Formations lesson for Feb. 3: A Call for Unity in Mind and Purpose
January 11 2002 by Steve Zimmerman , 1 Corinthians 1:10,18-31

Formations lesson for Feb. 3: A Call for Unity in Mind and Purpose | Friday, Jan. 11, 2002

Friday, Jan. 11, 2002

Formations lesson for Feb. 3: A Call for Unity in Mind and Purpose

By Steve Zimmerman 1 Corinthians 1:10,18-31 Have you ever wondered how the Lord gets anything done in our churches? With so many different groups of people with their various ideas and backgrounds on solving problems, it is amazing that we still talk to each other. Someone once said that we start new churches more out of disagreements on the new color of the sanctuary carpet than for any other reason. There is a bit of humorous truth that when you get three Baptists together you somehow get four opinions!

The Bad News (1 Corinthians 1:10) Of all the churches Paul helped to birth, the Corinthians seemed to be his "problem children." These young Christians had a habit of being steered off course by anything around them. Their goal was to focus on things that really didn't matter much in the kingdom - elite groups within the church, worship wars, "super" spiritual gifts, etc. Sadly not much has changed since Paul wrote these words.

The Good News (1 Corinthians 1:18-31) After hearing about the state of the church from other believers, the apostle sets out to bring these spiritual babes back to a clear spiritual vision. The tool he uses is that of the life of Christ. Our Savior came to us exemplifying the unity of Himself to his Father. The Lord's purpose was also clear from the outset. His mission was to seek out the lost and bring redemption to a world in need.

If we are, therefore, called Christian, we too must put on that same mindset of unity and purpose. Settling for anything less would only bring about hardship and pain again to the church.

The first verses in this passage deal with the source of knowledge. Paul knew that those who portrayed knowledge usually had power over others. This in and of itself would cause division in any church. The apostle reminds those folks in Corinth that any true wisdom does not travel from down (earth) to up (heaven). Rather, it is the opposite. God has always been in the business of initiating wisdom. Any information we think we have is nothing compared to His endless wealth of knowledge.

Somehow the issue of what to do with Christ was apparent in verses 22-25. For the Jews their messiah must be one who would deliver them militarily from Roman rule, showing signs of power. A man dying on a cross like a criminal was not what they had in mind.

In the Greek theological camp, their idea of rational logic for everything including spiritual was paramount. To have a man claim to be both the Son of God and the Son of Man seemed ridiculous. Yet a sincere relationship of faith in Christ causes all of these points to be seen as powerless.

God's divine plan is not guided by our self-imposed religious bias or sense of logic to figure out the spiritual world.

The final verses reflect the irony of the gospel message. If it were left up to us as human beings, we would choose the wisest, most influential and powerful person to lead us. Yet Paul brings us back to the drama that God has set forth in history. There have been numerous events when a person seen in the eyes of the world as foolish has been used by the Lord in wisdom. It was also people like these young believers at Corinth, many of whom were not well received in their society, that God exalted as now becoming powerful in His kingdom.

This is not to say that people who are blessed with wisdom and power do not have a place in the church. The problem was not in their natural ability. The root of the matter is reflected in their ownership of that gift. The source of all they had was based in their right relationship to Christ Jesus and not on themselves.

May we as Christians remember that same attitude in this new millennium.

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1/11/2002 12:00:00 AM by Steve Zimmerman , 1 Corinthians 1:10,18-31 | with 0 comments
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