Saturday, 21 June 2014
I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren? 1 Corinthians 6:5
The irony abounds. Paul has been speaking to those in Corinth who would allow believers within the congregation to carry out lawsuits against one another in pagan tribunals. His words have shown that it is not only inappropriate, but it makes no sense based on their positions in Christ. He now says, “I say this to your shame.” They have disgraced themselves over this matter and his words anticipated them feeling the disgrace because of it.
And then comes the ironic question – “Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren?” It is to this same group that he has now written 5 full chapters of doctrine based on their “divisions” of allegiance. In chapter 4, he said this to them –
“We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored!” 1 Corinthians 4:10
How can it be that they are “wise in Christ” and yet they cannot make simple decisions concerning matters of dispute between believers? It is a scathing rebuke on the wisdom they feel they possess when in fact they are demonstrating none at all! His letter is intended for them to think these things through. Line after line is one which asks them (and thus us) to consider rationally our position in Christ and then to act in a manner according to that high status.
But,,,, it is so much easier to watch a movie or sit in the lawn and gaze at the birds as they flit about. This book is our guide, it is our “constitution” for living, and it is that which reveals our Lord. We should pick it up, read it, and cherish its words each day.
Life application: When someone says, “There are many ways to interpret the Bible” they are indicating that man holds sway over what God intends. In fact, there is one proper way to evaluate the Bible, but every one of us fails to do so to some degree or another. Our failure in no way negates what God determines. It shows that we need to study more.
Heavenly Father, the most common expression about your word today is that “there are many ways to interpret the Bible.” But this is from our perspective, not Yours. You have one truth and one presentation of that truth. Our failure to correctly understand what You intend simply means that we need to study more. And so Lord, give me the aching desire to properly handle Your word; to rightly divide it; to hold fast to its truths; and to never, never compromise its moral judgments. I desire to please You, not have harmony with those who would diminish the power of Your superior word. Amen.