The Purpose of the Body


When was the last time you thought about your nose hair? I am going to venture a guess that it’s been somewhere between never and occasionally. Perhaps you have neglected to think on your nasal hair because you have forgotten its purpose. Hair in the nose is one of the body’s first lines of defense against harmful environmental pathogens such as germs, fungus, and spores. Another purpose for nose hair is to provide additional humidity to the inhaled air. As the air passes through the nasal passages, the mucus and hair provide heat and moisture.

  • How does remembering the purpose of something change the way you may think about it?


12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.

21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.


  1. Paul was writing to the church in Corinth, one of the chief cities of Greece at the time. Based on that information, why was it important that both Jews and Greeks, and slaves and free, were all listed as members of the one body?
  2. In Paul’s description of this many-membered body, what was the complaint of both the foot and the ear? What was the gripe of the eye and the head (vs. 21)?
  3. How were the members of the body arranged (vss. 18, 24)?
  4. Paul’s analogy of the physical body to the body of Christ is both simple and profound. What is the goal of this one body (vs. 26)?
  5. What is one specific way that you would relate differently to the body of Christ if you viewed other believers as members that must work together for the purposes of God?


The Corinthian church was having trouble getting along—because it was full of people! Some folks were puffed up and arrogant, while others felt deflated and unnecessary as they worked out how to relate to each other and use their spiritual gifts. We innately understand that if something is off in one part of our body, it impacts our whole body. God is calling us to use that same understanding as we relate to the other members of the body of Christ, the church. As when our body is ill or injured, we seek a physician and our immunity kicks in to restore health, so also should we seek God and support one another to build up and encourage the body of Christ.  

  • Ask God to help you remember your purpose to love him and his people.
  • Ask God to show you what he would have you do today as a member of the body of Christ.