Suffering is a result of sin and sin dwells in our lives, our hearts and in our minds. Our culture often deals with suffering by trying to avoid it, not knowing the fact that suffering is the inevitable part of life. But the bible actually encourages Christians to face suffering with faith in order to grow in Christ and to draw closer to Him, because only God is the solution for all our sufferings. In this passage, we learn how to depend on the Lord in times of suffering.
God already showed us in scriptures what it means for us to be His children, and what it costs us to follow Him. In many ways, the Cross of Jesus Christ is the way of Christian Life. He humbled Himself to the cross and sacrificed His own life for us, He suffered for our sake, He endured all kinds of rejection from His own people. In this passage, we see how the Cross becomes the model for christian life.
Pastors in the Bible are mainly called to feed God’s sheep i.e His children. In other words, they’re called to be the stewards of God’s household. But how does our culture and our society define the office of a Pastor? Do they have balanced view of Pastors? In this passage, we learn how we can avoid from Idolizing a Pastor and also to prevent ourselves from undermining the calling of a Pastor.
Resurrection is the most important truth of Christianity that sets itself apart from all other religions, because Jesus Christ was risen from the dead (no other religion can make a verifiable claim like this). If we remove this claim from the Bible, we remove any possibility of being saved; there cannot be any hope of eternal life. In this sermon, we learn how the salvation of our lives depend on Jesus Christ’s resurrection.
The Bible clearly states that causing divisions in the church is an abomination to the Lord. Christ did not die for only one person, He died for His bride i.e His Church (true believers in this world). Therefore He expects us to maintain peace, unity and harmony in the church. The problem is that we’re sinful beings, so there is always a tendency to create discord among believers either for selfish gains or because of spiritual pride. In this passage, we learn how to avoid causing divisions within the church.
In our Indian culture, to correct a leader or provide a constructive feedback to a Pastor in the church is considered offensive, and sadly many leaders in our churches are allowed to hold an unquestionable authority. In other words, people often treat Pastors like God. In this passage, the apostle Paul reminds us to not idolize pastors, leaders and deacons of the church because they cannot give life or growth to anybody, only God can!
Just as it is necessary for us to exercise regularly to remain fit and healthy, so it is with our spiritual lives. We need to exercise our faith in Christ through many spiritual disciplines that would help us grow from spiritual infancy to spiritual maturity. This also means that with spiritual growth comes greater spiritual responsibilities in our lives. In this Passage, Paul teaches us how to cultivate spiritual maturity.
The doctrine of predestination is not meant to make you proud or look down upon others, but rather, it is meant to humble you and be grateful to God. Election does not depend on your goodness or sincerity but on God’s kindness towards you. The Bible makes it very clear that man is sinful and there is nothing desirable in him. In this passage, we learn how God mercifully choosing us has many blessings attached to it.
In this passage, we learn the duties of a Christian Preacher. This is not just applicable to seminary students, pastors and scholars, but this is applicable to lay Christians as well. It’s applicable to Christians, because they’re called to protect themselves and others in the church from false teaching or even teachings that may not be related to the message of salvation. Christians are called to evaluate a Preacher’s preaching, because it’s only through proclaiming Jesus Christ and Him crucified can a person be saved, and this is the only way can a Christian grow spiritually. Gospel must be at the center of every faithful preaching.
One of the problems in Corinthian church was division, because everybody wanted to follow a public figure in order to enhance their social status and therefore people started boasting about their allegiance to different “celebrities” and causing great disunity in the church. This is when the Apostle Paul puts people in their place by reminding them of how their redemption, sanctification, wisdom and many other spiritual blessings were only found in Christ and that’s because of God’s grace alone. In this sermon, we’re reminded of how to boast (and be humble) only in Christ.