A human body has a lot of different parts, but all of them form one body. It’s just the same with God’s children in Christ. Whether we’re Jewish or American or Mexican or Mongolian, we have all been washed clean by the same Holy Spirit, and that same Holy Spirit has nourished us all and formed us into one corporation—a body.
But we’re not a huge, single cell amoeba. This body, like our own, has a vast number of individual components. We all have unique functions to play in the body of Christ, and every single function was assigned by the Holy Spirit. We may do different kinds of work, but we all work for the same company and have the same CEO.
We have each been assigned a function that contributes to the overall good of this company. For example, the Spirit may have assigned you to counsel others, or maybe the Spirit assigned you the function of teaching others, or maybe the Spirit assigned you the ability to readily believe in things that seem impossible, or maybe the Spirit assigned you to play a role in supernatural healing. Others got the abilities to do supernatural works, still others to be God’s mouthpieces to the present generation by applying his Word to our lives today. Maybe the Spirit assigned you the ability to figure out when people are being sincere, and when they aren’t. Maybe the Spirit assigned you to be a linguist of natural or supernatural languages. Regardless, it is the Spirit who assigns every ability to each person as He determines to be correct.
Think about your own body for a second and imagine if your foot copped an attitude and said, “I’m on strike because I wanted to be a hand, not a foot.” Or what if your ear piped up and said, “I think I should have been the one with vision, and if I can’t have it, I’m out of here!” They may have a valid point, but could they possibly opt out of being part of your body because they’re not pleased with their assignments?
If your body parts were to choose their own jobs, they might all choose to have vision, and then you’d be mute and deaf. Or if the whole body wanted the ability to hear, you’d starve to death. But our body parts can’t choose their jobs, and so it is with the spiritual body we’re a part of. God has assigned us our function exactly how He wants it. And we’re not a huge eye or ear, we’re a huge multi-faceted body.
So you who have the ability of vision, you can’t disown your hands who put your vision into action. And you who are the brains behind it all, you can’t say you don’t need feet. You’d go nowhere! The fact is that the parts of the body that we don’t often acknowledge are indispensable. If we think a part of the body is ordinary, we ought to treat it as extraordinary. And if there are parts of the body that we’re embarrassed to show just anyone, we need to give those particularly special care, while those we are generally comfortable showing to the outside world—they really don’t need any special treatment. And keep in mind that if a body part needs special treatment, that’s exactly how God designed it—so that the parts that we tend to neglect are assured their significance—so that all of the parts of this body will be concerned for each other. We will all suffer when the pinky gets a paper cut, and when we get an awesome hair cut, the whole body feels good about it.
Now we’re not talking about a human body, so this is where the analogy ends. Rather, each of us is a part of Christ’s body. And Christ himself orders some parts to communicate with other parts, and some parts to communicate with the outside world. Some he has given the assignment to care for the body, and some he assigns to train the body, to get it ready to act effectively, so that the body can grow stronger and mature in our knowledge of the Son of God until we reach the point where we work harmoniously and believe harmoniously and become exactly what we are meant to be as the body of Christ.
YOU are the body of Christ, and EACH ONE OF YOU is a part of it.
I had the privilege of delivering this message to First Church of God in Port Arthur, Texas, last Sunday.