Mission 25:00 – Plug-In
Last Sunday we looked at some of the reasons that keep us away from joining the work of ministry. I believe we are more convinced today that God needs us in the church as His co-laborers. We dealt with the three greatest strongholds that keep us away from serving.
- Selfishness and
Today we will look at how we can plug-in because we have dealt with our issues and we realize that we are better in than out.
Many of us went to church because we were taken as children by our parents or joined other children to church in the village. Others went to church out of curiosity, others out of culture and habit. In the church, we have found fellowship and friendship. We now know that church is not just a place we attend as a holiday tradition, but where real issues of life can be addressed with leadership and friends. It is also like we have said in the last two weeks a place where we can give as we receive according to the gifts that God has given to us individually. We learned last Sunday that by giving ourselves we do not lose our individuality.
Over time I believe we have appreciated the importance of fellowship and we are here because we believe. I would like us to go a step further and not only attend but belong. When we belong we share and co-own. When we belong, we plug-in.
1 Cor 12:12-30
Unity and Diversity in the Body
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by[a] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so, the body is not made up of one part but of many.
15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact, God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as He wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it,25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?
From this scripture, we realize we need Christ and we need each other. We receive Christ by believing and accepting Him as our savior and redeemer. But when we are redeemed, we need each other. This keeps us strong in the faith as we encourage each other and strengthening one another through love.
Here are some facts about the church:
- Without the church we are likely to drift away: As our foundation, the church helps us to keep the faith. We need each other; to work alongside each other; to strengthen each other so that we may spread the message of Jesus much faster.
- Christianity is relational: There is no perfect church as there are no perfect people. The relationship between man and God was broken by sin. The Lord Jesus Christ came to fulfill not only the Covenant promise God made with Abram in Gen. 12:2-3 but to demonstrate love that binds us together in the fellowship of believers.
- Our shared gifts, talents and resources make us stronger: Last week we saw from Eph 4:16 that the body is joined together by every joint and ligament as every part effectively does its work and grows, building itself up in love.
- The church is part of God’s ordained plan of redemption: Paul says that the unsearchable truth of the gospel is made plain to all men through the church in the manifold wisdom of God; and should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to His eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. “In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” Eph 3:10-12. If the church is God’s idea, then all believers should participate in it.
- Today the choice you must make is either remaining a church attender or becoming a church member with commitment.
- Attenders are spectators, they are fans and never win the game. They want the benefits without sharing the responsibility.
- Committed members are involved and win the game. They will be rewarded with the trophy of God’s glory as faithful servants.
- God is not silent. He desires that every believer is committed and active in ministry.
God’s desire for us
- That we love and serve one another: 1 Cor 12:26 “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it.; If one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” We are invited to join ordinary and imperfect believers and learn together to be connected and dependent on each other’s gifts. 1 John 3:16 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.”
- That through the church, we each develop spiritual muscle: Eph 4:16 “From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself in love, as each part does its work.”
- Family Responsibilities: God has given the church family responsibilities for each other. The New Testament is filled with calls for each other. Love each other, Admonish each other, Pray for each other, Encourage each other, Honor each other, Bear each other’s burdens, Forgive each other, Submit to each other, Be devoted to each other. What responsibility are you carrying or willing to carry for a member of the family of God?
- The Church needs You: 1 Cor 12:7 “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” Come discover, develop and use your gifts. Come and build your local church. You may be involved in a bigger ministry and may be feeling I do not need to be involved in the local church. God never promised to build any individual ministry, but He promised He will build His church.
- Share in Christ’s Mission: Eph 2:10 “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God created in advance for us to do.” It is a great honor and privilege to be called Christ’s hands, feet, mouth and eyes to carry the gospel to the ends of the world and to encourage one another as we await His coming.
Challenge: Will you join the church family today as we serve one another, standing in each other’s gap during hard times and sharing and rejoicing in the joy of our Lord Jesus Christ; bringing change to the world? Plug-In! Amen!
Rev. Julius Wainaina – Senior Pastor ICC Imara