1 Corinthians

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“On the first day of each week, you should each put aside a portion of the money you have earned.” (1 Corinthians 16:2 NLT).

August 25, 2018

THE GRACE OF GIVING
Ironically, the church in Corinth, one of the most wealthy among the 1st Century churches, was the one that Paul had to do the most teaching on generosity. In the poorer churches, like the churches in Macedonia, it seemed giving came easily. They gave with such generosity that Paul was astounded, because they gave “beyond their ability” (2 Cor. 8:3) and this, with great joy and willingness. Yet, even in Paul’s second letter to the well-to-do believers in Corinth, it is obvious that they still weren’t living with generosity.

Notice Paul’s helpful instruction, he taught them…
1) When to give: every Sunday “first day”
2) Who should give: every member “you should each”
3) How much to give: a portion based on your earnings

Corinth was wealthy in every way except in generosity. They abounded in “everything–– in faith, in speech, in knowledge” (2 Cor. 8:7), yet Paul would have them abound in the grace of giving.

“Just as we are now like the earthly man, we will someday be like the heavenly man.” (1 Corinthians 15:49 NLT).

August 24, 2018

WHAT WILL OUR FUTURE BODY BE LIKE?
People today spend a great deal of money and effort on extending the youthful appearance of their bodies. Yet inevitably, our earthly bodies will age and die. This is the inheritance that we received from our father, Adam, the “earthly man.” However, those who have been born again in Christ have received a new inheritance. They have been given the Holy Spirit as a “guarantee” (Eph. 1:14) that they will also receive a new body when the dead in Christ rise at His return. This new body will be like the one that belongs to the “heavenly man,” who is Christ Jesus. He is the “firstborn from among the dead” (Col. 1:18), the prototype of our future resurrection body.

What will our future body be like? It will be like the resurrection body of Jesus. As the apostle John wrote, “Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is” (1 John 3:2).

“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” (1 Corinthians 13:7 NLT).

August 20, 2018

LOVE NEVER GIVES UP
Paul’s love chapter (1 Cor. 13) is one of the most wonderful descriptions of “agape” love found in any literature in human history. Yet, its lofty attributes are beyond mortal humanity absent the Spirit which inspired Paul’s writing. For “agape” love is God’s kind of love. It is unconditional, enduring and sacrificial. It is most fully demonstrated in that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).

God has not given up on us because agape love never gives up. “For God is love” (1 John 4:8).

Who do you know that needs God’s kind of love, the kind of love that never gives up?

“So God has put the body together… This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other” (1 Corinthians 12:25 NLT).

August 19, 2018

EVERY SPIRITUAL GIFT NEEDED IS PRESENT IN THE LOCAL CHURCH
It is the Lord that gives out spiritual gifts to those who have believed and received Jesus. He gives them to each according to His will, so that the local church has every spiritual gift it needs to function and fulfill His commission. Yet, many churches seem to limp along as if missing some key part. As a result, little harmony is seen, disunity prevails, and members fail to care for one another.

Has the Lord, who has “put the body together,” failed to give the church a necessary gift? Certainly not. The problem is that many members of the body are not putting their spiritual gifting to use in the church. Some because of ignorance or immaturity. Others because of a lack of spiritual zeal or some distracting or disabling sin area.

Church members often come to the pastor suggesting the church needs this missing ministry or that unmet service. Could it be that the person who saw the need is the one that the Lord has gifted and called to fulfill it? After all, the church is us! It’s the people, not the steeple! If the church is missing something, isn’t it because someone in the church isn’t being the member of the body that God called them to be?

Do you know why the Lord has put you in the local body of Christ? Are you fulfilling His purpose for your life in a way that makes for harmony in the church and cares for others? If the church is missing some ministry, perhaps it’s because you are not answering His call.

“So, my dear brothers and sisters, when you gather for the Lord’s Supper, wait for each other” (1 Corinthians 11:33 NLT).

August 18, 2018

OUR UNITY IN CHRIST AND THE BREAKING OF BREAD
The divisions within the Corinthian church were especially on display during the Lord’s Supper. This is ironic and particularly troubling because the breaking of bread was to be both a reminder of their oneness in Christ and with one another as His body. The Corinthians were apparently having an Agape (“Love”) Feast, which would have been a full meal, that concluded with a remembrance of the Lord’s Supper. This is a beautiful practice and mirrors somewhat the Passover feast. However, the wealthy and well-to-do members of the church were apparently not waiting on its poorer members to arrive before beginning the meal. Some were overeating and even getting drunk on the wine, so that most of the food and drink was gone before the poor arrived. Paul was infuriated at news of their behavior and rebuked them to remember that they were all the family of God because of Christ’s sacrifice.

Those who remember Christ in the breaking of bread together are reminded of His sacrifice for them, but they are also reminded of their relationship to one another as brothers and sisters in God’s family. The practice of breaking bread together is a crucial devotion for those that would experience the fellowship of the Spirit of Christ.