The Tie That Binds- The Body of Christ

The Tie That Binds – the Body of Christ

Pastor Don Carpenter

Connected! / 1 Corinthians 12:12–13

In one of Aesops fables he describes an old man who had several sons, who were always falling out with one another. He had often, but to no purpose, exhorted them to live together in harmony. One day he called them together, and he gathered a bundle of sticks and tied them together and asked each one of them to try to break them. Each one tried as hard as they cold but none of them could break the bundle of sticks. Then the father cut the cord that he tied them together with and told his sons to break them separately. This was done with the greatest ease. “See, my sons,” the old man said “the power of unity!” Bound together by brotherly love, you may defy almost every mortal danger, but divided, you will fall prey to your enemies.


In our passage this morning Paul is expanding on the fact that we all have been given spiritual gifts and have a providentially designed place to use those gifts. This morning as we continue our series “Connected” we will discover that God’s purpose for every New Testament Believer is to be part of the Body of Christ, to be baptized, and to be empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Please have your Bibles ready, and your pen an paper ready because this morning we are going to challenge some presuppositions widely held among Catholics and Protestants. Traditional Baptists have always held to the Biblical position I will be outlining this morning.

Let us not get lost in the weeds as we dig a bit deep this morning. The message of the passage is clear. God has called us to One Body, through One Baptism, to be empowered by One Spirit.

One Body.

1 Corinthians 12:12 KJV
For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

The Body of Christ is the Church.

Colossians 1:18 KJV
And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

Colossians 1:24 KJV
Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

The Church is a Called Out Assembly.

Matthew 16:18 KJV
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words Assembly

  1. ekklesia (????????, 1577), from ek, “out of,” and klesis, “a calling” (kaleo, “to call”), was used among the Greeks of a body of citizens “gathered”

Ecclesia in the New Testament

  1. Used over 100 times
  2. All but 5 uses refer to a specific assembly.
  3. The abstract and general uses find concrete expression in a particular local, visible assembly.

The Church is a Physical Manifestation of the Body of Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:25–27 KJV
That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

1 Corinthians 1:2 KJV
Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

The New Testament Generally Refers to Churches, not THE CHURCH. The Universal Church is a Catholic Invention.

Acts 9:31 KJV
Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.

Acts 8:1 KJV
And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.

Acts 13:1 KJV
Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

Romans 16:1 KJV
I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:

2 Corinthians 1:1 KJV
PAUL, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia:

1 Peter 5:13 KJV
The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.

Acts 11:22 KJV
Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.

1 Corinthians 4:17 KJV
For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.

There once was a mule who found himself between two haystacks, completely unable to decide which one to eat first. Because of hi, indecision, he didn’t eat either one; he just stood there until he starved.

Many people are like the mule when deciding which church to attend. They wander back and forth, never committing themselves, and meanwhile going hungry.1841

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 63.

One Baptism

1 Corinthians 12:13 KJV
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

• Paul was writing to a dis unified church at Corinth.

• The Body of Christ is the Local Church.

Baptized BY the Spirit, not in the Spirit.

› (use baptized by pastor into water)

en used 2768 times in NT.

Translated by 143 times… shows an agent of action.

Matthew 5:34 KJV
But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne:

Matthew 5:35–36 KJV
Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.

Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.

Matthew 12:24 KJV
But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.

Matthew 12:27 KJV
And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.

Matthew 14:13 KJV
When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities.

Baptism and Church Membership are natural after salvation.

Acts 2:41–42 KJV
Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

One Spirit

1 Corinthians 12:13 KJV
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

That Indwells Every Believer at the Point of Salvation.

Romans 8:9 KJV
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

1 Corinthians 3:16 KJV
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

That Endues Believers with Power for a Purpose.

Acts 1:8 KJV
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

That Gives Unique Gifts to Be Used in the Local Church.

1 Corinthians 12:4 KJV
Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin had every reason as teammates to be friends, but they were not. Incognito harassed and bullied Martin. He called him a racial slur in a voicemail played by every media outlet in the country. He threatened to kill him and his family. Incognito claimed all of this was just locker room talk. It is the way the guys talk to one another in the NFL.

Apparently, Martin didn’t get the memo. Martin left his lucrative job citing emotional issues and fearing for his life. Though we don’t know all the details, it appears as if Martin has some culpability, as well. He was far too passive in dealing with Incognito’s threatening behavior. As a teammate, it appears, he should have expressed how troubling Incognito’s threats were to him. These two men had many more reasons to get along than to have a toxic relationship. Consider all the reasons they had to be friends.

They were both football players.

On the same team.

Had the same coach.

Both were offensive linemen.

Both played on the same side of the line.

Both were starters.

Both wanted to win.

Both are big dudes.

Both were millionaires.

Yet somewhere along the way one or both of them forgot they played for the same team and began to treat the other like a New England Patriot. They forgot the enemy was in another city. They forgot enemy is on another team.

Similarly, we have many more reasons to honor one another than to dishonor one another.

We have the same owner!

The same Father cheering us on from the press box.

The same Savior who scouted us and forgave us.

The same Spirit within.

The same playbook.

The same purpose.

We are going to same place when life is over

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 12:25 PM August 14, 2021.

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