Many Parts, One Body

“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. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” – 1 Corinthians 12: 2-7

This summer at our daycare, KidZone, the School Age Summer Program has been offering a drama club for some of the students. I would often walk past them practicing in the Church Auditorium and one of the teachers would ask, “Does everybody know their roles?” This is a very important question for any play that the students will be performing. If nobody knows their role it would be an unorganized mess of a play, and it wouldn’t make much sense to anybody watching. If nobody knows their role there is no play at all; everybody will be watching an empty stage. Also, one student can’t play all the roles. It takes a whole team: some behind stage, and some on stage, but all are part of the play.

In a similar way believers within the church have specific roles given to them by the Spirit in the form of Spiritual Gifts. In chapter twelve of First Corinthians, Paul presents how the church should operate with everyone using their own gifts for their role within the church. Paul says the church is many parts operating as one. No one is called to just attend a church; believers are called to take part in the mission of the church. God has uniquely designed each believer for a role in the mission He is carrying out in the world. In Ephesians Paul talks about the giving of gifts, “for the building up of the body.” Some have an up front gifting, some have gifting that is in the background and maybe unseen, yet both are equally important in what God is trying to accomplish.

We need to be seeking out how God has gifted us and what role He has for us in His great plan. On the internet are various questionnaires that try and help identify what our Spiritual Gifts might be. While they are not perfect, they can be useful tools. Also, seeking answers through prayer and fellowship with other believers is very useful. Often God can use those around us to help us see where we are gifted.

All believers have gifts, and God wants us to use them for His glory. What is our gift, and are we bringing glory to God? Are we active in our local body? Nobody is called to be a spectator.

Further Reading – Romans 12: 3-8; 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Peter 4:10-11

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