I Corinthians 12

7-A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. 11-He alone decides which gift each person should have. 13-But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit. 20-21- Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” 25- all the members care for each other.

We had an exciting time together last night at the NH State prison as we spent 2 ½ hours in our small group study. As we were leaving one of the inmates saw my little finger and said, “There must be a story behind that!” You see, my little finger was broken and there is an interesting story behind it. It was never set and so from the knuckle up it angles to the right (it is on my right hand) at a 45 degree angle. It was broken back in the early 90’s and has been a conversation piece ever since.

Parts of the body are taken for granted until something happens to one. My oldest daughter, Rebecca, had her spleen removed after a car accident. Others have had a kidney removed or some extremity amputated. Still others have lost eyes and some have had even half of their brain removed. People can still function, but not to the full degree they did when those parts of the body were present or not broken.

The parts of our physical body are to help each other and work in harmony. This is how God designed the body and one part cannot say it is independent of another. No, the physical body is interdependent and each part needs the other to fully function.

So it is in the body of Christ. Those who know the Lord Jesus Christ have at least one spiritual gift. The gifts are given to each member of the body of Christ to help each other. Those saying they do not need the body, by saying they don’t need to go to church (meaning they don’t need to be a part of the local church) don’t understand these verses about the church. Being part of a local church is about serving others, caring for others and living in harmony. Just as the physical body cannot say it doesn’t need the heart or brain or lungs, so it is just as certain that a follower of Jesus Christ cannot say they do not need other members of the body of Christ, the church. To do so is a total misunderstanding of what the church is, their role in the church and the roles of others in the church.

It is the Holy Spirit of God that baptizes us into the body of Christ. That happens when we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and He places us in the universal church. Remember He also gives as at least one spiritual gift “so we can help each other.” How can you help others in the church if you are not part of a local church? If you are not part of a local church then you are not fulfilling God’s intended purposes for you. It is impossible to do so apart for the church.

There are many excuses given for not being part of a local church, but there are no Biblical reasons that would support those excuses. May we all be faithfully serving as part of a local church by using the giftedness the Lord God Almighty gave to us. May it be so!

Dear Father, thank You for the Body of Christ, the church and for me being able to be a part of it. May I faithfully serve for Your honor and glory and in the authority of Jesus.

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