If a person read through the Apostle Paul’s first letter to the young Christ-followers in the Greek city of Corinth, he or she would certainly get the sense that there was a lot that had gone wrong in the nearly three years since he had left. That was not due to the believers in Corinth being worse people than those in any of the other local Christian fellowships Paul was involved in starting over the previous years. Rather, the issues we read about in that local church were simply growing pains.
In the beginning of any start-up group there is little need for a designated organization, agreed upon practices, or operating guidelines. That is especially true while the founding leader is still involved and actively leading the group. However, when that initial leader leaves the number of problems grows and must be addressed and solutions defined. That was certainly true of all the local Christian churches which were begun in the decades following Jesus’ earthly ministry. God’s organizational and practical directions for His New Covenant people are contained in the New Testament letters and are still binding upon His people and fellowships today, nearly 2,000 years later!
Using today’s text we will discuss many of the practical ways that we need to interact with each other in order to fulfill God’s purposes for us and maintain the right priorities in our relationships. As both the Old Testament and Jesus taught, the necessary instruction for God’s children in every situation, decision, and problem is to love one another.