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Puffed Up

John Collins02/11/2012
During the time Paul was preaching to the Corinthians, the groups of Christians had divisions among the churches.  Members of the faith had studied the doctrines under the teacher that had brought them together, but had become "puffed up" as he called it -- thinking that their study of the doctrine had built them up to greater esteem.

To the extent that Paul himself had become despised and judged by the "puffed up" churches.  In Corinthians 4, he described himself as judged by men, reviled, persecuted, defamed, and literally "filth of the world" in the eyes of men.  As a result, he spoke out against it.  He did not intend to shame the followers in their great mistake, but instead offer a warning against what they were doing.

He instructed the followers to take an account of his ministry, that he pointed only to God and not the doctrines of men.  He felt it was very insignificant that they had judged him, especially since he did not judge himself; God was the judge of all things.

Paul warned "not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another."  He said that he would visit the divided churches and speak to them, but would not be versed in these doctrines of men.  Instead, he would come speaking of the power of the kingdom of God.  He would not come to them violently preaching against their mistakes, or as he put it "with a rod", but would instead speak to them in love and the spirit of meekness.

As Christians, we should ask ourselves: have we became "puffed up"?  Across the world, many Christians have been taught under the leadership of great men who were truly men of God.  Do we hold their doctrines in such esteem that we judge other churches who worship Jesus Christ under a different teaching?  Do we sit down to fellowship and worship with others in one of the many denominations or independent churches considering them brothers and sisters in Christ, or are we "puffed up," judging them?

If so, we should heed Paul's warning and focus our eyes on Jesus Christ.