divisions denominationally in the New Testament? Not a single one! No, none at all. In fact, all of the divisions of the Church are totally and explicitly contrary to the straightforward teaching of the Word of God. The whole intention of Christ in forming the body was that we may be one body, not all fractioned into little parts.

In the book of Acts, the body of Christ, the Church was formed in a prayer meeting. In the upper room of a house in Jerusalem, the disciples of Jesus gathered to prayer. Out of that faith and obedience and waiting in prayer by a company of humble disciples, God brought into being the Church, against which the gates of hell cannot prevail.
There in that prayer gathering, in an upper room in Jerusalem, the hour of another divine dispensation struck, and men and women, filled with the Holy Spirit and possessing gifts of the Holy Spirit, went down out of that room, into the streets, to preach Christ crucified, risen, and the day of God’s free grace.

It was a group of humble people. There weren’t any great ones, there weren’t any mighty ones. They didn’t get an organizational structure; they just prayed and waited. Hardest thing in the world to do. They prayed and waited.

God said to them, through Christ, “The Church will be born in Jerusalem.” Christ had told them this, “Not only will it be born in Jerusalem, but you will evangelize the world.” Now had Christ said to the Church today, “The Church will be born in Jerusalem,” or, “Something will happen in Jerusalem, and you will evangelize the world,” immediately we would start master planning, organizing, get the committees going. Got to get a chairman, have an election. You know what they did? They just prayed and sat there. They didn’t even have an evangelism committee.

And you know what else? They were told to begin world evangelism, and they didn’t begin it for seven years. You say, “It’s terrible.” No. They wanted a solid foundation. They wanted strong, capable evangelists. It takes time. God said, “The Church will begin at Jerusalem, and you’ll evangelize the world,” and they prayed, and they waited. And when God’s Spirit got ready to act, He could act through them because they were already filled with the Spirit.

And you know something else? When they went out of that room, when the Church began, all of them evangelized. And that’s the way it ought to be. There is no believer who’s not responsible to evangelize. Oh, you may not have the specific gift of evangelism, but you are witnesses. Every one of them went out of that room and publicly preached the wonderful works of God. In fact, they did it by a divine miracle in a language they didn’t even know. That was the birth of the Church. That was the birth of the body of Christ. It was born in a prayer meeting, where they prayed and waited. It was all in the energy of the Holy Spirit, and every member every member that was part of that prayer meeting was engaged in the activity through the Spirit’s power.

And from that moment on, friends, every single member that’s been added to the Church has been added the same way. "For by one Spirit were you all baptized into one body." Every believer who has ever come to know Jesus Christ, since that birth of the fist Church, has come the same way by the Spirit of God’s power, placing him into the body of Christ. We are to be one today in 2020, just as they were one in Acts 2. Because every one of us entered the body the same way.

Now, that early Church was fantastic. They were exciting. And the reason was this: they were all, now pay attention to this, they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Now, can you imagine what would happen if today, the church, and I mean all churches, all denominations, were at one time, be filled with the Spirit? The energy of the Spirit would fire through that body, and it would be devastating. That Church was filled with the Spirit. Secondly, they were all exercising their spiritual gifts.

Then, just imagine they were all preaching the same message of the Gospel. Can you even begin to imagine the impact we could have on the world? If all were filled with the Spirit; all exercising their gifts; all preaching the Gospel. And they had a unity of humble love that was manifest everywhere. The world would be absolutely flabbergasted. They wouldn’t believe it. We would give such a tremendous witness that daily souls would be added daily! Can you imagine?

Now, in order for us to be an effective witness as a body, just as the early Church was, we must be just as healthy as they were. We must also be not "organized" but Spirit filled. Exercising our spiritual gifts and all preaching the Gospel message to the world. But we have to be just as healthy as the early Church. This standard can be no different for us, at all.

In Closing......

Beloved, what the church needs is a Jesus Diet! We’ve got to become a healthy body. We’ve got to be. We must be healthy, and we need every single last one of you. We don’t need more "structural unity." We don’t need more organization. We need more body unity, more body, body ministry. That’s what Jesus prayed for. We have within our hands, to answer His prayer. Hasn't He answered so many of ours.

Our unity is the unity of the Spirit, not the unity of the denomination, or the church, or the organization. And there will be true spiritual unity when we learn to truly humble ourselves, when we look at the needs of others, when we love with a love that could care less what happens to us, and more about what happens to them.

Don't misread that, it simply means not to think less of yourself, but think of yourself less. And when we begin to minister together, in harmony, than and only then will our spiritual gifts glorify the body. And each other.

But today, the pressure is different. Isn't that right? And do you know what the missing ingredient is in the Church today that makes it so hard for us to be like the early Church? There’s one main missing ingredient. Anyone have an idea what it is? Allow me to tell you, Persecution! Persecution. Why? Do you know what persecution does? It separates out the wheat from all the tares. It gets rid of them. What if all of sudden the United States government declared that Christianity was illegal, and everybody who was a Christian was going to be shot, what do you think our attendance would be at any church on any given Sunday? And you know what we’d have? We’d have one Spirit-filled church, full of redeemed, committed people, and all the rest would just fade by the wayside.

Persecution really gets it down to the nitty-gritty. Do you see that? I believe, that’s the thing we’re missing. But the standards are no different. We have to be mature, functioning, loving, humble, Spirit-filled people, untied for one mission, exercising our gifts, preaching the Gospel just like that of the early Church. People seem to most want what they're told they are not allowed to have! Does that make sense... Persecution. I've heard some some, "Yeah, but we don’t have what they had." Oh, yes we do. The only thing we do not have is persecution. Beloved, we literally have everything else, because you know what everything else was? The Holy Spirit. And we have been blessed with that, That is the everything else. The one and only thing we do not have is Persecution.

We'll attempt to wrap up this study the next time we meet up. However, we'll have to wait and see what the Holy Spirit has planned. Because I try to plan something, doesn't mean that is what will take place. That's what happens when you let the Holy Spirit guide things. But that is what we should do, its what we need to do and quite frankly, it what we must do.

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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