1 Corinthians (Program #55) -Dealing with the Collection of the Gift and Conclusion
In his first epistle to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul dealt with eleven serious problems that had overtaken the church there. Then in chapter 15, the next to the last chapter, after dealing with all of these matters specifically he points them to the unique solution to all the problems both of the church life and our human life and that is the reality of the resurrection life of Christ as our portion, the new creation. That brings us to the conclusion of the book, Chapter 16. And as he begins this final chapter its’ almost as if he puts the Corinthians on the test, the most vigorous of tests to see if his words concerning living in the reality of the resurrection had penetrated. He challenges them on the matter of money and material possessions. And this matter of money is still testing all of His believers even today. We will fellowship this and see the sweet conclusion to the book of 1 Corinthians.
1 Corinthians (Program #54) – Dealing with the Matter of Resurrection (3 & 4)
The Bible of course tells us that God created the heavens and the earth and man and all the living things. This is His creation work. But there is another creation revealed in the Bible. Listen to 2 Corinthians 5:17 “So then if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away; behold, they have become new.”
In Christ, God has a new creation. In fact all of His work in the New Testament is centered on and focused in this new creation. There is another verse that implies both of these creations in the most profound way. This time in 1 Corinthians chapter 15:45 “So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul”; the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit.”
1 Corinthians (Program #53) – Dealing with the Matter of Resurrection (2)
Of all the problems that had over taken the church in Corinth, perhaps the most serious was that among the church there, many question the reality of resurrection. Yes, more serious than division, adultery, and even more serious than fornication and incest. Why? You might ask. Because without resurrection, ours is a fake, totally in vain and even more a faith without vitality, the life power needed to overcome all of our problems. Paul’s rebuttal to those who question resurrection is our topic of program today.
1 Corinthians (Program #52) – Dealing with the Matter of Resurrection (1)
Have you ever noticed in the presentation of the gospel it’s often the graphic picture of Jesus dying on the cross and bearing our sins that preachers draw upon to engage their audience? Frequently the gospel is presented with great passion regarding the death of Christ, the sinless One dying for the sinners.
Well, we praise the Lord for His crucifixion, without it we sinners would have no way to come to God. But as effectively as His dead is in dealing with the record of sin, it alone can’t save us from the power of sin. For that we must turn our gaze from the Christ on the cross to the Christ raised from the dead. It is death and resurrection together that bring us a full salvation. And the death and resurrection of Christ is our topic today.
1 Corinthians (Program #51) – Dealing with the Gifts (7)
When we come to a topic it’s crucial and central in the Bible as the church, we would naturally assume that the Bible has much to say on how the meetings of the church should be conducted. Surprising however the Bible is almost silent on the subject. Except from one particular portion in 1 Corinthians chapter 14 especially verses 26-40. And even though the section has 15 verses it is really just one verse that show us the basic principle for how the meetings, the gatherings of the believers should carry on. Listen to 1 Corinthians 14:26 “What then, brothers? Whenever you come together, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.”
1 Corinthians (Program #50) – Dealing with the Gifts (6)
Two chapters in 1 Corinthians deals specifically with the matter of the gifts, chapter twelve and thirteen. Though there is similarities between these two chapters there is a significant change in focus or emphasis. Eighteen times in the chapter twelve Paul uses the term, “the Body” referring of course to the Body of Christ.
But in chapter fourteen, we never hear the Body. Rather in this chapter the emphasis was the church and specifically is the building up of the church. Listen to the shift that takes place in these few verses.
12:12 “For even as the body is one and has many members, yet all the members of the body, being many, are one body, so also is the Christ.”
12:27-28 “Now you are the Body of Christ, and members individually. And God has placed some in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then works of power, then gifts of healing, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues.”
Is this just Paul used of idol synonyms? Or is this divine? Or is this the divine wisdom manifest once again for our further instruction?
1 Corinthians (Program #49) – Dealing with the Gifts (5)
As the apostle Paul was writing chapter 12, 13 and 14 of 1 Corinthians, he had much more in his heart then just dealing with the problem of the improper use or abuse of the gifts of the Spirit. There was an overwhelming burden on his heart and in his spirit concerning several crucial matters related to the building up of the Body of Christ, the church.
In chapter twelve and thirteen, he emphasizes five things: Speaking, the Spirit, the Body, God’ administration and love. Then in chapter 14, he comes to another main item, the superiority of one particular gift for the building up of the church. Among the main spiritual gifts describe in this portion of the word, one stands out as superior for building up the church. What is this unique superior gift?
1 Corinthians (Program #48) – Dealing with the Gifts (4)
In 1 Corinthians chapter 12, Paul, the apostle touches the so called gifts of the Spirit. He concludes the chapter by telling the believers by the shallowness of the most outward of these gifts. But then he points them clearly to something much better, the gift of love.
12: 31 “But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And moreover I show to you a most excellent way.” 13:1 “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels but do not have love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.”
1 Corinthians (Program #46) – Dealing with the Gifts (2)
Did you ever wonder what the purpose of the gifts of the Spirit, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit is?
Many Christians thinks the goal is their own personal self edification. But the apostle Paul care more for the building of the Body of Christ. Stay tune for a special word from 1 Corinthians chapter 12.