The Body of Christ is mentioned a number of times here in the first part of chapter 12. To begin with Paul covers the relationship of the church to the World. Then he talks about the individual Christian finding his place in the Body of Christ.
It is obvious from the title of the sermon this evening that we are assuming a number of things. That being made new, we become part of the Body of Christ. In Acts we don’t see any separation between the baptism of a believer and them being connected to a local body of believers.
Ever member was meant to be involved actively in the body of Christ, not just bench warmers. Every member had an “office to fill.” Not everyone has the same office (or function). These gifting and functions are listed in Romans 12:6-8.
It is important for us to understand that we have a place to fill in the body of Christ. It is important that we notice the importance of every member in the local body of Christ.
Let’s look at four prerequisites to finding our place in the Body of Christ.
Totally Available to God
When we present our body to Christ as a sacrifice, we are giving ourselves as a sacrifice to God. Anything that is given to God in this way is holy… acceptable to God. To be holy means to be clean and free from sin and all uncleanness. It also means to be set apart to God!
As individuals we tend to ask the question, “who am I, and what is the purpose of my life?” Paul is challenging us to ask this question in a different way, “whose am I and to whom do I belong?”
By virtue of our redemption, we are not our own and we belong to God. Once we discover who we belong to we also discover the purpose of our lives!
The first prerequisite to finding our place in the Body of Christ is to be fully given and available to God.
Moses, Isaiah, Esther, Paul, and others… there are many examples of people in the Bible who were totally given to God. Regardless of the cost.
Are you available? Not are you capable… are you available?
A Renewed Mind
Not only is a renewed mind important and a key to the problem of worldliness, it is also an important prerequisite to finding and filling our place in the Body of Christ.
Is it possible to have a changed heart, be born again and continue to have a renewed mind? What happens if that is true?
There is a conflict in the life of the person who is a Christian but who does not have a renewed mind. It should be obvious that a renewed mind is imperative in finding and filling our place in the Body of Christ. In fact it is dangerous to exercise a spiritual gift without a renewed mind.
A Proper Self Concept
Notice several things about this matter of having a “proper self concept.”
One must not think more highly of himself than he ought to think. In simple terms this is talking about arrogance. Every man has this tendency to think more of himself than he or she ought to think. Rather to think soberly (rightly) about himself. How we evaluate ourselves affects how we evaluate others.
1 Corinthians 4:7 – We should evaluate ourselves according as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith. This has to do with the real ness and genuineness of our faith.
Having a Willingness to Fit in with the Body
We are all members “one of another.” We must be willing to find our place and to fit in with other members of the body. Life in Christ is a corporate endeavor, not just a personal pursuit.
It takes many stones, fitting together well, to make a building work well. The same is true with the body of Christ!
Seven Places to Fill in the Body of Christ
Romans 12:6-13 – Paul talks about 7 places to be filled within the church as well as the character qualities that are necessary in filling these 7 functions.