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Section 2  - Love One Another Study #5  - The Body Of Christ
The Body Of Christ
 

The Objectives :The two main objectives of this study are to teach disciples about their relationships and roles within the body of Christ (the Church) and to help them consider how their individual gifts can be used to serve the body of Christ.

When we enter the body of Christ, relationships are radically transformed! Instead of having ourselves as the center of our focus, we are to ‘consider others better than ourselves” (Philippians 2:3). The Bible teaches us that church is not something we attend; it is an opportunity to serve and tend to the needs of others.

The Scriptures:

1. Our Relationships

John 13:34-35
34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."


Jesus commanded us to love each other as he has loved us. This quality of love and our relationships with one another are what make us distinct as Christians. Jesus’ willingness to serve and sacrifice for his disciples was the ultimate expression of His love. We need to demonstrate that same love (service and sacrifice) for one another.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN IN PRACTICE?
- Look after each other’s material needs—1 John 3:17.
- Being concerned about each other’s spiritual well being—Colossians 1:28.

Mark 3:35
Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother."

We are Jesus’ brothers and sisters if we do God’s will. Because of this common purpose, Christian relationships transcend even blood relations.

2. Our Role

Ephesians 4:14-16
14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.
15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.


Everyone has a role to play and work to do in the church; finding that role and doing that work is essential for the church to be built up and grow into maturity.

1 Corinthians 12:12-26
12 The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.
13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
14 Now the body is not made up of one part but of many.
15 If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be 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 cease to be 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 arranged 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 combined the members of the body and has given 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.


Everyone is essential to the body functioning as God intended it! Even the weakest part is incredibly important! We must value everyone’s gifts and roles in the church and understand that we need one another! We rejoice and hurt together (that’s sincere love, from the heart!—1 Peter 1:22)

3. What’s Your Gift?

A spiritual gift is a particular talent/ability that God has put in your life. While some spiritual gifts were “miraculous” (it is our belief that these gifts were specific to the apostolic age and are no longer available to us today); the “non-miraculous” gifts are just as powerful and critical for building up the body of Christ.

  • Non-miraculous gifts—Romans 12:4-8
  • Leadership gifts—Ephesians 4:11


1 Peter 4:10
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.

Whatever gift you have received should be used to serve God’s people. As individuals, God has placed gifts, talents and abilities in our lives to be used to build up his kingdom in unique ways.

Q: What are some of your gifts? How can you use those gifts to serve God’s people?
     Examples: Leadership, Children’s Ministry, Ushering, Youth Ministry, Administration, Hospitality, Benevolence

The Spiritual Exercise: Find an area in the church where you can serve. Next week when you get together go out and serve or offer hospitality to someone together.