Summary: A final overview sermon of 1 Corinthians, after a sermon series studying 1 Corinthians.
Text: 1 Corinthians, Title: The Troubled, Triumphant Church, Date/Place: NRBC, 6/17/12, AM
A. Opening illustration:
B. Background to passage:
C. Main thought:
1. Division among the body of Christ. “Is Christ Divided?”
2. We divide over ages, preferences of music, personalities, temperature of the sanctuary, buildings, budgets, and many other things. We must seek to end division and strife. What things can you decide to let go of that are really not that important eternally? What broken relationships can you begin to fix? What are you going to do? When are you going to do it?
1. In 1:23 he told them that he preached Christ crucified, here he says that he determined to know nothing among them except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
2. Some in the SBC are hung up right now on Calvinism and have put out a statement that provokes right before the convention. But Paul would admonish us to preach Christ and Him crucified, and not worry about which camp you are in. Are our ministries Christ-centered? Worship, SS, wed nights? Are our lives fixated on Jesus and all His glorious perfections?
1. Paul reminds the church that they will be held accountable for every deed done in the body, and all of them will be tried by fire, and we will be rewarded or suffer loss.
2. Jesus says every idle word. Are you on the foundation of Christ? Will the things you spend your time and money on be of eternal reward? Are you investing in souls?
1. Paul reminds them of his love and care for them. He is not being mean in the letter. He is being firm as a father would his children. Elsewhere he describes his ministry like that of a “nursing mother.” A better metaphor at our house would be a overly sensitive over protective sister.
2. Our ministry for each other needs to flow from a genuine concern for the other to grow up into Christ; being firm where we need it, and not when we don’t. Work to form Christ in them, just like you do your children.
E. 5:6-7, 11
1. Paul’s concern here was for the Name of God, the purity of the church, and the rescue of an individual.
2. We must consider the purity of the local church. We cannot tolerate sin, it will poison us all. We must lovingly hold our people accountible for living the Christian life. Think of it as a Christian rescue mission to save a brother or sister from themselves, an intervention. Like those documentaries where the family confronts others with substance about problems.
1. He makes a statement that all these “sinners” will not inherit the kingdom, and sounds very judgmental and pharisaical. Then he says, “and such were some of you.” Two truths: 1) its a lesson in humility, 2) it’s a lesson in gratitude for saving grace, 3) and it’s a lesson in life transformation.
2. We are a collection of sinners who have been snatched from the fire. We cannot look down on anyone, but for the grace of God we all go there. Rejoice that God saved you! You couldn’t do it, couldn’t earn it, and were helpless to fix yourself, but He did, while we were yet sinners. And if He really did it, the word “were” truly applies, you are not the same anymore.