I’ve been reading 1 Corinthians, and I feel a little surprised how much it has to do with not being selfish, but being selfless in order to further the gospel of Christ.
Chapters 1-3 warn us to stop boasting about men and self.
The first part of Chapter 6 asks us to rather be wronged than to go to court against our fellow Christian.
The second part of Chapter 6 ends with this thought “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. (6:19-20)
Chapters 8-10 urge us not to use our freedom in Christ to be a stumbling block to others but rather to become as others in order to win them to Christ.
Chapters 11-12 and 14 tell us not to be self-seeking in the way that we worship.
Chapter 13 gives us the treatise on love. The talk of patience, kindness, not self seeking, not easily angered all speak of being selfless for the good of the other.
Then Chapter 16 begins to wrap up with this “13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. 14Do everything in love.Â 15 You know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints. I urge you, brothers, 16 to submit to such as these and to everyone who joins in the work, and labors at it. 17 I was glad when Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus arrived, because they have supplied what was lacking from you. 18 For they refreshed my spirit and yours also. Such men deserve recognition.”
All throughout the book was the message that since we have received Christ that our efforts cannot be for ourselves anymore but for Christ and the church. I felt like it was a call to no longer be selfish, but to love. In the next week or so, I hope to write a fairly detailed review on the book “The Meaning of Marriage” by Tim and Kathy Keller. This was also the message of their book, that for our marriage to succeed we need to show an unselfish love. Reading through 1 Corinthians really cemented for me how critical an unselfish love for others is to the Christian faith. I pray that I will be truly seeking this.
Soli Deo Gloria