Bible Pathways 11/24/2000
I Corinthians 1 -- 4
The Church at Corinth was divided over who was the most important spiritual leader. Some preferred Paul, others Apollos, and still others Peter. But these men were only servants of Jesus Christ. Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planted any thing, neither he that watered; but God that gives the increase. . . . and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor (I Corinthians 3:5-8). Because they were all servants of God, who enabled them to minister to His people, all praise should go to God, the Giver of all gifts. This illustrates how all Christians should realize their participation in the Body of Christ through their prayers, tithes, gifts, talents, and witnessing to others. But no one should feel either indispensable or inadequate, for He (Christ) is the Head of the Body, the Church (Colossians 1:18).
Our foremost concern should be: "Am I doing all that I can with the opportunities that God has given me to use my time, talents, and possessions for glorifying the Lord?" It takes every Christian to make up the Body of Christ; and everyone, without exception, is needed. For we are laborers together with God (I Corinthians 3:9).
A body has many parts, each with different functions, but each part and function is necessary for the strength and usefulness of the whole body. Learn . . . not to think of men above what is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another. For who makes you to differ from another? and what have you that you did not receive? . . . if you received it (from God), why do you glory (boast), as if you had not received it (but had gained it by your own efforts)? (4:6-7).
Should we give greater recognition to those who have "outstanding ability" than we do to people with less-prominent responsibilities but who are equally faithful in doing their best? All praise should be given to the Lord, who alone qualified us for His service. This leaves no room for envying another person's ability or usefulness. Jealousy dishonors Christ and destroys the spirit of unity.
We are created in Christ Jesus unto good works (Ephesians 2:10). We need to recognize how dependent we are, first upon Him for all sustenance and strength, and then upon each other, not only for fellowship and encouragement, but also to fulfill His will in reaching a lost world in obedience to His Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20).
The true effectiveness of any Christian witness is dependent upon the Holy Spirit. We are called into partnership with the Son of God in seeking to save the lost and in the teaching ministry of His Word. Without His blessing, the most earnest, well-performed service will be spiritually ineffective and fruitless. But, with His power working through us and His blessing upon us, we can say: I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).
For I Corinthians 1:19: See Isa. 29:14. I Cor. 1:31: See Jer. 9:24. I Cor. 2:16: See Isa. 40:13. I Cor. 3:19: See Job 5:13. I Cor. 3:20: See Psa. 94:11.
Government Official: Rep. Chet Edwards (TX) · BPM Staff: Shelley Robertson · Pray for Rick Hash and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on WJRA-AM, Decatur, AL · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio Broadcast sponsored by Elaine Bewley · Country: Lebanon (3 million) in the Middle East · Major languages: Arabic and French · Limited religious freedom · 67% Muslim; 19% Roman Catholic; 10% Eastern Orthodox; 1% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Thank God for His mercy (Numbers 12:11-14).
Memory Verse for the Week: