When it comes to the Gospel and God’s Word, it can be easy to forget just how powerful it truly is—how transformative it is for as people when we put our faith in Jesus Christ and make Him the Lord and Savior of our lives. For Paul, knowing full well how the Gospel changed his life, this was of particular concern due to his love for the church in Corinth that he planted.
As we turn our attention to 1 Corinthians for our next series, there is one thing that will hopefully become very clear: The Gospel changes everything. And while, at first, this may not seem like an earth-shaking truth, the reader of 1 Corinthians quickly discovers otherwise. Shortly after the beginning of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he reminds us of this in 1 Corinthians 1:18: “The Word of the Cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
Put another way, what God has gifted us through Jesus, and the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross when He died for us and our sins, has power in the lives of those who submit to His Word. When we die to ourselves and repent of our sinfulness, God makes us a completely new creation. And as new creations, life itself starts to look entirely different.
In the weeks ahead, we will see Paul address some of the most common challenges we face in the Church, highlighting some of the most pressing issues of our day that include questions like …
- What does unity in the Church look like?
- Why is sexual misconduct, and other promiscuity, so damaging to relationships?
- What does it mean for us to be loyal to Jesus and love people more than ourselves?
- Why do we gather at Church, and what is the ultimate purpose for making that a priority in our lives?
- And ultimately, who is Jesus, and why does His presence in our lives change absolutely everything?
The Resurrection matters! And as we deepen our relationship with Jesus Christ, it is only because of Him and the work of the Holy Spirit, that we can adequately find the answers to our most pressing questions. For as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2:10-13:
These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
It is time to let our reality be redefined … not subjectively as the world would have us do, but objectively as only God can do. “For a wide door for effective work has opened to [us], and there are many adversaries (1 Cor. 16:9).” And like Paul, we can stand firm and let the Holy Spirit make sense of what lies ahead for us in that, or we can allow the landmines to explode without being properly equipped to handle the aftermath. It is not a difficult choice.
So come, jump into the deep end of the pool with Paul and the rest of our Harvest family, and may we all swim forward together as we open to the pages of 1 Corinthians.
See you Sunday at either 9:30 a.m. or 11 a.m.!
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER AS WE DIG INTO 1 CORINTHIANS:
- What does unity in Christ mean? How do we do put that into action together?
- What does it mean to be a new creation in Christ? How should that reality affect our daily lives?
- What is the purpose of our weekly gatherings? How are we using those to draw us close to Christ?
- What does loyalty to Jesus, first, over all other things look like, practically speaking?
- How does God want to actively use what Paul wrote to the Corinthians in your life?
WHERE WE’VE BEEN (AND WHERE WE’RE GOING) IN 1 CORINTHIANS:
1 Corinthians 1: “The Worst Day Fishing…” – September 11, 2022
1 Corinthians 2-3: “Maturity that Leads to Wisdom” – September 18, 2022
1 Corinthians 4-6: “Our Bodies as Temples” – September 25, 2022
1 Corinthians 7: “Relationships Matter: Your Identity Belongs in God” – October 2, 2022
I Corinthians 8: “Knowledge, Love, and Bearing With Each Other” – October 9, 2022
1 Corinthians 9: “In It to Win It” – October 16, 2022
1 Corinthians 10: “Black and White and Gray” – October 23, 2022
1 Corinthians 11: “All About Honor!” – October 30, 2022
1 Corinthians 12: “An Active Body” – November 6, 2022
1 Corinthians 13: “The Way of Love” – November 13, 2022
1 Corinthians 14: “For the Strengthening of the Church” – November 20, 2022
1 Corinthians 15-16: “His Victory = Our Victory” – November 27, 2022