1st Corinthians – Wayne Barber/Part 87
|By: Dr. Wayne Barber; ©1998|
|The church of Corinth was in a spiritual mess. As a result of that, they didn’t have a concept. They didn’t have a clue about the body of Christ and how it worked. They were coveting each other’s gifts.|
1 Corinthians 12:18-23
All for One, and One for All – Part 2
The church of Corinth was in a spiritual mess. They had had the best teachers any church could have had in the New Testament. The apostle Paul was their teacher/preacher. Apollos followed him. They were well taught. We’ve looked at that and researched that over the months that we’ve studied them together. And yet they were upside down. Why? Because, you see, their knowledge was in their heads, not in their hearts. They were attaching themselves to everything but Christ. They attached themselves to preachers in the first part of the book and they were attaching themselves now to gifts of certain kinds. Everything was always something other than the attachment to Jesus Christ.
As a result of that, they didn’t have a concept. They didn’t have a clue about the body of Christ and how it worked. They were coveting each other’s gifts. Can you imagine? They were coveting each other’s ministries. They were coveting each other’s effects of those ministries. They were coveting such gifts as speaking in tongues. They felt like somehow that made you more spiritual. You ask me, “What words does Paul use here to make you come to that conclusion?”
One of the things I’ve tried to do is when I make a statement, I try to show you how I arrived at that statement. It’s very clear how I arrived at this conclusion. If you’ll just look at the way Paul handles this subject in chapter 12 and then follow it on through, it becomes so crystal clear as to what the problem was in that church. He picks parts of the human body to illustrate what’s going on in the spiritual body of Christ there at Corinth.
For instance, look at verse 13. He begins with the spiritual body of Christ. He says, “For by one Spirit.” And you know that means with or by the means of one Spirit. He’s not talking about a baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does not baptize us into Christ. Christ baptizes us into His body with or by the means of the Holy Spirit. That is our salvation experience. “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free.” He gives you the contrasting ends of a pole—a Jew and a Greek, and also a slave and a free man. We’re all made into one in the Lord Jesus Christ, “and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.” Baptized with the Spirit, you have Him at salvation. Then you’re made to drink of that Spirit. It’s the Spirit that nourishes me. It’s the same Spirit that affects those gifts and ministries, etc., that God does through our lives.
Well, look at verse 13. It says, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.” Now, by utilizing the illustration of the human body he begins to show how God made us all different. If you’ll look at verse 14, “For the body is not one member, but many.” It’s one body according to verse 13, but the body is not one member, but many members. He then establishes the absurdity of one member of the body being jealous or wanting to be like another member of the body. It takes away from the whole function.
He says in verse 15, “If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body’ [then he makes a statement], it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body.”
Then is says in verse 16, “And if the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body’, it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body.” It becomes very crystal clear in verse 17: “If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?” Then he drives his point home in verse 18, and he shows that God has created the body the way the way he wants it to be. He’s put the members in the body the way He chooses. It says in verse 18, “But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.”
One of the beautiful principles of the human body is that the organs of my body do not exist for each other. They exist because of the head and they respond to the head. Now, if the messages from the head are not getting to the members of my body, then everything is crippled. And so as they respond to the messages of the head, they in fact are responding to one another. In other words, you don’t live for each other. You live for Him. But because you live for Him, you live for each other. And if the head dictates anything to one member of the body, he’s dictating it to all the members of the body.
So it’s a beautiful picture here of the oneness and diversity of the body. All living for one, however, once you do that, then one is living for all: All for one, one for all. If you’re all living for Christ, the head, then we are in fact living for one another. You don’t live for each other so you can live for Him. You live for Him so that you can live for one another.
In verse 19 Paul wraps up his first thoughts here. He says, “And if they were all one member, where would the body be?” In other words, to the Corinthians, “Corinthians, if you’re going to concentrate on just this gift or that gift, what are you doing? Because if everybody was this gift or that gift, where would the rest of the body be?” It would be ridiculous to have all feet. The point to me is so clear you don’t even have to illustrate what he’s saying here. We all have our purpose and when we stay connected to the head like we should, attached to Christ, then we’ll fulfill that purpose, but also enable others around us to fulfill the purpose God has given to them.
The need we have for each other
In verse 20 he comes back to his main point. “But now there are many members, but one body.” The key is diversity, but the key is also the unity of that diverse body. Now, we come a little bit further in chapter 12. We’re going to see three other things about the body of Christ. Remember the thought, “All for One and One for All.” First of all, the need we have for each other. Paul wants to make sure that the Corinthians understand how much each of us need each other. When it speaks of the gifts, it speaks of how much every gift needs the other gifts. You can’t stand alone in that gift. Paul is addressing, remember, the immature there in Corinth. They were coveting gifts that were more recognizable. They somehow were equating the recognizable gifts with a spiritual condition of that person. The gifts that stir a crowd, gifts that spark of emotion, the ecstatic type of thing, they were coveting those kinds of gifts because they felt like that made them spiritual. Watch how he develops this thought. You have to reach the whole piece of Scripture here to get it. You can’t just read one verse. Let’s just read the whole flow and we’ll come back and comment.
Look at verse 21: “And the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’; or again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body, which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our unseemly members come to have more abundant seemliness.” Verse 24 continues, “whereas our seemly members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, that there should be no division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.”
Now, there’s no room for arrogance in the body of Christ. It’s a different way of looking at the gifts. But in Romans 12:3, after those beautiful eleven chapters, he says, “Listen, I say to you by the grace given to me, do not think more highly of yourselves than you ought to think.” We’ve got to be really careful. There’s no room for arrogance. Just because your gift is an up front gift, just because recognition is given to your gift, so what? God gave the gift. It’s not the gift, it’s the Giver and it’s the fact that you’re just to be grateful for having a part of the body that He’s given. He says here that there’s no room for the eye to look in disdain at the hand. That’s his whole point. There’s no room for the hand to look back and disdain the eye. What are you doing here? Why would the hand want to be the eye? Why would the eye want to be the hand? Why would the eye think it’s more important than the hand?
It says in verse 21, “And the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you.’” The eye might look at the attacker and see the attacker coming, but it’s the hand that fends off the attacker. The two have to work together. Without one the other’s not functional. So they have to work together. Then he continues the analogy. He says, “or again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.” With the head decisions are made. The head is where the beauty is. But the feet are the most unseemly part of the body. It’s senseless for the head to look at the feet and say, “I don’t need you. I’m greater than you are.” It’s the head that comes up with the ideas, it’s the feet that carries them out. So you have to have both of them in the body.
I read an article not long ago which said, “The feet are the most unsightly part of the body.” That just depends on who you’re talking about. I’ve seen some people where the head was the most unsightly part of the body. I didn’t want to tell them, “You’re ugly.” But the head is where the beauty is. That’s why you spend all your time in front of a mirror. The feet are the most unsightly, yet the head’s got to have the feet. The two work together. Paul shows how each member of the body of Christ, like members of our own body, need each other.
I’m not going to use every message to walk us through what I’m walking through right now and what you’re walking through in the time we have together. But I think this really does fit. If it fits, so be it. But I want you to know something. I spent years working very diligently trying to build this church on Christ and His Word. Listen to me. Every person in the body needs each other. If what happens down the road, the effect of those years and however long we’re going to be together, the effect of all that is not going to be now. The effect is going to be then. And if somebody said to me, “Well, one-third of the whole church is going to leave just as soon as you walk out of here,” let me tell you something. If that happens, shame on us, because every member of the body of Christ needs the other members, not just one. If one is taken away, that didn’t mean the rest have taken away.
If God in His foreknowledge understand that one day I’m going to leaving, don’t you think that He’s already prepared somebody to take the place and go right on? But that should not affect the body being responsive to Christ. We need each other. You can’t say, “Well, we just need you. Brother, we need you and if you’re going, we’re gone.” No! We need Christ. It’s His body. It’s not a church built on a man. It’s a church built on Christ. So to me this thing is so appropriate to bring in to the situation that we’re in to understand the depth of what Paul is saying. The eye is desperately in need of the hand and the head is desperately in need of the foot. Each gift in the body is important because the Spirit put it there and the function of it is to make sure that Christ is seen.
So many churches in our country today are built so much on preachers. That’s the only gift that they elevate. That goes totally against what the apostle Paul is saying. Welcome to the church of Corinth if that’s what we’re going to do. I don’t think it is. But I just want to make sure you think about it before those days come. The test is coming to see whether or not this church is built on a preacher or whether or not this church is built on the Word of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. We will see in the days to come. There’s no such thing as a healthy body with selfish organs. Healthiness is not determined by how many people come on Sundays. The health of a body is how many people are surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ in their life daily, daily bowing before Him. That shows you health in the body of Christ.
The error of some in the body
Secondly, he shows the error of some in the body of Christ; not everybody, but some. In Corinth, yes, all of them. It’s a tendency of our immature flesh to think of gifts that are more noticeable to be spiritual. That’s kind of what was going on in Corinth. Our flesh is programmed to think and to measure things that way. In other words, if somebody gets up and stirs the crowd, if there’s emotion, that guy’s spiritual. I wish I could be like that person over there. I wish I had his experience. I wish I could do what they do. We think that those who are up front, those who are noticeable are the more spiritual. That’s the way the flesh operates. That’s the way it thinks. If we happen to be one of those who, on the other end of the pole, has one of the gifts that are more unnoticed and one of these gifts that are looked down on and not even seen, we think of ourselves as being real inferior.
We were over in Europe several years ago and as I was speaking there were five translators taking the language of one and putting it into a language of another. There was a little girl sitting three feet away from me. She was from Hungary, but she can’t speak English. So as I was speaking and she was listening through the earphones, I was sharing out of Romans 12 and how the gifts are all there but how they’re different. But the oneness of the body is there and how important each gift is. She began to cry visibly from the platform. I could see her. I knew she was moved about something, but I didn’t know what. After it was over she brought the tall lady from Hungary who’s there every year. She spoke through her and said, “I want you to tell him that all of my life I have felt like my gift was in the area of mercy. Nobody ever sees what I do. My heart is to reach out to people. It’s not a gift that’s up front. I’ve always felt inferior. I’ve always felt like I wasn’t really that important. Somehow I got short-changed in what’s going on. But for the first time in my life I realized that’s a sin of pride. I confessed that before the Lord and I realize now that I have the Holy Spirit living in me because I’m a believer. I ought to be grateful for what He’s given me. Whether people see it or don’t see it. It doesn’t matter. I’m critical to the body of Christ.”
I thought, “Man, that’s it. That’s what Paul was trying to say.” Look what you’re doing. If you start coveting gifts that are up front, if you start wanting to say that if you speak in tongues, that makes you spiritual or if you do this or you do that, do you realize what you’re doing to the rest of the body that have just as critical gifts as that? As a matter of fact, more critical to the effectual work of Christ on this earth.
Well, in verse 22 he says, “On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary.” A little phrase caught me. He says, “seems to be.” What is that “seem to be” word? It’s the word dokeo. It has the idea of one’s understanding as he thinks. In other words, “As a man thinks so he is.” Do you remember that verse in Proverbs? How do you think? What’s your attitude towards things? What is your thought processes toward something? It’s the way he thinks.
It was used over in Matthew 17:25, and it says that when Jesus came into the house He spoke to him first saying, “What do you think, Simon?” The word is used as somebody’s thought processes, how he thinks about something. So, you see, what we think apart from the revelation of God and what Paul is bringing out in Corinthians is two ends of the pole. It’s almost like the North and the South Pole. They are so far away. The way man thinks and the way God thinks is exactly opposite. If you’re going to deify these certain gifts and make somebody think they’re spiritual, that is totally the opposite of the way God thinks. Man has a tendency to judge in the exact different contrary way than the way God thinks.
Let me put this into another area. I’m bringing in my circumstances right now, but it’s the only thing that came to my heart when I was studying. Get out of gifts and get out of 1 Corinthians 12. Let me show you the difference in the way man thinks and the way God thinks. When you have made a major life-changing decision has someone ever asked, “Have you counted the cost?”
You know where that comes from, don’t you? It comes from Luke 14:25. I want to tell you something. This is my heart attitude toward this Scripture. The counting the cost there is an illustration, not the truth. You don’t build a truth on an illustration. You build a truth on the context of what Jesus was saying. What Jesus was saying was there’s a clear cost to when you build a house. There’s a clear cost when you go into battle. There’s a clear cost when you serve the Lord Jesus Christ, and that is He comes superior to all relationships in your life. He’s not saying that the counting the cost is you better sit down and see if you’ve got enough money to do it before you ever commit it. He’s not saying that. Because if He’s saying that, then faith is completely eradicated.
The apostle Paul didn’t know where he was going to sleep the next day. I don’t know where that’s found in Scripture. He did know something: he knew in whom he had believed and was convinced that he was able to keep that which he had entrusted until that day.
Listen. This is the way the world thinks. Why? Because that’s the way business runs. Monday through Friday you know what’s coming in. You know what’s going out and you do what you need to do. That’s the way the world thinks. That’s not the way God thinks. Faith is not putting all your ducks in a row. Faith is hearing from God and moving on what God said. God puts the ducks in a row. We need to understand something about this. But you see how the world gets right in to the church.
It’s the same way about gifts. The world would say, “Hey, that guy’s got it. I saw him speak the other day to 25,000 people.” They completely overlooked the one who has the gift of serving and the gift of mercy, the one who’s behind the scenes, the one who’s unnoticed. That’s the way the world thinks. That’s not the way God thinks. He says the things that you think are one way are a total different way with God.
“On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary.” Note the phrase “it is much truer.” The word there is mallon, which is the word for great. It means a greater degree, to a much greater degree. In Matthews 6:26 it’s used. “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?” Matthew 7:11 reads, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” Acts 5:14 says, “And all the more believers in the Lord.” Romans 5:9 tells us, “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood.”
In other words, you’re looking at this gift and thinking it’s spiritual, but God sees these other gifts much more that you’re completely overlooking. The word for weaker there is the word asthenes, and most of the time it means without strength. I think here, though, it has the idea of those gifts that are unimpressive, those gifts that are unnoticed.
I’ve always been blessed by the people who put on our services. I wonder how many times you walk in to church, bow your head, “Oh, God, thank You so much for the musicians who have spent all week practicing and for all the staff who’s out there doing what they’re doing and for the one in the sound booth who every time someone sings you always see them just sort of gritting their teeth because they’re scared to death that tape’s not going to come on.” You think they’re nervous buddy? The one up there is a whole lot more nervous. He’s got to have it cued at a certain point. The people in the light booth. The people in the television booth. The people on the television cameras, the ushers outside, the people in the parking lot. The only thing I know how to do is walk in, stand up and run my mouth. I can turn a light on and off if nobody showed up on Sunday morning.
You see what people do? They don’t even understand how all that goes on. They look at the one standing up here. “There’s our leader. He’s so gifted! He’s so spiritual. What are we going to do about him?” Good grief, man! The Lord Jesus Christ is the one you need to be looking to, not the one standing up here. He’s the one orchestrating what’s going on. But it’s amazing how the world thinks that those gifts that are up front are the ones to covet. Those are the ones to want. He’s saying, “Hey, you’re overlooking the ones that are even more necessary than you could have ever imagined in the body.” We must never take the gifts that we so ignorantly consider weaker gifts and overlook them. Don’t ever do that.
Paul said, “It is these unnoticed gifts, these unimpressive gifts that are so much more necessary to the body of Christ.” The word “necessary” is the word that means you can’t live without it. The error that immaturity makes and the error that was made in the church of Corinth is to single out this gift and that gift, to cover it, and to lift it up and to exalt it and to make people think if you have that gift, you’re more spiritual than the people who have the gifts over here. I want to tell you something straight out. I’m liable to get real tough here. When you watch some of this junk that’s on television, I want you to watch for something. All of this stuff that you say, “You just don’t understand.” I do understand. There are three things they talk about, three gifts are all they talk about. Every single time you ever turn it on, three. One, tongues or what they call tongues; two, healing, what they call healing; and, three, miracles. But now wait a minute. I thought there were more gifts than that in the body of Christ. An immature church will not only attach itself to gifts. It singles out which gifts they think is more spiritual and they earnestly covet them and desire them. And when they don’t have them, they feel like they’re inferior to everybody else. That is nothing more than flesh.
What Paul is trying to say is, “Man, you’re completely overlooking the whole thing of the body of Christ and you’re not understanding. There are no big I’s and little you’s. The gifts that are unnoticed and the gifts that are the ones that some people don’t put any value on, they in fact are more necessary than the ones that you are exalting.
So we see the need we have for one another. We have a desperate need for that. But also the error that some people make in their judgment and it comes because they’re not having their minds renewed by the Word of God. That’s people who aren’t attached to Jesus Christ, who have to have a fix, who have to have a feeling somehow to make it through. No sir. Your whole life is attached to Him and He’s the one who gives us that understanding and the gifts.
The importance we should give to the unnoticed gifts
Thirdly, we see the importance that we should give to the more unnoticed gifts. He tells us how it ought to be and he tells us the way it should be. It’s not that way in Corinth. It’s the way it ought to be, and he tells you why. He doesn’t let up on these immature believers in Corinth. I don’t know what you get when you study. I just know what I get. I know when I get into it I’m thinking, “Whew, Paul!” He starts off with verses 1-7, and then he begins to bear down. The more he goes, the more he keeps bearing down. It’s like he’s confronting them rather than just teaching them. I’ve always said he’s not teaching gifts. He’s correcting error. He’s trying to confront them right in their face. “Here it is. Now deal with it.” That’s what he’s trying to do here. He just keeps bearing down.
But bearing down, the bearing down, that’s what I want you to see. I know it couldn’t have been the Holy Spirit, but it came to my mind that when Paul was writing this he was jumping on that church and wouldn’t let up. The only thing I can get out of this is he’s not teaching them, he’s confronting them as to the error of what happens when you don’t attach yourself to Christ and how upside down you become in your thinking.
Verse 23 reads, “…and those members of the body, which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our unseemly members come to have more abundant seemliness.” Paul shows how it ought to be, but it’s not. Paul says that the members of the body that we take for granted and put no recognition to, we need to turn that around and start recognizing those people who have those gifts that aren’t as up front as other’s people’s gifts that others think are more spiritual.
He uses a term there that suggests the crowning of a runner when he’s run a race. He says, “on these we bestow more abundant honor.” The phrase “bestowing more abundant honor” is an important phrase. The word bestow is the word peritithemi. Peri means around and tithemi means to place, to place around. It’s the idea when a runner has finished the race and has won it, you take a wreath and place it around him. You lift him up. You help him to understand how important he really is. He’s just done something. The recognition that’s put to him.
There’s only one word that’s translated in two words when it says “more abundant.” It’s the word perissos. It means that which goes far beyond, much greater, to a greater extent. So the word is translated “greater” in the King James. It’s translated “more abundant” in the New American Standard version. Paul says, “I’m not going from one extreme to another.” He’s going to tell you in a minute. He’s going to say to the people who are up front that they already have their recognition. But the people who aren’t up front, go on and give it to them and put balance back into the body. He’s not saying to go from this extreme to that extreme but come back to a balance and understand just because this person’s got an up front gift and it looks like he’s more spiritual because everybody sees him, it does not in any negate what others are doing that you don’t see. Make sure you have a balance in your understanding of this.
I like what he’s saying. When you put verses 23 and 24 together it makes sense. “And those members of the body, which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our unseemly members come to have more abundant seemliness, whereas our seemly members have no need of it.” They’ve already got all the recognition they need. But bring the others up to where people see the whole body here. They don’t just see certain ones who are always up front.
Note the last part of verse 24. “But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked.” That word “composed” caught my attention. We looked at part of it in Romans 6 when we studied Romans together. You’ll remember it I think. It’s two words. It’s the word sun, together, and the other word is the word to mix, to mix something together.
What does this together mean? There’s the “with” of association. You can be together but not mixed together. That’s meta, we’re with each other. When you are just alongside each other, that’s when the error comes because you don’t realize how much you depend upon the other person.
But the word sun is a different word. It’s another word. It’s the “with” of intimacy, when two things have been so molded in together. The illustration of how he’s composed the body, how He’s mixed the body is beautiful. The biscuit. Remember Romans 6? You take the ingredients of a biscuit and I guarantee you the salt that you use is not the same amount of the flour that you use. But you put so much salt in it; you put a lot of flour in it; you don’t put the same amount of baking powder that you do that flour. I hope I got that right. But the flour’s got the most. So if you look on a baking sheet, and all these other things are there, the most predominant one would be the flour. Is that not correct? So if they’re just on the baking sheet you can look at it and say, “Uh-huh, that’s the biggest. That must be the most important.” However, when you take all those ingredients and you mix them together in the form of a big biscuit and you put it in the oven, and you bake that biscuit, when it comes out you’ve got a different word here because you can’t find the baking soda, and you can’t find the flour, you can’t find the salt. It’s all so mixed together that that which was big when it was “with” of association, now that it has been mixed has lost that kind of identity because it’s all so blended into the biscuit. The important thing now is not the ingredient. The important thing now is the biscuit.
That’s exactly to me what he’s saying here. If you’re just existing side by side, you can see why one can be up front and one’s not. But when you realize that you’ve been composed into the body of Christ, Christ has so mixed you together that the big gifts and the little gifts, when you blend them all, you don’t see the gifts, you just see the giver. There’s only one body and it’s His body. So your focus completely changes about what’s going to happen there. God gives abundant honor to that part of the body that would otherwise go unnoticed. Why? To balance the scales.
Look at verse 25: “that there should be no division in the body [look at this], but that the members should have the same care for one another.” What was going on in Corinth? Was there any division in Corinth? I imagine! So, what was happening here? If you’ve got division, evidently, you don’t have the concept down. You’re attaching to the wrong thing. When you attach rightly, there’s no big I’s and little you’s as we said earlier. Those who have the up front gifts and those who have the other gifts that are more unnoticeable, these are made to be more important so that they all blend together to point only to Christ. Paul, I think again, is confronting a church that’s upside down.
I’ve shared this before but it’s happened many times. This is the best illustration I know so I’ll share it again. I was out in West Texas in a church. It was an Episcopalian church. I walked up to the pulpit and said, “You have everything you’ll ever get in Jesus Christ.” I did not know that this church was the leading sign gift—the three I mentioned a while ago, tongues, healing, and miracles—church in all of West Texas. They were telling their people every Sunday, “You have to have the second blessing. You’ve got to have the anointing.”
Let me tell you something, folks. We don’t need the anointing. We have Christ who is the anointed One. If it’s not me, if it’s Him, He is the anointing. Man, we make this thing as if it’s a mystical something out there we’ve got to get. That’s the kind of stuff they were into. I walked up and said, “You’ve got everything you’ll ever get of God when you receive the Lord Jesus Christ. The problem is how much of you does God have?” Everybody was looking at me almost like, “How did you get in here? Who invited him?” By Saturday morning there were about 450 people at 9:00 and they stayed for two hours and when I finished they gave me a standing ovation. I had just blown out of the backdoor everything they had been preaching for ten years. I’m not sure they understood that.
But I got outside and went to the car and here comes this little lady chasing me down. She said, “Oh, brother.” She’s crying. I said, “What’s wrong?” She said, “For years I tried to get the gift.” I said, “What gift?” She said, “Tongues.” I said, “You have? What did you do? How did you try to get it?” She said, “I would go down front and they would take my life and try to make me make sounds.” She said, “It never took.” I didn’t really know what to say. What do you say? She said, “Today for the first time in my life what I have just understood is I don’t have to have that second blessing. I don’t have to have that experience. I’ve got the Lord Jesus Christ living in me. He is the blesser. From now on I understand that whatever He gives me makes me important in His body. I’m just as important as anybody else. Thank you that I’ve got it all in Jesus Christ.”
You know, folks, that’s what Paul is trying to get to. This is a sick church in Corinth. That’s what they’re focusing on. Is there anything new under the sun? Didn’t Ecclesiastes say there’s nothing new under the sun? You think all this stuff that’s going on around us is new? Good grief! It goes all the way back to the beginnings of Christianity. But it comes from the immature approach that people have toward Christ. They don’t understand the body of Christ because they’re not living daily surrendered to Christ. That’s what messes your whole concept up. They’re coveting gifts. They’re coveting ministries. They’re coveting effects instead of living daily receiving what they already have in Him.
Well, if you have the Giver—and those of you who are believers do—then whatever He has given to you, whatever gift you have, however unnoticeable or unappreciated you feel, you need to hear the Word of God that you are very important in the body of Christ. God knows it, and He put you in the body for a reason. You have a purpose that’s divine. Don’t ever covet somebody else’s gifts to think that makes you spiritual. Jesus is your spirituality. The need we have for each other, the error of some in the body, and the importance we should give to the gifts that go unnoticed. We are all baptized with and by the means of the same Spirit in the body of Christ, all of us. If you live attached to Christ, you’ll accomplish your purpose. But in doing so you’ll enable others around you to accomplish their purpose. Then we effectually can work together and we become the biscuit God wants us to be. The biscuit is the only that’s in focus. Don’t worry about the ingredients. God will take care of all the ingredients. It’s the body of Christ that makes the difference as we leave this place. Who or what are you attached to other than Jesus Christ?