Christian life is not devoid of suffering. It is not always filled with happiness. Christian life involves suffering because of the sin we carry with us, and also the sin and evil we see around us. Sometimes, this reality of suffering and hardship can be daunting. But this is where a great comfort lies, because it is God who enables us to persevere, assuring us that our suffering is momentary. In this passage, we learn how to endure suffering with eternity in mind.
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.
In our culture, Christianity is often presented as a religion of supernatural healing (from diseases, chronic illnesses) and miracles (prosperity, prevention of death, dreams and visions, tongues). It is also seen as religion of prophecy about the end times. All of these gifts are seen as the necessary manifestation of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. In this passage, we learn how the ministry of the Holy Spirit is not mainly about tongues, prophecy and supernatural healings, but of Spiritual transformation in our lives through the ordinary means which God appointed.
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.
Christianity’s message about the gospel of hope, forgiveness and eternal life is also effective when Christians maintain their integrity and uprightness. The gospel witness and our testimony is at stake when we are double-minded people who don’t live as per our profession of faith in Christ. In this passage, we learn the ways in which we can maintain our integrity so that the world would see Christ in us and glorify Him.
We start helping out each other and show acts of mercy during natural disasters, calamities and famine. This is a natural response of human beings because we are all made in the image of God; we still exhibit certain character traits that display kindness, sacrifice and generosity during difficult times. But the struggle to survive is not just against physical powers but also spiritual. There is sin in all of us that we need to fight against. 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.
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.
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.