Thursday, January 05, 2012

Spiritual Gifts and the Church (part 10): 1 Cor 12:12-13

"For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit." (1 Corinthians 12:12-13)
In the past, when I've read this verse, I understood it to say that there are many people who make up the members of the Body of Christ, and this is true. However, when Paul refers to "members" he is not talking about individual people, such as the members of a church, but rather he is speaking of parts of the Body, such as a hand, a foot, an eye, etc. This verse could just as easily be translated, "For even as the body is one and yet has many organs." Its not that we are just one of many people who make up the Body of Christ, but we are each a distinct organ that contributes to the wholeness and health of the Body. We are each distinct with a unique gifting, favor, and function, and when all of the individual parts (organs) come together, then there is the Body of Christ.
"We are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love." (Ephesians 4:15-16)
It is the proper working and contribution of each individual part (organ) that causes the growth of the body in both stature and unity. Unfortunately, many of our churches have lost sight of the Body. In many churches, only a few members get to contribute and the others sit passively to receive. People are spectators and not active participants as parts (organs) of the Body. If we want to see the Body of Christ fully manifested in the Earth today then we need to move from our present clergy/laity model to one where each individual member has a place and a part to play within the Body.

More to come... David Robison

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