In chapter 11 Paul deals with the disorders in the public assembly at Corinth. As we read this chapter, certain problems are evident. Meetings were disorderly and unscriptural. Women were taking the lead from men, and various members were competing for leadership and the opportunity to speak. Generally speaking, there was confusion on every hand and the church was projecting a poor testimony before the lost.
Chapter 11 also deals directly with disorder at the Lord's Supper. The cause of this disorder was the lack of subordination by women, divisions in the church, and selfish motives by Christians. In verses 23-30 we see the consequences of the disorders. The people were judged instead of blessed, and because they served a faithful and just God, they were chastised. In verses 31-34 we see a correction of these disorders. The people must judge themselves; they must have mutual love for one another; and they must have spiritual discernment. Verses 23-31 give the order and meaning of the Lord's Supper. One should never partake of the Lord's Supper until he has examined himself and confessed all known sin. If he drinks of the cup and eats of the bread unworthily, he shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. It is a Christian's duty to judge himself, so he will not be judged (verse 31).
Chapter 12 begins with the discussion of spiritual gifts. In this chapter Paul explains the work of the Spirit in the church as He bestows spiritual gifts upon various members.
Chapter 13 is commonly referred to as the love chapter. Paul emphasizes the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22,23) and says they are more important than the miraculous gifts of the Spirit. When churches strive for miraculous experiences, rather than Christian holiness and character, many times they will find division, confusion and carnality cropping up among them. The word charity means love in action. In verses 4-7 we are shown that love is effectual; patient and kind; it never harbors jealousy; is not boastful or proud; not rude or self-seeking; it never harbors evil thoughts; and it gives victory. Finally, in verses 8-13, we are shown that love is eternal. Verse 13 gives us a comparison of faith, hope, and love. They abide forever, and charity is the greatest. Why? Because God Himself is love.
Index of Daily Devotions