MANY MEMBERS AND A VARIETY OF GIFTS, BUT ONE BODY
For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
(1 Cor 12:13 NASB)
Neither the gifts of Christ (Eph 4:8-13), nor the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:1-4), can be administrated or used effectively in the Body unless they remain under the Headship or the authority of Jesus Christ. The human nature of the old man is selfish and wants to indulge in power and draw honor and attention to self, (Eph 2:3). We know that we are liberated from the power of sin through the circumcision of our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:1-2; Col 2:9-12), yet, the apostle Paul warns us not to misuse our liberty to gratify our flesh when he says, ‘For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another,’ (Gal 5:13).
The gifts of the Spirit are given to the body not to draw attention to the one who received such a gift, on the contrary, the gifts are distributed among the members of the Body for the purpose to serve. The attitude in the Body should thus be to build one another, and the gifts should operate to edify and equip one another, (1 Cor 14:26; Rom 14:19). This service of edification and equipping the Body can never be severed from the Headship of Messiah. We should thus heed to walk in subjection under the leadership of our Lord and Savior, and remain in the position of servitude, (Mat 20:25-28).
Having received the baptism of the Holy Spirit by faith (1 Cor 12:12), each member of the Body should use his gift to build and strengthen his own faith and for the common good of the Body, as the apostle Paul explained, ‘For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit, and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills,’ (1 Cor 12:8-11).
Paul further explained that the members of the Body should accept the gifts allotted to them personally, and not aspire to be the eye if you are the hand, for all the members of the Body are essentially needed to regulate the effectiveness of ‘the whole Body,’ (1 Cor 12:14-25). He even goes further to state, ‘And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it,’ (1 Cor 12:26). A healthy and wholesome Body with individual members who are willing to obediently submit under the Head, would not only strengthen its own members, but would without doubt be a powerful witness to those who are caught up in sin and darkness.
The gifts of the Holy Spirit is thus an amazing endowment to empower the Body for the common good of the members – to build them up and to further the administration of the Kingdom of Light in this present age.
Such grace is given to us to empower us from above, let us guard it diligently!