The Church Is Still in Business
. . .in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the spirit. (Eph. 2:22)
If there is any church that should have gone out of business, it should have been the one in Corinth. It doesn’t take a critical reader of the New Testament to understand this: The first four chapters involve controversies of human leadership. Chapter 5 discusses the controversy of immorality in the church. Chapter 6 deals with the controversy over legal matters regarding who will go to court and who will not. Chapter 7 treats the controversy over marriage.
Chapters 8, 9, and 10 address controversies over dietary, customary, and ritual/religious laws. Chapter 11 handles the controversy over the Lord’s Supper. Chapters 12, 13, and 14 resolve controversies over the spiritual gifts. Chapter 15 speaks to a controversy of the historical resurrection of Jesus Christ. Chapter 16 talks about a controversy over tithing. Notice that each controversy here is enough to put modern-day churches out of business.
No person would presume to discipline and develop a church without reading about the Corinthians. This is because the Corinthians prove to us that the church is not built by human imagination; instead, the church of the Lord Jesus is built by His Spirit, water, and blood. That is, the church has one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. If it were not for the foundation of the Lord Jesus Christ, the church would have gone out of business a long time ago. Since Christ is the foundation, nothing can stop the church.
Everything else might be falling, but the church is still going. In fact, in the face of trouble, the church is the institution in our society that blossoms the most. Also, you must realize that the church did not get started when you were converted. The reality is that the church has been here for a long time. From its inception, people have tried to stop the church. From ancient to modern times, there have been movements afoot to derail the church, but the church still goes on.
Lord God, even with all the internal controversies that the church has had to deal with over the centuries, You’ve never given up on her. You have even brought the best out of the worst possible situations and caused the church to flourish rather than die. Help us as members of Your body to always be part of the solution and not the problem. Amen.