1 Corinthians 1:17 – “For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.”
In 1 Corinthians 1; we see a dividing factor that is causing a disruption in the church of Corinth. You see many of them are quarreling among themselves and choosing leaders, factions and sides; some say I follow Paul, or Apollo, or Cephas; or Christ- the biggest question Paul was asking here is- “Is Christ divided?” even to a point of baptism, people take it in stride to stand in faction by who baptized them. This issue that the early church handled is very much alike in today’s church; only in a bigger spectrum. Each church is divided as we follow brands upon brands of Christianity. Each one tailor-made to suit what the members want, hoping to be liked, to be well received, hoping to be popular while using the notion of commission to insure that more members come in instead of creating members of quality; in this comes the tragedy- that many churches follow their personal leaders, from pastors, deacons, elders and such; no longer are Christian called followers of Christ but followers of whoever is discipling them. To a point that even the scripture is tainted and misconstrued.
It’s a simple yet profound statement here; understand that Paul had been bred up in Jewish learning; but the plain preaching of a crucified Jesus, was more powerful than all the oratory and philosophy of the heathen world. This is the sum and substance of the gospel. Christ crucified is the foundation of all our hopes, the fountain of all our joys. And by his death we live. Blessings, abundance and all the promises to the obedient are but a by-product to the greatest gift of all which is the grace of our King, the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior and the hope of His return; this is what we should preach; not prosperity, nor commission to become leaders; since in John 12:32 it states: “But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” Lift Christ up; that is redemption. Redemption; the price paid by Jesus Christ to redeem the whole world and to place it perfectly whole & restored before the throne of God. Redemption; the statement of our King uttering these words to us- we are His; all we are; all we were, all we are going to be is because of His love, His power and goodness. Thus don’t fall into overshadowing the faith by dishonoring His love by looking at Christianity as your way back to your worldly idealism of success because it won’t be.
When redemption is the one thing we are impassioned for; we are compelled to stand right with God. This means; we cannot claim to follow God yet we keep on going back to the world. Therefore we cannot claim to be a church for the true church is married to Christ yet each time we quench our lust, our greed; we are very much flirting with the world- ergo we are unfaithful. When we were saved; there is no turning back nor a thought or situation that should overshadow the faith we hold unto to. There is no sin, nor does our self move to corrupt the beauty of being redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. We can’t go back to those without the faith in order to help us in our faith just because they seem to have what we need to build up our career, our failing finances, our needs, wants or whatever situation we maybe in. Because friends, when we look to others for support apart from God alone, look to them as our source- then it means that God is not our source and the people who we view as the source of our needs, are the ones who stand as the “god” of our lives. But if your call is true, if your Christianity hold the Bible as the only truth and that our lives show the redemptive power of Christ in our walk as we stand to bear much fruit; then it so means that we look to God and no one else, we follow Christ and Christ alone. That when we walk it is redemption that we preach; it is redemption that we live out, it the beauty of our redemption, our salvation that we exude; not the misconstrued doctrine of prosperity but the shining beacon of hope which is the unadulterated, infallible gospel which is the source of our Joy.
Have a Blessed day everyone! – Pastor Lyle Lopez