Jealousy is unhealthy craving of those things which the other person has, but envy is being astonished and feeling bitter towards a person who possesses something which you badly want. These two emotions are just two sides of the same coin. In this passage, we learn how envy, covetousness and pride poisons us and hinders our fellowship with God and His people.
What if your hand says that there is no need of a leg? This question sounds absurd at various levels because it is impossible for a hand to function well if there’s no leg. Every part of a human body is interdependent with each other. Similarly, in this passage the Apostle Paul emphasizes the importance of preserving the diversity of the church because that’s how God intended His church to be.
For any mission to be accomplished, there needs to be peace and unity among a specific group standing for a cause. If there is no unity, the group falls apart. The disunity also weakens the individual to fulfill the mission so it is impossible to accomplish it alone. We’re hard wired to work and live in the context of community. How can such a unity be established among a group of people in the church who come from various backgrounds? This passage gives us insights into that tension.
The gift of tongues in scripture were foreign human languages given to God’s people to preach the gospel in a way that people understand in their own native languages. Are we to still pursue this gift of tongues or have they been ceased? What are its uses? Whom is it directed to, God or people? Listen to the sermon to find out.
As we enter into the new year of 2020, we often come with a sober reminder of things happened in past and things we hope would happen in the future. Our new year resolutions are filled with ideas and principles relating to prosperity either in terms of wealth, health or spiritual life; we want a rewarding life. In this passage, the Psalmist Moses reminds us of the author of our lives, which is God himself, who need to be acknowledged because our very existence depends on Him. Not only that, but our very destiny depends on Him. For Christians, God is their rewarding life!
Should we attach religious significance to food? Does the bible condemn eating certain kinds of food or does the bible condemn food offered during religious festivals? As Christians, we’re called to live among believers and unbelievers who may have very different cultural backgrounds, so imposing our views on others may not always be wise and glorifying to God. How do we handle differences without being a stumbling block to others? Listen to the sermon to find out.
When we participate in the Lord’s supper and have communal meals together, we’re not involved in empty rituals. We remember the ultimate sacrifice Christ has done for us on the cross, so we do it by faith. Not only that, but we also have fellowship with the members of the church because we have all been united in Christ. Similarly, when pagans celebrate their festivals with communal meals, they have fellowship with their pagan gods. This passage teaches us that if we partake in such pagan communal meals, we’re committing idolatry.
Christianity is not about serving ourselves but it’s about serving others. It’s about putting other people’s needs before us, it also means that we shouldn’t always insist on our rights. We have reached a passage where Paul begins to challenge believers to sacrifice those things that are unnecessarily offensive to other believers and this can even be extended to unbelievers as well. He wants Christians to make every effort to win people to Christ.
There are many obstacles in our lives that keep us from giving our full attention to God’s mission. Deep down we’re not as passionate as God is, to serve others. Our lives are mostly surrounded by career, family, entertainment, vacation etc. This is why the passage calls us to make sacrifices in our lives so that we can serve others who need Christ. This passage also calls us to suffer just like Christ, in order to reach people with good news of the gospel.
We often characterize our cultural distinctive by what we eat and drink. This is not necessarily wrong, but it goes wrong when we look down upon others because of our differences in eating and drinking. But the Apostle Paul teaches us in this passage to live in unity and be mindful of other people’s choices despite our different cultural backgrounds. Why is this unity important? Why should our Christian liberty needs to be carefully exercised? Listen to this sermon to find out.