Chuck Foreman – Teaching Pastor
The BIG Idea in all the teaching about spiritual gifts in the New Testament is that God’s grace comes to us in the form of a gift, especially tailored for each of us, so that we can use this special ability to strengthen the Church, fulfilling a need, which if unmet, handicaps the Body.
Whatever gift, ability or talent we have received from our Creator as his image bearers and now as members of his Body, the Church, is not really for us. It’s for others. For every “gift” there is a corresponding need somewhere in the Body of Christ or in the community where the church lives and gathers. Our gifts, abilities and talents are intended, designed to meet those needs. When we use our gifts, not neglecting opportunities to serve, we flourish and so does the Body of Christ. In other words, when we each do our thing, the Body is enabled to do its thing.
The question for each of us then, is this: what are we doing, as members of the Body of Christ, to serve others? You see, our gifts are all about serving. (See 1 Peter 4:10-11 and 1 Corinthians 12; Romans 12) This implies the importance of community and the necessity for each of us to be in community. There is no way any of us can fulfill our role as members of Christ’s Body if we become detached from His Body. I’m talking about the Church, the Community of Faith. Solitary Christians are missing out. And the Body is handicapped when detached members (essential body parts) are not present and functioning as contributing body parts for the common good.
You have been given a gift, an ability to use to strengthen the church. But you can’t use it if you’re not in community. You miss out on what you were designed to do, a rich fulfillment God intends for you. And the church misses out on what you have to offer. It may limp along without you, but it would run in vibrant joy if you were there.