Church is more than a building. Church is more than a worship service that takes place at a specific time on a Sunday morning. These two passages describe the church as a body. And these verses also help us to get a better grasp of Christ’s intentions for those who follow Him.
Think of Grace Church for a moment as a single body made up of one head and nearly 2000 other body parts. According to Ephesians 4:16, Christ is the head of this body. He is the one who gives impulses to the body parts so that He is honored and the body grows.
Meanwhile, individual believers are the 2000 parts. The Spirit of God has given to each one of them at least one spiritual gift – a special ability. He gives diverse gifts to every one of His kids. There is no room for pride or for jealousy when it comes to the type of gift(s) a person has. After all, the Holy Spirit is the one who distributes them according to His own purposes. Some of these gifts are more prominent and visible than others, but each person and each corresponding gift is essential.
When these 2000 people are collectively serving one another according to their gifting, the body functions best. Paul makes it clear that something is missing when a body part is not operating according to its purpose. It is only when these diversely gifted people leverage their gifting in the body of Christ that the church can become all that Christ intended it to be.
As followers of Jesus, then, we are to serve each other in the body of Christ. He never intended for His children to have an amputated relationship separate from the body of Christ. He never intended for His children to have a spectator relationship with the body of Christ watching it from a distance. He never intended for His children to have a parasitic relationship with the body of Christ, only receiving from the body of Christ. No, He intended for His children to both benefit from and contribute to body life.