October 18, 2018

The Body

1 Corinthians 12:4-30

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

—  1 Corinthians 12:27

The apostle Paul tells the church at Rome, “In Christ, we, though many, form one body” (Romans 12:5). And to the Corinthians he says, “You are the body of Christ.” When we are saved in Jesus Christ, we become part of the church, and each of us is a valuable member of the body of Christ.

The idea of being a member of the body is different from that of being a member of a club or some other organization. You are a part of a living body, like an eye, an ear, or a hand.

“To each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” We are a part of the church so that, in a way that is unique to our God-given abilities, we may contribute to the body’s health, vigor, and growth.

In the early church, it seems, there were two extremes. Some people said, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body.” And others said, “I am an eye, but you are a hand; I don’t need you!”

Some people think of the church as a stuffy, boring club. But we are all saved to be a part of something larger than just our lonesome selves. Together, in the body of Christ, we can do greater things to encourage each other in the faith and bring Christ’s love and peace to a broken world. Discover your gifts, and use them in service to Christ, the head of the church.

O Lord, where in your body would you like me to serve? Help me not to be scornful or envious of other parts of your body. Help us all work together for good. In your name, Amen.

About the author — George Young

George Young, a native New Yorker, worked as a taxi driver in New York City before studying to become a pastor. Then he, his wife Ruth, and their children were missionaries for many years in northeastern Japan. They worked with ministers and believers from the Reformed Church in Japan to spread the good news of salvation in Christ and ­establish new churches. Now George and Ruth are retired and live in the northeastern United States, nearer to their children and grandchildren.

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