Our key Bible passage is 1 Corinthians 12:27: “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”
Our lesson today is titled “The Importance of the Local Church, Part 4”
How does the church function?
It functions as a living body. The church is not simply an organization but an organism; it is the living body of Christ, and it must function as a body. Writing to the believers in Corinth, the Apostle Paul said, “Now you are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”
What was Paul saying to these believers? He was saying, “You are the body of Christ in Corinth. Christ is the Head, and you are His body through which He expresses His life in the city of Corinth. You must recognize this great truth—that you are Christ’s body—and you must work together as the body of Christ.”
What was true of the church in Corinth should be true of every local church today. The local church in a city is the body of Christ in that city and it should function as a living body.
Now, let us see four great facts concerning how a body functions. We will see that these things are true of our human body, and they are true also of Christ’s body.
1. The body has many different members and all are needed. In our human bodies, we have many different members—eyes, ears, nose, mouth, hands, fingers, legs, feet. All are different; yet all are needed. Christ’s body has many members also. They are all different; yet all are needed. The Bible says, “For the body is not one member, but many…And 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.”
2. Every member must function. If my eyes are not operating, I cannot see; if my ears are not functioning, I cannot hear; if my legs are not working, I cannot walk. When any member of the body does not function, the whole body suffers a loss. Likewise, Christ’s body is handicapped when any member of His body is not functioning. Every believer is a member of Christ’s body and has a function that is vital to the body. The Bible says that the body of Christ builds itself up in love “by that which every joint supplies.”
3. All members must obey the head. In order for my body to function properly all members must obey the commands sent out from my brain, my head. This is true of Christ’s body also. The Bible says in Ephesians 5:23-24 that “…Christ is the Head of the church, [and] the church is subject to Christ…” If we are subject to Christ, we will be subject to God’s Word. We will also be in submission to those whom God has placed in positions of leadership in the church. Hebrews 13:17 says, “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”
4. All members must work together. In order for me to pick something up, my hands and my eyes must work together. In order for me to read aloud, my eyes and my mouth must work together. In order for me to cross a busy street safely, my legs, my eyes, and my ears must work together. It is the same with the local church. God wants a body—not a lot of single, isolated Christians. The Bible says that we are “one body in Christ.” Alone, we cannot serve God effectively.
The church has a much greater impact when all members of the body are on the same page and are working together. Our enemy will often seek to divide us. He will try to use pride, self-importance, petty disagreements, and personal differences to make us ineffective in our service for God. But if we all commit to being obedient to the Head, Jesus Christ, and serving together as His body, the “gates of hell will not prevail” against us.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Saviour, John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and I want to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
Until next time, May the Lord Bless You!
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University School of Divinity. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.