Summary: The first in a series from Corinthians challenging the congregation to have the resolve to know Christ and his ways.

- Have you ever been somewhere and you didn’t know anybody? Not one person. You were a total stranger, and everybody around you was totally strange to you. That’s happened to me a few times. Like my first day at Ozark Christian College. I had decided many months before that I was going to leave South Carolina where I was born and raised, and move half-way across the world, at least that’s how it seemed, to Misery, I mean Missouri. I had never visited the campus before, didn’t know one person there. Not one. I just knew that I was supposed to be at Ozark.

- So I sent my application, I filled out all the necessary paper work, and I booked my flight to the Joplin International Airport. I was nervous to say the least, it’s hard to go somewhere that is completely strange, a place where you don’t know anybody. And to make matters worse, the week before I was scheduled to leave, my lung collapsed, they told me it was a "spontaneous pneumothorax." That put me in the hospital for a week and delayed my arrival to Joplin. So now, not only will I be going to a new place with people I don’t know, but now I am gonna be a week late. It’s hard going somewhere when you don’t know anybody there. Has that ever happened to you before? Have you ever felt that anxiety, that fear of stepping out of your comfort zone and into a new and strange place?

- Maybe it’s a new job. You don’t know them, and they don’t you. And for the next 6 months, you have to go through that awkward transition of getting to know people. Or maybe you have moved to a new town, a new school. And you are the new kid on the block. Everybody’s checking out.

- Perhaps that’s how you felt when you first went to church, here or anywhere. You didn’t know what people thought of you, or what you thought of the people. Eveyrthing was new, unusual, different than what you expected. But isn’t that what church is all about. Getting to know people, making connections with others. Being encouraged and encouraging others.

- But certainly you would agree that church is more than just getting to know other people, although that is an important part of it. Church is also about getting to know God. To know his ways, to know what he expects. To know how he works.

- Read Cymbala excerpt from "The Life God Blesses..."

- Paul puts it even better in 1 Cor. 2:1-5, but before we read that text, I want to tell you a story...

- It’s a story of a young couple in love. When they looked at each other there were stars in their eyes. And they decided that it was time to make a commitment to each other, so they said their vows and got married. Life couldn’t be better. They were in love, and everybody around them could see that they were in love. But something happened over time. They began to lose their focus. Those little things that they could ignore when first married, became major issues. Arguing became a nightly ritual, and eventually it began to put a strain on their relationship. She looked for companionship with another man, he looked for respect from another woman. And they knew that if they continued on the road they were on, their marriage would be destroyed.

- But before letting that happen, they contacted a marriage counselor, they confessed all of their shortcomings, and they patiently listened to the advice and guidance of this wise counselor. And things began to turn around, their would still be struggles, and hardships, but they renewed their commitment to each other, and they dedicated themselves to making it work, to getting to know each other once again.

- The path of that young couple is very similar to the path of this young church that Paul writes to. A church that is located in the city of Corinth, it’s only about 5 or 6 years old. Old enough to be out of the honeymoon stage, and it was beginning to show. They had started off with great hope and excitement, but like that young couple, somewhere along the way they became distracted. Fighting and division, immorality and indifference. Then in chapter 1, verse 11, we read that a certain family told Paul all that was happening in the church, and with great concern, Paul writes a series of letters, 4 to be exact. Two of them we have, they are called 1 and 2 Corinthians. And from the very beginning of the letter, Paul makes it clear that Christians should be determined to know Christ and his ways.

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