1 Corinthians 1-6
Paul preached ‘Christ crucified’ with a determination ‘to know nothing except Jesus Christ crucified’(1:23; 2:2). This is the message of our salvation. All the glory belongs to God: ‘Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord’ (1:31). We come to know God when ‘the Spirit’ leads us to ‘Jesus Christ’ (2:10-13; 3:11; John 16:14). Pleasing God - this is the most important thing (4:1-4). ‘The kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power’ (20). We’re not just to ‘say the right words’. We must be the right people. ‘Your boasting is not good’ - May we never become so taken up with ourselves that we forget Jesus Christ and all that He has done for us: ‘Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us’, ‘you were washed... sanctified... justified in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God’ (5:6-7; 6:11). Let it be more of Christ and less of self!
1 Corinthians 7-9
Some are under pressure, at home, from an unbelieving husband or wife. You wonder whether your Christian witness is doing any good (7:16). You feel yourself being dragged away from the Lord. What does the Word of God say? - ‘Lead the life which the Lord has assigned’; ‘Remain with God’ (7:17,24). Our choices affect other people We harm other people ‘for whom Christ died’. They look to us for a godly example and we let them down. (8:11-13; Matthew 18:5-7, 10). Are we to become preoccupied with how our actions affect those who watch our every move? That could become very confusing and distracting. We must keep our eyes on Jesus. We must live ‘not ... as men-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart...’ (Ephesians 6:6-7). ‘If I preach the Gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting’ (16). Paul did not want to draw attention to himself. He wanted to bring people to Jesus.
1 Corinthians 10-13
‘Participation in the blood of Christ… participation in the body of Christ’ (10:16): We’re not to be spectators. We’re to be participants - getting to know the Lord Jesus Christ, growing in our love for Him, strengthening our faith in Him, bringing more glory to Him. ‘Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the Church of God and humiliate those who have nothing?’ (11:22). We rejoice in John 3:16 - ‘God so loved the world…’. Let’s not forget 1 John 3:16-18 - ‘let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in truth’. The ‘gifts of the Spirit’ are ‘given for the common good’ (12:4-7). When self raises its ugly head - ‘It’s my way or no way at all’, let’s not forget the ‘still more excellent way’ (12:31). It is the way of love - Christ’s love! Lord, send a revival – a revival of love!
1 Corinthians 14-16
‘Be eager to prophesy’ (14:39). Preaching God’s Word to the people is important. It is not everything. It is to be accompanied by prayer and praise. We look back to Christ’s resurrection (15:20). We look forward to our own resurrection. We will be ‘raised’ - ‘imperishable… in glory… in power… a spiritual body’ (15:42-44). Looking back to His resurrection and looking forward to our own resurrection, we are to live, here and now, in ‘the power of His resurrection’ (Philippians 3:10). We believe the fact of the resurrection. We live in the power of the resurrection. We rejoice in the hope of the resurrection. With ‘resurrection’ faith in the ‘resurrection’ God, let us live the ‘resurrection’ life as a ‘resurrection’ people! In Christ, there is ‘victory’ - glorious, eternal, heavenly victory (15:54-57). Every day, we face a battle.Trust the Lord, love Him, serve Him (16:13,22; 15:58). We shall be victorious through ‘the grace of the Lord Jesus’ (16:23).