1 Corinthians 12:12-31

Teamwork makes the dream work.

The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.

(1 Corinthians 12:12 NLT)

The body of Christ is made up of his followers, and as such…it is hard to shop for. Talk about an odd size! 

That was a lame joke.

But, as they say, there is a little truth in every joke. If you are a follower of Christ and you wonder where you fit in, do not worry. Trust that you do, and ask God to show you how. And know that it will not be the same for everybody.

If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything? But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it.

(1 Corinthians 12:17-18 NLT)

Paul lists a few members of Christ’s anatomy. Notice that these are ‘some’ of them; this is not a comprehensive list.

Here are some of the parts God has appointed for the church:

first are apostles,

second are prophets,

third are teachers,

then those who do miracles,

those who have the gift of healing,

those who can help others,

those who have the gift of leadership,

those who speak in unknown languages.

(1 Corinthians 12:28 NLT)

Reading this list, you might wonder if a longer list would include ‘those who talk people off ledges’ or ‘those who faithfully look after their younger siblings’ or ‘those who can tell when a video game is going to mess with your mind and can effectively warn their friends about it’. Maybe you wonder if some less glamorous descriptions are on there, like ‘those who have the gift of lifting heavy stuff’ or ‘those who can clean up puke without getting queasy’.

All the parts count. And ironically, the flashier ones are not getting all the glory. 

So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity.  This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other.

(1 Corinthians 12:24b-25 NLT)

Isn’t God wonderful? In his world, everyone has a purpose, every purpose is important, and every member cares for each other.

If you follow Jesus, you are part of this wonderful Body of Christ. If you have only considered becoming part of God’s family through faith in Jesus Christ, why not do it now?

Questions for Group Discussion

  • Why do you think the Church is referred to as “the body of Christ”? How literal or figurative do you think this is? 
  • How does it make you feel to know that someone else might have spiritual gifts that you lack? Have you given any thought to what your spiritual gifts might be?
  • If the Church is to function as the body of Christ on earth, how important is it for various denominations to work together?

Challenge: Picture This

You do not need to fancy yourself an artist for this challenge; you just need something to draw with and a sense of adventure!

The challenge: draw a picture of the Body of Christ, as it is described in 1 Corinthians 12:12-31.

  • Don’t get too literal. You’ll never finish a picture of thousands of believers, so take a more representational approach.
  • Get creative. Think about your concept and then start sketching your ideas.
  • Pray. Ask God to inspire you with a vision of what the Body of Christ looks like right now.
  • Have fun! Remember: this is not for a grade…so, cut loose!