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1 Corinthians 11:17,18 – Coming together in the ecclesia

03-09-2019 - Posted by Andre Piet

Now in giving this charge I am not applauding, for you are coming together, not for the better, but for discomfiture. For first, indeed at your coming together in the ecclesia, I am hearing of schisms inhering among you, and some part I am believing.

Paul previously praised the Corinthians for holding on to what he had given over to them (: 2). But he cannot praise them for what he is now addressing. Because instead of getting better from their meetings, they became less. For various reasons. The first “lesser” thing Paul calls are the cracks that came to light during meals. Even though he believes it would be less extreme as he had been told.

The cracks became visible when the Corinthians came together “in the ecclesia”. Not every gathering of believers is a gathering “in the ecclesia”. If a few believers are visiting each other or working together, then that is not a meeting “in the ecclesia”. This is not because of the meeting location or the number of people present. The decisive factor is whether the whole ecclesia of that place (so all believers) is welcome. Like a family gathering can only be called as such when the door is actually open to the whole family.