Paul has been teaching the Corinthians about their pride and arrogance. Swiftly he has taken them to task lovingly step by step. Now in this chapter Paul gives them some wise counsel beginning with this is why scripture has been written. Learn from it! Learn from the past! If you don’t you heed what is written for your instruction, you will just repeat the same mistakes. To help you, here are three principles which you must imprint strongly on your mind:
God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted or tried beyond what you are able to bear. But, you must seek his way of escape out of that temptation. The Israelites faced a test and failed because they had a way of escape but failed to seek God and His plan.
All things are lawful but not all things are profitable nor do all things edify. Paul returns to the same argument of earlier. Ask yourself if what you eat or drink will glorify God. If it will not walk away from it.
Temptations will come, not if they come, they will certainly come. They may come in the form of idolatry or immorality. Do not put the Lord to the test. Rather, when you are tempted listen and heed the pleading voice of the Holy Spirit who has been given to you to convict you and to instruct you. You can ignore him but if you do you will only repeat the mistakes of the earlier generation.
Thus precious beloved ones remember these principles and live to glorify God.
Recently our granddaughter returned from her 4th year in SLU (Student Leadership University). When asked what one thing she took away from her week she gave this reply “May I walk so others see Christ in me and because of my walk they desire to follow Christ as I did.” Humbled and silenced. Is this our desire as well? As Paul closes out his letter to the Roman church in chapter 15, he offers once again this advice: be a people lover not a people pleaser through giving these precious Jewish/Gentile believers eight guidelines.
Those who are strong in the faith bear the burdens of the weak in the faith
Please others before we please ourselves following the example of Christ
Know the OT which was written for our instruction
Be unified with one another
Receive one another just as Christ received you
Walk according to love
Be a servant as Christ was
Glorify and Praise God for His mercy
True unity demands sensitivity to one another. The world is watching and it desires peace and harmony; if there is one place they should find it; it is in the church. There they should see it in us and so desire to seek that same unified spirit. This can happen only in and through Christ. It might be good to look at two other passages as we strive for this goal.
The “Be-Attitude”: Matt 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.”
The Jesus Prayer: John 17:21 “that they will all be one, just as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me.”
Can we truly say that we are people lovers? It will show in our attitude, our actions, our prayers. Can we say that we desire that others see Christ in me and because of my love for others, my desire for unity that they will also seek to follow Christ? Is this our prayer today?