Monday, January 25, 2010

Paul Deals With Issues

1 Cor 1-5

1. The first issue was that of deception in the church

a. Paul warned them against substituting the so-called “wisdom of this world” for the “wisdom of God.”
1)Minimizing the need for the preaching of the cross – substituting a more “agreeable” message, a less offensive message, than that of a crucified Savior who shed his blood for the payment of our sins.
2)Minimizing the need for the power of God - relying instead on “enticing words” – something that has a more popular appeal than the plain preaching of the Bible.
b. Any time we substitute the wisdom of this world for the wisdom of God, the result will be deception in the church.

2. The second issue was that of division in the church.

a. The Corinthian church was divided over personalities.
b. They acted as if the church was built on men rather than on God.
c. Paul had to remind them that there is just one foun-dation on which the church is built – Jesus Christ.
1)There is just one Savior of all men – the Lord Jesus
2)There is just one Judge of all men – the Lord Jesus
3)Christians are not going to be judged based upon their popularity or their talents or their influence in the church, but on their faithfulness to Jesus Christ.
4)We are not to be followers of men, but followers of Christ.

3.The third issue is that of defilement in the church.

I want to remind you that Corinthians is a call to live like Je-sus in a non-Christian culture. That is one of the dominant themes of epistle. We are called to be saints – a distinctly Christian people in a defiantly un-Christian culture. While we must live in this world – and Paul makes that point in 5:9-10 – we must not live like the world. My friends, the call to follow Jesus Christ is a call to break ranks with this world and walk in step with the plans and purposes of God. It is a call to live by His grace and for His glory – and the Corinthian believers had erred in both of these.
1. One member was living in open, shocking sin – trampling the grace of God under his feet, acting as if grace means that sin doesn’t matter.
2. The other members, by their tolerance and acceptance of this man’s sin, were dishonoring and disgracing the glory of our holy Heavenly Father.
In a nutshell, that is why we must strive to live holy lives. De-filement in the church gives the world a distorted view of both God’s grace and God’s glory.