1 Corinthians 16:19

The churches here in the province of Asia send greetings in the Lord, as do Aquila and Priscilla and all the others who gather in their home for church meetings.

lovingdiscipline

Paul is extending Christian Love between the churches where he is (modern day Turkey) and the church at Corinth. Even though this letter to the Corinthian church is primarily identifying and addressing problems within the body of believers at Corinth and offering corrections, he is doing it in a gentle manner with the intent of teaching them and bringing them to repentance. By reminding them of the faithful example of Aquilla and Priscilla who he had first met in Corinth and who had even risk their lives for him, he was drawing to their rememberance this couple that they knew personally, which would have underscored their unity as a body of Christ working together even though they were separated by distance.

Additionally, reminding the believers at Corinth of the close intimacy of home church meetings and the unity and accountability that it fosters is exactly the type of correction that the church at Corinth needed to see since it had grown and been infiltrated by the world.

Paul’s example also reminds me personally that when offering correction, the example set forth by God towards His children (see the 7 churches in Revelation) is an acknowledgement of what is glorifying God, and a reproof or rebuke of what needs to be corrected. Encouragement and accountability working hand in hand towards the edification of the church.

Paul does not call those at Corinth false teachers and begin casting stones at them even though their error in several areas is clearly apparent. Instead, he offers them instruction, he holds them accountable, and he encourages them to repent from their ways. We are not peddlers of religious practice or legalism, we are bearers of the Holy Spirit of God, who bears the fruit of godly love – which is manifest in our handling life’s challenges with joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control. And especially in times of church discipline as Paul’s letter to the believers at Corinth displays, we must be careful to handle disease and disruption within the body with care so that we do not fall into sin ourselves.