1 Corinthians 12:12-31 Unity and Diversity of the Body, of the Church

In tune with Paul’s teaching about diversity among Christians, the apostle now makes a comparison between the church and the body whereas each part, vital of not plays its role according to God’s perfect plan.

12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.” (1 Corinthians 12:12)

Paul’s goal was to inspire believers in Corinth to unite as one church much like the various parts of the body. Though numerous, the various parts are essentially what make up the body which is the church, and which is Christ.

13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:13)

Using baptism in the Holy Spirit as a gateway to unity through faith in Christ, all those who repent of their sins and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior are grafted to the body that is the church. All those who believe are invited to drink from the spiritual well from which is drawn salvation that leads to eternal life.

14 For in fact the body is not one member but many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body?” (1 Corinthians 12:14-16)

Reiterating the fact the church is made up of many different people working in harmony with each other, Paul points out the fact all members of the church are to be considered essential just as the various parts of the body.

17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. 19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be? 20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary.” (1 Corinthians 12:17-22)

The apostle points out the various roles within the church which are in tune with each person’s gifts, given onto them by God according to His perfect plan. Since no one person can be all things to all people, every member of the church is needed to perform their duty with respect for other part of the body, other members of the church. No one member of the church should be arrogant or boast about his role within the church.

23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, 24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.” (1 Corinthians 12:23-25)

Because every body part has a predestined place and role on the body, so do servants within the church. Those whose works are visible should not look down to servants whose involvement is not seen, since the harvest is a result of the whole body rather than only one part. All members of the church should treat one another with Christ like love and utmost respect.

26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.” (1 Corinthians 12:26)

Once again bringing up unity, Paul calls on members of the Corinthian church to rely on each other for support and comfort. Believers should also share in rejoicing when blessings are bestowed upon them as a result of good works, either seen or unseen.

27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. 28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.” (1 Corinthians 12:27-31)

Paul lists the order by which the various parts of the church were created. While some roles are inevitably more vital than others, every member of the church should be thankful for God given gifts as we continuously seek higher levels of responsibility in tune with our spiritual maturity.

No matter the role or importance of our involvement in the church, we should be humbled by God’s plan as we strive to advance the gospel, empowered with the Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ. Let us pray!

Father God;
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Paul,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.

Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.

God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.

May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.

We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.

Praise God,
Amen!

This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre
Email: DanielStPierre@ThriveThroughChrist.com

Posted in Bible Studies.