Needed in the Body
May 7, 2020 | by: Stephen Sprague | 0 Comments
It is important for Christians to have a proper theology of the church as the body of Christ. I would even argue that in a day and age when we are more physically separated than ever, it is essential that we continue to think of our relationships in the church as one of that of members of a body. What do I mean by that? In the Bible, Paul writes of the people of the church as being members of one body. That each of us are unique and essential to our local body, and that our local body is not complete without each other (Rom. 12 & 1 Cor. 12). In the body of Christ, we need each other, and we are needed by each other. If you think you don’t need others in the church, or hardly need them, you are wrong. If you think you aren’t needed by others in the church, or hardly needed by them, you are wrong. It’s that simple.
Our Membership in the Body
Before we consider how we are to live as members in the body, I want to first discuss what the grounds are for our membership in the body. In 1 Corinthians 12:12-13, Paul writes, “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – Jews or Greeks, slaves or free – and all were made to drink of one Spirit.” We are all essential members of the body of Christ, not because of our unique gifts or talents, nor our age, gender or abilities, but because of our identity in Christ and the Holy Spirit at work within us uniting us to Christ. After all, it is Christ’s body. And it is His Spirit by which we are baptized and nourished.
This is important to understand, especially if you think that you are insignificant and have nothing to offer, or that you are self-sufficient and need nothing from others. According to Paul’s reasoning, that simply cannot be the case. If you have the Holy Spirit, if you believe in Christ, then you ARE a member of the body of Christ. It is God who builds his body, and he determines who it is that is a part of it, not us.
So if you feel like you are insignificant and not needed by the rest of the body, Paul reminds you “For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.” (1 Cor. 12:14-18)
And if you feel like you are self-sufficient, and do not need the rest of the body, Paul writes to you saying, “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you,’ nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 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.” (1 Cor. 12:21-26)
Simply put, if you believe in the hope of the Gospel, and the Holy Spirit is at work within you, as He is in all believers, then you are a crucial member of the body of Christ. We have to understand this. You are needed by the rest of the church. And you need the rest of the church. No ifs, ands or buts.
Our Duty as Members of the Body
I’d like to challenge you to pray about these things. Ask God to show you how you are needed at Oak Hills and look for opportunities to serve and love one another as you are uniquely able. These could be very specific or very general, but there are many ways in which you can be a needed blessing to others in the church. You are needed. We need you.
And if you are the kind of person who feels as if they don’t need the body of Christ, or if you are in a season of life where you feel like you need the body less, pray and ask God to show you the various ways in which you need the church. Ask God to show you your weaknesses and to bless you through the giftings of others. You are in need. You need the rest of the body of Christ.
- Pastor Stephen