"For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
"For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
"Having then gifts DIFFERING ACCORDING TO THE GRACE THAT IS GIVEN TO US, whether prophecy, let us prophesy ACCORDING TO THE PROPORTION OF FAITH; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. LET LOVE BE WITHOUT DISSIMULATION." (Romans 12:3-9a.)
If love so be without hypocrisy, then there is no rejection of differing members of the Body. In fact, Paul addressed that very point in the epistle that follows that last one mentioned, also being in the twelfth chapter. In 1_Corinthians 12:4-8,10a-b,11 (herein abbreviated only for simplicity), Paul explained in the following.
"Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
"But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit... to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits... But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will."
And Paul then continues that with repeatedly referring to the differing parts of the human body (anatomy) in his comparison to the Body of Christ.
"For the body is not one member, but many. 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? If the whole were 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." (1_Corinthians 12:14-20.)
Is that not rather clear? Has Paul not made it obvious that it is God and not man that has fashioned the body by many members? Is it not clear that it is made as it pleased God, and not that it might please man? And Paul further details the foolishness of rejecting certain members of the 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 those 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 should be no schism ((division)) in the body; but that THE MEMBERS SHOULD HAVE THE SAME CARE ONE FOR ANOTHER." (1_Corinthians 12:21-25.)
© April 4, 1996, The Standard Bearer
P.O. Box 765, O.O.B., ME 04064