Please continue reading I Corinthians, Chapter 12, where the 13th verse goes on to say, “In the same way, all of us, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether slaves or free, have been baptized into one body by the same Spirit, and we have all been given one Spirit from which to drink.” Continue reading vs. 15: “…if the foot were to say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I don’t belong to the body’, that would not keep it from being a part of the body.”
In today’s world, different gangs, communities, political groups, ethnicities, and even churches often deny that in Christ we are all the same. Each baptized person has the same heavenly father, the same older brother Jesus and the Holy Spirit. “All of you are Christ’s body and each one is a part of it.” (1 Corinthians 12: 27) We are each given gifts and a measure of faith according to 1 Corinthians 12: 4-11. In vs. 26 the scripture says that when one part of the body suffers, all the other parts suffer with it.
Each different part or gift should build up the one body. “Not everyone has the power to work miracles or to speak in strange tongues or explain what is said.” (vs. 29) Here, I paused, remembering my personal growth, my ongoing journey to become perfect. When I began, I had to ask the Holy Spirit to teach me, help me, and lead me into His truth. I still have to do that. If I don’t ask, I don’t get! Then, like with any talent, there must be daily practice to improve. As our teacher, The Perfector must show and tell us how to use these giftings (talents) rightly, to benefit the whole body, the Church.
Finally, I Corinthians 12:31 states: “Set your hearts, then, on the more important gifts. Best of all, however, is the following way… Love, pure, agape love freely given to all, is the best way.” (1 Corinthians 13) Go back up; look at the last words of 1 Corinthians 13:2, “…but if I have no love, I am nothing.” And then read ahead to vs. 8: “Love is eternal…for our gifts of knowledge and of inspired messages are only partial; but when what is perfect comes, then the partial will disappear…Now that I am an adult, I have no more use for childish ways…” (1Corinthians13:8-11)
Since God created each of us with unique gifts and a measure of faith, and since we are all one body, we need the balance of sharing our giftings. I need music, art and nature to be whole. I need the wisdom, knowledge and understanding that comes from daily alone time with God and my Bible. There are beautiful poetry, informative writings and commands in my Bible. I play beautiful music softly during my fellowship time with God. This is part of my balance in daily life.
Still, we need diverse gifts to be whole. I need the gifts of husband, children, staff, Board, prayer partners, church, pastor, technicians, financial advisors, teachers, students, and people with cultural variety. We need to be a part of the Body of Christ (the Christian community); to learn and receive, as well as to give and do. We need to be silent and vocal to encourage, help and fellowship with others. In order for the whole church to be helped, we “must above everything else…make greater use of those [gifts]… which helps build up the church.” (1 Corinthians 14:12)