Care For One Another
The Question of Why?
1 Corinthians 12:25 (KJV)
That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
Schism - A division or a split, usually between people belonging to an organization or movement, most frequently applied to a break between two sections that were previously a single body.
When Paul wrote his letter to the Church at Corinth it was in response to issues of conduct which were raised over behavior and other abuses taking place among the followers. Imagine a town like San Francisco, Dodge City, or Tombstone, Arizona; back in the 1800’s. A place where there was a mix of people from many different cultures and backgrounds, widespread gambling, open prostitution, and a very lack system of law. This should give you an idea of what Corinth looked like during the time when the Church was first established there. Everyone was into themselves and doing their own thing. No one cared for their own actions, let alone the actions of others; even within the Church.
When a person comes to a real understanding of what sin is, there should be a heartfelt need for repentance. At the very least, care or concern should be applied to ones behavior in the presence of God.
God’s Grace – Given to All because of Sin
Romans 5:20 (NIV)
The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more,
From God’s standpoint of authority, He could have done away with mankind and the sin problem. However, God cared for us. The depth of His concern is displayed to all by the extension of grace to everyone… especially sinners. The law allows us to see sin, to recognize it. It is an effective trap (the law) that catches us all and exposes our guilt. The grace of God provides an outlet, a chance at redemption. That chance is made complete by the work of Christ, our redeemer.
John 3:17-18 (NIV)
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.
Reflecting God’s Image – The Gifts of the Spirit
1 Corinthians 12:1 (NIV)
Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant.
1 Corinthians 12:26 (NIV)
If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
To reflect the image of God calls us to do as He did. That schism that existed because of sin, the big separation between the righteousness of God and our fallen condition was not allowed to stand… God dealt with it. Along with His caring concern He put His ability to work for the good of “His Spiritual Family.”
Acceptance of Christ places us within God’s family. We have an obligation to care and work as He did for the welfare of that family… just as He did. We work to bring the gospel message to the lost; extending the “Grace of God.” The obligation does not stop there. The Holy Spirit empowers us with gifts to ensure that the “Body of Christ” will be equipped and prepared for the task. First, one has to be a believer in order to receive the “Gift of the Holy Spirit.” That “Gift” is not for status, it’s not given for exclusive personal use, and it certainly is not in place to be used as a reason to cause further problems and division within the Church. The power of the Holy Spirit is given expressly for the building of the saints. In order that the Church will have strength to fulfill its mission, we must come together in a caring and concerned manner.
When Paul opens chapter 12, he states very clearly that he doesn’t want the brothers to be ignorant… a message we should all pay attention to. As God’s Children we must care for each other. Not to do so has a negative impact on God’s family… “The Church.” The talents and skills that we each have been given must be applied with a kingdom mentality; not viewed as if they were a personal benefit for being a believer. When one is hurting we all hurt, and if we don’t we should ask ourselves why. Caring is the business of Christ followers… it’s what we do. We give attention to the sick, the suffering, all who are in need. If we are to be the light set on top of a hill, then we certainly should display an example within our own household.
Galatians 6:10 (NIV)
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
To “Care for One Another” places you on firm footing when it comes to “Loving One Another.” Paul’s close to the chapter speaks of him showing a most excellent way… just think of what chapter 13 is famous for… “LOVE.”