Archive for the ‘1 Corinthians’ Category

December 10th, 2015

The Gospel is of First Importance

“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you–unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures…” 1 Corinthians 15:1-3 (ESV)

The Church has one message: the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are to continually proclaim the substitutionary work of Christ on the cross for our sins and His unique ability to do so. We are further to proclaim His resurrection from the dead, demonstrating not only His atoning work but also His victory over every effect of sin including death. Every single issue we face as fallen humanity can be faced with the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ!

The danger for us is that we think if we talk about the gospel too much that people will grow tired of hearing it. We think we have to help the gospel out by making it flashier or more relevant. My friend, be weary of this trend, for the gospel has never been in danger of being irrelevant. No, as in the time of Paul, it is still of first importance. Do you have bitterness in your heart toward someone who wronged you? Look at the message of the gospel and seek to forgive as Christ forgave. Do you have strife in your marriage? Strive to be gracious to one another as Christ was gracious to us. Do you have a loved one in the midst of a terminal illness? Remember that Christ has overcome the grave, removing the sting from death!

When the Church stops proclaiming the gospel, it will have forfeited its power, for only in the gospel do we have anything of significance to say. Speak forward boldly this message today, delivering it as of first importance as you received it.

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Mobilization Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, December 10th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category 1 Corinthians, Christ, Gospel.
Interact No Comments
December 9th, 2015

Love Never Ends

“Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.” 1 Corinthians 13:8 (ESV)

Inherent in sinful man is the need to make himself feel superior to his fellow men. We want to be worshiped; we want to feel like we are better. This sinful need for distinction had infiltrated the Corinthian Church, and members within the church were arguing over who had the greatest gift. Was prophecy the greatest gift? Or was tongues preferable? The uproar was causing strong division and Paul spoke boldly into the contentious situation, reminding the people of God about the purpose of these gifts. All gifts are meant to edify the Church. Gifts are meant to build each other up, and the second these gifts become about the individual, we have turned these God-given gifts into sinful manifestations for the glorification of man.

The core of this argument is found in 1 Corinthians 13, a passage that is so much more profound than we often notice in weddings. Love must be the motivation for the use of spiritual gifts, because love is the only component of the Church that is eternal. When Christ returns, we will no longer need prophecy, as all its objects will have been fulfilled. Further, we will not need tongues nor interpretation, as we will fellowship with God fully in His Spirit in Heaven. Love, then, should be the chief concern for us as it will be the only gift we take with us forever.

Are you concerned with how you love your fellow man? Do you genuinely love your brothers and sisters in Christ or do you simply tolerate them? This kind of love is birthed from a true love for the Lord, knowing that if we love Him, we must love others since love is from God. Seek today to love better, rejecting the tendency to compare yourself to others and build up your own image and pride.

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Mobilization Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, December 9th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category 1 Corinthians, Love, Spiritual Gifts.
Interact No Comments
December 8th, 2015

The Lord’s Supper

“When you come together, it is not the Lord’s supper that you eat. For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk.” 1 Corinthians 11:20-21 (ESV)

The Lord’s Supper, an ordinance established by Christ Himself in His last days of ministry upon the earth, is meant to be a reflection of His tremendous provision and sacrifice for the good of all of humanity. As we take the elements, both the drink and the bread, we are to remember how Christ’s body was broken for our sin and how His blood was poured out for our redemption. This event is a tremendously solemn occasion and should not be taken in vain, as doing so would communicate falsely about the most important act in all of human history.

It’s no wonder, then, that Paul reacts so strongly in our passage for today regarding the Corinthian Church’s mishandling of the supper. They were using it as a means to once again show the strong division between those who were rich and those who were poor, making the lesser of the two feel their inferiority. What act could be more contrary to the message of the gospel, in which He who was the richest of all became poor for the sake of the poor? Paul, then, says to these new believers that their supper is no commemoration at all, but rather an act of sinful indulgence.

The people of God should look different. Our rich and our poor should not have their economic status worn as a badge of either pride or shame, respectively. Rather, we must as the Church remember our common spiritual poverty before the Lord and His generous provision on our behalf. That message unites us in spite of any other earthly distinction. Commit today to see people as the Lord’s Supper intends them to be seen: men and women all in need of a glorious and generous Savior!

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Mobilization Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, December 8th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category 1 Corinthians, Gospel, The Lord's Supper.
Interact No Comments
December 7th, 2015

My Brother’s Keeper?

“Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.” 1 Corinthians 8:13 (ESV)

Christ has set us free from the burden of ritual purity. Yes, we have been called to live pure lives but that purity now comes from that of Christ imputed in us by the Holy Spirit. Our holiness and standing before God, then, is not threatened by the ingestion of created things declared impure by the law. The problem in Paul’s day, however, as see in the Corinthian Church was that some weaker brothers, who had not yet fully grasped the concept of grace, had not arrived at this conclusion and still viewed the eating of food sacrificed to idols as a crisis of conscience, worshiping the deity to which it was sacrificed and falling back into their previous sinful behavior. Paul suggests here that as the more mature believers, we have the responsibility to refrain from a known freedom so that the weaker brother can grow into that knowledge.

How does this apply to us today? Certainly, there are various applications, but the chief concern for us should always be the spiritual growth of our brothers and sisters around us. If we know they struggle with something that we do not struggle with, we should not in spiritual pride throw that temptation in front of their face; rather, we should seek to create safe environments for them in which they can experience in greater ways the ultimately satisfying nature of Christ. Nothing that is free for us to experience is more important than the sanctification of a fellow saved sinner.

Now there is a balance here in that we cannot allow legalism to prevail as it did in the time of Christ. For those who wish to create new rules under the freedom of grace, we must stand firm in remembering the cause of our salvation. Yet, when there is a legitimate concern for a fellow brother or sister on their way to Christ-likeness, may we freely give up our freedom for the sake of their freedom and for the good of the Kingdom.

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Mobilization Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, December 7th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category 1 Corinthians, Freedom, Sanctification.
Interact No Comments
December 6th, 2015

Gratitude for Spiritual Fathers

“For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” 1 Corinthians 4:15 (ESV)

Within the family of God, our Heavenly Father has seen fit to bless us with men and women who care for us spiritually as, hopefully, our earthly parents cared for us physically. Now, I am not speaking here of every single pastor or spiritual teacher with whom you have ever crossed paths, but rather a specific person or persons who have singled you out particularly to invest in your spiritual growth. Can you think of such a person in your life? Have you sought out someone to pour themselves into you, asking you to “be imitators of me” (1 Cor. 4:16 ESV).

Think about the man or woman that the Lord has particularly placed in your life to both encourage and admonish you. Say a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord for His provision, but also take some time today to actually tell that individual how much their ministry has meant in your life. You see, this relationship goes both ways, for as it is true that your spiritual “father” loves to care for you and see you grow in your walk, it is also true that in communicating his or her value to you, you serve to encourage them to continue to pour out their lives.

Discipleship and ministry are not easy things to give your life to. They require countless hours of answering tough, life-altering questions, fighting for the purity of loved ones, and walking graciously through valleys of failure. These men and women who have signed up to fight the good fight need encouraging to continue as you needed them to help direct your path toward Christ. Today, return the favor and minister to those who have so graciously ministered to you.

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Mobilization Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, December 6th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category 1 Corinthians, Discipleship, Mentoring.
Interact No Comments
December 10th, 2012

The Gospel is of First Importance!

“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you–unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures…” 1 Corinthians 15:1-3 (ESV)

The Church has one message: the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are to continually proclaim the substitutionary work of Christ on the cross for our sins and His unique ability to do so. We are further to proclaim His resurrection from the dead, demonstrating not only His atoning work but also His victory over every effect of sin including death. Every single issue we face as fallen humanity can be faced with the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ!

The danger for us is that we think if we talk about the gospel too much that people will grow tired of hearing it. We think we have to help the gospel out by making it flashier or more relevant. My friend, be weary of this trend, for the gospel has never been in danger of being irrelevant. No, as in the time of Paul, it is still of first importance. Do you have bitterness in your heart toward someone who wronged you? Look at the message of the gospel and seek to forgive as Christ forgave. Do you have strife in your marriage? Strive to be gracious to one another as Christ was gracious to us. Do you have a loved one in the midst of a terminal illness? Remember that Christ has overcome the grave, removing the sting from death!

When the Church stops proclaiming the gospel, it will have forfeited its power, for only in the gospel do we have anything of significance to say. Speak forward boldly this message today, delivering it as of first importance as you received it.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 337:  1 Corinthians 15-16)

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Associate Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, December 10th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category 1 Corinthians, Christ, Gospel.
Interact No Comments
December 9th, 2012

Love Never Ends.

“Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.” 1 Corinthians 13:8 (ESV)

Inherent in sinful man is the need to make himself feel superior to his fellow men. We want to be worshiped; we want to feel like we are better. This sinful need for distinction had infiltrated the Corinthian Church, and members within the church were arguing over who had the greatest gift. Was prophecy the greatest gift? Or was tongues preferable? The uproar was causing strong division and Paul spoke boldly into the contentious situation, reminding the people of God about the purpose of these gifts. All gifts are meant to edify the Church. Gifts are meant to build each other up, and the second these gifts become about the individual, we have turned these God-given gifts into sinful manifestations for the glorification of man.

The core of this argument is found in 1 Corinthians 13, a passage that is so much more profound than we often notice in weddings. Love must be the motivation for the use of spiritual gifts, because love is the only component of the Church that is eternal. When Christ returns, we will no longer need prophecy, as all its objects will have been fulfilled. Further, we will not need tongues nor interpretation, as we will fellowship with God fully in His Spirit in Heaven. Love, then, should be the chief concern for us as it will be the only gift we take with us forever.

Are you concerned with how you love your fellow man? Do you genuinely love your brothers and sisters in Christ or do you simply tolerate them? This kind of love is birthed from a true love for the Lord, knowing that if we love Him, we must love others since love is from God. Seek today to love better, rejecting the tendency to compare yourself to others and build up your own image and pride.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 336:  1 Corinthians 12-14)

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Associate Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, December 9th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category 1 Corinthians, Love, Spiritual Gifts.
Interact No Comments
December 8th, 2012

The Lord’s Supper

“When you come together, it is not the Lord’s supper that you eat. For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk.” 1 Corinthians 11:20-21 (ESV)

The Lord’s Supper, an ordinance established by Christ Himself in His last days of ministry upon the earth, is meant to be a reflection of His tremendous provision and sacrifice for the good of all of humanity. As we take the elements, both the drink and the bread, we are to remember how Christ’s body was broken for our sin and how His blood was poured out for our redemption. This event is a tremendously solemn occasion and should not be taken in vain, as doing so would communicate falsely about the most important act in all of human history.

It’s no wonder, then, that Paul reacts so strongly in our passage for today regarding the Corinthian Church’s mishandling of the supper. They were using it as a means to once again show the strong division between those who were rich and those who were poor, making the lesser of the two feel their inferiority. What act could be more contrary to the message of the gospel, in which He who was the richest of all became poor for the sake of the poor?! Paul, then, says to these new believers that their supper is no commemoration at all, but rather an act of sinful indulgence.

The people of God should look different. Our rich and our poor should not have their economic status worn as a badge of either pride or shame, respectively. Rather, we must as the Church remember our common spiritual poverty before the Lord and His generous provision on our behalf. That message unites us in spite of any other earthly distinction. Commit today to see people as the Lord’s Supper intends them to be seen: men and women all in need of a glorious and generous Savior!

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 335:  1 Corinthians 9-11)

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Associate Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, December 8th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category 1 Corinthians, Gospel, The Lord's Supper.
Interact No Comments
December 7th, 2012

My Brother’s Keeper?

“Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.” 1 Corinthians 8:13 (ESV)

Christ has set us free from the burden of ritual purity. Yes, we have been called to live pure lives but that purity now comes from that of Christ imputed in us by the Holy Spirit. Our holiness and standing before God, then, is not threatened by the ingestion of created things declared impure by the law. The problem in Paul’s day, however, as see in the Corinthian Church was that some weaker brothers, who had not yet fully grasped the concept of grace, had not arrived at this conclusion and still viewed the eating of food sacrificed to idols as a crisis of conscience, worshiping the deity to which it was sacrificed and falling back into their previous sinful behavior. Paul suggests here that as the more mature believers, we have the responsibility to refrain from a known freedom so that the weaker brother can grow into that knowledge.

How does this apply to us today? Certainly, there are various applications, but the chief concern for us should always be the spiritual growth of our brothers and sisters around us. If we know they struggle with something that we do not struggle with, we should not in spiritual pride throw that temptation in front of their face; rather, we should seek to create safe environments for them in which they can experience in greater ways the ultimately satisfying nature of Christ. Nothing that is free for us to experience is more important than the sanctification of a fellow saved sinner.

Now there is a balance here in that we cannot allow legalism to prevail as it did in the time of Christ. For those who wish to create new rules under the freedom of grace, we must stand firm in remembering the cause of our salvation. Yet, when there is a legitimate concern for a fellow brother or sister on their way to Christ-likeness, may we freely give up our freedom for the sake of their freedom and for the good of the Kingdom.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 334: 1 Corinthians 5-8)

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Associate Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, December 7th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category 1 Corinthians, Freedom, Sanctification.
Interact No Comments
December 6th, 2012

Gratitude for Spiritual Fathers

“For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” 1 Corinthians 4:15 (ESV)

Within the family of God, our Heavenly Father has seen fit to bless us with men and women who care for us spiritually as, hopefully, our earthly parents cared for us physically. Now, I am not speaking here of every single pastor or spiritual teacher with whom you have ever crossed paths, but rather a specific person or persons who have singled you out particularly to invest in your spiritual growth. Can you think of such a person in your life? Have you sought out someone to poor themselves into you, asking you to “be imitators of me” (1 Cor 4:16 ESV).

Think about the man or woman that the Lord has particularly placed in your life to both encourage and admonish you. Say a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord for His provision, but also take some time today to actually tell that individual how much their ministry has meant in your life. You see, this relationship goes both ways, for as it is true that your spiritual “father” loves to care for you and see you grow in your walk, it is also true that in communicating his or her value to you, you serve to encourage them to continue to poor out their lives.

Discipleship and ministry are not easy things to give your life to. They require countless hours of answering tough, life-altering questions, fighting for the purity of loved ones, and walking graciously through valleys of failure. These men and women who have signed up to fight the good fight need encouraging to continue as you needed them to help direct your path toward Christ. Today, return the favor and minister to those who have so graciously ministered to you.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 333:  1 Corinthians 1-4)

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Associate Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, December 6th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category 1 Corinthians, Discipleship, Mentoring.
Interact No Comments