Now ye are the body of Christ - The apostle, having finished his apologue, comes to his application.
As the members in the human body, so the different members of the mystical body of Christ. All are intended by him to have the same relation to each other; to be mutually subservient to each other; to mourn for and rejoice with each other. He has also made each necessary to the beauty, proportion, strength, and perfection of the whole. Not one is useless; not one unnecessary. Paul, Apollos, Kephas, etc., with all their variety of gifts and graces, are for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, Ephesians 4:12. Hence no teacher should be exalted above or opposed to an other. As the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of thee, so luminous Apollos cannot say to laborious Paul, I can build up and preserve the Church without thee. The foot planted on the ground to support the whole fabric, and the hands that swing at liberty, and the eye that is continually taking in near and distant prospects, are all equally serviceable to the whole, and mutually helpful to and dependent on each other. So also are the different ministers and members of the Church of Christ.
From a general acquaintance with various ministers of Christ, and a knowledge of their different talents and endowments manifested either by their preaching or writings, and with the aid of a little fancy, we could here make out a sort of correspondency between their services and the uses of the different members of the human body. We could call one eye, because of his acute observation of men and things, and penetration into cases of conscience and Divine mysteries. Another hand, from his laborious exertions in the Church. Another foot, from his industrious travels to spread abroad the knowledge of Christ crucified: and so of others. But this does not appear to be any part of the apostle's plan.
Now ye - Ye Christians of Corinth, as a part of the whole church that has been redeemed.
Are the body of Christ - The allusion to the human body is here kept up. As all the members of the human body compose one body, having a common head, so it is with all the members and parts of the Christian church. The specific idea is, that Christ is the Head of the whole church; that he presides over all; and that all its members sustain to each other the relation of fellow-members in the same body, and are subject to the same head; compare the note at 1 Corinthians 11:3. The church is often called the body of Christ; Ephesians 1:23; Colossians 1:18, Colossians 1:24.
And members in particular - You are, as individuals, members of the body of Christ; or each individual is a member of that body.
At half past ten [December 25] I spoke to those assembled at the Tabernacle. The Lord gave me most earnest words to speak. I tried to present the matter in the light of God's Word, that the work of labor for the salvation of souls does not rest alone upon the delegated minister, but that to every man God had given his work. The Lord's work is to be carried forward by the living members of Christ's body, and in the great divine appointment of God each one is to be educated to act a part in the conversion of souls. He has enlisted in the army of the Lord, not for ease, not to study his own amusement, but to endure hardships as a faithful soldier of the cross of Christ. Every private must act his part, be vigilant, be courageous, be true. After I had occupied about fifty minutes, many excellent testimonies were borne. TDG 368.3Read in context »
Christ's influence is to be felt in our world through his believing children. He who is converted is to exert the same kind of an influence which through God's instrumentality was made effectual in his conversion. All our work in this world is to be done in harmony and love and unity. We are to keep the example of Christ ever before us, walking in his footsteps. 3SM 15.1Read in context »
Such is the infinite goodness of God that through Jesus Christ's merits He not only spares but pardons and justifies us, and through the righteousness of Christ imputes righteousness to us, and exalts and ennobles us by making us children of His adoption. We become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. He lifts men and women from their degradation and exalts them in righteousness.... He calls them His jewels, and a peculiar treasure unto Him. They are trophies of His grace and power, and of His greatness and riches in glory. They therefore are not their own, but are bought with a price, and through the extraordinary office of the atonement of Christ have been brought into nearness and the most sacred relationship to Jesus Christ. They are called His heritage, His children, the members of Christ's body, of His flesh and of His bones; yea, they are joined to the Lord by intimate relationship with Him. OHC 17.4Read in context »