• Matt Beaney

#586 (25/4/22) - CHRIST HAS A BODY


This week we return to our series in 1 Corinthians in our devotionals. This week we will be looking at 1 Corinthians 12:12-20.


I’m sure we’ve all had the experience of being ill or having an injury; a bad back for example. You don’t appreciate health until it’s taken! Maybe we do the exercises or treatment until we are better but, too often, we stop looking after ourselves once we feel okay. We become complacent only for the problem to return. We are told that Christ has a body and we are that body! We are being taught to recognise this and take care of the health of Jesus’ body - the church. Paul writes,

‘Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.’ (1 Corinthians 12:12)

The challenge for all of us is that we become complacent about the body of Christ - the church. Have you and I become unmindful and passive about being a part of the body of Christ? Alternatively, are we energetically playing our part so that it is healthy? Bittlenger comments:

‘In order to accomplish his work on earth, Jesus had a body made of flesh and blood. In order to accomplish his work today, Jesus has a body that consists of living human beings.’ (Prior, David. The Message of 1 Corinthians)

The body is amazing. Do you realise that in one day, the blood travels a total of 12,000 miles! Enough power is generated in the heart in one day to drive a car 20 miles. In a lifetime, that is equivalent to driving to the moon and back. If the natural body is amazing, how much more should the body of Christ be a wonder and be effective in this dark world. This is God’s will - that we prayerfully and practically get involved so as to make the church what she is called to be.


RESPONSE

Like the body needs to be joined and working together so, too, we need to be in close relationship with one another. Paul writes of the need for working closely and lovingly together:

‘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.’ (Ephesians 4:16)

We are all ‘supporting ligaments’ that need to be connected to one another. John Hosier writes,

‘Only in close proximity with other believers can we learn to overcome the challenges of selfishness, immaturity ungodliness.’ (Hosier, Radiant Church, Page 6)

In response, let’s be devoted to building deep relationships in our church family. Do all that we can to be together. When we are together, let’s seek to build each other up in Jesus.

 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY

1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

 

2. Icebreaker

Do you have any encouragements to share from how God has been speaking to you from His word recently?

 

3. Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group


On Sunday, we continued with our series 'Becoming Love' from the book of 1 Corinthians.


PLAY YOUR PART IN THE BODY OF CHRIST (12:12-31)


i) CHRIST HAS A BODY

Please read 1 Corinthians 12:12-14

Paul uses the illustration of a human to show how Jesus works through each of us in this world. Through the local church - His body- He continues His ministry. Bittlenger comments:

‘In order to accomplish his work on earth, Jesus had a body made of flesh and blood. In order to accomplish his work today, Jesus has a body that consists of living human beings.’

ii) EVERY PART OF THE BODY IS NEEDED

Please read 1 Corinthians 12:15-16, 18, 21, 25.

God wants us to understand that each of us has gifts that are important for the health and ministry of the church. It's easy to feel that we have nothing to offer or, alternatively, that our gifts are more important than that of others. Both attitudes need to be corrected. Every part of the body is important and needed. It's too easy to say "I'm not needed" or "I don't need you". Specifically, we are to be careful not to say I don’t need Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, Miracles, Gifts of healing, Helpers/servants, Administrators, and Tongues and interpretation.


iii) EAGERLY DESIRE YOUR GIFTS

Please read 1 Corinthians 12:31

Finally, we are urged to 'Eagerly desire the greater gifts.’ The 'greater gifts' are about using spiritual gifts that build others up in love. Gifts are not for self-indulgence. Gifts are given to build others up. Let's eagerly seek to use words, works and wonders to build others up according to their needs. Let's be eager in this!


Discussion questions

i) Did you feel that God spoke to you from any particular aspect of Sunday's message?

ii) How does the analogy of the body, help us to understand how Jesus works in His church.

iii) According to verse 13, how do we become members of Jesus' body and how should this identity affect us?

iv) In what ways can we 'eagerly desire' to grow in the use of our gifts?

SIV - How can we use our spiritual gifts to reach our community for Jesus?

SIV - Do you have any encouraging stories of sharing your faith with your friends?

SIV - How do you plan to 'serve, invest and invite' into your friendships?

SIV - Let's pray for the Spirit to lead us in reaching our community.










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