Cross Words: Called (1 Corinthians 1:1-9)
Topic: Sermons Passage: 1 Corinthians 1:1–1:9
Welcome to Corinth! Or so the sign would say when we arrived at the city limits of the ancient Greek city of Corinth. Corinth was very much like entering Las Vegas, San Francisco, and New Orleans during Mardi Gras – all rolled into one – all year long. 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.
And this sets the stage for our new series on the Book of 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. And so I’ve entitled this series “Cross Words” and each week we’ll look at a key word from the text that makes us refocus our hearts and minds on Christ and the Cross.
There’s so much here that sounds like bad news … but will lead us to the good news. And that’s a good place to be. See you Sunday, Dr. Dave