November 29. I Corinthians 1 – 4.
The book of 1st Corinthians is often first thought of as a book of correction and in each chapter, Paul addresses a different problem within the church at Corinth. For example in this first chapter we have these very serious words from Paul to the church:
1:10 I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. 11 For some members of Chloe’s household have told me about your quarrels, my dear brothers and sisters.
Later he goes on to speak of further divisions in the church and how that is not acceptable in the body of Christ. Discipline is hard. It is hard to give, and it is hard to receive. But if you look closely at this letter of correction, it becomes clearer that discipline and correction have many layers. Paul may be writing these words out of concern for bad behavior, poor conduct or lifestyles that are displeasing to God, and that misrepresent the Lord Jesus Christ, but it does not take long in reading his disciplinary words to begin to experience those layers. In the introduction alone notice the emphasis on Christ and the good that comes with Him and because of Him.
1:2 I am writing to God’s church in Corinth, to you who have been called by God to be his own holy people. He made you holy by means of Christ Jesus, just as he did for all people everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours. 3 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
Another example from verse 30 of the first chapter; notice what Christ has done for you if you have believed in Him and His death, burial, and resurrection. You are united with Christ. You are made right with God. You have been made pure and holy and freed from sin! Those are amazing benefits, blessings, and changes made available to you because of Christ and His work on the cross.
1:30 God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin.31 Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.”
When God, as the perfect Father, disciplines or corrects you, understand that woven into the correction (that part is not fun) are great lessons of the person of Christ Jesus and the plan of God for your life. Discipline, motivated by love, and administered with pure motives, is for your good. The corrections and course change in a life and attitudes come as they are measured and compared to the life of Christ, His actions, and His attitudes. Read these chapters of correction again, but this time look for Christ. And do the same the next time you find your life in the midst of God dealing with you as His child that needs correction and discipline. It will not take long for you to see the many layers and benefits of His love and correction in your life.