Made for Community reading plan from Love God Greatly that I worked on back in 2015. With this study, as I have often done, I used the SOAP method of Bible study. Just a quick reminder that the S is for Scripture, O is for Observation, A is for Application and P is for Prayer. The fourth section is Made for Community with the Body of Christ. So here we go with the Scripture for the second day of that section.
S= "And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular." (2 Corinthians 12:26-27)
O= C.I. Scofield notes that all of the subjects Paul deals with in this letter to the Corinthians have the same general theme of Christian conduct. Here in these verses Paul is teaching that every believer is a member of Christ's body, and that each believer has a definite ministry.
Verse 25 notes that there should be no division in the body, but that all members should have the same care one for another. Verse 26 expands on this point:
* If one member suffers, all the members suffer with that one.
* If one member is honored, all the members rejoice with that one.
This is because:
1) We are the body of Christ.
2) We are members in particular.
A cross-reference for "body of Christ" is Colossians 1:18 -- "And He is the head of the body, the church; who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence."
Colossians 2:19 refers to Jesus as "the Head from whom all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God."
A cross-reference for "members in particular" is Ephesians 5:30 -- "For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones."
A= It can be a beautiful thing to see the local body of Christ having "the same care one for another" as pictured in 1 Corinthians 12:25. When this is the case, it very naturally follows that when one suffers, all suffer, and that when one member is honored, all rejoice. The body of Christ is functioning as intended.
I've been blessed to be a part of two local bodies where the members care well for one another. I believe that in general it is still that way. Yet sometimes we see in a local church that certain members seem more bent on finding fault with one another rather than caring for one another. May the Lord help me to interact with all members of our local body in a way that is pleasing to Him and blesses others!
P= "Lord, I thank You once again for the marvelous practicality of Your Word! I thank You for the picture it paints of how the body of Christ is intended to function. I thank You for my local church and for our previous church, and how both have functioned quite well as a body over the years. I praise You for our merged church where we are seeing that hold true. There's always room for improvement, though, in any church or its individual members. Help me to do my part as a member of Your body, in Jesus' name, Amen."
There is the study for this week. See you next Sunday for more concerning community in the body of Christ.