Tag: following men
Scripture reading for July 09: 1st Corinthians 3
“Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly–mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. Your are still worldly. for since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly?” (1st Corinthians 3:1-3)
Paul called out this church for their lack of spiritual maturity, accusing them of being infants. It is alright to be an infant when you are first born, but the normal way of life is for babies to grow up! Babies need milk because they cannot yet eat and digest solid food. Paul suggested that these Corinthians were in the same infant state.
The reason Paul said this was because of their quarreling and jealousy towards each other. These believers were following different spiritual leaders and boasting about those who taught them. They were in competition with each other. Paul explained that spiritual leaders were only servants of the Lord, picked by Him for their task. This did not make them people to be followed and exalted! “For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building!” (1st Corinthians 3:9)
Taking the building analogy, Paul explained that by God’s grace, he laid a spiritual foundation for the Corinthians by preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He acted as an expert builder, but now others were building on his foundation. “But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1st Corinthians 3:10-11) The only foundation for a strong spiritual building is Jesus Christ! When Jesus Christ returns, the Day of His coming will test the quality of each man’s work! Is your spiritual house resting on Christ alone?
Scripture reading for August 4th: 1st Corinthians 1:1-17
Corinth was a modern commercial center of Paul’s day. It was a city with many different people and cultures and full of paganism and idolatry. Paul had planted the church there in that culture on his second missionary journey recorded in Acts 18. He warned them of coming troubles when he left them in Acts 20:29-31. This letter was an attempt to deal with problems that arose and keep the church moving forward.
Paul opens his letter with a greeting and thanksgiving for the church in Corinth. The greeting helps them center on Paul’s understanding of their calling. “To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ–their Lord and ours: Grace and Peace to you from our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (1st Corinthians 1:2-3) These believers were set apart to be holy by their Lord, Jesus Christ. They were a part of a larger family consisting of all those who believe in Jesus.
These believers were precious to Paul because it was by his testimony and ministry that they were saved. God had poured out on them the Holy Spirit and the gifts and given them the hope of eternal life. They understood that Jesus was going to return and awaited Him. However, there were problems that the Apostle Paul sought to address quickly in this letter.
“My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.” (1st Corinthians 1:11-12) This division was not from God, but was a result of their elevating men who served Christ. They had favorite teachers and made serving Christ something that was dividing them instead of unifying them.
Today we have hundreds of denominations and many more sects that have split off of these. We elevate certain teachers who have charisma and a message we like to hear. Many in the church are divided from others who may not believe exactly like them. We fail to live in the unity that Christ prayed for! (John 17:21) Check your own life today. Are you living in unity with those who call Jesus Christ “Lord”?