Mystical Body Gifts
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24. Mystical Body Gifts

Constantly Changing Kaleidoscope

First Martyr Saint StephenRoles develop as the Household Body matures. In God's plan, tasks change as we acquire new skills and God-given gifts. Early Church leaders appointed those with spiritual gifts to be responsible for the work. In Acts 6.5-6, we read, "They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them."

Newly Received Gifts

The Acts of the Apostles describe Stephen as one of seven deacons waiting on tables, but later we find him preaching and healing in the open-air as an evangelist. We see this new calling or ministry in Acts 6.6, "Now Stephen, a man full of God's grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people." His work altered as God blossomed forth new gifts within him. His role developed in the constantly changing kaleidoscope of the Body of Christ. The pool of gifted persons in the Household Body ebbs and flows as Christians leave, and others take their place. Newly acquired skills and training mature us little by little spiritually, and so the body develops. A sudden death precipitates an imbalance as if you amputated a hand. After grieving, the group forms again to the new reality without that person, and eventually, a replacement continues the body's entire ministry.

Christ's Spiritual Gifts

GiftDeveloping Christ's spiritual gifts is like becoming a helping hand in your household Body of Christ. The Household Body does not permit jealousy. You should not be proud because you possess a gift that someone else does not. Nor should you become envious when another receives a sought-after talent. Saint Paul writes in Romans 12.6, "We have different gifts according to the grace given us." It is God himself who decides what gifts each of us should have. God gives gifts, and he knows best. Dr. Michael Green writes, "While some of us might in all humility see ourselves as hands and feet or yet more modestly as a congregational body's fingers and toes, any individual who claimed to be the church's foot might rightly appear too big for his boots!"

A Big Toe

A friend once said, "I don't expect to be a the Body of Christ's big toe all my life." The various parts of the human body need one another and should work together. Saint Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 12.21, "The eye cannot say to the hand, 'I don't need you!'" Imagine you are strolling along the road, and a snarling dog races up behind you. Your ears hear the growling first and immediately flash a message to your brain. Your arm muscles react instantaneously and pull your hand away to safety! In this way, your body protects your fragile fingers from the dog's snarling jaws. The parts intentionally work in harmony for the body's good.✞

"Mystical Body Gifts"
by Ron Meacock © 2021

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