1Co 12:12-14 “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.”
As David pointed out in the 139th Psalm, we are wonderfully made. Scientists estimate that the average human body is made up of 37.2 trillion cells. There are multiple main organs that control bodily function in harmony with each other including moving blood through the body, supplying oxygen, motor control, reproduction, and the list goes on. We have appendages that allow us to grasp objects, walk upright (physically), and defend ourselves. Yet, we can and will (as individuals) come to demise at some point as long as time stands.
We all know that our body can survive without some of its members. It is possible to live without one of our kidneys, to live with only one lung, to function without an arm or a leg. However, no one looks forward to any situation that would require us to do so. We want all of our members functioning together for the good of the body.
In verses four through eleven, Paul is telling the church about the many spiritual gifts that come to us from God through Jesus Christ by the Holy Ghost. He then compares this in verse twelve to our body. Just as our human bodies have many members but are still just one body, even so does the body of Christ have many members and yet is one body. The harmonious function of the body is dependent upon the health of the individual members of the body.
The function of, and respect for, the spiritual gifts of God is necessary for us to function in a healthy manner as the church. Every gift is given by the Spirit. The Spirit does not give insignificant gifts. None of us would take the attitude that since we have two eyes it would not be a big deal to lose one of them. The function of the body would be significantly reduced.
We should make it a point to consider the many spiritual gifts that the Holy Ghost has placed among us. As we consider these gifts, we should give God thanks and praise for how fearfully and wonderfully He has made the body of Christ. Even the ability to openly, physically embrace one another is a gift from God.
While we might argue that everyone has this physical capacity, it is obvious that God has not given everyone the same gift in feeling at ease with close contact. This does not make the brother or sister who is not comfortable any less important; their gift simply lies somewhere else. We should always avoid the temptation to compare our gift(s) to someone else’s in a manner to disparage either their gift or our own.
We come into one body by the baptism of one Spirit. It does not matter about our nationality, our past beliefs, or our station in life. God has caused us to take the same cup of His Holy Spirit. Our gifts all come from the same source and should all be esteemed as necessary and valuable to the body of Christ.
May we always be thankful for God’s many gifts and encourage one another in their use for His glory!