Body Life (2): The Same, Only Different

. 3 min read

2016/01/24 Christ Church,
Mountain Top
Call to Worship, Psalm 19
Children, Luke
4.14-21; song, “Father Abraham”
Message, 1 Corinthians 12.12-31
Update (re last week’s message):
For most of us, the ideals that
Paul shares for intimate relationships is something that we miss by a mile. Our
stories are full of brokenness and failure. There is hope. Note that Paul is
sharing this with the Corinthians – members of Christ patronizing prostitutes,
spouses denying their love to one another – and he does so not to tell them
that they are being bad, but because the promise of God is still open to them,
there is wholeness for our brokenness, forgiveness for our failure.
Alternative title: Parts Is Parts
and the uptight, re body consciousness, modesty
week, “members of Christ” united to prostitutes. This week “members of the
body”. Same word in Greek.
euphemistic speech for male genitalia: “body parts that seem to be
delicate/weaker are indispensable.… If one part suffers (is in pain), all
suffer with it; if one part is honored, all rejoice with it”
Title: Same, only different
that allows us to include a great variety of things
car, except color, 2/4 door …
Twins: Robin and Betty 


1 Corinthians 12:4-6  Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same
Spirit;  5 and there are
varieties of services, but the same Lord; 
6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same
God who activates all of them in everyone.
rooted in Trinity (see also Fee, 585)
providing an exhaustive or systematic list of gifts – just enough to show the
diversity God desires and get them beyond their “singular emphasis” (Fee, 585)
Unity rooted in the Trinity
Cookie cutter
It’s a devious little device
It shows blatant disregard for
It promotes the herd mentality
cutter, Kia Optima ad
by Christopher Walken
We desire to be a place where
each of us can truly be ourselves. Yet we know our perceptions and judgments
get in the way. When someone is different, when something is different,
especially when it does not match our expectations, all of us struggle to
Order and Power
Strong versus Weak in Corinth
like the angels – don’t need sex in the present, don’t need bodies in the
future, already speak an angelic language – truly spiritual (Fee, 573)
whole body should be one member: “If all were a single member….”
Everyone “should” … be spiritual
like us
of judgment and power, strong vs weak
of privilege – eligibility for consideration
of policy, not of freedom
of turf – my closet, my paperclips
Typical rhetorical pattern with
body/members language in 1st century: focus on body as
well-organized and under the authority of a “head”. In this passage, there is
no “head” and no “headship” talk. The expected dynamics that reinforce order
and power are turned upside down when Paul declares, “On the contrary, the
members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those members
of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor”.
judgment is not as strong against the weak, but a judgment of the whole
community by how it treats its weakest members
apostles.…” Acknowledges order of an organization, as well as life of an
organism. What is listed as first is not only for the sake of an organization,
but an effort to help the Corinthians see beyond their focus on gifts independent
from the way they serve the body.
Unity in Diversity: We are only
the body of Christ TOGETHER. We need each other to be whole. Without the
weakest part, we are diminished. The weakest, the strangest, the newest, the
oldest, are indispensable to the body.
& Etta
preparing SS curriculum
giving hugs
& Curtis driving people
Evangelism: Together, as the body
of Christ, we manifest Jesus in the world. People meet Jesus through us as a
body. Multiple gifts.
= Sharing “good news”. Jesus comes to bring “good news” to the poor. Together,
we are called to transform the world.
Care: We are the body of Christ
as we care for the weakest among us. And, we’ve all got a turn coming in the
“weak” category. Lectio: If we experienced the body of Christ the way we
experience the pain of our own body, we might do more for each other.
now I will show you a more excellent way”. Chapter 13 – LOVE.

Gordon Fee. 1987. The First Epistle to the Corinthians.
Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.