Summary: Because God is faithful to us, we must remain faithful to Him.
I Corinthians 1: 1 – 9 / Faithful?
Intro: A man swims from his sinking ship and arrives on a beach. He discovers that he is completely alone. 2 years later he flags down a passing ship. The rescue crew arrives and their first question is, “Where is everyone else?” “Everyone else?” the man says. “It’s just me. Let’s go!” --- “Well, if you’re alone, what about the three huts.” --- The 3 huts . . . well . . . the first hut is my house. The second hut is my church.” “What about the third?” “Oh, the third hut, . . . that’s the church I used to attend.”
I. It just proves the old adage that no church is perfect. Most people would say that a recipe for disaster is to take people with different views, ideas, attitudes and agendas and stick them all in one place. The result would be considered chaotic at best. The church at Corinth was no exception.
A. A man in the church was having sexual relations with his father’s wife, there were church fights that were becoming court room battles, there were issues of sexual ethics, marriage, worship of idols and serious disruptions of worship services as well as arguments and divisions over leadership.
B. The people in the church at Corinth were well on their way to following their own background and tradition rather than the things that Christ wanted them to follow. Things today have not changed much in that regard.
C. When the world sees these things going on in the church today, they say something like, “See, Christ does not change anyone and here is our proof. Christians are still selfish, still want things their own way, and still don’t follow Jesus. The push their own agenda and act in their own best interest.
II. The following words are familiar to most children and pretty much govern the way we often interact. “Magic mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” Mirrors are tools for reflection. They show who we are, both positive and negative.
A. In much the same way, we look into the mirror to see who we are, or at least what we look like. We most often see our faults and concentrate on the wrinkles and blemishes and the negatives. Even in the church, we often focus on the things we do wrong, our shortcomings and are completely negative instead of seeing God’s blessings in our lives.
B. We might wait for someone to ask us to serve rather than taking the initiative to offer our gifts. We say, “Why don’t you find someone more qualified to serve; but, if you can’t find anyone else, I guess I’ll do it.”
C. When we look into Scripture we look into a mirror that tells us the truth. Scripture shows us what we are, both good and bad. Scripture shows us the error of our ways, the places in our lives where we fall short. But, scripture also shows us we are God’s beloved children. See VS. 4 – 5.
III. A man bought an motorcycle at an auction. As he was cleaning it up, he opened the gas tank and on the inside of the cap he read, “to Elvis, from Priscilla.” His worthless motorcycle suddenly became a valuable based on previous ownership.
A. VSS. 6 – 8 Paul reminds the Corinthians and us that any value we have is based on to whom we belong. Any gift we possess is because of Christ. It is Christ Jesus that adds value and meaning to us all.
B. Since we are God’s children, the world looks at us to see the reflection of God, to see what God and God’s children are like. If we are turned inward looking at ourselves and what we can do for us, the world will see a church that cares nothing for anyone else, and ultimately will see a church that doesn’t believe their own teachings.
C. As followers of the crucified and risen Christ, we are called to be saints in this world. We are saints, not because we are especially good or righteous in and of ourselves, but because we are redeemed by Christ’s death and resurrection. We are called to be people who reflect God’s light into the darkness of this world.
Conclu: We, like the Corinthians long ago, are brought together to be God’s love, so that we can be God’s hands and feet in this place. We are called to be messengers of God’s greatest News, to live out God’s amazing grace in all we say and do. VS. 9 “God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.” Because we belong to Him, can we be any less faithful?