Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions

The Deeper Problem at Corinth

Title:  The Deeper Problem at Corinth
By Joshua Carter

Reading for June 14:  Psalms 56-61
Weekly reading for June 10-16:  1 Corinthians 1-6

The church at Corinth had problems.  Real problems.  Some brethren were so materialistic and selfish that they were having lawsuits with each other in court.  Others struggled with a variety of sexual sins.  One member was in a relationship with his father’s wife (and the church was proud that they were so accepting of his lifestyle).  The church as a whole seemed to be struggling because certain factions rejected the traditions Paul taught by the Holy Spirit for worship.  False teaching about the reality of the resurrection undoubtedly shook the faith of many, especially those who were most closely connected to the idol worship that surrounded them.  Others in the church even misused and misunderstood the spiritual gifts given to them by God.
With all of these issues, where would you expect Paul to start?  Which of these problems appears to be the most toxic?
“I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.  For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers” (1 Corinthians 1:10-11).
To a church full of people who were grappling with so many problems, this is Paul’s first admonition to them.  There are many ways to explain why this is of primary importance, but consider 1 Cor. 3:3,
“for you are still of the flesh.  For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?”
The fact that all of this self-centered behavior persisted in the church underlined a deeper, more basic issue.  They would not be able to address any of the problems in their lives until they began seeing and behaving in a way that was not merely physical, but spiritual.  Until that change took place, they could listen to all of the profound teaching Paul had to offer, but they “[would not be] ready for it” (3:2) and it would not have resulted in any changes to their lives.
To grow as an individual or as a church, we must first see ourselves as God sees us.  We are not our own, but we are “God’s field, God’s building” (3:9).  When we have hearts that allow Him to build us into what He wants us to be, then by His strength, we can overcome every sin we struggle with and grow into the perfect unity of the body of Christ.

Father, forgive us of our carnal thoughts and ways. Help us develop the mind of Christ so we might receive the solid food of your word.