1 Corinthians 1:1…
Paul, the apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, has been born again of the same kind of concern for the well-being of The Church possessed by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
It reminds us we should all be so concerned.
After leaving Corinth, Paul has arrived at Ephesus, and he has heard things which concern him greatly about the church at Corinth he has left behind. Concerned to the extent he addresses the issues he has heard of very directly in this letter to that church. It becomes a great encouragement to us to likewise address issues which may concern Christ about His Church.
Paul is not so much concerned over the survival of this church, but over its purity in how it has carried forth the Gospel message it has been entrusted with. Things have strayed from the centrality of the simple truth Paul had delivered to them.
There is no doubt this church in has been particularly and greatly gifted by God. Paul lets them know he sees their gifting completely. But Spiritual gifting is not the be-all and is not to be the end-all of The Church. In fact, if the focus becomes entirely upon Spiritual gifting, Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth suggests to us this may in fact BE the end-all of this church – should their pattern of Spiritual behavior in handling their gifts continue.
Paul reminds them of the simple truths he taught them from God’s Word, and one of those simple truths is the Body of Christ must never be divided into factions based upon personality.
Of all the things we see in Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth, this is one of the things we can most readily identify with because it is so prevalent in our day. The messenger is being given more attention than the message, and since that is the case, the messengers have become intent on making themselves even more notable because their flesh is being exalted – a prestige every man innately desires but can little handle.
Paul warns them away from the practice of raising one man above another in his presentation of the doctrine of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The truth presented, rather than the presenter of the truth is to be honored.
The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is a simple message designed to be presented by simple men to simple people. When oratory skills and/or intellectualism are perceived to have higher value than truth, the message of Christ is corrupted by the flesh of both the listeners and the teachers.
The beauty of the Gospel then devolves into a competition for popularity, which brings it away from the power of the Word of God and into the realm of the skillful salesmanship of man. Paul reminds us to never let this happen.