1 Corinthians 12:27
Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
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(27) Now.—We have here in general terms the application of the foregoing illustration, the detailed application of which follows in 1Corinthians 12:28. The Apostles were those selected by our Lord Himself, or afterwards elected by them to join that body. (On prophets and teachers, see 1Corinthians 12:10.) The teachers were probably a junior order of instructors. (See Acts 13:1; Ephesians 4:11.) The enumeration of the gifts here corresponds with that previously given in 1Corinthians 12:9-10, with the exception of the mention here of “helps” and “governments,” and the omission of “interpretation of tongues” and “discernment of spirit.” Possibly, therefore, the words inserted here are only another designation of the same thing. The “helps” being the aid required for those who heard tongues in order to the understanding them, and the “governments” being the due regulation of the acceptance of certain spiritual powers and rejection of others.

1 Corinthians 12:27. Now ye — Believers at Corinth; are the body of Christ — A part of it, not the whole body; and members in particular — That is, each believer is a particular member thereof, and ought to behave himself accordingly. This is the application of the foregoing allegory, which the apostle is thought by some to have formed on our Lord’s words, Matthew 25:35-45. As if he had said, Ye believers are formed into one church or body, of which Christ is the head, soul, and ruler. And in the application he signifies, that “what he had said concerning the order, the situation, and the offices of the members of the human body, the union which subsists among them, and the care which they have of each other, and concerning the perniciousness of dissensions among its members, was all applicable to the members of the church of Christ. They were therefore to attend to the things he had written, that there might be no envy among them, nor discontent, nor arrogant preferring of themselves before others, but that in peace and love they might all promote each other’s happiness.” — Macknight.

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.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.

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. Considering you in the whole as a church, so ye are the body of Christ: considering you particularly as individual believers, so ye are

members of Christ. Some think ek merouv signifies in part, intending that true believers amongst them were members of Christ, but not others. The apostle, in these words, beginneth to apply to them what he had before discoursed concerning the body natural, and the parts thereof; you are the mystical body of Christ, which hath a great analogy with that natural body which you carry about with you.

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.

Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in {s} particular.

(s) For all churches, wherever they are dispersed through the whole world, are different members of one body.

1 Corinthians 12:27. Application of all that is said of the human body (1 Corinthians 12:14-26) to his readers: now ye are (in order now to apply to you what has been hitherto said, you then are) the body of Christ and members proportionately. In each Christian church the (ideal) body of Christ presents itself, as in each is presented the (ideal) temple of God; but each church is not a separate body of Christ; hence, just as with the idea of the temple (see on 1 Corinthians 3:16), we must keep entirely away from us the conception of a plurality, as if the churches were σώματα Χριστοῦ, and understand σῶμα Χριστοῦ not as a body,[2006] but as body of Christ, the expression without the article being qualitative.

Now if the church, as a whole, is Christ’s body, then the individuals in it are Christ’s members (comp 1 Corinthians 6:15), but this not without distinction, as if every one could be any member; but ἐκ μέρους, according to parts, according as each one respectively has his own definite part in the body of Christ, consequently his especial place and function which have fallen to him Proverbs parte in the collective organism of the church. Ἐκ betokens the accompanying circumstance of the fact, Bernhardy, p. 230; the expression, however, does not stand here as in 1 Corinthians 13:9-10; 1 Corinthians 13:12, in contrast to that which is perfect (Hofmann), but, as the context shows, in contrast to the united whole, the κοινόν; comp ἙΚΆΣΤΟΥ ΜΈΡΟΥς, Ephesians 4:16. Luther puts it well, as regards the essential meaning: “each one according to his part.” Comp Calvin. Other interpreters understand, with Grotius (who explains it like ΟἹ ΚΑΤᾺ ΜΈΡΟΥς): si ex partibus fit aestimatio, considered as individuals. So Billroth, Rückert, Ewald, Maier. But what would be the object of this superfluous definition? That μέλη refers to individuals, is surely self-evident. Chrysostom held that the Corinthian church was thereby designated as part of the church universal. So also Theodoret, Theophylact, Beza, Wolf, Bengel, and others. But a glance at other churches was entirely alien from the apostle’s purpose here.

[2006] Baur, too, founds upon the absence of the article, and takes it to mean, “a body which has the objective ground of its existence in Christ,” so that the genitive would be objecti. But in every place where the body of Christ is spoken of the genitive is subjecti; Paul would in that case have written σῶμα ἐν Χριστῷ (comp. Romans 12:4).

1 Corinthians 12:27. The figure of the body, developed from 1 Corinthians 12:14-26 with deliberation and completeness, is now applied in detail to the Church, where the same solidarity of manifold parts and powers obtains (1 Corinthians 12:4 ff.): “Now you are (ὑμεῖς δέ ἐστε) a body of (in relation to) Christ, and members severally”—scarcely “the body of Christ” specifically (El[1935]), as if P. might have written τὸ σῶμα τοῦ Χριστοῦ (as in Ephesians 4:12, etc.); this has not yet become the recognised title of the Church (see note on 1 Corinthians 12:12 above); nor is the anarthrous σῶμα to be read distributively, as though the Cor[1936] Church were thought of as one amongst many σῶματα. P. is interpreting his parable: the Cor[1937] are, in their relation to Christ, what the body is to the man.—Χριστοῦ is anarthrous by correlation (cf. note on Θεοῦ σοφίαν, 1 Corinthians 2:7).—ἐκ μέρους signifies the partial by contrast, not as in 1 Corinthians 13:9 with the perfect, but with the whole (body)—particulatim (Bz[1938]): ἐκ of the point of view—“from (and so according to) the part (allotted to each)”; see 1 Corinthians 12:11; cf. also μερίζομαι in 1 Corinthians 7:17, etc.; similarly, ἐκ μέτρου in John 3:34, ἐξ ἰσότητος in 2 Corinthians 8:13.

[1935] C. J. Ellicott’s St. Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians.

[1936] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[1937] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[1938] Beza’s Nov. Testamentum: Interpretatio et Annotationes (Cantab., 1642).

27. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular] We here return to the proposition of 1 Corinthians 12:12-13, rendered more definite and intelligible by what has since been said. The Apostle now says (1) that collectively, Christians are the body of Christ, individually they are His members; (2) that of these members each has its several office (1 Corinthians 12:28); and (3) that none of these offices is common to the whole Christian body, but each belongs only to those to whom it has been assigned (1 Corinthians 12:29-30).

1 Corinthians 12:27. Ἐχ μέρους, in part [in particular]) He adds this, because the Corinthians were not the sole constituents of the body of Christ and His members, ch. 1 Corinthians 14:36. Even Rome should hold it enough, if she be a part [in particular].

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. 1 Corinthians 12:27In particular (ἐκ μέρους)

Rev., better, severally. Each according to his own place and function. See on part, Romans 11:25.

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