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1 Corinthians 8: Our Knowledge, Our Love, Our Rights Print E-mail

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When I was a youth minister in college, I was approached one Sunday night by an older lady in the church who said that she needed to speak with me. We went into my office and I could tell that she was struggling with exactly what to say. She told me that she was concerned about something that I was doing as the youth minister and she wanted me to consider a change. What was the issue that prompted this discussion? She was concerned at my wearing shorts to church on Sunday nights. When you hear that, where does your mind go? If I remember correctly, mine probably started listing off all the reasons why what I wore to services was no big deal, especially shorts on a Sunday night. I probably had a whole theological dissertation written in my head about how shorts would help me reach out to lost teenagers and that she would need to produce some Scripture that addressed the way I dressed. But God in His kindness and grace kept me from saying all that. And you know why? Because I really did love this dear sister in the Lord. We didn’t agree on this issue, but that did not change how I felt about her as a person. Through God’s grace, love triumphed in that situation. (I wish I could say the same about all of the other similar situations I have had).

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 17 November 2015 )
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1 Corinthians 7:17-40: Identity with Christ Print E-mail

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Your identity with Christ transcends all others. Whether you are black or white, rich or poor, old or young, who you are in Christ is more important. People place great importance on these issues and go to great lengths to protect or secure a certain identity. Recently, there was a lady in the news, Rachel Dolezal who convinced people that she was African American because she felt like she identified with that race. She lied about her race for years and was able to become the leader of an NAACP chapter in Washington. She went to great lengths to change her identity because she seemingly wanted to fight for racial equality. She thought that the best way to accomplish this was to attempt to change her own identity.  Whether you are talking about race or something else, it is obvious that identity is important to people. But for the Christian, our identity as followers of Christ transcends all of these others, including singleness or marriage.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 29 October 2015 )
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1 Corinthians 7:1-16: To the Married and Unmarried Print E-mail

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The gospel has more to say about marriage and singleness than we often realize. It is not good news for part of our lives, but the good news for all of our lives. We have seen already in 1 Corinthians how the gospel applies to division, wisdom, lawsuits, and sexuality. In response to a letter than apparently the Corinthians had sent him, Paul will go on to write about how the gospel applies to marriage and singleness (ch. 7), idolatry (ch. 8-10), worship (ch. 11-14), and our understanding of resurrection (ch. 15). And this is just one letter in the New Testament. The truth is that there is no situation or circumstance or experience to which the gospel does not apply. The good news is meant for every inch of our lives.

Last Updated ( Monday, 19 October 2015 )
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1 Corinthians 6:12-20: Glorify God with Your Body Print E-mail

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Christians have consistently struggled with the topic of the human body. Many heresies have arisen due to faulty understandings of the spiritual and the physical. For example, the Gnostics taught that all matter, including the body, is evil. The Manicheans taught a similar idea concerning the body, along with the followers of Marcion. These heresies all rested on the Greek idea of dualism: the spirit/soul is good while the material/body is evil. The idea that matter is evil led these groups to develop unbiblical ideas concerning God, Christ, man, and salvation. For example, if all matter is evil, then how could God really come in the flesh? Such ideas led to false teaching on the nature of Christ (fully divine, but not fully human).

Last Updated ( Friday, 16 October 2015 )
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1 Corinthians 6:1-11: Brothers at Court? Print E-mail

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Americans are obsessed with defending their rights. So many of the issues that are prevalent right now in our country and our government deal with the rights of individuals. Who has the right to marry? Who has the right to life? Who has the right to be a citizen? The truth is, we should all be thankful for the rights that we do enjoy as Americans, and there is a responsibility that we have to preserve and fight for rights when justice demands it. Yet, as Christians, we have to keep in mind another important truth about our rights: we have laid them down at the foot of the cross. Our rights belong to King Jesus and we use them in the service of His Kingdom. Following a Savior who freely gave His life away at the cross to save sinners like us will have certain implications on our lives and our rights. We belong to Him and He has commanded us to lay down our lives for one another. Taking up our cross means laying down our rights.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 07 October 2015 )
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1 Corinthians 5: Desperate for Discipline Print E-mail

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“Tolerance is loving.” At least that is what our current culture wants us to believe. To point out sin is unloving. To hold people to certain standards is legalistic. And to tell someone that what they are doing is wrong is judgmental. This is what our culture is teaching. Of course, if those ideas were simply the approach of those living outside the Church, then as difficult as it will prove to be, it would not necessarily be a threat to the health of the local body of believers. Yet, when those ideas are believed and taught in the Christian community, then we are rapidly moving away from God and His Word of absolute truth. Tolerance is not just unloving or unwise in the Church, it is deadly.

Last Updated ( Monday, 19 October 2015 )
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