Summary: The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the blueprint of God the Father given to His children as instructions to live purposefully, meaningfully, and productively for His everlasting glory of which we will be part of in His eternal kingdom.
For Better or Worse? (1 Cor. 11:17-34)
Since the beginning of July, we have been following a series called Living in God’s Great Plan. Although aimed at construction of building, teaching was on living faithfully, obediently, and courageously. If we are to live in a great plan, we need to know the Master Planner Himself. One cannot fully grasp an idea without first understand the thinker.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Here we know our hope is Christ and the future is salvation and eternal life in Christ. That plan is called the Gospel. And then in Hebrews 13:20-21, “Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
The Hebrew author incessantly highlights the bloody death of Christ; the glorious resurrection of Christ; the massive equipping and preparation through intense disciplining by Christ – so that we are to “do his will”, to execute his plan, to carry out his Gospel not one person, not the other person, but all persons together through Jesus Christ to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
The Big Idea: The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the blueprint of God the Father given to His children as instructions to live purposefully, meaningfully, and productively for His everlasting glory of which we will be part of in His eternal kingdom.
17 Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. 18 For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. 19 For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you. 20 Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. 21 For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.
We come as one body to share and receive spiritual nourishment.
The level of seriousness is often absent in churches today. More and more sermons are preached to amuse than to admonish. Christians develop an appetite for candy. Sweet to my ears, satisfying to my soul. When churches lose focus of their purpose, the sheep becomes a wandering flock. People need to be fed. As spiritual beings they need spiritual food. “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).”
But if the word which is supposed to come from the mouth of God is preached from the agenda of man’s heart, God’s plan (Gospel) is misrepresented. Does our coming together do more harm than good? Has the spiritual health of our church grown to become better or on the contrary, worse? Are we stronger, or weaker?
What Paul is actually asking, “Is the result of our gathering as a church useful?” Notice the information Paul has are news that were delivered to him – “I hear.” They were credible – “I believe.” They broke Paul’s heart – “I do not praise you.” What type of news come out of our church? What do you talk about at your dinner table? How do your friends see you? Does your light shine confidently or is it hidden cowardly under the bushel?
Truth is – and we must fact truth – Division is not always seen within. Division is seen from outside in.
Here’s how we can avoid division:
1. Teach the Word to instill understanding (feed me)
2. Participate in God’s eternal plan (train me)
3. Restore, repair, rebuild (send me)
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the blueprint of God the Father given to His children as instructions to live purposefully, meaningfully, and productively for His everlasting glory of which we will be part of in His eternal kingdom.
We remain as one body with hope in the glory of our suffering.
23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.