Each letter coming from Jesus’ apostles reflected the heart and challenges of specific groups of believers. Though the Gospel of the Kingdom was one message, it was taking root in endless hearts and cultures – just as it is today.
Paul traveled from the Thessalonians to the city of Corinth. It was in his heart to take the Gospel message to every part of the earth. Through the Holy Spirit, God had graciously and specifically guided Paul into his mission. The Good News was exploding – one family, one people-group at a time. This is the nature of the Kingdom. Jesus said it was like a growing seed (Matthew 13:31,32). There are those who plant seeds, some water crops, but it is God Who gives growth! (1 Corinthians 3:6)
We have considered James, Galatians, and Thessalonians. James was all about the purity of what it meant to follow God. Paul cared for the Galatians by protectively guiding them through the challenges endemic to their region. In Thessalonians Paul reveals his heart for the growing, hope-filled faith of this church. In Corinthians Paul will tackle some serious growth challenges for a truly Roman (non-Jewish) community.
1 and 2 Corinthians are filled with huge insights about what it means to live out the wisdom of God within our own lives. Whatever century, whatever country, whatever tribe – the call remains the same. Will you honor me as the King of your life? Will you dedicate yourself to building my Kingdom? Can you set aside what comes naturally and embrace living beyond yourself? Do factions and divisive people seduce you?