Well, I’ve got to admit…I got lost in the holiday season. I took a couple of weeks off from my normal routines and I found that it was much more difficult to get back in the groove again. So, let’s give this a shot and try to give you a few thoughts from this past Sunday.
The last 2 sermons have been different. One was a wrap up of the year of study through Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians. Then we looked at an introduction to 1 Corinthians. Neither are “exegetical” per se. But they’re both needed. And yet, I found myself covering all the material that seemed to need to be covered and things just “felt” different than a normal Sunday sermon. Nonetheless, the Lord was faithful, Jesus was honored, and His word was declared. Very grateful for God’s work through His word.
Thoughts from this past Sunday:
- It really is astonishing to me how similar things are currently in our culture, to the world of 1 Corinthians. Self…was everywhere. Self-promotion, self-relevance, self-sufficiency, and self-satisfaction. Doesn’t take long to see that in our world, does it?
- As promised, to get a visual of the AcroCorinth, go to this website: https://www.greecetravel.com/peloponnesos/corinth/index.html. This gives a variety of views of this monolithic rock towering over Corinth.
- One of the things I love about overviews or intros, like Sunday, is the breadth for which we can look at things. It seems to help put the whole book in context and helps us see the overall message. Then when we start getting into the actual “forest” and start looking at the “trees”, it’s important that we don’t lose sight of the “forest”.
- I said Sunday that our world around us wants it to believe that it’s the “true” culture, but in reality, it’s a “false” culture. And here’s what I mean by that…the Garden of Eden, more than likely, is the culture and the way of life that God intends for humans. When sin entered the world, it offered a “false” substitute for God’s “true” culture. That false culture is focused on me, myself, and I. So, when I said that the theme of 1 Corinthians was that the gospel of Jesus Christ is an announcement about life that gives us a new reality about life, what I mean by that is, the gospel shows us the true culture of God and His people. We’re going to see how the gospel transforms our thinking in many areas where our “false” culture has lied to us.
Quotes I left out: by the way, I’m using 2 main commentaries for this study: 1) 1 Corinthians: A Shorter Exegetical and Pastoral Commentary by A.C. Thiselton & 2) The First Epistle to the Corinthians by Gordon Fee. If you click on those titles, they should take you to the Amazon bookstore.
- “For the gospel of a humiliated, crucified Christ was an affront to people who cherished success and who loved winners. Paul himself refused to carry himself like a professional lecturer or rhetorician, but insisted on working as an artisan in a leather worker’s workshop and leather-goods shop. Paul “did not come with high-sounding rhetoric or a display of cleverness”; but this consumer-oriented culture wanted precisely what Paul refused to give. His only selling point was the one thing that nobody would want: to speak “only of a crucified Christ” (2:2). No wonder that “the proclamation of the cross is, for their part, folly to those who are on their way to ruin,” even if it is “the power of God to us who are on the way to salvation” (1:18).” Thiselton, A. C.
- “Reasons for writing the letter: By around a.d. 54 (or possibly 53) Paul received news of Corinth from two further sources. An oral report reached him through “Chloe’s people” (1 Cor. 1:11). These may have been agents working for Chloe, and were presumably members of the church in Ephesus. Paul also received a letter of inquiry from Christians in Corinth. This raised questions about marriage and celibacy (7:1), about food offered to idols (8:1), about the gifts of the Holy Spirit (12:1), and other issues. Our “1 Corinthians” combines responses from Paul to both sources. His response to the oral report is more clear-cut and at times stern (1:10–6:20). His replies to questions from Corinth recognize the complexity of sensitive areas where often something has to be said on both sides, especially in chapters 7–10.” Thiselton, A. C.
- “Every quality attributed to love in chapter 13 applies to the church in Corinth. Love “does not burn with envy; does not brag—is not inflated with its own importance. It does not behave with ill-mannered impropriety; is not preoccupied with the interests of the self.… It never tires of support, never loses faith, never exhausts hope, never gives up. Love never falls apart.… Tongues … will stop.… ‘Knowledge’ … will be rendered obsolete.… The greatest … is love” (13:4, 5, 7, 8, 13). Even the supposed constraints governing the conduct of public worship are to promote respect for “the other,” to build the whole church, and to spread the gospel to others.” Thiselton, A. C.
- “Quite in contrast to 2 Corinthians and Galatians, this letter yields little or no evidence that the church has yet been invaded by the outsiders mentioned in the last chapters of 2 Corinthians (10–13). In fact, the mention in this letter (9:12) of some “others” who share the Corinthians’ provisions is the one possible reference to outsiders, but such an understanding is not demanded by the context. Thus it is not quite proper to speak of Paul’s “opponents” in the ordinary sense of that word, as referring to outside agitators. Rather, the opposition is led by “some among you” (15:12; cf. 4:18).” Fee, G. D.
- “The pattern for all behavior is Christ himself (11:1) as his life is mediated through the life of the apostle (4:16–17; 11:1). Thus the gospel is not turned into law, but neither is it divested of its true response. All is of grace, but grace brings the Spirit who enables the imitation of Christ. If the gospel itself is at stake in the Corinthians’ theology and behavior, so also is its visible expression in the local community of redeemed people. The net result is more teaching on the church here than in any of Paul’s letters.” Fee, G. D.
- I really, really enjoy Christmas. I know that there’s a ton of materialistic stuff; too much commercialism…but the joy of being with family, watching our kids enjoy one another, and sharing Jesus openly with each other, is a fun, fun time for us as a family.
- I love playoff…anything! Could be tiddlywinks! Anything, where the pressure is intense, every play/pitch matters, and it’s win or go home…is AWESOME.
- Super Bowl picks…Chiefs and Vikings…sorry for all of you who love other teams. I just think those 2 teams are playing better than anyone. If you can go to the Super Dome and beat Drew Brees in the playoffs, you’re playing well. Btw: watch this video of Kirk Cousins after the game declare his faith: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gWxqqKashQ. The announcer actually asked him about his faith at the 1-minute mark.
- I have no idea how someone stops LSU’s offense. Good luck, Clemson. I’m pulling for neither of you…
- And with the start of 2020 means…pitchers and catchers report in less than 50 days!
Have a great week, enjoying the grace of God found in Jesus!