SPIRITUAL GIFTS BEING CHRIST HIMSELF
Not only should our service be Christ, but our spiritual ability should also be Christ Himself. What is spiritual ability? Christians often mention the word gift. A gift is a spiritual ability. For example, if you are able to preach the word, this is your spiritual ability. If you preach the gospel better than others and bring many people to salvation, this is your spiritual ability. Some have this kind of ability, and others do not. The Bible shows us that there are many gifts, but we must understand that spiritual gifts are Christ Himself. Spiritual gifts, spiritual abilities, come through the Holy Spirit and are functions of Christ in man.
First Corinthians shows us that the church is the Body of Christ and that every saved one is a member of the Body. In the human body, the blood circulation of the members is the blood circulation of the body, and the blood circulation of the body is the blood circulation of the members. The blood circulation of the ears is the blood circulation of the body, and the life of the ears is the life of the body, the life of the head. Thus, the life in Christ, the Head, and the life in the church, the Body, are both Christ Himself.
EVERY MEMBER OF THE BODY OF CHRIST HAVING A FUNCTION
The same life has the same blood circulation. When this life comes to the ears, it becomes the life of the ears, and when this life comes to the eyes, it becomes the life of the eyes. There is only one kind of life in the body, and there is only one blood circulation in the body. The life and the blood circulation are the same in every part of our body. Moreover, it is wonderful that when the life and the blood reach the eyes, the eyes can see; when the life and the blood reach the ears, the ears can hear. This life, this blood circulation, enables every part of the body to have its own function.
A newborn baby can barely see with its eyes, hear with its ears, walk with its feet, or do things with its hands. The baby’s four limbs are all there and more or less have some function, yet they are not fully developed. Just as every member of our physical body has its own function, as saved ones and members of the Body of Christ, we each have our own function. The function of the ears is to hear. Hearing is the ability of the ears, which in biblical terms, is the gift of the ears. Hence, one’s gift is one’s function. The Bible tells us that some in the church can speak for the Lord and preach the gospel as the mouth. This kind of speaking is a gift and is referred to in the Bible as prophesying. Some may not possess this kind of gift and function, but those who do have the prophesying gift may not possess the gift and function that others have. To illustrate, the feet cannot speak, but they can walk; the hands cannot walk, but they can do things; the mouth cannot do things, but it can prophesy. This shows us that the hands have the gift of doing things, the nose has the gift of smelling, and the mouth has the gift of prophesying. Actually, these gifts are the functions of the different members.
(The Crucified Christ, Chapter 14, by Witness Lee)