Summary: The apostle Paul gives us his expectaions for the church from a very familiar passage.His expectaions are found through out his writings
Introduction: High School Reunions can be some of the best of times and some of the worst of times. One thing about High School reunions is often people are surprised with the changes that have occurred with their classmates.
• The computer Geek is now a successful the businessman
• The awkward girl at graduation is now an attractive model
• The athlete is now overweight and not very appealing
People change. And you do not have to go to a high school reunion to discover that fact.
Do a character study of the men and women of the Bible and you find change taking place
• Moses – a runaway fugitive to a leader of God’s people
• David – a young shepherd boy to king of Israel
• Mary a young peasant girl becomes the Mother of Jesus
Probably the greatest change figure in the Bible would have to be the Apostle Paul – We first meet him in the book of Acts involved in the brutal death of a Christian Servant, Stephen.
Acts 8:1-3, And Saul (Paul) was there, giving approval to his (Stephen) death. On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. But Saul (Paul) began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison.
Two phrases jump out from this passage “GIVING APPROVAL TO HIS DEATH” & “BEGAN TO DESTROY THE CHURCH”
When you read those words it is hard to imagine this man Saul would ever be used in God’s kingdom. Yet once Jesus got hold of Saul he experienced a…
• Name Change
• Life Change
• Best of all a Heart Change
As a result of Jesus – Paul, became the second greatest man in the NT next to Jesus Christ. He started more churches, penned more books (13), and traveled to more places than any other man in the NT
Knowing all this man did for the cause of Christ, it is appropriate we look at the expectations Paul had for the church.
LAST WEEK WE DISCOVERED JESUS HAD ONE EXPECTATION FOR THE CHURCH – “UNITY” May they be one so the world will know that you sent me.
Today Paul gives us three more expectations from 1 Cor 13:13, And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE
How do we know these 3 qualities are the expectations Paul had for the Church – I AM GLAD YOU ASKED?
The phrase FAITH HOPE AND LOVE is found throughout Paul’s letters
LOOK AT THE SCREEN
• Eph 1:15-18, For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,
• Col 1:3-6, We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints-- the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you.
• 1Thes 1:2-3, We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
• This combination of F, H & L is mentioned in every one of Paul’s letters to the church, except 2 Thessalonians and 1 Corinthians – The Reasons, in 2 Thessalonians. The people thought they had missed the return of the Lord and so they had lost their hope and the church at Corinth was so filled with sin they were not known for F, H & L but just the opposite.
• 1 Cor 3:1-3, Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly-- mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?