JULY 22, 2022 ~ 52 WEEKS THROUGH THE NEW TESTAMENT
JULY 22 READING…1 CORINTHIANS 12
Paul teaches us two important truths about how the church is to function. Both of them are based in unity. I remind you that Jesus’ last prayer on earth was that His church would have unity. This unity is always centered around Jesus…never merely because we have had a religious experience. Ecumenism is not biblical.
Paul tells us first that in the church unity comes through understanding biblical diversity is needed. It is the Holy Spirit that empowers and ministers through the church. It is He who we seek, and as we submit to Him He gives gifts to His people. Not everyone has the same gifts by design. The diversity of gifts enables the church to fully function, and makes sure that the ministry of God is carried out. Paul gives us a list of gifts, but these are in no way all the ways the Holy Spirit gifts the people in the church. It is important to remember we do not possess these gift…we are filled with the Holy Spirit, surrendered to Him…the gifts are His, manifested in us as He chooses.
Paul tells us the church is one body…not several. In the body there is the diversity that God has given. The Holy Spirit brings us into the body of Christ (this is the baptism of the Spirit), and then makes us the part of the body that we were created and gifted to be. Again, by design, we were never intended to be clones of one another…but uniquely a distinct part of the body according to God’s design. This could be a point of contention if we are upset that not everyone is just like us…or doing what we are doing. But, it really should be a point of celebration, and gratitude that God makes the body whole and complete as He makes us all different parts. There are many parts, but only one body. And, our uniqueness is God given that we might build up one another. So let me encourage you to submit to the Holy Spirit, let Him manifest Himself in and through you, that you might be used in God’s great plan. Let’s be the church.
Please share your thoughts from today’s reading.
MONDAY’S READING…1 CORINTHIANS 13 (you’re going to “love” this chapter )