In Today's Reading:
Grace and faithfulness of God; problems at Corinth; Christians, as temples of God; authority of apostles
The church at Corinth was divided over who was the most spiritual leader. Paul wanted them to realize that all ministers were just servants through whom ye believed, and he wrote: Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? (I Corinthians 3:5). Christians are not to be competitors but labourers together with God (3:9).
In writing to the Romans, Paul illustrated this divisive attitude by saying: One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind (Romans 14:5).
We are members of the Body of Christ. Our foremost concern should be that we be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. . . . Is Christ divided? (I Corinthians 1:10,13). All of us need each other, as together we can fulfill the Lord's will in the Body of Christ through our prayers, tithes, gifts, talents, and witness to others. No one should feel indispensable or inadequate, for all are one (3:8) in Christ.
It takes every Christian to make up the Body of Christ, which is the Church, and, without exception, everyone is needed: We being many are . . . one Body: for we are all partakers of that one Bread (10:17), and we are labourers together with God (3:9). This leaves no room for envying another person's ability or usefulness, nor for being puffed up with pride as if we had done anything of ourselves. Both jealousy and pride dishonor Christ and destroy the spirit of unity. The differences are often ignored because the real problem is not recognized.
It is important to recognize that Paul was not expecting uniformity of views but oneness of Spirit in the midst of differences. The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace (James 3:17-18).
1:21 the foolishness of preaching = foolishness to unbelievers; 2:6 perfect = spiritually mature; 3:1 carnal = worldly; 4:5 counsels = motives; 4:11 naked = poorly clothed; buffeted = treated with disrespect; 4:16 followers = imitators; 4:18 puffed up = arrogant, proud.
For I Corinthians 1:19: See Isaiah 29:14. I Corinthians 1:31: See Jeremiah 9:24. I Corinthians 2:16: See Isaiah 40:13. I Corinthians 3:19: See Job 5:13. I Corinthians 3:20: See Psalm 94:11.
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Colen LaFave · Staff: Pam Pendergrast Government Official: Rep. Chet Edwards (TX) Country: Tajikistan (6 million) southeast central Asia Major languages: Tajik and Russian Almost entirely Muslim 82% Muslim; 4% Russian Orthodox Prayer Suggestion: Pray for a greater desire to serve the Lord (Psalm 42:1-2).
Memory Verse for the Week: John 1:12