Jesus Christ has invested His church with self-sustaining spiritual gifts for the purpose of growth, edification, and the common good of all it’s members, and for the good of the world.
Jesus has also assigned these spiritual gifts to specific parts or functions within and without the Body, in order to accomplish His purposes in an orderly manner. God equips each part with the necessary spiritual gifts to be effective in the appointment to which they each have been called.
Paul has taught us in verses 12-26 that there is no static hierarchy in the Body of Christ, but that each part would have the same care one for another. And by doing so we avoid divisions in the Body.
He now lays out for us Christ’s organizational plan by which He will care for His people, and minister to this dying world.
The Body of Christ consists of many parts.
The first part Paul introduces to us is that of the Apostle.
Apostle: Sent one, Messenger.
The apostle is assigned to various geographical places and people groups. His role is to lead men and women to Jesus Christ, to establish and oversee the churches, to engage all principalities and powers (human and spiritual) with the truth of the gospel, by words and by demonstration, to evaluate doctrine and to establish sound doctrine, to teach and to train.
The apostolic gift is the broadest part of the Body of Christ, with wide ranging responsibilities. To accomplish the apostolic mission, the Holy Spirit allows the apostle access to all of the spiritual gifts.
Since the apostle may be the only individual representation of Christ to a people, until some become converted, it is essential that the apostle has the capacity to function in every role and fulfill the function of every part, at least for a season.