by: Donald Curtis
1 Corinthians 1:12-31 ESV
12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves[a] or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts,[b] yet one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts.
And I will show you a still more excellent way.
- How would you describe the concept of “community” based on what you read in this passage?
Within most any community there is a wide range of people not only with the colors of their skins or their nationalities, but also their personalities, backgrounds and their attitudes, morals, and ideas. Community is not a homogenous zone – it typically is just the opposite. I believe that Paul is saying through these wonderful scriptures the church should be and is the same thing. The church is a mixed bag of nationalities, skin color, backgrounds, ideas, and personalities.
Beyond this however, Paul is telling us that as a community we are all living on the same street and we should learn to respect and get along with one another. We should learn that we have all gotten here because the “house” that we live in was paid for and we have just as much of a right to belong to the “community” as anyone else. God placed us all here and in our own way we are all beneficial and important and should be respected as such.
Everyone of us has a role to play in this community, some preach, some teach, some clean, to lead worship, some do maintenance, but everyone is important. Each of these roles are valuable to the community and honor the Lord.
- How does the idea of a “body” support the idea of relationship building?
I love this idea of the body being the church and it is always my thinking of how the body works naturally and mostly unstrained, especially when I was younger. And when working together amazing things can happen, we can run a race, drive a car, work at a job, hug a child, preach the Word, etc. It’s amazing when a well fit body uses a golf club and swings everything just right and hits a little white ball and it goes in a little cup. It takes everything working together for that kind of coordination.
This is how the body should work in the church. Every part should do what it is supposed to do and work together for the greater good. It’s amazing when a church service is done and everyone is working together it allows an atmosphere for others to be saved. It is amazing when the church functions in witnessing, preaching, cleaning, working in the sound booth, teaching Sunday School, etc. and people are helped and encouraged. Everyone in the church is vitally important, everyone has a role, everyone works together.
With that in mind, It is my philosophy that everyone in the church should have a role. It allows for them to feel more a part of the church and the body of Christ. They are no longer spectators on the sidelines. That makes everyone important just the way that God sees them. He has assembled the church as it pleases Him.
I think of how the body is tied together as one unit and Paul tells us that the Holy Spirit is that thing that ties us all together as one unit. The Holy Spirit is that drawing agent, the keeping agent and the one that assigns the roles to be given. Without the Spirit of God working in the “body” of the Church, the church will diminish and not function properly. That’s when relationships will be broken, feelings will be hurt, and people will leave. I have found that there are at least two things that cause this 1. Their relationship with God is not as strong as it should be and 2. Their relationship with others have diminished.
- When we do not have the connection to the Holy Spirit as we once did then our importance of what we are doing, why we are doing it and who we are doing it for becomes less important. It is vital to stay close to the Lord so we can be content in our work.
- When our brotherly relationships break down then that’s typically when we look around and see someone else getting more credit, being appreciated more, or wishing they were doing what someone else was doing.
We need every role in the church and every part needs to know how vitally important they are so that the body can function properly. That’s when great things are possible!