Paul taught freedom of choice


1 Corinthians 1-9

Through various sources, Paul had received reports of problems in the Corinthian church, including jealousy, dividiness, sexual immorality and failure to discipline members. Churches today must also address the problems they face. We can learn a greAt deal by observing how Paul handled these delicate situations.

Without Paul’s presence, the Corinthians church had fallen into divisiveness and disorder. This resulted in many problems, which Paul addressed squarely. We must be concerned for unity and order in our local churches, but we should not mistake inactivity for order and cordiality for unity. We too must squarely address problems in our churches.” The Corinthians had sent Paul a list of questions, and he answered them in a way meant to correct abuses in the church and to show how important it is that they live what they believe. Paul gives us a Christian approach to problem-solving. He analysed the problem thoroughly to uncover the underlying issue and then highlighted the Biblical values that should guide our actions.

The Corinthians were rallying around various church leaders and teachers—Peter, Paul, and Apollos. These loyalties led to intellectual pride and created a spirit of division in the church.

Our loyalty to human leaders or human wisdom must never divide Christians into camps. We must care for our fellow believers, not fight with them. Your allegiance must be to Christ. Let him lead you.

Paul received a report of uncorrected sexual sin in the church at Corinth. The people had grown indifferent to immorality. Others had misconceptions about marriage. We are to live morally, keeping our bodies ready to serve God at all times.

Christians must never compromise with sinful ideas and practices. We should not blend in with people around us. You must live upto God’s standard of morality and not condone immoral behaviour even if society accepts it.

Paul taught freedom of choice on practices not expressly forbidden In Scripture. Some believers felt certain actions —like eating the meat of animals used in pagan rituals—were corrupt by association. Others felt free to participate in such actions without feeling that they had sinned.

We are free in Christ, yet we must not abuse our Christian freedom by being inconsiderate and insensitive to others. We must never encourage others to do wrong because of something we have done. Let Love guide your behaviour.

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Clara Radhakrishna

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