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  But if we walk in the light, as he is in
 the light, we have fellowship with one
another, and the blood of Jesus his Son
         cleanses us from all sin.
                1 John 1:7
  Are you the stranger who will
            rescue me?
Relativism and Narcissism combine to create:
 Generation X: Truth is relative; identity is not fixed
  (thus X)
 Cult of Aloneness: need for autonomy at all costs,
  usually at the expense of deep relationships, brought
  about by high expectations of others
 Wanderlust: Endless search for idealized community
                        indiViduAl auTonOMy WithoUt
                        inTerpErsonAl reSpoNsibILiTY
 Who will tell me who I am, and
        where I belong?
 We have grown cynical about government
 People change careers 5 times on average
 Would you like to have a marriage like your
  parents had?
                                 Enter the Church
           A Caring Church
Teaching, Worshipping, Caring—in that order
 God forgives us, reconciles us to himself, in the
  gospel—that is the message
 We reach upward in praise to God by
  worshiping Him in Spirit and truth
 We reach outward by loving one another,
  showing God’s love to us by loving others
                       The Communion of Saints!
    NT Metaphors for the Church

 1 Pe 2:4-5: living stones
 Eph 2:19-21: God’s household; holy temple
 Rev 19:6-8: Christ’s bride
 Most prominent: 1 Cor 12:12ff; Ro 12:4-8; Eph
  1:22-23; 4:12; 5:22ff; Col 1:24; etc.
             Now you are the BODY of Christ and
           individually members of it. (1 Co 12:27)
    I. Baptized by One Spirit into
              one body
 1 Co 12:13: Water baptism and Spirit baptism
 Baptism is a countercultural act
 We are defined not by who we are, what we
  wear, where we live, what we buy
 Baptism defines us as members of Christ’s body,
  in relationship with God, who by his Spirit has
  joined us to the body of Christ
                          Identity and Community!
    Personal, but not private
“Belonging to the church not only answers the question of
our identity, but it also satisfies our need for community.
People are asking, “Who am I? Where do I belong?” For the
Christian, the answer is “I belong to the body of Christ, of
which I am a member.” Christianity has never been a private
religion. It is personal, of course, because it involves a
personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the crucified and
risen Savior. But in coming to Christ, who is the head of the
body, every single Christian gets connected to every other
Christian. Our union with Christ brings us into communion
with His church as members of a local congregation.”
      Crossing Social Boundaries
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—
Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to
drink of one Spirit. -1 Co 12:13
 Roman society divided by race and class
 Our society divided by race and class!
“While other research suggests that racial attitudes with regard
to housing have lessened, actual settlement patterns remain
rooted in the past. Children of the early 21st century will likely
grow up isolated from people of other ethnic groups?”
                            The Church Should Be Different!
       II. The Body and Its Parts
Diversity of People
 1 Co 12:14: For the body does not consist of one
  member but of many.
Diversity of Spirit-Gifts
 1 Co 12:4-7: Now there are varieties of gifts, but the
  same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the
  same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is
  the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To
  each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the
  common good.
                                             Still One Body!
      What Are Spirit-Gifts?
I. They are gifts
 God produces them in us—not natural
II. They are from the Holy Spirit
 1 Co 12:11
III. They build up the body of Christ (service)
 Eph 4:12
         “a capacity for service, given to every true
           Christian, that s/he did not have before”
    What kind of Gifts Are there?
 1 Co 12:8-10: wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing,
  miracles, prophecy, discernment, tongues,
 1 Co 12:28-30: teaching, helping, administration
 Ro 12:6-8: prophecy, service, teaching, exhortation,
  giving, leadership, mercy
 Eph 4:11: apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor,
         Not comprehensive lists, but variety of gifts
     How do I know my gifts?
 Study God’s Word
 Pray: Ask God to show you
 Seek Counsel—other people may see things you
  do not
 Take advantage of opportunities to serve as you
  are able—God will show you your place!
                                JUST DO IT!
The Body Needs You, and You
      Need the Body!
 … we are to grow up in every way into him who is
 the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body,
 joined and held together by every joint with which
 it is equipped, when each part is working properly,
  makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in
                 Ephesians 4:15-16