1 Corinthians 11-12

Read 1 Corinthians 11-12

The writers of the New Testament use several metaphors to describe the church. It is God’s temple (1 Cor. 3:16-17), meaning he identifies with and dwells within it. It is the bride of Christ (Eph. 5:25-32; Rev. 19:7-8), meaning the church is the object of Jesus’ sacrificial love and service. It is the household or family of God (Eph. 2:19), which emphasizes the shared identity and community within the church. In today’s text, Paul refers to the church as a body that is comprised of many members (12:12, 14), which emphasizes the participatory role that each of us play in the function of the church. 

Think about your physical body for a moment: when one part of your body fails to function as it is intended to, that is generally a cause for concern. You schedule an appointment or visit the emergency room (or you should, anyways). Why? Because your body can’t function at 100% if part of it is functioning improperly. 

Or consider another perspective: each part of your body is dependent on the other parts of your body. I’m not a doctor, but I know that a task as simple as taking a single step requires some combination of the cardiovascular, muscular, skeletal, and neurological systems to function together in order for you to put one foot in front of the other.

So it is with the church, the body of Christ. Each of us has a part to play in order to ensure the body is functioning as God intended. Sure, some roles are more visible and obvious than others (i.e., your brain vs. your spleen), but each role is vital as we depend on one another to “grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ . . . when each part is working properly” (Eph. 4:15-16).

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