I have been listening to the Book of 1 Cornithians on cd , narrated by Blair Underwood. His rendering of the Scriptures is excellent and helps reveal nuances that one might miss in one’s silent reading of the Scriptures. As he reads (and I continue to listen repeatedly) Paul’s addressing the issue of the gifts in the church . Paul is explaining that the body of Christ in the Earth is one Body. And he compares the mystical Body of Christ to the human body. I began to see a correlation between the way God has organized the corporeal body to the mystical Body of Christ , i.e. the Church.
Paul says in v.12 (paraphrased) that just like the body is one unit but has many members so is the Body of Christ one Body but having many members. Here Paul is using the word “members” in the context of “parts” not human members per se. And the gifts are given as the Holy Spirit desires to distribute them as He wills. Paul names the gifts; Word of wisdom, Word of knowledge, Prophecy, Discerning of spirits, Special faith, Gifts of healings, Working of miracles, Diverse tongues and Interpretation of tongues. But just as God has placed and arranged the limbs and organs in the human body, each one just as He sees fit for use, Holy Spirit has arranged the “limbs & organs” in the Mystical Body of Christ.
Then I began to see that the gift of Prophecy was the eyes of the Body of Christ. Discerning of Spirits was the nose of the Body of Christ. Tongues and Interpretation of Tongues was the tongue in the Body of Christ. Word of Wisdom was the mouth. Word of Knowledge, the brain, Special faith was the heart and Gifts of healings was the touch. Working of miracles the hands.
There are other correlations that can be made as I am sure some of you will see other connections. I am just beginning to look into this in this new light. But Paul says that just as the body is not all one eye, or all one ear or all one nose, so Christ’s Body has diverse parts and each soul has his/her gift. The ear does not see and the nose does not hear. The foot cannot say it is not a part of the body because it is not the hand. But each member of our physical body has its particular function and it absolutely necessary to the well-being of that body. Even so, in the Mystical Body of Christ, each particular member has a gift and it may be similar to another, as in the same category that the Lord has chosen such as musicians or administrators or pastors or teachers or Helps, but each one is worked by that individual as to the portion God has bestowed on that individual. Some may have the same gift as another but in a different capacity. It is important to the spiritual welfare of the Body of Christ that each person (member) uses to highest ability his/her gift for the advancing of the Kingdom and not envy the gift of another.
It is exciting to think that we are spiritual members of Christ’s Body where He is the Head and we are the working parts being His hands, and His tongue and His mind and His heart and His healing power. We are truly one with Christ, a working spiritual organism. Let us use our gifts to their full capacity. Let us not envy one another’s gifts and be jealous of a brother or sister….any more than the ear can be jealous of the nose, or the eye jealous of the hand. Each one of us is a member in particular with just the right portion of gifting dispensed by an all-wise God. Let us be like the wise household servants who put their Master’s talents to work to the best of their ability and produced a greater percentage of yield for Him, the Master, Who is soon coming.