Body Ministry Lesson 5

These lessons are part of a series of bulletin inserts at Blainesburg Bible Church. The online versions contain minor edits for the expanded online audience. This lesson originally released on April 14, 2019.


Lessons 1-3 establish who Jesus is, the necessity of his followers producing fruit demonstrating a changed life (repentance), and that we belong to God, which should make our conduct disciplined and under submission to hierarchical authority with Jesus being the head of this authority. Lesson 4 includes the main body ministry text from 1 Corinthians 12:12-27. Before continuing with this lesson, please read that text in your bible again.

When the Body Is Healthy or Not Healthy . . .

“And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it” 1 Corinthians 12:26 KJV.

How would you like it if you were perched high up on a ladder and your feet just decided to dance? Would it make you joyful if your hands and arms decided to take a nap while you were driving down a highway at 70 mph? Do you think you may have some concern if your stomach decided it felt under-appreciated and decided to stop working until it could go to another church, er, I mean body, where it felt more at home?

We could go on for a long time making up various scenarios where one’s individual body parts go rogue and rebel against what we need them to do. How about one hand undermining the work of the other hand, or fingers that just do not get along with one another always arguing? Can you think of some examples on your own?

Instead of body parts going rogue, how about sick or injured body parts? How would your hike in the woods be altered by a sprained ankle, or, worse yet, a broken leg? Have you ever been hit with influenza—the flu? Not just a bad cold but one of the influenza strains that get passed around every year. Some flu strains make you feel like you are going to die. In fact, the flu kills thousands every year. The flu is an infection that makes your entire body very ill. Is there any circumstance you can think of where you would welcome catching the flu bug?

If you are generally healthy, think about a time when you were sick or injured. Maybe you have a chronic illness or physical issue that is debilitating to some degree. People who have been labeled as having disabilities often accomplish extraordinary things by adapting to overcome their so-called disabilities. Adaptations such as being born without arms but learning to use feet to write, eat and manipulate objects with amazing dexterity.

Though there are myriad examples of human beings learning to compensate for body parts that are missing or not functioning optimally, the best way is when our bodies are intact, fully functional and operating in perfect health.

Now let us switch from the physical examples to the spiritual point. The church, which is the body of Christ here on earth, is compensating due to missing, disabled and unhealthy parts (members). Some members go rogue doing their own thing, not falling under the authority of Jesus, scripture or their church leaders becoming crippled due to not following instructions from the head of the body—Jesus (Luke 6:46). Some members are spiritually ill due to trouble with various sins.

Remember, Paul said that when one member suffers, all the rest do too! The church has learned to adapt, such as a man without arms who uses his feet, but that is not the way the body of Christ—the church—is supposed to function. This crippling causes limitations, and limitations are NOT what God wants for any of us as individuals, especially for His church!

I feel in my spirit that the Lord wants us to examine ourselves thoroughly. I see it as each of us as individual members of the body of Christ taking a few days to examine everything we do, everything we do not do, and the things we think and say from the moment we open our eyes to start the day to the moment we drift off to sleep at night. Not just an inventory of how we think we stand in the sight of God right now, but a moment-by-moment consideration of our thoughts, attitudes and behaviors over the next few days.

Personalize it! Make a point to consider what Jesus has to say about your thoughts, attitudes and behaviors as you move from moment to moment in your life over the next few days. As you live each day consider: What am I doing that I should not be doing? What am I not doing that I should be doing? What am I thinking about? Does it line up with Philippians 4:8? How am I responding to other people? What would I think about the current me if I was able to encounter myself on the street, in the grocery store, at home with family or in the sanctuary at church?

If you assess yourself truthfully, that assessment is your current level of spiritual health as the member (part) of the body of Christ God has assigned you to be. Please do not just read this and forget about it like the man looking into the mirror in James 1:23-24. Look inward, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal to you exactly how the Father sees you at this point in your life.

Do not let what you used to be yesterday, last week, last month, last year or decades ago skew your self-assessment over the next few days. Look closely at where you are now in your walk with Jesus. As a specifically assigned part of the body of Christ, are you in peak spiritual health and fitness? Is there a spiritual version of an injury or illness that needs healing? Are you out of spiritual shape and in need of some exercise to better function in the body the way the Lord wants you to?

Times are changing fast. Our enemy, Satan, is in a fury knowing that his time is short to accomplish the evil his heart desires to do (Revelation 12:12). He does not savor the things of God (think the things God wants). Rather, he savors the things of men (thinks thoughts as fallen humans do) (Matthew 16:23 or Mark 8:33). However, we who follow Jesus can savor the things of God (think the things God wants), because we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16)!

Wrap Up

This week, think of where you fit in the body of Christ. Consider carefully and prayerfully your level of spiritual health and fitness. Though we are using physical body examples of illness, injury and rogue body parts, the point is a spiritual one. The most physically damaged believer could be the healthiest and fittest as a member of the body of Christ while a physically healthy and fit person could be seriously disabled spiritually.