If we pay attention to Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians, it’s not hard to see the Corinthian church had serious problems. They’ve questioned Paul’s authority as an apostle and broken into competing factions. They’ve developed strange ideas on sexuality and approved of sexual immorality. Some of them have even denied the resurrection of the dead or joined themselves to false gods. But notice what Paul calls these erring believers: “saints” (1:1), “brethren” (1:10), and “my beloved” (10:14).
As messed up as their doctrines and their lives may have been, Paul hadn’t given up on the Corinthian Christians. They were deeply polluted with sin and false teaching, but Paul never lost sight of their common calling as saints, brothers, loved ones.
We’re surrounded today by those who take the name of Christ but miss the mark in honoring him with their lives. Some of them may even be as bad off as the Corinthians. How do faithful Christians respond to those people? Do we simply write them off as “the denominations,” or do we show them the same love Paul offered his own erring brothers and sisters?
(c) Copyright 2007, A. Milton Stanley