As It Has Pleased Him

“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16: 11)

The Basket Case Chronicles #146

“But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him” (1 Cor. 12:18).

In the lines preceding this, Paul has been using the illustration of the human body. The eye cannot hear, the ear cannot see, and so forth. And just after this, in verse. 21, he returns to the illustration again in order to reinforce the point. In the two verses just after this one, he applies the concept to spiritual gifts.

Before getting to that point, however, the center of this verse must be pressed home. The body of Christ has many different members in it, and each one of them is where it is because God has placed it there. “God set the members.” This point is reinforced with Paul’s follow up phrase—“as it hath pleased him.”

Some gifts are up front, as the eyes are. Other gifts are down inside, completely out of sight, like the gifts that the liver has. God has positioned everyone in exactly the right place. God is pleased with that positioning.

Of course in a world where sin has an impact, we do want to learn to do better. But we can never accomplish this by envying the position of another. In other words, an eye should want to see better, and not to hear at all. An ear should want to hear better, and not to smell at all. Each of us should want to be just where God designed us to be, doing a better job in that place.

Theology That Bites Back



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  • Eric Stampher

    What do you say to a pastor who refuses to identify some of the toes and elbows as members of his body?  They may have been toeing and elbowing there for years, but alas haven’t taken the membership vows his club has devised.  How should those Members nonmembers feel about their head’s pronouncement of their official status?

  • Douglas Wilson

    Eric, they are honorary toes.

  • Joe

    I think James epistle can be tied in when he stresses the importance of the funtion of a small rudder on a ship.  The little toe is of great value to the whole

  • Eric Stampher

    Akin to shushing the kiddos away from the Table, we them honorary selves so darn much.

  • Valerie (Kyriosity)

    If He’s pleased about how the various members are arranged, we should be delighted by it, too.

  • Douglas Wilson

    Except Eric, they are all welcome to the Table. I think you are confounding government with communion. We restrict the former, and not the latter.

  • Eric Stampher

    Pastor Doug — that’s truly good — the Table part.  But ain’t you saying God doesn’t want some Members of the body (the ones you exclude) to eat help govern?

  • Eric Stampher

    tried to use your line-through feature on the eat part but didn’t take, sorry

  • Eric Stampher

    Put another way, your practice says this: all members ought to eat together, but not all members out to help govern.  You’ve picked special folks to sit at the front for that.

  • Stacey Hunter

    Mr. Stampher, I do not know what your church government entails. However, if one does not submit to governance (taking membership vows), then he is not eligible to govern. Not all are called to positions of leadership.

  • Eric Stampher

    Stacey, Where is it we find Adam required to vow his agreement to not eat that fruit?  You equate submission to taking a vow.  How about instead equating submission to … submitting?  And should you say that submission should start with taking the vows that our pharisees have added on top of the Biblical requirements, I’ll cite Jesus’ curse on those who so require.