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Archive for March, 2012

1 Corinthians 3:3 (1–9) “for you are still fleshly.

Factions, which is what Paul has been talking about is a sign of spiritual immaturity. We should understand that from here on through to the end of the letter Paul is talking to believers who are having difficulty growing up in the faith (I recognize myself).

Paul explains that he and Apollos were merely tools God used to bring them to Christ, plant the seed. Now they were being used to help grow the church. But the seed, the choice of the soil and its growth all belong to God, 3:6.

The reward of the tools (our spiritual leaders) is not found in a personal following. The Lord will reward those who follow Him at the appropriate time, but not here and now. For now, our spiritual leaders, like Paul and Apollos & our church pastor, feel their only reward is to see the church united and working for the good of others.

Humility involves redirecting the credit for my successes to the God and His agents who produced them.

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1 Corinthians 2:10 (6–16) “For to us God revealed them through the Spirit;’

Not only were we called out by God to be one people representing Him on earth, for the little time we have left but also He did this in a very special way.

In the Old Testament times, when God had a message for His people or His person He would call on the services of a prophet. The Spirit of God would speak to that person who would represent God before men.

Paul is here telling us that God has sent each one of us His Spirit with a special message for each one of us. So not only has He selected me for salvation, He has delivered to each of us a message He would have otherwise sent through a prophet, making us prophets.

We need to stick together to have the right impact on our world today.

Humility involves not letting your emotions and pride dictate your decisions.

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March 13.12 ethot

1 Corinthians 1:18 (18–2:5) “For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.’

Paul now points out that the message of the cross (salvation to all who believe) is confusing to those who don’t believe but not to those that do.

As believers we do and don’t belong to any exclusive club. There are no educational qualifications. As matter of fact most of us are not that well educated. There is no financial test you have to pass, again it seems that the less fortunate respond first. And, there is no social or political status you have to reach. We come as we are.

The message of the cross is for all, 1:24.

So, in the church there should be no division of status, much less of how we came to the cross. It is the cross that brought us together and keeps us that way. Together we face the unbelieving world in an effort to save them, as well, in the little time we have left.

Humility involves redirecting the credit for my successes to the God and His agents who produced them.

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1 Corinthians 1:2 (1–17) “To the church of God which is at Corinth,’

After Matthew wrote his letter, Paul wrote his first letter to the church at Corinth.

The church there had many problems (what church doesn’t?) and the first issue Paul dealt with was the problem of factions in the church. The groups were interesting because each had their strengths.

Paul was a great teacher and counsellor, Apollos a great preacher, Cephas was the apostle Peter and Jesus was God. Their choices were great but Paul wants them and us to remember that while we’re here on earth our enemy is the world, not each other. Jesus is the head of the church the rest of us are just servants.

As it was Paul admits to not remembering how many he had baptized (1:16) which doesn’t make him a very good faction leader. Apollos got advice from a couple of tent makers and Peter denied Christ.

Who brought me to Christ is important to me and to Christ but not to anyone else.

Loyalty involves not just remembering who my God is, but helping others to remember as well.

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Matthew 28:20 (16–20) “and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’

Yesterday I directed you to read 1 Peter 3, where he talks about the end of the age. Usually we associate the end of all things, like the age, with the book of Revelation. Actually the better title for that book is “The revelation of Jesus Christ” Revelation 1:1.

So, if I may adjust my comments from yesterday a little, the age we live in now is that age where the love of God for all mankind has been revealed through the story of His Son Jesus Christ, John 3:16. This age is His story.

When we read the Bible, from Genesis through to Revelation, it is the story of Jesus Christ. As we read we will discover the reason why Jesus had to come, how His coming was foretold, why He had to be a man and yet God, and how He would resolve man’s problem.

Next time you open your Bible look for Jesus.

Initiative involves taking action to follow God completely.

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Matthew 28:19 (16–20) “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations,’

Our job to make disciples of everyone we encounter is not done until the end of the age, 28:20. So, you might wonder, when is that?

The history of mankind will never end; it will just go on and on as long as God desires and His desire is for us to be with Him forever. But the end of the age will in a sense be the end of His-story or this story. The age we live in now is the story of how we came into being, rebelled against our creator and what He did to get some of us back, 1 Peter 3:9 (read 1 Peter 3).

At some point in time as we now know it the story of mans redemption by the hand of the God who created them will end. Then a new story will begin, 1 Peter 3:13. This hope (a fact we just haven’t experienced) should motivate us to share the Gospel with as many as will listen.

Faith involves resting all my hopes for tomorrow on God’s proven promises rather than on man’s faltering word.

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Matthew 28:6 (1–10) “He is not here, for He has risen, just as he said.’

This simple yet profound fact is stated in all for Gospels, Mark 16:1–8, Luke 24:1–10, John 20:1–8. Jesus had predicted it, Matthew 16:21, 17:23 & 20:19. And, now even though the four accounts differ in detail, the prophecy had become a fact.

Jesus the man had died, Jesus the man had been raised from the dead and was now walking around letting His followers know that all He had said was true. The world as they had understood it, from their perspective, had changed.

But the fact is that the world had always been what Jesus had said. Now the difference is that Jesus, through His death and resurrection, had proven it to a world that could not, would not see it. Since the Garden of Eden man has been in sin with only one hope, and Jesus is that hope. Now, when you read the Bible don’t ask if this could be true, but since this is true what do I do now?

Faith involves resting all my hopes for tomorrow on God’s proven promises rather than on man’s faltering word.

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