The Dysfunctional Member

The Problem Of Dysfunctional Members

1 Corinthians 12

To function in the Church is to perform the duty that God has called us to do!

God has given us all a ministry!

Our ministry is the ministry of reconciliation!

The true meaning of “reconcile” is to exchange a sinful life for new relationship with God.

In fact there are two parts of reconciliation.

1) All mankind was reconciled to God prior to faith and all mankind was then rendered savable.

Rom 5:10 For if, “when we were enemies”, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

2) Each individual can then can be reconciled to God, once he believes!

2Co 5:18 And all things are of God, “who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ”, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
2Co 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

The emphasis of reconciliation is that of making peace with God!

The sin of Adam created a barrier between man and God and rendered man hostile toward God!

The truth is that God removed that barrier, by the Lord Jesus Christ, and produced peace, enabling mankind to be saved!

It is God who initiated this change as He moved to reconcile sinful man to Himself!

That’s why it is called “Grace”!

Man then is the object of God’s reconciliation!

It was man who moved out of fellowship with God, therefore man needed to be restored to that fellowship!

God made reconciliation available to the whole world but is is only effective when it is received by personal faith!

God has never moved away from His creation!

Man moved because of sin and man must move back without sin!

Since that was impossible God came to us as our Savior!

*****1Co 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
1Co 12:2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.
1Co 12:3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
1Co 12:4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

The Apostle Paul teaches that God has given spiritual gifts for the building up of the Church, the Body of Christ.

A spiritual gift is a “God-given” ability for service in the work of the Church!

In this chapter we will learn that it is the Holy Ghost who is building the “Body of Christ” while the Lord Jesus remains as the Head of that Body!

In the growth of the Church, God calls, Jesus adds, The Holy Ghost builds!

It is Jesus Christ who is the source of nourishment of the Church:

Eph 5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, “even as the Lord the church”:
Eph 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

Jesus Christ is the source of all Spiritual gifts but the Holy Spirit administers them!

Eph 4:8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Eph 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Eph 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

It is the Holy Spirit that monitors these gifts and no one who knows the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, can then curse Him or His gifts!

There may be great diversities of gifts but only One Holy Spirit to administer them all!

*****1Co 12:5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
1Co 12:6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
1Co 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

It is a fact that different individuals perform different services in the Church.

But we would be foolish if we refuse to accept the Trinity of God in the path of the Church!

1) Some can have the same gift but apply it in a different way but we have only One Lord who directs all ministries and assigns all functions!

2) Some gifts have different effects on different people but it is the One Same God who is the source of all things!

Jas 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

3) Though the Lord directs the ministries, and God is the source, it is the Holy Spirit within each believer that works to bring profit to the Body of Christ.

It is the fruit of the Spirit that that the world sees when we walk in the way of Christ Jesus!

*****1Co 12:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

There are at least 20 or more different gifts mentioned in the New Testament that can be given by the Holy Spirit for the work of the Church.

No individual would have all the gifts nor would any church.

Many of these gifts ceased with the death of the Apostles!

Some of these gifts have ceased with time and others could be added as needed.

These gifts are gifts of the Holy Spirit, “as He will”, never “as we wish”!

Most gifts are a gift of God’s “Grace” and are not naturally developed abilities or talents!

**This gift of wisdom involved the direct revelation from God and is then the whole system of revealed truth.

1Co 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
1Co 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

This gift as revealed by Paul has ceased since we now have the complete Word of Truth, the Old and the New Testaments!

**The gift of knowledge is closely related to wisdom and is the ability to properly understand the truths that were revealed to the Apostles and the Prophets.

This gift of knowledge would also have involved communication of God’s direct revelation and had also ceased with the completion of the Scriptures.

There will be no new knowledge because God has given us all we need to know on how to get to Heaven, where we will then have the mind of Christ!

*****1Co 12:9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

**All believers have saving faith or they could not be saved “But” all believers must exhibit faith in order to walk with God.

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

This gift of “faith” as described by Paul is a gift only possessed by a few believers.

This is faith that is required to step out in complete trust that God will provide that need!

This the faith that is required for God to do the impossible!

**The gift of healing involved the ability of a person to cure other persons of all forms of sicknesses!

The healings of Christ Jesus and the Apostles were instantaneous, complete, permanent, unconditional, and had purpose, were subordinate to preaching, significant to confirm the Lord and the Apostles, and included the raising of the dead.

There is a difference between the gift of healing and healing itself!

The gift of healing ceased with the death of the Apostles and the completion of Scripture!

Healing still occurs as God responds to the prayers of His children and the supreme healing is to be taken on into Heaven where there is no sickness at all!

We should also realize that there are times when God chooses not to heal for His on reasons but we can be sure of this one thing.

Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

*****1Co 12:10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

**The study of the miracles in the Bible is great subject.

Miracles were never random occurrences in the Scriptures.

Miracles are recorded in the days of Moses and Joshua.

Miracles are recorded in the days of Elijah and Elisha.

Miracles are recorded in the days of Jesus and the Apostles.

Not many miracles occurred outside these times!

God enabled those He called to perform miracles to substantiate a new message they were giving!

The New Testament miracles were used to validate the New Message of Jesus and the Apostles!

We now have the complete New Testament and miracles are no longer needed to validate it’s message because it is by “faith” in the Word of God that we should live.

The gift of miracles and miracles are separate actions. God still performs miracle at His will!

The gift of miracles ceased upon the completion of the Scriptures but miracles can occur today by the action of answered prayer.

God may heal a terminally ill person in answer to a prayer but God does not do this any longer through any other person!

There are no healing preachers!

**Prophecy. The Prophets of God received their information through direct revelation from God! These were things that a man could not other wise know!

Since this revelation came from God it was always true, therefore the words of the prophet of God were always true!

The gift of prophecy is also related to the foundation of the Church and because the foundation of the Church has been laid and the Scriptures complete, there is no more need for the prophet.

The Word of God is now our written prophecy of the past, the present, and the future of the Church!

**Tongues. The gift of tongues were a part of the era of Christ Jesus and the Apostles and was necessary along with the gift of miracles as an authenticating sign of the Apostles.

Again because we have the complete Scriptures the gift of tongues is no longer necessary.

The gift of tongues was more for the Jews than for the Gentiles in fulfilling the Word of God.

1Co 1:22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

When an unbelieving Jew would enter the assembly of the Church and hear a language foreign to their ears, it was a sign to them that God was working.

Isa 28:11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
Isa 28:12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.

**Interpretation of tongues was the supernatural ability of someone to interpret a foreign language spoken by one who had the gift of tongues.

That language would then be interpreted “into the language of the people present”!

All these gifts have only one source!

*****1Co 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

The filling of the Holy Spirit is necessary because it is essential for us to mature in Christ Jesus, for our sanctification!

The filling of the Holy Spirit is necessary because it is essential for us to carry on the work of the Lord!

Since it is the Holy Spirit that decides the gifts for each believer then there should be no boastful comparison of gifts.

No gift of the Holy Spirit is more important than any other gift in the work of the Church!

If we will all walk in the Holy Spirit we will all be unified in the work of the Church!

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

The Holy Spirit will only lead us in the ways of Jesus Christ! If you are moving away from Christ you are not being led by the Holy Spirit!

Joh 16:12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
Joh 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
Joh 16:14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
Joh 16:15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

Now Paul describes the importance of know all these things. Paul will explain these things by comparing the “Body Of Christ” to our own physical bodies.

*****1Co 12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
1Co 12:14 For the body is not one member, but many.

The truth is the Jesus Christ and the Church form one body and Christ is the Head!

Jesus said “I am the vine, you are the branches”.

Jesus said “I am the Rock, you are the living stones”.

We know that the human body is only one body so is the Church with Christ the Head to be one body!

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit includes all believers from the Church Age that began at Pentecost and is unique to the Church Age!

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit brings all believers into union with all other believers in the “Body of Christ”!

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit brings all believers into union with Christ!

Rom 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Rom 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

This Baptism of the Holy Spirit happens immediately at the point of salvation and not later as some believe!

Since the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is done by the Holy Spirit and it happens at the point of salvation it does not come from our own thoughts or our own experiences!

The Word of God says it happens, so then it happens, because the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is performed by the Holy Spirit but only to a believer!

The Holy Spirit comes to stay:

Joh 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Joh 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

Since all these things are true, then the Church is just “one Body of Christ” with many members just as the human body is one body with many members!

*****1Co 12:15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
1Co 12:16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
1Co 12:17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?

The one thing we all know for sure is, we know how important each and every part of our body is to us.

When our feet get tired and need rest then the whole body will stop.

When our hands can no longer hold to things then our whole body will stop until they can.

Just because one part of our body gets weak it does not mean we can do without that part of our body!

Our feet travel in the mire of this world but without them then the ear could not get close enough to hear the important things in life.

The eyes direct our path to keep the whole body safe but even the eyes must be covered from time to time!

The most humble part of our bodies are just as important the more noble parts of our body.

The foot and the hand could represent the “hands on” workers of the Church.

The ear and the eye could represent “those that study and teach the Word of God”.

As superior as the eye is to many other parts of the body, the eye still could not properly function without the other parts of the body!

The parts of the body are all not equal in strength or delicacy but each part of our body is happy doing what God designed it to do!

This is the same image that God would have His Church, the entire “Body of Christ”!

*****1Co 12:18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
1Co 12:19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?
1Co 12:20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.

We are a designed people!

Forget what the “evolutionists” say, the human body was designed by God, formed by Christ, and all those that believe are filled with the Holy Spirit!

It is Jesus that made us all:

Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

It is Jesus that said “I will build My Church”.

Mat 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock “I will build my church”; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

The “Body of Christ”, The Church, did not exist when Jesus made this statement!

It is the work of the Holy Spirit in baptizing each and every believer into one “Body of Christ”, each having his own purpose in the Church but to function as “One Body” just as the human body!

When Jesus said “I will build My Church”, He was not talking about just the local Church but the Universal Church, the entire “Body of Christ”!

We are many members but we are still to be only “ONE” body!

*****1Co 12:21 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.
1Co 12:22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:
1Co 12:23 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.

The unity of Christians is vital, even more vital in these last days, yet there are still so many denominations, all pulling against one another.

Even the local church is becoming more and more divided because the Church has forgotten that the Church is built by the Holy Spirit with Jesus Christ the Head!

Just as the life of the human body maintains all the various members and nourishes them in harmony, so it is to be in the “Body of Christ”!

It is a fact that the heart, the brain and the lungs, are more important than the hands and the feet but the loss of these things still cripple the human being,

The Church is no different! The contempt of just one member can cause harm to the church!

In today’s world, the garments that are worn are man’s honor and glory.

So the feet and the torso are covered to bestow more abundant honor.

So the poor of the church are many times considered less honorable.

Since God will not allow these things, God has chosen the poor to be more rich in faith!

Jas 2:5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?

*****1Co 12:24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:
1Co 12:25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
1Co 12:26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

That word “comely” means the well-formed or the decorative parts.

The face, the eyes, the ears, the nose, the lips etc. have no need of covering or outward ornament but with “Grace” and holiness, they are exposed to the world and there is no need to conceal them!

God has composed the body in such a form, and in such an order and each part of the body are beneficial to each other and this is what God expects of the “Body of Christ”!

God says there should be no divisions in the “Body of Christ” because there are no divisions in the way He tempered the human body. Every part of the human body works in unison with all the other parts!

Each member should have the same care for one another!

There should be “one heart” in all the “Body of Christ”!

There should be “one soul” in all the “Body of Christ!

Every member of the Church belong to the “Body of Christ” and each has a particular service to perform and each helping each other as the need arises. When one member suffers then all suffer!

But when one member can rejoice then we all can rejoice over the joy of that one!

*****1Co 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

Each individual house of God is to be a miniature of what the whole world wide Church is to be collectively!

This does not mean there should be one world wide church but is does mean that each Christian is to be a member of the Church!

1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1Co 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

The Church is not the natural body of Christ, “for God prepared that body for the cross” but the Church is the “spiritual body of Christ” that was resurrected to new life and an eternal life!

How did God begin His Church?

*****1Co 12:28 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.
1Co 12:29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
1Co 12:30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
1Co 12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

The New Testament Church was built upon the foundation of the Apostles!

Eph 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
Eph 2:21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
Eph 2:22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

The last living Apostle was John.

This is the Church that God has built and all others are impostors!

The Church is fitted and framed together by the Lord Jesus Christ!

The Church is to be a living organism growing as new “believers” are added to it!

1Pe 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

The prophets in this verse mean the wise spiritual preachers.

All preachers were to also be teachers!

There were also teachers who were not preachers and would not ever be.

Those that were helps, would be those to had the gift of sympathy and compassion but would also include the office of Deacon.

Those with the gift of governments would be those good at organizing but also spiritual leaders.

Diversities of tongues would be those who who could converse the Gospel in many languages and could emotionally comfort most all others.

All these things were to bring the “Body Of Christ” into UNITY OF THE FAITH AND THE FULNESS OF JESUS CHRIST!

Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Eph 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Eph 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

It was God in His providence which has set the order of the Church and nowhere does it say we have the authority to change what God has done!

In fact we need to go back to the things that built God’s Church to begin with!

If we are sincere in our asking God will provide the things needed to build His Church!

Mat 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
Mat 7:8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

BUT, we should never forget the absolute best trait of the Christian is to be LOVE!

In fact Charitable Love!


Let’s Pray!

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