So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are Christ's, and Christ is God's. – 1 Corinthians 3:21-23
Friday, August 21, 2015
The Church at Corinth had a lot of problems, not the least of which was division and schism, the desire to exalt one person or one teacher over another. Some were partisans of the Apostle Paul with his depth of understanding into the mysteries and types of God’s written word. Others followed Cephas (most likely Peter, though some question if it might refer to another leader) the Rock who had seen Christ face to face and had the pierced hands of the Risen Lord placed upon him. Still others were fans of the eloquence and persuasive insights of Apollos, the gifted and anointed orator.
Paul dismisses such divisions by saying that one should look beyond the man and the messenger to the One who has sent, not only Paul, Peter, and Apollos, but Christ Himself. Even the Son, co-equal with the Father and essential in the Trinitarian personhood of the Lord God Almighty, always pointed humanity to the Father.
Commentators who are scholars of New Testament Greek tell us that it would be proper to remove the definite articles … world … life … death … present … future. All is ours because all is God’s. We catch a glimpse of what we might call the quantum gospel, where the apparent dualism of the material world fades out, and we see the face emerge from the painting of a landscape.
God finds us where we are. He calls to us in the language we can hear and understand. He speaks Hebrew, Russian, Greek and German, Swahili, Tagalog, Spanish and English. He even speaks Hillbilly. I appreciate that. The simple and the sophisticate, the ignorant and the intellectual, as at the Day of Pentecost, hear declared in their own dialects and idioms the wonderful works of God.