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Summary: 6 of 7. The apostle Paul maintained the significance of the Church's being the Body of Christ. What is exhibited by that entity known as the Body of Christ? The Body of Christ exhibits...

The BODY Of CHRIST-VI—1Corinthians 12:12-31

The Body of Christ can suffer under the burden of individual & even gathered lusts that are couched in self-aggrandizement.

For some weeks we’ve looked at God’s design for Unity within the Body of Christ, which is the Church.

All the local-to-global manifestations of the Body of Christ are built upon a God-sourced Unity of ‘individual’ Christians. A successful unity of the Body of Christ is seen particularly thru our cooperative successes.

*Remember that the global Church, along with it’s smaller manifestations is the embodiment of Christ Jesus(Col. 1:24).

The apostle Paul maintained the significance of the Church's being the Body of Christ.

What is exhibited by that entity known as the Body of Christ?

So far in our study of 1Cor. 12:12-31, we have found that ‘The Body Of Christ Exhibits...’

1. An IDENTIFIABLE COMPOSITION(:12)

2. A WILLINGLY EMPOWERED INVITATION(:13)

3. BELONGING(:14-17)

4. A DIVINE PLACEMENT(:18)

5. A REASONABLE UNITY(:19-20)

6. A NECESSITY For DIVERSITY(:21-22)

7. A REASONABLE DIVERSITY(:23-24)

8. A CARING DIVERSITY-Mutual-(:24-26)

The Body Of Christ Exhibits...

9—A COMPOSITION BEYOND INDIVIDUALITY(:27)

:27—“Now you are the body of Christ, & members individually.”

Paul returns to his statement made in :12.

Each local church congregation collectively represents Christ’s body...

Yet the ‘collective’ nature cannot happen unless there are individuals...Individuals collectively dedicated to the shared ‘source’ of life. The “individuals”(constituent parts) are “members” together with all other “members”, all being ‘part’ of the larger collective global Body of Christ. And thus the ‘parts’ or “individuals”(constituent parts) are integral as “members” of Christ’s body.

The church is “the body of Christ” “meaning that collectively, in their common relationship to Christ through the Spirit, they are His one body.”—Gordon D. Fee in NICNT[GDFNICNT]

It may ‘seem’ ironic that God’s Kingdom work in the world must ‘begin’ with individuality...Yet the fullness of His Kingdom work can only be accomplished thru the ‘collective’ commitment of those individuals.

A spiritually ‘healthy’ individual is a spiritually healthy Christian. And a spiritually healthy Christian is only one part of that Body which is larger than themselves.

Unfortunately, people without Christ(as well as some in Christ) are largely given to an individual-ism that prioritizes ‘self’ above anything that might reek of: anything shared; mutual exchange; a collective, team or group endeavor; or cooperation. Admittedly, each of us work individually. But that individual effort/labor is willingly conjoined to the individual labors of others, in a common desire & goal to exemplify Christ Jesus.

“You”—umeiv—Personal Pronoun 2nd Nominative Plural—1) You. Strong—You(as subjective of verb); irregular plural of su[Personal pronoun of the 2nd person singular].

“Are”—este—Verb—1) Second person plural of “to be.” Strong—Ye are; second person plural present indicative of eimi[I exist(used only when emphatic)].

“Body”(See :12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25)—swma—Noun Neuter—1) The body both of men or animals—1a) A dead body or corpse, 1b) The living body—1b1) Of animals; 2) The bodies of planets & of stars(heavenly bodies); 3) Is used of a (large or small)number of men closely united into one society, or family as it were; a social, ethical, mystical body—3a) so in the NT--Of the church; 4) That which casts a shadow as distinguished from the shadow itself. Strong—The body(as a sound whole), used in a very wide application, literally or figuratively.

“Members”(See :12, 14, 18, 19, 20, 22, 25, 26)—melov—Noun Neuter—1)A member or limb--A member of the human body—1a) Of bodies given up to criminal intercourse, because they are as it were members belonging to the harlot's body. Strong—of uncertain affinity; A limb or part of the body.

“Individually/Each/Particular”—merov—Noun Neuter—1) A part—1a) A part due or assigned to one, 1b) Lot, destiny; 2) One of the constituent parts of a whole—2a) In part, partly, in a measure, to some degree, as respects a part, severally, individually, 2b) Any particular, in regard to this, in this respect. Strong—A division or share(literally or figuratively, in a wide application). Used 43X.?From an obsolete but more primary form of—meiromai—To get as a section or allotment.

Illustration:

I have a lot of dealings with fire ants—Every time I mow the lawn I get stung by them/overly simplified—Most ants are divided by their ‘work’ into distinct hierarchical categories/While some workers are patrolling their area for food & enemies, there are others totally dedicated to sustaining the queen/Others are dedicated to taking care of the eggs which the queen produces/Still others are dedicated to placing of & tending to the ant larvae & others specifically to the pupae(stages in an ant’s growth)/Still others are foragers for food/Others are protectors who strategically place themselves along the ant’s ‘food or movement roads’/“This cooperation & division of labour, combined with their well-developed communication systems, has allowed ants to utilize their environment in ways approached by few other animals.”/Only those ant colonies that operate with a firm commitment to their collective survival will thrive & reproduce!/—@antwiki.org in ‘Life in an Ant Colony’/A COMPOSITION BEYOND INDIVIDUALITY

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