Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
Email Preach Him with Dr. Jim

Let's Talk about the Body.
Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:24

Eph. 1:22-23 22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. NKJV

Col 1:24 I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church, NKJV

Introduction
Yesterday we had a very productive work day. It was very good to see people of all age groups and abilities. It reminded me of the scriptures that speak to the church being a body with many members. So let's talk about the Body.
 

1.    Let's Talk about the . . Head of the Body.
Eph. 1:22-23 22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church,  23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. NKJV

    A.    Christ Is the Head; The Body . . Centers In Christ. v 22
            22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church,

    B.    Christ Is the Head; The Body . . Connects In Christ. v 23
            23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Illustration
A missionary was seated on a plane next to a well-dressed young man and they soon began conversing. The missionary asked him what he did for a living. He answered,

"I'm in big business." "So am I," replied the missionary.

With that the young man remarked, "I cover the entire U.S. with my business."

"Well," said the missionary, "I've traveled all over the world in connection with mine."

The young man continued: "I'm in partnership with my father. He's a millionaire."

The missionary smiled and said, I, too, am in partnership with my Father. He's a multimillionaire."

The young man said, "We have representatives in most states." The missionary replied, "We have representatives in almost every country in the world."

By this time the young man looked at the missionary and said, "What sort of business are you in, anyway?"

When the missionary explained, the young man said, "Sir, you're not just in big business. You're in the biggest!"

Application

The Biggest Business is a body and the Head of the Biggest Business Is Christ!
 

2.    Let's Talk about . . Joining the Body. 1 Cor. 12:13
        13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free--and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. NKJV

    A.    Joining with the Body A Work of the . . Spirit. v 13
        For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body --whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free--and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. NKJV

    B.    Joining with the Body A Work of . . Surrender.
        Rom 10:9-10 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. NKJV

Illustration
A story is told of Peter Miller, a plain Baptist preacher living in Ephrata, Pennsylvania in the days of the Revolutionary War.

Near his church lived a man who maligned the pastor to the last degree. The man became involved in treason and was arrested and sentenced to be hanged. The preacher started out on foot and walked the all seventy miles to Philadelphia to plead for the man's life. Washington heard his plea, but he said, "No, your plea for your friend cannot be granted."

"General Washington " said the preacher. "He is the worst enemy I have." "What!" said Washington, "you have walked nearly seventy miles to save the life of an enemy? That puts the matter in a different light. I will grant the pardon."

Application

We must Join the Body of Christ; out of gratitude because Christ died for the ungodly. Rom 5:6-9

6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. NKJV
 

3.    Let's Talk about the Body's . . Members.
        1 Cor. 12:12-16 12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. . . . 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? NKJV

    A.    The Members of the Body are . . diversified.  1 Cor. 12:12
        12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. NKJV

    B.    The Members of the Body are . . distinct. 1 Cor. 12:14 & 27
        14 For in fact the body is not one member but many.  27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.

Illustration
Imagine the Master Carpenter's Tools holding a conference:

Brother Hammer presides, but several suggest he leave the meeting because he is too noisy. Brother Hammer replies, "If I have to leave this shop, Brother Screw Driver must go also. You have to turn him around again and again to get him to accomplish anything."

Brother Screw Driver speaks up. "If you wish, I'll leave. But Brother Wood Plane must leave, too. All his work is on the surface. His efforts have no depth."

To this, Brother Plane responds, "Brother Ruler will also have to withdraw, for he is always measuring folks as though he were the only one who is right."

Brother Ruler then complains about Brother Saw: "He ought to leave, too, because he always cuts people down, off, or up.

Brother Saw then complains about Brother Sandpaper: "He ought to leave, too, because he's so rough and always rubbing people the wrong way.

And so goes the discord.

In the midst of all this discussion, in walks The Master Carpenter of  Nazareth. He has arrived to start his day's work. Putting on his apron, he goes to the bench to make a pulpit from which to proclaim the gospel.

He uses Brothers Hammer, Screw Driver, Plane, Rule, Saw, Sandpaper, and all the other tools.

After the day's work, when the pulpit is finished, Brother Saw arises and remarks, "Brethren, I observe that all of us are useful workers for the Lord; If we work together as the Lord chooses."

Application

Some people in the church know more about an area of church life than others.

Some know more about Pre-School!    Some know more about Children!

Some know more about Youth!        Some know more about Adults!

Some know more about Finances!
 

4.    Let's Talk about the Body's . . Purpose. Eph. 4:15-16
    15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head--Christ--
16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. NKJV

    Col 1:24 I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church, NKJV

    A.    Let's Talk about the Body's Purpose of . . Worship.
        Deut. 26:10 10 and now, behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land which you, O LORD, have given me.' Then you shall set it before the LORD your God, and worship before the LORD your God. NKJV

John 4:23-24 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." NKJV

Rev 15:4 Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested."

    B.    Let's Talk about the Body's Purpose of . . Evangelism.
        Malt 28:19-20 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen. NKJV

    C.    Let's Talk about the Body's Purpose of . . Restoring.
        Matt. 18:12-14 2 What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? 13 And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. 14 Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish. NKJV

Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. NKJV

    D.    Let's Talk about the Body's Purpose of . . Ministering.
    Gal 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Illustration
Someone once called a preacher to say he wanted to become a church member. But, he went on to explain that he did not want to: worship every week, study the Bible,  visit the sick, or serve as a leader or teacher.

The minister commended him for his desire to be a church member, but told him the church he was looking for was located down the street from the church he pastored.

The man wrote down the address and hung up. When he arrived at that address, the man came face to face with the result of his own attitude of not wanting to be involved....  There stood an abandoned church building boarded up and ready for demolition.

Conclusion

In his book, What's So Amazing About Grace, Philip Yancey tells the following story of an amazing concert that took place in Wembley Stadium in London. Various musical rock groups had gathered together in celebration of the changes in South Africa, and for some reason the promoters scheduled an opera singer named Jessye Norman as the closing act.

For twelve hours groups like Guns and Roses blasted the crowd through banks of speakers riling up fans already high on booze and dope. The crowd yelled for more curtain calls and the bands obliged....whipping the people into a frenzy. Finally the time came for Jessye Norman to sing. A single circle of light followed Norman, a majestic African American woman wearing flowing African dashiki
as she strolled on stage.  No backup band, no musical instruments, just Jessye. The crowd stirred, restless. A voice yelled out for more Guns and Roses. Others took up the cry. The scene got ugly. Then unaccompanied, Jessye Norman began to sing, very slowly:

Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound, That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost but now am found, Was blind but now I see!

A remarkable thing happened in Wembley Stadium that night. Seventy thousand raucous fans fell silent before her aria of grace. By the time Norman reached the second verse,

Twas grace that taught my heart to fear and grace my fears relieved..., the soprano had the crowd
in her hands.

By the time she reached the third verse,

Twas grace has brought me safe this far, and grace will lead me home, several thousand fans were singing along,

digging far back in nearly lost memories for words they heard long ago. When we've been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun We've no less days to sing God's praise, Than when we first begun.

Jessye Norman later confessed that she had no idea what power descended on Wembley Stadium that night.  I think you and I know. It was the power of thirst.

Our world does THIRST for grace, and it thirst to see the CHURCH OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST!