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1 Corinthians 12

SUMMARY.--The Test of the Spirit of Christ. The Variety of Spiritual Gifts. All Given by the Same Spirit. The Human Body Has Many Members, with Different Offices. So it is of the Church, the Body of Christ. But All Parts of One Body. The Various Offices and Gifts.

      12-20. The body is not one member, but many. The unity of these diverse gifts, all given by the same Spirit, is illustrated by the human body, which has many members and organs with different offices, but all parts of one body. No member could claim that it was not of the body because it is not the eye, the ear, or some other organ. Each is a part, each necessary, each set where God pleased, and all taken together make up the body. So also is Christ. The spiritual body of Christ, the church. 13. For in one spirit we were all baptized into one body. "For by means of one spirit we were all baptized into one body" (Meyer). Rather, moved by one spirit acting through the apostles and evangelists, we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Gentiles, bond or free. The idea is that, though diverse in race and condition, all have been made parts of one body by baptism, and that this had all been done under the direction of one spirit. All, too, receiving it as a gift, drank of the same spirit. Hence, if special and extraordinary spiritual gifts were imparted to the members of this body, these would be due to one spirit.

      21-26. And the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of thee. Every member of the body has its place and is needed by every other member.

      27-31. Now, ye are the body of Christ, etc. All were "baptized into one body" ( verse 13 ), and hence are severally members or parts of the one body, with offices to discharge like those of the members of the human body. 28. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles. The various offices of the members are pointed out. Some had stations to which they were assigned by the spirit. Nine spiritual gifts have already been named; nine positions in the church are now given. Apostles. The twelve, Paul, and such evangelists as Barnabas and others; men sent by the Holy Spirit to preach the gospel. Prophets. See note on verse 10. Teachers. Men gifted by the spirit to teach in the church. Miracles. Those who had the power to work miracles. Gifts of healing. One division of miraculous powers granted. Helps. Spiritual aid granted to helpers, such as deacons. Governments. The administrative abilities of the presbytery. To each the Spirit granted the special gifts required. 29. Are all apostles? Only a few had this office given them, and so of each of the other gifts. 31. Covet earnestly the best gifts. The highest spiritual gifts. I show a more excellent way. There is something still better than these which all may possess. This best of all things is shown in the next chapter .

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