Monday – October 7, 2019 – Generational Divide
1 Corinthians 4:14-16 (NKJV) I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you. 15 For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. 16 Therefore I urge you, imitate me.
Even though he called them his children, Paul was writing to correct people that he referred to as carnal or worldly Christians. He did not consider them mature. In his eyes, they were infants who could not eat solid food. They were immature because they identified as belonging to one group over against another. Some claimed to be followers of Paul, while others claimed to be followers of Apollos. Paul and Apollos had different gift sets with distinct value to the Kingdom of God. Paul was gifted in establishing or founding churches, while Apollos was good at building on a foundation. They were both useful because they could add value to the church in their own ways. Paul was so distinctive compared to Apollos. This led one group to believe that Paul had no value to add to the community, while the other side believed that Apollos had little or no value. Clearly, as God used both, He would be able to bring increase to the church.
As followers of either Paul or Apollos, each group felt they had arrived and were being rewarded, while the other group had a way to go. Certain teachers were taking advantage of that and were leading them astray. Each group felt superior to the other and division came as a result.
Paul is reminding us that as we are being trained in the things of God, we need spiritual fathers (mothers), who love us so much that they will not allow us to stay infants and will insist on raising us to eat solid, nourishing food. They will discipline us to recognize what causes division and lead us away from it.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that we all have something to add to the Kingdom and our spiritual fathers will teach us to honor those who are different.