What Do the Different Parts of the Church Body Do?

Biblical Authority Devotional: Authority and the Church, Part 9

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David Wright, AiG–U.S., discusses the importance of using the spiritual gifting God has given you.

If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. (1 Corinthians 12:15–20)

Today’s big question: what do the different parts of the church body do?

1 Corinthians 12 gives us plenty of information about what the different parts of the church body are to do. Paul used the analogy of different body parts relating to different spiritual gifts to make two important points.

First, Paul taught that every part is unique and serves its own function in the body. God has blessed you with unique gifts. When your gift is used properly in the church, you serve your function and contribute to the body. For example, you may have the gift of helping (1 Corinthians 12:28). Maybe this means you babysit children while others volunteer in another way. Just because one organ cannot perform the function of another doesn’t make it less useful. Just because an eye can’t hear doesn’t mean it’s not a part of the body. Just because you’re not preaching in the pulpit or singing in the choir doesn’t mean you’re not a contributing part of the body.

Second, Paul pointed out that the body cannot function as well without even one of its parts. One part of the body can’t say to another, “I don’t need you.” Consider for the sake of analogy, this would be like the volunteers (the hands) saying to the pastor (the mouth), “We don’t need you!” The mouth takes in food and water that nourishes the entire body, including the hands. If the mouth ceases, so do the hands. Neither should the mouth bite the hand that feeds it. Regardless of a person’s gift, no one should ever say, “We don’t need you.”

All the organs of the body are connected, either directly or indirectly. If one part suffers or is missing, the whole body suffers. If one spiritual gift is missing from the church, the whole church suffers. If the body has no legs, the arms must work harder. If there are no volunteers in the church, the leaders have to work harder. Therefore, each member of the body of Christ should discern his gift and faithfully serve (1 Corinthians 12:27–30).

Today’s big idea: you are a part of the body of Christ and have a specific job to do.

What to pray: ask God to guide your work as a part of Christ’s body.


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