Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.2 Corinthians 3:17(NASB)
This verse is part of a passage about the use and abuse of spiritual gifts. It precedes Paul's examination of the Christian Church and explanation of our membership in the Body of Christ. Each member is unique in the sight of God and together we are God’s chosen vehicle on earth, through whom He makes Himself known to man.
We are God's representatives on earth during the Church dispensation and Paul began his teaching by explaining that each member is given their own distinctive gifts and unique ministry. Each manifestation of the Spirit in the life of a believer is for the common good of all Christians. Not everyone receives the same spiritual gifts, and each ministry is unique, yet varied.
Spiritual gifts, designated vocations, and all the good work that God has prepared for us to do, are given by the same Spirit for the glory of God and benefit of the entire Church. Paul is trying to convey an eternal principle - that the same Spirit works in the lives of all believers, but various gifts and spiritual manifestations are distributed to each individually - as He chooses. God is no respecter of persons and He alone apportions to each their particular gifts and spiritual graces.
It is in this context that Paul goes on to explain that although we are individual members of His Body – we are ONE in Christ. Though we all have unique gifts, graces, and ministries, we are members of the same Body with one single purpose: "For by ONE Spirit we were all baptised into ONE body," the Church. Although our gifts and ministries are unique to each believer, they should complement one another.
The spiritual Body of Christ is an exact representation of a physical, human body. It contains many parts - bones and ligaments, organs and muscles, secret parts and exposed areas. Every member is vital to the whole. Each is equipped to carry out different functions with unique responsibilities, yet ALL combine to ensure the efficient, elegant, and smooth functioning of the whole.
Paul explains that we became a member of the Body of Christ when we were born again. The moment we believed on Christ we were baptised into the Body of Christ. At salvation we were placed into the Body of Christ by ONE Spirit. When we were regenerated, we were removed from our old position in Adam to our new position in the Body of Christ: "For by ONE Spirit we were all baptised into ONE Body - whether Jews or Greeks; whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit."
It was on the day of Pentecost that the Church was born. It was on that unique day that by one Spirit, all the believers in the upper room were baptised into the Body of Christ. All ate of the same spiritual food and all drank for the same living fountain. All were placed into His Body "by the ONE Spirit," and throughout the Church dispensation the moment a sinner is saved by grace through faith, he is removed from his position in Adam and baptised into the Body of Christ, by the same Holy Spirit.
Although we all have different gifts, graces, ministries, and functions, there is no hierarchy of believers. God is no respecter of persons and in His eyes we all are equally important in the smooth functioning of the Body. We are all to work in obedience to Christ, our living Head, for there is no difference in status between believers. God does not differentiate between race or colour, gender or age, nationality or education, Jew or Greek, slave or free: "For by one Spirit we were all baptised into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit."
What a privilege it is to be a member of Christ's Body for we all eat of the same Bread of Life, we all drink from the same Living Water, and we all partake of the same Spirit of God. We all have the same indwelling Holy Spirit. We all partake of the same spiritual benefits. We all have the same heavenly inheritance and we are all equally loved by the same Lord Jesus Christ.
Heavenly Father, thank You that I am a full and equal member of the Church and that by Your grace I was baptised into the Body of Christ at my salvation. Thank You that I can partake of the same spiritual benefits that have been promised to all Your children. Thank You for the gifts, graces, benefits, and ministry You have seen fit to give to me, by Your grace. I pray that I may be a willing and obedient member of Christ's Body and fulfil all the work You have prepared for me to do - to Your praise and glory. This I ask in Jesus' name and for His eternal glory, AMEN.