Your Part Matters
The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. 13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.
14 Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. 15 If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?
18 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it.
The Corinthian Christians had gone overboard in their interest in spiritual gifts. Some had inflated ideas of their personal importance because of their possession of the more public and spectacular gifts. Others wrongfully coveted the gifts that these Christians conspicuously exercised. Envy is always destructive of fellowship and is an opposite of Christian love. Instead of uniting Corinthian believers, spiritual gifts bred division. This preoccupation with spiritual gifts made it necessary for Paul to put them into perspective.
A. The body is composed of many members (v. 12).
1. It is so with the body of Christ, the church.
2. Every Christian is baptized by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ (v. 13).
B. Many of the most important members of our physical bodies are not seen or valued. It is the same with the church.
I. There Can be Unity Even Though There Is Great Diversity in the Church
A. Jesus is not here in a physical body. He wants to work through us (v. 12).
1. A normal physical body should have unity.
2. The body of Christ should have unity.
B. The body functions because its parts do different things (vv. 14–17).
1. It would be a disaster if all members did the same thing (v. 17).
2. We are different and God wants to use us.
II. There Should be Right Relationships Among Christians in the Church
A. We need each other (vv. 19–21).
B. We must respect each other (vv. 22–25).
C. We should encourage each other (v. 26).
III. There Is a Basis for Proper Unity and Relationships in the Church
A. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the basis (v. 13).
1. He puts us into the one body.
2. He gives gifts to the members.
B. Must apply Acts 2:38 and Galatians 3:26–27.
1. The “gift of the spirit” (Acts 2:38). Evidently the Holy Spirit Himself.
2. “In Christ” (Galatians 3:26–27). This is a word picture of people putting on a garment.
We have been united in one body by the work of the Holy Spirit as a result of receiving Jesus as our Savior. We are important to God, to the church, and to each other and God wants to use us.