Summary: 1. The church consists of those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy. (v. 2) 2. The church does not lack any spiritual gift (v. 7) 3. The church is kept strong to the end by Jesus Christ. (v. 8-9)
Some of the topics that will be covered
1. The church consists of those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy. (v. 2)
2. The church does not lack any spiritual gift (v. 7)
3. The church is kept strong to the end by Jesus Christ. (v. 8-9)
“If you ever find the perfect church – don’t join it –you’ll wreck it!”
“I thought I had found the perfect church, except for all the people.”
There is no such thing as a perfect church. A church, quite literally is a group of disciples of Jesus Christ. It is not an organization. It is not a building. It is people. And EVERY church, large or small, old or new, has its flaws because it has PEOPLE in it!
One might think that if you had an extremely gifted pastor, filled with Holy Spirit power, planting and giving leadership to a church, that it would be more likely to be free from problems. But that’s not the truth.
The church founded by Paul in the ancient city of Corinth is the clearest example.
INTRO Paul and the Corinthian church plant….
In the book of Acts we learn about how a Jewish Pharisee named Saul who was consumed with persecuting followers of Jesus was miraculously converted. He changed his name to Paul and then began changing the spiritual landscape of Asia Minor through preaching the gospel and planting churches.
In Acts 18 we discover that Paul finds himself in Corinth, (show map) a prominent city linking the East and the West, found on an isthmus in the Mediterranean Sea. He spent somewhere around 2 years there around the year 50 AD, preaching and teaching the converts there in how to live the Christian life.
Paul then left, and ended up spending a couple of years in Ephesus, leading the church there. While there, he receives word from some members of the church in Corinth about some problems that have sprung up. He also receives a gift from an official delegation from the church in Corinth, and again hears some disturbing news. The church has divided into factions following different teachers. Certain members of the church have fallen into sin, and the church body has not responded correctly. Problems have come up surrounding their gatherings for worship.
In response, Paul finds someone to write down his words, and he begins dictating a letter to the church.
In this letter he will encourage them for what they are doing right. He will instruct them on who they are in Christ, and how God is at work in and through them. But he will also instruct them about how to handle the numerous problems he has heard are happening in the church. Along the way he gives incredible insight into such subjects as the following:
• The true nature and foundation of the church
• what to do when people who call themselves Christians are involved in blatant sin
• how to handle “gray areas” in which Christians disagree over what is right
• dealing with sexual temptations
• marriage, divorce, and remarriage
• Spiritual gifts and their proper role in the life of a church
• An incredible exposition of the true nature of love
• The roles of men and women in the church.