Members in Particular Part 1

1Corinthians 12:27-31 Now you are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God has set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I unto you a more excellent way. 

‘You are the body of Christ, and members in particular.’ You and all in Christ as you make up the true Congregation or the body of Christ (1Cor. 12:13; Eph. 2:19-22; 4:1-6; Col. 1:18, 24).

‘First apostles’ [Greek: apostolos] a delegate, one sent with full power of attorney to act in the place of another, the sender remaining behind to back up the one sent. In the case of Christians it means God sends them to do what He, Himself would do if He went. It is found 81 times and translated apostle 78 times; messenger twice (2Cor. 8:23; Php. 2:25); and once he that is sent (John 13:16). The apostles were sent as representatives of Jesus Christ and His ministry to complete the writing of the New Testament. The last apostle chosen by Christ was Paul and the apostle that wrote the last books were John who wrote the gospel John, 1, 2 and 3 John (90 A.D.) and Revelation (96 A.D.).

‘Prophets’ – The Old Testament was written by prophets (Heb. 1:1) and the last writing prophet was John the Baptist (Matt. 11:12-13; Luke 16:16).

‘Miracles’ [Greek: semeion] a sign or token by which something is known; a token of confirmation of a divine work or call. It is translated sign 50 times; miracle 23 times; wonder 3 times; and token once. Generally used of miracles and wonders done by people to confirm their call and mission from God (Matt. 12:38; 16:1-4; Mark 8:11; 16:17-20; Luke 11:16, 29; 23:8; John 2:11, 18, 23; 3:2; 4:54; 6:2, 14, 26, 30; 7:31; 9:16; 10:41; 11:47; 12:18, 37; 20:30; Acts 2:22, 43; 8:6; 1Cor. 1:22; Rom. 15:19). It is also used of the power by which false teachers seek to confirm their fallacies to be of God (Matt. 24:24; Mark 13:22; 2Thess. 2:8-12; Rev. 13:13-18; 16:14; 19:20). The last scriptures above refer to the satanic powers in these last days to cause men to accept false teaching and be lost. Christians were promised power over all satanic forces (Matt. 17:20; 18:18; 21:22; Mark 9:23; 11:22-24; 16:15-20; Luke 10:19; John 14:12; Acts 1:8).

‘Gifts of healings’ This is supernatural power to heal all manner of sickness without human aid or medicine (12:9; Mark 16:18; John 14:12).

‘Helps’ [Greek: antilempsis] a support; help; succourer; an aid. Only in 1Corinthians 12:28 and refers to every kind of help God sets for Christians. It does not refer to persons only, but to the various spiritual gifts which fill people with power to help. It is mentioned in the midst of references to certain gifts. Gifts will always be something through which God is glorified and never to put individuals in the spotlight or bring us any form of glory or followers. To be continued…

Many Members

1Corinthians 12:12-17 For as the body is one, and has 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 were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? 

‘So also is Christ’ – Here the congregation is called “Christ” and is compared to a human body with its many members (12:12-28).

‘By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body.’ This shows how the body of Christ is constituted. The Spirit is the agent that brings one into the body of Christ by the new birth. This is not a baptism into the Spirit, but into the body of Christ. The body here is the element one is baptized into. The Spirit is the agent that does the baptizing into the body. The believer is the candidate. If it were the Spirit baptism, Christ would be the agent and the Holy Spirit would be the element baptized into.

‘Jews or Gentiles’ Jews and Gentiles are in the same body, the congregation (Eph. 2:11-18; 3:1-6; Col. 1:18, 24).

‘Drink into one Spirit’ – Drinking of the Spirit is the same as partaking of His power. One can partake of Him in sonship without being baptized in the Spirit (Rom. 8:15). Different measures of the Spirit: The Mosaic portion (Num. 11:17, 25); the Mosaic portion divided into 71 portions (Num. 11:16-17, 25-29); Elijah’s portion (2Kin. 2:9); double portion (2Kin. 2:9-10); Elijah’s portion on John the Baptist (Luke 1:15-17); earnest of the Spirit (2Cor. 1:22; 5:5; 1Jn. 4:13; Php. 1:19) and the Spirit “without measure” (John 3:34; Isa. 11:2; 42:1; 61:1; Luke 4:16-21; Acts 10:38); Spirit baptism or baptismal measure (Matt. 3:11; 20:22-23; Luke 3:16; John 1:31-34; Acts 1:4-8; 2:1-21; 8:15-24; 10:44-48; 11:14-18; 15:7-11; 19:1-7; Gal. 3:14); the fullness of God (Eph. 3:19; Rom. 15:29); the rivers of living water (John 7:37-39); and the full anointing of the Spirit and enduement of power from on high (Luke 24:49; John 14:12-15)

‘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 were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? … And if they were all one member, where were the body?’ ‘ All these questions are self-answered. All of 1Corinthians 12:14-26 illustrates the fact that as the human body is one and has many members who have been born again and who live godly consecrated lives (12:27-28; Rom. 12:3-5; Gal. 3:28; Eph. 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:1-6; 4:1-13; Col. 1:18, 24). Our lives must be living doctrines that produce life upon obedience to the Word.

The Parable of the Pearl of Great Value

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:  Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. Mat 13:45-46 KJV

The kingdom of Heaven, is “like” a pearl, thus the “realm of profession,” which should always be understood in connection with things on Earth. The mystery of the kingdom of Heaven here is that of the true Church. The parable of the treasure exemplifies Israel in relation to the kingdom of Heaven. In that parable Israel is pictured with an earthly calling and hid in the world so that it had to be bought in order to get the treasure, but in this parable the pearl is bought without buying the world, for the calling of the Church is heavenly. The sons of God (the wheat) are the true children of the kingdom and make the present Church, but the sons of the devil (the tares), who profess to be children of the kingdom, are also in the “sphere of profession,” endeavoring to counteract God’s purpose in the kingdom. This parable emphasizes the fact that the Church is not the kingdom of Heaven. It is only a part of the kingdom of Heaven.

The man illustrates Christ, as in all the preceding parables. Mt. 13:3, 24, 37, 44 and the pearl illustrates the true Church that Christ gave all for in order to buy it and redeem it to Himself. Eph. 5:25-31  The great price illustrates the treasure of Heaven that God had to give in order to get the human race redeemed from the devil. Jn. 3:16; 6:51; 10:11, 18; 19:30; 1 Cor. 6:20; 1 Pet. 2:24; Rev. 5:6, 9; 12:11  Pearls are sometimes formed by the introduction of a foreign body, possibly a grain of sand, into the muscular structure of an oyster, which secretes a substance about the sand, layer after layer, until a beautiful pearl is formed. This is a wonderful picture of the gradual formation of the body of Christ. 1 Cor. 10:17; 12:12-28; Eph. 2:14-22; 4:11-16; 5:25-31

For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.  1Cor. 10:17 KJV