For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.
–1 Corinthians 12:12
In Romans 12, Paul taught about our spiritual gifts. What is the purpose of spiritual gifts? Spiritual gifts help perfect the body of Christ. Now, Jesus is the only person in history who had all seven spiritual gifts listed in Romans 12:6-8. The rest of us each have one spiritual gift.
Why didn’t God give each of us all the gifts? He wants Christians in the church to learn how to depend on one another. He does not want us to be silos where we individually go about doing God’s will without any connection to other people. God designed the church in such a way that we are dependent on one another. A good analogy for this is the human body. Romans 12:4-5 says, “Just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” This is the most frequent analogy in the Bible for the church: it is like the human body.
Paul extended that analogy in 1 Corinthians 12. He said, “For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. … But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. If they were all one member, where would the body be? But now there are many members, but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’; or again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ … Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it” (12:12, 18-21, 27).
Paul said: Just think about the human body. What if the human body were one giant eyeball? We would all have 20/20 vision, but we would have trouble getting anyplace without any feet. What if we were one giant ear? We could all hear perfectly, but how would we taste anything? How could we get anywhere? It is a simple analogy, but it is true. For the human body to function properly, we need all of the parts doing their part, functioning together. As all the parts of the human body are dependent upon one another, so it is with the body of Christ. We need one another in the body of Christ.
All the spiritual gifts are important. We need people with the spiritual gift of teaching in the church to keep us doctrinally sound and make sure we are accurately divining the Word of God. We need people with the gift of exhortation to help us find practical insights and applications of Scripture. We need people with the gift of mercy to make us compassionate to others and show the love of Christ. And we need people to do the things that serve the practical needs of people. The reason God gave us different spiritual gifts is to help perfect the church, the body of Christ.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Discovering Your Spiritual Gift” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2014.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.