1 Corinthians 7:20-40
“I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” — 1 Corinthians 2:2
Paul’s letters to the churches in Asia Minor were written mostly to correct and rebuke false doctrines and practices that were either adding to Christ or taking away from Him. In reality, every addition to Christ is actually a subtraction from Him, because it is to the measure they believed Christ was insufficient that they added to Him. Clearly, they were moving away from the total supremacy and sufficiency of Christ.
The same problem exists today in which there is a constant battle pulling us away from the centrality of Christ. In the church in Colossae, legalism was a problem where they adhered to rules and regulations that moved them from the internal life and relationship with God to external patterns of behaviour. They were attaching spiritual virtue to what a person ate or drank. Believers were being judged on whether or not they kept religious festivals and what a person could or could not do in keeping the Sabbath. Some delighted in the worship of angels and in false humility for the praise of others. There were those being led astray by hollow and deceptive philosophies that depended on human tradition and worldly principles rather than on Christ.
One of the beautiful things about the Christian faith is the simplicity of Jesus Christ alone. All the extras, the finagling and fussing, the rules and regulations only cause dissention and dissention will cause division. Correction was needed, of course, because we are not to partake in the worship of angels or in false humility, but the people were also misunderstanding the indispensability of Christ, thinking humanly imposed rules and practices were necessary, when in fact, they diverted from Christ.
In our zeal to please God, our focus can sometimes stray to secondary things like perfect church attendance and volunteer work. These are good and valid, but not when they become a substitute for our communion with Christ. The Christian life is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and His concern for us is the disposition of our hearts.
Paul writes, “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Believing basic Christian doctrine, such as the resurrection, is essential to our faith, but the reality of our Christian lives is found in Christ alone, not Christ plus various things. We must allow the direction of the Holy Spirit to lead us into Christ-centered lives, and all the peripheral issues will fall into their proper perspectives.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, keep me focused on You and not on extending issues that actually detract from You. Help me, by Your Spirit, to live a Christ-centered life. Thank You, Lord.