The Body of Christ in the world is for the service for, and manifestation of Christ, and the Body is to serve the Head, whose Body we are. The gifts and graces of the members of the Body greatly differ, but are freely given of God through the Holy Spirit. Since all powers in the members proceed from the Holy Ghost, no member may boast against another, and no member, however insignificant, may consider himself unessential, but is equally obligated to be yielded to the Spirit.
I Corinthians 12
1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.
3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
13 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 all made to drink into one Spirit.
14 For the body is not one member, but many.
15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
16 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?
17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?
20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.
21 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.
22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:
23 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.
24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:
25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
28 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.
29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
I Corinthians 12:1 – J. Vernon McGee
I Corinthians 12:2-3 – J. Vernon McGee
I Corinthians 12:4-6 – J. Vernon McGee
I Corinthians 12:7 – J. Vernon McGee
I Corinthians 12:8-9 – J. Vernon McGee
I Corinthians 12:10-11 – J. Vernon McGee
I Corinthians 12:12 – J. Vernon McGee
I Corinthians 12:13-19 – J. Vernon McGee
I Corinthians 12:20-31 – J. Vernon McGee
1 Corinthians 12:1-11 – Differing Spiritual Gifts
Each believer, being an heir of God, has the same amount of grace placed to his credit in the heavenly bank, on which he can draw in time of need. This is the parable of the pounds. Each servant received the same amount. But there are great diversities in the gifts with which we are endowed. Some have five talents, others two, and large numbers only one. A full enumeration of these gifts is made in I Corinthians 12:8-11, and it is a comfort to learn that to everyone something is allotted, I Corinthians 12:7, 11.
Notice that the allotment is made by the Holy Spirit acting sovereignly as He will, I Corinthians 12:11. We are not informed when it is made—perhaps it is at the moment of our regeneration or adoption—but it is important to bear in mind that our gifts will probably correspond with our natural endowment. Hence our Lord tells us that to every man was given according to his several ability, Matthew 25:15.
Mark the allusion to the Divine Trinity: the same Spirit, I Corinthians 12:4; the same Lord, I Corinthians 12:5; the same God, I Corinthians 12:6. The Spirit directs, the Savior is the channel of supply, and the Father is the fountain of all. —Through the Bible Day by Day
I Corinthians 12:3—No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
Jesus is Savior, but is He Lord? Hast thou yielded to Him the Lordship? Nothing short of this will give thee true peace and power. Thou must be brought to say with the psalmist, “Other lords beside thee have had dominion over us: but by thee only will we make mention of thy name” (Isaiah 26:13).
Jesus must be Lord of thy heart; every affection must be brought under his most wise and loving control. He must be Lord of thy home, so that no conversation may be indulged, no recreation set afoot, no society entertained, which is inconsistent with his character and claims. He must be Lord of thy business and its returns, so that thou shalt live in perpetual communication with Him, along the lines of the Heavenly Telephone; and in the use of all its proceeds He must have the supreme voice. He must be Lord of thy plans. It is for Him to say Go, or Come, or Do this. That was a true message which Ahasuerus sent through the good Ezra to the Jewish people: “Whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be diligently done for the house of the God of heaven” I like that word diligently.
But this perpetual recognition of the Lordship of Jesus is only possible to those who have yielded their entire nature to the gracious influences of the Holy Spirit, who loves to glorify Christ. Dost thou seek the attitude of consecration which thus honors thy Lord? Then let the Holy Spirit work it for thee! Wouldst thou have it maintained? Let Him maintain it! And if thou askest thyself, whether thou hast received the Pentecostal endowment, be sure that thou hast, if with all thine heart thou sayest that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. This is the certain test. —Our Daily Homily
1 Corinthians 12:12-19 – Many Members in One Body
The use of gifts must never be dictated by personal ambition or the desire for selfish gain. As every member of the physical body is united to the head by two sets of nerves, the afferent, which bring to the brain the slightest sense impressions, and the efferent, which bear to the extremities the commands of the mind, so is every member of the Church, even the feeblest and most distant, bound to his glorious Lord. The head of the swimmer is in one element—the air—and the members may be in another—the water—yet the head is able to control and co-ordinate them; so with the unseen Christ and His visible Church on earth. He must direct and use us. We have nothing to do with the work He confides to others, and must concentrate on that which He wants to achieve through us. If this means co-operation with other members or service to them; if it means hidden obscurity or temporary disuse, we must be equally content. It is for Him to do as He will. There is no room for envy or jealousy; they must give place to loving fellowship and mutual help, and the quiet peace and rest which come from recognizing the good pleasure of the Creator. —Through the Bible Day by Day
1 Corinthians 12:20-31 – Each Contributing His Part
The hand and the foot obviously stand in need of each other; but the same interdependence marks the feebler and humbler parts of our frame. Indeed, it would appear as if we bestow more abundant honor on them by covering them with clothes or ornaments. In this way the least important parts of our nature are leveled up and compensated.
The Apostle’s aim throughout this passage is to enforce the interdependence of believers. One gives to others that in which they are deficient, and he derives help from each of them in turn. The Christian Church is not an inert mass of mere learners and subjects who are to be authoritatively taught and ruled by a small fraction of its members. It is a great co-operative society, in which each is for all and all for each, and the object is to bring Christ into every department of our being and our fellowship, as the life-blood nourishes the body of man. A new word has lately come into use, to express the interdependence and mutual interests of men and nations; and nothing could more aptly describe the Apostle’s ideal than that word solidarity. —Through the Bible Day by Day