Lessons From 1 Corinthians

I have been a part of a bible study group in the last 11 months. We studied I Corinthians from September 19, 2019 to June 28, 2020. On the last day, we ended the study by having each person share three principles they learned from the book. Here are my three principles below. I trust God to bless you through them.

Focus on the one who blesses and not the blessing: Ordinarily, when we see someone consistent in church and doing well in life, we consider that person blessed and approved by God. I Corinthians 10:1-7 however disagrees. In this passage, Apostle Paul calls the attention of the Corinthian church to the fact that although many Israelites enjoyed the supernatural blessings of God in the wilderness—they walked under the cloud, passed through the sea, ate manna, and drank water from rocks—yet, God was not pleased with them. I must confess this is a scripture that shocks me. The message is simple, though. As explained in verses 5 to 7, participation in the wonderful things of God may become a curse rather than a blessing when the recipient’s focus shifts from God to the things God gives. Trusting in the false security that material wealth gives is easy. Remember that idolatry is such a big deal before God that He lists it as the first commandment. (Exodus 20:2)

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Imitate those who imitate Christ: Have you ever noticed a child who lives with an adult behave or say certain things just like that adult? It is because human beings are imitators by nature. We follow those who are ahead of and around us. The Bible is for imitating. I Corinthians 11:1 however gives us a simple guideline. Imitate only those who are imitating Jesus. Apostle Paul was saying something brave to his followers here—do not follow me if I do not follow Christ! Those who live godly lives with evidence of godly character and service to God’s people are those worth following. In this click-happy generation where the number of followers, likes and shares confers nobility, beware! Who are you following? The voice of the people is not always the voice of God. That so many people are saying or doing something does not make it right. Whatever the high-sounding title of a person, even in church, only those who practice the Jesus they preach deserve to be followed.

Love people because you love God: The final principle in I Corinthians that caught my attention is the entire I Corinthians 13, called the love book. I am intrigued by how it is possible for a person to give his or herself to be burned but does not have love. I can deduce that the major principle here is that with God, motive matters. Why do you do the good that you do? If it is for show-off, the Bible says in I Corinthians and other scriptures (Matthew 6:1), that you have no reward. Better put, you have your reward already because you received the accolades of the people you sought to please. It is important that we allow our love for God to drive our love for others. This way, there will be no pressure to perform, no anger if the recipient fails to acknowledge us and our acts of love will be sustainable.

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