1 Corinthians 10-12

1 Corinthians

10:1-33 –  ‘Participation in the blood of Christ… participation in the body of Christ’ (16): There is nothing more important than this. We are not to be spectators, standing on the side lines, watching what’s going on without ever getting involved. We are to be participants, getting to know the Lord Jesus Christ, growing in our love for Him, strengthening our faith in Him, bringing more glory to Him. We eat bread. We drink wine. We remember Jesus Christ, ‘the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself for us’. We do not only remember this great event from the past. We participate in Christ here and now. He has brought us out of our old life – ‘I have been crucified with Christ’ – and into His new life – ‘It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me’ (Galatians 2:20). Participate ‘in Christ’ – not only in ‘the Church’!

11:1-34 –  We celebrate the Lord’s Supper (23-26). We even take note of what Paul says about the way we are to come to the Lord’s Table (27-29). What’s this all about? Is it about the whole thing looking good – impressive? Paul gives us something to think about in verse 22 – ‘Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the Church of God and humiliate those who have nothing?’. In Paul’s questions, we hear an echo of the Old Testament prophets (Isaiah 1:12-20; Amos 5:21-24). We rejoice in John 3:16 – ‘God so loved the world…’. Let’s not forget 1 John 3:16-18 – ‘let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in trust’. Jesus says, ‘…first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift’ (Matthew 5:23-24). Don’t just think about it. Act on it (James 1:22-25; 2:14-17)!

12:1-31 –  Paul speaks about ‘gifts of the Spirit’. They are ‘given for the common good’ (4-7). We’re not ‘to show off’: ‘Look at me. The Church can’t do without me’. When we draw attention to ourselves rather than Christ, we are not living ‘by the Spirit of God’. He moves us to say, with our whole heart, ‘Jesus is Lord’ (3). We live in fellowship with one another: ‘the body does not consist of one member but of many’ (14). ‘I’m happy – as long as I’m getting my own way’: We can do without this kind of attitude! What about ‘the common good’? Sometimes, things don’t go according to my plan. Perhaps, my plan needs revising – to take account of ‘the common good’. When self raises its ugly head – ‘It’s my way or no way at all’ – let’s not forget the ‘still more excellent way’ (3). It is the way of love – Christ’s love!

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