The Healthy Church
1 Corinthians 12:12-31
In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian church, chapter 12 teaches on spiritual gifts and on the healthy functioning of the church. Paul describes the church as made up of many members, but one body.
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. 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.
1 Corinthians 12:12-13
He continues to elaborate on the various parts of the body, each having its own purpose and function, and each interdependent on all of the other parts. Just because one part may be more prominent or more “honorable” than others doesn’t make other parts unnecessary or less important. On the contrary, “God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another”. (1 Corinthians 12:24b-25) The healthy church should support and care for one another.
Verse 27 states, “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” Think about that. We, the Church, all together, are the body of Christ. Paul describes the church this way in Ephesians, “Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:20b-22) The healthy church is built on Jesus and seeks to be a holy dwelling place for God.
The Church is the body of Christ. The Church is the dwelling place for God. The healthy church works together with each member doing their part. Individual members don’t seek individual attention for doing their part, they humbly do it for the good of the body. And this brings glory to God in a unique way.
Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.