Something strange had been going on in the church in Corinth: it was rich in knowledge and spiritual gifts, yet its members little by little had grown apart from each other, in a sad process of division. This resulted in the formation of four different groups, around four leaders (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:4-17). Writing years later to believers in another church, Paul spoke of the need to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, but in Corinth the unity had been broken, and there could no longer be peace. Instead of one Lord, there were four «lords»; instead of one body, there were four little «bodies» (cf. Ephesians 4:1-6). To combat this lamentable situation, Paul explained to the Corinthian Christians the powerful reality of the body of Christ, of which all believers are part, under His headship. In this body all the members are valuable, independently of their nationality, their social standing or their spiritual gifts, and all come to be part of it in the same way: through regeneration by the Holy Spirit. He plays a crucial part in the working of the whole body, because it is He who distributes gifts and concerns Himself with their working together. Nevertheless, we are expected to cooperate with the Spirit, «drinking» from Him (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:4-31). And this was where the Corinthians went wrong…. It isn’t enough that we have been regenerated by the Spirit: we also need to walk in Him (Galatians 5:25), be filled with Him (Ephesians 5:18-21) and reveal His «fruit», with characteristics that are so important for the unity of believers like love, peace and goodness, avoiding the «works of the flesh», so harmful to that unity, like enmities, wrath and dissensions (cf. Galatians 5:16-23). Only like this will we be able to fulfill Jesus’ desire: “that all may be one, as You, the Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they may also be one just as We are one so that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17:21).
João Filipe Silva
- Thank You because, by Your grace, we were saved, and through the regeneration of the Holy Spirit we came to belong to the body of Christ.
- Thank You for the gifts the Holy Spirit has given us, for the edification of the church.
- Forgive us for all the «works of the flesh» we are guilty of, which have been harmful to the unity of the Spirit.
- Help us to be enthusiastic in developing the gifts the Spirit has given us.
- Help us to walk in the Spirit and be filled with Him, living in an attitude of praise and thankfulness before You and of mutual submission in our relationship with our brothers and sisters in the faith (Ephesians 5:18-21).