So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)In Christ.—Christ is the unifying principle in the Church, just as the personality or will is the unifying principle in man.
Every one.—A somewhat peculiar phrase in the Greek, not found in this form in classical writers, meaning “as individuals.”
Members one of another.—Strictly speaking, the members are called members in their relation to the body, and not in their relation to each other. We should say, rather, “fellow-members with one another.”
Are one body - Are united together, constituting one society, or one people, mutually dependent, and having the same great interests at heart, though to be promoted by us according to our special talents and opportunities. As the welfare of the same body is to be promoted in one manner by the feet, in another by the eye, etc.; so the welfare of the body of Christ is to be promoted by discharging our duties in our appropriate sphere, as God has appointed us.
In Christ - One body, joined to Christ, or connected with him as the head; Ephesians 1:22-23, "And gave him to be head over all things to the church, which is his body;" compare John 15:1-7. This does not mean that there is any physical or literal union, or any destruction of personal identity, or any thing particularly mysterious or unintelligible. Christians acknowledge him as their head. that is, their Lawgiver; their Counsellor, Guide, and Redeemer. They are bound to him by especially tender ties of affection, gratitude, and friendship; they are united in him, that is, in acknowledging him as their common Lord and Saviour. Any other unions than this is impossible; and the sacred writers never intended that expressions like these should be explained literally. The union of Christians to Christ is the most tender and interesting of any in this world, but no more mysterious than what binds friend to friend, children to parents, or husbands to their wives; compare Ephesians 5:23-33. (See the supplementary note at Romans 8:17.)
And every one members one of another - Compare 1 Corinthians 12:25-26. That is, we are so united as to be mutually dependent; each one is of service to the other; and the existence and function of the one is necessary to the usefulness of the other. Thus, the members of the body may be said to be members one of another; as the feet could not, for example, perform their functions or be of use if it were not for the eye; the ear, the hand, the teeth, etc., would be useless if it were not for the other members, which go to make up the entire person. Thus, in the church, every individual is not only necessary in his place as an individual, but is needful to the proper symmetry and action of the whole. And we may learn here:
(1) That no member of the church of Christ should esteem himself to be of no importance. In his own place he may be of as much consequence as the man of learning, wealth, and talent may be in his.
(2) God designed that there should be differences of endowments of nature and of grace in the church; just as it was needful that there should be differences in the members of the human body.
(3) no one should despise or lightly esteem another. All are necessary. We can no more spare the foot or the hand than we can the eye; though the latter may be much more curious and striking as a proof of divine skill. We do not despise the hand or the foot any more than we do the eye; and in all we should acknowledge the goodness and wisdom of God. See these thoughts carried out in 1 Corinthians 12:21-25.See Poole on "Ro 12:4" So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)5. in Christ] i.e. by virtue of our union with Him. See on Romans 8:1. Cp. also for the profound meaning of the phrase, 2 Corinthians 5:17.
and every one] Perhaps better, in view of MSS. &c., but with respect to individuality; “as concerns our several positions.”Romans 12:5. Ὁ δὲ καθεὶς) see Mark 14:19, note.—μέλη, members, Ephesians 4:25.
Lit., the many. Rev., better, who are many.
Every one (τὸ δὲ καθ' εἶς)
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