Paul ends his letter with common every day stuff: travel plans, greetings, notes about a collection, and a few final exhortations. The ordinariness of his requests reminds us that the Christian life is actually filled with the mundane, common stuff of life. Every Christian is called to the live out the extraordinary gospel message in the context of ordinary life.
Paul takes up the topic of the resurrection, a reality which some Corinthians were apparently denying. Evidence helps us to corroborate our theories whether in the science lab, the court room, or in the church. So if there is a resurrection, what kind of evidence should we expect? What should our lives and our churches look like?
1 Corinthians chapters 12 through 14 are a unit in which Paul takes up the topic of gifts given by the Holy Spirit. This sermon is a review covering material from the last month of sermons on the topic of spiritual gifts.
If God is not a God of disorder and chaos then our gatherings in worship and our private lives should reflect that fact. In the final analysis, both we ourselves and the outside world should be able to clearly see that the Lord is in charge of our church and not the spirit of the age.
Paul tells the church that prophecy is to be desired over speaking in tongues because prophesies edify the church. But what does prophecy look like in the NT? This message briefly explores some of the differences of OT prophecy and NT prophecy as well.
The famous love text is set in the midst of discussion on spiritual gifts. Paul tells the Corinthians that the gifts serve a very temporary purpose in the “in-between” times before Christ’s return, but love will endure.
Paul takes up spiritual gifts. Much like in the time of Corinth, today spiritual gifts are sources of division within the church body instead of unifying sources of grace and blessing. Every believer has a gift and it was given for the “common good.” We should not deprive the people of God of our gifts, but use them in love.
Paul takes up Corinthian abuses at the Lord’s Supper. The Corinthian’s behavior is so bad at this meal in fact, Paul says that it is no longer worthy to be called the “Lord’s Supper.” The Supper is intended to proclaim the Lord’s sacrificial death, instead, their meals just reflect the values of the pagan culture around them.
For reasons unbeknownst to us, Corinthian women were flouting social conventions that were bringing shame upon their “heads”. Paul says the offense was as serious as a man wearing pagan headress while praying or prophesying to God. We learn from this text that even culture can be a place from which Christians should take their cues on certain issues.