|The amigos are Rick and Royce inside a simply constructed church on the Amazon. They have led medical, construction, and evangelism teams down there for nearly a decade.|
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God -- this is your spiritual act of worship… Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its desires… rather offer yourselves [your bodies] to God… and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness… ~ Romans 12:1; 6:12-13
Every personnel on an aircraft carrier is specifically trained to carry out an important mission (See: Equipped: part 1). Not all of them will climb into a supersonic jet and be catapulted off the deck. But the jets and pilots are absolutely dependent upon those who maintain, re-arm, refuel, and receive them after they hit a short, floating runway at two hundred plus miles per hour that may be pitching and bucking like a wild bronco. Imagine the results, if in the midst of the dangerous drama everyone stood around comparing their credentials, validating that they belonged on the ship, checking out other shipmates colors, and discussing whose job was more important, rather than springing into action working like a cohesive unit ensuring that each of them carried out their mission in the successful operation of an aircraft carrier.
Our spiritual gifting is similar. By God's mercy we are placed in the body of Christ for the purpose of: serving God, serving one another, and for the overall good of a mission much larger than we can fully comprehend (Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4; 1 Peter 4). But Paul makes it crystal clear that Spiritual gifts cannot operate unless our physical bodies are given over to their Giver's purposes. Not one Spiritual gift is functional apart from our bodies being set apart as a holy and a living sacrifice. Credentials, validating who's on board, and comparing our importance does nothing to please our Holy God. Faith can never be separated from our physical bodies being offered for spiritual acts of worship.
The Apostle Paul was laying that foundation as he proceeded toward describing spiritual gifts later on in this letter to the Romans...