Romans 12:3-8 - The Body: A Great Design
Intro: One thing that fascinates me - is the study of Human anatomy . It is amazing the way that we have been put together
A) I love statistics like these /in a 24 hr. period Your heart beats 103,689 times
AA) Your blood travels 168,000,000 miles / equivalent of 6720 times around the world! /
1) You breathe 23,040 times / You inhale 438 cubic feet of air
1) You speak 4,800 words / You move 750 muscles / You exercise
7,000,000 brain cells
C) The body is a masterpiece / Beautifully "engineered," it is governed by several hundred systems of control –
1) each interacting with and affecting the other.
D) The brain has 10 billion nerve cells to record what a person sees and hears. / His skin has more than 2 million tiny sweat glands
1) -- about 3000 per square inch -- all part of the intricate system which keeps his body at an even temperature
E) You could go on & on in talking about the intricate way the human body has been designed ! Work of art / incredible wisdom !
When I meet someone who denies the existence of God One thing I like do is engage them in conversation about human body
A) The design definitely points to a designer ( Cars today complicated )
1) Don't even compare to our human bodies!
BB) Perhaps you heard that Theory of evolution - was given another death blow this past week
1) DNA results revealed that the “Neanderthal man” wasn’t a man at all
Just a big monkey - no link to man whatsoever !
C) Leaving Evolutionist - scratching their heads ! - another chink knocked out of their - theory !
1) But a careful study of the human body reveals very - clearly that there is a designer - behind - this work of Art !
C) Yes It is amazing how the Lord has designed our human bodies but
what is equally amazing is His design of the body of Christ
1) The Church!
D) The term Church = a called out people :
1) The term was used in the 1st century to describe people called to
something , from somewhere & by someone!
E) The church of Jesus Christ has been called out of the world & to
1) Church is not a building or an organization but a living organism!
2) Not just a collection of parts- assembly line / but a body designed
formed and fitted together by the Lord Himself!
F) And w/ in this body is a Unity - Many members in one body - / Christ is the Head / Diversity - all members have different Functions / giftings /
Now we have been looking at the gifts that God has given to His body - to the Church Beginning w/ those mentioned here in Rom. 12
A) Having then gifts let us use them !
B) Gifts mentioned in Rom. 12 Divided into 2 groups - Expound the word / those that expand the work !
C) Prophesy - Declares truth - Cause to Shine - Preaching
1) Ministry - depicts truth - gift of helps - living illustrations of the Word
D) Teaching - Defines truth - takes it and explains it - gives Application
1) Exhortation - Develops truth - Come along side of another - lit. shows how to walk or to minister by doing w/ .
E) It is a gift which encourages others to go higher / to not settle for mediocrity in their walks / or ministries
A Good example of someone in the N.T. who exercised this gift was Barnabas - name = Son of encouragement
A) After Paul was saved - no one in Jerusalem wanted much to do w/ him - questioned the sincerity of his conversion ( Aton Levy)
B) It was Barnabas who came & stood w/ Paul & took him to the apostles
C) Acts 11 Things are sprouting in Antioch / gospel has gone to the
gentiles . These new believers need a lot of help!
1) Who did the apostles send down there to encourage these
brand new baby believers ? Barnabas
D) Once down there the work is going great growing & there is so
much to do Barnabas needs help . What do?
1) He knows just the guy / he goes & gets Paul ;( who was
really doing nothing at the time ) / Barn. saw his potential
E) He brings Paul down not to assist him but to lead the work & Barnabas will become His assistant!
1) He wasn't caught up in thinking "This is my ministry"
Bernstein conductor Toughest instrument ever, to find someone to play is 2nd fiddle!/ Not Barnabas
F) Later Barnabas & Paul split up over his desire to encourage /Mark
1) And it worked Paul in prison said "send me Mark he is useful to
me in ministry Barnabas made an impact
Poem good description of exhortation
I saw them tearing a building down, A gang of men in a dusty town.
With a "yo heave ho" and a lusty yell, They swung a beam and the sidewall fell. I asked the foreman if these men were as skilled As the men he'd hire, if he were to build.
He laughed and said, "Oh, no indeed. Common labor is all I need." For those men can wreck in a day or two, What builders had taken years to do.
I asked myself as I went my way, Which kind of role am I to play?
Am I the builder who builds with care, Measuring life by the rule and square? Or am I the wrecker who walks the town, Content w/ the role of tearing down
So First 4 gifts expound the Word in Different ways - seeking to build up & edify the Body !
A) The next 3 are involved in expanding the work of God ! Next Paul says V.8 he who gives, with liberality;
B) Giving expands the work. Again Barnabas was a good example of this In Acts 4: 32-36 early Church was growing
1) It was Barnabas who sold a piece of land & gave the proceeds to the Church to benefit & to bless it - Help expand the work - Help grow
C) Now Paul says that those w/ this gift need to give w/ Liberality/ Giving w/ liberally means giving with no strings attached .
1) It is giving to the Lord freely & Cheerfully not expecting - any pay backs / not demanding to know where money is going !
C) Paul says don’t give that way! - Give freely - freely you have received - freely give !
Years ago, The Sunday School Times carried the account of a Christian school for the children of "untouchables" in India prior to World War II
A) Presents from children in England
1) On one occasion the doctor from a nearby mission hospital was
asked to distribute the gifts.
B) In the course of his visit, he told the youngsters about a village where the boys and girls had never even heard of Jesus. He suggested that maybe they would like to give them some of their old toys as presents.
C) They liked the idea and readily agreed. A week later, the doctor returned to collect the gifts.
D) The sight was unforgettable. One by one the children filed by and handed the doctor their toys.
1) To his great surprise, they all gave the new presents they had just
received several days earlier.
When he asked why, a girl spoke up, "Think what God did by giving us his only Son. Could we give him less than our best?"
A) Now all Christians are expected to give - told in 1Cor. 16/ 3 principles
1) My giving is to be regular - 1st day of the week.
2) My giving is to be systematic - let each one lay aside something
3) My giving is to be proportionate - as he has prospered
AA) Giving is not God’s way of raising funds but raising kids - teaches dependence / realize What I have is the Lord’s anyway - steward
1) Be it talents - finances - gifts or time - give it as the Lord leads
B) But those w/ the gift of giving have been blessed w/ the ability to earn & give money for the advancement of God's work,
C) You might not be able to go on a missions trip ( Moscow )- yet - you can
use your gift of giving & give to help someone else go !
Next Paul mentions the gift of leadership : he who leads, with diligence;
AA) Also called the gift of administrations / in 1 Cor. 12 - Gaylord & Eddie
B) Brian - Wasn’t for guys like them we would be sitting here in the dark
C) Those w/ the gift of leading or administrations are those who have Practical oversight - They’re into details & specifics
D) Needed for guys like me - I can get a vision or a direction from the Lord on something / an outreach or a building addition
1) Those guys help the vision become a reality ! Helps put the vision into practice - cover all details - cross T’s / dot the I’s
E) People w/ the gift of leading are those people who have been gifted by the Lord w/ ingenuity . ( See beyond the Mt. )
Anthony Green won first prize & $5,000 Because he used duct tape to patch the wing of the plane he flew from Guatemala to Honduras, in the, 'The Best Use of Duct Tape' contest. AMAZING Those in the Body w/ the gift of leading are like Anthony Green. They know how to patch things up. They know how to make things fly.
A) They have a feeling for how things should happen.
B) Paul says do it w/ Diligence - meaning - go for it w/ all of your effort !
C) Person w/ the gift of Leadership / will be different from the person who has a natural talent for leadership
D) In that they will have a sensitivity to others through the H.S. / and it is apparent they are being led by the Spirit in their leadership
1) Those w/ just a natural talent - for leading will often bull doze others & often times - do things in their flesh!
The final gift mentioned in Romans 12 Gift of mercy : Getting into someone else’s skin & feeling what they feel !
A)Caring for others being there to be a shoulder to cry on an ear to listen !
B) Person w/ this gift might not ever counsel or share / but they make a big impact by what they don't say ! Just there
C) Often times this gift is mixed w/ the gift of helps - compassion - desire to help - to pick up some one fallen going through it.
D) Do it cheerfully ! Not being a burden / not being heavy / not complaining but being a blessing to those who are going through it !
Which gifts do you have? Where are you drawn ?
A) Amy analogy - what would be your reaction ?
1) What a klutz! Let someone else deal w/ that !
B) Prophecy " Watch your step , pitfalls in life watch out
1) Ministry "Where is the broom ? "
2) Giving " How much was that glass ? Write a check"
C) Teaching " When carry glass wipe condensation / right amount
of pressure w/ each hand!
1) Exhorter - " Come on Amy you can do this go & get another
glass / I'm pulling for you sweat heart
D) Leads " Who designed these steps that way
1) Mercy "Come here honey / I know just how you feel I Did the
same thing in the 3rd grade."
Each one responding as the Lord has gifted them !
A) All important / all necessary / but there is diversity!
Now we have noted in this study that we have been doing that the Church is most often described as a body - Living organism
A) Physical expression of Jesus Christ in the world today
B) If we think of the church as a body, then Ephesians 4 presents us with an anatomy lesson, a view of the physiology & structure of the body of Christ
1) how the various organs function together, how the parts of the body
are coordinated to accomplish a particular purpose
C) There are, within the human body, four major systems upon which the entire body is dependent for proper functioning:
1) the skeletal and muscular framework, the nerve system, the digestive system, and the circulatory systems.
D) There are other systems in the body which are not essential for life itself (such as the reproductive system) but these four are.
1) And in a most remarkable way these 4 systems correspond to four areas of gifting that the Lord has given to His Church .
E) Those 4 areas are mentioned there in Eph. 4 turn - rest of our time
F) Eph. 4 :11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
These four categories--apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor-teachers--are among of the gifts which constitute what some call "support gifts" or offices w/ in the Church ! Structure !
A)And These four offices or giftings in the body of Christ correspond rather well those major body systems in the physical body.
1) So for the sake of explanation - I want to build this analogy
B) In the human body the First system is the basic structural system of the bones and muscles.
1) This gives the body its fundamental support and allows the body to be mobile and active.
C) We would all be nothing but rolling, shapeless globs of gelatin if
it were not for our bones and muscles!
D) Now This image of the bones & muscles clearly corresponds to the apostles & their function in the body of Christ.
1) Their work was foundational, skeletal
DD) They formed the basic structure which made the body of Christ assume the particular form it has.
E) In Ephesians 2:10 and 20, Paul says, "So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone."
F) The foundation of the church is Jesus Christ, as Paul declared to the Corinthians, (1 Cor. 3:11), "For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ"
G) the primary work of an apostle was to declare the whole body of truth concerning Jesus Christ. That is the foundation.
1) recorded for us in the New Testament and the church must rests squarely & firmly upon that foundation.
The Lord Jesus made very clear that if a man builds on the wrong foundation, he is in trouble.
A) A man may build his house on the sand and the house may look very beautiful and impressive, but when the storms come, it falls.
B) But the man Who builds his house on the rock will stand in the storm. His house might not look as good on the outside
1) It is the foundation which makes all the difference.
C) The basic meaning of the word Apostle means one who is sent out on a mission !
1) Jesus Chose 12 - Disciples Mission to Change the World !
D) Now the 1st 12 apostles who were sent out by Jesus seemed to have a unique place in the history of the church! God's plan!
1) They were used by the Lord in the birthing of His Church
& in the putting together of God's word! ( Inspired!)
E) Paul was later classified in this group of original apostles & gives the
criteria for being one in defending his apostleship
1) When wrote " need to have seen Jesus / sent out by Him!"
F) Because of that criteria I do not believe there are apostles today in that original way / same type of authority as 12 apostles
E) Reason I mention that is there are men today who claim to be Apostles
on an equal level w/ the originals / their words above scripture !
1) Listen when listening to any teacher / take what say &
check it w/ scripture Bereans
2) Doesn't match we need to reject them & not true
Now there are those who function in gifting of an apostle in that they do what apostles did!
A) Go to places preach gospel plant churches / get going / missionaries
have an apostolic like ministry ( Brian London - Greg Hungary )
B) Pastor Chuck Apostolic like ministry amongst Calvary’s
C) Term apostle is used in a general sense of men like Barnabas
Timothy , Silas. Sent out By the Spirit.
1) So 4 types : Jesus / Disciples He appointed & Paul/ Those sent by the Spirit / And Missionaries today Apostolic ministry
D) In a very broad sense all believers are called to a apostolic type ministry
/ we have been commissioned by the Lord - be ambassadors for Christ!
E) So apostles were those sent out /The 1st by Jesus - made up the Bones & Muscles of the body ! Governing Ministry ( Foundation & Structure )
1) Here is the skeleton of the body, and upon this the church is built and from this comes its strength.
Linked with the skeletal system in the human body is the nervous system. A) It is the means by which the bones and muscles are stimulated to activity,
The nervous system is the directive system.
B) It is linked directly to the head, and from there it conveys messages to every other part of the body.
1) This system corresponds to the work of prophets in the body of Christ.
BB) Now the reference here is to New Testament prophets.
1) They were men who were given, as were the apostles, particular
insight into the doctrines of the faith
C) A prophet is essentially a man who speaks for God, who unfolds the mind of God.
D) Believers in the New Testament churches did not possess Bibles, and the New Testament written and completed.
E) How, then, would these local assemblies discover God’s will? His Spirit would share God’s truth with those possessing the gift of prophecy.
1) Paul suggests that the gift of prophecy had to do with understanding “all mysteries and all knowledge” (1 Cor. 13:2), = spiritual truths.
F) And The purpose of prophecy is “edification, encouragement, and consolation” GUIDING MINISTRY
Even though many of the apostles were also considered prophets The gift of a prophet differs from that of an apostle- In this :
B) The apostle gives an authoritative declaration of the whole body of truth concerning Jesus Christ; but the prophet interprets that authoritative word and explains the truth s that it becomes very clear
Bb) office use in Birth of Church vital, and compelling.
1) Prophets today ? Not in the sense of like the first - But some have considered Billy Graham a Prophet for this Gen.
C) Message of Repentance to the World ! So Apostles & Prophets
The third support ministry within the body of Christ is the evangelist.
A) Gathering people into the kingdom! Person w/ a strong
desire & unique ability to share gospel w/ results!
A) All called to share but person w/ this gift / very effective leading
others Christ / bringing to church!
B) Think of people like Greg Laurie / but Know people who may
never preach at church or a crusade/ very effective!
C) Since the evangelist is used in the numerical growth of the body of Christ, the ministry of the evangelist corresponds to the digestive system within the human body.
D) taking food which is quite unlike flesh and transforms it into flesh and bones, making it a living part of the body. What the Evangelist does
1) That which is not part of the body makes part
All Christians are expected to evangelize, but not all have the gift of an evangelist.
A) Christians are to evangelize as witnesses, but a witness is different from an evangelist.
1) Any individual Christian should be able to explain to others what
happened when he or she became a Christian. 1 Peter 3:15
"always be ready to give ... a reason for the hope that is in you"
B) Witnessing should be as easy as talking about any other meaningful life experience.
1) If you can talk about how wonderful your husband is, or your wife, or your children or grandchildren, you can witness for Christ.
C) But the person w/ the gift of an evangelist goes further - He is able to share the message of Jesus w/ great results !
1) Burden / boldness - and an effectiveness !
The fourth great physical system which the body depends upon for life is the circulatory system
A) the veins and arteries linked to the heart and lungs, which distribute food and oxygen to every part of the body, & take away the accumulated wastes.
B) This corresponds to the work of Pastor - teacher within the body of
1) Those who are there to maintain the life of the body by feeding and cleansing it - by giving a steady diet of the word !
C) Pastor teacher = one office - Every pastor - needs to be have the gift of teaching - yet not all teachers are called to be Pastors
D) Pastor is synonymous w/ the word Bishop & the word Elder in - the Bible
1) All 3 describe the position from a different view point
E) Bishop - episcopus -overseer/ - Ministry = watches out for the flock
1) Elder - Man - mature in the Lord - /
F) Pastor = Shepherd describes the method - feed & tend & to guard - grounding & a guarding ministry !
So these are in the body for the purpose of v.12 equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
A) The word equipping is an interesting word in the grk kat/artis/ mon,
from which we get our English word artist or craftsman,
1) someone who works with his hands to make or build things.
B) First seen in the N.T when Jesus called some of his disciples / As Jesus walked along the Sea of Galilee,
1) he saw two pairs of brothers, Peter and Andrew, and James and
John, sitting in a boat mending their nets.
C) The word "mending" is the word translated in Eph. 4 as "equipping."
They were equipping their nets by mending them.
1) They were fixing their nets, making them strong, preparing them for service, getting them ready for action!
D) Purpose of the gifts / offices - have been put into place by the Lord to do that work of mending the saints,
1) preparing them for service, getting them ready for action./ Ministry
ministry 3 Aspects
1st UPREACH = exaltation / Worship that goes beyond singing
A) Col. " Whatever you do in word or in deed.............. Lord!"
B) 2nd INREACH = Edification ( Building up the body of Christ )
ministering to each other & helping one another grow!
C)3rd OUTREACH EVANGELISM " Going out & sharing the gospel
1) So 1st see fathers heart that kids would be equipped for ministry!