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"For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power." (1 Corinthians 4:20)
St. Paul goes on to point out another important issue that he was burdened about. The many visitors who came to the church at Corinth pointed out the long absence of Paul from the affairs of the church. There was a talk in many circles that St. Paul would not turn up again and the people had to be in the other factions. Many were puffed up in their talk and walked contrary to the grace of God. Paul through this message gave them an assurance that he had plans to visit the church soon and that he loved to settle all the issues. People talked much and used persuasive words to gather folks to the factions they represented. Many people also questioned Paul's validity as he was not considered to be among the "apostle" group. Paul who planted the church and who was considered their spiritual father had all rights to bring the church back to the ways of the Lord. Once we cultivate an independent spirit, doing things on our own and not seeking His ways, and forgetting the spiritual legacy we have been taught by our fathers, we run the risk of losing the grace deposited over us.
St. Paul was quite agitated by these people who talked arrogantly. They lacked spiritual power and grace in their words while St. Paul had so much of God's presence and power over his life. He reemphasized the fact that the kingdom of God was not just in words but in power. He also asks them a question whether they would like him to come with the rod of discipline or in love and in the spirit of meekness. He must have probably imagined the people of Israel who murmured against the meek man Moses when he was away to commune with the Lord. A spiritual father cannot be blind to how the church goes. His heart and passion is to see the church moving in the ways of God. A disciplining rod, love or spirit of meekness all works out for the betterment of the people.
For further reading: Romans 14:17, Hebrews 12:7-11
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