Friday, 12 December 2014
For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:12
Paul now introduces a metaphor to help us grasp our position in the body and the gifts we have received from the Spirit. In doing this he will make a somewhat complicated issue more easily understood. God fashioned man as a soul/body unity. In our body, there are “many members.” We have arms, legs, fingers, toes, eyes, ears, internal organs, a covering of skin, bones, and so on.
Despite each being an individual thing, together they comprise a single unit; as Paul says, they are “all the members of that one body.” None are independent of the body, but are a part of the whole. As noted, they “being many, are one body.” The finger on your right hand isn’t independent of the hand and the hand isn’t independent of the arm, etc. Each member is dependent on the whole. If a finger gets cut off, it is no longer a part of the body and it cannot continue to function. The same is true with any part of the body. If it is removed, it simply ceases to function.
In the human form then, there is a united existence where every part of the body has a particular function and without which the body will not be able to function properly. Understanding this, Paul says, “so also is Christ.” The body of Christ, meaning the individual believers who have been given individual gifts, are not independent of the body. Instead, they are “all the members of that one body, being many” and yet they “are one body.”
Life application: If someone is saved, they are a part of the body of Christ. In that body, they are assigned a particular gift which is intended to meet the needs of the body. This is why the Spirit gives gifts according to His wisdom. It is a specific gift to meet a specific need. If God fashioned man to be a marvelous organism which functions properly, how much more will He fashion the members of the body of Christ to function properly! Whatever your gift, use it with this in mind.
Thank You God for the gifts and talents You have given each of us. And thank You for allowing us to use them in a way which will bring You glory and which will be of benefit to others within the church. Please continue to give us the strength needed to accomplish the things You have ordained for us to do. And help us to not boast in our accomplishments, but rather to pass the credit on to You, from where our strength came from! Amen.