BIBLE MONDAY DEVOTIONALS
Welcome to KCM’s Bible Monday Devotionals! Over the course of the next few months, we will be going over the book of 1 Corinthians. Every Monday a member of steering core will be writing a devotional on a chapter of 1 Corinthians. Our desire is to equip our students with biblical knowledge so that they can more effectively carry out the Great Commission. We hope that these devotionals will be a blessing to you and that you will grow in your love for God and His Word.
We are here at the beginning of the apostle Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church. Although titled “1 Corinthians”, this is actually Paul’s second letter to the Corinthian church, the first one having been lost over time. Before we dive into the text, let’s take a look at some background information that will be useful in understanding this letter of Paul’s.
The city of Corinth, where the Corinthian church was located, was a major hotspot for commercial trade in Greece. As a result, the city was incredibly affluent, but it was also incredibly corrupt. The Corinthians were widely known for their immorality. To relate it to our culture, we could perhaps call Corinth the “Las Vegas” of ancient Greece.
During the apostle Paul’s second missionary journey, he travelled to Corinth, where he founded the Corinthian church (see Acts 18:1-17). After about a year and a half of ministry in Corinth, Paul was driven out of the city by some of the Jews who did not like the Gospel message he was preaching.
Some time later, Paul, having heard that members of the Corinthian church were struggling with immorality, wrote his first letter to address this issue. He then hears back that there are still issues in the Corinthian church, and writes this particular letter to further address these issues.
GREETING TO THE SAINTS (1 Cor 1:1-9)
“To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:” (1 Cor 1:2)
Paul begins his letter by reminding the Corinthians of their identity in Christ Jesus. Although this letter serves to address the sins of the Corinthians, Paul does not call them sinners, but instead, he calls them saints. Saints are those that belong to Christ Jesus, and Paul’s desire is for the Corinthians to recognize their identity as saints, and thus, take on the characteristics that match their identity. We too, as believers of Jesus Christ, must recognize that we are saints. Our primary identity is no longer that of sinner, because we have died to our old selves and now have the Holy Spirit in us, who is making us more like Christ. So let us know that we are saints and live as saints.
DIVISION IN THE CHURCH (1 Cor 1:10-17)
“I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.” (1 Cor 1:10)
One issue that the Corinthian church was facing was division in the church. They were forming groups based on which leader they preferred. Some called themselves followers of Paul, others of Apollos, others of Cephas, and others of Christ. Paul rebukes them for elevating human leaders and creating division in Christ’s church. There should be no division in the church because we worship one God. Some people fall into the sin of idolizing their church leader, and they end up following and worshiping them instead of following and worshiping Christ. Rather, every human church leader should point people to our one God.
BOAST IN THE LORD (1 Cor 1:18-31)
“But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.’” (1 Cor 1:27-31)
Paul delivers a humbling message in this section of his letter. In a world where eloquence and wisdom are highly esteemed, God chose to use the foolish, the weak, and the low and despised to accomplish His mission. Yet, the very fact that God is able to take the inadequate to successfully accomplish His mission proves how powerful and awesome He is. His wisdom and strength is far beyond those of human beings, and when we recognize this, there is no room left for us to boast in our own abilities. Instead, we boast in Jesus Christ, our Lord.
LET THE SAINTS BOAST IN HIM
So let us boast in our wonderful Savior, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross, paying the price for our sins, and rose again to reign eternally. Let us boast in the One who unites us and calls us to follow Him alone. Let us boast in the One who took us sinners and turned us into saints. Let the saints boast in Him.