Sermon Titled “In Christ We Who Are One Form One Body” (Romans 12:5) – based on Week 10 of the Experiencing God Study – Sunday 22nd March, 2015
- Romans 12:5 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
A church is a living body of Christ, with many members, all under the leadership of Jesus Christ who is the Head of the body. All the members are related – they are brothers and sisters in Christ – and they are interdependent. Without each other, they are ineffective. Together, they are on mission with Christ to carry out God’s redemptive purposes.
A church can easily steer itself off mission however, and one way they can do this is by busying themselves with works that are driven by their own judgments and intuition. Sometimes a church can be so ambitious and full of ideas that they neglect to wait for God and hear what His plans are. A church that runs ahead of God is a human-centered church, and while it may appear that they are doing good things in and beyond the community, their efforts are in vain if not directed by Christ.
Another way that some churches might lose sight of God’s plans, is by falling prey to in-house conflict. In 1 Corinthians 12:20-25, Paul talks about unity in the church, and how we must honor God by caring for one another and by not allowing differences of opinion to cause division in the body. If we cannot love even our own brothers and sisters, then we surely cannot love others.
Within the church we all serve a unique purpose, gravitating towards those areas of ministry that the Holy Spirit leads us to. We each are equipped by the Holy Spirit to do certain works, and collectively our works complete that which God has in mind for the church to do. In addition, the Bible is our life manual, full of God’s truths that are there to guide us in our thoughts, prayers, plans, and actions. Blackaby reminds us that these guidelines are not there for us to simply study, memorize, discuss, and debate, but to show us how to experience life in Christ.
In a sermon I heard recently, by Dr. Frank Seekins, I found his teaching on the Ten Commandments to be very insightful. He claims that many Christians are in conflict with the commands of the Bible because our culture teaches us to perceive them as “do’s and don’ts.” But if we could see them for what they really are – as realities – we would be more inclined to obey them because we would know that they are there to protect us, not hinder us.
An example he gave, is that of a group of drivers speeding along an Interstate Freeway, at say 80 miles per hour, in a 65 mile per hour speed zone. When the group of drivers see a police vehicle up ahead, they quickly slow down, only to speed up again once the police car is no longer in sight. They know they are driving faster than the speed limit, and therefore breaking the law, but they think nothing of it – unless they get caught.
Now imagine “Bob” and “Fred,” driving a truck down the Freeway, and they approach a sign that says “Low Bridge ahead, 9 ft.” Bob says to Fred, “Fred, how high is our truck?” Fred replies, “10 feet.” Bob then says, “Well, it don’t matter, I don’t see any cops, let’s go for it.”
See the difference? You can break a law and get away with it, but you can’t break a reality; it will break you instead! As members of Koza Baptist Church, we have hopefully been taught to put on the new self, which recognizes God’s laws as realities that can easily break us if we try to defy them. Our goal, instead of rebelling and ignoring, is to trust God so completely that we desire to hear from Him, adjust ourselves to His calling, and obey Him.
We may not be perfect and always get it right, but with such a diverse group of members, with different skills and personalities, there is room for everyone to minister or serve in some capacity, both inside and outside the church. If we can avoid wasting time debating over individual opinions and make a concerted effort instead to focus on being in a right relationship with God, we will stand a far greater chance of being a church that works together to model the love of Christ.