|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
12:27-31 Contempt, hatred, envy, and strife, are very unnatural in Christians. It is like the members of the same body being without concern for one another, or quarrelling with each other. The proud, contentious spirit that prevailed, as to spiritual gifts, was thus condemned. The offices and gifts, or favours, dispensed by the Holy Spirit, are noticed. Chief ministers; persons enabled to interpret Scripture; those who laboured in word and doctrine; those who had power to heal diseases; such as helped the sick and weak; such as disposed of the money given in charity by the church, and managed the affairs of the church; and such as could speak divers languages. What holds the last and lowest rank in this list, is the power to speak languages; how vain, if a man does so merely to amuse or to exalt himself! See the distribution of these gifts, not to every one alike, ver. 29,30. This were to make the church all one, as if the body were all ear, or all eye. The Spirit distributes to every one as he will. We must be content though we are lower and less than others. We must not despise others, if we have greater gifts. How blessed the Christian church, if all the members did their duty! Instead of coveting the highest stations, or the most splendid gifts, let us leave the appointment of his instruments to God, and those in whom he works by his providence. Remember, those will not be approved hereafter who seek the chief places, but those who are most faithful to the trust placed in them, and most diligent in their Master's work.
Verse 27. - Ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. Each Church is a sort of microcosm of the whole Church. St. Paul does not mean that the Corinthian Church is a member in the body of all the Churches, but that each Corinthian Christian is a member of the Church.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Now ye are the body of Christ,.... Not his natural body, which his Father prepared for him, in which he bore our sins on the tree, and which was offered up once for all; nor his sacramental body, or the bread in the supper, which is a representation of his body; but his body mystical, the church; not that the Corinthians were the whole of the body, only a part of it, as every single congregational church is of the church universal. This is an accommodation of the simile the apostle had to so much advantage enlarged upon:
and members in particular; or in part: meaning either that they as single members were part of the general body: or that only a part of them were so, there being some among them, as in all particular and visible churches, who had not the true grace of God; and so are neither members of Christ, nor of the general assembly and church of the firstborn: or the sense is, that they were not only members of Christ, and of his body, but were particularly members one of another, in strict union and close communion, and of mutual use and service to each other.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
27. members in particular—that is, severally members of it. Each church is in miniature what the whole aggregate of churches is collectively, "the body of Christ" (compare 1Co 3:16): and its individual components are members, every one in his assigned place.
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