How could a church that’s not lacking any spiritual gift (1 Corinthians 1:7) have so many problems? That’s the question that rises up in me when I read Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. As we go through this letter, the answer now becomes obvious.
Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! You have become kings — and that without us! How I wish that you really had become kings so that we might be kings with you!
1 Corinthians 4:8
I love Paul’s attitude, it’s a lot like mine sometimes. He has humor with an edge of sarcasm. There are times that this is needed to wake people up from their lethargy.
Paul exposes their faulty mindset. They felt that they had all they wanted. They felt that they were rich. They felt that they no longer had any need of Paul’s apostolic ministry to their church.
For anyone who’s read the book of Revelation, this should sound very familiar. There was a church to which Jesus Christ dictated a letter through John. It was situated in the town of Laodicea.
“You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.”
Here’s the problem. They have a good confession, but they were self-deceived. Please understand, I believe in and practice the memorization and confession of the Word of God. It’s Scriptural and needed to bring maturity.
The problem arises when we deny the reality of our present situation. For instance, if I’m sick, I can acknowledge my sickness BUT confess Christ as my Healer. I can speak the Word that says I’m healed because of the wounds of Christ.
Usually, people only deny that they’re sick because they’re afraid to admit it. But if you never acknowledged your sickness, how can Christ get the glory for your healing?
“We don’t need you, Paul. We have all we need. We’re rich. We’re ruling and reigning.”
The whole time, it was obvious to all outside observers that the church of Corinth was wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. I’m glad that Jesus gave John the diagnosis in the opening of His letter.
“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm — neither hot nor cold — I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
Most people don’t understand what being lukewarm refers to. It’s a stubborn refusal to tap into the power of God’s kingdom.
It takes power to raise water from room temperature to boiling. It also takes power to transform room temperature water into ice. It requires no power to remain lukewarm.
There’s a subtle deception that many believers have fallen victim to. That’s exalting their “good confession” over Christ Himself. It’s not your confession that heals you – Christ is your Healer.
The reason we confess God’s Word is to change us. I want to renew my mind so that it conforms to God’s Word. Confession reprograms my internal computer.
When I start having faith in my confession, rather than in Christ, then I’m on the road to becoming lukewarm. I need to see my need for Christ. He is the Supplier for all that I need for life and godliness.
You don’t need to deny the situation you’re in. But just the same, confess what God’s Word says about your situation and look for Christ to show up and bring about the change that’s needed.
Question: How does the confession of God’s Word renew your mind?
© 2019 Nick Zaccardi