JohnSWilson3 Blog

“Follow the way of love…”
September 4, 2009, 1:54 am
Filed under: J First Letter to the Corinthians

As I’ve read and meditated over chapters 12 to 14 these past couple days Paul seems to bring together everything that he has just written in his first letter to the church in Corinth and focuses on the need to “follow the way of love.”

Everything that Paul has been addressing before has been everything but lovely! People who have been attempting to control others, making distinctions between believers causing division, focusing on things of the world, arrogant, not holding each other accountable to the word of God, unable to reconcile with each other, not concerned about other brothers with a “weak conscience,” not caring about the hungry, humiliating others, etc. Paul said to “flee idolatry” as they had been focusing on themselves, making themselves lord both in and out of their assemblies instead of Jesus Christ. Lord Jesus I pray that I do not fall into any of these things, but keep my focus on You!

Paul then provides a wonderful description of the body of Christ! Paul’s point is to bring Christ to the forefront of their meetings! Why? Because “you are the body of Christ”! Every follower of Jesus Christ is a member of the body of Christ! “Each one,” as determined by the Lord, has been given “the manifestation of the Spirit…for the common good” no matter the gift given to that member! Just like every part of the human body has a purpose and function so does every member in the body of Christ. No one is worthless, everyone is important! But Paul mentions that the issue, while that every person who is a follower of Jesus has a function or purpose it “is given for the common good.” Paul said earlier we are not our own, we were bought at a price, the body of Christ, like our own body is to be honored! It’s not about me, it’s about us!

Because the church is the body of Christ, I truly cannot know Christ in reality apart from the the love of my brothers and sisters in Christ speaking into my life and vice versa. If they don’t share their gift, they aren’t sharing what Jesus wants me to know or to have! If I don’t share my gift then I rob the body of Christ of something that Jesus wants them to know or have! The church robs Jesus of His power when we do not lovingly participate in the lives of one another! It’s about “the most excellent way” following “the way of love.”

Paul describes that while the gifts are important, it’s really about how we love one another with those gifts! Without love, whatever we do, “I am nothing…I gain nothing.” Wow! How am I loving others? Is what I do and say, for example with my students at school, with my kids or wife at home, being done for them out of love or for me? The gifts, used in love are for “strengthening, encouragement and comfort…(edifying) the church.” Is my focus on making Jesus Head or making me head? Am I trying to be in control or is Jesus really in control? Let go and let God sounds good about now. I think that applies here. And when this happens, when the brothers and sisters assemble together “in the name of our Lord Jesus” in a home or room somewhere, then “the power of our Lord Jesus is present”!

Paul describes what this meeting together of the church can look like, perhaps helping the Corinthians remember what they had seen Paul model for them when he was there. “What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.” The power of Christ is shown being present in these meetings because they came together in the name of the Lord Jesus, He was made Head! What a time these believers must have had together! But from assembling with a few other couples in an organic way last weekend it was very similar to this. In fact it was really close! Paul wasn’t so far off from reality!

When followers of Jesus come together with the sole purpose of making Jesus Christ the Head, giving up all of our control and giving Him full control, because “God is not a God of disorder but of peace” “everything (will) be done in a fitting and orderly way.” Lord help us to continue to learn “the way of love” to see You fully expressed through us to one another! How I desire to meet with You again when the body of Christ comes together! Lord help me/us not to fear that by losing control of when we assemble together that we will fail you! That is Your desire, to have us give up control and give You complete control! Take charge Lord Jesus! Let Your Kingdom Come Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven!

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