We’re one day into the challenge. How are you doing?
I’m only one chapter into 1 Corinthians and loving it already (which I knew I would). I sometimes forget what the Christians in Corinth were facing at the time: rampant immorality and general disdain for anything having to do with God or Christianity. If you ask me, that sounds a lot like the culture we face today. That’s why I believe there is so much to glean from these books, and I’d like to share just a couple of thoughts from my reading yesterday.
I appeal to you, brothers and sisters,in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. (verse 10)
I am so saddened (and a little frustrated) when I hear about Christians causing division within the Church. This is not a 21st century problem; the 1st century church at Corinth faced the same issue. In fact, it was such a problem, it was actually causing division within the body of Christ (see verse 12).
Paul goes to the heart of the issue in verse 13, “Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul?” Christ is the One who was crucified for us; He is the One who rescued us from sin. We are adopted into His family, and called to be part of His body.
When loyalty grows into a dependence on man, we have lost sight of our Savior. I believe we should honor those in spiritual authority over us. It is biblical so submit to spiritual authority and show honor to those whom God has called to serve the Church. But dependence on a person (personality, or style) can isolate us and keep us from allowing God to use other people (personalities, or styles) to minister to us. An unhealthy devotion to a leader (or style) can (and will) cause division in the body of believers.
Paul’s point is this: Remember Christ is the one who saved us; our faith is in Him. Beyond that, do all we can to live in unity with others in the Body of Christ. The enemy would like nothing more to cause division in the body, because an unhealthy body cannot reach others who are lost.
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God…For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength (verses 18 and 25)
In my opinion, this is one of the greatest verses in the Bible, and one we need to remind ourselves of often (I know I do). It’s so easy in today’s culture to measure our lives against the world’s wisdom. Are we thin enough? Healthy enough? Rich enough? Busy enough? Beautiful enough? And on, and on, and on…
Those things are not bad in themselves, but when our identity and security is based in those things, we have bought into the wisdom of the world, which is “foolishness.” The world says do “whatever it takes” to acquire knowledge, wealth, status, and prestige. Then you can boast in all you’ve accomplished.
Paul says, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord” (verse 31). God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom. His wisdom (blessed are the meek, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness…see Matthew 5) is so much wiser, even though it is considered “foolishness” to the world.
The next time I am feeling “foolish” for following God’s wisdom, I need to remind myself (perhaps you do as well?) that I must be on the right track.
Now it’s your turn. What “nuggets” have you uncovered in your first day of reading? Leave me a comment and let me know.
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Plus: Read the full story of my journey through cancer to healing in Unshakable: Finding Faith to Weather the Storm. Available now at Amazon.