One Body Many Parts (Day 18)

Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-31
   Paul compares the body of Christ to a human body. Each part has a specific function that is necessary to the body as a whole. The parts are different for a purpose, and in their differences they must work together. Christians must avoid two common errors: 1) being proud of their abilities, or 2) thinking they have nothing to give to the body of believers. Instead of comparing ourselves to one another, we should use our different gifts, together, to spread the Gospel of salvation. 
    The most helpful gifts are those that are beneficial to the body of Christ. Paul made it clear that one gift is not superior to another, but he urges the believers to discover how they can serve Christ’s body with the gifts God has given them. Your spiritual gifts are not for your own self-advancement. They were given to you for serving God and enhancing the spiritual growth of other believers. 
   The church is composed of many types of people from a variety of backgrounds with a multitude of gifts and abilities. It is easy for these differences to divide people, as was the case in Corinth. But despite the differences, all believers have one thing in common: faith in Jesus Christ. On this essential truth the church finds unity. All believers are baptized by one Holy Spirit into one body of believers, the church. We don’t lose our individual identities, but we have an overriding oneness in Christ. When we become a Christian, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in us, and we are born into God’s family. We have all received the same Spirit, meaning that each of us has received the same Holy Spirit. As members of God’s family, we may have different interests and gifts, but we are unified by the Spirit into one spiritual body. 
   Using the analogy of the body, Paul emphasizes the importance of each church member. If a seemingly insignificant part is taken away, the whole body becomes less effective. Thinking that your gift is more important than someone else’s is an expression of spiritual pride. We should not look down on those who seem unimportant, and we should not be jealous of others who have more visible gifts. Instead, we should use the gifts we have been given and encourage others to use theirs. If we don’t, the body of believers will be less effective. 
   What is your response when a fellow Christian is honored? How do you respond when someone is suffering? We are to be happy with those who are happy, and if they are sad, share their sorrow (Romans 12). Too often, unfortunately, we are jealous of those who rejoice and apathetic toward those who weep. Believers are in the world together; there is no such thing as private or individualistic Christianity. We need to get involved in the lives of others and not just enjoy our own relationship with God.