1 Corinthians 12:18
But now has God set the members every one of them in the body, as it has pleased him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
12:12-26 Christ and his church form one body, as Head and members. Christians become members of this body by baptism. The outward rite is of Divine institution; it is a sign of the new birth, and is called therefore the washing of regeneration, Tit 3:5. But it is by the Spirit, only by the renewing of the Holy Ghost, that we are made members of Christ's body. And by communion with Christ at the Lord's supper, we are strengthened, not by drinking the wine, but by drinking into one Spirit. Each member has its form, place, and use. The meanest makes a part of the body. There must be a distinction of members in the body. So Christ's members have different powers and different places. We should do the duties of our own place, and not murmur, or quarrel with others. All the members of the body are useful and necessary to each other. Nor is there a member of the body of Christ, but may and ought to be useful to fellow-members. As in the natural body of man, the members should be closely united by the strongest bonds of love; the good of the whole should be the object of all. All Christians are dependent one upon another; each is to expect and receive help from the rest. Let us then have more of the spirit of union in our religion.Hath God set the members ... - God has formed the body, with its various members, as he saw would best conduce to the harmony and usefulness of all. 18. now—as the case really is.

every one—each severally.

The infinitely wise God, who hath made the body of man, and ordered all the members of the body for several uses and offices, either for the upholding or accommodating the life of man, hath likewise appointed the order in the body in which every member shall stand; that the head should be uppermost for the better guidance of the whole body; the feet lowermost to tread upon the earth, and to bear the weight of the whole body: and none must repine at the wisdom of God, which hath not only created man’s body, (consisting of a variety of members), but also appointed every member its place, and there setteth it, that it cannot shift its station or office. But now hath God set the members,.... The members of a natural body, as they are all made and fashioned by God in the form they be, so they are each of them set by him in the place they are:

everyone of them in the body as it hath pleased him; according to his sovereign will, without consulting any; and each stands in the best situation and position they could be put, and for the greatest service and usefulness to the whole: so God, and not man, hath set every member in the mystical body, the church, in such a place and part of it, as he himself thought fit; some in a higher, others in a lower station, but all for the good of the body; and therefore each member ought to be content with his place, gift, and usefulness, be they what they will; since it is the wise counsel and sovereign pleasure of God, who works all things after the counsel of his own will, that so it should be.

But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1 Corinthians 12:18. Νυνὶ δέ] but so, i.e. but in this way, as the case really stands, has God given to the members their place (ἔθετο), etc.

ἓν ἕκαστον αὐτῶν] is in apposition to τὰ μέλη, and defines it more precisely.

ἠθέλησεν] To this simple will of God each member has to submit itself. The thought in καθὼς βούλεται, 1 Corinthians 12:11, is different.1 Corinthians 12:18. “But now (argumentative νῦν, ‘as things are’: see 1 Corinthians 5:11) God has appointed the members, each single one of them, in the body as He willed.” It is God’s will that has ranged the physical organs—and by analogy the members of the Church—in their several places and offices (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:1, 1 Corinthians 3:5). Dissatisfaction with one’s particular charism, or contempt for that of another, is disloyalty towards Him and distrust of His wisdom. This is Paul’s ultima ratio: ὦ ἄνθρωπε, σὺ τίς εἶ κ.τ.λ.; Romans 9:20.—For τίθημι in mid[1910] voice, cf. 1 Corinthians 12:28 and other parls.; the tense refers the Divine appointment constituting the body to past time generally—“has set” rather than “set”. The prefixed ἓν singles out the individual for the Divine regard, distributed by ἕκαστον; each limb by itself has its part assigned by God.—ἠθέλησεν signifies determining will, as βούλεται (1 Corinthians 12:11, note) discriminating choice.

[1910] middle voice.18. But now hath God set] Literally, But now (that is, as the case stands) God placed, i.e. at creation.

as it hath pleased him] Literally, as He willed. See last note. St Paul would have us draw the inference that our own peculiar disposition and talents are appointed us by God, that we may perform the special work in the world for which we were designed. We are not therefore to repine because we do not possess the qualifications which we see possessed by others, but to endeavour to make the best possible use of the gifts we have.1 Corinthians 12:18. Καθὼς ἠθέλησεν, as it hath pleased Him) We ought not to require other and deeper reasons for things, beyond the will of God: it is lawful to philosophize in subjection to that will; we may do so respecting the world in its best ideal, [in a state of optimism] as the apostle does here respecting the human body in its best ideal.Verse 18. - As it hath pleased him. Not arbitrarily, but in furtherance of one wise and beneficent design, so that each may be honoured and indispensable, and therefore contented in its own sphere. Set (ἔθετο)

See on John 15:16, where the same word is used by Christ of appointing His followers.

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