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.
In our first part under this topic, we learnt that the Lord has instituted His church with certain organizational structure which includes ‘Church Discipline’, operated through pastors, elders and deacons to counsel, rebuke, correct and guide us towards righteousness. In this passage, we learn how church discipline shouldn’t be practiced, and also what kind of response should we display when the elders, pastors and deacons work to restore our joy in the Lord.
We live in a culture which promotes freedom from accountability, regulations, rules etc. But in Christianity, the church cannot be sustained without certain organisational structure. The Lord has instituted His church with certain structure, operated through pastors, elders and deacons to counsel, guide, correct, rebuke and restore the congregation or an individual towards righteousness. This function is often referred to as Church Discipline. It is one of those essential marks of a healthy church. In this passage, we learn the nature of Church Discipline and why Christians need it.
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!
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.
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.