Summary: Gods call is much like the game "Marco Polo", if there is no response when you are called, nothing can happen.
1Corinthians 1: 1-3
Intro: If you remember back before the holidays, we finished going through 1 John. This morning we are starting a new series of sermons out of 1 Corinthians. We will still work our way through 1 Corinthians and Genesis on a bi-weekly series throughout the year.
. The city of Corinth still exists today in Greece. It is a small town today with a very rich and prosperous past.
. In Paul’s day, it was a very prosperous and thriving city. All overland traffic north and south from the coast to Athens went through Corinth.
.Greece is divided into two parts with water separating the two sections. Sailing around the southern part to reach Athens was very treacherous and very time consuming. There was a saying in those days about sailing around the southern tip of Greece. The sailors would say, “A sailor never takes a journey around Malea,( the southern peninsula) until he first writes his will.”
. A very treacherous journey. Some smart engineer devised a way for the ships to be moved across land from one side of the water to the other. They would pull the ships out of the water and roll them on skids across poles and rounded wood to the other side. This was a four mile pull that was very safe verses the 250 mile hazardous journey. Most Captains chose the overland route.
. All those ships had to pass right by the outskirts of Corinth, making Corinth a very suburban and cosmopolitan city.
. Think of it as Atlanta being the hub of the southeast with our airport here being the busiest airport in America. Corinth was the hub of the southern part of Greece.
. Corinth was also important as an entertainment and sports venues. The two great sporting events in history were the Olympian Games and the Isthmian games. These games rivaled the Olympics. Corinth was the home of the Isthmian games.
. The famous temple of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, was located atop the highest point there in Corinth with as many as one thousand temple prostitutes making themselves available to all the traffic that came through the area.
. Corinth had a reputation for moral corruption. When people of that time were found to be morally corrupt, they were referred to as a corinthiazesthai which meant to act as a Corinthian.
. It was into this culture that Paul visited Corinth and founded the church there.
. Acts chapter 18 chronicles the birth of the church in Corinth. Paul spent a year and one half there. Starting and stabilizing the church in Corinth and I believe that they had a special place in Paul’s heart.
. After Paul left, problems arose within the church in Corinth. Factions materialized and people started taking sides and started showing loyalty to pastor teachers rather than God.
. They also had a problem detaching themselves from the corrupt society that was so prevalent and part of their society. The world was creeping into the church and Paul took the time to pen this epistle or letter urging them to correct the problems that had come into the church.
. I told you all of that for two reasons; the first was to put what I will be sharing with you as we go through 1 Corinthians in cultural context.
. We must understand the context of what we are reading in order to understand God’s word.
. The second reason is to highlight the fact that our society today, right here in metro Atlanta is not much different than the society that the Corinthian believers were immersed.
. This letter has just as much relevance for us today as it did to the Corinthian believers.
. This morning, I want us to look at Paul’s opening greetings to the church.
. Paul will remind them that He has been called and has answered the call of God and that they too are called.
Lets look at our scripture. 1 Corinthians 1: 1-3
1This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Sosthenes.
2I am writing to God’s church in Corinth, to you who have been called by God to be his own holy people.
He made you holy by means of Christ Jesus, just as he did for all people everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.
3May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
.Paul starts this letter talking about be called by God.
. God’s call to everyone is much like the Game “Marco Polo”
. Marco polo, for those of you who are not familiar with the game, is a game that is usually played in a pool or body of water with swimmers. One person is “it”. Just like a game of tag. He or she will close their eyes and count to ten and everybody else will move away from them and spread out all over the pool. The person that is “it” will keep their eyes closed and they will yell out “marco” and all the others in the pool are supposed to reply by saying “polo”, The person who is “it” will then try to find them through listening to their voice when they say “polo”. The person who is “it” can call out as much as they want and they other people must answer.