What does 1 Corinthians 12:24 mean?
ESV: which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it,
NIV: while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it,
NASB: whereas our more presentable parts have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that part which lacked,
CSB: which our respectable parts do not need.Instead, God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the less honorable,
NLT: while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity.
KJV: For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:
Verse Commentary:
Not every part of the human body requires protection and modesty. Most of us don't worry too much about hiding our hands from view or keeping them out of harm's way. They've got obvious work to do right out in the open. Many functions in the church are like that, too. The pastors and teachers are very visible members of the body with obvious gifts and obvious work to do. When certain situations occur, those are the first members expected to move, to work, and to be put into use.

At the same time, there are parts of the body which some might consider "less honorable," in that we don't want them to be exposed or seen. They're also not parts we want treated roughly or put in harm's way. But that, in and of itself, speaks to the value and importance of those parts. They have a role to fulfill, and we instinctively want to protect their ability to function, keeping them from things they were not meant to do.

Beyond the easily-seen roles like pastors and teachers, other gifted people fill roles that are virtually invisible to the rest of the church body. Those roles and the people who fill them should be given perhaps even greater honor in the church. Without the quiet encouragers, the helpers, and the givers, the church would stop being the church. Paul insists we must honor all parts of the church body.
Verse Context:
First Corinthians 12:12–31 continues Paul's teaching on the spiritual gifts as they cooperate to empower God's will for the church. The Christian church is like a human body. It is one individual organism made up of many different parts that serve a wide variety of functions. All those functions matter. Nobody should decide they don't like their gift or their role in the church and try to quit. The body needs each member to do its part in order to work properly. We must respect and value each other for the vital roles we serve in the church.
Chapter Summary:
Apparently in response to further questions from Corinth, Paul describes what spiritual gifts are, who receives them, and what they are for. His emphasis is that particular spiritual gifts do not make believers spiritual. Every believer is spiritual because every Christian has God's Spirit with him or her. In addition, the Spirit gives one or more spiritual gifts to each believer to be used to serve the church. The church is like a body, in which every part is needed, and all the parts exist to serve one another. Every believer must discover how they are gifted by the Spirit and value the function they serve in Christ's body.
Chapter Context:
After tackling the issues of head coverings for women and the Lord's Supper in the previous chapter, Paul moves to the issue of spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12. Paul insists that the display of spiritual gifts does not make one believer more spiritual or important than another. Every believer in Jesus has the Spirit, and the Spirit gives to every believer one or more spiritual gifts. The gifts are given for the common good, and the church is like a human body. Each gifted function in the church represents a body part, and all the parts are essential. This sets up a description of love, as defined from a Christian viewpoint, and famously recorded in chapter 13.
Book Summary:
First Corinthians is one of the more practical books of the New Testament. Paul writes to a church immersed in a city associated with trade, but also with corruption and immorality. These believers are struggling to properly apply spiritual gifts and to resist the ungodly practices of the surrounding culture. Paul's letter gives instructions for real-life concerns such as marriage and spirituality. He also deals with the importance of unity and gives one of the Bible's more well-known descriptions of love in chapter 13.
Accessed 4/16/2024 1:27:43 AM
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