“1 Corinthians 1:1-9”
By Pastor Jerry Donovan
The Apostle Paul was the most effective missionary of early Christianity and the most prominent of the church’s theologians. Almost half of the books of the New Testament are attributed to him.
The problem in Corinth that brought about Paul’s letter was not a lack of confidence. There was a group of Christians in the church at Corinth who considered themselves better than the average believer. They believed that their ability to speak in tongues was a signal that they were more equipped, more favored, more special than those whose gifts were more ordinary. They really believed that they had to listen to no one but themselves. That is why Paul begins by stressing his credentials. “Paul, called to be an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God.”(1 Corinthians 1:1) It’s hard to argue with a title like that. The most serious problem was division within the church.
Paul was reminding the Corinthians that they belonged to God and was asking them to examine their behavior to see if they still fit that description. When you become arrogant, you move the self to the center and anything else has to make way. But if God is supposed to be the center, then arrogance has no place in the community of faith.
Paul’s letters to the Corinthians retain a remarkable degree of contemporary relevance. Today there are pastors who preach that Jesus was not resurrected from the dead or that the resurrection doesn’t matter, and that Jesus did not die for our sins. There are seminaries that teach Jesus is just one of many ways to God and even created a curriculum for persons wanting to be ordained In the Unitarian-Universalist denomination that denies the Trinity and the deity of Christ.
The Apostle Paul warned in his second letter to Timothy to beware of false prophets. Today the American church is becoming more and more like the church of Corinth rejecting God, Jesus and the Bible. Many people are led by false promises of a way of finding complete happiness for the rest of their lives. These could be signs of His Second coming.
Paul tells us, particularly those of us who don’t think we measure up, that we have been enriched. Okay, so we may not feel like we always know what we are doing. The Corinthian Christians were far from what they should have been in practical holiness, but the fact remains that they were positionally sanctified by God. As saints they were members of a great fellowship: “called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours.” (1 Corinthians 1:2) Although the teachings of this Epistle were first addressed to the saints in Corinth, they are also intended for all those of the worldwide fellowship who acknowledge the lordship of Christ.
It wasn’t that Paul casually ignored all the bad news about the church; he took it very seriously and later addressed it directly. Paul modeled behavior that is desperately needed in the modern church. God is the One who transfers us from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light, and Paul knew that God was the One who was able to change the darkness in the Corinthians to light.
God Be With You – Via Con Dios