1 Corinthians 1- Christ Crucified

Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:; 1 Corinthians 1:20-22

Recently me and Fred had a discussion on the Church, “What can we do to bring more people to the Church”? My answer was simply, preach the gospel. This seems to be too simple to be true, right? We live in a fast paced, high-tech world, and people want programs or entertainment, to entice them into the Church building. What good does this do, for us to bring people into a building and they still are not saved?

As the Apostle Paul says here “Has God not made foolish the wisdom of the world” As Christians we think we need to have all the answers, we educate ourselves on science and history, so we can respond to the atheists and skeptics. However what we simply need to preach is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Christ died for our sins, Christ rose from the dead on the 3rd day, Christ is coming back again.

But the world scoffs at the gospel of Christ, this doesn’t make any sense to the wisdom of the world, why? Because the world needs to understand it’s depraved state. Until someone understands the are a sinner deserving of Hell, they will never understand their need for a Savior. 

Notice as Paul says “It pleases God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” The world believes the gospel is foolishness therefor rejects it, but to those who are Born Again, it’s the power of God

 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 1 Corinthians 1:23-25

The Bible says “We preach Christ crucified”, so how do we fix the Churches? We preach Christ crucified! How do we answer the atheist or skeptic? We preach Christ crucified! The foolishness of God is wiser than man! Those who reject the gospel, reject their salvation, it’s that simple

But we try to make this more complex than it needs to be, so we have Christians arguing with each other on social media everyday trying to be wiser than the other. What is gained for Gods Kingdom? Nothing! What would be gained if all these people preached the gospel to the unsaved? It would change the world! Amen!

1 Corinthians 1- Preaching of the Cross

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 1 Corinthians 1:18-19

Why do some people receive the gospel of Jesus Christ with repentance and become changed by the Holy Spirit, while others reject the gospel and consider it foolishness? It’s very simple, it’s all about the condition of the heart. Those whose hearts are hardened, will never receive the good news of Jesus, until the Holy Spirit opens their spiritual eyes and ears. Until someone understands and recognizes their state of depravity, they will never understand their need for a Savior

This is why preaching is considered “spiritual farming”, The word of God is the seed, and we plant the seeds to the soil, just as a farmer would do. Some soil is better than others, some the seed will take root, and the Holy Spirit will work in them to give them a new heart and a new mind. While others will reject the seed, and it will be choked out among the weeds and thorns

So how does a depraved person try to justify their lifestyle? By using the “wisdom of the world”, it’s not really wisdom at all, it’s an explanation to try and legitimize their sins. For example, the wisdom of the world will tell you , you’re a descendant of a monkey, and therefore you have animal-like instincts and desires. So when a person engages in carnal activities, they can justify it by their animal instincts.

But the reality is, we are made in the image of God, we were set apart from animals, we have a conscience, we know right from wrong, therefore God expects us to behave better because we know better. However by acknowledging this, then the person has accountability for their actions and lives. This is why the world rejects God and rejects the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

However those who are called by God, the preaching of the cross, the gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God, why? Because it’s the only way to salvation, it’s the only way to be reconciled back to God our Father. So the wisdom of the world will try anyway it can to persuade people to live in their sin and reject Christ. 

As it is written, God will destroy the wisdom of the wise, as the world was defeated at the cross through Jesus Christ our Lord , Amen!

1 Corinthians 1- Unite in Christ

Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:10-12

Since the beginning of time, there has been problems in the Church. Anytime you get a group of people together, there is always going to be conflicts and issues. That’s why Paul here urges the Church to “that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind” How did it work out? Well currently we have over 40,000 different denominations, including Catholicism and Orthodox.

So we know that there are alot of things that divide us, such as for example a Catholic and a Protestant, have alot of theological differences that keeps them from worshiping together. However let’s focus on what we do have in common, what do we all have in common with other Christians? Jesus Christ our Lord , Christ died for our sins, and Christ rose again on the 3rd day as according to the scriptures, and Christ will come again!

Many Christians like to keep arguing about tradition and theology, instead of sharing the gospel with non-believers. Back in the first century , there were believers saying they were followers of Paul, others said they were followers of Peter, and others followers of Apollos. Is this any different today? We have Christians today who are followers of the Pope, or followers of Luther, or followers of Wesley, but what about Jesus Christ?

Jesus Christ is the head of the Church, Christ is our Lord and God, not any mortal human or faith tradition. Christ should be the foundation of our faith, and also the foundation that unites us together as brothers and sisters of God

Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name. And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other. For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. 1 Corinthians 1:13-17

As the Apostle Paul states here “Is Christ divided?” No, there is only One Lord, One God, One Church, One Holy Spirit, One Faith, ect. There is not multiple Churches as we like to think here , when the Kingdom comes into full completion, there is only One bride of Christ, not multiple brides. If you hate your Catholic, Luthern, Baptist, brothers and sisters, then you need to repent and get over it, Christ is Lord of All, Amen!

1 Corinthians 1- Thank God

I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: 1 Corinthians 1:4-6

How are we saved? Seems like a basic and simple question, yet many seem confused about the process. The truth of the matter is, we are only saved by Christ alone. Being baptized as a baby didn’t save you, being a member of a Church didn’t save you, repeating the sinners prayer didn’t save you, it was the works of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit that saved you

As the Apostle Paul says here “For the grace of God, which is given you by Jesus Christ” You didn’t receive or earn grace by any merit of your own. The fact is, if it was up to us to “earn our salvation” we would all fail. We would all be deservingly headed to Hell. Most people don’t want to admit and accept this, but when you understand this, then you can truly be thankful to God, for the salvation given to us by our Lord Jesus Christ, which we never deserved but God loves us anyway

When we are “Born Again” in Christ, there should be evidence of our conversion. As Paul continues to say “The testimony of Christ was confirmed in You”, how do people know if you’re a “true” Christian, by our fruit. As Jesus said “You will be known by your fruits” (Matthew 7:16) This is not about “earning your salvation” this is about producing fruits of the Holy Spirit

So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:7-9

So how do we become Born Again? How do we produce spiritual fruits? It’s by the Holy Spirit living inside of us, as Paul says here “You come behind or don’t lack any spiritual gift” We are equipped to walk in The Lord because we are equipped with the Holy Spirit. As a Born Again believer , you are the temple of God and the Holy Spirit is living inside of us

Did we choose Christ? No Christ choose us, as Paul says here “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord” You were elected and chosen to be saved in Christ Jesus. 

So next time you think about being saved in Christ, Thank God! When you think about the forgiveness of your sins, Thank God! As you continue in sanctification, Thank God, and as we wait for the Kingdom of Heaven to reign fully, Thank God, Amen!

Colossians 4- We Are The Church

Tychicus, a beloved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord, will tell you all the news about me. I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that he may know your circumstances and comfort your hearts, With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here. Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister’s son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;) And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These only are my fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me. Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis. Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you. Colossians 4:7-14

Often when we think about Paul’s Epistles and all the Churches he has helped plant, we don’t think about all the workers behind the scenes that helped make this happen. The Apostle Paul was a great teacher, preacher, and writer, however has was just a human , just like us. He wouldn’t have been able to accomplish anything , of course without God, but also without the rest of the body of Christ, the Church, his brothers and sisters in The Lord

Here we see Paul list several names just for the Church of Colosse, some recognizable like Luke and Barnabas. And some other not so familiar names like Tychicus and Onesimus. However, every one of these Christians played a vital role in building Gods Kingdom, because everyone of them are part of the body of Christ.

Paul does some extensive teaching on the roles in the Church , such as 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, Ephesians 4, ect. As Paul has stated, the hand is not greater than the foot, and vice versa. Everyone in the body of Christ, the Church, has a role and purpose. Nobody is greater than anyone else.

As Jesus said “Whoever desires to be great, must become your servant” (Matthew 20:26) This should be the attitude of the Church, its not about me , its all about we. Even in my own life, I noticed when I collaborate with other Christians, the Holy Spirit seems to be working more effectively. When we break off and try to accomplish things on our own, we struggle and usually fail. The body of Christ was meant to live and work together, not to separate and compete.

I love reading this acknowledgement from Paul of every brother and sister’s hard work and dedication to the Kingdom of God. As the Bible says “a three strand cord is not easily broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12) We are the Body of Christ, We are the Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it in Jesus name , Amen!

Colossians 4- Continue in Prayer

Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven. Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.   Colossians 4:1-4

The late Leonard Ravenhill once said “No man is greater than their prayer life” Prayer needs to be central to our existence. Typically people who are uncomfortable praying in public or for others, is because they have a weak prayer life. How can you expect to have a relationship with God, if you never pour your heart out to him? Prayer should be like oxygen for our soul, it’s not an option whether to pray , it’s vital to our spiritual health

The Apostle Paul says here “Continue in prayer or devote yourselves to prayer” Prayer is foundational for our daily life. Before we do anything we should pray about it. Before we leave the house we should pray, before we begin our work we should pray, before we got to sleep , we should pray. Prayer should be central to our daily lives. How do we know the will of God without prayer? 

Paul also asks the Church to pray for them “Praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door” Before we read our Bible, we should pray that the Holy Spirit gives us wisdom and understanding. Before we interact with others, we should pray the Holy Spirit gives us the words to speak. The Lord should be leading and guiding our lives, as Christ is our Good Shepherd

Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. Colossians 4:5-6

Paul instructs the Church, when you share the gospel with others, make sure your speech is “seasoned with salt”, what does he mean by this? If you’re going to be a street preacher, then you need to know what you’re talking about. You need to be able to effectively convey the gospel of Christ, without hostility or rudeness. How do we go about being prepared? Have a strong prayer life, ask the Holy Spirit to give you the words to speak, and the ability to understand God’s wisdom. Read your Bible daily with the Helper, the Holy Spirit

If you want to know why God feels so distant or you don’t understand the will of God, ask yourself “How strong is my prayer life”? Time spent with God in prayer and reading of his word, is never time wasted. Everything we do, continue in prayer daily, without ceasing , in Jesus name Amen!