As we have worked our way through 1 Corinthians, we have seen that the Holy Spirit, through Paul, is addressing the disunity that was in the Corinthian congregation. Here, in 12, he is using the analogy of a human body to communicate the importance of each and every part doing their own part in order that the body functions as it was intended, in unity. The Church and the local congregations are the same, we are to be one body with many parts, working in unity, as the body of Christ.
2 weeks ago we looked at the gifting of the Spirit, that each and every gift of the Spirit, was for the common good, “A manifestation of the Spirit is given to each person for the common good” and how we are to use those gifts in serving one another (1 Peter 4:10).
Last week we looked at being made part of his Church. Through baptism, we are immersed into the body of Christ, which is His Church. This isn’t the Church of God reformation movement, not the… or any other detonation, movement, or manmade organization. If you are immersed in the body of Christ, it is all around you, and you are in Christ as a part of His Church.
Each and every blood bought, Christ following believer, is gifted to serve within the body of Christ as God tells us in vs. 7 and (1 Peter 4:10). I will reiterate that the gifts are given by the Spirit who dwells within believers! The gift is actually the Spirit and as we are told in vs. 11, He is active in all the gifting and it is He who distributes the gifts as He wills.
We, as a church, will never reach our full potential if each of us is not using the Gifting of God and our abilities and talents for the church. Are you going to use the gifting you have (the Holy Spirit) to be the church or are you just going to attend a worship service without using the gifts you may or may not have unwrapped. Your faith and your gifting are uniquely yours and they are part of God’s plan for you within His Church (Jeremiah 29:11).
The Holy Spirit enables you to answer the call God has on your life. To complete the assignment He has placed you within His Church as a part of a local congregation. It is my hope and prayer that through this sermon series that you not only unwrap the gifting that God the Spirit has for you, but that you also put it to use as a part of His Church, “For such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).
Vs 18 – Just as God placed Esther in the palace as queen, He has placed you here at this time with your abilities, talents, and gifting. If you keep silent, not stepping out in faith with your gifting, relief and assistance will come, but you, and those around you, will miss the blessing.
As a congregation of the Body of Christ, I want to challenge your thinking and faith as it relates to unity within THE congregation and within the Church as a whole.
God has brought us together, virtually and physically, to practice the one anothers as his Church. We were brought together to be the body of Christ right where we are and right at this time. Either we come together as the Church, in unity as a body, or we fall divided because of our own selfish desires
We have a purpose. We are called to go, to reach out into our communities while we reach up to God; not to sit, soak, and sour, not to place other things and activities before God and the local Church.
The analogy of the human body explains the nature of our unity, when each part is working properly, “the whole body is fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, Our Unity, promotes the growth of the body for building up itself in love by the proper working of each individual part” (Ephesians 4:16).
The human body is first, an organic unity. It consists of many parts: toes, fingers, hands, feet, legs, eyes, ears, etc. But it is not a collection of parts put together as in an automobile or as in a house. It is organic, living, it is an active unity by creation. So is the church, spiritually speaking.
In the body, the hand brings food for the mouth and it is carried to the stomach through the esophagus… The esophagus and stomach are unseen as are the other organs of the body heart, lungs, liver, etc. but without them the body could not function. What is seen, the hands and feet could not function without the other parts. Think of what we are being taught here; if any member of the body quits doing its part, the rest of the body suffers. It is the same with the Church, each and every part is vital to what we are called to do. And when any one part ceases to function, the whole of the Church suffers, especially the local congregation.
When a person believes in Christ, they are joined into union with Christ by spiritual baptism and they become a member of the body of Christ His Church. But by the regenerative power of the Holy Spirit, they are not merely an add on; they miraculously and spiritually become an organic part of the body of Christ-His Church.
There is diversity in our unity, we do not look alike, we do not all have the same function, yet, each one of us is just as important as any other. The parts do not look alike, they do not function alike, yet, each one is needed, interdependent, and all work toward the same end.
- Are you a part of the body of Christ?
- If so, how?
- Are you walking in God’s plan and purpose?
Further Reading: Romans 6:1-11, Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, John 3:16-18, Romans 14:1-23, Galatians 3:28, Ephesians 1:22-23, Ephesians 4:1-16, Colossians 1:24, Colossians 2:18-3:25, Romans 12, 1 Peter 4:10, Mark 10:42-45, Galatians 5:13, Galatians 6:2, Hebrews 10:24-25