'For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord….'

One body, many members…(Part One)

Ok, this is a four-part study in 1 Corinthians 12.  I know I blogged about chips in my last post, but I was feeling peckish.

By way of intro, the church (which I love) is both a building and a body, and the aspect that buildings and bodies have in common is that they are places in which to live.  The beauty of the church is that it is both the building in which God lives and the body through which He works.  This is the theme of Chapter 12.  The church is not an organisation brought into being to operate nice meetings, but it consists of all those who are a living body, growing and developing within the world, not apart from it, in order to touch the world with the reality of the love of God.

That is what the church is.  It is unique!  No other organisation approaches it in purpose, scope, power or abilities.

Part One   ‘But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good’  (vs. 7)

When it comes to gifts, sometimes we just can’t get our heads around the wrong thinking that they are talents or skills that others have!  Another problem is that we think they all have to come through the Sunday morning service, or from the church leadership.  It’s not like that at all!

Gifts get exercised when you are with your neighbours, when you are at work; or when you are in the car; or with children or older people.  It will be an opportunity that comes on a plate for you to use the gift of teaching, or helps, or encouragement, or giving, or whatever it is that God has given you.  We get to be servants in action, with the opportunity to use our gifts!  God loves to equip His people.  This is foundational.  What has God given to you by which you can function within the body of Christ?

Notice three things about this verse.  Firstly, Paul writes ‘To each one is given…’  In other words, no one is left out!  You have one at least, and probably more, because God chooses a combination to suit just you, ideal for your personality, and puts you right where he wants you, not only in the church among the other believers, but out in the world as well.  That is where you begin to function as a member of the church.

Secondly, Paul says  ‘…the manifestation of the Spirit.’  It is not your natural abilities, as we are so quick to assume.  It’s a supernatural function!  The gifts of the Spirit are not your regular abilities or talents, like amazing musical or athletic ability.  But spiritual gifts are given for functioning in the realm of the spirit.

The function of spiritual gifts is to enable the human spirit to live as it was intended.  Natural abilities and spiritual gifts do, of course, blend together wonderfully.  Take for example an outstanding singing ability being able awaken a sense of worship!

Thirdly, Paul says gifts are given for  ‘…the common good.’  In other words, they must serve others.  It has no other purpose in being given to you except to build up and edify others.  It is for the good of all.  You are going to need others’ spiritual gifts just as much as they are going to need yours.

Look out for Part Two….

1 Comment»

  One body, many members…(Part Two) « onethessthree8 wrote @

[…] January 28, 2010 at 5:41 pm · Filed under Uncategorized and tagged: body, church, gifts, Paul, spirit Part Two   ‘For the body is not one member but many’  (vs. 14)   (click here if you missed Part One) […]

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