Mations Devotion: August 7, 2023
If you want to understand what Paul’s various epistles are all about, a helpful trick is to look at the very first thing Paul says right after he finishes the introduction where he identifies himself and thanks God for the congregation. In Romans, the first thing Paul addresses after all that is the righteousness of God that is received through faith. In Galatians, the first thing he says is a rebuke of the Galatians for falling away from this Gospel of justification through faith alone–all of those things being the main issue in those respective letters. And here in 1 Corinthians, Paul immediately rebukes the Corinthians for their divisions, for dividing themselves when God had called them to be one. Paul, Apollos, and Peter were not divided. And yet the Corinthians were treating them as though they were rival teachers or competing Nascar drivers. God had invited the Corinthians into His eternal family. But they saw that as an invitation to separate and distinguish themselves from other believers, that they might bask in their superiority over those other groups. That’s why the Corinthians are condemning each other, suing each other, humiliating each other in their celebration of the Lord’s Supper.
Such is the nature of division in the church. Christ comes to feed us with His righteousness. But we want to make sure we get more righteousness than those next to us. Christ has come to clothe us in glory. We want a finer robe than those around us, so we try to lift ourselves up by tearing our brothers and sisters down. This is, of course, not the religion of Christ. This is the religion of the world, the supposed wisdom of the world that says you are competing with your fellow man to make yourself worthy of eternal life.
So let us flee to the foolishness of Christ. Let’s run into the arms of the Savior who made all of us equal by crushing our sins under His nail-pierced foot and by covering us in the same blood-soaked divine love. Let’s put our divisions to death by running to the One who was put to death for us, the One who made us strong in His weakness, the One who looked out upon a flock scattered by sin and who made us one with His forgiveness.
Run to Christ. Read His Word. Devour His doctrine. Believe the Gospel and our Lord will make our sad divisions cease.