1 Corinthians 12:7-26

Scripture

1 Corinthians 12:7-26

Observation

  • The Holy Spirit gives every Christian a gift to be used to help others in the church
  • Here are some of the gifts the Holy Spirit gives
    • Wise words of guidance
    • Clear understanding of truth
    • Faith to trust God
    • Healing the sick
    • Miraculous acts
    • Divine inspiration that results in proclaiming the purposes, correction, and comfort of God.
    • Distinguishing between good and bad spirits
    • Speaking in an unknown language
    • Interpreting an unknown language
  • The human body is one but it has many different parts (eyes, ears, leg, etc.)
  • Those in Christ are the same as the human body
  • We all received the Holy Spirit through Christ as signified in our baptism
  • Whatever the background, Jew or Gentile, slave or free, we all have the same Holy Spirit
  • Consider the human body as an example
  • The foot or ear can’t leave the human body or claim that it isn’t part of the body
  • It is important that the human body have many parts because if everything was an eye there would be no hearing, or an ear there would be no smelling
  • In the body of Christ, which is the church, God has given each person a task to serve the whole body according to His plan
  • He doesn’t want everyone to have the same gift or serve the same role because then it wouldn’t be a healthy functioning body with various parts that work together for the good of the whole.
  • There are many roles, responsibilities, and abilities in the church, but there is still only one church (body)
  • One part of the church (example head) can’t say to the rest of the church (foot) “I don’t need you”
  • In actuality, some of the parts of the human body that seem weaker are actually very necessary
  • Some parts of the human body may not seem as honorable or presentable as others, but they are still very necessary and important.
  • God has composed the body of Christ which is the church
  • He has decided that all members should be given high honor
  • He has done this so we may be unified in one purpose and be united rather than divided in our differences
  • We need to deeply care for one another
  • When one of us suffers we all suffer
  • When one member is honored we all rejoice with them

Application

What a great picture of God’s intention for the church of Jesus Christ! When we choose to follow the Lord Jesus the Holy Spirit enters our lives and He places us into the body of Christ which is the church. The Holy Spirit places each believer in the body as He sees fit, but each part of the body has an important ministry to perform and none is more important than the other. In Corinth, those believers who possessed spectacular gifts looked down upon the others and thought them unimportant. Yet here Paul teaches that every member of the body is essential to the life, health, and growth of the church. No Christian can say to his less-gifted brother or sister, "I don't need you!" In fact, those parts of our body that seem the least important can do the most good - or cause the most trouble if not functioning properly!

There should be no division in the body, since we all share the same life through the Holy Spirit. But it is not enough simply to avoid division; we must also care for each other and seek to build each other up. In the human body, the weakness or pain of one member affects the other members. This is also true in the spiritual body: if one believer suffers, we all suffer; if one member grows in strength, we all receive help. This fact lays upon each Christian the responsibility for being the strongest member possible because each one of us indicates the overall health of the body. The church is only as strong as its weakest member.

Prayer

God, thank you for residing in me and giving me a place in the body of Christ. Forgive me for thinking too highly of myself and what I do in the church, and forgive me for those times I have wallowed in self-pity because I didn’t have the gifts of someone else in the church. Help me be content with what role, gifts, and responsibilities You have given me in the church. Help me grow in my gifts that I might serve Your church all the more. Give me Christ’s heart of compassion that I might mourn as my brothers and sisters mourn. And help me keep my pride in check that I might rejoice when You move mightily through someone else for the advancement of Your kingdom. In Jesus name I pray, AMEN.

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