- Published: 09 December 2010
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Spirit has the "s" in the A.V. of 1611, and correctly so, for it here refers to the new nature or the new man in the believer. So it is by virtue of having this spirit that the Corinthian saints were baptized into, or identified with one body.
In the immediate context, verses
1 Cor. 8-10 this body of believers was endowed with 9 spiritual gifts; wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, tongues, and their interpretation. And verse 7 says that these were given to every man, i.e., every man in that body.
In the same chapter, this body is described as having feet, hands, ears, eyes, and the like. So the parts and the gifts are alike unequal. For the gifts were given according to ability, and some parts were comely and some parts uncomely.
This body was made up of Jewish and Gentile believers. The Jews are addressed in chapters 10 and 11, and the Gentiles in this chapter 12. These Gentiles are described in Gal. 3:9 as being blest with faithful Abraham by faith, that there was a purpose in which the blessings of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles, and that by faith they became Abraham's seed. These Gentile believers were at one time spoken of by the Lord as dogs eating crumbs that fell from Israel's table. But later they were partaking of Israel's spiritual things
see Rom. 15:27 and see Matt. 15:26
Paul writes to some length in Romans about this body made up of Jews and Gentiles. A prophecy is quoted in Rom. 9:25 concerning the fact that God would call a people His people who were not His people. In verse 28 the Gentile believers obtain righteousness which they sought not after. They were to provoke Israel to jealousy (10:19 & 11:11). And 11:17-24 describes them as being grafted into the olive tree as wild olive branches so that the original tree (Israel) might bear fruit.
This not only shows that they are unequal, the Jew being first, but it is plain that such a relation ship does not and cannot constitute a joint body. Chapter 2 tells us that the Jew is first in blessing and also first in punishment. Summed up, all this is proof that there was a fleshly distinction between Jew and Gentile in that body.
The Jewish believers were still under the law, but the Gentile believers had the gospel of the grace of God preached to them. So they became guests at Israel's table by grace, not by the law.
This body at Corinth had the hope of the coming Messiah and His kingdom. Along with Israel, Gentiles had the hope of the so-called rapture in chapter 15, by which they would meet the Lord in the air (not heaven) and come with Him to the earth to take part in His millennial kingdom. Heaven was not their hope.
Paul was still preaching this coming, the hope of Israel at Acts 28:20 It had been his constant theme until Acts 28:28 where finally the salvation of God was sent to the Gentiles. Salvation was then no longer of the Jews and this body ceased to be.