Summary: Lessons to learn from the church in Corinth.
Warnings, Exaltations, & Instructions: The Church at Corinth
1 Corinthians 1:4 ¡V 15
At 4:30am someone pounded on the door of Dr. Samuel A. Mudd¡¦s home. The physician listened to the man on his doorstep explain how his traveling companion had fallen from his horse en route to Washington and had badly injured his leg. The doctor invited them in. For the remainder of the day he tended to the wounded leg and allowed the men to rest. By 5pm, they were gone. That event would forever change the doctor¡¦s life and reputation. Why? It was because the man Dr. Mudd had attended to was John Wilkes Booth ¡V Abraham Lincoln¡¦s assassin. As a result, the saying, ¡§Your name is mud,¡¨ was born. Mudd spent four years in prison before receiving a pardon, and he died 14 years later at age 49 due partly to the yellow fever he had contracted in prison. Over the next century, Mudd¡¦s descendants bore his shame.
This story goes to show us how much power there can be in a name. When we call ourselves Christians and say that we are God¡¦s holy church, we are making a claim that forever links us to Jesus Christ. We are giving ourselves a name. We must make sure that the name Christian does not turn out like the name Mudd. How do we do this? We must make sure we live up to the standards that are laid out in God¡¦s Word for his church by heeding the warnings, emulating the exaltations, and following the instructions. When we do these things, the name Christian has great credibility, but that has not been the case for the last several years. The name Christian has a negative connotation with many people. We must make sure that we restore this name to its proper place of power and respect.
Last time we were together, we talked about living a life worthy of the calling we have received. This involves being people who are humble, gentle, and patient. Basically, this type of person is one who puts the second greatest commandment into practice ¡V the one that tells us we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. These were Paul¡¦s instructions to the church at Ephesus. This morning, we are going to take a look at some of Paul¡¦s words to the church at Corinth. If you have your Bible¡¦s, you can follow along in 1 Corinthians 1:4-15 or use your sermon notes.
I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way ¡V in all your speaking and in all your knowledge ¡V because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. Therefore, you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful. I appeal to you brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. My brothers, some from Chloe¡¦s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, ¡§I follow Paul¡¨; another, ¡§I follow Apollos¡¨; another, I follow Cephas¡¨; still another, ¡§I follow Christ.¡¨ Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that none of you can say that you were baptized into my name.