There is a lot going on at the church in Corinth. There were lots of divisions and factions (11:18-19). Much of this letter is written by Paul to address these issues that cloud the church. With a rich understanding of Old Testament history, we might really appreciate the pastoral way in which Paul addresses the people who first received this letter (10:1-13). He reminds his hearers that there is always a way out of the temptations they will face (10:13).
As Christians, we have an obligation to look after each other, especially our weaker brothers (10:24). The church is not designed to be full of mature Christians. The church is more like a spiritual nursery. There is a very real sense in which we do have an obligation to help others grow in Christ, while at the same time bringing people to Christ. We don’t abandon weaker brothers because they are weak. Mature believers, like parents, seek out what’s best for the immature believers around them (10:31).
SIDE NOTE: I’ve heard other pastors say, “God has called me to be fishers of men, not keepers of the aquarium.” I get what they are after, but I don’t think Paul would have said that. I don’t think that is what Jesus had in mind either. In fact, if I had to pick a biblical character to put that quote with, I’d give it to Cain, because it reeks like the statement, “am I my brothers keeper?” Such statements are short sighted and miss the whole counsel of scripture.
While seeking to restore unity, Paul addresses issues that have arisen around the Lord’s Supper. A meal that was supposed to be a common table had become grounds for division (11:18). He also begins to explain why we need each other in the body of Christ and how we have all been gifted differently (12:12).
FATHER, We pray for the unity of the church today. We ask that we would be united in Christ and not divided by petty differences. We ask for the grace to have real spiritual concern for one another and that we would look out for one another, especially those who are weaker. I ask that you would help each one of us understand our calling and gifting in the body of Christ that we might be an encouragement to one another. Thank you for the calling to lead your people. IN JESUS NAME, AMEN.
What did you take away from today’s reading? What are your thoughts or questions? Feel free to comment below and enter the discussion.