Paul talks about the gifts of the Spirit in I Corinthians 12. These gifts are used to edify the body. Verse 13 states, “For by one Spirit, we were all baptized into one body…” Is this talking about unity of the body or about regeneration, as we were adopted into a new family?
In a functional, working family, each member contributes to the good of the household. Taking out the garbage seems to be my special gifting. If the body is to flourish, each member needs to have a unique gift, just like a baseball team should have a variety of differently skilled players, not just all relief pitchers.
Our new spiritual family needs us to exercise our gifts that we were blessed with when we were baptized into God’s family. The Holy Spirit knew just what the body needed when He blessed us with gifts, so we wouldn’t all just be waiting in the bullpen for our chance to serve.
Ephesians 4:3-6 tells us we are one in the Spirit with one body (the church), one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one baptism, one faith, you get the picture… We are to be one in the same Spirit that dwells inside each one of us whether we are Baptist, Pentecostal, Lutheran, Calvinist, pre-trib, post-trib, or however you tend to divide God’s kingdom.
But in studying Theology, we find differences of opinion in Pneumatology, Ecclesiology, Eschatology, etc. And we find it easy to major on the minors. These things can take our eyes off the big picture- GOD. In 1 Corinthians 1:10-13, Paul wonders about the divisions in the Corinthian church (“‘I am of Paul’ and ‘I am of Apollos’ and ‘I am of Cephas'”). Just like in our churches today, its easy to get puffed up over the way we do things in comparison to others (Our worship team is better than yours neener neener). If we actually did “test the Spirits” we might find we’re more the same than we would care to admit.