Mature Class Study, teacher Josh Olmsted.
Peter was a fisherman with little education. Paul was very educated in Jewish law and part of the Sanhedrin council. Christ came and taught the disciples, then he was crucified and the disciples went out. There were two categories of people in those times: the Jews and the Gentiles. The Jews knew the law and God sent Paul to the Jews. He sent Peter to the Gentiles. If he had sent Peter to the Jews, they would say to him, what do you know?
I Corinthians 12:14-18 For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
In the body of Christ, we may see what we think we should do, but it may not be the place where God wants us to be. Josh was very shy and introverted as a child. At work he was forced out of his comfort zone into a place where he has to speak before other employees. At church we make up a body that makes us complete together. We may be trying to be in a place that isn’t where God wants to place us. On the road to Damascus, God blew up and changed everything with Paul. He knew a lot about the law but he wasn’t ready to preach to the Jews right away. Paul went to Arabia and was alone with God teaching him for 3 years so he could preach to the Jews. It isn’t wise to compare ourselves to others.
II Corinthians 10:12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
We’re all different and hinder ourselves if we try to compare ourselves to others. We need to find where we know we fit so things don’t rattle or upset us. Josh gave the example of how he feels self conscience and can’t focus if he’s in a group for his workouts. His workouts aren’t productive if he’s in a group, so he decided to do his workouts alone. If we’re not playing our part in the body as we need to be, we’ll be confused. It’s important to know our place, even if it’s sweeping the porch.
Colossians 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
It takes work and time to find completeness. Josh’s job is in accounting where a new person can easily learn that accounts receivable is what is owed to another. It takes time for someone to learn about bad debts, new regulations, reserves, and tax reserves versus write offs. Learning accounts receivable is simple but all the other facets are not easy to understand. It’s also not easy to understand the very complex things of what God created. We have to be willing to do what God shows us when we’re part of the body of Christ. If you always do the same exercises, the muscles won’t do what they need to do in new situations. We have to be willing to do whatever God wants. For exercise, it’s not supposed to be easy if we want to increase. God gave us gifts for a reason but we have to work with what we have, not our expectations or wishes.
I Corinthians 12:28-29 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
God has gifts, but do we see what our gift is and where we need to be? We need confidence to seek God and the purpose he has for us. It’s beyond just coming to church. We have to deal with difficulties. When we see we’ve succeeded, it gives us more confidence. When we get hurt doing what we love, we can’t associate it with serving God so that we stop trying to grow. No matter the outcome, God is going to bless us if we’re doing what he wants. The Colossians had many distractions but Paul encouraged them to be comforted together, built up in the Lord, established in faith, and full of thanksgiving.
Colossians 2:2-3 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Colossians 2:7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.