Want to recognize genuine faith? Watch a church go through a division. Those with genuine faith will rise to the top. Those whose hearts are indeed Christ’s will be made evident. Sound strange? Faith is tested by fire. Nothing increases the flames more than factions in a church. Genuine faith will see through all the hyperbole and apply scripture biblically.
But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. 18 For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part, 19 for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.
The Lord’s Supper
The communion ceremony of the first-century church looks different than it does today. They were often called love feasts, and people would come together for what we know as a potluck and celebrate communion by eating together. In Corinth, it had become a gluttonous affair. The wealthy brought more than they needed and did not share, while others went home hungry. They were getting drunk on the wine and gorging on food. This was the opposite of what the love feast was supposed to be.
If there was anything that the Corinthian church is known for, it was dysfunction, division, carnal sin, and all-around selfishness. It’s gotten so bad that it is starting to affect the Lord’s supper. Paul chastises them and says what they are doing isn’t communion. If they were going to eat and not include everyone, they just needed to go back home and eat there. Instead, the church should always be about including those who don’t have anything and loving those who are excluded. The Corinthian church had become so selfish that people were being left out.
Genuine faith is made evident through our actions. Your faith is made evident when the church is being divided. Too many people leave a church at the first sign of trouble. Others take sides with the power player in the church and forsake the good of the whole group. Genuine faith sees through all of that and does the right thing. Another test of your faith is your generosity. It is made evident by how generous and selfless you are with people. How would you pass these tests if they came along our path? Keep your faith in Jesus Christ by maintaining unity in the church and look out for the good of your brothers and sisters in Christ.