2 Studies in 1 Corinthians Series  Unity in DiversityStudies in 1 Corinthians Series 1 Corinthians 12:12-31February 15, 2015Pastor Paul K. Kim2
3 RECAP: FOUR ESSENTIAL TRUTHS ABOUT SPIRITUAL GIFTS [1 COR. 12:1-11] VALIDITY: it is in the work of the Spirit who illumines the LORDSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST to each believer.ORIGIN: all spiritual gifts are from the same Spirit, Lord, and God [Triune God].PURPOSE: they are for the COMMON GOOD of the church through the manifestation of the Spirit. .RECIPIENT: the recipient of spiritual gifts is EVERY BELIEVER in Christ—given by the Holy Spirit, as he wills.
4 HOW SHOULD WE BUILD UP THE CHURCH WITH OUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS? 1) In building up the church, we are to acknowledge that WE ALL BELONG TO ONE BODY through the baptism of one Spirit [UNITY]. 12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. (vs )The pathway to belonging to the body is through the baptism of the Spirit, which occurs at the moment of our salvation.Unity of the church is not something we need to create; rather, we are to preserve it—the Spirit has already made us ONE.In this ONE body, all those who share one Spirit as the gift of salvation are united in Christ.
5 HOW SHOULD WE BUILD UP THE CHURCH WITH OUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS? 2) In building up the church, we are to EXERCISE OUR VARIOUS GIFTS through active involvement in the “body life” [DIVERSITY].14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. (vs )
6 HOW SHOULD WE BUILD UP THE CHURCH WITH OUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS? 2) In building up the church, we are to EXERCISE OUR VARIOUS GIFTS through active involvement in the “body life” [DIVERSITY].17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? (vs )In asserting the importance of “interdependence,” Paul first focuses on those who are passive or lack motivation.We are apt to compare our spiritual gifts to others that we deem so important; but each part is critical for the whole body.Hence, we are to exercise our own gifts through active involvement for the health and vigor of the body!
7 HOW SHOULD WE BUILD UP THE CHURCH WITH OUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS? 3) In building up the church, we are to recognize the NEED FOR ONE ANOTHER as one body of Christ [UNITY IN DIVERSITY].20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, (vs )
8 HOW SHOULD WE BUILD UP THE CHURCH WITH OUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS? 3) In building up the church, we are to recognize the NEED FOR ONE ANOTHER as one body of Christ [UNITY IN DIVERSITY].24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. (vs )Continuing on the importance of “interdependence,” Paul now focuses on those who are overconfident & independent.We are apt to have an illusion of “I have no need of others”; but, the truth is we desperately need other parts of the body.Hence, we are to live out God’s wisdom in designing us to be interdependent as individual members of ONE body of Christ!
9 HOW SHOULD WE BUILD UP THE CHURCH WITH OUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS? 4) In building up the church, we are to FULFILL GOD’S WILL by celebrating the diversity of spiritual gifts in one body of Christ [DIVERSITY IN UNITY].27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? (vs )In concluding his teaching on “unity in diversity,” Paul lists out some spiritual gifts again to show diversity of the body.Paul lists three critical gifts for equipping the body; but, he lists speaking in tongue (their obsessive gift) as the last one.The answer to Paul’s 7 questions is all resounding “NO!”; then, he urges them to look to a more excellent way of using gifts!
10 31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts 31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way. (v. 31)
11 Unity in Diversity: Saving Grace and Service Grace Although there is only one body, one faith and one family, this unity is not to be misconstrued as a lifeless or colorless uniformity. We are not to imagine that every Christian is an exact replica of every other, as if we had all been mass-produced in some celestial factory. On the contrary, the unity of the church, far from being boringly monotonous, is exciting in its diversity. This is not just because of our different cultures, temperaments and personalities (which, though true, is not Paul’s point here), but because of the different gifts which Christ distributes for the enrichment of our common life “Saving grace,” the grace which saves sinners, is given to all who believe; but what might be termed “service grace,” the grace which equips God’s people to serve, is given in differing degrees according to the measure of Christ’s gift. The unity of the church is due to charis, God’s grace having reconciled us to himself; but the diversity of the church is due to charismata, God’s gifts distributed to church members.— John R. W. Stott
12 THREE PRACTICAL QUESTIONS FOR OUR EVERYDAY LIFE In what ways are you more convinced of the undeniable unity in Christ—that all believers belong to one body of Christ through baptism of one Spirit?In what ways can you use your spiritual gifts through active “body life” at CrossWay [or in your home church]? What is your first step?In what ways can you acknowledge your need for other members of the body at CrossWay [or in your home church]? What is your first step?