Summary: Based on 1 Cor. 1:1-9 dealing who we are called to be as the church of Jesus Christ.
The Troubled Triumphant Church
1 Cor 1:1-9 ‘The Called Church’
Thesis: We must know what kind of a church we are and what kind of church God expects us to be.
Introduction: What would you think if you received in the church mail a letter rolled up in a tight scroll. The return address read Ephesus, Asia Minor and the date in the post mark was AD 57. As you unrolled the scroll you realized that this was no ordinary letter. This letter had the name Paul in the very first line. You suddenly realize you have a letter from none other than the Apostle Paul. This is one of Paul’s famous letters that he had been writing to the churches which he had started and preached in.
In your excitement you call up your pastor and some friends from church and everyone’s is so excited because at the next service the letter is going to be read at church. As you listen to the letter being read you listen to it very carefully because you know in your mind and heart that this letter, although handwritten by Paul or taken as dictation by one of his associates, is in reality Scripture. You know that Scripture is the divinely inspired word of God. You are paying close attention because you know that this is Gods word being read to you and you need to follow what God says.
Sounds exciting doesn’t it? Do you realize this is no hypothetical situation but in fact is a reality. What you hear read to you today from this book is the word of God. First Corinthians is one of Gods letters addressed to the churches. Do you believe this is Gods word? If you do raise your hand. Thank you.
Now if you believe this is Gods word, that this book is given unto us by divine inspiration, you must pay close attention and give heed to its message, even the parts that make you feel uncomfortable. If you really believe, and you do believe it don’t you, you will want to hear all of it you can. This means that if you truly believe this is Gods word, and you really want to hear from God, you will be here this week for each service as much as humanly possible.
The message of 1st Corinthians is the message to a church that goes from trouble, tragedy, tribulation to triumph. It is addressed to a group of Christian who lived in a culture that had some similarities to our own.
Corinth, as a city, was prosperous and important. You and I live in the richest culture and society in the world.
Not only does Corinth’s prosperity remind us of ourselves as a nation and a people, but Corinth was also very pagan. Until Paul had entered her streets and began to preached the gospel there had never been a Christian among her people. Most of the charter members of the Corinth church were saved out of paganism. Most everyone of them had been at one time a worshipper of the goddess of love, Aphrodite. They had practiced ritual prostitution as a part of their religion. And now some of them that were saved were struggling with pride, sexual sin, idol worship, division and doctrines of demons.
It is no stretch to say the church in the city of Corinth was a very troubled
Church. It is without argument the most troubled church in the NT. As a matter of fact, Corinth is the model of how not to have church. Lets take a few minutes together and look at some of the first verses we find in this letter to the church that will go from trouble to triumph. The key word in the verses will be read today is the word ‘called’. Lets look at how and what this church is called to.
As a Christian you were called to...
I. Salvation into Jesus (9)
What we are going to do is go in reverse order in our passage this morning. Paul began with service, then spoke of sanctification and then salvation, but we are going to start with salvation.
For everyone of us who is a child of God, it is because we have been called by God. (2 Tim 1:8-12)
A. There must be a call.
1. You must be called by the Holy Spirit in order to be saved. It is the work of the Holy Spirit of God to convict you of your sin. If the Holy Spirit of God did not convict you would not repent and turn to Christ from sin.
Jesus called His disciples. Jesus said ‘For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.’ If Jesus would not have come to call us to repentance there would be no hope for us, but He came and He continues to call sinners to repentance. Jesus said many are called but few are chosen. Like the two blind men in Matt. 20 who cried out for Jesus to have mercy on them and the Bible says ‘Jesus stood still and called them and said what will ye that I do for you’? They said to Him, ‘that our eyes may be opened.’ My prayer for you, if you are not a child of God, is to cry in desperate need to Jesus. He stands ready, saying ’what shall I do for you’. Ask Him to save you. My friend if God through the Holy Spirit convicts you of sin do not resist but surrender to Him. Jesus wants to open your eyes so that you see and know Him as your Savior.