“Boast In The Lord” (1 Corinthians 1: 10, HCSB) by Carley Evans

Boast In God’s Power (1 Corinthians 1: 10, HCSB) by Carley Evans

Paul exhorts the Corinthians to “agree in what [they] say.” He calls them to be “united with the same understanding and the same conviction.” Here are two of the most common problems in the church body — disagreement and disharmony.

One person follows Paul; another follows Peter; another follows Apollos; one is Baptist, another is Methodist; another is Lutheran — each rivals of the other in a vain pursuit of human glory.

Paul asks the key question — “Was it Paul who was crucified for you?” (1 Corinthians 1: 12) Then, he reminds the Corinthian church and us that “God chooses what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, and God chooses what is weak in the world to shame the strong. God chooses what is insignificant and despised in the world — what is viewed as nothing — to bring to nothing what is viewed as something, so that no one can boast in His presence.” (1 Corinthians 1: 27 – 29)

Boasting leads to disunity and disharmony among brothers and sisters in Christ. “The one who boasts must boast in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 1: 30) and not in a human church group or leader. Remember! Your denomination, your church leader was not crucified for you.

Paul goes so far as to say he deliberately comes to the Corinthians with less than brilliant speech and wisdom; instead he says, “I come to you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. My speech and my proclamation demonstration by the Spirit, so that you faith may not be based on men’s wisdom but on God’s power.” (1 Corinthians 2: 3 – 5)

And here is the key to harmony and unity — “faith based on… God’s power.”

“The Last Enemy” (1 Corinthians 15: 20 – 22, HCSB) by Carley Evans

Paul is very concerned that people in the Corinthian church are saying there is no resurrection of the body. He argues that if Christ is raised bodily, then Christians are raised bodily.

“The last enemy to be abolished is death,” writes Paul. (1 Corinthians 15: 27)

“Then the saying that is written will take place: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory. Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting? Now the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.’ ” (1 Corinthians 15: 54 – 56)

This will occur, says Paul, when Christ returns in His glory. We will change; “the dead will be raised incorruptible, and this mortal must be clothed with immortality.” (1 Corinthians 15: 52, 53)

Paul reminds us that “there are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is different from that of the earthly ones. There is a splendor of the sun, another of the moon, and another of the stars; for [one] star differs from [another] star in splendor. So it is with the resurrection of the dead… If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.” (1 Corinthians 15: 40 – 42)

So, presently we live in the company of our greatest enemies: sin and death. But Paul exhorts us: “My dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15: 58)