1 Corinthians 16.1-24 Follow Up May 7, 2018

On Sunday we finished up our series on the book of 1 Corinthians. What a joy it was to study this book together as a church! We tried to summarize Paul’s encouragement to the Corinthians by looking at 1 Cor. 16.1-24. In these verses Paul gives a brief summarizing exhortation surrounded by encouraging greetings that enable us to fulfill the commandments Paul gives us.

1. Summarizing Commands. In vv. 13-14 Paul calls us to  be watchful, courageous and to do all things with love. To be watchful is to be careful, diligent, and persistent in our walk with the Lord. We are called to be on guard against temptation in all the seasons of life. We need to be watchful and have courage because we, like the Corinthians, live in a world that is filled with temptation and foolishness. God calls us to his wisdom, and it takes courage to seek to please God above all else. It is important to note, however, that the call to be courageous is by no means a call to be angry and harsh. Paul wants us to do all things in love. It takes courage to stand for biblical truth which includes loving our enemies and serving one another.

2. Encouraging GreetingsPaul surrounds these last exhortations with a vast array of greetings from fellow Christians. Paul wants the Corinthians to know that while they are called to be watchful, courageous, and loving; they are not called to do this alone. The Corinthians have the local church in Corinth, godly leaders who live in their midst, other churches in Asia and Ephesus, and even other church leaders like Paul, Apollos, and Timothy. The Corinthians are connected and dependent on all of these as part of the Body of Christ. Paul then ends his letter with a reminder about God’s grace. In order to be watchful we must be dependent upon the Lord’s grace.

Even though Paul has given many commands in the book of 1 Corinthians, this last chapter really summarizes what we can take away from the book. May we all be watchful, courageous, and loving as we walk together with one another in dependence on God’s grace.

Here are the discussion questions and order of service from Sunday: 1 Cor. 16.1-24 Notes.

 

-Pastor Nathan Hogan

1 Corinthians 15.35-58 Follow Up April 30, 2018

On Sunday we finished our 3-week journey through 1 Corinthians chapter 15 as we looked at 15.35-58. In these verses Paul gives us some insight into the nature of our resurrected bodies. We often have many questions about what our bodies will be like when they are raised on the Last Day. As we looked at this text we asked, and answered, 5 questions about the nature of our resurrection bodies.

1. How will our resurrection bodies compare with our current bodies? In vv. 36-44a Paul uses some analogies in the natural world to help us gain some understanding of our future resurrection bodies. He tells us that our future resurrection will be like a seed planted in the ground. Our resurrected bodies will be very different. We need not worry about the nature of our resurrection bodies because, as Paul says, God is perfectly capable of creating bodies suited for their environments just as he has with humans, birds, fish, etc. In. vv 42-44 Paul contrasts our current bodies with our resurrection bodies in 4 key ways: 1) Our current bodies are perishable, but our resurrection bodies will be imperishable. 2) Our current bodies are dishonorable, but our resurrection bodies will be glorious. 3) Our current bodies are weak, but our resurrection bodies will be powerful. 4) Our current bodies are natural, but our resurrection bodies will be spiritual.

2. How will our resurrection bodies compare with Christ’s resurrection body? In vv. 44b-49 Paul tells us that our current bodies are made in the image of Adam and of dust, but our resurrection bodies will be made in the image of Christ’s resurrection body: heavenly. Jesus is the example of what our resurrection bodies will be like.

3. When can we expect our resurrection bodies? In vv. 51-53 Paul says that we will receive our resurrection bodies in an instant when Jesus returns.

4. Why do we need resurrection bodies? Paul gives us two reasons why our resurrection bodies are necessary: 1) Our current bodies are not suited for heaven. We need new bodies that are suited for the perfect and glorious reality of the New Heaven and the New Earth. 2) Victory over death is necessary. Paul tells us that God’s victory over death is not complete until we receive our resurrection bodies.

5. How should our future resurrection bodies impact us today? In vv. 57-58 Paul says the hope of our resurrection bodies should produce worship and steadfast obedience. Our future resurrection reminds us that what we do here and now is not in vain as we obey the Lord. This is because our bodily resurrection is just the final phase of the process of our becoming more like Christ. Even now we experience the power of the resurrection as the Holy Spirit makes us more like Jesus. This will be completed when Jesus returns and even our bodies become like His.

May the glorious truth of our bodily resurrection be used by God as a source of strength and hope as we persevere in the faith for God’s glory. If you want the discussion questions based on Sunday’s sermon and the order of service, here are the notes: 1 Cor. 15.35-58 Notes.

 

-Pastor Nathan Hogan

1 Corinthians 15.12-34 Follow Up April 24, 2018

This last Sunday we looked at 1 Cor. 15.12-34 as we continued to look at what Paul has to teach us about the resurrection. In these verses we saw three truths about our bodily resurrection as Christians.

1. We will be tempted to neglect the truth of our bodily resurrection. In v. 12 Paul says that some in Corinth did not believe in the resurrection. It does not appear they doubted the resurrection of Jesus as Paul has already said they received this message and believed in it. They may have even believed in an afterlife where our souls go to be with God. However, it appears they did not like the idea of a bodily resurrection that is promised to us in the Bible. We too often believe that eternal life is all about our souls being with God in heaven. While it is true that when we die as Christians our souls go into the Lord’s presence, this is not the ultimate goal. The ultimate goal is that our bodies will be raised just as Jesus’ body was raised. There may be any number of reasons why would we struggle with, or neglect, the truth of our bodily resurrection, but we should not be surprised when we are tempted to do this

2. There are dire consequences for neglecting our bodily resurrection. In vv. 13-19 and vv. 29-34 Paul plays a game of “What if?” He tells us all the elements of our faith that fall if there is no resurrection. If there is no resurrection for us, that means there is no resurrection of Jesus because he rose as our firstfruits. If there is no resurrection of Jesus then our whole faith falls apart. Our bodily resurrection is what fueled Paul’s ability to suffer with hope. We too can suffer with confidence in the fact that death does not have the last word over our bodies.

3. Our bodily resurrection is an essential truth. In vv. 20-28 Paul makes the point that our resurrection is part of a process that started with Jesus’ resurrection and is completed when the whole kingdom is handed over to God the Father who is all in all. For Paul, our resurrection is a necessary consequence of the fact that God must reign and rule unopposed. All enemies, including death, must be put under His feet. Our bodily resurrection is not just some optional aspect of end-times theology, it is an essential consequence of who God is.

I pray that this passage gives us joyful hope as Christians as we are reminded of the glorious truth that our bodies are not left to be defeated by death. One day they will rise in glory. Next week Paul will give us more information about the nature of this resurrection. Here are the discussion questions and order of service from Sunday:  1 Cor. 15.12-34 Notes.

 

-Pastor Nathan Hogan

1 Corinthians 15.1-11 Follow Up April 16, 2018

In 1 Corinthians chapter 15 Paul begins to address the topic of the resurrection of Jesus, and the resurrection of Christians. He begins in our text from Sunday: 1 Cor. 15.1-11. In these verses Paul gives a clear and concise summary of the Gospel message. As Christians we need to know the Gospel in order to share it with unbelievers, but we also need to know the Gospel for our own spiritual growth. In Sunday’s sermon we looked at the content and the consequences of the Gospel in 1 Cor. 15.1-11.

1. The Content of the Gospel. In verses 3-7 Paul gives a beautiful summary of the Gospel message: 1) Jesus died for our sin; 2) Jesus was buried and rose again; 3) Jesus appeared to many; 4) He did this in accordance with the Scriptures. The whole Gospel message is something that occurred outside of us. The Gospel is not something we do, but is something Jesus did for us.

2. The Consequences of the Gospel. In verses 1-2 and 8-11 Paul shows the consequences of the Gospel in the church in Corinth and in Paul’s own life. We saw that appropriate an response to the Gospel is faith. The Gospel also produces humility as Paul describes himself as “one untimely born”. He was hopeless and lost before Jesus saved him. We also saw that that Gospel produces perseverance as true faith keeps going. Paul is a vivid illustration of the power of the Gospel as Jesus saved him even though Paul was not seeking the Lord. Paul was not someone we would normally consider a likely convert. Yet, the power of the Gospel still overwhelmed Paul as the Lord appeared to him.

As Christians we are called to know the Gospel, trust in the Gospel, persevere in the Gospel, and live humble lives in light of the Gospel. May we truly be Gospel-centered believers for God’s glory!

Here are Sunday’s discussion questions and order of service: 1 Cor. 15.1-11 Notes.

 

-Pastor Nathan Hogan

1 Corinthians 14.20-40 Follow Up April 9, 2018

This last Sunday we looked at the final text in a series that addressed a number of issues related to the church gatherings in Corinth. Paul has made the case that one of the highest priorities of our worship should be to encourage and build one another up in the Lord. In 1 Cor. 14.20-40 we saw three more priorities that we should pursue in our worship together as a church.

  1. The Priority of an Intelligible Gospel. In vv. 20-25 Paul continues to correct the Corinthians in their misuse of tongues. In these verses he makes the case that tongues are obscuring the Gospel message when unbelievers come to their gatherings. Unbelievers cannot understand the tongues which means they miss the message. Paul wants the Gospel message to be clear to unbelievers so that they might hear the message, repent, and believe in Jesus Christ. We too may struggle with obscuring the Gospel message, but in different ways. We are tempted to try to avoid the hard truths of the Gospel in order not to offend people. Paul, however, wants the full Gospel message to be clear.
  2. The Priority of Good Order. In vv. 26-35 Paul addresses the problem of chaos in the worship of Corinth. People are not taking turns speaking and Paul wants all things in the church to be done decently and in good order because God is the God of peace. While Paul encourages various people to speak in the service, he also commands restraint in only having several speak. Paul wants variety and restraint for the good of the church. We too should pursue good order in our worship together. We must also guard against being legalistic with our order of worship. Paul commands order in worship, but he does not command a particular order of worship.
  3. The Priority of an Awareness that we are Members of the Universal Church. In vv. 36-40 Paul reminds the Corinthians that the Word of God did not begin or end with them. They are not the first or the last to hear the message of Jesus. They are members with all those who call upon the name of the Lord. Remembering this helps to instill humility in our hearts. We too should strive in our worship to be reminded of the fact that we are members with all those who call on the name of the Lord so that we may be humble in our worship.

I pray that these several chapters in 1 Corinthians help to encourage us as a church as we worship together on a regular basis. May we build one another up in the Lord as we pursue the priorities Paul commands. Here are the discussion questions and order of worship: 1 Cor. 14.20-40 Notes.

 

-Pastor Nathan Hogan