Saturday 11 March 2017

Bible Book:
1 Corinthians

“You are still of the flesh. For as long as there is jealousy and quarrelling among you, are you not of the flesh, and behaving according to human inclinations?” (v. 3)

1 Corinthians 3:1-9 Saturday 11 March 2017

Psalm: Psalm 119:81-96


The Corinthian church was a young and still needed guidance inits behaviour. But Paul's letter pulls no punches: "You are stillworldly," he writes, 'acting like mere humans" (NIV). And in hiseyes there was no excuse for that. They needed to grow up and startto behave like proper Christians, loving and caring for one anotherand for the community around them. Instead, they were quarrellingabout doctrines and dividing into groups that followed differentleaders.

Yet those individual leaders were all following the way ofChrist. They just had their own particular gifts, which meant thatthey were involved in different stages of the process of bringingpeople to faith, and serving the Church and the wider world. Noneof them could, or would, claim to be the only way to God. Each hadtheir part to play and no one was better than any other.

People are not all the same and we thank God for that. The worldwould be a dreadful place if we all had the same tastes, behaviourand opinions. Yet there can be unity without uniformity: a unity offaith, rooted in Christ.

For if we believe in God and in what Jesus did and said, and howhe lived and died, and how that same Spirit that was in Jesus isstill with us in our world today, then we have the essence of ourfaith and all the truth that we need to proclaim to an unbelievingworld.

But when that truth is encapsulated in words and expanded inpreaching and discussion, it can lead to dissension and argumentfollowed by division, as individuals, or groups, interpret thosewords with a different preconception.

Only by sticking to the basic truth of our faith can we avoidthe petty bickering that damages the image of God in the eyes ofthose who watch and condemn our behaviour as unworthy of the God weare supposed to worship.

'It's time you grew up!' is the essence of Paul's message.

To Ponder

  • When does a discussion become an argument?
  • How do you answer questions about divisions in the Church?
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