“Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the Church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers , then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But eagerly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.” 1 Corinthians 12:27-31
He uses this metaphor of “the body of Christ”, and I think it’s more than a metaphor; we truly are the resurrected body of Christ on earth. Do you hear what Paul is saying about the different parts of the body in verses 14-20? They have various functions. And the functions of those parts, from the more visible parts such as hands and eyes to the invisible parts such as brains, hearts and livers all serve the body. So it is with the Church. Different members of the body have roles to play. They are different roles, yet they are all necessary in order for the body to be healthy, growing, and maturing under the headship of Christ. Every member is critical!
The Church is designed like a body with myriad members and parts, each with a unique function and role to play for the building up of the larger whole. When every member does its part and works in harmony and concert with the other members, the body flourishes and thrives with abundant life. The Lord delights to see his Church functioning in a healthy and mature way! If you are not using your gift for the building up of the body of Christ, well, that’s really hard on the body. It is missing something without your gift; it is not thriving as it could be. You are valuable. In fact, God’s Word says you are indispensable. When you use your gift, the Father is glorified and Jesus’ body on earth thrives. But when you are on the sidelines, the whole body is impaired.
What is your gift and role in the body of Christ? How are you exercising it? Are you trying to exercise a gift or role in the body that truly is someone else’s? Or are you on the sidelines, not knowing how you fit in? Ask your pastor and other believers to help you identify your personal gift, and then start using it so the whole congregation can thrive!