The Church depends on me?

Do you ever have that moment when you're reading a passage and something brand new hits you? A friend of mine calls this his "Aha!" moment. I had one of those this morning listening to a lecture about 1 Corinthians 12, particularly verses 4-7 :

  "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 in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good."

My moment came when I realized how the trinity is working in this passage. Of course, you see the trinity here, don't you; Spirit, Lord (Christ), and God all a part of this process? I think I had seen it before, but hadn't realized why it was important. This passage says that all parts of the Godhead are working together to equip each Christian for unique service in his or her church. I'll use myself and music as an example.

When God created me, He knew and predestined me for the life I lead now. That means He sovereignly worked all things together to place me in the church and ministry I'm in now, including the abilities that qualified me for this position and enable me to be effective in service. Christ redeemed me through His death so I could partake in serving the church as one of God's children. The Spirit, knowing I would be used by God in this way in the church, uniquely equipped me with my various skills in music and other areas as well so I could be as effective as possible.

Now take that process and multiply it for every member of your church. God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) planned how each member of a church would interact and uniquely gifted each individual to have a unique role in that church. I am the only person who can do what I do in my church. You are the only person who can serve and function in the way you do in your church.

That should amaze us; that our trinitarian God would be gracious enough do devote Himself to equipping us for work in His Church. But, that should also place a weight of responsibility on us. Each of us serve a unique function of the church. The analogy used later in this chapter is that of the body. Imagine your body without one of its parts, even a small part. Say you were missing your little finger, or maybe just the nail on your little finger. Sure, you could function, but not as well as you would with your complete body. The same is true if you were missing a foot or an eye or an ear. You would survive, but not as well as if you were completely whole.

That is the challenge for us, to realize that, as Christians, we are a part of a local body of believers and God has equipped us to serve in that local body. If we choose to not serve, it is literally crippling that body and keeping it from functioning as well as it could. So, we have to ask ourselves, am I serving in such a way that makes the body whole or am I a hindrance to the body functioning properly because I choose to observe or just attend but not get involved? I was challenged by this today, and I think it is something we all need to think about as we examine our involvement in our churches.


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