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Friday, 25 November 2011

Day 330: Straight talking

The more Paul goes on, the worse the Corinthians seem to be. What has got into them?  
Christian service evaluated
1 Corinthians 3:1-15
The temple of God
1 Corinthians 3:16-17
All things are ours
1 Corinthians 3:18-23
Paul’s apostleship
1 Corinthians 4:1-13
Paul as a father in Christ
1 Corinthians 4:14-21
The Corinthians rebuked concerning incest
1 Corinthians 5:1-8
Disciple of sinning believers
1 Corinthians 5:9-13
Lawsuits rebuked
1 Corinthians 6:1-8
The sacredness of the body
1 Corinthians 6:9-20

As Paul goes on, and gets to the end of his complaints about the factionalism and worldliness in the Corinthian church, you expect him to turn to more cheerful things. Instead, he says that he is sending Timothy to them to remind them what true Christianity is, and that he himself will try to come, and would they prefer that he came to discipline them, or that he came in love? In other words, sort yourselves out before I get there!
What was so wrong? We begin to find out in chapter 5 - they are tolerating some pretty major sins in their midst. They are arguing with one another and taking each other to court. Paul is appalled at this. Christians, commanded by Jesus himself to love one another,. going before secular courts to settle their differences? It’s an outrage! And then they think they can please themselves in matters of sexual morality, as if what your body gets up to has no effect on your soul. Paul has no truck with that phoney Greek dualism. What your body does affects the rest of you - you can’t compartmentalise your life and live a holy, spiritual bit on Sundays and indulge the physical bit the rest of the time. These Corinthians need sorting out!

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