Putting God's Word into Practice…

1 Corinthians 12:1-13:3 A Healthy Body

on October 1, 2012

The main theme of this set of verses is unity; unity between the members of the Trinity and unity in the body of believers.  Paul opened by teaching about spiritual gifts in the church (specific to this passage is: wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecies, discernment, tongues and interpretation of tongues).  Each gift is given and empowered by the one and only Holy Spirit according to His will for the common good, service to, and unification of the body of Christ–the church!  The gifts are not for personal use, growth and gain but to build up the body of believers.  Not all gifts are for everyone, but each is individually given.  Wow!!!  The Holy Spirit knows me (and you if you are a disciple of Christ) and gives a gift specific to me for the purpose of building up the church!  Wow!!

We are all part of one body and therefore need different roles, gifts and abilities to carry out the work of the church.  We should not envy other’s gifts.  We should not de-value or despise other’s gifts.  We should look on each other with honor recognizing each person’s indispensability to the common good of Christ’s church. We should care for and strengthen one another, which is mutually beneficial.

There are a couple of apparent dangers in the body in relation to gifts.  First is people not recognizing their gifts or being given an opportunity to use them.  Another is people squandering their Spirit-given gifts.  Finally, going into chapter 13, not using our gifts out of genuine love for the body of Christ.

Gifts are no good and have no value if the gifted one has no love!  Gifts that are used out of a selfish heart and prideful spirit damage the church.  All things in the church must be undergirded and wrapped in love!

I’d like to close by going back to 12:18, 24.  God arranges and composes the body as He chooses!  Reminds me of Jesus’ teaching on marriage and divorce in Mark 10:9 where it says, “What God has joined together, let not man separate.”  The Church is Christ’s bride.  Divisions and factions in the Bride demonstrate lack of love and presence of selfishness.  There is too much “spiritual divorce” in our churches today!  I see it in my community.  Broken churches–siting “irreconcilable differences.”  Oh, how it breaks my heart.  Oh, God come in power and restore Your church to oneness, purity and love!  Please put Your body back together so it will function as You planned–healthy and strong!


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