Paul wrote the Book of 1 Corinthians in Ephesus, which is several hundred miles away from Corinth (16:8). He received reports about the church in Corinth from Christians who had travelled between the two cities (1:11).
Paul did not believe all the reports that he heard. However, it seemed clear to him that there were opposing groups in the church at Corinth. He knew what they were arguing about. He also understood how serious those arguments had become (6:1-8).
It was not good that Christians were arguing in such an angry manner. We might think that those arguments had no proper purpose. People often say that when Christians disagree today.
However, disagreements between Christians do have a purpose. They show clearly that Christians are not always right. Even the best Christian leaders and Bible teachers believe some things that are wrong. That may not matter much if the most important things are right. But the disagreements force Christians to study the Bible for themselves. If they really want to know the truth, then God must be their teacher.
That is what God wants. He wants Christians to belong to a church, and to learn from the leaders there. However, he does not want Christians to depend on their church or its leaders. He wants Christians to depend on him.
Churches and their leaders sometimes disappoint us. But God never disappoints his loyal people. And what he says is always true and right.
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© 2014, Keith Simons.