Series: Body of Christ
Sun am 22 July 2012 – Kobus Swart
1 Cor. 12:1-31; 1 Cor. 14:1-3; (Ex. 15:26); (2 Cor. 5:16); (James 1:23-24)
We are called to be a house of healing. We have to take this seriously and position ourselves in such a way that this Word can fully flesh out.
The apostle Paul compares the Church to a physical human body. To a large degree, we are the engineers of our health. The way we live in our early years will show later in life, in our physical body. God created us with every organ and its function in the body. God gave us a physical body and He wants to demonstrate something through it. In the Old Testament God told his people that if they live according to His statutes and principles, no disease would be found in their midst (Ex. 15:26), without the help of medicine. If we as people live by the laws and principles in God’s Word, common sense, eat well and exercise, get fresh air, breathe correctly, then we should not need medical assistance for health.
1 Corinthians 12 talks about all the gifts that God gives by His Spirit, as He wills. All these gifts come by the same Spirit. One of the most desired gifts in the Charismatic season was the gift of prophecy, but prophecy has not been properly defined. But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation (1 Cor. 14:3). It says nothing about prediction. It says we should desire the greater gifts but then he also says, “I will show you a more excellent way”, and that excellent way is that of love.
For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ (1 Cor. 12:12). The post resurrection Christ as defined by Paul, even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer (2 Cor. 5:16). Paul brought the revelation of the Christ to the Church. The day you were born again you were baptised into the Body of Christ; you were not baptised into a Church with a label, or into a denomination. You were baptised into one Body, and His name is Christ. Whether Jews or Greeks (these things are still dividing people), whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less. A body isn’t just a single part blown up into something huge. It’s all the different-but-similar parts arranged and functioning together. If Foot said, “I’m not elegant like Hand, embellished with rings; I guess I don’t belong to this body,” would that make it so? If Ear said, “I’m not beautiful like Eye, limpid and expressive; I don’t deserve a place on the head,” would you want to remove it from the body? If the body was all eye, how could it hear? If all ear, how could it smell? As it is, we see that God has carefully placed each part of the body right where he wanted it (1 Cor. 12:14-18-Message Bible). At some time or another some of us have felt a little unhappy, wanting to be like someone else, a little more visible or appreciated. But I also want you to think about how this keeps your significance from getting blown up into self-importance. For no matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of. An enormous eye or a gigantic hand wouldn’t be a body, but a monster. What we have is one body with many parts, each its proper size and in its proper place. No part is important on its own. Can you imagine Eye telling Hand, “Get lost; I don’t need you”? Or, Head telling Foot, “You’re fired; your job has been phased out”? (1 Cor. 12:19-21). If a part of my body does not function, it affects the whole body. If you act in the manner described in these verses, you are withdrawing. In many places in the Bible warns against the sin of withdrawal. Moses wanted to withdraw from his commission and God wanted to kill him (Exod 4:24). He who withdraws, withdraws into destruction (Heb. 10:39). What if the organs of your body go on “strike”? What will happen to the household of God if withdrawal hits and people pull in different ways, and others are unhappy? How then can you have a healthy functional body?
God has put within us every ingredient we need to enable us to walk in complete spiritual health. This is provided that every member that has been baptised by the same Spirit into this Body is walking faithfully in his or her place and gifts. Many of us here are not faithful in the gifts placed within us. There are people in this house who are extremely gifted, but for some reason you have not allowed it to be unlocked. In doing so you are robbing the Body of complete health. If you don’t feel important and gifted, listen to what the Bible says about you: On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another (1 Cor. 12:22-25). We have to ensure that every member that God has placed in this family is active, aware of his or her gifting and function, and that the less visible or less seemly members receive more honour.
God wants to make this house a showbread. Some of us are accustomed to being inactive and just coming on a Sunday morning and we think that is enough. It is not enough. We will have to break away from the outdated “church” culture into a Kingdom culture. A household walking in a Kingdom culture functions as a family; it is a household where every member is important. We have to migrate to being an active holy nation, made up of different cultures, languages, races, and to express a functioning body in which every organ is functioning properly.
Every member contributes to the one functioning organism, a healthy organism. You cannot cut the finger off and say, “I do not need you because I do not use you a lot.” God placed each one of you here for a purpose and a reason. I am introducing you to a course we are going to undertake corporately because it says, And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honoured, all the members rejoice with it (1 Cor. 12:26). We must become more sensitive to one another, care for one another. Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues. All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they? All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they? But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And I show you a still more excellent way (1 Cor. 12:27-31). The more excellent way is love. These are the ingredients of a healthy functioning Body.
In the spiritual we are privileged that we have the right diet. We are part of an emerging corporate body of people where there is a Word coming and if we can live by it we will eliminate every spiritual disease and shortcoming from the Body of Christ. Unfortunately some of us have spiritual wax in our ears; we are hearers but not doers. A man who listens to the Word and is not a doer is like a man who looks at himself in the mirror, turns around and forgets what he looks like (James 1:23-24).
Let’s create an atmosphere in which many broken people will come and find healing!