Join us as we focus each day for nine weeks on a different part of 1 Corinthians 13.
Tuesday: It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles. 1 Corinthians 1:22-23
Read: 1 Corinthians 1:18-25
Listen: 1 Corinthians 1
Corinthians preferred eloquent speakers and educated teachers. As Pastor Jeff Manion puts it, they arrogantly looked for “Pow and Wow.” Jews sought the pow-factor through signs displaying God’s power. Greeks sought the wow-factor through powerful speakers and teachers.
Paul tells the Corinthians, “God sent me to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power” (1 Corinthians 1:17). Paul’s message is not eloquent and is very counter-cultural. It’s a message of power unleashed through humility, not exaggerated pride. Paul (a very educated former Pharisee) is willing to look foolish to present the simple message of God’s power in a crucified Christ.
The Corinthians’ attitude of arrogance was destroying their fellowship of believers. It was rife with conflicts and power struggles. Humility was a sign of weakness and stupidity retained from their former “pow and wow” culture. Paul teaches we need to put aside our self-centeredness and let God’s power work through our humility and self-sacrifice.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Use page 46 in your Culture of the Cross journal to reflect on a recent or current conflict in your life. Do you go for the power-play or yield to God? How would submitting to the habits of love in 1 Corinthians 13 effect your conflict?
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.