Jeremiah 9:23-24 (NLT)- 23 This is what the Lord says: “Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches. 24 But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things. I, the Lord, have spoken!
1 Corinthians 1:30-31 (NIV)- 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
Today, let us remember that it is because of God that we are in Christ Jesus. It is because He is the Lord, who demonstrates unfailing love, righteousness, and justice. He delights in these things. And He brought them to this world, and to our lives, through Jesus Christ.
Let’s ask God that this will be our boast, our trust, our proclamation. Pray for the ministries that we are part of, that our meetings and our ministry to one another will be filled with this correct “boasting” in the Lord.
Let’s thank and worship God to this song – The Cross Forever Speaks (Matt Maher) (click here).
1 Corinthians 1:8-9 (NIV)- He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
“…Paul isn’t talking about problems at the moment. God called them in the past, God equips them in the present, and God will complete the whole process in the future… so the Christian must always be leaning forwards towards God’s finishing line, ‘eagerly waiting for our Lord, King Jesus to be revealed.’… That’s why it’s the central Christian badge or sign to ‘call on him,’ to pray to the father through him, to learn to love him, to know his friendship and love throughout our lives, to have his name always in our hearts and often on our lips. The early Christian word for [two or more people like that getting together] was ‘fellowship’ or ‘partnership,’ and that’s what Paul says they now enjoy: membership in the family that has God for its faithful father and Jesus, his unique son, as its older brother. Writing this letter… is part of the process by which God intends to take these Christians… from God’s past achievement to God’s future finishing of the job. May God grant that it will have that effect on us, too.” [Wright, N.T. Paul for Everyone: 1 Corinthians. p. 4-5]
Let’s pray for our churches, particularly focusing on this message series and study, according to 1 Corinthians 1:8-9 and the hope that N.T. Wright expresses here.
1 Corinthians 1:18, 23-24 (NIV)- For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God… we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
“… When Paul came into a pagan city that prided itself on its intellectual and cultural life, and stood up to speak about Jesus of Nazareth, who had been crucified by the Romans but raised from the dead by God, and who was now Lord of the world… he knew what people would think. This was, and is, the craziest message anybody could imagine… It was news of an executed criminal from a despised race. Nor would the Jewish people themselves enjoy it. As Paul knew, it was ‘scandal” to them. The Christian good news is all about God dying on a rubbish-heap at the wrong end of the Empire… It’s all about the true God confronting the world of posturing, power and prestige, and overthrowing it in order to set up his own kingdom, a kingdom in which the weak and the foolish find themselves just as welcome as the strong and the wise…” [Wright, N.T. Paul for Everyone: 1 Corinthians. p. 12-13]
Take a moment to marvel anew at the message of the cross, thanking God that, for us who are being saved, it is the power and wisdom of God. Let’s also worship to this song – Your Cross Changes Everything (Matt Redman) (click here).
1 Corinthians 1:4-7 (NIV) – 4 I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5 For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge— 6 God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. 7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.
We might… learn from Paul’s opening paragraph something about the practice of giving thanks. Even though the Corinthian church is riddled with problems, Paul offers a word of thanksgiving to God for the very community that he is setting out to correct. Despite all present difficulties, he sees this church as the work of God in the world, and he discerns in their midst gifts for which God is to be thanked. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in Life Together: “If we do not give thanks daily for the Christian fellowship in which we have been placed… then we hinder God from letting our fellowship grow according to the measure and riches which are there for us all in Jesus Christ.” [Hays, R. Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching: First Corinthians. P. 20]
Let’s thank God for our church and for His church universal. Give Him thanks for the grace given in Christ Jesus. Let’s also ask that we will live by His Spirit as we wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.
Continue in thanksgiving with this song – Thank You Jesus (Hillsong) (click here).
1 Corinthians 1:1-2 (NIV) – 1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes, 2 To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours…
Just as Paul is called by God, so too are the Christians at Corinth. They are called to be hagioi, “saints”… When Paul applies this language to the Corinthians, he is echoing God’s call to Israel. This is the first of many times in the letter that Paul implicitly addresses and describes the Corinthian Christians – a predominantly Gentile group – as members of the covenant people of God, Israel. Whatever their background, they have now been caught up into the story of God’s gracious elective purpose. They are to serve as a covenant people, representing God’s kingdom within a world that does not know God. “Now therefore, if you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the people. Indeed, the whole earth is mine but you shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy [hagion] nation (Exodus 19:5-6a LXX). [Hays, R. Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching: First Corinthians. P. 16]
Let’s pray for our churches according to 1 Corinthians 1:2 and Exodus 19:5-6, and declare over our lives and our church that we are His people with this song – Belong (Aaron Shust) (click here).