Caring for One Another

Spiritual Gifts and Ministries

The subject matter of 1 Corinthians 12 is spiritual gifts and ministries within the church, the body of Christ. And this is speaking of the universal body of Christ of which all genuine believers in Jesus Christ are members. We need no other membership other than to be members of Christ’s body, his church. And his church is not a building or a church denomination or a business or a corporation under the state, although many people have made it that. We the church are the people of God by God-given faith in Jesus Christ.

So, the church is not some organization of men that you go to on a somewhat regular basis. Now we may attend gatherings of the church, but in the truest sense a gathering of the church is a gathering of transformed of the Spirit of God believers in Christ who are walking according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh, who have been crucified with Christ in death to sin and raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Rom 6 & 8; Eph 4:17-24).

And the purpose of the church, the body of Christ, is to minister to the body of Christ via spiritual gifts and ministries given to us and assigned to us by God. It is so that we can encourage and exhort one another and urge one another in our walks of obedience and in holiness, and in the forsaking of sin. It is so that we can instruct one another and speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, and this means TO ONE ANOTHER for our mutual edification and encouragement (exhortation, urging).

And we are to speak the truth in love one to the other so that we are not led astray by false doctrines being taught by false shepherds of the people in their deceitful scheming, and so that we all grow together to spiritual maturity in Christ, and so that we are all now living holy and godly lives pleasing to the Lord, and so we are not led astray by the deceitfulness of sin. And this is accomplished as EACH PART DOES ITS WORK, meaning we are all necessary to the proper growth and maturity of the body of Christ.

Body of Christ Ministry: [Matt 5:13-16; Matt 28:18-20; Lu 9:23-26; Jn. 4:31-38; Jn. 13:13-17; Jn 14:12; Ac 1:8; Ac 2:42-47; Ac 26:18; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Rom 10:14-15; Rom 12:1-8; Gal 5:16-21; 1 Co 3:9,16-17; 1 Co 6:19-20; 1 Co 12:1-31; 2 Co 5:1; 2 Co 6:14-16; Eph 1:4,22; Eph 2:19-22; Eph 4:1-32; Eph 5:17-30; Col 1:18-24; Col 2:19; Col 3:12-16; 2 Tim 1:9; 2 Tim 2:21; 1 Pet 1:13-16; 1 Pet 2:4-9,21; Titus 2:11-14; Heb 3:13; Jude 1:20-21; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10]

1 Corinthians 12:21-26 ESV

The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But 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. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

We are All Necessary

Now, it goes without saying that if we are those who are giving lip service to our Lord only but our lifestyles are dishonoring to the Lord because we are living according to the flesh and not according to the Spirit, and because sin is still our practice and righteousness, holiness, and walks of obedience to our Lord are not what we practice, that we most likely are not in genuine relationship with Jesus Christ, and thus we are not an essential part of the body of Christ. For if we are not walking according to the Spirit we can’t be used of the Spirit of God to minister his grace to the rest of the body.

Now this is certainly not implying that all to whom this was addressed were living perfect lives. Otherwise they wouldn’t have needed some of these instructions. But the Scriptures do set down the essentials of what it means to be “in Christ” and it has to do with us no longer walking (in conduct, in practice) according to our sinful flesh, but us now walking according to (in agreement with) the Spirit of God in how we live and in how we conduct our lives day in and day out. Sin cannot be our practice, in other words, but righteousness and obedience to Christ must be our practice.

Now, what this is teaching here is that, as the body of Christ, we are all to have a part, an assignment from God, where God uses us and the gifts he has given to us to minister to the rest of the body of Christ. Now, I am going to use a personal example here, so you can fill in here your story of what God has called you to do and how he is using you in the body of Christ to minister God’s love and grace to your fellow believers in Jesus Christ. But it needs to be biblical and spiritual and not just about doing good deeds, though those are essential, too. But the world can do good deeds, too.

Okay, so I began teaching the Scriptures when I was 16 years old and I am now 72, although I did not always teach the Scriptures. But early on I knew what God’s calling was on my life. I knew I had a similar call as Jeremiah, but not as a prophet, but as one who must speak the words of the Scriptures to others even if the messages are hard for them to hear and even if they do not want to hear them and even if they fight against me, and that has happened all throughout my adult life pretty much. And so the Lord took me through a lot of hardships in my life to prepare me for this ministry.

And I am sharing this with you because what this passage of Scripture is warning us against is saying to any part of the body that we don’t need them. Now, again, if someone proclaiming faith in Jesus Christ is living in sin and not in righteousness, they need to first of all surrender their lives to Christ and forsake their sinful practices and walk in obedience to the Lord, not in sinless perfection necessarily, for we are all still human. For if you are living in sin you cannot help the rest of the body of Christ to walk in holiness and in righteousness and in obedience to the Lord.

But with regards to those who are committed to Christ and to walking in his ways and his truth, who are not living a lie, and who are not living in sin, God has an assignment for each one of us in his body, and he has gifted each of us individually in ways that are to be used in order to minister to the body of Christ, like he has had me write songs and poems and devotions and now he is having me make talk videos where I am sharing the truths of the Scriptures on the internet where these writings and videos can be taken to people across the world. This is my assignment from God.

But there are Christians and pastors who are saying to me and who have said to me, “We have no need of you” or “we don’t want you” or “you don’t fit so go someplace else.” Why? Because I am sharing the truths of the Scriptures in a time in America when many pastors are diluting the gospel message to make it more acceptable to human flesh, and where many pastors have turned “the church” into a marketplace to be marketed to the world just like any other business and so they aren’t following God’s design for the church, but the marketing schemes of men for how to “build the church.”

So, if you are speaking the truth of the Scriptures, and if you are following Christ in obedience to his ways, don’t be surprised if you are being told, “We have no need of you.” For they don’t want you if you do not fit into their marketing goals and plans. And many of them are teaching against teaching the true gospel so as not to offend the people of the world who they are trying to draw into their gatherings of what they call “church.” And then don’t be surprised that after they kick you to the curb that they accuse you of sinning against God because you are not attending one of their institutional churches. Ouch!

But listen to the words of the Lord. There is not to be division in the body of Christ. There is not to be this “go someplace else” kind of thing. We are all to have equal care and concern for one another, and if one member suffers, all should suffer together. But that is rarely happening on a spiritual level. Like if you get rejected because you are doing what the Scriptures teach you should do, if what you are doing is not culturally acceptable, then you may not have any love or support when you are told “We have no need of you.” So, just be sensitive to this. We need to not treat other Christians like this.

Above All

By Paul Baloche / Lenny Leblanc

Above all powers above all kings
Above all nature and all created things
Above all wisdom and all the ways of man
You were here before the world began

Above all kingdoms above all thrones
Above all wonders the world has ever known
Above all wealth and treasures of the earth
There’s no way to measure what You’re worth

Crucified laid behind the stone
You lived to die rejected and alone
Like a Rose trampled on the ground
You took the fall and thought of me
Above all

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