1 Corinthians 3
A few years ago one of my coworkers and I had stopped at a restaurant for lunch. As I was waiting my turn at the salad bar I heard the gentleman in front of me sing a few bars of a popular country song. He had no idea that anyone was close enough to hear until I complimented him on his singing. He was so embarrassed and I felt so bad for him that I offered a couple more compliments. I must admit I was more than surprised when he put down his plate, cleared his throat and belted out his unique rendition. The look of shock on the faces of the other patrons and the pummeling I received from my coworker said it all. The man could not carry a tune in a bucket. What was worse is that he had no idea that he couldn’t sing. Infused with the confidence he had gained from a few complements he was well into the second verse before I could distract him enough to get him to stop. As I read 1Corinthians 3, I see that the church at Corinth was not much different than my new found virtuoso.
The city of Corinth was a thriving hub of commerce and important to the Greek economy. It was uniquely situated in that two harbors and exceptional roads were accessible to its citizens. The church that Paul had planted there was growing. I have no doubt that the Christians there saw themselves as mature in the Lord. After all they were well taught and self-sufficient. They were endowed with spiritual gifts and isn’t that a measure of spiritual maturity? But Paul says they are mere infants needing milk rather than solid food. They were so confident in themselves they failed to see their own short comings.
The church at Corinth was divided over whom to follow. Some followed Paul, after all he was the one who started their church. Some preferred Cephas (Paul). After all he was a Disciple of Jesus. He had spent years studying directly under Jesus and you have to admit that would be impressive on a résumé. Still others preferred Apollos an Alexandrian that was cultured in the ways of the Greek. They had focused on the instrument used to deliver the gift and not on the Giver of the gift. God was giving the increase and God was building His church. Christians are a very diverse lot. When we fail to recognize the beauty and strength inherent in diversity we can never obtain the unity to which we are called. Paul never picks which leader they are to follow but addresses the quarrelling among them because division prevents growth. Paul reminds them of the primary objectives and most importantly reminds them that they are Christ’s.
So don’t forget who you are, or rather Who’s you are. You are a child of the King!