Saturday, March 03, 2007

1 Corinthians 3.18-23

The following is an introduction to this week’s Sunday sermon. Specifically, I’ll be expositing verses 1 Corinthains 3.21-23.

Nearly 2000 years ago the church of Jesus Christ in Corinth was wrestling with problems similar to our own. Gluttony, hero worship, jealousy & dissension were prominent expressions of church life then as now. Their principal struggle, as is ours, turned on the question of what to do with worldly wisdom. They had the mind of Christ! Yet, spiritual ignorance & human arrogance was vitally eroding their essential understanding of His Person & Work.

Succumbing to creature influence, they were substituting worldly wisdom for God's wisdom. Value swapping! Exchanging eternal value for temporal values! In other words, by placing inordinate worth on material things, their understanding of Spiritual things became confused & amorphous. As a consequence, Paul could not speak to them as to spiritual ones.

Keep in mind the Corinthian church was secure in Christ, confirmed to the end! It was a dynamic, spiritual community, not lacking in any gift (1 Cor. 1.1-9). But their fitness in impacting the Corinthian culture & in ministering to one another was being undermined by jealousy, factions, intellectual egotism, & selfish ambition.

Paul has already contrasted God's wisdom with human wisdom several times in the first three chapters 1 Corinthians. Now here in 3:18-23 he continues to challenge his Corinthian brothers & sisters concerning their attraction to human wisdom. Paul carefully contrasts the wisdom of this world in vv 18-20 with the wisdom of God in vv 21-23.

Here’s the point: What these Corinthian Christians have done in pretending to be wise by the standards of the world is to show themselves foolish in the eyes of God. So Paul is saying, "You must stop exalting individuals, put an end to divisions, deny any wisdom that you think you have, & instead embrace God's wisdom & the tremendous riches & blessings & resources & growth & health that God gives."

Enjoy, ron

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