As I’m sure some of you might be aware, in addition to a day in which a lot of us have a lot of leftovers filling our refrigerators, tonight happens to feature the college basketball National Championship game between Michigan and Villanova. Our passage this morning has a lot of comparisons between a healthy church and a good basketball team.
In 1 Corinthians 12:4, we are reminded that there are “diversities of gifts”, meaning that there are various spiritual gifts that God gives to individuals. Just as a good basketball team will feature team members with a variety of different skills, so to a healthy church will feature members with various skills and abilities that God has granted to each of us. The next several verses list some of those spiritual gifts, which we will not cover, but suffice it to say that it is generally accepted that God has granted each believer with at least one individual spiritual gift that He desires we use in and through a local church.
Verse fourteen reminds us that “the body is not one member, but many.” Just as a championship basketball is not just made up of one star player and a bunch of “nobodies” off the street, so to a healthy church will not be made up of a godly pastor and a bunch of “pew-warmers.” God desires for each of us to know what gifts and abilities He has gifted us with and actively look for opportunities to use them in the local body of Christ. Verse eighteen reminds us that He has “set” the members in the body as He has desired for a specific purpose.
Just as a winning basketball team needs to work together as a unit, with each team member contributing based on their individual skill and ability, so to a healthy New Testament church must function in a similar way. It is not just the pastor’s job to carry the responsibilities of the church while the rest of us offer the occasional helping hand, but instead God desires to use Anthony Baptist as each of us fills a necessary role in the advancement of the church, the Gospel and the overall work of God in this community. We need to avoid the temptation to just sit back and “enjoy” church but instead actively do our part so that Anthony Baptist functions to its optimal potential as God intended.