Church history has a record of martyrdom so prevalent that a person’s genuine faith in Christ was verified by how much they were willing to suffer and be persecuted for Christ sake while witnessing for Him every second of their lives. So, what kind of character traits should a Christian show forth in the church and in the world especially in times of spiritual adversity? Listen to the sermon to learn the marks of a healthy Christian.
Pleasing God is not an everyday word. It’s an idea that has little value in our self-focused, instant-gratification world. Regardless of trends, culture, or opinion, pleasing God through obedience—remains a vital part of our journey with Christ. In this passage, we learn what motivations we need to have in order to lead a life pleasing to Christ.
Jesus Christ commissioned His Apostles to go around the world to preach the gospel and make disciples. It is not just for the Apostles to do this job (obviously because they’re not here), but every Christian is called to witness for Christ and be a disciple maker in some capacity. In this passage, we learn what kind of attitude and motives we are all called to have, in order to stand for Christ and serve His people.
Any church community’s institutional stability and solid spiritual growth is always dependent on its mature and effective leadership committee. If there are no godly Christian men who are equipped to handle the Word of God and the saints, the church would collapse immediately. In this passage, Paul describes what it means to be a Godly Christian leader called by God to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ and to suffer for His name sake.
Any church community’s institutional stability and solid spiritual growth is always dependent on its mature and effective leadership committee. If there are no godly Christian men who are equipped to handle the Word of God and the saints, the church would collapse immediately. In this passage, Paul explains what it means to be a genuine Christian leader called by God to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ and to suffer for His name sake.
‘Decree’ literally means to order something that comes to pass. Christianity rests on the truth about God’s eternal decrees concerning the salvation of men, and controlling all that happens in this universe. Everything is predestined by God. As R.C Sproul once said – “What predestination means, in its most elementary form, is that our final destination, heaven or hell, is decided by God not only before we get there, but before we are even born. It teaches that our ultimate destiny is in the hands of God.” In this sermon, we meditate on the doctrine of God’s Sovereign and unconditional election which was decreed much before the world began.
The gift of tongues was a supernatural gift given by the Holy Spirit to God’s chosen servants to speak in foreign human languages for the sake of preaching the gospel. The gift of prophecy on the other hand was a word of God spoken by a prophet under the divine authority of God to His people. The Corinthian church misused both of these gifts for their own popularity and brought chaos and confusion in the public worship of God. In this passage, we learn the how the gift of tongues and prophecy were used in the early church and the practical way Paul commands to handle these gifts in the church.
The gift of tongues in the Bible always referred to foreign human languages. God’s servants and His apostles were given special authority and power through the Holy Spirit to speak in foreign languages which they have not learned, for the sake of advancing the gospel in other parts of the world. In the Corinthian church, people were misusing this gift of tongues to elevate themselves as super spiritual Christians appearing to have high status in God’s sight than those who don’t speak in tongues. In this passage, we see how the apostle Paul handles this tension and discrimination in the church and the solution he provides.
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.