1 Corinthians 12:27
Now you are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
There are several analogies between our bodies and the Church as the body of Christ, viz. —
I. THESE ARE OUR BODIES BECAUSE OUR SPIRITS POSSESS AND ANIMATE THEM. So Christ's spirit vitalises the Church.
II. OUR PHYSICAL AND PSYCHICAL NATURES ARE SO CLOSELY JOINED THAT THEY CONSTITUTE A VIRTUAL UNITY. So Christ says of His Church, "As Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us."
III. OUR SPIRITS ARE IN MOST SENSITIVE SYMPATHY WITH ALL PARTS OF OUR BODIES. If any part is cut or bruised, to that at once goes the mind in painful consciousness. So Christ bears all our sorrows, and carries our grief in His sympathetic spirit.
IV. OUR SPIRITS ARE ALERT THAT THEY MAY DEFEND AND OTHERWISE HELP THE BODILY MEMBERS. If a missile comes near, it is the soul that, looking through the eyes, sees it and warns the nerve to spring the muscle that moves the proper part of the body to avoid it. Such is Christ's watchfulness for His people.
V. OUR SPIRITS FREQUENTLY, IN THEIR DEEPER WISDOM, ORDER THE BODY TO RECEIVE PAIN — e.g., to present a hand to the surgeon's knife, to endure fatigue, etc. So Christ ordains suffering for the discipline of His people.
VI. OUR SPIRITS IMPART THE STRENGTH OF THEIR COURAGE TO OUR BODIES, THAT THEY MAY ENDURE PAIN without flinching, the resolute will holding the shrinking nerve; moral courage the source of truest physical heroism. So Christ's grace is sufficient for us,
VII. OUR SPIRITS ARE CONSTANTLY TRAINING OUR BODIES TO EASY, almost unvolitional OBEDIENCE, e.g., we learn to do, as if instinctively, many things that at first are performed only with difficulty — to strike the notes on a piano, to read without definite thought of the letters, all that we mean by "second nature." So Christ is training our souls to obey His precepts with liberty, without constant pressure of the sense of duty. Perfect sainthood will be as natural as the processes of physical motion.
VIII. OUR SPIRITS ARE CONSTANTLY MODIFYING THE ASPECT OF OUR BODIES, stamping character upon the countenance, and expressing disposition by manner and mien. So Christ, by the indwelling of His Holy Spirit, sanctifies us.
IX. OUR SPIRITS KEEP OUR BODIES ALIVE SO LONG AS THEY ARE ASSOCIATED. There can be no death until the soul is withdrawn; then only does the tabernacle of the flesh fall. So Christ is the life of all the members of His body. And as His promise is, "Lo, I am with you alway," we can never die. "Because I live ye shall live also."
(J. M. Ludlow, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.