November 29, 2021
Scripture: If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 1 Corinthians 12:26-27 ESV
Observation: Having chastised the affluent Corinthians for their selfish behavior that neglected the needs of the poor among their fellowship, Paul then turns their attention to spiritual gifts. Providing the most extensive list of spiritual gifts found in the epistles, Paul emphasizes they are empowered and proportioned by the Holy Spirit as he wills (verse 11). Analogous to baptism, Paul contends the gifts of the spirit unite the body of Christ, removing any humanly contrived pecking order based on ethnicity, gender, or social status (verses 12-13).
Takeaway: Two points. First, the Holy Spirit imparts spiritual gifts. While we do our part to exercise these gifts (cooperating with the Holy Spirit), we contribute nothing toward creating them. Knowing this, we should exhibit humility in their use. Secondly, we should be mindful at all times that the spiritual gifts are for the benefit of the entire body of Christ, not just for a few privileged members. And as an integrated body, when one member suffers, all suffer. Conversely, when one is honored for utilizing their gifts to bring glory to God, all are honored. All of us should celebrate, giving thanks to God for how he is moving and working in our midst. As the saying goes, “All for one, and one for all!”
Prayer: Father God, we thank you for gifting us with the aptitude and skills to grow your kingdom and glorify your name. Would you please help us exercise your Holy Spirit’s gifts with grace and humility as a united body of Christ, that we might witness to the worlds that we are all for one and one for all? Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling