1 Corinthians 12 … Consider His Body

Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it, (12:27).

I think all too often, I lose sight of the truths about His Body; I lose sight of the bigger picture. As the saying goes, “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” Unfortunately, sometimes my eyes get fixated on the trees (my own self, my own family and my local church) and I can’t see the forest, His Body of believers across the globe. And sadly, all too often, I myself become the bigger picture.

In this analogy of the Body, Paul expounds on God’s plan and design for His church; we are to function collectively; and as His Body, we are an interdependent entity.

According to the truth of His Word, God established His church as a living being, knit together in Him and for Him, to build one another up, to represent Him and to bring Him glory.

And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; (Ephesians 4:11-12).

He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything, (Colossians 1:18).

Consider His Body

We are His Body, created by His Holy Spirit:

Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed”; and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. 4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons, (12:4-6).

  • We are His Body, created for the Common Good.
    • But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good, (12:7).
  • We are His Body, created by His Will.
    • But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills, (12:11).
  • We are His Body, created for Unity.
    • For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit, (12:12-13).
  • We are His Body, created as He Desired.
    • But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. 19 If they were all one member, where would the body be? (12:18-19).
  • We are His Body, created through His Empathy and Grace.
    • But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, 25 so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it, (12:24-26).
  • We are His Body, created in His Likeness.
    • Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it, (12:27).
  • We are His Body, Created for our Welfare.
    • And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues, (12:28).

How do we respond to His Body?

Self-examination:

Entertaining thoughts about not needing church (His Body) and thinking we can just do this Christian life solo, is like convincing ourselves how much simpler it would be to get around, if only our feet just had our legs to carry; so let’s just dump the torso, arms and head. Sounds ridiculous; but isn’t that in fact what Paul was teaching?

What if we begin to really see the church as His Body? Wouldn’t we respond, as David did when he considered God’s creation of his own body, with thanksgiving, awe and amazement?

I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well,
(Psalm 139:14).

Today, may we be convinced, to know full well, that His Body, the church, is fearfully and wonderfully created. And may we respond in awe, amazement, gratitude; and above all, obedience.

Oh, that we would never cease to be amazed or give thanks for His Body, fearfully and wonderfully created in His Holy Spirit.

For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit, (12:13).

  • In obedience, let us serve for the Common Good.
    • For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” (Galatians 5:13-14).
  • In obedience, let us trust His Will.
    • And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; (Ephesians 4:11-12).
  • In obedience, let us submit to His Desire.
    • For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith, (Romans 12:3).
  • In obedience, let us walk in Unity.
    • Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, (Ephesians 4:1-3).
  • In obedience, let us share with His Empathy and Grace.
    • Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly… (Romans 12:6).
  • In obedience, let us pursue His Likeness.
    • do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:4-5).
  • In obedience, may we always seek to employ our gifts for the Welfare of His Body.
    • As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God, (1 Peter 4:10).

As we commit to obedience, does this guarantee a pain-free existence? Will we ever be hurt by His Body? We all know the answer to that. But it is then, in the hurt, we must respond in love. As my favorite pastor says, “You don’t really love until you have had the opportunity to hate.” Sometimes love is anything but easy. But love is not a feeling. Love is a choice.

And think on this: what did Jesus tell us of how the world would know we are His? Through our music, our preaching, through signs and wonders? No. The world will know we belong to Him when we love His Body.

Lord Jesus, please grow us to see the bigger picture. Grow us to see our place in Your Body. Please grow us to serve and love like You served and loved us. Lord Jesus, grow us in Your love we pray.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another,” (John 13:34-35).

Let’s Grow Together!

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