Any church community’s institutional stability and solid spiritual growth is always dependent on its mature and effective leadership committee. If there are no godly Christian men who are equipped to handle the Word of God and the saints, the church would collapse immediately. In this passage, Paul explains what it means to be a genuine Christian leader called by God to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ and to suffer for His name sake.
In our first part under this topic, we learnt that the Lord has instituted His church with certain organizational structure which includes ‘Church Discipline’, operated through pastors, elders and deacons to counsel, rebuke, correct and guide us towards righteousness. In this passage, we learn how church discipline shouldn’t be practiced, and also what kind of response should we display when the elders, pastors and deacons work to restore our joy in the Lord.
In our Society, the affinity towards people of similar language, social status, culture or ethnicity is very high. We’re often seen associating with people who look like us in every way. Sadly, this is a similar practice that is seen even among churches. But this does not reflect the oneness or the unity that God has designed to reflect in the society, especially when Christians fail to display love and unity among themselves. Jesus Christ died for the sins of not just one particular culture, but for the sins of every culture, tribe and tongue in this world, so that we may all be one in Christ. In this passage, we learn how we should practice Christian Fellowship in a loving and sacrificial way, especially with those who are very different from us.
Most churches are often led by full time pastors and leaders. Which means, they’re primarily called to be the servants of God in extending His kingdom through regular preaching of the Word, administering the sacraments, exercising church disciplines and be involved in discipleship. Their source of income is mostly by the congregation’s faithful and generous giving. In this passage, we learn certain responsibilities the congregation i.e the church has toward the servants of God in a local church, and also other servants who are involved in the mission work elsewhere.
Corporate Worship exists primarily to honor God, to remember His promises, to praise Him for who He is and for what He has done for us. So if the worship is all about Him and not about us, then we’re required to do so in a way that He has commanded us to worship Him, not the way we think He should be worshiped. In this passage, the Apostle Paul confronts disorderly worship practices in the church, and gives us instructions on how to worship God decently and in order.
The gift of tongues in the Bible always referred to foreign human languages. God’s servants and His apostles were given special authority and power through the Holy Spirit to speak in foreign languages which they have not learned, for the sake of advancing the gospel in other parts of the world. In the Corinthian church, people were misusing this gift of tongues to elevate themselves as super spiritual Christians appearing to have high status in God’s sight than those who don’t speak in tongues. In this passage, we see how the apostle Paul handles this tension and discrimination in the church and the solution he provides.
The Corinthian church presumed that speaking in tongues was a sure mark of the Holy Spirit dwelling in a Christian, without tongues there would be no Holy Spirit in our lives. Does the Bible affirm this view? What are the spiritual gifts? Are they still applicable today? In this passage, Paul clarifies the place that Tongues and other spiritual gifts have in the life of the church.