The Body of Christ
1 Corinthians 12:12-13 (ESV)
12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves[a] or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

1. We are the body of Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:14-18 (ESV)
14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.

2. Our purpose comes from God.

1 Corinthians 12:19-21 (ESV)
19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts,[a] yet one body. 

21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”

3. Every part is important.

1 Corinthians 12:22-25 (ESV)
22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.

4. We are in this together!

1 Corinthians 12:26-31 (ESV)
26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. 

27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts.

And I will show you a still more excellent way.

5. We all have different gifts.

1 Peter 4:10 (ESV)
10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:
Galatians 5:13 (ESV)
13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

6. We need encourage others to use their gifts.

Acts 6:1-7 (ESV)
6 Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists[a] arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. 2 And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. 3 Therefore, brothers,[b] pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. 4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” 5 And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. 6 These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them. 

7 And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.

7. Reconciliation is our purpose

1 Corinthians 12:17-19 (ESV)
17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be?

8. We are ambassadors.

1 Corinthians 12:20-21 (ESV)
20 As it is, there are many parts,[a] yet one body. 

21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”

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