Paul wrote the Book of 1 Corinthians to show the Christians in Corinth what God wanted them to do. He describes that letter as a test; the test was whether they would obey. Really he was encouraging them to obey. Paulís statement is clear, but it may surprise us. There is much advice in that letter, but few commands. Paul is constantly trying to persuade the Christians, not to give orders.
On the other hand, Paul described himself as a servant*, or even as a slave*. He obeyed God, and he urged the Christians in Corinth to do that, too.
Jesus also taught that Godís people must obey him*. That was a difficult lesson for the Christians in Corinth. They liked the fact that God had made them free. They considered themselves to have the right to do whatever they wanted. They did not even want to follow Godís law.
Paul had insisted that the church members in Corinth were genuine Christians*. Probably, other Christians were not so sure about that. It was a great shock for them to hear how some church members in Corinth were behaving.
So, Paul made a test for them. He told them about the worst example of a church member in Corinth who was not obeying Godís law*. He told them that they must deal strictly with him. In prayer, they must make a judgement against him. Then they must separate themselves from him. Paul hoped for the result that this man would return to God.
The church members did what Paul had told them to do. That one decision began a real change in their attitudes. Now they could see that they must obey God*. All of them had chosen to obey God*.
Paul was pleased that they had passed his test*.
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.