Summary: The messages focuses on what we are called to be as God's church.
1. Russell Christoff is not a familiar name. He was an unknown actor and model whose only success in the modeling industry was his image years ago on cans of Taster’s Choice instant coffee. He was the guy smelling the aroma. If you’re old enough you probably remember the picture.
2. In 1986, when he took those photos, he was given $250 & promised if the photos were used they would pay him an additional $2,000 and an agency commission. Nothing came of the picture until it was used in 1997. It was used for the next 8 years in 18 different countries. Christoff wasn’t aware his image was on the coffee until a stranger in a hardware store told him he looked a lot like the guy on the Taster’s Choice Label. For 8 years his face sold their product and because neither he nor other family members drank instant coffee he never knew his picture was being used.! When he realized that Nestle hadn’t kept their end of the bargain he called his lawyer and the rest as they say is history. A jury awarded him over $15 million.
3. Who would have ever dreamed that there was that much of a story behind the Taster’s Choice coffee label? The same could be said of the series I’m beginning this morning on the book of 1 Corinthians.
Cell #2— I Corinthians 1 is found on page 870 of the Bible in your pew.
4. It’s one of the Apostle Paul’s longer letters. His message stretches over 16 chapters; some of them quite lengthy. What makes the letter particularly interesting is that it was written to a church that was known to be ungodly and spiritually immature. In it Paul deals with a lot of thorny issues. He helps this church figure out how to deal with a general lack of godliness.
5. While some churches didn’t respond very well to Paul’s message, the church in Corinth wasn’t one of them. The book of II Corinthians, written years later, has a quite different tone, one that demonstrates this immature church had grown a lot and probably took to heart Paul’s challenging message. I hope we will be challenged and grow through it as well. Let’s read part of chapter 1 together this morning.
1 This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, & from our brother Sosthenes.
2 I am writing to God’s church in Corinth, to you who have been called by God to be his own holy people. He made you holy by means of Christ Jesus, just as he did for all people everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord & ours.
3 May God our Father & the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace & peace.
18 The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God.
19 As the Scriptures say, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise & discard the intelligence of the intelligent.”
20 So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, & the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish.
21 Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe.
22 It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom.
23 So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended & the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.
24 But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews & Gentiles, Christ is the power of God & the wisdom of God.
25 This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, & God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.
26 Remember, dear brothers & sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you.
27 Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.
28 God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, & used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.
29 As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.
30 God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, & he freed us from sin.