Dr. Couch, what did Paul mean when he wrote in 1 Corinthians 11:19, "They which are approved may be made manifest among you." Does "approve" refer to our Lord's approval or to people's approval?
ANSWER: Good question. It has to do with the fact that they are approved of by the Lord. The first of the verse says "For there must be heresies among you." When we face heretical teaching, we are strengthened by God. The church then is put on trial, tested. In his commentary, Charles Hodge says:
"It is that they which are approved, the tried, those who have stood the test, and are worthy of approbation. By the prevalence of disorders and other evils in the church, God puts His people to the test. They are tried as gold in the furnace, and their genuineness is made to appear. It is a great consolation to know that dissensions ... are ordered by the providence of God, and are designed, as storms, for the purpose of purification" of the believer.
God knows what He is doing with us!
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch (8/10)