August 10, 2015
After Paul gave a list of sinful lifestyles that would keep people from inheriting the kingdom of God (i.e. “fornicator, idolater, adulterer, homosexual…”), he reminded the Corinthians that many of them were once marked by these names. But no longer. Since receiving Jesus as Lord, they had new identities, new names. Their sin was washed away, their clothes of shame were replaced with sanctified holy ones, and their names were changed to “child of God” as they were justified and adopted into God’s family. Stop calling yourself by an old name. Stop reducing yourself to an identity that only describes your sin. Instead, receive your new name and identity in Christ, and walk in it.
August 8, 2015
Paul called himself a “steward of God’s mysteries” (1 Cor. 4:1). A steward is a manager who serves on behalf of the owner. Managers in business are judged by their success. But Paul said that stewards of God are judged by their faithfulness. In God’s Kingdom, faithfulness is success. It’s not how much or how many you have, but what you do with what you have. The world teaches us to want more and to keep raising the bar for success. Yet, the Lord asks us what we have done with what we already have. The Lord is looking to find one that is faithful.
August 7, 2015
Paul compared witnessing with planting. The one who sows and waters is the witness and the seed is the gospel. Yet, the seed comes from God and only He can make it grow. This removes both the pressure of success and the temptation to take credit. As the late Bill Bright used to say, “Success in witnessing is simply taking the initiative to share the message of Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results up to God.”
August 6, 2015
The “natural” person is one who has not been born again spiritually. They are unregenerate and already dead in their sins. That is to say, they are spiritually dead. And so, they are dead to the things of the Spirit. Their spiritual deadness accounts for their spiritual deafness and blindness. Only being raised to new life will open their ears and eyes to understand spiritual things. No amount of argument or persuasion will wake the dead. Only the saving power of God’s gospel of grace received through faith will bring them to life.
August 25, 2014
As Paul closed his letter to the Corinthians, he reminded them of many people who had served them in the church. As he listed several of these Christian workers by name, he encouraged the believers at Corinth to willingly submit to their leadership and to show them appropriate appreciation for their hard work. One of the marks of the body of Christ is that we are not to look down on those who serve among us. Instead, we are to applaud their service. Who is someone that serves in your life that deserves your appreciation today?