Be The Church week 2
1 Corinthians 1:1-17
Theme: When we look into the church of Corinth we see a lot of things we can learn from! They were a messy church, but they were a church alive! As we dive into this book we can learn a lot, whether it be from their spiritual failures or whether it be from their spiritual success. The one thing we learn is that God has called the church to be the hands and feet of Jesus! And it's when the church comes together in unity and lives on mission together that God moves in the most powerful of ways! Let’s be the church!
1.. The Church Defined (V2)
How does Paul define the church? Does he define it as a building? A service? No!
When Paul defines the church he defines it as a gathering of people (locally and globally) characterized by salvation, holiness, and unity.
To Those sanctified in Christ Jesus. (Past-tense) Paul is referencing salvation here!
To be sanctified in Christ is to be purified, to be Holy, to be set apart by God for God.
The prerequisite to being a part of God’s Church is salvation.
- Not Sunday attendance.
- Not church membership.
- Not Baptism.
- Not how you were raised.
- Not how much you know.
It’s not based on what you have done, it’s based on what Christ has done!
Not only have you been made holy in God’s eyes but you’ve been called to be His holy people.
We have been called out by God for the specific purpose of reflecting Him in the world we live in. How do we do that?
- We pursue holiness
- We strive to be more like Jesus every day.
- We live differently than the world.
- We fight sin.
- We love God.
- We love people.
- We live on mission.
This is what it means to be holy: “to be set apart”
Read 1 Peter 2:9-10 and see how Peter describes the church!
V 2 “Together!”
This is a group of people who did everything together!
- They met together.
- They did life together.
- They loved God together.
- They loved one another together.
- They lived on mission together.
This is what the Gospel does! It unifies people!
This is what the Holy Spirit does! It unifies people!
This is what the Word of God does! It unifies people!
This is what the Mission of God does! It unifies people!
We won’t agree on everything, but we will agree on the most important things!
Listen to Jesus’ prayer in John 17:20-21.
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
It’s through unity that the world sees the greatness of our God and believes in Him. This is why
God takes division in the church so seriously! Satan loves division.
- Division over music
- Division over race
- Division over politics
- Division over money
- Division over certain sins
- Division caused by un-forgiveness.
- Division caused by gossip.
- Division caused by personal preferences.
- Division caused by selfishness.
Satan is at work. And the world is watching! And the world wants no part of the church because of it.
Q - What are some common misconceptions people have about the church?
Q - Salvation isn’t just being saved from something, it’s being saved to something! What are some common misconceptions people have about salvation?
Q - Are you pursuing holiness in your life so that when people see you they see Jesus?
(Living in the identity that God has given you, fighting sin in your life.)
Q - What are some ways you’ve seen division in the local church? What are some ways we can fight against it?
2.. The Work of God’s Grace in our lives (V 4-9)
The first thing that comes to Pauls's mind is the work that God’s Grace has done in the Corinthian's lives! God’s Grace does the greatest work in and through our lives. (There is no greater work.)
A.. It Enriches our Lives
Enriched can be translated filthy rich! Paul isn’t talking about money he is talking about Spiritual richness! God’s grace has enriched your life! (It’s made it better)
- It has changed the way you think.
- It has changed the way you talk.
- It has changed the way you act.
It has literally changed your life! This is what grace does! It transforms lives!
B.. It Gifts us for the church
By God’s grace, we have all been given spiritual gifts to be part of God’s church!
There are no sideline Christians in God’s Church! Every person has a purpose.
It’s God's grace that gets us on the team and it’s God’s grace that equips us to be a contributor!
C.. It Keeps us to the end
Grace calls us!
Grace saves us!
Grace grows us!
Grace seals us!
Grace keeps us to the end!
This is the most comforting promise in all of scripture! God doesn’t trade us in when we fail, but he is committed to his work in our lives!
Q - How has God’s grace enriched your life?
Q - What are some gifts that God has graced you with to better serve the church?
Q - How does God’s promise to keep you till the end compel you to live life for Him in the present?
3.. A Firm Correction (V 10-17)
The Bad News
Wait, Fights are a common thing in the church? No Way!
Every church has issues of some sort. There is no perfect church because there is no perfect person aside from Jesus! If there was a perfect church it would get jacked up the day you pulled into the parking lot!
The Good News
The church isn’t defined by our issues, it’s defined by how we respond to them!
The church of Corinth was divided over teachers. Paul reminded them that Christ wasn’t decided and urged them to focus on Christ and what He has done. Their response was to repent! (2 corinthians 7:8-10) Our response to issues should always be Godly sorrow and repentance.
Q - If Jesus showed up today, what would He correct in our church?
Q - If Jesus showed up today, what would He correct in your life?
Q - How will you respond to His correction?