For the month of January, our sermon series will focus on the importance of the entire Body of Christ. God has given us all unique gifts and callings to serve. We are not alone, for God is with us and God gifts us to serve together!
We have different gifts from the same God. All of our gifts are valuable, important and divine because they come from God. Everyone’s gift is needed and we need each other so we can live fully in community.
1 Corinthians 12:12-31 (Common English Bible)
12 Christ is just like the human body—a body is a unit and has many parts; and all the parts of the body are one body, even though there are many. 13 We were all baptized by one Spirit into one body, whether Jew or Greek, or slave or free, and we all were given one Spirit to drink. 14 Certainly the body isn’t one part but many. 15 If the foot says, “I’m not part of the body because I’m not a hand,” does that mean it’s not part of the body? 16 If the ear says, “I’m not part of the body because I’m not an eye,” does that mean it’s not part of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, what would happen to the hearing? And if the whole body were an ear, what would happen to the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God has placed each one of the parts in the body just like he wanted. 19 If all were one and the same body part, what would happen to the body? 20 But as it is, there are many parts but one body. 21 So the eye can’t say to the hand, “I don’t need you,” or in turn, the head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” 22 Instead, the parts of the body that people think are the weakest are the most necessary. 23 The parts of the body that we think are less honorable are the ones we honor the most. The private parts of our body that aren’t presentable are the ones that are given the most dignity. 24 The parts of our body that are presentable don’t need this. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the part with less honor 25 so that there won’t be division in the body and so the parts might have mutual concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part gets the glory, all the parts celebrate with it. 27 You are the body of Christ and parts of each other. 28 In the church, God has appointed first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, the ability to help others, leadership skills, different kinds of tongues. 29 All aren’t apostles, are they? All aren’t prophets, are they? All aren’t teachers, are they? All don’t perform miracles, do they? 30 All don’t have gifts of healing, do they? All don’t speak in different tongues, do they? All don’t interpret, do they? 31 Use your ambition to try to get the greater gifts. And I’m going to show you an even better way.
Bible Study Lesson
Gathering Time (5-10 minutes).
In pairs or groups of three, have participants share stories of those who were willing to offer acts of humble service.
Discussions Questions (Approximately 30 minutes)
- What point do you think Paul might be making by listing the “various kinds of tongues” last in his list of gifts (verses 28)?
- Paul observes that some gifts seem to have more “honor” than others. Which gifts are more esteemed or respected in your church? Which gifts are likely to be underappreciated?
- Paul is writing to an ethnically diverse church. What are the implications for the church today?
Prayer (10 minutes).
Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.
Sending Forth (2 minutes). End by praying the following or a similar prayer:
Gracious God, giver of every good and perfect gift and the provider of life, help us to see our dependence on you and how we are interconnected to others. May we appreciate all people’s giftedness and contributions to the body of Christ. Amen.