August 10, 2014
When Paul wrote this to the Corinthians he was primarily addressing the problem of sexual sin that was so prevalent in their culture. Believers were to live differently than the culture around them. This was not a call to an outward asceticism, but a reminder of an identity change. They were no longer slaves to sin, but slaves to Christ. Their bodies were purchased by His blood and had become God’s holy temple where His Spirit dwelled. This word is as relevant today as it was then. We are no longer to be identified by our sexual orientation or sinful enslavement, for we have been bought out from under sin’s mastery. We have a new Master and a new identity in Christ.
August 8, 2014
Paul rebuked the Corinthians who claimed to be followers of Paul or Apollos. He was not interested in the approval of men. His desire was to be found faithful by the Lord Jesus. He saw no value nor credibility in the evaluation of others or even his own self-evaluation. He recommended that we all wait until the Lord’s return to see what secret motives would be revealed and what praise offered. In the meantime, stop comparing one brother or sister with another. After all, anything good comes from God. And in the end, Christ deserves all the praise.
August 7, 2014
The Church is the people, not the steeple. And the One who holds them together and makes them one is the Holy Spirit of God. Remembering this, we work to build up people rather than places or programs. God’s strategy for the Kingdom is making disciples.
August 7, 2014
Paul uses a farming analogy to compare 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 Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God.”
August 5, 2014
It is God’s plan that the “message of the cross” should enliven human hearts, yet it is also that which certifies that others are already dead. We often try human wisdom to reason and persuade, but it is the gospel alone that saves. And it is the gospel that reveals others to be lost. Only the message of the cross has the power to show we are already dead in our sins before making us alive in Christ. This message is a stumbling block to some and foolishness to others, but to us who believe it is the very power of God.
August 24, 2012
Paul teaches us about the resurrection body. He compares it to sewing a seed in the ground. The seed dies, but a new living plant sprouts from the earth. Jesus is the firstborn from among dead. His resurrection body is the prototype. Someday we will be like Him.