all of I Corinthians 12. In the words after our text he tells us: The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body – whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free. Paul is saying that the Holy Christian Church, the total of all those who believe in Jesus, is made up of different people, of many different nationalities with many different skills and abilities.
But in our text Paul shows that this is also the case in a congregation of believers. He says:
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. He points out that in a Christian congregation there are different kinds of gifts. There are different kinds of abilities. There are different kinds of skills. Yet the key here is that he says: But the same God works all of them in all men.
Then if you read on he says: Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. He then lists the special gifts that were given to the church at that time. We are not going to talk about them individually. Please remember that these were gifts that people needed in the church of that time and that they were given by the Lord.
Here is the list: The message of wisdom...to another the message of knowledge...to another faith...to another gifts of healing...to another miraculous powers...to another prophecy...to another distinguishing between spirits...to another speaking in different kinds of tongues. These were the gifts that were needed by the church of that time.
While we are not going to speak about them individually, we note what Paul says of all of them:
All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and He gives them to each one, just as He determines. Where do these gifts come from? Paul answers that: All these are the work of one and the same Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives different gifts to different people so that the message of salvation will be preached.
Do you suppose there were some in the church that said, Apollos over there has so many gifts. He has such knowledge. He can even speak in foreign languages. Pricilla has such gifts. Look at the fine art work that she made for the church. When we have a church supper, no one can top her casserole. Look how she can teach the little kids. And Amos ? what a beautiful voice as he leads us in singing.
In our Scripture lessons for today, we saw how Jesus sent out the disciples to preach the message of salvation. Did they all have the same ability? Of course not! Yet each served faithfully in the church. Amos recalled how God called him when he was just a shepherd boy and God used his abilities to carry His message to the people. In I Timothy Paul reminds us again that certain abilities are required for certain positions in the church. But all have some skill or ability that God can use in his church.
So what skill do you have? Could you serve on the church council? Could you serve on another board of committee? Could you build something for the church? Could you usher? Could you be a greeter? Could you sing in the choir? Could you teach Sunday school? Could you clean the