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1 Corinthians 12

Jerry Zhang
Jerry Zhang

2 min read

Spiritual Gifts

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. – 1 Corinthians 12:4-6

All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. – 1 Corinthians 12:11

Each of us who are members of the body of Christ have spiritual gifts. According to verses 8-10, the gifts are:

  • the utterance of wisdom
  • the utterance of knowledge
  • faith
  • gifts of healing
  • the ability to distinguish between spirits
  • various kinds of tongues
  • the interpretation of tongues

One Body With Many Members

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. – 1 Corinthians 12:12

Paul mentioned the exact same thing in Romans 12:4-5 (both in chapter 12). Here are some funny examples of Paul's humor:

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. And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," what would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whoe body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would bve the sense of smell? – 1 Corinthians 12:15-17

The eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you," not again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." – 1 Corinthians 12:21

And now, the importance of what it means to appreciate the less visible.

On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, which our more presentable parts do not require. – 1 Corinthians 12:22-24

These are the parts of the body that keep the rest of the body functioning. They are doing the thankless jobs. I'm talking the people like janitors (keeping public areas clean), bus drivers (operating public transit), trash workers (eliminating waste), delivery workers (transporting goods), mailmen (transporting mail), etc. Despite the lack of prestige in such roles, they keep society alive due to their thankless work that they keep doing.

The whole point here is teamwork–there is no I in team. If a soccer team only consisted of the goalie, it wouldn't be a very good team. If the CEO were a one-man company, the company wouldn't be very successful. Even public-facing political officials (think presidents, chairmans, prime ministers) and pop-idols (think actors, singers, songwriters) have so many people working to support them.

God Chose Each Member

But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. – 1 Corinthians 12:18

But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. – 1 Corinthians 12:24-26

Finally, just like how God chose each and every part of our physical bodies, God also chose each and every member of the church body. It's been divinely ordained!

That means it's wrong for us to say "we like one member better than another because of this" or "that person doesn't really belong here" or "we could do without them" or "we could go it alone".

We must acknowledge each member of our body, no matter how insignificant they may seem. For the more insignificant they appear, the more important they actually are.

Devotional1 Corinthians

Jerry Zhang

Programmer, YouTuber, and amateur musician. I like to write too!