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Transcript AMinistryForEveryMember

Title Page
Lesson Five
Romans 12:4-7
Romans 12:4-7
4 For as we have many members in one body,
and all members have not the same office:
5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and
every one members one of another.
6 Having then gifts differing according to the
grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let
us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or
he that teacheth, on teaching;
Romans 12:8
Romans 12:8
8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that
giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that
ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy,
with cheerfulness.
I Corinthians 12:20-23
I Corinthians 12:20-23
20 But now are they many members, yet
but one body.
21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have
no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I
have no need of you.
22 Nay, much more those members of the body,
which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:
23 And those members of the body, which we
think to be less honourable, upon these we
bestow more abundant honour; and our
uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.
I Corinthians 12:24-27
I Corinthians 12:24-27
24 For our comely parts have no need: but God
hath tempered the body together, having given
more abundant honour to that part which lacked:
25 That there should be no schism in the body;
but that the members should have the same care
one for another.
26 And whether one member suffer, all the
members suffer with it; or one member be
honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members
in particular.
Focus Verse
Romans 12:4-5
For as we have many members in one body, and
all members have not the same office: so we,
being many, are one body in Christ, and every
one members one of another.
Focus Thought
Every member of the body has a ministry.
Let all serve in their given ministries.
No greater parallel to the uniqueness of the body of
Christ exists than that of the human body. The
human body, with all its many complementary
parts, is a microcosm of the many-faceted body of
Christ. The uniqueness of both the physical body
and the spiritual body is the synergy involved—all
the parts working together to produce a result that
is greater than the sum of the parts. The physical
body could never accomplish all of its functions
without this unified focus. Likewise, God’s body,
with all its diverse parts, could never accomplish
its purpose if its members did not work together.
In this lesson, we shall study how each member
has its own function or ministry, yet it is dependent
on each of the other parts and helps them to
understand their importance. Furthermore, we will
learn how diversity in the body need not engender
division, but it is necessary to the overall purpose
of the church. Paul provided a classic example of
this in his first letter to the Corinthians—unity
without conformity. (See I Corinthians 12:12-31.)
I. Uniqueness of Each
Member (A)
As a large organization or corporation is not just
one member multiplied many times, so is the body
of Christ. No organization or corporation is the
exact duplication of any of its individual members,
but it is a unified effort of the diverse members
working together to produce what one could never
accomplish alone.
A. One Body
I. Uniqueness of Each
As much as this lesson focuses on individual
their roles and
responsibilities, we all realize the importance and
value of the corporate body of Christ. God has
foreordained that the body of Christ—the church—
will be victorious. It will not fail or fall because it
is God’s body.
I. Uniqueness of Each
When God came to this earth in flesh, He came to
and to save that(A)
which was lost by
establishing the church. He knew that His ministry
in Jesus Christ would last only three and one-half
years. However, His ministry through His body, the
church, would last for centuries.
I. Uniqueness of Each
For us to be able to minister as members of the
(A)that we become members
it is essential first
of that body. This is only possible by being
baptized into the body of Christ: “For by one Spirit
are we all baptized into one body” (I Corinthians
I. Uniqueness of Each
To become a member of the body of Jesus Christ, a
(A)the new birth: repenting of
must experience
his sins, being baptized in water in the name of
Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and receiving
the Holy Ghost. As he grows and matures, living in
holiness, he begins to live as a member of Christ’s
body, one part of the whole, fulfilling Paul’s words:
“And ye are complete in him, which is the head of
all principality and power” (Colossians 2:10).
B. Many Members
I. Uniqueness of Each
Member (B)
“For as we have many
members in one body, and all
members have not the same
office: so we, being many, are
one body in Christ, and every
one members one of another”
(Romans 12:4-5).
we study the human
with all its parts,
we understand the miracle of its existence and
learn to appreciate it as a type of the body of
Christ. God the Creator designed the human body,
knowing that it would be a microcosm of His
spiritual body, the church. Therefore, when we
look at the human body, we are observing a small
prototype of Christ’s spiritual body.
I. Uniqueness of Each
(B) to us that there are
have revealed
about 206 bones and 650 muscles in the human
body. They also tell us that the body contains
approximately eleven pints of blood and seventynine pints of water.
I. Uniqueness of Each
this with at (B)
least fifty thousand miles of
blood vessels and capillaries and one hundred
billion brain cells, and we have a highly
specialized piece of machinery that mankind with
all his ingenuity has never been able to duplicate.
This body did not evolve from some lower form of
life, but God designed and created it in His own
image—the highest form of life.
I. Uniqueness of Each
(B) bodies—as well as the
our physical
spiritual body—consist of many members. God
could have made a body comprised of one
member, for “with God all things are possible”
(Matthew 19:26). However, He foresaw the
advantage of having a body comprised of many
members synchronized to accomplish a higher
C. Each Member with a
I. Uniqueness
of Each
Unique Role
Member (C)
Although the physical body has many parts, Paul
listed only four in his first letter to the Corinthians:
foot, ear, eye, and head (I Corinthians 12:14-26).
We know that the body is comprised of more than
these four parts. It takes all four and more for the
body to reach its full potential.
I. Uniqueness of Each
Member (C)
“If the whole body were an eye, where were the
hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the
smelling?” (I Corinthians 12:17). We clearly
understand the message: the body has many parts,
and each part has its unique function.
I. Uniqueness of Each
Member (C)
The church also is a body with many parts. Just like
the human body, every member has its distinctive
role, and we do not expect everyone to have the
same function or ministry.
I. Uniqueness of Each
Member (C)
In his epistle to the believers in Ephesus, Paul
named some of the ministries that God placed
within the church, but he also stated their combined
purpose—to edify the body of Christ.
Ephesians 4:11-12
“And he gave some, apostles; and
some, prophets; and some,
evangelists; and some, pastors and
teachers; for the perfecting of the
saints, for the work of the ministry,
for the edifying of the body of Christ”
(Ephesians 4:11-12).
I. Uniqueness of Each
Member (C)
Paul also listed three of these five ministries in his
first letter to the Corinthians: “And God hath set
some in the church, first apostles, secondarily
prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then
gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of
tongues” (I Corinthians 12:28).
I. Uniqueness of Each
Member (C)
From these and other writings of the apostle Paul, it
is clear that he never intended to establish only a
few areas of ministry. Numerous are the ministries
that God intended to be within His body, the
church. We will discuss only a few of them in this
I. Uniqueness of Each
Member (C)
1. Encouragement. At times, everyone needs to
receive the ministry of encouragement. This
ministry, though not often one of high profile, is as
necessary as any other ministry in the church. Many
of us are victorious today and will be in heaven
because someone with the ministry of
encouragement knew just what to say or do at the
appropriate time.
people selfishly wait
someone to
encourage them or to provide for them a “shot in
the arm.”
such people are not interested
in being involved in the ministry of encouraging
others. What they do not realize, however, is that
when a person encourages others, he receives
encouragement himself. Paul quoted this principle
from Jesus in his address to the church elders at
Ephesus: “It is more blessed to give than to receive”
(Acts 20:35).
I. Uniqueness of Each
(C) Paul mentioned several
In his
letter to the Romans,
areas in which the body of Christ ministers through
diverse gifts:
“Having then gifts differing
12:6-8that is given to
to the grace
us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy
according to the proportion of faith;
or ministry, let us wait on our
ministering: or he that teacheth, on
teaching; or he that exhorteth, on
exhortation: he that giveth, let him do
it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with
diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with
(Romans 12:6-8).
I. Uniqueness of Each
(C)the basic meaning of the
2. Exhortation.
word exhort is “to urge earnestly by advice,
warning,” in this passage, it means
“encouragement.” The Greek word for exhortation
has to do with comfort and consolation. If we
combine these two definitions, we arrive at the
meaning “vocal encouragement” as opposed to
encouragement by deed.
I. Uniqueness of Each
(C) the power of their
people do not realize
words—both positively and negatively. The wise
man, Solomon, wrote, “Death and life are in the
power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat
the fruit thereof” (Proverbs 18:21). The fact is that
we all have the potential of helping or hindering
others by our choice of words and the manner in
which we say them.
Proverbs 15:23
“A man hath joy by the answer of his
mouth: and a word spoken in due
season, how good is it!”
(Proverbs 15:23).
I. Uniqueness of Each
(C)deeds of encouragement
a challenge! Good
often involve financial expenditure, but words of
encouragement cost us nothing more than a desire
to be a positive influence upon others. All we have
to do is to open our mouths and try to say
something that will be encouraging to others.
I. Uniqueness of Each
(C)this if he really tries. We
can accomplish
often speak words of discouragement when we
ourselves are discouraged or feeling bad. However,
we should remember that we have the awesome
responsibility of encouraging others with our words
regardless of how we feel.
I. Uniqueness of Each
(C) countries elect their
3. Leadership.
leaders from among a list of those who aspire to
public office. The voters have the right to reject the
one who presently fills the office at the next
election, and they can vote in whomever they
choose to replace him. Although the election places
the candidate in the position of a leader, the election
alone does not make that person a good leader.
I. Uniqueness of Each
(C)of influence, is a vital part
the ministry
of the church. What greater opportunity do we have
to influence people than by the Spirit of the Lord?
Our personalities can always help open doors and
perhaps cause people to notice us, but the Holy
Spirit is the Christian’s advantage. God’s Spirit
emanates from us and touches hearts like no human
personality ever could accomplish.
I. Uniqueness of Each
(C) carries with it great
The Member
ministry of leadership
responsibility, for those who follow a leader trust
him to know the way. Certainly, a leader’s
responsibility for his own salvation is serious
enough, but his influence on the eternal destiny of
others is doubly serious. (See Isaiah 9:16.)
I. Uniqueness of Each
4. Mercy.
Perhaps we(C)
do not think of mercy as a
ministry, but the definition of the word itself makes
it easier to comprehend its character as ministry.
The word mercy simply means “pity, compassion.”
Thus, the ministry of mercy is the showing of pity
and compassion on the needy, which includes more
than just those who are bereft of food and clothing.
However, we should not exclude the latter from the
list of the needy.
I. Uniqueness of Each
of our churches(C)
have extended themselves to
help those where hurricanes and other natural
disasters have ravaged their homes and lives. They
have offered money, food, shelter, and clothing to
thousands of displaced evacuees. Perhaps the
teacher could add recent events to this list.
I. Uniqueness of Each
(C)around us daily where we
opportunities exist
could minister to those in need of mercy. Many
people stumble in their walk with the Lord and
struggle to return to their previous spiritual status
and effectiveness. At such a critical time, they need
to hear words of encouragement and mercy. This
ministry counters the judgmental spirit that is so
prevalent in our world today.
I. Uniqueness of Each
As the
Jewish nation(C)
used the labels of Pharisee and
Sadducee in the Bible, we have labels today that
often reflect a lack of mercy. If someone does not
appear to satisfy our particular expectations, we
often label them—regardless of the accuracy of the
label. Even if the label were accurate, resorting to
such judgment does not reflect the mercy of the
I. Uniqueness of Each
(C)most ministries are
5. Intercession.
public, interceding for people through prayer
ministers to them in a private way. They may never
be aware that someone interceded for them.
However, as the intercessor approaches God for
them and prays earnestly for their souls, he renders
them a service that is beyond compassion.
I. Uniqueness of Each
(C)of the ministry of
We find
a good example
intercession in Genesis 18. Because his nephew Lot
lived in Sodom, Abraham appealed to God to spare
the city.
“Wilt thou also destroy the righteous
with theGenesis
Peradventure there
be fifty righteous within the city: wilt
thou also destroy and not spare the
place for the fifty righteous that are
therein? That be far from thee to do
after this manner, to slay the
righteous with the wicked: and that
the righteous should be as the wicked,
that be far from thee: Shall not the
Judge of all the earth do right?”
(Genesis 18:23-25).
I. Uniqueness of Each
intercession was not
successful in God’s sparing the twin cities, it was
successful in His sparing Lot and some of his
family. As a result, the angels rescued Lot, his wife,
and two daughters from the doomed cities. Sadly,
Lot’s wife looked back toward the cities while
escaping and suffered the judgment of God.
I. Uniqueness of Each
We may
never know (C)
the full extent of the
effectiveness of our intercession, but we still should
continue in the ministry of intercession. Many souls
are in the balance daily and are in need of our
intercessory prayers.
I. Uniqueness of Each
(C) question, musical ability
6. Musical
Ability. Without
is a gift from God, and we can certainly use it as a
ministry. However, those with musical talent often
misuse and abuse their gift as they become lifted up
in their performance instead of focusing on
ministry. When we use for performance what God
has given for ministry, self becomes the focus and
manifests itself in pride.
I. Uniqueness of Each
We should
that God intended music to be
a special language whose vocabulary contains
words of comfort, challenge, inspiration, and
encouragement. When we use it properly, music can
even soothe the troubled spirit and dispel evil
spirits. (See I Samuel 16:23.)
I. Uniqueness of Each
7. Giving.
when thou doest thine alms,
do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the
hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets,
that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto
you, They have their reward” (Matthew 6:2).
I. Uniqueness of Each
(C)our minds usually go to
we think of giving,
finances. However, the perspective of giving is
much more encompassing than money. It involves
the gift of time, abilities, talents, love, and even the
giving of ourselves. When a person gives only of
his finances and not in other ways, he robs himself
and others of tremendous opportunities to give and
receive many blessings.
I. Uniqueness of Each
(C) give monetarily, it
everyone should
should encompass more than the periodic transfer
of something valuable from one person to another.
It should be a ministry that reaches the deeper level
of one’s offering of himself. Referring to the
generosity of the Macedonians, who gave a
sacrificial offering, Paul stated that they “first gave
their own selves to the Lord” (II Corinthians 8:5).
I. Uniqueness of Each
(C)set some in the church,
8. Helps.
“And God hath
first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers,
after that . . . helps” (I Corinthians 12:28). In our
coveting earnestly the best gifts, we often overlook
the ministry of helps that Paul mentioned.
I. Uniqueness of Each
We tend
to focus more
on the gifts that are public
and demonstrative—gifts of healing, the working of
miracles, tongues, interpretation of tongues, and
prophecy. However, the ministry of helps is as vital
to the work of the Lord as the other gifts that are
more publicly demonstrative.
I. Uniqueness of Each
(C)in Jesus’ discourse in
ministry is obvious
Matthew 20:26-28:
Matthew 20:26-28
“But it shall not be so among you:
but whosoever will be great among
you, let him be your minister; and
whosoever will be chief among you,
let him be your servant: even as the
Son of man came not to be ministered
unto, but to minister, and to give his
life a ransom for many”
(Matthew 20:26-28).
I. Uniqueness of Each
9. Teaching.
the original text suggests that
pastors and teachers are one and the same person in
Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, teaching can be a
separate ministry (Ephesians 4:11). Many Godcalled people who never become pastors possess the
ministry of teaching. As someone has stated,
“Preaching makes a statement; teaching proves it.”
Great Diversity
the Body
of Christ
It is obvious that there is a great diversity of gifts in
the body of Christ, each serving the varied needs of
the membership. Just as a normal human body must
be able to accomplish a wide range of functions, the
same is true of the spiritual body of Christ. God’s
body, the church, should enjoy the blessing of these
differing kinds of gifts.
II. Great Diversity
Different kinds of results naturally follow
diversities of needs, ministries, and services.
Expecting the same kind of results from the various
ministries would be like expecting the same kind of
results from the different parts of the human body.
We never expect a kidney to perform the duties of
the human heart because their functions are vastly
different. So are the results of the various gifts of
services and ministry within the body of Christ.
Interdependence of
III. Interdependence
Members within
the Body
A. God Gave Members
to the Body
“And the eye cannot say unto the hand,
I have no need of thee: nor again the
head to the feet, I have no need of you”
(I Corinthians 12:21).
III.To Interdependence
explain the interdependence of members within
the body of Christ, Paul again used the analogy of
the human body. Since it is not difficult for us to
understand the interdependence of the members of
the physical body, it should not be difficult for us
to understand the interdependence of the members
of the spiritual body.
member of the physical body needs the other
members of the body. Although there are some
members that surgeons can remove without
endangering the life of the human body, God
originally made the body to be complete with all its
members. We could assert the same about the
spiritual body, for God intends the church to be
comprised of all its members—all of them vital to
the body.
continues to add “to the church daily such as
should be saved” (Acts 2:47). The members,
whether physical or spiritual, are servants to the
body to make it complete, enable it to function as a
body, and give it beauty.
B. God Gave the Body
III. Interdependence (B)
Not only did God give the members to the body, but
He gave the body to the members. What would the
members be by themselves? All the members may
have their individual functions, but those functions
are all associated with the body.
III. Interdependence (B)
If we were to separate the members of the physical
body from the body, they would be completely
useless. Without a connection to the body, the
individual members would serve no purpose at
all—no matter how complicated and necessary they
are to the body itself.
III. Interdependence (B)
Through this analogy, we can easily understand
how the individual members of the church need the
rest of the body. Certainly, the church gives all of us
meaning and worth.
Unity in Diversity
II. Unity in Diversity (A)
A. Diversity Is Not Division
The different members of the body all have diverse
functions, yet their diversity does not engender
division. Unity actually exists in their diversity, for
they all enjoy a togetherness that contributes to
oneness of function that makes the body whole.
II. Unity in Diversity (A)
The word schism in our lesson text comes from a
Greek word that means “division.” (See I
Corinthians 12:25.) God has so tempered the body
that it is a synergistic miracle with diversity and no
division. It is not a body working against itself; it is
a unified body working together for a higher
B. Unity Is Not Conformity
II. Unity in Diversity (B)
The unity of the body does not mean that all the
members have the same function. Much like an
engine that has many working parts necessary for
its complete operation, the body enjoys the unity of
the various members without any or all of them
conforming to the same function. Likewise, when
all the members of the physical body function
properly in their diverse duties, it results in a unity
like no other.
II. Unity in Diversity (B)
If all the members were alike within the body of
Christ, the church would never accomplish God’s
work. Indeed, it takes all the members doing what
God has called them to do in order to fulfill the
complete ministry of the body. While God has
designed that some of the ministries edify the
church, He designed others to evangelize the world.
Thus, every part of the body of Christ feels the
results of this diversified, yet unified, ministry to
the world.
We have studied how the physical body is typical
of the spiritual body. Paul adeptly compared the
two with common comparisons that are easily
understood. He reminded us that the body is one,
yet it has many members—each with a unique role.
Differing gifts, services, and results remind us that
the body of Christ is full of great diversity.
Although this is true, the individual members are
interdependent. Diversity in the body should never
create division. Furthermore, unity is not
conformity; we achieve it not by being alike in
function, but by working toward the same purpose.
Finally, each member of the body has a ministry,
and each should faithfully serve in that God-given
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