"But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually
as He wills" (v. 11).
Spiritual gifts are not given out arbitrarily.
They are given solely by the Holy Spirit.
Verse 11 states that God distributes His gifts to "each one individually."
Every Christian has received at least one spiritual gift.
No one Christian has every gift, but every Christian has at least one spiritual gift.
Paul said in Romans 12:5-6: "So we, being many, are one body in Christ,
and individually members of one another.
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us."
1 Peter 4:10: "As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another,
as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." (1 Peter 4:10)
It doesn't matter who you are or how much you know, or how limited your abilities
may be -- you are a gifted Christian.
You have a ministry in your church.
God wants you to use your gifts, and if you don't use them, the church suffers.
Because you have a certain gift, you should not be arrogant or proud.
Spiritual gifts should not puff you up as they did the Corinthian church, but they should humble you.
You are important to God and He has placed you in His service and gifted you to do His will.
Your spiritual gift should make you confident of God's calling.
No Christian should ever say, "I am of no use to God,"
or "The church doesn't need me," or "There is no way God can use me."
Every Christian is a minister and every Christian has a ministry.
The ministry of the church is to be carried out as individual Christians exercise their spiritual gifts
in ministering to others.
To the extent that you do not exercise your spiritual gift, you hurt and hinder the ministry of the church.
Verse 11 says that the Spirit gives these gifts "as He wills."
The Holy Spirit determines the gift you will have.
It is not your choice.
You cannot determine your spiritual gift any more than where you were born or the color of your eyes.
The Holy Spirit sovereignly distributes these gifts as He wills.
He knows what is best for the body.
Some Christians practice "cafeteria Christianity."
They think they can select their spiritual gifts just as they choose food in a cafeteria.
"I'd like the gift of tongues please, but I don't want to teach."
Or, "I'd take the gift of healing, but I don't want the gift of giving."
But the Holy Spirit knows what is best, and He gives the gifts accordingly.
We must never be jealous of another who has a different gift.
Paul said, "For who makes you differ from one another?
And what do you have that you did not receive?
Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you glory as if you had not received it?" (1 Cor. 4:7)
All of us have been gifted differently, but we have been gifted exactly as God wills.
The Holy Spirit, in His divine wisdom, has given to each of us the gift, or gifts,
that will enable us to function most effectively in the body of Christ.
Why has the Holy Spirit distributed these gifts in such a fashion?
Why doesn't the Holy Spirit give every Christian every gift?
Or why doesn't He give every Christian the same gift?
These gifts are not given arbitrarily, but with a definite purpose in mind.
Verse 7, "But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all."
The word, "profit," literally means, "to bring together" or "to join together."
God has made us different that He might make us one.
In verse 12 Paul uses the analogy of a body, to illustrate that we are to be working together
just like the different parts of a body.
He uses this analogy to illustrate the purpose of spiritual gifts.
We are to be different from one another.
"For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body,
being many, are one body, so also is Christ." (v. 12)
All parts of our body are important, but they are all different.
We should thank God that they are.
If you had eyes for kidneys, you would be dead.
If you had kidneys for eyes, you would be ugly and blind.
But we have different bodily parts because each one has a different function.
There is not only unity in the body, but there is also diversity.
There is to be a unity in our diversity, but our diversity will strengthen our unity, not weaken it.
You are who you are, and I am who I am.
I'm gifted the way I'm gifted, and you are gifted the way you're gifted.
We are both different and we were meant to be different.
We were not meant to be the same.
We are to be dependent on one another.
It takes every part working together to have a healthy body that functions properly.
Every part of the body is dependent on all other parts to do its work.
Spiritual gifts teach us that we really do need each other.
That is Paul's point in verses 18-23.
The eye can do things the foot cannot do and the foot can do things the eye cannot do, but both need the other.
There is no such thing as "Ione-ranger Christianity."
There is no such thing as a Christian who does not need to be in church.
You don't have to go to church to be a Christian, but you need to go to be a growing and useful believer.
I also belive that you please God by being involved in a local church.
I believe every Christian should be involved and active in a local church.
You may be a foot in the body of Christ, but if you injure a foot; you cripple the body.
You may be an eye in the body, but if you are missing an eye; you will be blind.
Just as your body needs every part working together, so does the body of Christ.
Everybody is needed.
Not only is every member of the body equally needed, every member is equally important.
That is what Paul is telling us in verses 14-18.
Some of are outspoken, others are quiet.
Some are dynamic, some are low key.
Some are leaders, others are followers.
Some of us are more visible, some are inconspicuious.
But all of us are needed and all are important.
You have a gift.
I have a gift.
Our gifts are to be used together for God's work.
That means that everybody is somebody in His body.
I read of an old parable of some Tools that were having a meeting.
Brother Hammer was presiding, but the Tools had decided they no longer wanted
Brother Hammer to lead.
As a matter of fact, they wanted him kicked out of the Toot Chest because he was rough
and always made a lot of noise.
Brother Hammer heatedly responded, "Well, if I have to go, Brother Screw will have to go too,
because he is so lazy you have to turn him over and over to get him to do anything."
Brother Screw jumped up and said, "If I have to go, Brother Plane has to go.
All the work he ever does is just on the surface.
He never gets down to where the deep hard work is."
Brother Plane stood up and replied, "If I have to go so does Mr. Saw.
He has so many rough edges that he is always doing things that are very cutting."
Brother Saw jumped to his feet and said, "Well, if I have to go,
Mrs. Sandpaper has to go. She is so rough, and she's always rubbing people the wrong way."
The Tools were at one another's throat until the Carpenter from Nazareth took them all to His workbench.
Using each tool, He made a pulpit from which to preach the Word of God.
Then the Tools discovered that when they were yielded to the hands of the Carpenter,
they could be used working together to build something no one tool could alone.
Mr. Hammer addressed the Tools again and said, "It seems to me that when we work together
each doing what we were made to do, the Master can use us."
Then all the Tools cried out, "Mr. Hammer, you hit the nail right on the head!"
It really doesn't matter who gets the credit as long as the job is done and God gets the glory.
We are to be devoted to one another.
We are told in verses 24-26, "But God composed the body, having given greater honor
to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body,
but that the members should have the same care for one another.
And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored,
all the members rejoice with it."
That is exactly the way our body functions.
When we burn our right hand, our mouth says, "Ouch!"
Our brain say tells our hand to pull back.
We treat our burn and our body is happy again.
When one member hurts, the body hurts, because the many members are one body.
We are to be one in sorrow.
We are to be one in success.
We are to be one in remorse.
And we are to be one in rejoicing.
For we are all one body.
Prepared by Dr. Harold L. White