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)
It’s apparent that some of the Corinthian Christians were dividing the church over disagreements concerning spiritual gifts (God-given abilities meant for the edifying of God’s people).
There was so much emphasis and esteem being placed on certain gifts that those who seemed to be lacking these certain gifts were beginning to feel as if they were missing a vital aspect of what it means to be a Christian. On account of some in the church exalting their own particular giftedness, others began to question whether or not they were truly regenerated members of the Christian church at all.
Throughout history, the church seems to fall into this tendency of dividing itself over disagreements concerning matters that are over-emphasized or over-looked.
How many of us today seem to esteem certain spiritual abilities or actions as the mark or the standard for what it means to be a “good Christian”? Do you consider feeding the poor as a higher Christian work than making disciples in the work place? Do you consider missionaries called by God to the jungles of Africa to be more valuable than pastors called by God to our suburban communities here in America?
Paul reminds us that the church as a whole is an organism made up of many members arranged by God as he chooses; with himself being the heartbeat (Holy Spirit) and the head (Christ) of this living body.
We need to recognize our role and respect the roles of others.
The church is a living entity created and powered by the triunity of God. We as the church are given a variety of spiritual abilities, but the same Spirit; we are called to a variety of actions, but we serve the same Lord; and we participate in a variety of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.
The church body is most efficient and effective when all its members are working together in fulfilling their own specific callings and roles. May we recognize our role and respect the roles of others. And may we humble ourselves and stay committed to the unity of the Spirit in the midst of our unique diversity of service.