Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Church that shows Jesus

In 1 Cor 12:12-31, we find ourselves being compared to as members that make up one body. As we scan the church we can see people that are very good at different things, they have different gifts and so do we. But there are two ways that we tend to react to other people -
1.Wishing to be like others - wanting their gifts and abilities
2. Or looking down on others - thinking our gifts are a lot better.

Both of these types of thinking could lead us believing that we don't need the church, that in fact it would be better off if it was just "me and Jesus" and then there wouldn't be any problems because I can use my gifts when and how I like without feeling inferior and without putting up with other people who are weaker then me.

Yet Paul makes the assertion that for the body of Christ to function, we can't go around saying to others that we don't need them or we can't say to ourselves that we don't want to be apart of the body. We are one in Christ therefore we need to behave like it. We cannot be a giant eye rolling around - it would be useless, but when the eye is attached to the body then its purpose is clear.

Lets take feeling inferior in church. It would be very easy for us to say that "I don't belong here, because I am not like them" I have heard that alot and have heard myself say it too. The problem is, is that our sinful nature says - "I will go somewhere where people are like me, so I can feel good about myself"

Feeling inferior is also a sense of pride because our focus is on ourselves and how things are not going our way. Yet God designed us all to be different to achieve different purposes together. No matter how you feel, you are apart of the body of Christ. So you have a choice, you can sit and grumble and complain that no one is like you. Or you can embrace diversity and serve your brothers and sisters in your church.

The Superior - Or maybe you think that your gifts and abilities are amazing and you don't have time for weaker people. Your head is so full of dreams and passions that you believe that the weaker people will slow you down. Who are the weak? Perhaps those that are old, traditional, theology not up to your standard, different styles of evangelism.

But although you think you are great, you have forgotten the Gospel. Verses 25-26 say:

"that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together"

The way we respond to the weak is significant. We are not lone rangers, we are a community. If one member suffers, we all suffer. Therefore there is no room for pride because God chooses the weak to shame the strong. And if the church is to show Jesus Christ and Jesus was all about the strong people helping the weak - then not everyone can be strong.

Gifts are not a source of pride of inadequacy in the church. Gifts are a way to model that we are all one body and from that as a church we can show Jesus.

*These were notes taken at Relay 3*

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