Many Members, One Body


Growing up, my best friend’s mom used to repeat to her what I thought then was a peculiar thing to say every time she left the house. She would say to her daughter: “Remember you are a Smith and act that way.” I never really stopped to think about what she meant, but I knew she was telling my friend to be on her best behavior. The older I got, the more I understood that my friend’s mom was really reminding her that she was a member of a family, a part of a whole—what she chose to do or not do was a reflection on them all.

  • Do you ever think about how your choices reflect upon your earthly family? Your spiritual family?


3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function,5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. According to verse 3, how should believers not think of ourselves? How should we think of ourselves? What does this look like lived out in your everyday life?
  2. What do verses 4-5 say about the importance of both diversity and unity within the body of Christ?
  3. Paul listed some of the spiritual gifts God graciously gives when a person comes to faith in Christ. What are these seven gifts? Where do you think your giftedness lies within this list?
  4. In reference to the spiritual gifts, what is the command Paul gave in the middle of verse 6?
  5. If you are not using your gifts, how does it affect the body of Christ as a whole? Do you ever see not using your gifts as a selfish act? Why or why not?


This passage reminds us that because we all belong to the body of Christ, we are no longer solely our own. What you do affects me. What I do affects you. That is why it is so important for each of us to see ourselves accurately. We each have a role to fill, a function to serve in the body of Christ. We are diverse in personality and in position, but we are unified in the purpose of reaching a lost and hurting world for the cause of Christ. God has given every believer spiritual gifts. As Paul says, “Let us use them.”

  • Ask God to make you very aware of how he has specifically gifted you to serve others.
  • Ask him how you can make it a priority to seek out avenues to use your giftedness to reach as many people as possible to build the kingdom of God.