Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Your Identity in Christ P62 (08-02-22)
Does Everyone Have the Same Job in the Body of Christ?
~ We who are in Christ Jesus have been assigned different things to do for the body of Christ. Not everyone is a nose. Not everyone is an eye. Not everyone is a mouth. Each part of the body of Christ has a different function. If we all spoke at the same time, then who would listen?
Listen in to today’s lesson with more in-depth teaching, from the Bible study booklet, A Closer Look at Your Identity in Christ, available for purchase from our online Bob George Ministries ecommerce store.
Just as a person’s physical growth is based on proper diet and exercise, so is the Christians’s spiritual growth dependent on regular feeding upon the word of God and application of its principles. With more false teaching, shifting opinions and general confusion in the world than ever before, Christians need a solid foundation upon which to base their beliefs and build their lives. The word of God declares that Jesus Christ is that foundation of truth. With that in mind, let’s now take A Closer Look at Your Identity in Christ.
One of the larger, I guess it was the largest church of its denomination, that’s a very Evan evangelical denomination that I was a part of, that heard the pastor state one time that probably 50% of the people that are coming to this church are not saved. And that, you know, I have no way of knowing that. Pastor really doesn’t have any way of truly knowing that outside of experience many times bears that out. Can you work in full time Christian work and not be saved? Of course you can. Martin Luther was a priest. He became saved when he understood justification by faith. You can’t be saved thinking you’re justified in believing that you’re justified by works. No man is justified by works of the law though scripture says only by faith in Jesus. So he became saved later that you know. So you can be all kinds of things, you can be high up in ecumenical circles, and not have a personal relationship with the living Lord. I remember but my early days, and these things were not shocking to me when I came to Christ because I said, I grew up in a denomination where I’d never heard heard the gospel. But I was in a ecumenical meeting when I was, I think, was the year that I went into full time work. And I was working with all different denominations within, in the community to try and to get them to develop something for helping kids on drugs. And I was very active in that at that time. And so in this group, were people of all denominations. And we met for breakfast and I know the guy that was ahead of the council of churches there in that area. So he got up and he was all dressed to kill and his ecumenical clothing. And somebody said well before breakfast he somebody said Don’t you think we ought to have a prayer? And he kind of looked a little shocked said Well, yes, I I suppose we should do that and he started with his finger pointing at anybody know a prayer is anybody know a prayer out there? And finally somebody knew one and and and prayed and I sat there and thought to myself, Man alive. No reality, no being able to know a prayer, I don’t need to know a prayer prayer is a is an overflow of what you know inside. Do you know the Lord? If you know the Lord way, you’re gonna know what to pray about. So it’s, it’s one of those things that that we just have to come to grips with the fact that all the glitters is not gold.
And so when we’re talking about being a part of the body of Christ, we are not in any way shape, or form talking again, about an organization because an organization could have 20% people in it, who really are saved and 80%, or are 50 50, 80 20, it doesn’t make any difference. You cannot preach to that organization, as a saved organization. Because there is no such thing, just people, just people.
Now, with that, when you come to Christ, therefore, by faith, if you’ll turn to 1st Corinthians 12:12 and 13, you’re going to see that the body is a unit. Now there again, it take a look at your own physical body, it’s a unit, and though it’s made up of many parts, and though all of its parts are many, they form one body that says so it is with Christ. For we were all Now who’s the we? those who have come to Christ by faith in His substitutionary death for them, His resurrected life in them. In order to do that, seeing my own sinfulness, my need for total forgiveness, seeing my spiritual death, absolutely no way for a dead man to make himself acceptable in the sight of God. There is nothing I can do come to the end of my own resources, and to say, Lord Jesus, if you don’t say me, I’m not going to be saved. In other words, Lord, have mercy upon me, a sinner. Now, that’s who the we is. Now, for we those people were all baptized placed by one Spirit, you weren’t baptized by a minister. That doesn’t have anything to do with being dunked in water. We were all baptized by one spirit. That’s the Holy Spirit of God into one body, that’s Jesus and you’re not having somebody placing you into water you’re being placed into his body. Now, water baptism, submersion baptism is a visual picture of that, which is a visual aid that God gave us. That literally enable our feeble minds to see what has been done for us spiritually. But that water has never saved anybody in their lives. It is merely a picture of what we’re talking about here. And that is the baptism, baptism, by the Spirit of God, not in the spirit. We’ve got people walking around saying, Now if you’ve been baptized in the spirit, and nobody’s ever been baptized in the spirit, you’re baptized by the Spirit into one body, that’s the Body of Christ. Now, who are the people that are in the Body of Christ? Well, it says whether Hebrews or Greeks, or in other words, Gentile, or slaves are free. And we were all given that one Spirit to drink. In other words, to partake of to be refreshed by.
Now, what does that mean? Well, in the early days of Christendom where the gospel went to the Hebrews, the Hebrews thought that only we do Hebrews are going to be saved, not only would have I accepted the Messiah, but the reason I accepted the Messiah, because it was in my inheritance. I mean, my people told me he was going to come and I believed it. And sure enough, I’m born again a Hebrew. But those Gentiles over there, nobody ever told them about the coming Messiah. And so they can never be saved. And that was the mindset of the Hebrew in those days is that guy, Gentile could never be saved. Well, that is obviously not true. And so the Gentile became saved the same way that the Hebrew, by what? justification by faith, no difference, not by physical makeup, not by being a Hebrew, not by being a Gentile, but by being born again, as a child of God.
As we are studying through this, study together, I have no intention of doing anything except reading out of the Word of God and letting the Word of God speak to our own individual hearts on this. Folks, let me say this, that in what I was taught, and some of the things that I was taught in my early days, as a Christian, hopefully, an awful lot of it was taught to me by the Spirit of God, and I believe that was certainly true. I also had things that were taught to me by man that I later found out was not true. And as the Spirit of God revealed that to me, I had a choice to make, am I going to hang on to my tradition? Or am I going to hang on to my to the information that was given to me by an organization because my identities in that organization, if I ever said they were wrong, why then then I’m, then I’m identified with someone who’s teaching err, and boy, God forbid, I’d ever be identified with that. So you got a lot of pride connected with all of these things, my friends, and you’ve got all kinds of things that are keeping you and not the least of which is Satan himself of keeping you and me from coming to truth. And so I don’t want you any more than with me to be in a situation where our pride prohibits us from looking to see what the Scripture says, and then matching that up to what we have been told or taught by other sources. And you have to match it up. If the word of God is not our plumb line, what is our plumb line? What is your plumb line, if it’s not the word of God? There is no experience no experiment that you and I ever took in, in chemistry class, and most of us who had to go to school had to take chemistry. But you cannot have an experiment, without a constant. You cannot come to a conclusion with variables, you must bounce the variables off of the constant. Well, in life ourselves apart from God, there are no constants, we’re just a bundle of variables, all of us, that’s why we can’t figure each other out is because we’re all variables. And if we don’t have a constant in our life, this experiment called Life is going to be a total failure. So you have to have a constant and the word of God has to be our standard of truth.
My standard of truth is not in what Freud said, or Skinner or some counselor, my standard of truth has to be in the Word of God. And if what is told to me by a psychiatrist or a counselor, or a theologian, or radio Minister does not match up to the Word of God, I’m gonna pitch it and throw it away. Because it cannot be truth if it doesn’t match up to the Word of God. So when we’re talking about these things, friends, believe me, I’m not coming from a denominational persuasion because I’m not a denominationalist. Neither am I coming from this with a prejudice toward Pentecostal or neo pentecostal or, or Catholics or Baptists or anything else. I don’t have any prejudice in one way or another, because I’m not looking at those organizations as having much meaning to them anyway. What’s important is, are you in Christ, or aren’t you. There’s not going to be any Methodists and Presbyterians in heaven, just redeemed sinners. And so I’m not going to look at that present in a prejudiced way. So but I am going to look at it from what the Word of God has to say.
Now, it says that the body is a unit and though it’s made up of many parts, and though its parts are many, and they form one body, and this ties in explicitly, my friends with this statement with these statements of Jesus, if again, you were to look for the body of Christ 2000 years ago, you would have had to have traveled to Israel and looked up a man by the name of Jesus of Nazareth and there you would have found the body of Christ, one singular body in form, the body of Christ, there weren’t any more bodies of Christ, that was it one. Now that body of Christ said to his apostles, it’s good for you that I’m going away. For when I do then, I’m going to send the Holy Spirit to you, and you are going to be my body. In other words, once again, never since Adam, and Jesus, Adam being the first Adam, Jesus called the last Adam, the only two men on the earth, Adam, being the only man ever created alive spiritually, and then died. And Jesus, the only man ever born alive spiritually, who sacrifice that life on our behalf at the cross. Now that Jesus said, It is good for you, people that I’m going away from when I do, I’m going to send my Spirit to live inside of you. And you are going to be my body here on this earth. In other words, Jesus of Nazareth, in singular form, is going away. And at his ascension, he departed into the clouds in bodily form. And he says, When I returned, I’m coming back the same way I went, so he’s going to come back in bodily form. In the meantime, the body of Christ is no longer in singular form, in the person of Christ, Jesus in the man, Christ Jesus, but the body of Christ is us. The Spirit of God has at Pentecost came to indwell inside of men. Now prior to that time, the Holy Spirit of God came upon people and then departed from people. That’s why David prayed, Lord, please don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. That’d be idiotic to pray that today because God told us that I will never leave you nor forsake you. In other words, your Spirit will never leave you again. Because that’s what life is.
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So the life of God came upon people for divine service that was never indwelling in people. So at Pentecost, when the Spirit of God came to man, and we were in dwelt there, for by the Holy Spirit of God, the Spirit came to live within us. And we were baptized, placed by that spirit into the body of Christ, whether Hebrew, Gentile, slave or free. Now, the Scripture tells us very clearly that if the Spirit of God does not live in us, then we do not belong to Him. So there would be no way to be born again of the Spirit, apart from the Spirit of God coming to live within us. So folks, when I I’m saying to you is this, there’s all kinds of neat sounding terminologies that float around. And you will hear the expression by people and certain people of denominational persuasion. And I’m not a believer that saying isn’t an unloving way, I’m just saying it from a scriptural standpoint, who are constantly talking about being baptized in the Spirit. And what that means to them is that when you’re baptized in the Spirit, something new has happened to you now. And if you’re really spiritual, it’s going to be accompanied by signs and wonders, and speaking in tongues and many other signs. Now, folks, let me just say to you, that we get so engrossed in these things that are supposedly added to us that we absolutely pay no attention as to whether that is correct or not. And the issue is that no, there is no such thing as being baptized in the Spirit. Do you understand that? You’re baptized, placed by the Spirit, the Spirit of God living in you now, baptized by one Spirit, read it, 1st Corinthians, 12:12, and 13, all of us, anyone in Christ has already been baptized by one Spirit, into one body. That’s how you became a part of the body of Christ. It has nothing to do with signs and wonders. It has nothing to do with spiritual gifts. It has to do with Christ Jesus taking up residence in you as a child of God, and then placing you into his body with a brand new identity called a child of the living God. Now, isn’t that a marvelous thing? That’s my identity. I’m a child of the living God. How did I get to be that? When I was born again. When I was born again, Christ came to live in me, and then placed me into his body. Therefore, are you a part of the body of Christ? Are you in Christ? Yes. Well, then, are you a part of his body? Absolutely. I am a part of his body. Bob Davis, you are part of his body? Absolutely. Eric, you’re a part of his body? Absolutely. Well, then what does that mean? It means that we all belong to the same head, and that we belong to one another. And that the function of this part that I am, should be directed by the head, not by other parts of the body. It isn’t complicated, isn’t it? And yet we have made it terrifically complicated.
Now, folks, when it talks about that, it goes ahead in Corinthians, verse 14, Chapter 12, the body is not made up of one part, it says, but many. Now Paul’s going to use analogies from that if the foot should say, well, because I’m not a hand, I don’t belong to the body, it would not for that reason cease to be a part of the body, it does mean it was confused. If the ear should say, well, because I’m not an eye, I don’t belong to the body. Well, it says it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body just because it thought it was it wasn’t a part of it. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? In other words, if, if the whole body were just a big eye, where would the sense of hearing be if the whole body were in here with this, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact, God has arranged the parts God has arranged not you and me the parts in the body, every one of them, just as He wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be, as it is, there are many parts, but there are one body, the eye cannot say to the hand, I don’t need you. The head cannot say to the feet, I don’t need you. On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker and indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable that we, we treat with spatial honor, and the parts that are unpresentable are treated with spatial modesty, while our presentable parts need no such treatment. But God has combined all the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it so that there would be no divisions in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern, one for another. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it. It’s one part honored, every part rejoices with him.
Picking up in verse 27, of the 12th chapter of 1st Corinthians. Now it says you are the body of Christ. So my friends, if you’re listening to me today, and you are in Christ, Jesus, then you are the body of Christ, you’re a part of the body of Christ. You’re one of the parts that God has placed into his body as he chose to do so. And we don’t sit there and argue with him. If he made me a foot I’m not sitting down here saying I don’t want to be a foot. I want to be that mouth up there that talks all the time. And, and I demand to have that gift to talk and you don’t Do that and you don’t sit around praying for the gift of talk, you just if you’re a foot while you walk, you just carry the weight of the rest of the body, you do all the things and a foot does, and be happy with it because God made you one of those.
Now, what we have going on today, in the unfortunately, in what we call Christendom today, is you got all the noses sitting together on Sunday, blowing up a storm. And you got all the mouths sitting over in another place, calling you the Church of the mouth, and they’re babbling up a storm. And then you got all the heads sitting over there. They’re just intellectual beyond major, and they’re just thinking of a storm, and you got all these different things, then you got the hands over there shaking each other to death. And you got all of these parts of the body that say I don’t like these other parts of the body, that foot doesn’t look like me and that foot, I mean, I’m a hand and I mean a hand is really, those feet, they kind of smell a little bit you got put socks on, and all kinds of things that tell you this hand is something else. And I really don’t want to identify with those feet. And so I’m gonna get me a hand in ministry going over here, I’m gonna get me the hand church, and I’m going to, I’m going to have a hand church over here. And then the feet say, Wow, who those people think they are, I’m gonna get a foot ministry going over here and get the foot church and, and so here’s the body divided all over the place based upon what part God has placed them into the body in that it still it is stupid, but that’s what we have done.
Now, it says there that you’re a body of Christ. And each of you is a part of it. And listen to this folks in the church, God has appointed, you don’t appoint yourself, God appointed first of all apostles. Well, who were they? Well, they were the 12 apostles. They were then the 11 apostles. Just like in the Old Testament, he had 12 tribes of Israel. Well, what happened to one of those? That was the Israelites were the priests, were they not? They were the priests. Where are they today? Well, they’re not functioning, why were there anything to function for. There aren’t any sacrifices, Jerusalem, the temple is gone. There’s no function for them anymore. So out of the 12 tribes, there’s really only 11 that could be functioning after Jesus. Well, he also had 12 disciples, and one of them’s also gone. So he was left with 11 again, but he now in both cases, who is our high priest, a Levite? No, Jesus. And, and, and Jesus. And Jesus. And Paul, the apostle literally came along, as he said, as one out of sync. And was the one that God ultimately gave the final revelation to the completeness of the truth of the gospel to. Now it said, so he appointed apostles. Well, are there any more apostles to get today? Well, of course not. And yet there’s people sitting around with apostles and apostle, were the ones who God set apart as people who had been with him from the beginning. And it says that in the scripture that when Peter said, we’ll put an order for us to get an apostle, we need to get someone who has been with us from the beginning. And who has witnessed his baptism, his death bear on his resurrection. And then Paul said, I came as one late out of sync, but I came direct God appeared to me.
Now, and the Scripture had to be written by an apostle or and a amanuensis of an apostle. And what was an amanuensis it was a scribe, it was a person who wrote down what Paul would say, or what Peter would say. So the Scripture couldn’t be written by anyone except an apostle or an amanuensis of an apostle. So that was the beginning step, Jesus is the foundation, the sub floor are the apostles. Now it said, second, prophets, third, teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, those of speaking in different kinds of languages. And then he asked the question, not all of those are parts of the body, that God put into the body as he chose at that particular time. And so the question are asked in regard to what should our mind set be in regard to all of that diversity of gifts? In one body? Well, he asked the question Are all apostles? What’s the answer? No. Are all prophets? No. Are all teachers? No. Do all work miracles? No. Do you all have the gifts of healing? No. Do all speak in tongues? No, no, Do all interpret? No. But eagerly desire the greater gifts. In other words, these are okay, but there’s a greater one and then, and then he’s going to talk about love. And he’s going to say that if you spoke in tongues of men and angels, and folks, that doesn’t mean that’s a hyperbole that has nothing to do with the fact there’s angelic verbiage going on up there. It’s a fact that it’s an exaggeration, or to make a point, if I could speak in the tongues of men on earth and all of Heaven combined, and I don’t have love, I’m only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. Now, folks, there are people who will say that you are not born again unless you speak in tongues. Well, why wouldn’t you say that you’re not born again? Unless you’re a teacher? Or why wouldn’t you say that you’re not born again, unless you have the gift of administration? Or you’re not born again unless you have a gift of interpretation? Or you’re not born again unless you’re a prophet or, or can work miracles? I’m seeing too many people working too many of those lately. Why would you pick out one gift? And say that if you don’t have it, you’re not born again. So there are people who have thought through that and said, Well, no, I think we were wrong on that. I don’t think it means that you’re not born again. But you’re not spirit filled. So only people who speak in tongues your spirit filled. Can you imagine walking up to say, Oh, Bob, you spirit filled, noisy gong. You spirit filled, clanging cymbal. How can the world could you be a spirit filled, clanging cymbal, a noisy gong, and yet it says, Here’s somebody speaking in tongues of men and angels, that God doesn’t have any love who’s a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal? That have anything to do with being spirit filled in the first place. You don’t know what spirit filled means. It doesn’t mean wallowing around on the floor, it doesn’t mean babbling in tongues. It means to be filled with what he’s talking about right here with the love of God.
Thank you so much for tuning in to Classic Christianity, with Bob George. We hope you’ve enjoyed today’s program. We truly hope that today’s message has inspired you to walk a life of faith in the Lord, find more information online at shop.BobGeorge.net. There you’ll also find available CDs, DVDs, and bible studies available for purchase. It’s through your help that we are able to spread the good word of Jesus Christ. Until next time, walk in faith, be good to one another and praise the Lord. Amen.
Stand on the firmness of truth. Don’t keep going back and forth. Thank Him that the forgiveness issue is settled.
Let’s pray together:
- Lord Jesus,
- I thank you for taking away my sins on the cross,
- never ever to see them again.
- Having done that, I now thank you for giving me eternal life,
- through your resurrection.
- I now receive that life.
- And I am going stand in the fact that I am a child of the living God.
- In Jesus Holy name I pray.
All believers are now brothers and sisters in Christ.
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
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