Apostle Paul Addresses The People In Corinth
In I Corinthians Chapter 12: Paul addresses the converted, saved people of Corinth, as well as the unconverted, all those who would hear his message, and sought to discover and choose God and Christ Jesus as the Son of God, as their new life.
There were (Greek believers, converted Jews, converted Gentiles, Christians). There were Greek Jews, Greek Gentiles, not yet converted, but hungry for God. There may have been even Roman sympathizers in the crowd. Therefore it is not only the converted of Corinth who hear these words from Paul, if we take this one more step, extending it into today and the Christian Community that we now live, our responsibility is to help those in need of help, to evangelize, as Christians.
We should see each and every person that we meet, that we try to reach out to, that we touch, that we bring to conversion as a part of "The Body" seeking acknowledgement and becoming welcomed.
This should also extend to, the drug addict in the alley, the prostitute on the street corner, the homeless children or adults living and begging on our streets, These are all parts of the body. Who are we, to ignore them? Are they less important to Christian society, or the body than we are, that we feel we have a right to avoid them, or, to shun them, or, treat them as invisible? Do they have less to contribute? "No" They to are a part of the body, that need strengthening but still a part of the Body.
As Jesus reminds us: "What you do unto the least of these my children, you do unto me." In other words if we simply choose to ignore them and pass them by, we are ignoring Jesus. If we all sit on our hands and do nothing to help. If we all keep silent hoping the problem will go away. If we do not try to introduce them to a loving, caring, God. What loss is there to "The Body" as a whole?
In chapter 12: vs.2 he reminds the converted of the fact that before they were saved they followed and were led by dumb idols. He also offers instruction to them to continue to refrain from worshipping idols. That now Jesus the Son of God was the only God they should worship.
"Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols,even as ye were led."
Now though, God The Father, had united them through Christ Jesus, and now their worship has switched from worshipping idols and false gods to worshipping one Triune God, the one true God.
I Corinthians 12: 7
"But the Manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man, to profit withall."
The key words in this verse of scripture are "Given to every man to profit withall" Yes God through His Holy Spirit blesses each and every man, woman, and child, with specific gifts, expecting us to use them in such a way so that all will profit from them, directly or indirectly and "No" the word profit does not refer to a monetary value.
Paul explains to the people that, now that they are saved, they can look forward to receiving the gifts of The Holy Spirit and though each will manifest one or more of of the gifts of the spirit, there is but one God, and that whatever gift of the spirit befalls one person they receive it to the glory of all, for all whether already saved, or seeking to become saved, even the non-believer is given special gifts. It is how they are used whether selfishly or shared with others that determines the true value of that gift.Paul also shows to us that once saved, we too have an obligation to try our best to help save others and bring them to God.
Paul then goes on to mention the (9) various gifts of The Holy Spirit.
I Corinthians 12: 8-11 (para-phrased)
The Gift of Wisdom, The Gift of knowledge, The Gift of Faith, The Gift of Healing, The Gift of Working of Miracles, The Gift of Prophecy, The Gift of Discerning of Spirits, The Gift of Speaking in Tongues, and lastly The Gift of interpretation of tongues.
Each of these Godly Gifts, can the Holy Spirit share with each of us, but if they are left dormant, if we do not use them, in a Holy manner, they become wasted. Each gift will manifest itself to us in a specific way and then it is up to us, to use them in such a manner as to serve God, as well as help others.
Paul personally addresses many large crowds, as is this one in Corinth. The question though arises, even though Paul is addressing the people of Corinth, who are already converted and saved, is it to them only who he is addressing?
Are there also unsave, unbaptised among those being addressed. Are these Gifts, only for those already saved, or does the unbelieving Gentile, who is seeking to be saved, have this promise of the gifts once saved.
I Corinthians 12: 12 to 12-14
Paul goes on further to explain, and his explanation answers and clarifies these questions.
"For as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of that one body, being many: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many."
In I Corinthians 12: 15-2 Paul expands on his explanation to clarify that not only is he addressing the elect the already baptized but also all who seek God with their hearts and wish to become one with Christ.
"If the foot shall say because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?"
"And if the ear shall say because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?"
"If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body."
"And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head,to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay much more these members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: and those members of the body which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care for another."
Paul goes on in I Corinthians 12: 28-30 "And God hath set some in the Church, first Apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles then gifts of healings,helps, governments,diversities of tongues. Are all Apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?"
Tags: Paul , Corinthians , Gentiles , Greeks
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