Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. – 1 Corinthians 12:7 NIV
The model of the church as the body of Christ is a very common one in the New Testament. And this chapter is very instrumental in developing that model. Christ is the head of the body (Eph. 1:22-23). As believers, we are members together in the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:27). The Holy Spirit has baptized (or immersed) us into the body, regardless of who or what we once were (1 Cor. 12:13). In addition to bringing us into the body, the Holy Spirit also equips us to serve within the body by giving us spiritual gifts.
Spiritual Gifts Are for the Body of Christ
This chapter is about gifts. Most of us like receiving gifts. Generally a gift is given for me to enjoy. While I may share it with others, it is still mine. But the gifts talked about in this chapter are different. They are not really for me. They are for the common good of the body. Rather than being like a Christmas or birthday present given for my use, the gifts of the Spirit are given to me for the body, enabling the body to be more effective. The gifts of the Spirit are really gifts to the body of Christ.
If you are a believer, you are: a part of the body of Christ; equipped to enable the body; and needed by the rest of the body. The body will only be healthy and accomplishing it’s Great Commission task when each of us who are a part of it are faithful to be the effective body part we were equipped to be (Eph. 4:16). The body of Christ needs you, and me, and the gift(s) the Holy Spirit has given us. Let’s not let each other down. And, more importantly, let’s not let Christ, our head, down.