Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Our Epistle this week, from 1 Corinthians 1:10-18, shows the stark difference between our desire for self-glorification and God’s desire to bring his people into unity. The church at Corinth is racked with quarrels. The people are to seek to be of one mind.
Accusations of mind control are often lodged against those with whom we don’t agree. We are quite willing to accuse people of brainwashing, of bullying others into agreement, and of all sorts of attempts to force uniformity. It is not uncommon for those who hold to biblical standards of doctrine and life to be accused of a cult-like atmosphere. Rather than complimenting parents who are convinced of the truth and who encourage their children to believe, those prents are accused of enforcing rigid conformity so as to deprive young people of their own individuality.
Are there people and groups who push particular views in such a way that any questions will be punished? There certainly are, and they are not at all limited to what we would consider to be religious fundamentalists. Yet what Paul is urging here is not that. He calls the Corinthians to consider the basis of their faith. Is their life built on Jesus? Is it built on the apostle who brought the good news? Is it dependent on one group being able to show itself as more godly than the other groups? Those are inappropriate power plays.
What does Paul see as appropriate? He calls the Corinthians to believe that Jesus has died for their sins and been raised from the dead for their salvation. He calls them to look to Jesus as the power of God to save. Jesus’ death in the place of the sinner is the power of God. It can be misunderstood. It is frequently despised. But to those who are believing it is life. Paul calls the Corinthians to build their lives on this truth, not on their desires for power.
If this brief meditation was helpful to you, I hope you will check out the other materials on our website at www.WittenbergCoMo.com and consider supporting us.