Dr. E. Dale Locke
Sermon Series: Body Building – Building the Body that Matters Most
Week 3: SHAPE Up and Ship Out!
- How could a more fit and developed Body of Christ impact the current problem and challenges in our world?
- Last week we said that built-up Bodies of Christ are filled with people who serve one another and serve the world, just like Jesus did. Jesus (our model) served out of:
Read Mark 10:45:
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Share with the group what you notice about serving from Jesus’ life.
- Read Ephesians 4:11-16:
“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”
What are pastors and teachers supposed to do, according to these verses?
- Notice the words in verse 16: “as each PART does ITS work.” What does this phrase communicate to you about how God intends churches to work most effectively?
- Pastor Dale said, “If each of us doesn’t discover our part to play and then play it, our Body of Christ will not grow and build itself up in love.” What part are you currently playing in our church to help it grow and build itself up in love?
- Read Romans 12:3-8:
“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”
What do you notice in this passage about the topic of serving in the Body of Christ?
- Notice in Romans 12:6 where it says that “We have different gifts” and 12:4 where it says that “these members do not have the same function.”
Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, 1 Peter 4, 2 Timothy 1, Ephesians 4 all list some spiritual gifts and list them somewhat differently. This tells us that these lists of spiritual gifts in the New Testament are probably not meant to be exhaustive, but there may even be more gifts than we see in these lists. What are your spiritual gifts?
- If you want to find genuine fulfillment in life, find your part to play in God’s Body and play it. What happens inside of a Christian who finds just the right role to play in the Church that fits how God made them?
- Read Ephesians 2:8-10:
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith– and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Paul appears to imply in this passage that God has prepared certain good works for each one of us to do. If that is true, then what happens if we don’t do what He prepared for us?
- To help you discover the part you are meant to play in the Body, look at our SHAPE profile on our website. This is designed to help you get to know yourself better so you can discern where God might want you to serve: https://communityofhope.church/next-steps/volunteer/
Here is a summary of that process:
- Spiritual Gifts
- Heart – What moves or motivates you? What are you passionate about?
- Abilities – What are you good at?
- Personality – Where does your unique personality best suit you to serve?
- Experience – God doesn’t waste your experiences. What past experiences of yours could help you minister to someone else?
- It might take a while to find your role to play. But don’t give up. If you try an area and it doesn’t fit you, just try another one. Talk with your group about a role that you’ve tried out in the past that was fulfilling and fruitful and how it felt for you to serve in that role.