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About-Him.Com Devotional 02-09-2013
Many Members in One Body
Last week we covered that we are not to be conformed to the sinful world around us. We are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Our earnest desire should be that we exhibit the mind of Christ in our every word and deed (Php. 2:5, Co 3:17). We are to walk in humility and to not think too highly of ourselves as we exercise the gifts of God that we have been entrusted with. We recognize that any achievements and accomplishments that we have obtained in service to the kingdom of God are not of ourselves; they come because of the enabling grace of the Lord.
Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.
We strive to be free from feelings of self-elevation, but an area that might trip us up is in judging others. For those of us raised under strict standards, it is hard to adjust to a lot of what we see in churches today. However, while we are judging others for what we consider to be extreme, somebody else will be judging us for not meeting their standards. All of which causes division in the body of Christ. Paul has a lot to say about this in Romans 14). Aren’t you thankful that God judges us by the contents of our heart, rather than our outward appearance?
2 Corinthians 10:7 ¶ Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ’s, let him of himself think this again, that, as he [is] Christ’s, even so [are] we Christ’s.
Text: Romans 12:4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
The apostle compares the workings of our physical bodies to the body of Christ of which we all are members and we all have distinct and necessary functions. Just as we vary in our physical bodies, we also have different God given gifts and abilities that make the body of Christ function properly (Ja. 1:17).
In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul gives a more detailed comparison of the working of our physical bodies and the spiritual body of Christ.
To paraphrase: We’re all different, but we’ve all been baptized by the one Spirit of God into the one body of Christ (1 Co. 12:13; Ep. 4:4). Each of our physical body parts have a specific task that was assigned by our Creator. We can’t all be an eye, else we wouldn’t have any hearing. It’s the same in the body of Christ. We are what we are, because God assigned our place in the body. Our spiritual tasks vary, but we are all indispensable to each other. When one member suffers, we all suffer. When one is rejoicing, we all rejoice. When we all function together, the kingdom of God is advanced. When we bite and devour each other, we are consumed of each other (Ga. 5:15) and the kingdom of God suffers.
Text: Romans 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
Our gifts vary as God has determined. God has placed prophesy in the body, both foretelling and forth-telling. When we preach the gospel, we are forth telling, if we are speaking with the unction of the Spirit of God. We are told to wait on our ministry and teaching and exhortation. I’m told that the original meaning of the word wait is to serve. In other words, use the gifts that God has entrusted to us.
1 Peter 4:11 If any man speak, [let him speak] as the oracles of God; if any man minister, [let him do it] as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
We have a grave responsibility when we preach, prophesy and exhort. We must preach the word and nothing but the word.
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
My father instructed the young ministers under him to always be prepared. However, I might have a 30 minute sermon prepared, but if the anointing wasn’t flowing, to quit and sit down. The Spirit might desire to minister otherwise than through my well crafted sermon.
Proverbs 25:11 ¶ A word fitly spoken [is like] apples of gold in pictures of silver.
Isaiah 50:4 ¶ The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to [him that is] weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.
2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.
In the rest of this chapter, Paul deals with our responsibilities to God and to each other as fellow members in the body of Christ. There are many parallels to the Sermon on the Mount and other scriptures.
Text: Romans 12:9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
Some people are harder to love than others but: We can’t pick and choose whom to love and whom to ignore. Cliques in the church are not of God. They are evil and we must abhor that which is evil. Remember that James spoke harshly to those who seated a rich man in an honored place while making a poor man sit on the floor (Ja. 2:1-7)?
Text: Romans 12:11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
Christians who do not handle their finances responsibly and churches that are not open and accountable in their financial dealings, present a bad testimony to the world and are a hindrance to the kingdom of God.
Text: Romans 12:12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
Jesus said that we would have tribulations in the world, but that He had overcome the world (Jn. 16:33).
Text: Romans 12:13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
James told us that it was no profit to us to just say nice platitudes to a brother in need, if we don’t help supply his need. (Ja 2:16 ). John gets a bit harsher and questions if the love of God even dwells in us, if we don’t help a brother in need (1 Jo. 3:17).
Text: Romans 12:14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
Jesus told us to love our enemies, bless those who curse us and to pray for those who misuse us. Rather than strike back we are to turn the other cheek (Mt. 5:39,44). Which I might add, you can’t do without the enabling grace of God
1Corinthians 6:7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather [suffer yourselves to] be defrauded?
Text: Romans 12:15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
1 Peter 5:5 ¶ Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all [of you] be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
Text: Romans 12:17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
Live at peace with all men. Leave the paybacks to the Lord. We can overcome evil with good by being kind to our enemies.
Overcome evil with good? Isn’t that what it’s all about?
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Don and Marie Spooner
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Last modified: 03-19-2018
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