If you have spent any time in or around church, odds are you have heard talk about spiritual gifts, fellowship and the body of Christ. Newcomers to Christianity have the pleasure of trying to understand what biblical church means by these words. Unfortunately, those inside the church can be just as uninformed, myself included at one point.
Biblical church made of “living stones”
Peter addresses the importance of principles such as spiritual gifts, fellowship and the body of Christ. In 1 Peter 2:5 he says,
“You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
Not only that, we are being built into a spiritual house. Ask a non-Christian what is a spiritual house. They are likely to say a church building. Peter tells early Christians — and us — we are the Church.
While working in Zambia, Africa, I helped build a stone pillar fence to keep cows from eating the garden. The pillars came from misshapen, uncut rocks found in the river. Every stone had to fit into place in order to form a sturdy column. Likewise, we all have spiritual gifts God has designed to be crucial to the structure of his temple. 1 Corinthians 3:9 says,
“We are all God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.”
Willing to be used for God’s glory
God has built his Church. From before he made the foundations of the Earth, he knew us. His imperfect, jagged and lopsided stones. Going back to my bovine barricade example. What right do any of those stones have to say, “I am not good enough to be used here,” or “I am not ready for that position,” or “I would like to be on the other side”? I would assure them (if I could talk to rocks) not only are you right for this position, but your place is crucial to the structure of the pillar.”
We address God in the same way. “God, aren’t there other people who could do this better?” or “Is there not someone else who can go there?” or “Is there not someone who is more qualified to talk to them?” If we really knew what Peter meant about the biblical church, I bet our desire for God to use us would grow so much. God has given each one of us gifts that he has designed to be “acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
Unity in fellowship
We are all a part of the Holy Priesthood — designed to fit together, designed to be one. Jesus prays in John 17:20,
“They may all be one, just as You and I are one, as You are in Me, Father, and I in You, that they also might be in Us.”
God created us so we could unify with one another in fellowship. Each one of us has the gifting and responsibility to take up our position in the unified temple of God. God’s biblical Church.