Saturday, February 04, 2012

Spiritual Gifts and the Church (part 14): 1 Cor 12:24-26

"But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it." (1 Corinthians 12:24-26)
Previously we spoke of how God has arranged the Body giving greater honor to those who lack it in the natural; blessing them with Spiritual favor and graces so that their honor in the Body would in no way be lacking behind those who have honor in the things of this life. Here Paul further clarifies the reason for why God has so constructed the Body, the reason is so that there might be no divisions and that each member would have the same care one for another.

Paul first speaks of divisions. The Greek word is the word for "schisms". Schisms and schismatics were a real problem in the early church. Even to day, schisms and schismatics pose real threats to our modern day churches. When we fail to appreciate the diversity within the Body of Christ and fail to grant to each other the honor due them, we also fail to see the Body as one united Body. We begin to see divisions and distinctions among the members and, where pride is present, we can seek to divide the Body along our own lines of distinction. We rent and split the body and become the authors of modern day schisms.

Paul's remedy was to think of others rather than ourselves. To be more focused on granting the honor due to other members of the Body than insisting on receiving the honor that is due us; that honor that is in proportion to own estimation not God's. Paul says that we should have the same "care" for one another. This word has the force of being anxious about the interests, needs, and concerns of others. It can even mean to be distracted by the needs and conditions of others. God wants us to more concerned with other than ourselves; to let the needs and conditions of others to distract us from our own self absorption. When we allow ourselves to be distracted by the needs and interests of others, then the Body grows in unity and schisms are shutout. Paul also calls this "love".

More to come... David R Robison

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