The New Testament explains Christ's church by using different figures of speech or picture words. Some of those images that are equated to the church are the flock, the vineyard, the kingdom, the temple or tabernacle, the family or household, and the body. The apostle Paul uses the image of the body to instruct the Christians of the chruch of Christ as to the importance of each one of them, and their duties to each other, and to the one body of Jesus Christ.

Understanding the importance of each member and the body of Christ will help the children of God to know how to please their Father in heaven. Paul explained the significance of each member and the equality that exists in the body of Christ, when he wrote: "For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many are one body, being many are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body -- whether Jews or Greeks, whether salves or free -- and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many" (1 Cor. 12:12-14).

All the members of the body are necessary to the function of the body of Christ. Paul illustrates this lesson by using terminology like th foot, hand, ear, and eye to describe how each member is essential to the whole body. We can see how each member is necessary when we read: "If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one them, in the body just as He pleased" (1 Cor. 12:17 and 18). We need each other to function as God has determined No one is to be considered more important than any other member (1 Cor. 12:22-27).

We must all do our part. God has appointed different workers with different abilities in the church (1 Cor. 12:28,29). The members of the body have many functions, and each one must do his/her part to bring about a mature and strong body (Eph. 4: 11-16).

What can you do? Develop yourself and your abilities through study and practice. You can desire to be useful to the body of Christ and select a ministry to which you can be involved. You can trust that God in His grace has given you a gift in the ministry of serving, teaching, exhorting, giving, leading, and showing mercy (Rom. 12:4-8). It is time to be what God has called you to be. Make no excuses and step out of your fear in the power of the Spirit of God.

Jesus desires His body and each member to be alive with zeal, and active in every good work to the glory of His Father in heaven. That means each one of us, as members of His one body are doing the works He has asked us to do every day until He comes again.

By Ron Drumm

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