Instructions About the Local Church

Text: 1 Corinthians 11:16-34

Churches of God (v. 16)

  • Similar to Paul’s mention of the “churches of Christ” (Romans 16:16)
  • Can we do anything we want as long as the congregation agrees to it? … No — we’re still accountable to God/Christ
  • Required to act by His authority (Colossians 3:17)
  • This is why sound churches generally look the same (1 Corinthians 4:17)

Necessity of Division (v. 18-19)

  • Earlier Paul condemned the divisions in Corinth (1:10-13), yet here says that factions are necessary — Why?
  • Only one reason division would be desirable — when one is standing for the truth (Matthew 10:34-36)
  • When error creeps in, it must be opposed (Titus 1:10-11; Romans 16:17)
  • We must be willing to stand for the truth (Philippians 1:16-17)

Desire for Unity (v. 20-22)

  • When we don’t have a difference between truth & error, unity must be maintained — regardless of opinions, personality differences, economic differences (as was the case in this context), etc.
  • Many in our society try to drive a wedge between rich & poor — we must not allow this division to exist in the church (James 2:1-4; Galatians 3:28)

Expectation of Attendance (v. 33)

  • In correcting some abuses of the Lord’s Supper, Paul tells the brethren to “wait for one another” (v. 33) — this command implies two things…
  • A local church must have regular service times (cf. Acts 20:7) — which also implies a formally organized group
  • Attendance by the members is expected (cf. Hebrews 10:25) — you wait for those you expect will arrive

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