Picking up off of our last blog, we talked previously about how as 3 part beings: body, soul and spirit. Walking in the fullness of Christ is recognizing that we are more than just spirit and soul beings, but that God equally cares about our bodies, as well. Like Christ is a triune being – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – all 3 parts are equally needed. We too are 3 part beings: body, soul and spirit. We often put a much bigger emphasis on our spirit and what we believe is the most important, but sometimes neglect our bodies and our soul, which is where our mind is hosted. We talked last show about our bodies being the temple, but each part is equally important.
In this blog, we are going more into another reference the Bible uses in terms of the body and that is the unity we have as Christians and working together in “the body” to perform different functions just like our physical bodies. We have a mandate from God to walk in unity with our fellow believers, but have we accomplished that? We’re just going to start off by dissecting 1 Corinthians 12, verses 12-31. There are many verses throughout the body that refer to being of one mind and walking in unity as the body, but this one definitely addresses the main concept well.
1 Corinthians 12:12 – 20 (READ)
One Body with Many Parts
Just like our physical bodies, which are so intricate and each ligament and muscle and part perform a different function, but are all vitally needed, so are we individually as Christians with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. As parents, we don’t like to see our children fighting, but encourage unity and likeness for them to get along. As with Christ, I imagine He doesn’t like looking at His children and watching us fight over petty issues, rather utilizing the talents He specifically gave us to work together and function in unity with the body. When one member of the family strays the other way, all members are affected.
In the early Church of Corinth, the members were actually divided because of their different gifts and talents. When we are baptized into the body of Christ, although we still carry our own unique gifts and talents, we have to understand that we have become ONE in the likeness of Christ. We were baptized into the family of God, therefore inhabiting all that HE is and all that our fellow believers now carry, as well.
Paul talks about the importance of each part of our body (each member of the body of Christ), that if one part is taken away, the entire body becomes less effective.
All members of the body are equally effective in making the body function as a whole. One missing or weak link affects the whole body.
Romans 12:4-8– “For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.”
1 Peter 2:5– “you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
Paul is portraying the church as a living, spiritual temple, with Christ as the cornerstone and each believer is a stone. Christ is the head and the Church is the body. It symbolizes community; unity…one stone is not a temple or even a wall. One body part is useless without the others. In our society today with individualism on a high, we tend to forget our interdependence with one another. We have to realize that when God calls us to something, it is an individual part to a whole and the believers also carry parts, as well that we need to work together to complete.
1 Corinthians 12:21-26 (READ)
No Competition in the Body
Instead of comparing ourselves to each other, we should work together to utilize our different talents to spread the gospel.
This is a bit of why my sister and I share our covenant friendship with the world, not to be boastful or bragging, but to exhibit the very real example of unity in the Body. We live in a generation of social media, where we see comparison bleeding from the posts of those around us, judgment, criticism, and comparison. We don’t just see it in the world, but in the church. We see anointed evangelists and people get elevated, ordained, and instead of being able to congratulate them and support our bothers and sisters, we see such competitiveness in the body. We don’t want to share their accomplishments, we question the call on their lives if WE don’t see it and we downright don’t support them because we don’t understand and could possibly be a bit jealous or envious. We see it all the time.
We truly need to become a people that are s confident in who WE are in Christ and what HE gave US, that we stop criticizing and judging our fellow believers and their callings and just support, edify and encourage them. Our lack of support is more of a reflection of them than us.
The concordance says, “Thinking of your gifts more important that someone else’s is an expression of spiritual pride. We should use the gifts we have been given and encourage others to use theirs. What is your response when a fellow Christian is honored? We are called to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.”
When you compare, someone always comes out losing.
James 3:16– “For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.”
2 Corin. 10:12– “Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.”
Phil. 2:3– “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
1 Corinthians 12:27-31 (READ)
We are One Body, but with Different Gifting’s
Paul makes it clear that no gift is superior to another. The greatest gifts are those that benefit the body of Christ more than oneself. He says that the gifts we have been given are not for self-advancement anyway – they are for edifying, serving and enhancing the overall spiritual growth of the whole body of Christ. We need to stop being selfish with what God gave us.
It reminds of me of our kids – when they are little and don’t understand how to share. The say “mine” to everything until we break that rebellious spirit off of them and teach them to share. I can imagine Father God handing down these precious gifts He ordained specifically for each of us and we hoard them to ourselves, when it’s almost like He gave us puzzle pieces that are incomplete and ineffective without the joining of the other gifts given to our fellow believers. We were created for unity and harmony, but because we were also born into a sinful world with a rebellious spirit, we have to literally retrain our minds to adhere to the things of God and understand that HIS ways are truth, not what the world is teaching us. Until we can walk in unity and understand that others’ gifts and talents aren’t to lessen ours, but enhance them, we will keep running into a wall.
1 Peter 3:8– “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart and a humble mind.”
Psalms 133:1 “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!”
Romans 12:10 – “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”
Galatians 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
God is so concerned with our full part beings and wants us to live exceedingly and abundantly above anything we could think or ask for. He has given us all power, authority and dominion over the beats of the earth, BUT also over our own bodies. Let’s be diligent in taking care of our bodies and feeding our entire being with the things of God so that we can truly walk in the fullness He has created us to!