This message was preached by Colin D'cruz at Word of Grace Church on November 13th, 2016. To listen/download the audio please click here. To listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here
In many cities, we see people begging. These people are incomplete- either they have no hands or legs. They are human beings, but they’re not complete. Some of them have deformities. Some may have extra organs. There are another kind of bodies- like in the 2016 Olympics, the gymnasts doing amazing things.
This morning I want to talk to you about the Body of Christ. While Jesus was on earth, he was the Body of Christ. But after he went to heaven, we are his body on earth as it says in 1 Corinthians 12:27- “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”
We are a part of the body of Christ. Jesus did amazing things when he was on earth. He walked the water, people were saved and delivered, miracles took place. He died on the cross and went to heaven. So who’s going to do his work? There is so much need in the world. 2-3 weeks ago, in New York, I saw homeless people everywhere. Where is the Body of Christ? The way Jesus works is that he uses the church to do his work now on earth.
In creation, God first forms. He separated the earth from the sea, the water from the sky. First he formed and then he filled it. He filled the sky with stars, the earth with vegetation, the water with animals, etc. After he fills it, he gave it a function.
Man is a special creation. Throughout Gen 1, he created just by speaking. When he created man, he fashioned man with his hands. He then breathed life into man and he came alive. And then he gave him a purpose. He said, increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it.
Q. What about the church?
In the same way, God operates with the church.
1. He formed the church: Jesus’ disciples came together.
2. On the 50th day, on the day of Pentecost, he filled them with the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:2-“”
3. The next thing is that they started functioning. Before the day of Pentecost, the disciples
were hiding and praying. They couldn’t fulfil their function because they haven’t been filled yet.
It is the same thing with us. The day we come to know Jesus as our saviour, we are born again, we are formed. When you trust in Jesus as the only God, and no other God- you believe and repent, you are born as a spiritual being. Then we are filled with the spirit, which gives us different gifts which relate to our function. But we need to work together with these gifts. When we do this, we are the body of Christ.
Q. Which kind of body would you want to be like?
Do we want to be like the body that is deformed or sick or like a gymnast’s body which is strong and flexible and able to do great things? It depends on each one of us what kind of a body we are.
Q. What are the different parts of the Body?
1 Cor 12:28- 31- “And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? Now eagerly desire the greater gifts” There are multiple gifts in the body. God has given you something.
1 Cor 12:14- 18- “Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be” No matter what your personality and gifting, God has formed you, filled and given you a purpose which is different functions.
Q. Which is the more important part of the Body?
We all need one another. In fact, in verse 22 it says, “On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable”. We have to find out, what our gift is.
Sachin tendulkar has scored thousands of runs. He has done it with his hands. But if his hands were not connected to the body he wouldn’t have done anything. Whatever gift God has placed in you, for it to be brought into fruition, you need to be connected to the body correctly.
Eph 4:16- “From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” As we are rightly connected to the church, we will grow.
Another list of gifts are given in Romans 12:3- 8. There are more gifts than these because the Holy Spirit is limitless.
One of the values I spoke about earlier is that we are there for one another’s success. We identify the gift of people and bring it into maturity. We are in this together. There is no competition in that. In a car, there are wheels without which the car won’t even move. They are indispensible. So find out what your gift is so that it can serve the body.
There is also a caution:
Acts 20:31- Paul preached the word and warned them about certain things. Matthew 21 is one of those warnings- Jesus and his disciples saw a fig tree. Jesus was expecting fruit and fruitfulness from the fig tree. But when it didn’t, he cursed it an it withered.
Jesus is keeping note of what we are doing with the things he gave us. Rev 2:19- “I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.” Here is the lesson for us. Jesus is keeping score. Are we serving, and are we serving faithfully. There was an increase in what they were doing. We need to keep growing in what we are doing.
Rev 3:1-3: “These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits[b] of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.” Jesus speaking to the church in Sardia- these are some strong words!
Rev 3: 14- 16 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
We are privileged to be a part of the body of Christ. So let’s do and do increasingly, what
God has called us to do. And for doing it, we have a heavenly reward.
Rev 22:12- “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.” The good news is that Jesus has chosen us. Our response is- what did you give me and what do I do with it?
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.
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