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Summary: 7 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-VII—1Corinthians 12:12-31

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

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)

9. A COMPOSITION BEYOND INDIVIDUALITY(:27)

10. EDIFICATION By APPOINTMENT(:28(cf-:18))

The Body Of Christ Exhibits...

11—PRACTICAL EXAMPLES For DIVERSITY(:29-30)

Explanation/Illustration:

: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?”

Each of these questions is simultaneously a statement of fact.?“mh(not) pantev(all) apostoloi(apostles) mh pantev profhtai(prophets)...”—‘Not all apostles, not all prophets...”

•The Greek translated as “Not”(mh) in both verses—signifies a ‘qualified’ negation—& expects a negative answer. Whereas another Greek word also translated as “NOT” denotes an ‘absolute’ denial(ou, ouk, ouc).

Paul’s point is that “all” of the members(:4-12) cannot possibly be “apostles”, “prophets”, “teachers”, “miracle” effectors, “healers”, speakers in “tongues”, or “interpreters” of tongues.

•This reminds us of Paul’s previous statements in :16-17, :19 & :21...

:16-17—“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? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling?”

:18-19—“But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be?”

: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.””

Again, here in :29-30, Paul is attempting to subdue & remove any presence/tainting of personal pride from the Corinthian Christian’s approach toward spiritual giftedness.

*In keeping with the previous ties(:12-27) of spiritual giftedness to the ‘body’s’ organization, there must be a diversity of giftedness among God’s people, since all cannot be one particular member. This unified diversity accomplishes the common good(:7) for the Church, & secondarily for the world.

•The ‘common good’ of edifying the Church is the Spirit’s purpose in God’s scheme of things & thus in Paul’s argument.

“Are/Not”7X—mh—Particle—1) No, not lest. Strong—a primary particle of qualified negation(whereas ou, ouk, ouc expresses an absolute denial); adverbially--Not, conjunctionally--Lest; also(as an interrogative implying a negative answer[whereas ou expects an affirmative one])--Whether.

“All”7X—pav—Adj.—1) individually—1a) Each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything; 2) collectively—2a) Some of all types. Strong—All, any, every, the whole; apparently a primary word.

“Interpret”—diermhneuw—Verb—1) To unfold the meaning of what is said, explain, expound; 2) To translate into one's native language. Strong—To explain thoroughly, by implication--To translate. Used 6X--Lk. 24:7; Acts 9:36; 1Cor. 12:30; 1Cor. 14:5, 13, 27..?From—dia—Through, With, In, Throughout, During, By, the means of; The ground or reason by which something is or is not done; On account of, Therefore. Strong—Through(in very wide applications, local, causal, or occasional); a primary preposition denoting the channel of an act.—&—ermhneuw—To translate; from a presumed derivative of Ermhv(as the god of language).

Application:

?Does The Body of Christ here & elsewhere, exhibit PRACTICAL EXAMPLES For DIVERSITY?

•It can & should!

?Do you(individually)/we(collectively) faithfully represent the Body of Christ?

The Body Of Christ Exhibits...

12—A ZEAL For EXCELLENCE(:31)

:31—“But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.”

“But earnestly desire the best gifts.

“Best/Greater/Better” is a translation of a Greek word meaning ‘more Useful’, ‘more Advantageous’, ‘Stronger’ ‘Better’, or ‘Nobler’.

“Best” highlights those “gifts” of the Spirit which are most beneficial for the Church/church. The Holy Spirit desires to have His Church ‘benefit’ from His empowerment.

“But earnestly desire...”

*It is the goal of the Church & Christian individual to “earnestly seek” to obtain those “gifts” which are “best” or better in comparison to others.” That is, Christians should be zealous of pursuing & possessing those aspects of the Holy Spirit’s presence & operation which “best” declare GOD’s GLORY thru Christ’s Body.

These “best gifts” are of utmost significance to the life of a local church, because...The outcome of such “gifts” is to relate an actual life-changing message from God’s heart, rather than to relate humanly derived ‘divisive superiority’(calling attention to oneself).

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