christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

1 corinthians 12, many members, one body

Read 1 Corinthians 12 at Bible Gateway.

Most of this chapter forms a chiastic structure:

1 Cor 12:4-30
1a) 1 Cor 12:4-6, There are diversities of gifts, ministries, and activities;
1b) 1 Cor 12:7-11, (List of gifts, followed by) The Spirit distributes these gifts as He wills;
1c) 1 Cor 12:12-14, As the body is one with many members, so also is Christ’s body;
1d) 1 Cor 12:15-17, A member cannot say, Because I am not something else, I am not a part of the body;
1e) 1 Cor 12:18, God has set the members, each one of them, in the body as He pleased;
central axis) 1 Cor 12:19, If they were all one member, where would the body be;
2e) 1 Cor 12:20, Yet now indeed there are many members, yet one body;
2d) 1 Cor 12:21-26, A member cannot say to another member, I have no need of you;
2c) 1 Cor 12:27, Now you are the body of Christ and members individually;
2b) 1 Cor 12:28, God has appointed these gifts in the church (followed by list of gifts);
2a) 1 Cor 12:29-30, Not all have the same gift.

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?

1 Corinthians 12:18-19

We are not all the same! False religions (yes that includes churches laboring under a religious spirit) make cookie cutter cutouts of everyone, so that everyone is exactly the same. God, however, makes unique individuals and gives them unique gifts to benefit the body. So if you aren’t like everyone else, REJOICE! God has a plan for you and an important part for you to play!

God evens unbalances out. Valleys will be lifted up and mountains sunk down. The last will be the first and the first last. Those members which seem to have little honor, God covers with greater honor. The great need the small in order to be great. And if the great get too big for their britches, God will bring them down again.

If you are in a small place with small gifts, don’t worry about it, remain faithful. Those who are faithful in little are given greater things to be faithful in. But don’t desire to be great. Once someone is in a great place with great gifts, the only direction to go is down, LOL.

Desire that God be magnified according to the greatness He deserves. That must always be the focus of the use we make of the gifts we have been given — the glorification and magnification of God!

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