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1 Corinthians 3-6

11/9/2019 - 11/10/2019 - 1 Corinthians 3-6

A Devotional Journey 
    led by Dr. Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible in a Year
               In chapter 3, Paul points out the fallacy of division based on factions.  Every person serving Christ has an important part to play in His work.  The fact that one person has a ministry of evangelism does not make him/her more valuable or effective than a person with the ministry of assimilation or teaching.  In fact, all are needed equally, even if at different times and in different ways.
              Once again, Paul spends time reminding people to avoid pride.  The wisdom we may have and the insight comes from God.  Only He should lead and only in Him can we boast – certainly not in any human figure or leader.
               In chapter 4, Paul discusses the role and significance of apostles.  They have a special place in God’s plan, but their place is at the back of the procession of life.  They are to help others, to promote the accomplishments and usefulness of others and never to assert their own importance.  Nevertheless, those who are so called will always be working harder at their God-given tasks than anyone else, and those who they bless need to recognize and give thanks for that. 
               Chapter 5 deals with the need to discipline an immoral brother who refuses to change.  He is to be removed from the fellowship so that he has a chance to recognize his sin and find God’s forgiveness before it is too late.  The principle is that in pointing out the sin, as painful and uncomfortable as that may be, and as judgmental as it may seem, the believers are exercising concern for the one in sin, not just care for their own purity.
               Chapter 6 is an argument against Christians taking each other to court.  The first thing to be done, in every instance, is to bring their complaints before the church (particularly the elders) and settle the matter spiritually not just legally.  The issue is the negative witness presented by Christians unable to get along with each other and appealing to those who have no relationship with God to settle their disputes.  Such a course implies the Christians have no effective  relationship with God either!
               Obviously, from Paul’s writing, Christians need to take their relations with each other quite seriously!  The leaders called by Christ are worthy of respect, but must not take advantage of it in any way.  The members of the church must take their conduct and God’s standards seriously so as to grow closer to Him and help others do the same.  Disputes among members of the church should be treated differently than disputes are treated by the surrounding society.  God must be at the center of all discussions and decisions and a concern for their witness to Christ must inform all actions that they take.
               How seriously do you take the fact that you belong to Jesus Christ?  Do you think through your actions based on how they might reflect on your witness to Him?  Think of something you might want to change in order to represent Christ better:  in your family, at work, at school, or even in the church.  Take a step in the right direction this week and see how God blesses it!
© A.  Eugene Pearson