Let me ask you a simple question before we start on today’s Gem – did you look down the list in the previous Gem to find your contribution if you were one of the ones who responded? Could that have something to do with seeing your contribution was included? Did you feel feelings of pride when you were affirmed or other feelings when yours didn’t make it? I wonder what is happening there. I think we know, don’t we?
“I” is at the center of “sin.” See how pervasive it is.
Now let’s continue.
Comparing the space given to the issues of “disunity” as compared with “incest”.
82 verses are used by Paul to deal with the issue of Disunity from 1 Cor 1:10 – 1 Cor 4:21. Only 13 verses are used to cover the matter of “incest”.
Doesn’t that strike you as strange? Where would our newspapers and journalists put the emphasis here? I think you know! We would have long on-going articles on the incest case and it would be hard for the disunity issue to even make the paper, let alone the front page.
Come on Paul, find some balance. There is imbalance here. Surely we all think that the sin of incest is way worse than that of disunity. It is a no-brainer. I mean incest is right up on the list of heinous sins. You all said so in the survey. Paul should have spent way more time on the sin of incest than he spent on disunity. After all disunity is prevalent we all know about that; a degree of disunity is in every church. Incest is a rare thing but needs to be called out in order to put a stop to stuff like that. But to spend so long on a small thing like disunity and only 13 verses on something like incest. That’s wrong. Wouldn’t you agree?
The time that is given to certain topics in Scripture is very revealing. The space given to it is indicative of its importance. Now that is revealing isn’t it? Could it be that disunity is a very important issue? You can bet it is important to God. It must grieve His Father heart when He sees how fractionated we, His body, have become. No wonder Paul spends so much time on the topic of unity. Not just here in the Corinthian letters but also in other letters too. Imagine the impact we would have if only we were united and truly one in Christ. Imagine the power within an individual body of believers when the leadership and members are united. We think that all churches have a degree of disunity so we need to just accept that as fact. But that is not how God the Father sees it. The fact that it is happening in other churches does not make it right for ours.
Also too think on the fact of the disunity across congregations, not just within one church. We do not know in actual fact just how many fellowships of believers there were in the city of Corinth. It is likely that Paul is talking about the believers in one place, not just one particular grouping. Hopefully this was before the denominations began in Corinth. We are talking of The Church of Corinth. All the expressions of the believers gathered together in Corinth, not just the members of one denominational grouping. That fact makes our present day situation even worse.
Think about it. The sin of disunity in the body is worse than the sin of incest. Will you still tolerate it? In you? In your church? In your town?
Does this now throw some new light on whether Paul is meaning for us to launch into judging everyone in the church knowing what he knows about the heart of the people in Corinth? I don’t think so; in fact I know so. Paul is talking about judging the major case of incest and the leaders not abdicating their responsibility. He cannot be meaning we ought to launch into making judgements on everyone in the body. That would only make the disunity worse.
I hope you see how important the sin of disunity is. Why Paul takes 2 chapters and 82 verses to deal with it. Don’t worry! I haven’t forgotten about sins in general and their ranking. There’s more to come. Let’s just investigate the text before us.
God does not resurrect living flesh only dead flesh. When our flesh ceases Jesus increases.Tommy Tenney
If You Think Being Obedient Is Too Hard.. Just Try Disobedience For A While And See What It Brings You.Robb Thompson