1 Corinthians 2-3 Building the Body of Christ
I have spent a lot of time on the road here lately, and I am looking forward to slowing down and spending some time with the family preparing for the arrival of Trinity Lynn.
I was in Kansas City for our mission trip 3 weeks ago where we worked with a homeless shelter, community project, and hosted a youth rally where many decisions were made in faith. 2 weeks ago I spent some quality time in Little Rock with our North American Missions director Larry Barker, and the BMA National Missions director John David Smith discussing “Churches Planting Churches”, “Effectively Reaching Your Community”, and “Building the church” which so happens to be the topic we are discussing today. And Last week I had the awesome privilege to serve as assistant camp superintendent where we experienced 45 salvations and numerous decisions for Christ. Talk about building the body of Christ!!
I have been amazed at how God has worked over the summer. I have truly experienced the working hand of God these past few weeks, and if we hope to continue to see God working through each of us it is going to require just that work.
Quote: Eph. 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
When it comes to Building the Body of Christ it requires work.
I remember early in my teenage years I had the privilege to help build a church that I was working in, and at that point I had never swung a hammer before in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I was no stranger to hard work. I grew up on a farm, and I was familiar with that type of hard labor, but never constructive labor. I realized real quickly that it required skill and hard work to build an infrastructure. We didn’t have all of the power tools that you see nowadays, just a simple hammer and nail.
It is vitally important that we recognize that if we want to build One Body – the body of Christ it isn’t going to be easy. It is going to require teamwork, leadership, effective workhands, open mindedness, perseverance, and I can’t express enough “hard work”
So let us get into context of what is going on in 1 Corinthians 3
Early in the book of Corinthians, Paul defines for his people both what it means to be a spiritual Christian and a worldly Christian. This was important because the Corinthians had a wrong understanding of what it meant to be spiritual. The Corinthians were very Spiritual! Worldly wisdom defined for the Corinthians what it meant to be spiritual, so in Paul’s letter he instructs them concerning
spiritual wisdom in spiritual words for the growth of spiritual people and the building of a spiritual body of believers.
And in the first part of Chapter three Paul also discusses the difference between the immature (babes) and the mature Christians, the worldly and the Godly. Many of the Christians w/in the Corinthian Church had been saved for almost two years, and they are acting like a bunch of babies. Many within churches today are like babies – they suck the resources out of it, suck the life out of it – make a bunch of messes and expect everyone else to clean up after them – make noise and expect everyone to come running to meet their needs.
This also reminds me of how I was, when I experienced my first construction opportunity helping build that church. I sucked up all the resources with all the bent nails that I was wasting, made a huge mess out of the materials I was working with, and I made a whole lot of noise and accomplished very little. Often time we see this even in our church; however we can’t allow immature Christians hold us back from “Building the Body of Christ.”
The building of the body of Christ was being hindered because the Corinthians had become selfish and lost sight of their mission to make their church an effective outreach to their city, Paul instructs them with an example from a garden and construction site. He calls his people to think long-term about the work God has called them to – to build a church that can be used by God to introduce people to Jesus and build more churches
In these two parallels here in chapter 3 referring to growing and building the scripture immediately illustrate the work required; everything from pulling weeds, planting seeds, and watering to laboring, building, and constructing.
So let us look at 3 Building blocks to Building the Body of Christ.
Read these in Ch. 2:9; 3:5-15 / PRAY
God has great things prepared for us if we are willing to build upon them (things that we can’t even imagine, things that are unheard of). He is just waiting to give the increase if we will be obedient in doing His will and building HIS Church. v. 2:9 / 3:5-6
In order to build the church it is going to require getting dirty – Some people just don’t want to get their hands dirty. They want to enjoy the garden, and they want to enjoy the structure, but they don’t want do anything that might require effort.
1st Building Block
- One Purpose v. 8-9a Quote NIV “one purpose”
- Grow / Build as One in Unity and Spirit v.9a
- Glorify / Worshipping God realizing We are nothing and that it is God that gives the Increase v.8
- Each One a Minister / Each is required to labour v.8
2nd Building Block
- One Building v.9-10
- One Body – One Building
- The Church is people not programs v.9b
- The church should be about Building People not buildings
- Open to the leadership and vision laid forth by a master builder / architect
- Built upon the foundation v.10
3rd Building Block
- One Foundation v.10-15
- Jesus Christ – v.11 (Power of the Cross & Christ Crucified)
- Most Important Part
- If everything else fails we will suffer loss, but will be saved v.15
- Take Heed How we build upon v.10b
- Spiritual Wisdom and Maturity (Chapter 2&3:1-5)
- Not like babes – Making noise / messy / needy / selfish
- Will of God
- (Vision) Blueprints of the Architect
- Done w/ Excellence
- w/ One Purpose
- as One Building
- The one thing we can’t get wrong v.15
When we build upon One Foundation the scripture tells us that we will be “Tried & Tested”, v.12-15 like a building inspector.
v.13 “try” Greek word dak-im-ad’-zo to test or examine
Fire doesn’t refer to hell or purification, but simply a means of testing or examining v.15
When we come together with One Purpose, as One Body, built upon One Foundation we will be Healthy, Solid, and Stabile, and when we are tested we will endure, receive reward, and Grow as the Body of Christ.
As a church if we were to be tested right now would we endure?
These principles apply in many aspects of our lives.
As a family if you were to be tested would you endure?
If your marriage were to be tested would it endure?
If not you need to come before the Lord seeking One Purpose / One Building / One Foundation.
Maybe you’re here this morning, and you have never accepted the foundation of Christ Jesus, may you come and start building upon Him today. The Bible tells us here in v. 11 that there is no greater foundation which is laid than Christ Jesus.