“God’s various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God himself is behind it all. Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kind of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! The variety is wonderful… All these gifts have a common origin, but are handed out one by one by the on Spirit of God. He decides who gets what and when.
You can easily enough see how this kind of thing works by looking no further than your own body. Your body has many parts- limbs, organs, cells- but no matter how many parts you can name, you’re still one body. It’s exactly the same with Christ. By means of his one Spirit, we all said good-bye to our partial and piecemeal lives. We each used to independently call our own shots, but then we entered into a large and integrated life in which he has the final say in everything,… The old labels we once used to identify ourselves- labels like Jew or Greek, slave or free- are no longer useful. We needed something larger and more comprehensive.
I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less. A body isn’t just a single part blown up into something huge. It’s all different-but-similar parts arranged and functioning together . If Foot said, “I’m not elegant like Hand, embellished with rings; I guess I don’t belong to this body,” he would still be a part of the body nonetheless. If Ear said, “I’m not beautiful like Eye, limpid and expressive; I don’t deserve a place on the head,” would you want to remove it from the body? If the body was all eye, how could it hear? If all ear, how could it smell? As it is, we see that God has carefully placed each part of the body right were he wanted it.
But I also want you to think about how this keeps your significance from getting blown up into self-importance. For no mater how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of. An enormous eye or a gigantic hand wouldn’t be a body, but a monster. What we have is one body with many parts, each its proper size and in its proper place. No part is important on its own. Can you imagine Eye telling Hand, “Get lost, I don’t need you”? Or Head telling Foot, “You’re fired; your job has been phased out”? As a matter of fact, the more basic parts are more necessary… If you had to choose, wouldn’t you prefer good digestion to luxurious hair?
The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don’t, the parts we see and the parts we don’t. If one part hurt, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance.
You are Christ’s body- that’s who you are! You must never forget this. Only as you accept your part of that body does your “part” mean anything. You’re familiar with some of the parts that God has formed in his church, which is his body: Apostles (missionaries), Prophets, teachers, miracle workers, healers, helpers, organizers, those who pray in tongues. But it’s obvious by now, isn’t it, that Christ’s church is a complete Body and not a gigantic, uni-dimensional part? It’s not all Apostle/Missionary, not all Prophet, not all Miracle Worker, not all Healer etc.” (I Corinthians 12, The Message Version)