When I was a younger Christian, I tended not to like the book of 1 Corinthians. I didn’t like it because it seemed like Paul was writing a letter to a church that was messed up. They were divided, bickering with one another, and not doing a very good job of handling the calling of being the Body of Christ. As I have now spent 30 years in ministry, I have grown to appreciate this book greatly, because the issues Paul was facing 2,000 years ago in this letter to the church of Corinth, are still with us today!!!
In this first chapter Paul addresses the divisions going on in the church. The Church in Corinth was divided into at least four divisions. That sounds a lot like the church today. If you did a google search on the number of Christian denominations in the United States, you would find over 33,000 Christian denominations. If we don’t like something in one church, we move across town to the next. If we don’t like what they are doing, we launch out and start our own church.
Paul challenges the church to a higher standard, the standard that Christ gave to the church before he was crucified…. The standard of unity. I love the way Eugene Peterson translates Paul’s appeal in The Message Bible:
“I have a serious concern to bring up with you, my friends, using the authority of Jesus, our Master. I’ll put it as urgently as I can: You must get along with each other. You must learn to be considerate of one another, cultivating a life in common.” (1 Corinthians 1:10 The Message)
Cultivating a life in common doesn’t mean we have to agree with each other, it doesn’t mean we won’t have to work through issues…. It does mean that we are committed to living out our faith as a community, committed to the well-being of everyone. As you contemplate these ideas, I invite you to read the chapter below and watch the video.
 According to the World Christian Encyclopedia.
- As you read the chapter and watched the video, how does the church Paul is writing to relate to Lake Deaton and where does it not relate?
- What are ways that we can work toward “getting along with each other,” even when we may have disagreements?
- How does Lake Deaton reflect Christ to the world around us? and how can we grow in this?
So What Activity:
Think of someone in the church that you do not know well (or even at all) and invite them to lunch, just to get to know them. Go with the mentality that they may be different than you are, and that is a blessing of God.