Fear of Outsiders – Need for Community
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 11:17-18
In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good. In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it.
The community of believers at Corinth had more trouble and problems than any other church in the New Testament records. They had moral problems – a man sleeping with his mother-in-law – and the church did nothing. The Apostle Paul wrote a blunt and clear directive to deal with that sin… immediately. In today’s scripture, we see that this church was in disunity. Egos were involved… gluttony in the face of the hungry… drunkenness replaced the communion sacrament… this church was in trouble!
God’s church is not immune to struggling because it is a gathering of human beings that struggle. Somewhere along the history of the church, an idea got started that the church was a “museum of the saints.” Outsiders seem surprised and critical of the church because of its “humanness”!
The biblical solution was never to extinguish the church but simply to correct. The Apostle Paul was blunt in his approach but cautious in his treatment as he gave his instructions. He never wanted to destroy the concept of the community of God’s people. As a father disciplines his children, so the apostle corrected the believers at Corinth.
If you have been hurt in some way in a church – don’t give up on the church. God doesn’t! We must all love what God loves… and God loves the church – let’s build it!
Father, help me to see what you see, when it comes to my church. Grant me wisdom to know how to help make it what you want it to be! In Jesus’ Name, amen.