August 18, 2019
SELF-EXAMINATION AND THE LORD’S SUPPER Paul rebuked the Corinthians for coming to the Lord’s table without treating one another as members of the Lord’s body. Their disunity and selfish behavior flew in the face of the sacrifice of Christ which the Lord’s Supper represents. He challenged them to first “examine” themselves before taking communion. Self… Read more »
August 13, 2019
OUR FREEDOM TO LIVE IS LIMITED BY OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO LOVE Our freedom in Christ does not relieve us of our responsibility to consider others, especially new believers. In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he was concerned about those who felt free to eat meat offered to idols without consideration of those who would be… Read more »
August 7, 2019
STOP BOASTING ABOUT YOUR CHURCH AND START BOASTING ABOUT CHRIST Have you been boasting about your pastor or church to someone? Is it a member of another local church? Stop. If both are gospel preaching, gospel believing churches, then both already belong to you. For both belong to Christ. Everything already belongs to you because… Read more »
August 6, 2019
WHAT WE CAN KNOW Have you ever been asked how you can know that God has saved you? The question may come from someone who lacks assurance of salvation themselves, so they want to understand from where you get your confidence. Or the question may come from an agnostic who wishes to challenge the basis… Read more »
August 5, 2019
TALKING TO OTHERS ABOUT JESUS Why is it easier to invite someone to church than it is to invite them to follow Jesus? Talking about church is not the most comfortable thing in our modern culture. It signals a shift in our everyday generic conversation with neighbors and coworkers, for it moves from that which… Read more »
August 4, 2019
DOES EVERY CHURCH HAVE EVERY SPIRITUAL GIFT IT NEEDS? Paul told the Corinthian church that it already had every spiritual gift that it needed. Is this true for every church? Does God give every local body of believers every spiritual gift that they need to stand faithful until Christ’s return? Perhaps it is an overstatement… Read more »
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.
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).
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?
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.