Your True Colors Come Shining Through! — The True Colors of a Christ Follower Examined

Posted: July 11, 2015 in 1 Corinthians

1 Corinthians 11:17-34 — When you think about it, man, that church at Corinth was really a messed up bunch, weren’t they? Paul now moves on from getting on them about distractions from the real purpose of the church. Now, he disciplines them about the central ritual of Christ’s church, the Lord’s Supper. Because of all the content in this passage, we will spend a few days here like we did with the last passage. First, we will look at Paul’s comment about divisions in the church showing who the real followers of Christ are. Second, we will look at what the Lord’s Supper itself means. Finally, on our third day in this passage, we will look at how we should approach the Lord’s Supper as Christ followers and whether those who are not saved should participate in it.

Today, we will look at Paul comment, “but of course there must be divisions among you so that you who have God’s approval will be recognized.” Paul acknowledges here that there are differences among believers. When divisions or differences among believers develop into self-willed divisions, they are destructive to the body of believers. Those who seek to serve their own egos only serve to highlight those who are genuine believers. There was a song awhile back by Cyndi Lauper entitled, “True Colors”. Part of the chorus was, “I see your true colors shining through.” Paul is talking about true colors, the true colors of a Christ follower.

In this specific case that Paul is addressing, it has to do with the fact that in the early church when they celebrated the Lord’s Supper, it was usually preceded by a fellowship meal. In this time, the church would meet from house to house and not all of the church would be together at once. Thus, when they celebrated the Lord’s Supper, everyone was together and there was food (they were Baptists in the making, right?!). A fellowship meal was held and then they would get down to the business of the Lord’s Supper. Paul was scolding some in the church for using these fellowship meals to be selfish and eating as much as they could while others went hungry. Others were using the celebration as an opportunity to get drunk. Paul was saying that this kind of behavior demonstrated who the real believers are those that are not.

The mark of a Christ follower is loving concern for others. The mark of a Christ follower is the seeking of unity among believers. The mark of a Christ follower is placing the needs of others over our own needs. The mark of a Christ follower is a life of selfless sacrifice so that others can have their needs met. All of these behaviors are to point to Jesus Christ. The mark of a Christ follower is to behave in a manner that brings glory to God and honors Jesus Christ.

That’s the takeaway for us today from Paul’s comment in this passage. Actions speak louder than words, as the old saying goes. There is also and old saying that “they will know we are Christians by our love.” I would like to modify that to also say, “they will know we are Christians by our fruit.” As Paul stated in Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” These are the fruits by which we should measure ourselves and others. If were are true Christ followers, we seek that which will give glory to God in everything that we do. In the church, we should seek that collectively as well. The true believer will not selfishly seek his own way in the body of Christ but rather seek unity. We will seek those things that advance the name of Christ rather than seeking to make little kingdoms within the church for ourselves.

We are here to serve in humility to the one that gave us new life, Jesus Christ. It is not about us. It is about him. Whatever we have to do serve Him, we should be willing to do it whether it be cleaning the toilets or standing on stage on Sunday morning preaching. That is the mark of a maturing believer. Self seeking is replaced by humble service wherever it is needed.

As the revelers at the Corinthian Lord’s Supper celebrations showed their spiritual maturity or lack thereof, we can often see the fruits of the spirit or lack thereof in those in the body of Christ who seek to make a name for themselves. These are the “we against they” kind in your church. The “us against them” kind. Those who use the church to make a name for themselves will always cause division and strife. Let us examine ourselves and determine if we are showing the proper fruits of the spirit within the body of Christ. Am I here to serve my ego or am I here to humbly serve the Lord? Am I here to create my own little kingdom of followers or am I willing to submit the leadership of the church? Am I here to get my needs met or am I here to give glory to God? Am I here to make my name famous or am I here to make the name of Jesus Christ famous?

We are here to make disciples of Jesus Christ. That’s what we are here to do. It was, is, and always will be about Him! It’s not about us. It’s about us being His humble servants serving in whatever capacity needed to allow the body of Christ to make Jesus known to every man, woman, and child on the planet. Let us then check our behaviors against that standard. Amen and amen.

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