"Wake Up Call" - A Letter to Corinth

  • Wednesday, August 31, 2011

  • As we start the fall, we also begin a new study of the book of 1st Corinthians. The apostle Paul, in this letter to the church in Corinth, writes with love and grace and thankfulness for this local church… “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always concerning you, for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus…” [1Cor 1:4-5a]. But he also is most straightforward, candid, and direct, not shying away from exhorting the church when need be. The church in Corinth was made up of sinners (like every church is!) and thus had problems, difficulties, and hardships that stem from sin… We will read of divisions, of false alliances, of quarrels, of selfishness. Paul will be honest and ‘in their face’. He however has their best interest at heart… “I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children.” [1Cor 4:14].

    But at the highest level, Paul has HIS best interest at heart! It is not the church of Corinth… it is God’s church, of which a small group of believers live in Corinth. Faith Bible Church is not really our church, it is HIS church. We are His bride…

    “And one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues, came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I shall show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God…” [Rev. 21:9-10]

    This study of 1st Corinthians is a wake up call to be sure our church is preparing herself to be that bride… As a preparation, Pastor Tom shared his seven “passion priorities” of Christ’s church…

    1. Evangelizing…being and telling the good news – “Bringing Good New to Bad People”
    · Matt 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
    Acts 1:8 "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." 

    2. Edifying… can only run after you have learned to sit, crawl, stand, and walk!
    · Acts 2:42 "And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." 

    3. Equipping – literally ‘to mend’… to restore damaged treasure…
    · Eph 4:11-13 "And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ." 

    4. Exercising – a body needs to be exercised!
    · 1 Cor 12:24b-25 "But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, that there should be no division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another." 

    5. Encouraging – encourage one another as it is simply not about ‘me’
    · Heb 10:23-25 "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near." 

    6. Educating – so that God’s wisdom becomes our wisdom…
    · Eph 3:10 "…in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places." 

    7. Exalting – preaching Christ crucified and Christ alive!
    · Romans 16:25/27 “Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Christ…to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever and ever. Amen!”

    As you read and study 1st Corinthians, heed God’s wake up call and ready yourself to be part of an amazing future wedding! To God be the glory!


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