Members of One Another – Romans 12:5

Today is Monday, April 27, 2020, and I am Pastor Kim Alexander and you are listening to COVID-19 Connection Series # 35
Welcome and so glad that you have joined me.
How are you today?

Announcements:

Who wants some Good News today? Idaho Governor Little’s guidelines allow churches to reopen May 1st, and we will have church services back at the corner of 3rd and New Hampshire this Sunday. We still must follow the CDC guidelines.
 
I will be meeting with Jeff Floyd and Darrell Woods tomorrow morning to work up our strategy for reopening. Please pray for us as we seek to develop steps that will satisfy everyone, and yet keep everyone safe.

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Today in the News:

Onenewsnow – How will people ‘do church’ after COVID crisis?

Share video from YouTube –  What we should all be doing right now.

Reuters Reports – Don’t Hoard! Here is how much food You Actually Need. This calculator shows you how much of each staple to buy. I’ll attach the website for you to take a look at this.

https://apple.news/AsznaTXmZRVKBa0NODamdvg

 

Double Take: What do you see in these pictures?

Pause for Prayer:

  • Wisdom in reopening the church
  • Bob Ahsmuhs
  • Tom Spann
  • Terry Robinson – ALS
  • National leaders
  • Idaho steps in reopening business
  • God’s people to be the church in Spirit Lake
  • Cup of Grace ministry
Today our WORD from the Lord comes from Romans 12:5,

  So we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another

I want to have a word with you about being: Members of One Another

What does the New Testament teach us about being Members of One Another?

Truth from God’s Word – We are members of one another (Romans 12:5).  

The Church has the POWER to Impact the World

Have you ever heard someone say, “There’s power in numbers?” Well, we also know that there is power in unity.
  • We see this played out in various sport teams all the time.
  • Imagine what could happen in the church if this kind of effort is empowered and energized by the Holy Spirit.

This is what Jesus had in mind when He prayed that the members of His body would be one as He was one with the Father. We read in John 17:20-23,

   20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

The Church has the Power to Defeat Satan

This kind of unity defeats Satan! He is powerless to stop a church that is marching forward, “speaking the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15) and at the same time, demonstrating oneness “in heart and mind” (Acts 4:32).
What was Paul’s take on the church? He shares three great metaphors. Lets take a look at these three metaphors.

THREE DYNAMIC METAPHORS

  1. Agricultural analogy – In his Letter to the Corinthians, Paul wrote – “You are God’s field” (1 Cor. 3: 5-9a). This metaphor beautifully correlates with Jesus’ Parable of the Sower (Matt. 13: 1-23; Mark 4: 1-20; Luke 8: 4-15).

We are to be GROWING!

  1. Architectural analogy – In the same context, Paul identified the Corinthians as “God’s building” (1 Cor. 3: 9).
We are to be BUILDING!
 
  1. Anatomical metaphor – One of Paul’s most graphic illustrations for the church and one that is exclusively his own in the New Testament. Paul identified God’s people as the “body of Christ.”

We are to be SERVING!

In Paul’s letters to the churches (Romans, Corinthians, Ephesians, and Colossians), he used the Greek word “soma”—which is translated “body”—more than thirty times.  In half of these times he applied the term to the church—the body of Christ.

The Church is to be a functioning unit with all of it various working parts.
And the other half of these times he used the word to refer to the human, physical body with its many parts and members.

The human body is to work together with all of it working parts.

 THE “BODY” ANALOGY

 Paul’s most extensive use of the analogy of the human body appears in his Letter to the Corinthians, no doubt because of their carnality and immaturity and especially because of the disunity and divisions that existed among them (1 Cor. 1: 10; 3: 1-4).

In two extensive paragraphs, he used the Greek word “soma” fourteen times to illustrate just how the human body actually functions.
Read: 1 Cor. 12:14-26,
   14 For in fact the body is not one member but many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. 19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be? 20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 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.” 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, 24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

You can’t miss Paul’s instruction:

There was no way that even the most immature Corinthian Christian could miss Paul’s message. His point of application was that Christians are “members one of another.”

Thus he concluded these lengthy, descriptive paragraphs by adding this concise statement and application in 1 Cor. 12:27,

“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it”

When Paul wrote to the Romans, he assumed that they understood the body metaphor – probably because these believers were a lot more mature than the Corinthians.

Consequently, he simply stated the analogy and then immediately drove home his point of application:

The Metaphor – Romans 12:4 – For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function (NASB).

The Application – Romans 12:5 – So we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another (NASB).

THREE IMPORTANT TRUTHS

  1. Interdependence: No individual Christian can function effectively in isolation and alone. No Lone-Ranger Christians. We were never designed to do the Christian life alone. We need the community of the saints.

Just as “there are many parts of one body” in the makeup of human beings that enable each of us to perform as individual physical units, so the body of Christ—the church—is made up of many individual members. And each member is important. We are indeed “members of one another.” No member of Christ’s body can say, “I don’t need you.” We all need each other. If we are to win the battle against our opponent in the spiritual realm, we must function as one dynamic unit. Interdependence and coordination are absolutely essential.

  1. Humility: No member of Christ’s body should feel more important than any other member of Christ’s body. Watch out for PRIDE – it was the devil’s downfall, and it is the downfall of many people (Christians included).
  • For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you (Rom. 12:3).
  • “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” (Eph. 4: 2).
  • “There is one body and one Spirit” (Eph. 4:4).
  • “For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body” (1 Cor. 12:13).
  • Though one person may have a more responsible position, in God’s sight even the person who may go unnoticed is just as important and necessary in the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12: 22-23).
  • On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty (1 Cor. 12:22-23).
  1. Unity: Every Christian should work hard at creating unity in the body of Christ.
Have you ever heard the statemen: If you are not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem? Let’s consider the following Scripture:
  • I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought” (1 Cor. 1: 10).
  • “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Eph. 4: 3).
  • Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification”(Rom. 14: 19).

SPIRITUAL GIFTS

We can focus in spiritual gifts (seeking and searching for them), or we can simply use the gifts and abilities God has given us to build up the body of Christ with a proper attitude: SAVED TO SERVE. No one is too good to serve another. Every believer has been saved to serve. We are all ministers within the body of Christ.

A BIBLICAL EMPHASIS

In the Bible we are told to become mature both corporately and personally. As a church, and as individuals.

  1. Corporate maturity

It is reflected in the degree of faith, hope, and love—but especially love—that is developed in any given local church. Love is a verb, it is an action word.

This is why Paul concluded 1 Corinthians 13 by saying:

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor. 13: 13).

We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thes. 1: 2-3; see also 2 Thes. 1: 3-4; Eph. 1: 15-18; Col. 1: 3-5).

  1. Personal maturity

It is reflected in the characteristics outlined by Paul in 1 Timothy chapter 3 and Titus chapter 1:

being above reproach, morally pure, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 2 not addicted to wine, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not pugnacious, uncontentious, gentle, free from the love of money, a good manager of the home, respected by non-Christians, one who loves what is good, just, and devout (1 Tim. 3: 1-13; Titus 1: 5-9).

These in reality are a profile for Christian maturity that is detailed throughout the New Testament. Not only should a pastor have these characteristics, but so should the people of God.

Four Preaching/Teaching Goals:

  1. Teach believers how to become both corporately and personally mature in Christ.
  2. Teach the results of maturity in Christ – dynamic spiritual growth in their lives.
  3. Teach all believers how to practice the positive “one another exhortations”.
  4. Teach obedience and reliance on the Holy Spirit, and we’ll see more body function take place than ever before.

To focus on our “gifts” is to focus on ourselves. To focus on maturity and building up the body of Christ is to focus on God and others.

A VERY IMPORTANT FIRST STEP

The church must be organized for “body function” to take place. Where all people can participate.

The Church cannot afford to allow only certain high-profile people to participate?

Consequently, forms and structures need to be developed to enable Christians to minister to one another. How? Good question. Here is a possible real solution:

  1. Development of small groups
  • Where people can love on one another
  • Where people can serve one another
  • Where people can care for one another
  • Where people can be devoted to one another
  • Where people can encourage one another

   A small group become a place where people can carry out all of the “one another” exhortations and where we will see real body function takes place.

Two Questions

  1. What is our church doing to make it possible for Christians to practice the “one another” exhortations?
  2. How are our forms and structures contributing to this process or hindering this process?
Remember, I am in touch, so you be in touch.

And as always, as Dr. Robert Cook from the King’s College used to say, “Walk with the King today and be a blessing.”