Pastor’s Bible Reading Schedule: Job 1-2; 1 Corinthians 1
There is no secret that the Corinthian church was full of carnality. There was not just gross immorality, but division, envy, and strife. Paul begins this epistle with an admonition for unity. In verse 10 he writes, “…that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” The unity of the local church must center on the person of Christ. Verse 13 asks the question, “Is Christ divided?” Should we ever elevate man above Christ? “…was Paul crucified for you? Or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?” We live in such a humanistic society today that may supersede the humanism of Paul’s day, but is rooted in the same carnal depravity. We have a pension to glorify man. Paul makes a startling statement about preaching that is important for all of us to understand. Paul acknowledges God’s call upon his life “…to preach the gospel, not with words of wisdom, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.” Paul puts the emphasis on the gospel itself not on his speaking ability or in the wisdom of the words he chose to speak. It is the gospel of Christ that has the power to save! How sad it is that we live in a culture that seeks to be so man-centered. We divide over who follows which personality. We take sides of issues based on where certain personalities stand. Paul’s admonition to this divided church was to focus back on Christ and the power of the gospel to change a life. He urges this church to unite around the revelation of God’s ultimate program. Unfortunately, many churches today are fragmented because of men who seek to create a following for themselves. This chapter closes with reminding us that God chooses to use the foolish, weak, and base things of the world to show that it is not man but God who changes lives. When a person is stirring up strife, it is important to ask the question, “what is it that they really want?” If they want me to take up their cause, is the price tag division? May God help us to be God-centered at Faith Baptist Church and never man-centered. May we obey verse 31, “…he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”
• Lord, please help me to never elevate myself, my intellect, or my abilities, but to always exalt my Heavenly Father. May every message, counseling session, and personal interaction point individuals to you!
• Lord, I acknowledge that my flesh is weak and it can profit nothing. I need you and your power if I will ever accomplish anything for eternal good.
• Lord, I want to see the power of the gospel regularly seen in my life and ministry. Please help me to exalt my Savior who loves sinners and died to give them life.
• Lord, please give me the discernment to recognize division before it happens. Help me to solve problems your way, with your help, for your glory.