For the proclamation of the Gospel and the edification of the Body of Christ
The Function of Each Member
There is often talk about the Christians’ excess of activities. On the other hand, we also cannot ignore the inactivity of many members of Christ's body. Thus, both are harmful to the Lord's Church.
The Spirit, in his wisdom, uses the example of the human body to teach us about the function of each member in the body of Christ: "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many" (1 Cor. 12:12-14).
Why does the Spirit first affirm in verse 12 that Christ is a body made up of many members? Isn't Christ the head of the body that is the church, and we its members? Yes, but whether it's the body, the limbs or the head, it's all Christ. It's all his; everything comes for him, and it is all for him (Rom. 11:36).
We are, individually, members of the body of Christ but one body in Christ (Rom. 12:5). Individually, members of one another and, collectively, members of Christ (1 Cor. 6:15). Each member has a gift, a service, a function, but everything comes from Christ. Everything is a gift, everything is by grace; nothing is by man’s choice or capacity (John 3.27); everything comes from above (James 1:17).
Our lack of understanding has made us make many mistakes out of ignorance or convenience. If we assume functions that belong to other members, we are incurring something serious because a single member cannot have on the Lord's side all the gifts, ministries, and functions. If we're acting like this, we're running over the roles of other members of the body.
Thus, it will be impossible to do well that for which we were not trained by Christ, and we will certainly not be fulfilling our true function with diligence and care. But we may also make the mistake of remaining inactive. Many don't perform their role, either for convenience or because they say they don't know their role.
Each one of us needs to know in Christ our role in the body, and for this we have to take the way of the Cross. In any circumstance, the way is to deny ourselves, to take our cross every day and follow him (Luke 9:23). Each member has his or her gift and service in the body of Christ. Some weak, some strong. For God, all functions are important because it is not us but Christ. Everything that is not of Christ is ours and needs to be treated by the Spirit, so that the just operation of each party may grow for the building up of all in love.