Summary: The reality that not everyone believes in Christ challenges the Christian Church to see the opportunities around them to do good and in that way bring about change for the better.


On our way home from one of five weeknight revival services, one of our kids blurted out, "Whose idea was this business of going to church every night!" Guess who raised his hand.

Precious are most of our memories of past church experiences. Let me encourage you to review all of your life's experiences - if, for no other reason, as a therapeutic reminder of how good God has been and how blessed you were to be part of the greatest enterprise ever.

Share recollections of "going to church" ... remembrances of your special events ... reflections on your involvement in the worship and work of the Lord's Church. To do so has a positive effect on how you feel, and how you fare as you move toward the finish - in the spirit of the old apostle: "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith”.

Paul was able to say emphatically, without doubt: "Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that day, and not only to me, but also to all who look forward to His appearing." (2 Tim. 4:8)

Paul was confident of the outcome of his faithful endeavors for the Cause of Christ because he had listened to the voice of God ... he had been led by the Spirit of God to live for Christ and become a powerful Christian witness.

The Lord got Saul's attention by interrupting his evil activities - demanding to know why he was trying to stop a Cause He initiated for the good of all people. In harmony with the Lord speaking to Paul, Jesus appeared to him in person - while the Holy Spirit persuaded him to be aware that he was on the wrong track.

The chief persecutor- stopped in his tracks by God the Father, confronted by God the Son, while his conscience was being pricked by God the Holy Spirit- did an about face and became not only staunch defender but chief propagator of the Cause of Christ.

By the Spirit, Saul was convinced to repent of his evil intent --- to turn away from his hell bent determination to destroy the Christian Cause --- to turn his eyes upon Jesus --- to face the question, ""What will you do with Jesus" - and to give the answer that had become the watchword of the early church: “Jesus is Lord."

So eager was Paul for the Church to accept their Spirit-endowed capabilities as empowered by the Holy Spirit for doing God's Will (sanctifying the Body of Christ . . . and spreading the Gospel unto the uttermost parts of the earth) that he expounded on the subject of spirituality at length in his first letter to the Corinthians - chapters 12, 13, 14 - although today's lesson focuses on just the first eleven verses - I Corinthians 12:1-11 . . .

Paul challenged mature believers to take a spiritual inventory of what God was up to in their Fellowship of excitement - right there in a diverse city that had become a melting pot of cultures, religions and customs. See God at work where you are! Then, as Henry Blackaby challenged us, “Join God in what He is doing.”

Great and mighty things were happening in the name of Jesus for the glory of God! Paul challenged them to look around and see what God was doing in and through the Church at Corinth - how God was using them to reach out to pagans - how the Holy Spirit was working in and through them so that people of every nation would at least have a chance to know Christ whom to know is life eternal.

Paul urged all Christians to understand - not be ignorant of one crucial fact {crucial for those who really do want to make a difference in the lives of others- particularly converts from pagan societies who grew up in unholy environments where Jesus was cursed and considered to be anathema):

Christians who have become spiritual-minded, committed to the Cause of Christ, give evidence - in word and in deed - of t heir confession: “Jesus is Lord”.

These mature Christians are the ones - assembly, congregation, fellowship of believers - through whom God the Holy Spirit works to bring to fruition God's goal for believers of being His and doing His Will. No doubt about it: They belong to Jesus!

In and through the lives of mature believers, the Holy Spirit works in varied ways to grow and develop the Body of Christ, to bring to pass that ideal for which Christians are taught by Jesus to pray: 'Thy kingdom come,. thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

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