The New International Version (NIV) of the Bible states, in 1 Corinthians 12:12, that “just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ”. In a church or congregation of religion, many people are brought together to support the same cause, in this case the same God. Though people of the church are all different, different colors or ethnicities with different thoughts we all join together to support our Father and his son Jesus Christ in the church through praise and worship. In the scripture above, it is stated that just as one body has many parts, those parts all come together to form that one body which symbolizes the church.
We are all many different parts of the body of the church but together we come to unify spiritually with our beliefs. Christians become apart of the body by being baptized which shows a sign of new birth and belief. Individually, we all have our different strengths and weaknesses that make us who we are but when we come together, for the greater good, we make up the individual pieces of the body, which is created whole by our fellowship. God made us the way he intended us to be, different. If we were all the same then we would not create the body. As the limbs of the body depend on each other, Christians also depend on one another. We expect for other Christians to help us and receive help from us as we do from them. Every act of true common worship is a victory over our decisions and a celebration of the unity that which we do have in Christ. (Best, 2007)
1 Corinthians 1:1 is our greeting from Paul, who has been called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will. Paul speaks to the people on how he has been named an apostle and begins to speak about how it was given to him through a revelation from Christ. In order to live the way that is intended for us, we have to believe. The people listened to Paul as he spoke to them about how he has been informed about the separation between them even though everyone says to be united. How can someone say that they follow Paul or someone follows Apollos but then say that they follow Christ? To be a follower of Christ everyone must believe in him and follow him, not his apostles. Paul goes on to say that he was not crucified for the people nor is Christ divided, and also that Christ did not send him to baptize but to instead preach the gospel.
1 Corinthians 12 introduces the topic of spiritual gifts and Paul begins to talk about how he doesn’t want the people to be misinformed of the spiritual gifts, services and work that the Spirit will bring to them. Paul understands that they have been misguided before and led astray but to not be ignorant to the spiritual gifts that their faith will bring. Paul also talks about how he doesn’t want Christians to be ignorant to other things such as God’s plan for Israel in Romans 11:25 and the second coming of Jesus and the eternal state in Thessalonians 4:13. Those that believe in Christ will receive these spiritual gifts such as the different messages of wisdom and knowledge but only if they believe.
The Holy Spirit is always present in all Christians and with that sprit comes these spiritual gifts. If someone is not holy or does not believe then the spiritual gifts will not be given to them. What Paul means when he says that manifestation of the spirit is given to each one for profit of all he means that the gifts will be given to benefit the entire church family instead of just benefiting one individual in the family though a certain gift may be given only to one person. All the different gifts or powers, whether they are speaking in different tongues, distinguishing between spirits, healing, knowledge or any other gifts, are from the same Spirit and he distributes them as he determines. If it were not for the ignorance of the peoples’ prior teachers they wouldn’t have to hear Paul’s cries of what having faith and belief in Christ can do for them. He understands that they have been guided wrong before but he is now here to make sure that they are misguided no longer.
In 2 Corinthians 8, Paul speaks about sacrificial giving. He talks about how the grace that God gave the Macedonian churches after they gave and sacrificed as much as they could, even “beyond their ability”. The people of the Macedonian churches gave themselves all to the Lord and Paul told the people that since they excel in faith, speech, knowledge and complete earnestness that they should also excel in the grace of giving. He goes on to say that he isn’t commanding anyone to do anything that they had not planned to or against their will but only giving his judgment on what he believes is best. Paul asks of the Corinthians to show Titus and others that they can sacrifice and give, just as the Lord Jesus Christ gave his riches to become poor for their sake so that those in poverty may become rich. Verse 15 shows the goal of equality as it is written:
“The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little” which I believe means that as long as you can give truly give something whether it be a lot or a little, good will come to your favor for the sacrifice. Paul asks the Corinthian people to show the men their proof of love and reasoning for their pride so that the churches may be able to see it and declare it as a sacrifice for the good.