The Holy Spirit not only sovereignly assigns Spiritual gifts to each Believer, but also empowers their use by providing the strength, skill, and means to exercise them. So you may ask yourself, “But I don’t know what my Spiritual gifts are.” It’s pretty simple. What areas are you talented in and what are you passionate about? Your gifts will always follow along those avenues. But more importantly, your Spiritual gifts are not for your personal edification alone…they were given to you to build up the body of Christ – the Church – as works of service for others.
They estimate that the human body has 100 trillion cells, 100,000 hairs on our head, and 9,000 taste buds…not to mention 206 bones, 600 muscles, and 79 organs. Each part of our body has a unique purpose and function…each part working together seamlessly in perfect unity. For inside our body there is co-operation not competition…and harmony not rivalry. In this verse Paul is comparing the human body and all its parts to the Church…the body of Christ. For we are one body with many members, each just as important as the other… all bound together as one in love.
I use the King James version of this Scripture today… because it states that it was the Church that God was adding to daily…(other versions say – God added to their numbers). So what was so different about this particular group of people? What we saw was unity and mutual care for one another. There was fellowship, prayer, and the breaking of bread among them…but there was also evangelism outside the four walls. The early Church was a delicate balance of both inward and outward focus…and God added to their numbers daily.
Here Paul is comparing the human body with the body of Christ…the Church. Just as the many parts of the human body work together in complete harmony…each with its own unique purpose, the body of Christ – the Church and its many parts need to come together in like-mindedness also. And just like the human body, one part cannot work in isolation from the rest. That would be like one Sunday morning your heart getting up and deciding not to be part of your body that day! You may think that your presence at Church doesn’t matter…but it does…the whole body suffers when one part is absent.
When you receive Jesus into your heart and believe that He died for your sins, you are adopted into the family of God. As Romans 8:16-17 states, “You have received the Spirit of sonship.” Regardless of whether you had both parents, only one parent, or no parents at all when you were growing up…you have been adopted into God’s family…and in doing so, have been chosen and legally named as a joint heir with Jesus.
There was Church division in Corinth…some followed Apollos, some Peter, and some Paul. All three were Godly men…all three were preaching the Gospel. So where could there be the disagreement? Apollos was an Alexandrian Jew that was converted to Christianity and tutored by Aquila and Priscilla in areas of the faith he was ignorant of. While Peter was one of the original twelve Disciples that had witnessed firsthand the work of Jesus. Finally there was Paul, a Jew and persecutor of the Christians until that fateful day on the road to Damascus when the Lord confronted him. All three were passionate about the Lord and the desire to evangelize. But they all came from different backgrounds and different life experiences, and their preaching styles showed it. Thus Paul exhorted the Believers to be joined together in Christ and the Gospel, not divided apart by man and subtle nuances.
To place in proper order… Paul wasn’t teaching that women were inferior to men, quite the opposite. In an age when women were downgraded and looked upon as mere property – Paul declared that in Christ there was no distinction in status between men and women (Gal. 3:28). He had even called the married couple, Priscilla and Aquila, by the same word…synergous – which meant “fellow workers.” God is a God of order, and by freely placing ourselves in submission in an orderly fashion under our husbands, we allow the blessings of the Lord to flow.
The act of water baptism is full of symbolism and meaning. For those watching, it’s a public declaration of the person’s inner decision. For the person being baptized, it’s a time of newness of soul and spirit. In Romans 6:4 it says, ” We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Therefore, within the action of water baptism, our old self dies, and our new self emerges out of the water.
“No one will miss me…nobody will even realize I’m not in Church.” The enemy does it all the time – convincing us that we don’t count, that we aren’t important enough, or that no one will even notice if we’re not in Church. But if someone took your brain, or your heart, or your lungs you’d notice real quick! Just like the human body, the Church is composed of many working parts, each with a specific task, but all working together for the common good of the body. No one part can function separately from the body…it will die. Never allow the enemy to persuade you that you aren’t important, or that your presence in Church is insignificant…you are very needed within that Body of Believers for it to function well.