July 15, 2016: Day 47 – I Corinthians 3

Paul begins this chapter by speaking to the church in Corinth about the journey that they have been on toward maturity in the faith.  It is a journey that upon which we have all embarked, but we are all in different places along this journey.  He chastises the community because they are still of the flesh.  The manifestation of someone being in the flesh, at least in this case, is that (vs.3) there is jealousy and quarreling.  Notice carefully  that he is speaking to a church about problems within a church.  He is not talking about non-believers.  He is talking about issues that affect each one of us and all of our churches.  He scolds them because they have taken sides in regards to whom they are loyal here on this earth.  A similar parallel can be found in our churches when it comes to political parties.  At times churches can be divided, or at least can be shaken, by allegiances to political parties.  Paul’s words in vs.9 ring true when he tells us: “For we are God’s servants, working together; you are God’s field, God’s building.”

He is also addressing the work that evangelists and others have done to lay the foundation of Jesus Christ.  If you look at vs.11 you will find those exact words.  Each person who comes along after the foundation has been laid adds to the building.  Let’s take First Presbyterian Church.  Way back in 1832 faithful followers of Jesus Christ came along and laid the foundation of this community, and the foundation was Jesus Christ.  That foundation has remained.  Each generation since then has come along and added to the community and left their mark in one way or another.  There have been times and seasons of growth and periods of decay.  It is all part of the life and the history of the church.  But as long as each person who steps into these doors and looks to focus on Jesus comes along, then they will contribute to the kingdom of God.  If we take a step outside of that and look to churches that have popped up just within the last 10 or 20 years, who are we as a nearly 200 year old church to say that they are not contributing to the foundation that has been set by our churches and by our people who were here long ago.  Each person, each church, each community contributes to the kingdom of God with a reality that is lasting and that does not go away.  As Paul tells us: “So let no one boast about human leaders.”

 

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