1 Cor. 1:1-9 He tells the church they were sanctified, or set apart. We have sacred purposes as the people of God. Also he says they were anticipating something, that being the revelation of Jesus Christ, His revealing from heaven when He comes to end this world. As faithful, obedient servants, we can be found blameless on that day. This is who the church in Corinth is, this is who the church at Decker Prairie is. But, there are challenges to this fellowship with the Son, which Paul starts discussing in the next verse and throughout the rest of the letter. But he tells them he has high expectations that they will resolve them, as they have in the past. There are elements both objective and subjective involved in our fellowship with the Son. Objective: something concrete; existing independent of, or external to, the mind; uninfluenced by emotion or personal prejudices. Examples: the identity of Jesus; the method of our union with Jesus; specific instructions regarding our behavior in order to enter, or remain, into fellowship with Jesus. Subjective: dependent upon, or taking place in, a persons mind; based on a given person’s experience, understanding and feeling. Examples: applying principles for which there aren’t specifics delineated for us, like sobriety, modesty, covetousness, tattoos, jewelry...; growth and maturity - everyone is at different levels in terms of spiritual growth so that will require patience, love and forgiveness, maybe occasionally even rebuking. We may also have to admit we were/are wrong about a subject as we grow. Guidelines: 1. Transgression is determined and tallied by God and should never be minimized. There are grey areas with us because we don’t have perfect understanding, there are no grey areas with God. You’ve either transgressed or you haven’t, and it is God who determines that. 2. Fellowship does not require the same level of maturity and understanding. Fellowship has to allow for growth. 3. Mercy will be needed by all for less than righteous conduct, being in Christ was started by mercy and will end by mercy. We need to bring mercy to the table in dealing with others with whom we disagree. 4. Lovingly admonish those who you believe to be in spiritual error. 5. Draw lines of conduct safely. Be as far away from the line of sin as possible. The question isn’t what can I get away with, how close can I get. 6. Be willing to listen to and observe those who draw the lines differently. Don’t just shut them down because they disagree with you, you are not the standard. The journey of fellowship... saints by calling, with all who in every place call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, 1:2.
1:10. Exhort by the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, that you all agree, and there be no divisions among you but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment 16:9 - for a wider door of effective service has been opened to me and there are many adversaries.
Don’t be surprised that there will be challenges along the way. Stand firm. Be strong. Be alert.