Cross Word: Community (1 Corinthians 16:1-24)
Topic: Sermons Passage: 1 Corinthians 16:1–16:24
This Sunday, we come to the end of First Corinthians (or as someone else called it, Fist Corinthians). We’ve seen a church struggle with massive problems. When we started this series last September, I told you that “This was a city well-known for its rampant immorality and idolatry. And surrounded by people who thought they were judgmental and strange was a small church of recent converts from paganism. These new Christians found themselves struggling to learn the truths of the faith, apply them to everyday life, and live that faith out in front of others who simply hated how they lived and what they represented. To be a Christian in 1st Century Corinth was a lot like being a Christian in 21st Century America. The similarities between the Corinth of the Apostle Paul’s time and the America of our time is an important indication that there’s much for us to learn from Paul’s remarkable letter to that small church in Corinth, known to us as 1st Corinthians.”
This small church was not only struggling with harassment from outside, but was fairly dysfunctional on the inside. Paul addressed the issues of division and disunity, sexual immorality, the meaning of marriage, gross idolatry, people demanding their rights at the expense of others, the necessity of serving and encouraging one another, confusing worship, and serious doubts about the faith. And every church today has to face most, if not all, of those same issues. And yet Paul, being wise and gracious, deals with each of these issues by refocusing the people on Jesus — His life, His death, His resurrection, and the promise of His presence. Most of all, Paul reminds them of their salvation, earned by Christ on the Cross. You see, the problems they experiences, just like today, are only solved with the Gospel of Christ.
And so I entitled this series “Cross Words” and each week we’ve looked at a key word from the text that helped us to refocus our hearts and minds on Christ and the Cross. And this week the last word is “Community.” What is community? How do we get it? How do we lose it? And why is it so important. Community actually serves as a good wrap up for this book and will show us the kind of church God wants us to be.
Starting next week, we’ll begin a short topical series on “The Time of Trouble” and we’ll look at what God’s Word says about various troubles that come into our lives, such as Depression, Guilt, Temptation, Feeling Overwhelmed, Grief, and Persecution. Hard topics, but important ones, since, one way or another, they effect each and every one of us. I’m looking forward to being with you all again this Sunday, Dr. Dave