The aim of this devotional study is to reflect of the ecclesiastical / communal impact of one’s baptism into Christ through his Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:4-18, 26-27
4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.
7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–Jews or Greeks, slaves or free–and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell?
18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose…
26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. 27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
Observation and Application
- What is the overriding truth of this portion of Scripture?
- How do you understand Paul’s statement “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it”? (v27)
- Paul says that your conversion to Christ (symbolically through baptism) was an immersion into his body – the church. How does that make you feel and think of Christianity?
- From this text it seems that Paul had a very literal local congregation in mind – not just “the global church of Christ”. Where can you see this clearly in the passage?
- In which way have you been crafted and gifted by God to be a blessing to your local congregation?
Pray and ask God to show you where he has gifted you to serve in your local congregation; pray and write down your thoughts. If you have no clear answer, ask a friend to pray with you. Then tell your small group / Bible Study group leader.
Note: Don’t brush this one over without acting on it – this is one of those days when the Bible and your relationship with God becomes real and has a lasting impact on others.