Summary: When you see some body’s mistake what will be your first sentence. How would you present it?
Six Things about a local church. 1 Corinthians. 1.4—9
Introduction: - When you see some body’s mistake what will be your first sentence. How would you present it? Explain - background of this church - their problem.
V.10. Yet see v.1—9. In v.4 Paul thanks God for them. ---See good before bad.—cf Rev.2, 3
Here Paul finds truths that are true of any local Church in Christ. –Perfect -should be true about us too. –let’s examine.
1. Recipients of God’s grace. V.4
Who they were? cf. 1 Cor.6.9—11 Saved by grace. Some one said ‘it’s a wonder that in Corinth a church existed’.
“The Church is a fellowship of sinners, before it’s a fellowship of saints”. ---nothing to boast—be humble and thankful — before blaming others. Cf. Rom. 11.20.
“kripayale rakshapetta papiyaya njanitha..’
2. Rich in Christ. V.5
Spiritual riches—may not be materially –not necessary—cf. Rev. 2.9 / 3. 17, --note, Smyrna: spiritually rich yet materially poor—Laodicians: materially rich but
spiritually poor| cf Eph. 1.18 Need spiritual insight to see the difference.
a. Rich in utterance. V.5 - Outward expression of God’s mind—truth—(testimony). Eph. 6.19 Col. 4.3.
b. Rich in knowledge. v.5 - Inward apprehension of the truth- doctrine.
c. Rich in gifts. V.7- Ability to perform. No individual has all gifts, but the Church has. (1 Tim. 4.14, 2Tim.1.6)
These should be true of all believers. –But sad –often we live like poor—
Illus: Beth Adams found dead as a poor beggar—yet rich.—chose to live like a poor. Injured soldier with a pension letter from the President – George Washington.
- Corinthians misused their riches.
- Smyrna church was ignorant of their riches.
- Laodician church boasted in their poverty \ riches (ignorant of poverty)—What about you?
3. Living testimony v. 6
Through their conversion gospel has been proved. —it’s effect, power, potential .cp. Rom. 1.16 --Paul wrote Romans from Corinth. —Wonder to many that they got saved.
—using gifts too—
Our life and words approve or disapprove gospel.
- What testimony do we have?
- Is the gospel proved in our life?
4. Hopeful of His coming. V.7 cf 1 The.1.9
Waiting, looking forward - no tension—no worry –just pilgrims and sojourners here. Need such full hope –don’t forget. cp 1 Pet. 1.13,----Hope helps us to purify and
leave worldliness. Cf. 1 Jn. 3. 2, 2 Pet. 3.11,12
Illus.: F. W Grant. ‘Lord tonight, Lord today”----Paul considered ‘better to depart’.
5. Kept by His faithfulness. V. 8—9
Though failed life---still preserved—till ‘the Lord’s day’---Rapture to Millennium. — He is faithful in His call. In his sovereign will called us-not because of our
merit-or asking-so full fill that call faithfully. Cf.Rom.8: 30 Lam.3: 22,23; Mal.3: 6; Ps.89: 31-33,1,2. 1The.5: 23,24. Jude.24 Col.3:4. So hold on.Heb.10: 23,
Sing.Ps.89:1,2 These facts should encourage the imperfect Corinthian church.
6. Partners with Christ. V.9
Not the local assembly fellowship referred here. More than that - our sharing together of Christ. —ob. ‘fellowship of / with Christ.’ We are in partnership with
Christ. —Business partnership-capital, profit and loss everything shared. So in Christ we share every thing of Christ. We are are workers together with Christ. Heb.3:
14 1Cor.3:9 2Pet.1:4 No separate identity-nothing to boast. Our fellowship one with another is based on our fellowship with Christ.
• Do you think of grace and humble yourself?
• Do you think of riches and spent—as rich or as poor?
• Do you really exhibit a real testimony for the Gospel?
• Are you really hopeful or worried about the world?
• Do you trust in His faithfulness for security?
(Prepared by Nelson Thomas Mumbai. Visit: gracepeace.net)