Discipleship | Lesson 10 | Devotion 1
I Corinthians 12:1-12 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
Very few things in today’s world operate in unity and cooperation, but somethings are dependent upon it. It would be safe to say that any system that requires human cooperation will lack unity at some point, while machines and living organisms are dependent upon unified cooperation. For this reason, God gave us the example of the human body as a picture of how the church should function. Let’s notice several facts from the chapter above about the body of Christ:
The body is made up of many members. Throughout the study of the body of Christ, you will see one recurring theme – there are many members. Our human bodies has some many functions and parts and members that operate in unity. When these pieces are working properly, they allow us to function at a high level. We’ve all met or have seen someone who has had to function without their body’s full capability. Normally, these handicaps and disabilities place a certain amount of stress and pressure on other parts of the body to make up for the one that may be missing. The body of Christ is made up of different members that can operate at a very high capacity as they work in unity.
Each member fills a different role in the body. Not only is the body made up of different members, but each one of those members fills a different role in the body. The passage gives some humorous examples in verses 15-17. If everyone filled the same role, how would the body function. Let the following statement sink in for minute: “God made you and equipped you perfectly to fulfill a role in his body.” Now ask yourself, “Am I filling this role?” Just as the body operates best when every member is filling their role so does the body of Christ operate best when everyone is filling their role.
God places members in the body. This point may be the most forgotten aspects of the body. God directs the paths of every Christian according to verse eighteen. Many times, He leads them to become a part of a local body of believers. God has placed members in every church to help that body succeed. It is the job of the pastor and the staff and Christian leaders to find out how members can find their place in the body. It is the job of the Christian to remain Spirit-filled and obedient to God’s leading. God has blessed Franklin Road Baptist Church with many members, and you are one of them. God brought you here so dive in and get involved.
The body ceases to operate at its peak when it is divided. Earlier we mentioned that unity was a very hard thing to find in today’s culture. Unity in churches is also very hard to find. God created the body to be able to function in unity. According to the passage, the church needs to be unified to function at its peak. The Bible actually uses the word “schism” to describe the division in the body. Think about your vehicle for just a moment. When one aspect of your car is functioning improperly or not up to par, how does it effect the performance? You probably get worse gas mileage, maybe not as smooth of a ride, or worse you may be left stranded on the side of a ride simply because there was a schism in the unity and function of your vehicle. In the church, a “schism” can keep lost souls from being saved, it can keep people from being in church, and in some cases it can even leave a church “on the side of the road.”
As you read over this devotion and meditate upon the body of Christ, ask yourself a few questions. What am I doing for the body of Franklin Road Baptist Church? Why has God brought me to this body? Am I causing any “schisms” in this body? If the local body of Christ is the only God-ordained means by which the Gospel moves forward, let’s make sure its functioning at optimum performance.