1 CORINTHIANS 12


4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

We are justified in believing that there will be nothing mechanical in the operations of immortal life. The controlling presence of the spirit will not exclude individuality of thought and volition. Rather will there be that diversity in glorious unity. One spirit, acting in the diversity of individual gift and intelligence --in harmony, but not in monotony--will be no new experience. In the apostolic age, the same phenomenon was exemplified in a lower form (1 Cor. 12:4-11). 

What would be true of the apostles in their exaltation would be true of all saints, so that we may look forward to a life full of the interest that comes even now from the application of individual judgment to the decision of problems as they arise.

Law of Moses Ch 33



10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

Discerning of spirits

For instance " "Why say ye in your hearts?"

And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? (Mk 2: 8)



THAT THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD

The expression,‭ "‬hand of God,‭" ‬does not necessarily involve inspiration‭; ‬neither is Inspiration always the result of the Spirit operating on man.‭ ‬If it were so,‭ ‬we should not read of the Philistines having disease through the hand of God being upon them‭ (‬1‭ ‬Sam.‭ v. ‬6‭-‬9‭); ‬nor would it be recorded that the Israelites were helped by God in their physical conflicts.‭

As there are diversities of Spirit gifts,‭ ‬so are there diversities of Divine workings‭ (‬1‭ ‬Cor.‭ xii. ‬4‭-‬6‭)‬.‭ ‬Inspiration is a Spirit gift of a very high order-perhaps the highest.‭ ‬It means literally a breathing,‭ ‬and breathing being essential to speech,‭ ‬it fittingly represents the action of the vocal organs.‭

Those who are the subjects of it are,‭ ‬for the time being,‭ ‬the Deity's mouthpiece,‭ ‬as Aaron was the mouthpiece of the inspired Moses.‭ ‬Since the completion of the Apostolic writings,‭ ‬there is no evidence of anyone possessing this gift.‭ ‬But are we to conclude that no one has received Divine aid since then‭?

‭ ‬If so,‭ ‬how are we to account for some answers to the prayers of God's children‭? ‬Moreover,‭ ‬how have the weak ones chosen by God for His work been strengthened‭ (‬1‭ ‬Cor.‭ i. ‬27‭-‬29‭)? ‬And how have the angels fulfilled their functions as ministering spirits on behalf of the heirs of salvation‭ (‬Heb.‭ i‬:14‭)?

Probably,‭ ‬if the truth were known,‭ ‬others in the present generation have received Divine aid in their labours for the Deity.

The Christadelphian, Jan 1887. p18



14 For the body is not one member, but many.

No one should think highly of himself, because he has a gift that may distinguish him from the rest. He ought rather to think that as he did not make himself, it is no credit to him that he can do certain things which others cannot do. There is lack of reasonable ground for boasting or self-compliment. The feebly-gifted should also have it in mind that if they are part of the true body of Christ, they are as truly important as the greatest in that great body.

Between the well-gifted and the ill-gifted, there should be no schism. The one should be modest and kind, and the other, contented, cheerful, and kind. There should be no schism in the body.

The Christadelphian, Nov 1869



25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

See 11:18 schism within the ecclesia...


...human nature then was the same as human nature now. The gifts varied; some were more extraordinary than others, while some of the brethren had no gifts at all. This state of things afforded scope for evil in a carnal-minded community. A brother able to do more wonderful things than the rest, would be liable to feel himself of more consequence in the ecclesia than another brother, who, perhaps, did nothing at all.

A wise man largely gifted would see that what he possessed he had received, and was therefore no matter of boast or credit to him, and he would therefore play a modest part; but others in the ecclesia not so wise would think differently and exalt him, and so cause schism, because the exaltation of one would involve the depreciation of another not so highly gifted. This is the schism that Paul says is not to exist.

TC 11/1869



27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

The meaning of "Ecclesia" has different degrees of extension. In its narrowest sense, it is the local group with which, and within which, we -- in God's wise provision and providence -- are working out our salvation.

In a wider, but still present, sense it is the Body of Christ in its current, living constitution -- those with whom we are contemporary throughout the world.

In its fullest, most universal sense, the Ecclesia comprises all the Redeemed of all generations -- the multitude of glory that no man can number.

From week to week we work and associate within the framework of our own local ecclesia (to some extent extending to neighboring ecclesias), but we must always be vividly conscious of the larger aspect of the Ecclesia of Christ diffused through both past history and present geography.

Paul is our example. He could sincerely and literally write to all throughout the ecclesial world (Eph. 1:16) --

"I cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers."

"Without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers" (Rom. 1:9).

A Fraternal Gathering is to strengthen by personal contact the ecclesial bonds of unity and sympathy and fellowship and understanding.

Paul prayed fervently to be able to see the ecclesia at Rome, that, as he says --

"I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith of both you and me."

In God's wisdom for our good, the Ecclesia is the unit, not the individual. No man liveth to himself: that is selfishness, stagnation, sterility. The Body is ONE, and hath many members.

The heart of our gradual education from ugly natural ignorance to the living beauty of the Truth is to learn to think and to act unselfishly as part of the Body, and not selfishly as a separate individual, even as regards our own salvation.

The flesh is for itself. Even its goodnesses to others are for its own satisfaction. It is impossible to escape this vicious circle of self-centeredness except by breaking completely out of the flesh into the mind of the Spirit, by constant prayer and study of the Word, and the help of God.

We must die completely to ourselves, and be born anew into the Body of Christ.

Bro Growcott - The same care one for another



28 And God hath set some in the ecclesia, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

There are necessarily those in the ecclesias who take a more prominent part than others, and there always will be; the work cannot do itself. Where there are none to take it up, the work goes to the wall, and the truth languishes. Therefore, it behoves presiding brethren-and I mention them because they are seen more conspicuously in connection with Christ's business - to be particularly exemplary and free from blemish and reproach in all things.

They ought to be zealous and punctual in their attendance at the meetings; moreover, they ought to be men of example at home. If a man will not bear examination at home, he is not worth anything abroad, whatever he may appear to be in a public capacity. There must be the gold underneath - not on the surface only; they must be men of integrity and scrupulous honour in everything.

It is for them to uphold what is honourable, and to reprobate and avoid everything that is dishonourable. They must not look to the world for their lessons: the world is a liar in this matter. There are many things the world calls white that are black; and the things that are thoroughly white in the sight of God, they oftentimes call black and foolish.

They must be guided by Christ's sentiments in this matter - prominent servants of Christ. For this purpose they must be students of the word. They ought to set an example to all the rest in this as well as other matters; they ought to read continually themselves, and be filled richly with the word of Christ, and not follow a course whose example it would be dangerous to imitate.

Not that a greater responsibility rests upon them than the rest: it behoves every man and woman, who has put on the name of Christ, to depart from iniquity and follow after righteousness; for it is certain that all others will be excluded from the kingdom of God.

Responsibility attaches to all alike - public or private; but it applies with peculiar force to all who stand before the world to promote the cause of holiness. The cause of Christ is the cause of honour, of love, of integrity, of justice, of goodness and all excellence. It is the cause of everything that is morally beautiful, and pure-minded, and noble and lofty; and to these things we have to rise. We must attain them, or be left in the valley of death.

Seasons 1.56.