This past Sunday, we looked at the final chapter in 1 Corinthians. While we may be tempted to see it as a haphazard conclusion to the letter, upon closer examination we see that Paul is helping the Corinthians to see the need for healthy biblical community. Specifically, we see that healthy biblical community will seek to share and love one another.
- Healthy Biblical Community Shares with One Another: v.1-11
There are two primary aspects of sharing that we see in the first 11 verses. The first is that healthy biblical community will share financially. Paul is exhorting the church to give. In verse 2, he gives some practical instructions around giving. He helps us to see that giving should be a priority. Second, we see that it is to be consistent. Third, giving is to be proportional and finally it is to be intentional. In addition to sharing financially, we see in verses 5-11 that we are to share relationally. Part of sharing relationally is a willingness to invest time and energy into one another. To do this well requires our time, which is a precious commodity. It may be that we don’t do this because we aren’t willing to give of ourselves. Further, we see that we are dependent upon God’s leading. We have to be willing to hold our calendars, schedules and for that matter, our lives, open-handedly. It’s good for us to wrestle with holding things open-handedly. As we hold things open handedly, it will require that we trust Jesus more completely.
- Healthy Biblical Community Loves One Another: v.12-24
Not only are we to share with one another, we are to love one another. This love manifests itself in many ways. It loves in character. All that we do is to be done in love. Second, we love in practice. Paul refers to a few people in the Corinthian church who become examples of how to love. Their willingness to devote themselves to the saints and to serve others is what leads Paul to exhorting the church to be subject to them. Paul is saying that we should be subject to those that are already modeling a humble service of others, which by the way, are the type of people we would want to be subject to. Finally, biblical community loves in totality. This is best captured by verse 23 and the grace of the Lord. To love this way, is to extend love to those that don’t deserve it. Which is exactly how God has loved us. In this, we’re simply mimicking our Savior.
God help us that we would share and love others in seeking to be a healthy biblical community.
This coming Sunday, we will wrap up our series in 1 Corinthians. As a part of our final review, we will leave time at the end of the service to allow for questions. There will be an opportunity to text questions in.