On Paul’s 3rd Missionary journey he wrote two books to the church at Corinth. We saw in a recent study the Corinthian church was the result of Paul’s year and a half stay in that great city. He worked hard to establish them in the faith and equip them for service. He saw the potential of reaching the surrounding region through them.
Shortly after he left, however, problems arose in the church. In his letter he instructed them how to deal with these problems is a lesson book on church discipline and restoration. Paul pointed out that even a little leaven will leaven the whole lump of dough if not removed. Leaven refers symbolically in the Bible to that which defiles. It is evil working to make more evil. If not removed the whole church will be defiled and lose her vitality and effectiveness. The same is true regarding false teaching. Left unchallenged they will destroy the foundation of our faith.
In the midst of his tough teaching on discipline in the church Paul wrote the beautiful description of love in 1st Corinthians 13. Truth expressed in love is God’s answer for dealing with any problem in the church. When they applied his instructions lives were touched. Then truth and love needed to be exercised in restoring the repentant sinner.
Paul declared, from his own experience that “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” That’s why Paul could say, “By the grace of God I am what I am!”