“Each One of you has times and seasons. There are times of great joy and triumph, of hope and deep worship – of belonging and having a deep sense of my love surrounding you. Then there are times when I may appear to have withdrawn, to have become distant. Often this happens when you have setbacks of any kind. You find yourself calling out, “How long oh lord how long?”Then the answer comes, “At just the right time”. I have made you like that, an emotional being, with an imagination and an inner voice as you build scenarios and stories. I made you like that so you could have a vision to plan a future and understand the past. Just know this – no matter how you feel, I am the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow. My bond of love for you cannot be broken – no matter what you feel, I am working for your good and the good of my church. So face the facts of my word and don’t rely on your feelings.”
Now we come to the mystery, as we proceed from 1Cor 2:6. Paul speaks of “God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God predestined for our glory before time began”. In Ephesians ch 3, the mystery is identified as Christ. Obviously referring to the whole means of salvation which was only revealed once Christ arrived.
Now the mystery remains, why do some people understand and others not? It has to do with the attitude of the believer. 2:14 reiterates that the message is foolishness to him/her. Why? Because the Spirit is not active in helping him. To those who are being saved 1:21, Who have believed through the foolishness of the preaching – the true message is revealed by the Spirit.
As I said last time that this is a mystery, that God needs to be active in the person’s mind and heart for him to experience the message as life saving for them. For the person who does not really care, the person who has no interest at all the message appears as foolishness.
Some, here the Greeks seek a clever argument, others, the Jews here, look for power and signs. They will look right past the beauty of the gospel.
Paul then returns to the problem of divisions in the church. His opening words declare that this is a case of spiritual immaturity. To counteract this he explains that while every worker in God’s field has a role to play that should not supersede the centrality of Christ 3:11.
Furthermore he reminds us of the sanctity and importance of the church 3:16. God in his Spirit lives among us and 3:22, if we belong to Christ he has given us everything. We need not run after men who we admire. By all means be discerning to follow those who have the gift of teaching, but don’t follow them because of who they are and place them on a pedestal above Christ.
Selfish ambition and poor theology are the root causes of division. Losing sight of the wonder of receiving every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies, and the wonder and joy of sharing that with others in church causes our selfishness to blossom.
May God bless you this coming week.