The Body of Christ- Specifics for Getting Involved
Originally Published in Union County Leader
Co-pastor, 1st Baptist Church
Des Moines, NM 88424
The last time I was here, we looked at some Scripture verses concerning the body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:18 tells us “But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.” I asked the question “If you’re not in the body of Christ, then whose body are you in”, and I wanted you to think about the implications of that question. I ended with an exhortation for you to get involved with your local congregation and become an active member in the body. A more accurate and Scriptural exhortation would be “Ask God to set you in the body as He pleases.” After all, that’s what the verse says, right? Ask God where He wants you, and then obey as those doors open.
Today, I’d like to look at some specific examples of how we might be placed in the body of Christ. We can find examples all throughout the Bible, but let’s focus on the apostle Paul’s instructions to Titus:
Titus 2:1-8 But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: (2) that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; (3) the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— (4) that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, (5) to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. (6) Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, (7) in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, (8) sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you. (NKJV)
Now, let’s look at some of the members of the body. First, we have Titus himself, of whom Paul says “speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine”. From this, we can deduce that a) there is a need for people to speak, and b) the things which they are to speak are “sound doctrine”. In many churches today, sermons that challenge the mind are often unpopular and the people often want to hear “sermonettes”. This attitude and Paul’s instructions here immediately make me think of Paul’s warning to another young disciple- Timothy- in 2 Timothy 4:3-4 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; (4) and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” There is a definite need for teachers who teach sound doctrine.
Secondly, we see that both older men and older women are to be good examples. Older women are given specific instructions to admonish (“teach”) younger women things which are Biblically important- to love their husbands, love their children, be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, and obedient to their husbands. These instructions are sometimes quite unpopular, even some Christian women, and this is often because there were no older women to teach them and to set examples. A worldly influence has, in many cases, taken the place of Godly women. “Likewise, exhort the young men….” Young men are to be sober-minded and show a pattern of good works. They should get this model from the older men and from the church leaders (Titus, in this case), from those who are “sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience.” What a blessing such men are to the congregation, and how the congregation suffers when those men are not present.
As we can see, there are 4 groups of people here and the congregation suffers when any of them are missing or when there is no Biblical interaction between them. Without young men, the older men have no one to teach and their gifts go unused. Without older men, the younger have no role models and are left to their own imaginations and devices. This truth holds likewise for young women and older women. The two age classes need each other, and learning is a gift every bit as much as teaching. Without strong teachers, sound doctrine is not taught. Again we should see that the church is body made up of many parts and when any of those parts is missing, the body as a whole suffers. If you’re a missing part, ask God to place you where you’re needed. It will be a blessing to you and a blessing to others.
Back to Part 1