1 Corinthians 12:1-31
Wednesday, 04 January 2023
But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. – 1Corinthians 12:18
The Church was birthed by the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost as we read in Acts 2. The Holy Spirit empowered them to be Christ’s witnesses and God added people to the Church, those who were putting their faith in Christ and being saved. Acts 2:42 records this of the first church: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
In our text today, Paul writes about spiritual gifts that were endowed to members of the church for the building up and function of the Church. Let us understand what Paul says about a vital topic in the working and growth of the Church:
· Divine Distribution: All three members of the Godhead are involved in the administration of spiritual gifts. “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” (Vs.4-6). It is through the Spirit that a person in the church speaks a message of knowledge, prophecy or works miracles. They are gifts—no one can produce them but they are given by God to individuals for the benefit of all!
· Diversity:To illustrate the variedness of the spiritual gifts, Paul uses the image of the body and its different parts. Just as the parts of the body have different utilities, so does the gifts in the body of Christ- the Church- have different functions. The foot cannot do the function of the hand, the eye cannot replace the ear! So diverse gifts with their varied working add up to the total functionality of a growing church.
· Dependability & Unity: Every organ in the body has its place and duty to do-so does every member of the church to whom varied gifts have been given. Paul writes: “The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” (V.21). They all work in unison and when one part suffers, all suffer with it. This shows us the inter-dependability of every part of the body of Christ. We are called not to function individually with our various gifts for any personal gain but together for mutual benefit. Just as in a musical recital, every instrument plays its part in bringing harmony to the whole concert, so do we in a church contribute our gifts for the harmonious functioning of the church! We are called to work in unity while we have diversity of gifts given by the Spirit.
In the church at Corinth, some were trying to boast, “showing off” their special gifts and others were giving greater prominence to certain gifts. Paul corrects them, showing them how the parts of the body of Christ are to function in unison and in harmony. The key verse remind us that God has placed the parts in the body just as He wanted them to be—if so, can you take it that you are placed in the Church you are in, with God’s purpose and plan and you have a role in the building up of the church? If you haven’t identified what your special gift is, would you ask the Lord to reveal it to you and be willing to work in unity with other members for the common good of all? May your contribution to the church bring glory to God!
THINK ON: “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it” (1 Cor.12: 27) Are you functioning in the body God has placed you?
Listen - 'Living in harmony'