The gifts that make the body grow (1 Corinthians 12)

1 Corinthians 12

In this age of celebrity worship, the supporting actors often get overlooked. Unfortunately, the church often follows the culture’s lead in this regard.

All the Trinity has a hand in the building up of the church. If the Father is the architect, the Son the plan, then the Holy Spirit would be the contractor. As the contractor, the Holy Spirit chooses the workers, guides and directs the construction, and grants the tools and materials needed for the building up of the church.

When the Bible talks about Spiritual gifts, it does not mean talents or acquired skills. A spiritual gift may be given to enhance a talent or skill, but nevertheless is distinguished from these more natural means. A spiritual gift comes from the Spirit and cannot be earned – a gift that is earned is not a gift at all.  

Like society, we often over-emphasize the more noticeable gifts, like teaching, preaching, shepherding, or serving as a missionary. But these gifts are no more essential than every other gift. Gifts like generosity, compassion, faith may be less noticeable, but they are nonetheless very important for the building up of the church.

Consider the white blood cell. The number of types of cells in your body are many. The function of the eye cell might be more noticeable than the function of the white blood cell. However, the white blood cell is just as necessary. You may not see it fighting infection and disease, but believe me your body would cease to function as a body without them. Then there is the lung cell. A current virus teaches us just how important these lung cells are. This virus can enter our body, link up with some of these lung cells, inject its harmful mRNA, and cause all sorts of harm to our bodies. We need our lung cells to take oxygen from the air we breathe and transfer it to our blood cells, so that oxygen is transported throughout our body and we live. (See 1 Corinthians 12).

Their effects are less obvious, but white blood and lung cells are just as necessary as celebrity-like eye and muscle cells. So too spiritual gifts. A pastor does not make a church nor do elders. Every member of the Body of Christ, the Church, and their unique Spirit-given gifts are needed to help the Body grow into the pattern of Christ.

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