When people hear the phrase, "the body of Christ" some think it refers to the literal body of Jesus like the one he had while on the earth. The term actually refers to the members of his church throughout history. Therefore every Christian is a part of the body of Christ. Just like a human body, the body of Christ is made up of many different parts but all are meant to function together in unity. Limbs, when left alone are useless but when they come together there is movement and purpose. The ultimate purpose of every Christian is to glorify God. Imagine the power that comes from a church that functions as a whole unit with every body part in its place. Sadly, the Corinthian Christians were a bunch of separated limbs. I'm not sure where it was first told, but the story below sums it up well...
A carpenter’s tools were having a conference. Brother Hammer was presiding, but the others informed him that he’d have to leave because he was too noisy. "All right," he said, "I’ll go, but Brother Plane must withdraw too. There’s no depth to his work. It’s always on the surface." Brother Plane responded, "Well, Brother Rule will also have to go too. He’s constantly measuring people as if he were the only one who’s right." Brother Rule then complained about Brother Sandpaper, saying, "He’s rougher than he ought to be. He’s very abrasive and he's always rubbing people the wrong way." Brother Sandpaper was annoyed by Brother Saw, claiming that he had a very sharp and cutting personality. Brother Saw leveled his criticism at Brother Level, saying that he always tends to blame others for being crooked and unbalanced. Brother Level had a major problem with Brother Hand Drill, accusing him of coming along and sticking his long penetrating nose into other people's business. And wouldn't you know it, Brother Hand Drill was really bothered by Brother Clamp because Brother Clamp always seemed so uptight and never seemed relaxed. In the midst of this bitter discussion, the Carpenter of Nazareth walked in. He spoke sternly to all the tools, rebuked them, and told them to hold their peace. He shared with them that everyone of them had a purpose and that they were uniquely made to fulfill that purpose. He told them that everyone of them was important and had a special job to do. The Carpenter told them that He needed every one of them in order to do His work. He then went to His workbench to make a pulpit from which to preach the gospel. He used the hammer, the plane, the rule, the sandpaper, the saw, the level, the hand drill and the clamp. Not one tool was untouched or unused. After the pulpit was finished, Brother Rule arose and said, "I see now that all of us are laborers together with God." There's no such thing as an unemployed Christian in the church. We all have something to contribute and we all need each other to accomplish the work God has for us!
Pastor Timothy J. Atkins
Husband, Father, Grandfather, Pastor, Teacher, Discipler, and Follower of Jesus.