Thursday Theology

One Church,

One Body -- by Virgil Stripes

1 Corinthians 12:12-31 (ESV)

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. 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.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.

The Corinthian Church had issues. Many issues. Paul had received a letter from them asking about how to decide on many things. Sexual immorality, eating food sacrificed to idols, how much honor to give certain members of the church...

Paul explains here in chapter 12, and continues in chapters 13 and 14 that each member of the church has a role to fulfill. No one is more important than the others. If anything, he says in chapter 13, love is the most important gift. So we should apply this to ourselves as well. No one in the church is more important than the others. We are all to use whatever gifts, abilities, and talents to love one another. We are to support and help one another. In practical terms, this means that because we are all members of Christ, we need to care for each other as if we are caring for Christ. What would we do for Christ? If we see Christ in one another, what will we deny each other? NOTHING!

So as I go about my day, I will seek the benefit of others. If a brother or sister needs me, or some talent or gift I believe I have, I will give as unto the Lord.

Will you join me?

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