The readings set down for today are 1 Chronicles 5 and 1 Corinthians 3.
I am going to focus on the 1 Corinthians 3. Read through 1 Chronicles 5 and you will understand why!
The editorial heading in the NIV Bible for 1 Corinthians 3 is “On Divisions in the Church”. Let’s call a “spade” a “spade” and not fool ourselves. We need to take notice of this Chapter. There are those among us who do not exercise a mature view of leadership – as there is in nearly every church.
1 Corinthians 3 commences with Paul writing about the impact for the Corinthian Church of those, “mere infants in Christ” (v.1). Even a child knows what infants are like. They are those small people who cry, scream, hit, kick and bite. They wet in, and dirty their pants. It is not hard to recognise a baby when you see or hear one.
The same is true spiritually. There is one unmistakable sign of a spiritual baby – and that is worldliness. Paul says that it is thinking and behaving, just like the people of this world who lack the Spirit (v3). There are two ways worldliness is displayed here.
Firstly, the adulation of leaders on one hand (“I follow Paul…I follow Apollos”) OR, at the other end of the scale, “jealousy and quarrelling” (v.3). These are both characteristic of how “mere men” think and act.
How stupid it is to exult those who are “only servants” (v.5) when God is the source of all spiritual growth (v.6). And then to argue over who is the better leader. All this was happening in the Corinthian Church when the Corinthian congregation should have been busy supporting and encouraging their leadership, their God given leadership!
Watch out for spiritual babies – they often disguise themselves as the mature ones, even as they are kicking an screaming – bruising others – weaker brothers and sisters who come near. Sadly, some spiritual babies never grow up.
In the end, what we do……what we say……who we really are, “will be shown up for what it is” (v.13). True servant of God are motivated by wanting to build Christ’s Church. They will want to do that by building on the one true foundation, Jesus Christ. They will keep the focus of those around them on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul knew that his accomplishments would be evaluated on day on this basis. Was Paul working to promote Christ or himself? On Judgment Day the quality of one’s work will be “shown for what it is” (v.13).
There is probably another thought that might be helpful for us…
“We are God’s temple” (v.16)….we are….and our leaders are. What does the very next verse say? “If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him….” (v.17) We need to be very careful at this point. We need to honour of leaders, remembering it is their role and responsibility to encourage the best out of us.
Have a great day,