United the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 1-6)

“Band of Brothers: Relationships That Change the World”

As we read the final verses of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, we will notice how much he valued his relationships. Without their help, it is simply impossible to imagine how he would have been as successful in bringing the gospel throughout the Roman empire. Relationships are as vital as they are difficult, so it is especially important to keep God’s purposes in mind. Because relationships matter, we must pursue them through our relationship with Christ. A growing Christian life is a relationally connected life.

“God and Your Plans”

It’s been said that a failure to plan is a plan to fail. Whatever our goals may be, whether walking in obedience to God’s commands or living our fullness in Christ, success usually requires planning. Making plans, when done by faith, are an honor to God. In today’s passage we will learn about God and our plans and how, trusting in God’s sovereignty, we need to make our plans by faith, leaving the results to God. How do we do godly planning?

“The Victory of the Resurrection”

None of us likes to lose. In fact, just the inevitability of loss can lead to depression, discouragement, and half-hearted efforts. We ask, “Will it even matter?” A false belief was spreading among the Corinthian church, leaving them with a sense of inevitable loss – the false belief that there was no resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:12). In this one belief, they lost their hope in heaven and the immediate consequence was them beginning a pattern of immoral living (1 Corinthians 15:32-34). In order to really enjoy the blessings of God, we need to embrace the fullness of Jesus’ work. We are not left as losers in the game of life. No, Jesus’ resurrection is our victory, something that changes the way we live. Today we want to look at the victory of the resurrection.

“The Resurrection Body”

What will our bodies be like when we get to heaven? The question only grows in our imagination as our body groans under the weight of our weakness of sickness, injury and aging (Romans 8:23). The Bible promises that every believer shall be resurrected one day to a “glorified body” in the Lord. What will that body be like? (1 Corinthians 15:35) That’s what we want to look at today.

“The Difference the Resurrection Makes”

Just as you can’t take apples out of apple pie and still have apple pie, you can’t take the resurrection out of the Christian faith and still have the Christian faith. The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is essential to true Christian faith. Like modern liberal churches, some in the church of Corinth claimed that resurrection was impossible, even as they tried to hold to the Christian faith. Our passage today shows that the resurrection is an essential conviction of the faith, and it is something we must receive, embrace, and live in light of. Why does the resurrection matter?

“The Power of the Gospel”

If we are going to effectively solve our problems, we have to get to the source. Just bouncing from symptom to symptom will not solve problems; we need to get at the root. For the last 9 months, we have been looking at the problems in the church at Corinth. Today we start on the final problem: their misunderstandings of the gospel, particularly the resurrection of Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:12). What if this problem was behind all of the rest? Today we will see how the gospel is the power for living, and the power behind solving our problems. What is the gospel?

“The Power of Our Words”

Words have an enormous power to affect our lives. Negative or false words wound the spirit and mislead. Positive words of truth of love have the power to build in courage and love. Words matter. Our Christian walk and testimony must be built upon the Word of God. What happens when the use of words is replaced by experiences? This was happening in the church in Corinth as the ministry of intelligible words was being replaced by the unintelligible experience of speaking in tongues (1 Corinthians 14:1-2). In this passage, we learn how understandable words are necessary for making disciples and confronting the conscience.

“Love Is the Goal”

Who is the most loving person you know? What is it that makes them so loving? The church in Corinth was divided and disrupted by people who thought they had it all. They were missing something very important–love. Because God is love (1 John 4:8), our Christian faith is best demonstrated in the way we love. Love is the goal, not supernatural experiences, not our own comfort, or increasing our own glory. What is the value of

“The Body of Christ”

We go to the doctor because our personal well-being depends on each part of our body being healthy. If just one part of our body is unhealthy, or missing, it affects everything else. It’s the same thing in the church. In fact, the church is described as a “body”, made up of many parts (1 Corinthians 12:12-14). Each one of us is a part of the whole, and we need to be concerned about the whole of the body, and not just our own life. As an interconnected body, we must care for each member as critical for the health of the whole. A healthy body needs the involvement of all the parts. Our passage can be compared to a doctor’s visit where the physician checks the health of our body. How do we have a healthy church?

“The Gift of the Holy Spirit”

One of the many conflicts in the church at Corinth was over spiritual gifts. Spiritual gifts are abilities the Holy Spirit gives believers when they believe in Jesus Christ. In this controversy, people who had certain gifts were treated as more spiritual than others and those without were treated like a spiritual underclass. Our passage today shows us that there is no spiritual underclass among God’s people, but God has poured out His grace by giving the Holy Spirit to every believing Christian in the church. Through this, He has made unspiritual people spiritual. Where do we see the Holy Spirit active in our lives?