God’s highest purpose for His people is that they be built together into Christ’s image. In an effort to reach this all-inclusive goal, God employs two means: Spiritual life and spiritual gifts.
In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul makes a useful distinction between life and gift. The main difference between the two lies here: Gifts are used to minister. Life is that which is ministered. Stated simply, gifts are the tools; life is the content. Gifts are the utensils; life is the substance. Gifts are the instruments; life is the essence.
NT ministry is merely the release of Christ’s life from one person to another. Each believer has been given a ministry, and each ministry contributes something of Christ to His church and the world. It is for this reason that Paul likens ministry to a function of the physical body—some are eyes, others are hands, others are feet, etc. These different functions in the Body of Christ do not represent gifts. They instead represent ministries.[Continue Reading...]