“WE ARE FAMILY”                                            By Pastor YAU

I Corinthians 12:12-27                                     September 7, 2004

 

INTRODUCTION: At our recent Church council meeting on august 17, the main item of business was nominating people for the Council election for 2004-2006.  One emphasis in the process was searching for NEW blood from all three language groups that all groups will have representation and contribution to the ministry of the church.  The core idea is that we are all in the family of God and each member has his/her importance in the well-being of the church.

       The even led me to the Scripture passage selected today’s message, Our church, as well as any church anywhere, is the body of Christ. Every member of this church is an integral of this body and the well being of this body depends largely on the proper functioning of the members. This is the main message of the passage.

 

ALL MEMBERS BELONG TO THE SAME BODY: (12:12-14)

       The body mentioned in the passage is the church at Corinth, a local congregation, and members of the body are members of that church. The theme of these three verses is the SENSE OF BELONGING that all members of any church need to have. Even though we all come from diverse backgrounds, culture and languages, we need to have the COMMON BOND to bind us together for the health of the church.

       The importance of SENSE OF BELONGING needs no explanation. We all know its importance in marriage, family, workplace, society and nation. When people feel they BELONG, they will work hard, give their best and have the best hope for the body. It is very important that the body be inclusive of all members, big and small, to enhance the sense of belonging.

 

EACH MEMBER HAS HIS/HER UNIQUE CONTRIBUTION: (12:15-17)

       The passage is clear that each member has its unique function and contribution to the body.  They do not all have the same function and this is a very important concept in a church. We need to recognize the diversity of the people and the different gifts God has invested in them. The Bible uses body parts of a human body to illustrate the diversity of church members. We are all different but we are important to the body of Christ.

       This leads to the responsibility of each member to know, to develop and to make proper use of his/her unique function for the betterment of the church to which he/she belongs. It is a privilege as well as responsibility for all members to feel this way and go his/her best that the church will grow and function properly as the Lord asks of us. No one is to feel that he/she is not important or has no responsibility in the body.  Any one who idles or withholding his/her participation will hurt the total well being of the body.

 

GOD, IN HIS SOVEREIGNTY, PUTS US TOGETHER: (12:18)

       The Lord has mercy in our church. Even though we are a Chinese church, began the ministry among the Cantonese speaking many years ago, He has brought to us people from different racial, educational, economic and linguistic backgrounds. We have people who may not have  graduated from high school on one hand and those with degrees after degrees after their names on the other. We have people from the old China, the new China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, southeastern Asian countries and those whom we called them ABCs, the American Born Chinese. This church, like our nation, is a melting pot. Everyone brings to this church his/her unique contribution to make this church an example of unity in diversity.

       It is very important for each member to admire, to respect and to uphold others who is different from him/her. Acceptance and appreciation are important to build true unity and harmony that is essential to the good health of the church.

 

WE ARE HERE TO SUPPLEMENT EACH OTHER: (12:19-23)

       Using the bodily function as analogy, the apostle Paul stressed the fact that NO one part of the body is all self-sufficient of independent of others. Even though some parts are more visible than others, each part, no matter how small or invisible is VITAL to the total well being of the whole body. Each part is to supplement or compliment the insufficiency of others and all are important to each other.

       We are not here in a church for our own good or interest. We are here to uphold each other and to look after one another and to meet needs of each other. Sense of superiority is never a Christian attitude.  All that we have and who we are, we owe it to the Lord who is the sole source of our existence.

 

CONCLUSION:  In Ephesians 2:19-20, Apostle Paul encouraged all Christians to see the fact that “we are no longer foreigners nor strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of Jesus Christ, the chief cornerstone.”  My prayer is that all who are members of this church, as well as members of any church, will hear these words and be committed to the commands of the Lord. The future of a local congregation and the Christian movement depends largely on us, members of the body of Christ.