There’s a cliché in sports that says, “It’s not bragging if you can back it up.” This is a favorite among gifted athletes who continually make the morning highlight reels. Given their accomplishments, why should they not toot their own horn? Their fat paychecks and multiple trophies are a testament to their ability to “back it up.” And what if they cannot accomplish what they claim? Well, then that is just bragging.
It was not long before divisions arose within the early church. Some claimed special status because of their wisdom, others their wealth, and still others claimed superiority because of who taught them or baptized them. Whatever the issue, word reached Paul that the church was in conflict.
Paul reminded the Corinthians, as he reminds us, that the wisdom we have, the wealth at our disposal and the spiritual gifts we employ are all given by God through Christ Jesus. We are able to accomplish nothing on our own. It is Christ at work within us through the Holy Spirit. Christians must know that as one member of the church succeeds in proclaiming the gospel, the whole church rejoices and it is God who is glorified.
Holy God, equip and empower your church to accomplish the work of the Gospel, giving you glory in everything we do. Amen.