Theme: Paul identifies the different dynamics of the human body that illustrate the principles under which the various spiritual gifts operate in the church.
In this section, Paul is dealing with the problem of the abuse of spiritual gifts within the church. In order to set the gifts in their proper context, he uses the human body as an illustration of the church—showing how the various parts operate in such a way as to edify the whole (see also Ephesians 4:11-16).
#1: ANIMATION (vv. 4-6).
All the individual parts of a body share a common “life” with one another.
In this case, the common principle of life is the Triune God. The Spirit, the Son (the Lord), and The Father (God) are all three in operation in the ministry of the body. Each member of the Trinity assumes a unique role; but all are involved.
#2: DESIGN (vv. 7-11).
Each part is uniquely equipped and arranged to serve the needs of the others.
The Holy Spirit gives each gift (manifestation) to whomever He choses. The gifts differ in function; but the single purpose is for the profit of all. One in the same Spirit works all of these things intentionally and purposefully.
#3: UNITY (vv. 12-13).
A diversity of parts are joined together to form just one body.
Each individual member that the Spirit gifts is a unique member in and of themselves; but they are all formed together in such a way as to constitute one body—just as each of our own bodies are constituted of many different members with different functions. They are nevertheless formed into one body.
#4: VARIETY (vv. 14-19).
A body requires a distinction in the operation of its parts in order to function.
If the whole body were one part—with one function and one operation—there would be no body. The differences between them are essential in order for each individual part to fulfill it's designed role.
#5: INTERDEPENDENCY (vv. 20-22).
Each part of the body needs the others in order to function.
One part of the body cannot boast that it has no need of the others. Certain parts of the body would be absolutely without capability to function if it weren't for other different parts of the body supporting its role.
#6: NURTURE (vv. 23-25).
All the individual parts must care for each another.
Certain parts of the body are "presentable" and need no special care. Other parts of the body are "unpresentable" and need greater modesty. Some parts need special protection; and other parts are necessary for the purpose of protecting them. No part is unnecessary; so all parts need common nurture.
#7: MUTUALITY (v. 26).
All the individual parts share together in suffering or honor.
If you drop a rock on your foot, your whole body hops in pain. If your mind work hard to earn an accademic degree, your whole body is awarded the diploma. Likewise, God has constituted the church so that when one part is honored, the whole is honored; or so that when one part suffers, all the members of the body suffer together.[