Recently I was in Greece spending quiet time with the Lord and with other leaders from Israel. As our bus passed by the city of Corinth, I thought about the congregation of Corinth and what Paul wrote to them. There are many chapters written to the Corinthian church – more than to any other church.
When Paul first wrote to them in I Corinthians 1:4-7, and by extension to all of us as believers, he referred to how we are rich in every area: in what we speak, in knowledge and spiritual gifts given us by the grace of God through our Savior Yeshua. Jeremiah the prophet also referred to riches. The prophet spoke about what God says about mankind. “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man boast in his might, nor let the rich man boast in his riches; but let him who boasts, boast in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth” (Jeremiah 9:22-23).
Boasting in our Teachers and Denominations?
Mankind has a tendency to boast, and that’s what happened in Corinth. They were boasting about the importance and wisdom of their leaders/rabbis/teachers, when they said they belonged to this or that teacher. Paul referred to this behavior and attitude when he asked, “In whose name have you been baptized” (I Corinthians 1:13)? Even today in congregations and churches, we hear people boasting that they belong to this denomination or that fellowship and follow this theology or that teaching. Yet above all, Yeshua is our Rabbi, our Messiah and we are baptized into Him and in His name.
Each of us should be proud of the fact that we belong first and foremost to Yeshua. Then we will be able to stand in unity and love. Yeshua’s bride should be one! Yes there are different ways of expressing faith, like the colors of the rainbow. However, we are called to be one, and this one-ness is only found in Yeshua. We should be reflecting His Grace – making His Grace available to those around us in our lives.
Like Yeshua, our desire and prayer is that we, His body, will be one, focused on Him and not on our differences.
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is, for brothers to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1)
This article originally appeared on Tikkun International, March 4, 2019, and reposted with permission.