1 Corinthians 12:12-14 (New International Reader’s Version) There is one body, but it has many parts. But all its many parts make up one body. It is the same with Christ. 13 We were all baptized by one Holy Spirit. And so we are formed into one body. It didn’t matter whether we were Jews or Gentiles, slaves or free people. We were all given the same Spirit to drink. 14 So the body is not made up of just one part. It has many parts.
You wouldn’t give your eye the job of your nose, would you? It seems like a silly question, but the truth is that there are many Christians who try to model themselves after incompatible ‘body parts’ in the hopes of living out a ‘perfect Christian life.’ There are many different ways of looking at the ‘body of Christ’ metaphor found in 1 Corinthians, but the most important part of the analogy is to understand the importance held by every single member of the church body It’s easy to assume that the hands and feet of the body do more work than the nose or ear. However, this is simply not true. Every Christian that makes up the body of Christ, just like the human body, has a unique and specialized role to play for proper function and execution of His will. That, of course, is the Great Commission. How well would you function if you couldn’t smell or hear? There may be some Christians that serve in more noticeable ways, but every part of the Church body is vital to its successful continuation and mission to the lost. Deciding what part you are in the body of Christ may come more or less easily to you depending on your past experiences. Familiarity with your spiritual gifts can certainly help! Comfort levels with various activities, such as children’s ministry, hospitality services, greeting newcomers, or small group leadership may help to sharpen the image. It is important to note that your place within the body of Christ is never defined by the Christian, but by God Himself. Remember, the Lord wove you together before the beginning of time! He knew then what part you would serve in His body, regardless of your knowledge of it. If you aren’t entirely sure what role you have to play in the body of Christ, never fear! There is much you may have yet to learn. A good example of this can be found in the medical history of the humble tonsil. As of 1930, doctors were advising their patients to have the fleshy pads at the backs of their throats removed to help cut down on inflammation, swelling, and sore throats. Over 50% of all children underwent the operation by 1940. However, it was recently discovered that the tonsils are very important indeed. Not only do these seemingly useless organs filter out harmful pathogens from the body, but they produce T cells that are immunocompetent and necessary for fighting off infectious disease. Talk about important! Friend, are you trying to force yourself to be something you are not? Do you feel useless or unneeded in the church? Truth is, we all feel like that way sometimes. But take heart! The body of Christ needs you today! Will you help?
What are your greatest strengths for the aid of the Christian faith? Are there certain roles in your church body that you could see yourself serving in? How could understanding your function as a ‘body part’ change your relationship with Jesus? Not every member of the body of Christ needs to be a hand, a foot, or a mouth. Your unique gifts were given to you by God, and are inherently valuable and necessary for the glory of His kingdom!
1 Corinthians 12:21-22 (New International Reader’s Version) 21 The eye can’t say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 In fact, it is just the opposite. The parts of the body that seem to be weaker are the ones we can’t do without. Ephesians 4:16 (New International Reader’s Version) From Him the whole body is fitted and held together by every supporting ligament; and as each individual part does its work, the body grows and builds itself up in love.