November 16 I Saturday
“For we were all baptised by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.”
—1 Corinthians 12:13
Throughout the Book of Acts, we can read of Paul’s missionary journey, going from city to city to city witnessing God moving, people coming to faith and the church growing. Yet there was not a city that Paul went to where he did not face persecution; it could be verbal persecution, stoning, resistance to his ministry, floggings, beatings and even one time being left for dead.
One particular city Paul traveled to was Corinth. With a quarter of a million people, Corinth was a metropolitan city. The place was a scandalous city famous for sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, revilers and swindlers. As Paul walked around the city of
Corinth, he would have seen people who are giving themselves over to every type of sensual indulgence.
Yet, God appeared to Paul in a vision saying, “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city” (Acts 18:9-10). Paul was a Jew by birth and a Pharisee who gave his life to purity. God sent him to reach some people who were pretty impure in their practices.
Even in a city full of sinners, there were still some people who placed their faith in Christ. Paul later writes to the church in Corinth that has been established, “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God?...And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:9, 11). Paul describes to the Corinthian church all these ways that sin dominated their lives in the past and reminds them of who they really are. “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12). The church in Corinth is not only one body, baptized by one Spirit but they are also members of Christ’s body, of which He is the head.
What Paul was uncovering is the mystery of our relationship with Christ. It was a radical understanding that God’s salvation and God’s grace extended to all mankind within the early church. We become members of His body when we place our faith in Christ, not members of a social club or members who all tick a list of doctrines but members of one body.
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, how profound the mystery that God’s salvation and grace extends to all humanity who believe in You. Thank You for giving me the privilege to be a part of Your body.