The Body of Christ – What Distinguishes It?

I Corinthians 12:12-31 speaks extensively about the Body of Christ – The Church. Paul gives the analogy of the Body being made up of an assortment of parts, yet it is One Body. Each part is essential to the overall function of the whole. There are parts of the body which are more “up front,” the eyes, the head, the hands, etc. but these parts are no more important than those unseen. In fact, some of the unseen parts are vital to the very existence of what is seen. The heart and lungs are undercover, nevertheless the Body would cease to function, die, without their contribution to its well- being.

In God’s Church, He has placed the members together necessary for its function. All are important, valued, and needed for it to perform as it was designed. There are no “throw aways.” No parts if cut off, cut out, stalled out, or otherwise removed, that will not either constrain the function or inhibit it all together. There may appear to be “star” players, however those stars would quickly dim in luster without the support of their underpinnings.

As a minister I vitally understand without the internal workings, the servant volunteers, the body would cease to exist. Within this body each individual part has a place to fill, a function. We should never feel our contribution to the overall health of it is not needed. I assure you the church, without a replacement part, would eventually die.

Near the end of chapter 12, Paul distinguishes some important players in this body called the church. He names a few. I Corinthians 12:27-30 (NIV) says.

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And God has placed in the Church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have the gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?

This list is a partial one. Each of these are vital to the church’s overall health. Yet, Paul goes on to say in verse 31 “Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.” In chapter 13 we get to the heart of the passage.

If I speak in tongues of men or of angels but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or clanging cymbal. If
I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries
and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is the most desirable characteristic in the body of believers. Each member needs this distinguishing factor and without it we are as a resounding gong or clanging cymbal. In other words, we are just noise. The way we treat others either endears us to them or nullifies what we may be professing. Love speaks to character, integrity, and sincerity. Without love no matter how eloquent the speech it will fall on deaf ears.

May we, through the transformational power of the Holy Spirit, put on love today so we can function as God designed us to. To Him be all the praise and glory forever!

Thank you to all the servant leaders here in this wonderful body called Eastern Hills Baptist Church! You are all needed and appreciated!

Pastor Keith

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