Key Verse: “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.”
—I Corinthians 12:13
I Corinthians 12:12-31
THE HUMAN BODY, AS described by Paul, is illustrative of the body of Christ. It is composed of many members which are diverse, but who function together in a cohesive manner. He states: “As the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.”—I Cor. 12:12
In our Key Verse, Paul emphasizes the fact that each member of this “one body” is begotten of the same Holy Spirit, regardless of whether they be “Jews or Gentiles” by birth, or “bond or free.” All members of the body are baptized into Christ, and are to look to him as their “head.” Thus, they are to be considered separate from the world and manifest oneness of devotion to God.
“The body is not one member, but many,” Paul continues. “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?”—vss. 14-17
The members of the body of Christ are composed of those who are willing to be directed by the Lord, just as the human body is controlled by the head, where the brain is in control and the various components of the body respond to its direction. To the degree that the human mind is functioning normally, the actions of the various body parts will perform in a proper manner.
In the illustration of the body, it is not reasonable to expect that someone who is rightly exercised will use one member of the body to inflict pain or suffering upon another body part. Thus, it would not be normal for someone to use their feet to run into the midst of busy traffic, knowing of the high potential for being struck by a vehicle. Likewise, it would be abnormal for someone to use his hands to pick up a sharp instrument and thrust it into some other part of the body, realizing the harmful effects of such action.
The “body of Christ” is composed of many different members, but there is only one spirit—God’s Holy Spirit—that should be reflected in each of these. The standard for determining whether this “one Spirit” is found in each consecrated believer might be found by applying the following criterion: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”—Phil. 2:5
When we surrender ourselves to the will of God, he will guide us in many ways—how we spend our time, the way we use our talents, the things we say, where we will go, and what we will do. His direction will govern our very being. If we have fully given our all in consecration, then it will be true that we are dead, and our life is hid with Christ in God. (Rom. 6:3,4; Col. 3:3) This “burial” by baptism into Jesus’ death means our daily renouncing of earthly aims, hopes, and ambitions. If we are faithful in so doing, not only will we walk in newness of life now, but we also have the hope of a glorious heavenly reward in God’s kingdom.—I Cor. 15:49,53