“For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;” (Romans 12:4–6, KJV 1900)
Prior to being called into the ministry, I worked as an engineer designing and building machinery. I would sit at a drawing board, with an end purpose in mind, design the complete machine assembly. By using engineering skills, I would carefully select available parts and design parts which we needed to manufacture for each sub-assembly and the complete machine. There were often hundreds of parts and components that were fitted together to make a functional machine. Each was absolutely essential for the correct function of the whole machine.
In the same way, the Lord has designed His church. However, the components of the church are not machine parts. Paul likens the church to a body, because it is a living organism so to speak, with each part having a living function. The components that make up this body are believers in Jesus.
The Lord’s design for the church is absolutely perfect and He has designed and created each believer perfectly for the church body to function properly. Paul wrote, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10, KJV 1900) The Lord has crafted each believer in a perfect way to do the works of ministry. In this crafting the Holy Spirit has manifested spiritual gifts in every believer. Just like in the machines I built, the components varied but were essential, so are the believers’ spiritual gifts in the church.
There are a variety of gifts, but the same Lord and the same Spirit. Every believer with his or her unique gifting is vitally important to the function of the local church. It behooves every believer to serve according to the grace given. For the function of the whole church to fulfill the Master’s design depends on every believer doing his or her part.