We are all part of the same body, but we have different functions.
In your body everything has a function, whether it’s your eyes, your lungs, your fingers, your feet or your elbows. Some even have multiple functions like the mouth or the nose. And I’ve only mentioned the parts we see. However, your body is complex enough that it has many systems at work to keep it at optimal level of health and equilibrium. We can simplify the human body to say it’s composed of 3 parts – flesh, bone and blood. However, there are many systems in place facilitating the interaction between those 3 layers and allowing the body to have movement, strength and the ability to grow and heal and reject waste as well.
If the Body of Christ is known as a body then most likely – it’s a great metaphor to remind us that the Church at large operates just like the human body. In today’s teaching I want to remind us all that we each have a part in the Body of Christ, and it’s imperative we understand that part and find it.
Let’s see what the Apostle Paul had to share with the Romans with respect to their function in the Body.
For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Notice Paul is telling the Romans to find your gift and do it! JUST DO IT goes the Nike slogan, and part of what we want to do is teach and equip you to DO IT – Walk out your gift. Let’s see what Paul the Corinthians in line with this same thought.
1 Corinthians 12
12Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.13For we were all baptized byc one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
15Now 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. 16And 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. 17If 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? 18But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.19If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
27Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping [helps], of guidance [governments], and of different kinds of tongues. 29Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tonguesd ? Do all interpret? 31Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.
- So, my question to you all today is who makes us this Body?
- Where’s the Body right now?
- What is your role in the body?
Ephesians 4 (NLT)
11Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.
14Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
Ephesians 4 (NIV)
11So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,12to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
14Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16From 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.
1st – Do we all know what these different functions are?
- Apostles – one sent on a mission
- Prophets – interpreter or forth teller of divine will
- Evangelists – a bringer of good news
- Pastors – a shepherd
- Teachers – an instructor
Is one greater than the other?
What’s the difference between you a “lay leader” and a “professional/ordained minister?”
Does your position define your function?
How do you find your function? (Holy Spirit will reveal it, and others may come along an help you know it.)
That’s our heart to help you discover your function in the Body of Christ and walk boldly in it.