God Put the Body Together [1 Corinthians 12]

4Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. 7But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

24But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, 25so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.27Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it.

Why different spiritual gifts?  Why didn't God give each of us all the different gifts?  In this passage God begins to unfold His answer.  He is calling us to experience unity with other believers.  He designed us for relationship.  In verses 4 and 5 we are reminded of the relationship between the Spirit, the Lord and God as they work together in our life.  There are different gifts but the same Spirit is "distributing (gifts) to each one as He wills" (v. 11).  There are different ministries but the same Lord.  There are different effects but the same God.  (And by the way, did you notice - He is the One doing all the work!) God wants you to be completely aware of why He has given different gifts.  Don't miss verse 7 - each one of us is given the manifestation of the Spirit, not for our own benefit but for the benefit of others (common good).

In the following verses He begins to use the human body as a picture of the body of Christ. (Those who belong to Christ are His body.) He reminds us how we need each part of the body and each part is very important.  “The parts of the body that seem to be weaker are necessary,” (v. 23) and are given “abundant honor” so that there will be “no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.”

Isn't this what your heart longs for?  To be a part of something bigger than yourself, to be surrounded by others who feel what you feel and who take care of each other?  Well God says that NOW this is true - you are Christ's body.

What is keeping us from experiencing this unity, this honor?  Divisions.  Discontentment. Envy. Selfishness.
But He is going to show us a more excellent way.  Tomorrow - 1 Corinthians 13.

We praise You, God, that You are the three in One and that You have made us many but one body.  Thank You for giving us the desire to be together, to care for each other and to honor each other.  Cause us to know You in this way today.

Verna McCrillis, 6/11/2009