Summary: Paul’s introduction to the letter of 1 Corinthian’s

1 Cor. 1:1-3

It’s a Fact

A. It’s useful to notice the prayers of Paul because what he prays for in the beginning he talks about in the letter.

Maybe you have had this experience when you were in college and went home for Christmas break. You are sitting down for dinner and your mom says, "Let’s pray. Lord, thanks for bringing Mary back this vacation. I hope we have a wonderful time. I hope she studies really hard during this time and does well in her school work and earns a lot of money." From that prayer you know that there will be conversations on those subjects! This is true of Paul, too.

B Paul begins this letter to the church at Corinth by introducing himself and his secretary a fellow named Sosthenes. There is only one other mention of this Christian in the Bible and you find it in (Acts 18:17 KJV) "Then all the Greeks took Sosthenes, the chief ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. And Gallio cared for none of those things." The city in which this church was located was a very wicked place. It was a major trade city with three harbors and intersecting trade roads. There several cult temples there one of the most notable was a temple to Aphrodite, the goddess of love. You can imagine what the worship was like. There were 1000 slave priests and priestesses there. Paul established the church at Corinth on the second journey he made. He was traveling with Silas and Timothy and made this part of his journey in obedience to the Macedonian call that he received.

C In the letter he wrote to the church at Corinth the Christian and our church can learn many valuable lessons. Let’s begin with some lessons on churches and preachers. Notice three facts God wants us to learn from Paul’s first few words. Facts every person needs to know.

I. God calls men to special service for Him. v1

A Paul states that he is called and apostle. Literally an apostle is one sent out on a mission. An ambassador.

1 Now we are all representatives of Christ, but we are not all officially called to be his representatives on earth. We are His body.

2 But some have been called to this privileged position of missionary or pastor or preacher. (2 Cor 5:20 KJV) "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God." Sosthenes was only identified as a brother, he was not a called apostle.

3 Apostleship is a thing of the past, no one can meet the requirements. (Acts 1:21-22 KJV) "Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, {22} Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection."

4 But some are called to special service in other areas. (1 Tim 3:1 KJV) "This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work."

B An important thing to realize is that when God calls a person to a work, that he also gives the authority to do the work.

1 Moses was called and God provided the authority. When Miriam and Aaron challenged his position, God gave Miriam leprosy. Num 12

2 God called Nehemiah to a job and when his authority was challenged, God stood by him.

3 It was the same with David, Elisha and all God’s leaders, and it is the same today.

4 When God called Paul, God gave him the authority to do the work, and that is why He identified himself to Corinth as an apostle, so they would recognize the authority.

C If you are called to pastor or missionary, by God, then you have been called to an exclusive position. The highest work that God gives to man. God calls people to all sorts of other service also.

1 teaching

2 administrative work in the church

3 singing or leading in worship

4 helping the hurting

5 counselling the confused

6 all sorts of calls are given.

7 But everyone has some calling to answer

II. The second fact is that a church is still a church until God says it isn’t. v2

A If you know the rest of the letter to the church at Corinth, then you know that they were deeply stained by sin.

1 They were proud

2 They were arrogant

3 They were gossiping

4 They were not loving at all

5 They were a sorry church, you would not want to be a member.

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