Thursday, 24 April 2014
For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal?1 Corinthians 3:4
This is a fuller explanation of verse 3. He noted that there was “envy, strife, and divisions among” those at Corinth and then he reminded them of what he wrote in Chapter 1, verses 10-13. They were claiming allegiance to one person over another when the two proclaimed the same message. Some liked Apollos, maybe because he had better speaking skills. Some liked Paul, maybe because he was the first to bring the message to the lost in Corinth. Whatever the reason for their divisions, Paul says it is “carnal” thinking.
By placing a person in higher esteem than another when both are conducting the same service – a proclamation of the gospel, they were actually lowering their standards to that of the messenger rather than the message. Their allegiance was no longer to Christ, but on the one who was proclaiming Christ.
Has anything different arisen in the past 2000 years? No. And it has only increased with the advent of radio, TV, and now the internet. We long for flashy orators, great concerts of music set to lights and showmanship, and comfy side rooms where lattes are served. The vast majority of people don’t come to church to worship the Lord and learn the word. Instead, they come to be allured by flash.
Life application: Let us remember what the purpose of church is. Above all, it is to worship the Creator and Redeemer of our souls. It is also intended for us to learn the word that He has given to us. And church is for fellowship and participation with others in the worship and instruction. Those things which divert our attention from these only cause a return to the carnal side of who we are.
Glorious and beautiful Creator – You who fashioned man to bear Your image. Help me to reflect Your goodness, Your majesty, and Your glory to others. When people see me, let them look past my faults and failures and see You instead. Keep me from secret faults and open rebellion. Instead, let me radiate You… only You. Amen.