Unity in Diversity
I Corinthians 12: 7 -11
7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. 8 To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge 9 The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. 10 He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. 11 It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.
Paul writes a response to Corinthian church’s letter to him. He covers many topics in this letter but none more important than the division of the church that had become a destructive practice influenced by the culture in Corinth. The church was becoming more like the culture instead of shaping culture with the love of God. Paul takes his time in presenting a case for unity.
In verses 7 – 11 Paul gives a list of spiritual gifts but sums it up with v.11 “The Spirit distributes all these gifts and assigns them to whomever he wants.” He follows up with a bright analogy that anyone can understand. The body of Christ is likened to the human body, one member but many parts. The head cannot say to the foot that I don’t need you. Charles Ryrie says, “The constitutions both of the human body and of the Body of Christ demand that all members (even those that seem unimportant) function in harmony. Finally, the need for mutual dependence, respect, and are for each other is emphasized in verses 21 - 31.”
No one person is more important than the other and all have a role to play in building the church and proclaiming God’s message. The purpose of the distribution of gifts is more important than the gifts themselves! Queen Latifah had a popular song in the 90’s and its message relevant yesterday, today, and forevermore…U-N-I-T-Y!
O taste and see that the Lord is good. In His presence and with His people