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The Body of Christ

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The Body of Christ

(I Corinthians 12:12-31)


            In this section Paul compares the physical body to the body of Christ. Even a child can understand how our body is made up of many different parts and each part performs its own function. His purpose is to show the believers at Corinth that although they are different they are united in Christ.

  1. The Body of Christ is unified by the Spirit. (I Corinthians 12:12-14)

Paul makes it clear that there is only one body of Christ and that the body of Christ has many different members that are to be unified by the spirit.

    1. There is only one body of Christ. (I Corinthians 12:12, 13)

“For by one Spirit are we baptized into one body,” All believers are put into the body of Christ and there is only one body of Christ. Each saved individual is simply a part of this body of Christ.

    1. Christ’s Body has many members. (I Corinthians 12:14) The human body is able to do amazing things because of the diversity of members. The hand can do things that the eye cannot. The eye can do things the nose cannot. Each member fulfills its role to assist the Body and many members of the body are not even seen or noticed. No one

sees the liver at work or the pancreas, or the stomach, but they all do their part to make the body function properly.

    1. The Members of Christ’s body are united by the Spirit of Christ. ( I Corinthians 12:12) There are no divisions in the body of Christ between race, sex, national origin, marital status, position of employment or culture. [1] Believers have been completely immersed into the body of Christ and as part of the body of Christ the Spirit unites them and gives them a unity that allows each member to work together and accomplish Gods plan.
  1. Every member of the Body of Christ is important to accomplishing God’s plan. (I Corinthians 12:15-24) God has placed every as a part of the body of Christ to fulfill a purpose and assist the body of Christ. The members must communicate and work one with another to maximize their effectiveness as a body.
    1. Every member of the Body of Christ serves a different purpose. (I Corinthians 12:15-17)

The hand serves as an instrument to touch and feel. The eye serves as instrument to see that which is around you. The stomach serves as an instrument in the process of digesting food. Each part has a unique purpose and every member is to work together with the other members.

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    1. God has placed each member in their proper place. (I Corinthians 12:18) *Just as God designed our human bodies and placed all of our body parts together so that they could function in harmony with one another God has put the body of Christ together with each member in his proper place.
    2. The body is not made up of only one member. (I Corinthians 12:19) Our human bodies cannot function with only one member. What would the body of Christ consisted of the same member? If everyone in the body of Christ was a preacher who would listen? If everyone in the body of Christ was a listener who would preach? The body of Christ could not function with only one type of member.
  1. The Body of Christ should work together as one. (I Corinthians 12:24-26) What would it be like for a baseball player to determine he did not need his eyes to be successful? Would he be able to catch the baseball? Of course not, in order for an athlete to be successful his hands, eyes, feet, and whole body must work together.
    1. The body should not be divided. (I Corinthians 12:25)

The word Paul uses here is schisma (scisma), which means some sort of division, split, or gap. Schizophrenia is a well know illness that illustrates what it is like for the body of Christ to be split. Schizophrenia is a disorder where the mind is split and unable to produce organized logical thoughts and often cannot distinguish between what is reality and what is not. The body of Christ cannot afford to be divided over anything; if the body of Christ is fighting against itself how will it be able to fight against Satan?

    1. The body should care for itself. (I Corinthians 12:25-26) The body of Christ should care for one another. When human bodies are injured the pain of that injury causes the rest of the body to be sensitive to the need of the injury. If an arm or leg is broken extra protection is given to that member to ensure a quick and proper recovery. The body of Christ is to care its members who are suffering and each member should take a part in the suffering.
  1. Roles in the Body of Christ. (All believers have a role) (I Corinthians 12:27-31) Paul finishes by laying out some specific roles that exist in the body of Christ according to their importance.
    1. Apostles – those who sat under the direct ministry of Christ.
    2. Prophets – those who could foretell future events and those who preach the gospel.
    3. Teachers –those who expound doctrine and truth from God’s word to the people.
    4. Workers of miracles – those who perform amazing signs, casting out of demons, and so on.
    5. Healing Gifts – those who have the gift of healing.
    6. Speaking in tongues – those who have the gift of speaking in an unknown tongue.
    7. Interpret – those who have the gift to interpret the unknown tongues.


            Believers are part of the body of Christ. Every one of us has a part to do and we are not independent entities unto ourselves. We must work together and function with the other members of the body. The only way the body can function together is by the unifying power of the Holy Spirit.


[1] Galatians 3:28

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