For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members everyone of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. (1 Corinthians 12:12-26)
The Body of Christ, when allowed to grow in its natural fashion, is an amazing thing. During the last several weeks I have had the privilege of having a somewhat outside view of church.
Each day I can sense my physical body strengthening. Some of it naturally, and some through exercise. Much of the Christian life is because of the natural progress of sanctification, while there is also growth through proper exercise of the “Body.”
I can still remember all of the “Spiritual / Physical Exercise” I witnessed as a child. My Grandmother touching her head, and making the “sign of the cross” whenever passing by a Roman Catholic church still stands out in my mind. Lot’s of physical exercise to get one right with God.
The greatest exercise we can partake in is that which causes us to “grow in grace.” This is the the work of studying the Word of God, which makes us strong in the Grace of God.
For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. – 1 Timothy 4:8 KJV
Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. (2 Timothy 2:1-3)
Today’s Christianity is programmed to the point that Scripture plays second fiddle to those programs. There is an overt attempt at human control, rather than Spirit control. Yet, Praise the Lord! God’s Grace Bible Church truly exemplifies what the term “Body of Christ” really means.
There is One Body – 1 Corinthians 12:12
1 Corinthians 12:1-11, Ephesisans 4:1-16
Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians is a later Prison Epistle – Many of the gifts of the spirit are not found in Ephesians 4, because they had further revelation / doctrine at that point. The “mystery” was more fully developed at that time.. Even the gift of “pastor/teacher” in Ephesians 4;11 is not necessarily a gifting, but a desire predicated on study, and the natural integration into the Body of Christ.
1 Timothy 3;1 is the basis for the pastoral ministry. How many times do you hear false teachers claim that God spoke to them, called them, etc.
This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. (1 Timothy 3:1)
There is One Baptism / One Spirit – 1 Corinthians 12:13
One of the greatest debates within Christianity is that of the mode / method of baptism. Do we practice dunking? Do we practice sprinkling? Is it to be done in the Name of Jesus? Or is it to be done in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost? Also, who is authorized to perform the baptism?
These questions are easily answered when you consider the matter dispensationally.
There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, (Ephesians 4:4-5)
For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:26-29)
There Are Many Members in One Body – 1 Corinthians 12:14-21
The human body is composed of seventy-eight different organs, the largest, and most visible, is the skin. Yes, one organ is composed of many different cells. Among these 78 organs, five organs are considered vital for survival. These include the heart, brain, kidneys, liver and lungs. If any of these five organs stop functioning even for a few seconds, death will result without any medical intervention.
The Church, the Body of Christ is composed of many members, connected together. Those members work together for the benefit of the entire Body
Members Support Members – 1 Corinthians 12:22-26
The Grace of God teaches people to treat others better than themselves (vs. 22-23)
If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (Philippians 2:1-5)
God has tempered the feeble and strong together (v. 24)
The word “tempered” in the KJV means to commingle, i.e. (figuratively) to combine or assimilate:–mix with, temper together.
Much like the “Body of Christ,’ which is made up of truly diverse types of people, the ingredients of a cake, before it is baked, do not always look appealing. However, when brought together they form a wonderful cake. One might make the case for the frosting, however. 🙂 This is how we ought to look at the Body of Christ, as well.
There Are to be No Divisions in the Body – 1 Corinthians 12:25
Divisions come from having different agendas, or needs. We saw in chapter 1 that division came from allegiance to a particular minister, or teaching. Jesus Christ is the “HEAD” of the Body! Not the Pope, Pastor, Politician, or any one else! As long as the Head is the Head, we get our thoughts, and marching orders from there. Isn’t wonderful to have a leader / head who also is the Creator / Sustainer of all things?
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. (Colossians 1:16-18)
True unity is based on the complete work of Christ, which has made the Believer in Him – COMPLETE – A BRAND NEW CREATURE – IN CHRIST!
(Colossians 2:10, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Philippians 1:3-6)
There are no two people who actually believe the same exact way. That’s why Paul’s admonition in Ephesians 4:13-16 is a permanent one. That’s why it’s important to be Christ centered rather than Human, or self centered. As sons of Adam we all have taken part in the curse. But – believing the Good News of the Second Adam eliminates the curse. Spiritually now, physically later. We become new. The old man is dead, yet we still drag around this carcass called the flesh.
The day will come when the old bodies will be exchanged for brand new glorified bodies! (Romans 8:23 / Ephesians 1:14, 1 Thessalonians 4;17, Titus 2;13 (14))
All for One, One for All – 1 Corinthians 12:26
There is an old expression that is used in athletics, the workplace, etc. where teamwork is stressed. I would be remiss to leave out the Three Musketeers – All for One, and One for All! Romans 12:15 / Galatians 6:2
To the scattered strangers Peter wrote:
But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. (2 Peter 3:18)
We too, can follow his admonishing. No matter the situation in life, no matter what comes before the “but,” we too can, and must grow in grace, and in the knowledge of the Lord. This is how a Body grows. It’s also how an individual grows IN Christ.
Bob Picard, Pastor, God’s Grace Bible Church, Millbury, Massachusetts