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Distinct | Corinth

Commentary on Paul’s Letters to the Corinthian Church

ARC Guide Level 1
Ideal for those getting acquainted with our thought process at Ammi Ruhama Community.

Photo by Matheus Viana

1 Corinthians 3:18-23

18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” 20 and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” 21 So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.

1 Corinthians 3:18-23 English Standard Version

The Wise of this World Distinguish Themselves

What craftiness God catches the wise in, what thoughts of self importance, what notions of irreplaceability, distinction and professionalism. The wise of this world promise good things to those who follow their wisdom as if they were there’s to give! They promise access to the universe, 5 keys to success, the life of our dreams, the husband or wife of our dreams and heuristics to make those difficult decisions a breeze. They have received a little bit of knowledge and deign to know everything and to market that knowledge to the world. The wise of this world distinguish themselves as being other.

When the wisdom of the world enters the church it enters by gradations of distinctions of belief as if to say that we are distinct because of our wisdom, “We are distinct because, in our wisdom, we believe the Bible,” when, if we truly believed the Bible, we would know that we are not distinct at all but that all things and all people are made freely available to all people. Communion is not ours to give and take, if we make ourselves distinct we make ourselves distinct unto ourselves and away from God. We would do well to remember that it is not our table we invite people to sit at, but the Lord’s, and at His table sit a great many people we alienate by claiming to be the only ones with valid invitations.

Paul’s final note is an interesting one that seems to echo Jesus’ promise in John 14 before he goes to the cross

12“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If you ask mee anything in my name, I will do it.

John 14:12-14

All things belong to everyone because everyone belongs to Christ and Christ belongs to God. Therefore all things are from God and whatever we ask in His name, He provides for us. For those paying attention, it is mind-bendingly unsustainable by the world’s systems and so we must become foolish by the world’s standards that we may become wise.

Ammi Ruhama Community Christian Union


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