For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.– Romans 12:4-5
We have been looking at Paul’s commentary on Romans 12 in 1 Corinthians 12. We saw how just because the foot is a lowly part of the body, the foot is still a vital part of the body. God has placed members in His church as both feet and hands. Feet are the humble workers behind the scenes. Hands are the helpers and edifiers of others. Ears are those with spiritual insight. Eyes are those with wisdom and experience.
“If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?” – 1 Corinthians 12:17
We must all thank God for his masterful wisdom in creating everyone differently with their own purpose. It takes everyone realizing their gift and working their gift to the best of their ability for the church function properly.
“But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.” – 1 Corinthians 12:18
It is hard for us to fully grab hold of this verse, because this verse goes against what we have been taught from childhood. We have all been taught to take pride in our work and our skills. Spiritual gifts on the other hand do not come by experience and genetics. They can be cultivated by experience, but spiritual gifts are given to us by God not because of who WE are but because of who HE is. God can take a humble, lowly, person who stutters through every sentence and use him to preach the Gospel in boldness. God can take someone with a dark past, put new life in him, and use him to help others struggling in sin.
“And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked.” – 1 Corinthians 12:21-24
These verse contain yet another basic, important truth concerning the nature of the local church – the humble roles in the church are the most honorable. I’ve been around so many young preachers filled with pride in their eloquence of speech or charisma. Most seminaries are filled to the brim with proud, arrogant people seeking to gain renown for themselves. Many preachers forget that the their common title – minister – means “servant.” A true “minister” is not someone who merely fills the pulpit. A true “minister” is not someone who grabs a quick sermon outline from the internet Saturday night to present with eloquence and charisma on Sunday morning. A true “minister” is someone who spends much of the week in agonizing prayer with a burden for the needs of the church. A true “minister” is someone who when he sees a church member going down the wrong path weeps through the night, praying God would turn the erring one. The humble jobs and responsibilities in the church come with the most honor before God. Notice what comes next…
“That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.” – 1 Corinthians 12:25
Why must we realize that God has given everyone different gifts according to His will? Why must we realize that the humble jobs are the most honorable? IT PREVENTS SCHISM IN THE CHURCH! Do you want to have a healthy church? One without schism and division? Do YOUR part in figuring out your role. What is the gift God has given YOU? Don’t look at how others are functioning. How are YOU functioning? The members of a properly functioning church will have the same care one for another because they realize they are all but little parts of a magnificent design.