You are Christ’s body.
November 17, 2019
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Paul finished his metaphor of the human body in verse 26.
Here in verse 27 he equates the saints with the body of Christ.
No longer is Paul speaking in a metaphor. It’s no longer “just as”. It’s “ARE”!
With that new revelation, Paul returns to his main subject: the spirituals.
God has made His appointments in order of priority.
For one thing, they are given in rank order: first, second, third.
God appoints men
GOD makes the appointments.
They are ranked in order of priority.
Apostles had seen the Risen Christ.
They were were sent to preach the message of the gospel to the known world.
There are gifts of miracles and healings.
And there are men who were appointed as apostles, prophets and teachers.
God decides when and where and through whom He will have these gifts operate.
Why not? Because elders and deacons are appointed by men!
God the Father appoints the apostles, prophets and teachers. God the Son gives these men to the body of Christ.
First, the Lord sent an apostle to a geographic location.
His orders were to evangelize and then form congregations of new believers.
Second, God appointed prophets to communicate more of His word to those congregations.
Then God would appoint teachers to stand on the foundation.
They were charged with speaking the truth in love and wisely applying the truth, so the body would grow.
Next, there is a shift from the men back to the gifts.
God ordained certain miracles and healings in order to put His stamp on the message.
The Messiah had come!
Who performed the miracles? God did.
But it’s no coincidence that Paul lists tongues last.
Helps and administrations built up the church much more than tongues did.
Left off the list: the words of wisdom, knowledge, and faith, the distinguishing of spirits, and the interpretation of tongues.
Kept: the gifts of healings and miracles, prophecy and various kinds of tongues.
Added: apostles, teachers, helps and administrations.
Verse 31 is addressed to the entire congregation as one body.
The congregation should earnestly desire the greater gifts to fully function in the body.
The greater gifts refer to the first three: apostles, prophets, and teachers.
This does NOT mean that individuals should seek out one of the greater gifts.
We will find out