That no flesh should glory in his presence. – 1Cor. 1:29 KJV
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The Apostle Paul had decided to write a letter to the Corinthians in his attempt to address what he perceived as unnecessary disagreements caused by arguments over who was right between Paul and Apollos. Someone from the family of Chloe had informed him of this disagreement that was threatening the unity of the brethren in Corinth, with some choosing to support Paul whilst some chose to pitch their tent with Apollos. He wondered whether Jesus Christ was divided or whether it was any of the personalities they chose to align with, that was crucified for them, or whether they were baptized in the name of any of the personalities they have chosen to follow – 1Cor. 1:10-17. As far as he was concerned, this was an unnecessary intellectual debate that could and should be avoided, especially since it was causing division amongst them. They were always going to be better off concentrating on the core of the message rather than getting involved in such arguments, since the wisdom required to analyze the mystery behind the gospel was beyond the understanding of man.
That the blood of Jesus Christ was sufficient to save all, dead or living, from the consequences of sin was always going be like foolishness, only to those who are perishing, as it has pleased God to use this same gospel, that is regarded as foolishness to save only those who believe – 1Cor. 1:18-21; Jn. 3:16. As far as the Apostle Paul was concerned, the demand of the Jews for signs, to support the claims of this gospel, will always be their stumbling block to accessing this great Grace, as it remains available only to those who believe, just as the Greeks getting involved in intellectual analysis of how such a doctrine can be true will only present them as foolish and comparable to the Gentiles. All that anyone who desires to benefit from this Gospel, either Jew or Gentile, need do, is to accept it as the Power and the Wisdom of God, knowing that what anyone may want to regard as foolishness and weakness of God, is wiser and stronger than the wisdom and strength of any man – 1Cor. 1:22-25. He therefore advised them to remember that many of them could not be considered as wise, even by the standard of men, before they were called. The Almighty God it is, in His bid to reveal the limit of human knowledge, that decided to use the foolish things of this world to shame the wise, he had chosen the weak to shame the strong and the lowly, had decided to use the despised, and things that are not, to nullify things that are, so that as stated in the foundation scripture for today’s Devotional, no one will boast or glory in themselves before Him – 1Cor. 1:26-31.
One can only wish that today’s Christian will always remember this advise of Paul to the Corinthians, as it is obvious that this advise has been largely ignored by most of them. No wonder, there is so much division in the body of Christ today as many have chosen to go their different ways because of disagreements over who has superior wisdom to analyse issues of the scriptures. Most Christians today are not reading or listening to the scriptures because they want to access knowledge required for salvation, but simply because they want to showcase their sagacity with regards to matters of the scriptures.
Inability to convince fellow brethren in this regard leads to divisive arguments which they consider as irreconcilable differences and deemed as sufficient reason to split the Body of Christ. This without doubt has led to the emergence of several Christian denominations who seem, to be at war with one another, despite the claim that they are all preaching the gospel of salvation.
Just as Paul stated in his letter to the Corinthians, these are individuals who before their Call were without any credential and so were not counted worthy, even by family members, to be deserving of any form of recognition and honour, but whose only justification for making such demand or seeking such positions of honour, is simply their being associated with the gospel of Christ. Going by worldly standards, they are not even associated with any form of achievements that could give them the recognition that they are craving for, but now demand to be seen as the authority that must be consulted on, not just salvation related matters, but all matters of life. Not doing that, as far as they are concerned, is sufficient reason to divide the Body of Christ by setting up different fractions with firm boundaries, like they are preaching a new Jesus Christ or will baptise their followers in another name, different from the name of Jesus Christ. Most times, such will hide under the excuse of having received a divine instruction to justify the act of splitting the Body of Christ.
Christians must always remember that the only objective of the gospel is to make salvation available to mankind, and that is simply through the acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. How the Almighty God intends to do that will always be beyond the so called wisdom of men, which the Apostle Paul says is foolishness before the Almighty God. The message remains the same but the manner of its implementation is according to His Will. Any intellectual discussion that produces a split in the Body of Christ can only be of the Devil and should not be allowed to take root amongst believers, just as no true Christian should be involved in such debates. Put simply, there is no division in Jesus Christ, just as the message of the cross has no duplicate. Such debates are simply not worth it as no human wisdom can fathom the actions of God. They will always remain mysterious, so that He can continue to ensure that no man glorifies self before Him. May God grant us the humility to acknowledge the limits of our knowledge and accept that we can not take any glory before Him in Jesus name. Amen.