(#056) 1 Corinthians 12 - The Body of Christ is Lifeless Without You
Giving of ourselves can breath life into our sprirtual gifts.
a Christian Church
Welcome to Barah Ministries…an intimate, local Christian Church with worldwide impact. My name is Pastor Rory Clark. Welcome to this Bible lesson! We love learning about the Almighty God who is our planner, our provider, our protector…a fully present help in our lives…Psalm 37, Verses 23 and 24 say…
The steps of a righteous one (a believer in Christ) are established by the Lord (there is protection and provision for us from God)…and the Lord delights in the righteous one’s way.
When the righteous one falls, he will not be hurled headlong…because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.
The wicked lie in wait to destroy the righteous ones, but the Lord preserves us in Satan's kingdom.
At Barah Ministries we know this truth…that Jesus Christ is God. As the Lord He is 100% Deity…He is God the Son, a member of the Triune Godhead. He is also 100% human just like you and me, and His name is Jesus Christ. The Lord…God the Son…became flesh…Jesus Christ...and lived among us. He is the uniquely born One…100% God and 100% man in one Person forever. He is the Sovereign God of the Universe. He is the Jewish Messiah.
At Barah Ministries, we make a difference by teaching the Word of God
from God’s perspective and not from man’s perspective. As those who make Barah Ministries our spiritual home, we are Christians. Being a Christian means we believe in the DEITY of the Lord Jesus Christ, and we have a deep, intimate, and personal relationship with Him.
God has an enemy, Satan, whom God made “the ruler of this world.” He is a liar who deceives the whole world, including you and me. He doesn’t want us to get to know God, and he interferes with our chance to know God. Satan’s strategy against the human race is religion, which is designed to make us either indifferent or antagonistic to God. Religion deceives many into thinking they are saved when they might not be. And it works!
The Word of God is the truth…and it informs us about Satan’s insidious
deceptions. As believers in Christ, we are in union with Christ, and we have
the victory over Satan through our Lord, who has overcome the world.
TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON
The Body of Christ is Lifeless Without You
Welcome to the time when I get to teach about my least favorite Biblical subject…spiritual gifts. It’s my least favorite subject because of the perplexed looks you get on your faces as you contemplate what your spiritual gift might be. For spiritual giants like me, the gift is obvious. I have been given the gift of Pastor-Teacher…one of the most important gifts of the Church Age. Ephesians, Chapter 4, Verses 11 to 13 say this…
And the Lord gave some as apostles…and He gave some as prophets…and He gave some as evangelists…and He gave some as Pastors and teachers…
…for the purpose of equipping the saints (all believers in Christ) for the work of ministry…to keep on building up the body of Christ…
…until we all reflect the unity of the faith…and until we all reflect the
knowledge of the Son of God…to a mature man…reflecting the stature which belongs to those who reflect the fullness of Christ.
The Lord doesn’t just give spiritual gifts, however…He gives gifted people…so that we can help each other with spiritual growth. This was not the habit of the elitist Corinthian believers, who lorded their gifts over those who were perceived to have lesser gifts…perhaps like the gift of song ministry!
In today’s lesson, the apostle Paul introduces to the subject matter in the next three chapters of First Corinthians…the next subject on Chloe’s list…another problem plaguing the Corinthian church.
“This year has felt like four seasons of winter.” What a great line from a great song. The bad news is we are residents in Satan’s kingdom, and as much as we’d like to think the end of this year will be the end of the misery, as believers in Christ who study the Word of God, we know this just isn’t the truth. But we have a God who protects us according to John, Chapter 14, Verse 21…
“The person who has My mandates and keeps them is the one who loves Me unconditionally…and he who loves Me unconditionally will be loved unconditionally by My Father…and I (the Lord Jesus Christ) will love him unconditionally and will disclose Myself to him.”
What’s the reason God puts us believers in Christ in Satan’s kingdom? According to the group Unspoken, God’s love is the REASON. Let’s hear about it…
MUSIC AND REFLECTION
Be Occupied with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ
Enjoy the Singing of His Praises
Let us pray...
We’re grateful, Heavenly Father, for the privilege of studying Your absolute truth...the Word of God…
Father, thank you for placing Your supernatural spiritual gifts in ordinary people so we can make a difference here in Satan’s kingdom…make it obvious to us as we study the next passage of First Corinthians, what the gift is that you have given to each of us, and how You intended for us to use it for the Your greater glory…
…we ask this through the power of God the Holy Spirit…in Christ’s
TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON
The Body of Christ is Lifeless Without You
We continue our study of Paul's first letter to the believers at first-century Corinth. They are a divided group of new believers who have every malady that is still present in humanity to this day…intellectual snobbery…some people thought they were smarter than others…elitism…some people thought they were better than others because of wealth or status…idolatry… some people worshipped things instead of worshipping God…some liked fighting instead of enjoying the peace of God which surpasses our own ability to comprehend…some put their confidence in people and in self instead of putting their confidence in God…some thought it was their job to judge others instead of judging themselves…some were immoral…having sex with their father's wife…some called people in the church their brothers, yet they mistreated those they were the brothers of…yes…the first-century church at Corinth is a mirror of a society filled with people who haven't changed a bit in the last 2,020 years!
This is a group Paul describes this way in First Corinthians, Chapter 1, Verse 7…
FIRST CORINTHIANS 1:7
…you (Corinthian believers) are not lacking in any spiritual gift… and you
are AWAITING EAGERLY the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ (at the
exit resurrection of the Church…the Rapture) …
If you haven’t done it, I’d recommend that you reread the first eleven chapters we have studied in First Corinthians to remind yourself of the ground we’ve covered…and the things we’ve learned…and worse, to see clearly the maladies that still plague us today here in Satan’s kingdom.
Let’s continue our study in the twelfth chapter of First Corinthians. Here’s an overview, beginning at verse one…
FIRST CORINTHIANS 12:1
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I (Paul) do not want you to be unaware.
FIRST CORINTHIANS 12:2
You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the mute idols, however you were led.
FIRST CORINTHIANS 12:3
Therefore, I (Paul) make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed” … and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.
FIRST CORINTHIANS 12:4
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.
FIRST CORINTHIANS 12:5
And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord.
FIRST CORINTHIANS 12:6
There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.
FIRST CORINTHIANS 12:7
But to each one is given the manifestation of God the Holy Spirit for the common good.
FIRST CORINTHIANS 12:8
For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit…and to another
the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit…
FIRST CORINTHIANS 12:9
…to another is given faith by the same Spirit…and to another is given the gift of healing by the one Spirit…
FIRST CORINTHIANS 12:10
…and to another is given the effecting of miracles…and to another prophecy…and to another is given the distinguishing of spirits…and to another is given various kinds of tongues…and to another the interpretation of tongues.
FIRST CORINTHIANS 12:11
But one and the same Spirit works all these things…distributing to each one individually just as He wills.
FIRST CORINTHIANS 12:12
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.
FIRST CORINTHIANS 12:13
For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body…whether Jews or Greeks…whether slaves or free…and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
FIRST CORINTHIANS 12:14
For the body is not one member, but many.
FIRST CORINTHIANS 12:15
If the foot says, "Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body," it is not, for this reason, any the less a part of the body.
FIRST CORINTHIANS 12:16
And if the ear says, "Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body," it is not, for this reason, any the less a part of the body.
FIRST CORINTHIANS 12:17
If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole
body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?
FIRST CORINTHIANS 12:18
But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.
FIRST CORINTHIANS 12:19
If they were all one member, where would the body be?
FIRST CORINTHIANS 12:20
But now there are many members, but one body.
FIRST CORINTHIANS 12:21
And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you” … or again the head cannot say to the feet, “I have no need of you.”
FIRST CORINTHIANS 12:22
On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary…
FIRST CORINTHIANS 12:23
…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...
FIRST CORINTHIANS 12:24
…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…
FIRST CORINTHIANS 12:25
…so that there may be no division in the body…but that the members may have the same care for one another.
FIRST CORINTHIANS 12:26
And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it…if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
FIRST CORINTHIANS 12:27
Now collectively you are Christ’s body, and individually you are members of the body.
FIRST CORINTHIANS 12:28
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.
FIRST CORINTHIANS 12:29
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?
FIRST CORINTHIANS 12:30
All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they?
FIRST CORINTHIANS 12:31
But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And I show you a still more excellent way.
As a body, we are mutually dependent. Are you doing your part? Are you working to discover your spiritual gift so you can give it away as your part of the body of Christ? When we come back from the break, we'll take the offering, and then we will taste a bit of food for thought as we begin tackling the next three chapters of First Corinthians.
FIVE MINUTE BREAK
TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON
The Body of Christ is Lifeless Without You
The Lord created you to be generous, just as He is generous with you. Proverbs 11, Verse 25…
A generous person will be prosperous…and he who refreshes others will
himself be refreshed.
Be generous! Let’s welcome up one of the most refreshing people I know…Deacon Denny Goodall…with today’s offering message.
Deacon Denny Goodall
Therefore, be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until the soil gets the early and late rains.
THERE IS NONE LIKE YOU
TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON
The Body of Christ is Lifeless Without You
As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, you are a gifted person. At the moment of salvation, God gave you a spiritual gift. Yes…YOU! Do you know the One who made you gifted personally? Do you know what makes you gifted? Do you know what your spiritual gift is?
You probably don't know. Why? Your problem is that your gift is discovered by giving it. The truth is, most of us are sitting around waiting for the pigeon of gifting to take a dump on our heads so that we have some deep, miraculous revelation of our spiritual gift. Some of us will go to the grave waiting. In so doing, most of us will rob others in the body of Christ of the gift we were put here to give each other. Most of all, we rob ourselves.
Look around. It is not a coincidence we are together. We are here to give something to each other. God the Holy Spirit is your Guide. He has assembled this group of believers to accomplish a purpose. What is your part of the purpose? I can tell you what your part is not…your part is not all taking and no giving.
The problem is we believe the deceptions of Satan more than we believe the promises of God. Satan is constantly telling us, through the flesh resident in us, that we’re not good enough. Instead of agreeing with him and turning to God for the filling of our lack, we become introspective. We ask ourselves the killer question…what’s wrong with me? We go deeper and deeper into the introspection, and the deeper we go the more inadequacies we find until we are simply paralyzed by our own deficiencies.
I have a friend who is miserable at work. He has been for years. He goes from one miserable job experience to another miserable job experience, simply because he doesn’t want to answer one simple question… “What do you want from a job?” What makes the question impossible for him to answer is that he isn’t looking at his situation with the right perspective, He’s thinking, “What do I want a job to give me?” Instead, he should be thinking, “What do I want to give to others through my job?”
His selfish attitude has become complacency, and his misery increases by the moment. He has sold out for a paycheck. He has sold out for the lie of “security.”
This same malady plagues Barah Ministries…complacency in the spiritual gift department. This church is designed to be a series of ministries that are powered by the spiritual gifts of each of us. Instead, we settle for a few ministries powered by the spiritual gifts of a few people. There has been quite a bit of angst in the Barah Ministries leadership group lately, and it came to a head yesterday in the elder’s meeting.
My job is clear. I study and teach the Word of God. That’s my job. But it is also my job to bring out the best in you. Unfortunately, I can’t do that without your cooperation. For example, the music ministry. There is an OWNER of the music ministry. Her name is June Murphy. You are PARTICIPANTS in that ministry. The truth is, we play about 125 songs a year. Are we playing the songs you want to hear? Is the music ministry serving you the way you want to be served? Or is the music ministry just a way for us to find out what mood June is in this week?
I know the music ministry isn’t serving you. And I know why. It isn’t serving you because you expect someone else to change the songs instead of changing them yourselves. Maybe you want to sing. Maybe you know songs that move you. I don’t know what moves you, and if the truth be known…it’s not my concern. My concern is the Word of God ministry.
My concern is getting the Word to move you. Many of you have said to me, “I wish you would play this song, or I wish you would play that song.” You’re talking to the wrong person. You need to be talking to June. But you don’t. You’re waiting for the pigeon of songs to take a dump on June’s head. Well, the pigeon hasn’t arrived yet. And I’m not the pigeon. I pass along your comments to June, but it’s up to you as participants in the song ministry to participate in the change. Frankly, you don’t.
What about your ministry? What is it that you bring to give to the people in this ministry? What is it that you, by bringing it, put me in a position to whine about what you’re not doing?
We have a ministry to the Vets. But who owns it? Well since COVID, we haven’t visited the Vets. We can’t. But if we could, who owns it? Nobody. So what was once a thriving ministry is now dead. But we can still be sending them messages. We can still find creative ways to serve them. We’re passionate about them. But where is the love? Where are the spiritual gifts in play? Are you waiting for me, as leader of Barah Ministries, to give you permission to use the spiritual gift God gave you? If so, you have my permission!
I rarely say no when someone asks to do something within Barah Ministries. I simply find ways to help them express themselves.
God has a plan for your life. Isn’t it time to find out what it is? Aren’t you afraid to go to your grave without expressing yourself fully in this life? You can be the hero in this story. Get busy using your spiritual gift, and see what the Lord can accomplish through you.
GOD WANTS YOU!
Make the Most Important Decision of Your Life
How would it be for you to know that there is someone who loves you so much that their love for you is almost unspeakable, yet you don’t know who they are and you haven’t met them? Actually, that is your situation because the Creator of the universe created you, and He loves you unconditionally, and you may not have a relationship with Him. John, Chapter 1, Verse 3 says…
All things came into being through the Lord, God the Son…and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being (including you).
You can have a relationship with your Creator, and He is looking for you! Luke, Chapter 15, Verses 4 to 7…
“What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine sheep in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?”
LUKE 15: 5
“When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.”
“And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’”
“I (the Lord Jesus Christ) tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”
I’ve got bad news for you if you are a sinner…you were born in a state of unrighteousness. All of us were. We are born physically alive and spiritually dead as an ungodly, unrighteous unbeliever. It’s not your fault, but it is your circumstance. In First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verse 22, the bible says…
FIRST CORINTHIANS 15:22a
For all in union with Adam at physical birth (and that is every human who comes to earth) are set to die the second death in the Lake of Fire…
But in the face of this bad news, there’s good news! The Sovereign God of
the Universe, the Lord Jesus Christ, provides a way for you to be saved!
The good news is preached in what Christians call the gospel message. Let’s see what happened when the gospel message was preached in a prison in first-century Rome in Acts, Chapter 16, Verses 25 to 34…
…about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God from their jail cells, and the other prisoners were listening to them…
…and suddenly there came a great earthquake…so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken…and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened.
When the jailer…a prison guard…awoke and saw the prison doors opened… he drew his sword and was about to kill himself…supposing that the prisoners had escaped.
Allowing prisoners to escape carried a penalty of instant execution for prison guards!
But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying to the guard, “Do not harm yourself…for we are all here!”
And the jailer called for the lights to be turned on and he rushed in…and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas…
…and after the prison guard brought Paul and Silas out, he said, “Sirs… what must I do to be saved?”
The guard had obviously been listening to the spiritual songs Paul and Silas were singing.
And Paul and Silas said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be
saved…you and everyone in your household who also believes.”
There are no works of any kind necessary to be saved…it is simply faith, expressed in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, that is the ticket to eternal life.
How did our jailer friend get saved? In a crisis, he recognized He needed a Savior. He asked someone who knew what it took to be saved. Believers in Christ presented the accurate gospel message. The jailer did what was suggested. Don’t wait for a crisis to be saved! Do it now!
Who is this God who saves you? The apostle Paul describes the Lord Jesus Christ…in First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verses 3 and 4…
FIRST CORINTHIANS 15:3
For I (Paul) delivered to you as of first importance the gospel message I also received…that it was Jesus Christ who died for our sins according to the Scriptures…
FIRST CORINTHIANS 15:4
…and that He was buried…and that He was raised from the dead on the third day…according to the Scriptures…
It’s worse news if you choose not to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for your salvation. Romans, Chapter 1, Verses 18 to 20 say this…
For the wrath of God the Father is revealed from heaven against all
ungodliness and against the unrighteousness of unbelieverswho
suppress the truth by their unrighteousness…
…because that which is known about God the Father is evident inside of them…for God the Father made it evident to them from inside of them.
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible attributes…God’s eternal power…and God’s divine nature (His Deity) … have been clearly seen by all mankind… being understood even through what has been made (in nature… God’s creative work) … so that all mankind is without excuse before God.
God makes Himself clearly visible to human beings in ways that make sense to human beings…both from the inside of them and from the outside of them. Remember what Paul and Silas said to the jail guard, in Acts, Chapter 16, Verse 31…
“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and everyone in your household who also believes.”
And Paul and Silas spoke the Word of the Lord (the gospel message…the good news) to the jailer together with all the people who were in his house.
And the jailer took Paul and Silas that very hour of the night and washed their wounds…and immediately the jailer was baptized (by God the Holy Spirit)…he and all his household (who also believed…and they all did).
And the jailer brought Paul and Silas into his house and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in THE God (the Lord Jesus Christ) with his whole household.
So accept the invitation and heed the warning in John, Chapter 3, Verse 36…
“He who believes in the Son has the resurrection life right at that moment… but he who does not obey the command to believe in the Son will not see the resurrection life…instead the wrath of God (the Lake of Fire) abides on him.”
Wouldn’t you like to spend all eternity in heaven? Don’t miss your opportunity…take advantage of the good news of the gospel message NOW!
God the Father's love for all mankind is a model for real love. How well you love unconditionally those who mistreat you will tell you everything about your character and about how well you love. First John, Chapter 4, Verses 9 and 10…
FIRST JOHN 4:9
By this demonstration the unconditional love of God the Father was manifested in us believers in Christ…in that God the Father has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we believers in Christ might live the resurrection life through our union with Him.
FIRST JOHN 4:10
In this initiative by God the Father is manifest unconditional love…not that we loved God the Father unconditionally…but that He loved us unconditionally and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Here’s June Murphy to sing about our Lord’s DEMONSTRATED LOVE.
A Doxology of Praise to Our God
Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.//In all your ways acknowledge Jesus, and He will make your paths straight.
“For the Lord is the one who goes ahead of you…He will be with you…He will not fail you or forsake you…so do not fear or be dismayed.”
The Lord longs to be gracious to you…He waits on high to have compassion
on you…for the Lord is a God of justice…blessed are those who wait for Him.
FIRST PETER 5:6-7
Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may promote you at the proper time…//…slamming all your cares on His back, because He cares for you.
Let us pray...
Thanks for coming!
Thanks for watching!
Thanks for listening!