Monday, August 19, 2013

Does Acts 28 teach TWO bodies of Christ?

 Brian Kelson of Bible Understanding answers:

"This is an old one, throwing the accusation that there are two bodies in the Acts 28 camp.
The body of Corinthians is not the body of Ephesians, so they are not two of the same bodies. If Paul uses the word body, this does not mean he is speaking of the same thing but Mid Acts insists he is and so accuse us, do you see?

First up, 1Corl.12 is about supernatural gifts. Mid Acts totally ignores this context. And again, it is supernatural gifts in Romans 12. 1Cor.1 started with supernatural gifts, :4-8 where Paul says they would be confirmed to the end, not until a new calling comes in.

Here it is as plain as it can be, written by Paul during Acts, that the human body is an analogy, it shows the synergy, the function of every part working together in harmony. In what way is this passage speaking of Christ the Head, the church which is His Body? It isn't because some of the members can be the head.

Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Rom 12:3  For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Rom 12:4  For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
Rom 12:5  So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
Rom 12:6  Having then gifts differing

according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
Rom 12:7  Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
Rom 12:8  Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
Rom 12:9  Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
Rom 12:10  Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

Paul speaks during Acts of those who are in Christ, indeed that they are members OF Christ,
1Co 6:15  Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.

In 1Cor.12 the opening, and following context, sets the interpretation. Please notice this is identical language to Romans and in the same use as 1Cor.6. The believers were in Christ, members of Christ, and as such were seen like the parts of a human body which works together.
1Co 12:4  Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
1Co 12:7  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
1Co 12:8  For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
1Co 12:9  To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
1Co 12:10  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:
1Co 12:11  But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
1Co 12:12  For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
1Co 12:13  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
1Co 12:14  For the body is not one member, but many.
1Co 12:15  If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
1Co 12:16  And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
1Co 12:17  If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
1Co 12:18  But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
1Co 12:19  And if they were all one member, where were the body?
1Co 12:27  Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

Verse 27 cannot be taken out of the thread, it not only says you are (no article in the original) body of Christ it also says, and members in part, or individual parts of it. What this means must be understood by what has gone before. Christ's body (the saved believers) are parts of that body which is Christ. One is the ear (of Christ), another is the hand (of Christ), one is the foot (of Christ), Do you see, each one is Christ's body and they all have different parts to play. The human body works together, and they must consider the human body and like it, work together with whatever supernatural gift they have been given. If any one of them wasn't in this body which is Christ, then there would be no functioning. 
This body is about drinking into one spirit who gave these gifts, into this functioning body of gifts, they were baptized.
Paul goes on to say, that
1Co 12:28  God has appointed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then those who perform miracles, those who have gifts of healing, those who help others, administrators, and various kinds of tongues.
1Co 12:29  Not all are apostles, are they? Not all are prophets, are they? Not all are teachers, are they? Not all perform miracles, do they?
1Co 12:30  Not all have the gift of healing, do they? Not all speak in tongues, do they? Not all interpret, do they?

Paul continues his exposition about supernatural gifts, not about a called out company which is the Church His Body. If everyone was an ear, in Christ's body, then there would be no seeing, if everyone was an apostle in Christ's body, there would be no prophets. These are the divinely appointed gifts and offices of the church back in Acts, this is not about a calling today, but about gifts given back then.
The Corinthians were divisive, and this is a correction concerning the squabbles about which gift see 1Cor.14:22 onwards where Paul continues his arguments about what if all were this gift or that?.
This does not say Christ is the Head of the church which is His body, for post Acts nourishment comes from the head to us, the joints and bands. Not one of us today is an ear or an eye.
The hope and calling of the Corinthians is Trumpets and the resurrection to the earth. They were enjoying the gifts (Gals.3) which were the blessing of Abraham. Gifts promised to Israel and which anticipated the coming Kingdom. The hope of the Corinthians and the Romans was totally earthly.
The Body in Corinthians is the composition of the supernatural gifts given the believers who were in Christ. The human body is paralleled to Christ who anointed them with the gifts. Thus Romans tells us clearly this is not the church which is His Body thus;
Rom 12:4  For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: (not all ears, not all nose etc)
Rom 12:5  So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. (members one of another, that is they worked together like the human body does)
The body of Corinthians and Romans is a figure. It was all the believers with their gifts working like the human body. These believers with their gifts were part of Christ, members in part, just as the eye, ear, nose and feet were part of a human body.
So there are not two bodies now or then.
We don't possess supernatural gifts today and need to work together like a human body, and they were not the church which is His Body back in Acts. In Corinthians, the head of every man was Christ (1Cor.11), but Paul had espoused them (corporately) as a chaste virgin to Christ, their husband.
I have lots on this on this link Number 6 and 23.   

For a pdf by Brian on the subject, please visit:


Hoss Cartwright said...

Hi Ms. Collins.

I have been enjoying correspondence with Mr. Kelson and I am glad you recommended him. It "keeps me on my toes"!

Anyway, I wanted to point out, Paul talks about believers being "one body" because they were "partakers of that one bread [Christ].

1 Cor. 10:
[16] The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
[17] For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

That has nothing to do with spiritual gifts, but partaking of what Christ's death.

Kind of reminds me of Eph. 2:16.

Ephesians 2:16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

Some say that the context is "the Passover" rather than communion for the body of Christ. But Paul could not have told anyone in Acts to keep a Jewish feast that was just part of the law. That is because he told people that they were NOT under the Law.

Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

Hebrews talks about a "change of the law", but Paul (in Acts) said they were not under the law. I don't see how you could tell people they were not under the law but then tell them to keep the Passover.

Any thoughts, sorry, I know that is long!

Deborah Collins said...

Hi, "Hoss"! Glad to hear you're enjoying your discourse with Brother Kelson!

Here are some thoughts on this passage in 1 Corinthians 10. First, the "one body" mentioned here has no mention of Christ being the Head of that body as in the post Acts epistles. In an earlier place in that same chapter, Paul writes, "Now all these things happened unto them [Israel in the wilderness] for ensamples, and they are written for our admonition, UPON WHOM THE ENDS OF THE WORLD ARE COME." Paul and the Corinthians were looking for the coming of the Lord to end the old world and begin a new one in keeping with Jewish prophecy. There are also admonitions later in this chapter in keeping with the four necessary things imposed upon Gentiles (back in Acts 15) that wished to become part of the kingdom program. After the kingdom program is temporarily withdrawn in Acts 28, no mention of these is made again because the handwriting of ordinances has been blotted out. (Col. 2)

The Passover feast was a celebration for Israel to commemorate their deliverance and after Christ's sacrifice had a deeper meaning of commemorating him as the final Passover Lamb. As such, it was more of a privilege than a law. The Jewish kingdom saints were still observing their religious rituals and even "zealous for the law" as stated in Acts 21:20; not for salvation but for reward in the kingdom. Gentiles were not expected to participate but it appears they were given the opportunity to join in this memorial of their Saviour's sacrificial death. During the time the kingdom was on offer, no one, Jew or Gentile was under the law for salvation, but under grace.

1 Corinthians is a letter full of references to OT prophecy and is not addressed to the church, which is his body, the one new man of the post-Acts mystery.