Stott on 1 Corinthians

Mr Pye has blogged a useful summary of John Stott’s “Calling Christian Leaders” which covers 1 Cor 1-4 here.


1 Corinthians 4:1-21: A Gospel of Power (5)

Sermon notes: Sunday Evening 31 August 2003 (posted 20 September 2008 as I trawl my sermon notes box for 1 Corinthians notes in advance of the new term starting).

Dominant issue is power in the church. Problems in Corinth – failure to live with the cross at the centre.

A) Genuine Christian ministry is apostolic in its authority, vv1-7, 14-21
The underlying issue is that the Corinthian church is in danger of parting ways with the Apostle Paul – v3 – judging Paul, v6 gone beyond what he has written to them, v7 they think that they are v. special, boasting of selves v18 arrogant.
v1 apostles – servants of Christ and stewards of mysteries of God.
cf. ch. £ the Apostles inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Responsibility of Christian ministers is to follow in line of apostles’ teaching – not adding, not taking away.

B) Genuine Christian ministry is apostolic in its nature, vv8-13
The ministry that looks weak and foolish = God’s ministry.
We live in the overlap of ages (between the First and Second Coming).
v8 – mocking – if they had this, they would be in heaven and he would be there with them.

Isaiah 53:3 – v3 he was despised and rejected by men … Apostles treated like Christ.
Philippians 2:6-8 – did not count equality with God something to be grasped … humbled to the point of death.

Church in Corinth wanted to leave the Cross out of the message and out of lifestyle.

1 Corinthians 4

Sermon notes from a friend’s son’s baptism at the barge in November 2007

How should we cope within a world which regards us as the scum of the earth?

Contrasting judgements – God or man (vv1-5)
v4a – not aware of anything against myself
v4b – the Lord who judges me.

Paul comits himself to the judgement of God, not the Corinthians. Corinthians were judging by worldly values.
Look to the right judgement.

Contrasting expectations – kings or scum? (vv6-13)
Root of the Corinthian problem – pride
Paul’s experience was very difference.
Corinthians had an overrealised eschatology – thinking that we have them now.
v8 – repetition – alerady.

Contrasting examples – Paul or someone else? (vv14-21)
– imitating Paul’s leadership
n.b. he doesn’t say imitate Christ. Imitate in his leadership – warm, tender, intimate, tender words of love
– imitating Paul’s life
Genuine Christian ministry – not glamorous – instead, blood, sweat, toil and tears. May not be liked, but will be saved.

Are we imitating Paul?
– the power of the cross

Hocus-Pocus … the return

Gosh – it’s been quite a long time since I blogged. It has been quite a busy time for the husband and me, but at least it seems to be calming down slightly now.
So, my attention turns to prep for the year ahead in the mid-week Bible study I go to. This year – 1 Corinthians. A cursory reading throws up lots of very interesting points to look into in more detail, and plenty of ‘wrestling with the text’ will have to be undertaken.
For my use (even if no-one else finds it useful), I’m going to post some useful links to sites/blogs re: 1 Corinthians (thanks to Mete Pyers for starting me off with some useful links re: cessationism etc.).
This year is going to be fun!

Relationships – Deep and Meaningful

1 Corinthians 7:25-40

Purity and devotion to the Lord are key.
What are you devoted to?

We were made for marriage
Context of the whole Bible shows that we were made for marriage… with Christ. Earthly marriage is a mode cf. Ephesians 5:3. Revelation 19:6. 1 Cor 5+6 show that we are joined to Christ, spiritually united.
He is the perfect relationship for whom we have been made. Purpose of marriage is devotion to the Lord to whom you will ultimately be married.
Marriage to a non-Christian is a no-go – how can you be devoted to the Lord when in this relationship (e.g. impact on Christian giving?)

Application 1: Don’t be naive about marriage
Real pressures, real demands alongside real pleasure.
Note that due to the distress of the age in which we live, many will marry.
Paul is not anti-marriage. He is writing to a church whcih views marriage as inferior. Not ‘marry if you must’, saying marry, but don’t be naive.
No such thing as the perfect marriage.
Marriage does restrict ministry, but Paul is not anti-marriage.

Application 2: Don’t be super-spiritual about singleness