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Doctrine Without Love Causes Spiritual Disunity in Corinth

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Doctrine Without Love Causes Spiritual Disunity in Corinth

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Doctrine Without Love Causes Spiritual Disunity in Corinth

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A continuation of a series on faith, hope, and love. Larry Walker speaks about love, or lack thereof, in the congregation in Corinth. Corinth was practicing doctrines without love that resulted in a spiritually divided congregation.

Sermon Notes

Doctrine without Love—Causes Spiritual Disunity in Corinth 6-15-13 Bend, 6-22-13 Medford Introduction – For the past several weeks, I have been “making the rounds” on the topic of spiritual unity, stressing that love is the key to spiritual unity, not doctrine. · In the meantime in our Bible series on faith, hope and love we have talked about faith and hope and are ready to begin considering the subject of love. · So the topic I have in mind today is to trace the spiritually divided condition of the church in Corinth to practicing doctrine without love. Paul usually begins his epistles by praising the congregation for it’s strong points. · There wasn’t very much good that he could say about the church in Corinth.

1 Corinthians 1:4-7 1 Corinthians 1:4-7 [4] I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; [5] That in every thing you are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; [6] Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: [7] So that you come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
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4 ¶ I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, 5 that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, 6 even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, 7 so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ… · No mention of love (cp Ephesians 1:15 Ephesians 1:15Why I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love to all the saints,
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, Philippians 1:9 Philippians 1:9And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;
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, Colossians 2:3-5 Colossians 2:3-5 [3] In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. [4] And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. [5] For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, rejoicing and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.
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, 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 [2] We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; [3] Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;
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One major reason this epistle was written to deal with a disturbing report he received from the household of Chloe regarding the divided state of the congregation. 1 Corinthians 1:10-13 1 Corinthians 1:10-13 [10] Now I beseech you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. [11] For it has been declared to me of you, my brothers, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. [12] Now this I say, that every one of you said, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. [13] Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
American King James Version×
a 10 ¶ Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe's household, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now I say this, that each of you says, "I am of Paul," or "I am of Apollos," or "I am of Cephas," or "I am of Christ." 13 Is Christ divided? · “divided” (Gr. merizo) = “to divide into separate parts - 'to divide, to disunite, division, separation” (Louw-Nida lexicon). · Merizo is the first word in the sentence, which means it is the most important word in the sentence. · The past perfect tense is more accurately rendered in other translations. NRS 1 Corinthians 1:13 1 Corinthians 1:13Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
American King James Version×
Has Christ been divided? NLT 1 Corinthians 1:13 1 Corinthians 1:13Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
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Has Christ been divided into factions? · “divisions” (v 10) = Gr. schisma (from which we get our word scissors) = literally, “to split, to tear,' the condition resulting from the splitting or tearing” figuratively, “a division into opposing groups, generally two - 'division, discord'” (Louw-Nida lexicon). · The lexicon goes on to say, “In some languages the equivalent of 'causing division' is literally 'to cause two groups in place of one group,' but more frequently the equivalent is expressed in terms of attitudes, for example, 'to cause people to be angry at one another' or 'to cause people not to like one another' or 'to cause people to think of one another as enemies.'” · Aka, lack of love · Modern application = congregations divided due to “splits”—where is the love? · Not only was it a divided congregation, these Corinthians were putting their champion minister on a pedestal, which amounts to idolatry.

1 Corinthians 1:13 1 Corinthians 1:13Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
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b Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 1 Corinthians 3:1-7 1 Corinthians 3:1-7 [1] And I, brothers, could not speak to you as to spiritual, but as to carnal, even as to babes in Christ. [2] I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for till now you were not able to bear it, neither yet now are you able. [3] For you are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are you not carnal, and walk as men? [4] For while one said, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are you not carnal? [5] Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom you believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? [6] I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. [7] So then neither is he that plants any thing, neither he that waters; but God that gives the increase.
American King James Version×
¶ And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; 3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? 4 For when one says, "I am of Paul," and another, "I am of Apollos," are you not carnal? 5 ¶ Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. 1 Corinthians 4:1 1 Corinthians 4:1Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
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 ¶ Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. NKJ 1 Corinthians 4:6 1 Corinthians 4:6And these things, brothers, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that you might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.
American King James Version×
 ¶ Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other. NIV 1 Corinthians 4:6 1 Corinthians 4:6And these things, brothers, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that you might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.
American King James Version×
 ¶ Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, "Do not go beyond what is written." Then you will not take pride in one man over against another. · “If they learn not to go beyond the teaching of the Scripture about how they should treat God's teachers and all of God's people, then the result will be that they will not be conceited in taking a stand for one teacher or person over against another” (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary).

1 Corinthians 4:7 1 Corinthians 4:7For who makes you to differ from another? and what have you that you did not receive? now if you did receive it, why do you glory, as if you had not received it?
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For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? · “Some Christians evidently were boasting because of their talents and because of their positions and parties. So Paul puts the rhetorical question to them: "What do you have that you did not receive?" The obvious answer is that they received all from God and had no right to boast” (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary). · “If one Christian teacher is more gifted than another, it is because God made him so. Everything he has, he received from the Lord. In fact it is true of all of us that everything we have has been given to us by God. That being the case, why should we be proud or puffed up? Our talents and gifts are not the result of our own cleverness” (Believer’s Bible Commentary). Another purpose of the letter was to respond to a letter from some congregation members.

1 Corinthians 7:1 1 Corinthians 7:1Now concerning the things whereof you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
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 ¶ Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me… · “now concerning” (1 Co. 7:1, 25; 8:1; 12:1; 16:1, 12; 2 Co. 9:1) = “text marker” · “In responding to the reports and answering the questions, it was Paul's purpose to rectify certain serious doctrinal and moral sins and irregularities of Christian living, including disorderly conduct in worship. These aberrations included false views of the resurrection of Christ and the resurrection of the body (1Cor 15), incest, adultery, and other sexual immorality (1Cor 5). They also included unchristian actions in taking fellow Christians to court (1Cor 6), misuse of Christian liberty (1Cor 8 and 10), disorders in observing the Lord's Supper (1Cor 11:17-34), and other disorders in the worship service (1Cor 14)” (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary). · The common denominator of nearly all of these problems is a lack of love. Doctrines (true) 1.

Monotheism 1 Corinthians 8:4-6 1 Corinthians 8:4-6 [4] As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. [5] For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) [6] But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
American King James Version×
4 ¶ Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one. 5 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), 6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.

1 Corinthians 8:7-12 1 Corinthians 8:7-12 [7] However, there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol to this hour eat it as a thing offered to an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. [8] But meat commends us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. [9] But take heed lest by any means this liberty of your's become a stumbling block to them that are weak. [10] For if any man see you which have knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; [11] And through your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? [12] But when you sin so against the brothers, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.
American King James Version×
7 ¶ However, there is not in everyone that knowledge; for some, with consciousness of the idol, until now eat it as a thing offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. 8 But food does not command us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse. 9 But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol's temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? 11 And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12 But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. · So their approach was potentially offensive to other members (lack of love). · This was certainly not in the interests of spiritual unity.

1 Corinthians 10:18-22 1 Corinthians 10:18-22 [18] Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? [19] What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? [20] But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that you should have fellowship with devils. [21] You cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: you cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils. [22] Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?
American King James Version×
18 Observe Israel after the flesh: Are not those who eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? 19 What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? 20 Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord's table and of the table of demons. 22 Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He? · Eating meat in an idol’s temple also constitutes idolatry (lack of love for God) · Paul makes this point by referring to OT Israel’s sin of idolatry.

1 Corinthians 10:1-7 1 Corinthians 10:1-7 [1] Moreover, brothers, I would not that you should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; [2] And were all baptized to Moses in the cloud and in the sea; [3] And did all eat the same spiritual meat; [4] And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. [5] But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. [6] Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. [7] Neither be you idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
American King James Version×
¶ Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. 6 ¶ Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. 7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them…. 1 Corinthians 10:11-12 1 Corinthians 10:11-12 [11] Now all these things happened to them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the world are come. [12] Why let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
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11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. · Context = Corinthians were unaware of that they were guilty of idolatry by eating meat in an idol’s temple.

1 Corinthians 10:14 1 Corinthians 10:14Why, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.
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14 ¶ Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 1 Corinthians 10:15 1 Corinthians 10:15I speak as to wise men; judge you what I say.
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15 I speak as to wise men; judge for yourselves what I say. · A little sarcasm here? 2. Sabbath · Even though they met together on the Sabbath, it was not an edifying experience but a disorganized, confused cacophony of individual members flaunting their alleged spiritual gifts. 1 Corinthians 14:26 1 Corinthians 14:26How is it then, brothers? when you come together, every one of you has a psalm, has a doctrine, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done to edifying.
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 ¶ How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. 1 Corinthians 14:32-33 1 Corinthians 14:32-33 [32] And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. [33] For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
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32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 33 ¶ For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. 1 Corinthians 14:40 1 Corinthians 14:40Let all things be done decently and in order.
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40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

1 Corinthians 14:1-5 1 Corinthians 14:1-5 [1] Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that you may prophesy. [2] For he that speaks in an unknown tongue speaks not to men, but to God: for no man understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. [3] But he that prophesies speaks to men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. [4] He that speaks in an unknown tongue edifies himself; but he that prophesies edifies the church. [5] I would that you all spoke with tongues but rather that you prophesied: for greater is he that prophesies than he that speaks with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.
American King James Version×
¶ Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. 2 For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. 3 But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. 4 He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. 5 I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification. · The reason Paul admonishes them to pursue love was because their conduct was not motivated by love and edifying fellow members, but was rooted in pride.

1 Corinthians 12:31 1 Corinthians 12:31But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I to you a more excellent way.
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31 ¶ But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way. · The entire 13th chapter is devoted to describing love and its superior importance. 3. Holy Days (Passover & UB – 1 Corinthians 5) 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 [6] Your glorying is not good. Know you not that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? [7] Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: [8] Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
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6 Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. · Paul’s reference to leaven and Christ as “our Passover sacrificed for us” and his admonition regarding how to keep the Feast indicates that the Corinthians kept the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread. · “There seems no difficulty in supposing that the Gentile Christians joined with the Jewish Christians in celebrating the Paschal feast after the Jewish manner, at least to the extent of abstaining from leaven at the love feasts. And we see that Paul still observed the ‘days of unleavened bread’ at this period of his life” (The Life & Epistles of St. Paul, by Conybeare and Howson) · But although they put leaven out of their homes and abstained from leaven, their conduct was in stark contrast to the spiritual meaning of leaven, because they were allowing a blatant sin to fester in their midst.

1 Corinthians 5:1-2 1 Corinthians 5:1-2 [1] It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife. [2] And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that has done this deed might be taken away from among you.
American King James Version×
¶ It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles -- that a man has his father's wife! 2 And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. · They had put leaven out of their homes but the sinner had not been put out of the church. · To put it another way, they had not exercised “tough love.” · And they certainly didn’t have spiritual unity.

1 Corinthians 11:2 1 Corinthians 11:2Now I praise you, brothers, that you remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
American King James Version×
2 ¶ Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you.

1 Corinthians 11:17-18 1 Corinthians 11:17-18 [17] Now in this that I declare to you I praise you not, that you come together not for the better, but for the worse. [18] For first of all, when you come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
American King James Version×
, 21-22 17 ¶ Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. 18 For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it…. 21 For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.

NLT 1 Corinthians 11:17-18 1 Corinthians 11:17-18 [17] Now in this that I declare to you I praise you not, that you come together not for the better, but for the worse. [18] For first of all, when you come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
American King James Version×
, 21-22 17 ¶ But in the following instructions, I cannot praise you. For it sounds as if more harm than good is done when you meet together. 18 First, I hear that there are divisions among you when you meet as a church, and to some extent, I believe it…. 21 For some of you hurry to eat your own meal without sharing with others. As a result, some go hungry while others get drunk. 22 What? Don't you have your own homes for eating and drinking? Or do you really want to disgrace God's church and shame the poor? What am I supposed to say? Do you want me to praise you? Well, I certainly will not praise you for this! · This shameful conduct and utter disregard for needy members occurred on a “potluck” meal prior to Passover, an early church tradition ostensibly following the example of Jesus Christ who established the New Covenant Passover symbols of bread and wine after sharing a meal with the disciples. · However, in verse 20, Paul says, “This is not “a Lordly [or Christ-like] meal” (literal translation of the Greek text, which does not say the Lord’s supper, but a; and the word translated “Lord” is an adjective, not a noun). Other examples of lack of love 1. Taking fellow member to court

NLT 1 Corinthians 6:1-8 1 Corinthians 6:1-8 [1] Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? [2] Do you not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? [3] Know you not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? [4] If then you have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. [5] I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brothers? [6] But brother goes to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. [7] Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because you go to law one with another. Why do you not rather take wrong? why do you not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? [8] No, you do wrong, and defraud, and that your brothers.
American King James Version×
¶ When one of you has a dispute with another believer, how dare you file a lawsuit and ask a secular court to decide the matter instead of taking it to other believers! 2 Don't you realize that someday we believers will judge the world? And since you are going to judge the world, can't you decide even these little things among yourselves? 3 Don't you realize that we will judge angels? So you should surely be able to resolve ordinary disputes in this life. 4 If you have legal disputes about such matters, why go to outside judges who are not respected by the church? 5 I am saying this to shame you. Isn't there anyone in all the church who is wise enough to decide these issues? 6 But instead, one believer sues another-- right in front of unbelievers! 7 ¶ Even to have such lawsuits with one another is a defeat for you. Why not just accept the injustice and leave it at that? Why not let yourselves be cheated? 8 Instead, you yourselves are the ones who do wrong and cheat even your fellow believers. · Yet another example of lack of brotherly love and spiritual division, because congregation members usually take sides in matters involving disputes between members. 2. Failure to make good on their promise to contribute to needy members in Jerusalem

Acts 11:27-30 Acts 11:27-30 [27] And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem to Antioch. [28] And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar. [29] Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brothers which dwelled in Judaea: [30] Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.
American King James Version×
27 ¶ And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar. 29 Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea. 30 This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul. NLT

1 Corinthians 12:12 1 Corinthians 12:12For as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
American King James Version×
, 22-27 ¶ The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ…. 22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. 23 And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, 24 while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. 25 This makes for harmony among the members so that all the members care for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. 27 ¶ All of you together are Christ's body, and each of you is a part of it. · This passage illustrates in a practical way how love for fellow members in need is based on the concept of spiritual unity—members who need each other to function in harmony, just as is the case with the human body.

1 Corinthians 16:1-5 1 Corinthians 16:1-5 [1] Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do you. [2] On the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God has prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. [3] And when I come, whomsoever you shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality to Jerusalem. [4] And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me. [5] Now I will come to you, when I shall pass through Macedonia: for I do pass through Macedonia.
American King James Version×
¶ Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: 2 On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come. 3 And when I come, whomever you approve by your letters I will send to bear your gift to Jerusalem. 4 But if it is fitting that I go also, they will go with me. 5 ¶ Now I will come to you when I pass through Macedonia (for I am passing through Macedonia). · Unfortunately, the Corinthians didn’t respond to the need (lack of love). · “In 2 Corinthians 8 and 9, Paul picks up an agenda item that had been introduced almost a year before—the offering for the impoverished Christians in Jerusalem. He was concerned not only about the plight of the Jerusalem Christians who were in desperate need, but for the Corinthian Christians. He knew they needed to feel the responsibility for their brothers and sisters in Christ if they were to grow spiritually” (The Preacher’s Commentary).

NLT 2 Corinthians 8:1-15 2 Corinthians 8:1-15 [1] Moreover, brothers, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; [2] How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded to the riches of their liberality. [3] For to their power, I bear record, yes, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; [4] Praying us with much entreaty that we would receive the gift, and take on us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. [5] And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and to us by the will of God. [6] So that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also. [7] Therefore, as you abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that you abound in this grace also. [8] I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love. [9] For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that you through his poverty might be rich. [10] And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago. [11] Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which you have. [12] For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man has, and not according to that he has not. [13] For I mean not that other men be eased, and you burdened: [14] But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality: [15] As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.
American King James Version×
¶ Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia. 2 They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity. 3 For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will. 4 They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem. 5 They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do. 6 So we have urged Titus, who encouraged your giving in the first place, to return to you and encourage you to finish this ministry of giving. 7 Since you excel in so many ways-- in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us-- I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving. 8 ¶ I am not commanding you to do this. But I am testing how genuine your love is by comparing it with the eagerness of the other churches. 9 You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich. 10 Here is my advice: It would be good for you to finish what you started a year ago. Last year you were the first who wanted to give, and you were the first to begin doing it. 11 Now you should finish what you started. Let the eagerness you showed, in the beginning, be matched now by your giving. Give in proportion to what you have. 12 Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don't have. 13 Of course, I don't mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality. 14 Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal. 15 As the Scriptures say, "Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough."

NLT 2 Corinthians 9:1-15 2 Corinthians 9:1-15 [1] For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you: [2] For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal has provoked very many. [3] Yet have I sent the brothers, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this behalf; that, as I said, you may be ready: [4] Lest haply if they of Macedonia come with me, and find you unprepared, we (that we say not, you) should be ashamed in this same confident boasting. [5] Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brothers, that they would go before to you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof you had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness. [6] But this I say, He which sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully. [7] Every man according as he purposes in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver. [8] And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: [9] (As it is written, He has dispersed abroad; he has given to the poor: his righteousness remains for ever. [10] Now he that ministers seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) [11] Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causes through us thanksgiving to God. [12] For the administration of this service not only supplies the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings to God; [13] Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution to them, and to all men; [14] And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you. [15] Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.
American King James Version×
¶ I really don't need to write to you about this ministry of giving for the believers in Jerusalem. 2 For I know how eager you are to help, and I have been boasting to the churches in Macedonia that you in Greece were ready to send an offering a year ago. In fact, it was your enthusiasm that stirred up many of the Macedonian believers to begin giving. 3 But I am sending these brothers to be sure you really are ready, as I have been telling them, and that your money is all collected. I don't want to be wrong in my boasting about you. 4 We would be embarrassed-- not to mention your own embarrassment-- if some Macedonian believers came with me and found that you weren't ready after all I had told them! 5 So I thought I should send these brothers ahead of me to make sure the gift you promised is ready. But I want it to be a willing gift, not one given grudgingly. 6 ¶ Remember this-- a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don't give reluctantly or in response to pressure. "For God loves a person who gives cheerfully." 8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 9 As the Scriptures say, "They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever." 10 ¶ For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. 11 Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. 12 So two good things will result from this ministry of giving-- the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God. 13 As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. 14 And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you. 15 Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words! 3. Sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:9-20 1 Corinthians 6:9-20 [9] Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, [10] Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortionists, shall inherit the kingdom of God. [11] And such were some of you: but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. [12] All things are lawful to me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. [13] Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. [14] And God has both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. [15] Know you not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. [16] What? know you not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, said he, shall be one flesh. [17] But he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit. [18] Flee fornication. Every sin that a man does is without the body; but he that commits fornication sins against his own body. [19] What? know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own? [20] For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
American King James Version×
) · Context indicates Gnostic approach · Obviously not based on love or conducive for spiritual unity Conclusion – The many problems in the church in Corinth serve as a written record for our admonition—to document the importance of love for God and love for each other as the fundamental basis of spiritual unity. · We will continue this series on faith, hope and love to learn more about this most important and enduring quality of love.