Posts Tagged '1 corinthians'

Epiphany: Unction and Exercise

Epiphany: Unction and Exercise Sermon Audio Here

1 Cor.2:1-12
At the beginning of a new year, many people decide to embark on an exercise regime. It’s an admirable idea, but why do so many people give up on long-term implementation? Today we’ll talk about exercise… AND “unction”: an infrequently used word today which means anointed.

How Do You Know If You’ve Got “The Unction?”

Exercise of Spiritual Power ~ 1 Cor.2:1-5

  • v1/2 super spirituality is not required (“I could never be like ___”)
  • v3 Doesn’t everybody? This is GOD stuff we’re doing; we’re not worthy!
  • v4/5 God demonstrates HIS power in us so that HE is noticed, not us

Understanding Spiritual Gifts ~ 1 Cor.2:6-12

  • v6/7 we don’t need to worry about the rulers of “this age”; God’s wisdom will out
  • v8/9 our natural mind isn’t going to deduce what God will do through us
  • v10 Are we listening to the Spirit?
  • v11/12 We have received the Spirit FOR understanding God’s gift

Isaiah 58:6-8~ “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter– when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.”

We don’t receive “unction” just as an indicator of our salvation. We’re intended to exercise this spiritual state: If we want to see God move in miraculous ways, we can’t NOT stand up for His cause.

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Epiphany: Uniting In Leadership

Epiphany: Uniting In Leadership Sermon Audio Here

1 Corinthians 1:10-18

The Corinthian church faced a challenge: they wanted to define themselves by what leader they were willing to follow. But what if everyone didn’t pick the same leader…

What Shows The World That We Are ONE In Christ?

We Speak the Same Truth ~ 1 Cor.1:10-12

  • v10 “all agree”=all speak the same;
  • “may be perfectly united”=tricky combo verb: it means you SHOULD BE prepared TOGETHER
  • v11/12 the quarrels undermine that goal; seeking leadership outside of Christ is NOT going to send the Gospel message to the watching world

We Show the Same Proof ~ 1 Cor.1:13-18

  • v13/16 Paul deemphasizes baptism: it’s a rite of obedience, not an act of spiritual registration
  • v17 the Gospel isn’t about the perfect words to say; it’s the power of the Cross to change a life: THAT is Good News!
  • v18 Message of the Cross is DEATH TO SELF – of course that’s foolish to those who are dying– why would they want to speed up the process? But to those of us who have accepted Christ’s work in place of our own, our debts have been all canceled out – we have been set free by God’s power!

Isaiah 9:2 ~ “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”

We, who have seen the light of the Cross, must demonstrate what difference Christ has made in us. THAT is the unity that the dark world needs so desperately to see.

Covenant Concepts ~ Moses: God Expects Righteousness

Covenant Concepts ~ Moses: God Expects Righteousness

1 Cor. 1:18-25

God Establishes His Covenant with Moses; in fact, it is His most famous Covenant: The 10 Commandments. What’s different about this particular covenant? God (the Stronger Party) dictates what WE (the weaker party) will and will not do to keep it.

God Frames Relationships With Covenant Concepts

God’s Wisdom is Beyond our Wisdom
1 Cor. 1:18-21

  • v18 BEING saved: it is GOD’s power at work!
  • v19/20 We did not figure salvation out on our own
  • v21 God’s reasoning is that we stop trusting our reasoning to figure out God.

When We Give Up, We Win
1 Cor. 1:22-25

  • v22 signs: God MUST show us power; wisdom: God MUST make sense to us
  • v23 Jesus is NEITHER
  • v24 Christ is power IN weakness; Jesus taught wisdom beyond our experience
  • v25 God is MORE than we can imagine

When we give up, HE Wins (and somehow, we win, too).

Winning Others In Context

Shaped By A Savior ~ Winning Others In Context Sermon Audio Here

1 Corinthians 9:16-23

Pastor Don Baker relates a story of Rev. Tom Erickson: The Public Library has a system called “Dial-A-Tale.” Anytime a young child wants to hear a fairy tale, he can call the number and a voice comes on reading a short fairy tale to the listening young ear. However, the number is only one digit different from Rev. Tom Erickson. Because the small fingers often make a mistake, Tom gets frequent calls from a child listening for a fairy tale.

After several unsuccessful attempts to explain a wrong number to the small child, Tom felt he had only one alternative. He obtained a copy of Three Little Pigs, and set it by the phone. Now, whenever a child calls, he simply reads them the tale. A beautiful illustration of yielding personal rights. He didn’t, as you might have thought, change his telephone number to avoid the “invasion of his privacy.”

To Capitalize On Your Context

Discern Your Drive
1 Corinthians 9:16-17

  • v16 Paul can’t not preach
  • Question: to what are you driven?

Mind Your Motivation
1 Corinthians 9:18-19

  • v18 free access (to gospel) more important than payment
  • Question: by what are you motivated?

Consider Your Connection
1 Corinthians 9:20-23

  • v20/22 “became like” ginomai (in the state of being); caused himself to be;
  • v22 identification is the bridge over which salvation comes
  • Question: to whom are you connected?
  • v23 share in its blessings WITH THOSE BEING BLESSED

A few years ago at the Seattle Special Olympics, nine contestants, all physically or mentally disabled, assembled at the starting line for the 100-yard dash. At the gun, they all started out, not exactly in a dash, but with a relish to run the race to the finish and win.

All, that is, except one boy who stumbled on the asphalt, tumbled over a couple of times and began to cry.

The other eight heard the boy cry. They slowed down and looked back. They all turned around and went back. Every one of them.

One girl with Down’s Syndrome bent down and kissed him and said, “This will make it better.” All nine linked arms and walked across the finish line together.

Everyone in the stadium stood, and the cheering went on for several minutes. People who were there are still telling the story. Why? Because deep down we know this one thing:

Life is more than winning for ourselves. Winning is helping others cross the finish line.

Navigating Your Freedom

Shaped By A Savior ~ Navigating Your Freedom Sermon Audio Here

1 Corinthians 8:1-13

Consider this story told by Bernard L. Brown, Jr., president of the Kennestone Regional Health Care System in the state of Georgia.

Brown once worked in a hospital where a patient knocked over a cup of water, which spilled on the floor beside the patient’s bed. The patient was afraid he might slip on the water if he got out of the bed, so he asked a nurse’s aide to mop it up. The patient didn’t know it, but the hospital policy said that small spills were the responsibility of the nurse’s aides while large spills were to be mopped up by the hospital’s housekeeping group.

The nurse’s aide decided the spill was a large one and she called the housekeeping department. A housekeeper arrived and declared the spill a small one. An argument followed.

“It’s not my responsibility,” said the nurse’s aide, “because it’s a large puddle.” The housekeeper did not agree. “Well, it’s not mine,” she said, “the puddle is too small.”

The exasperated patient listened for a time, then took a pitcher of water from his night table and poured the whole thing on the floor. “Is that a big enough puddle now for you two to decide?” he asked. It was, and that was the end of the argument.

Bits & Pieces, September 16, 1993, p. 22-24.

Learning to Love with Liberty
Love Trumps Knowledge ~ 1 Cor. 8:1-3

  • v1 love builds
  • v3 God knows who loves, who builds up others

Truth Trumps Idols ~ 1 Cor. 8:4-6

  • v4/5 idols are symbols of allegiance to a lesser lord
  • v6 Only One Actual God (Deut. 6:4)

Concern Trumps Freedom ~ 1 Cor. 8:7-13

  • v7 old mistaken ideas can still have power
  • v9 stumbling block – beat the breast in grief
  • v10 weak – not received benefit of being strengthened
  • v10 rebuilds allegiance to false symbol
  • v12 beat down instead of build up; anti-love
  • v13 skandalon, set up a trap

Use your freedom to build up, not beat down.

Making Hay While The Sun Shines

Shaped By A Savior ~ Winning Others In Context Sermon Audio Here


Jonah 3:1-5, 10 / 1 Cor. 7:29-31

The Fable of the Farmer Who Woke Up
Once upon a Time there was a Farmer who thought he had a Dairy, because he kept a Herd of Cows and also raised Corn, Wheat, Oats, and Alfalfa. In the Summer he hired Farm Hands whose Appetites were 100 per cent Plus. When the Bell rang, they came rushing into the Mess Hall and devoured Everything except the Crockery. In a Test to see who could eat the Most, it was a Draw among several. All of the Rest were entitled to Honorable Mention.

One day the Farmer went out into the Field to watch his Harvest Hands at Work. He noticed that Some worked like Beavers, while Others went through the motions of Work, but accomplished very little. They seemed to him to have no Fixed Relation between Perspiration and Desired Results. The one who had taken several First Prizes in the Eating Contest was Particularly Conspicuous among those who worked as Little as possible. Then he stopped to remember that he was paying these Men for the Work they did and not for their Capacity as Eaters.

That Night several Harvest Hands were fired.

Then the Farmer reflected that his Cows had Good Appetites all the year round. He recalled that his Monthly Cream Check depended not upon the Quantity of Milk he delivered, but upon the amount of butter fat in the milk. Until now he had ignored the Suggestion of his County Agent to join the Cow Testing Association.

The lesson of the hungry, but lazy Farm Hand had struck home. Not only did he make a Mad Scramble to join the Cow Testing Association, but he purchased a Testing Outfit and Got Busy.

It was not Long before he discovered which of his Cows were profitable from the Butter Fat standpoint and which were only Boarder Cows. In a Short Time his non-producing Cows were eliminated and his Herd, consisting of good Butter Fat producers only, made him a success as a Dairy Farmer. Now he receives Regular Money through his Cream Checks, has improved his Farm and Buildings, and rides about in a Regular Car.

~ from the Jersey Bulletin, Volume 2, Volume 41, 1922

We Can’t Partner With God If We Don’t

Respond to Mercy
Jonah 3:1-5 ~ Jonah obeys, so does Nineveh

  • v1/2 “second time” second chance
  • v3/4 obedience is immediate
  • v5/10 repentance & compassion

Realize the Moment
1 Cor. 7:29-31 ~ Time is short

  • v29 short time; retrospect
  • v30 not live by temporary emotion
  • v31 but live by eternal perspective

Farm boy overturns wagon; neighbor invites boy to dinner, boy responds, “Pa won’t like it”. Neighbor insists, boy gives in, with “Pa won’t like it”. After dinner, boy says, “Pa’s gonna be real upset”; neighbor says, don’t be foolish – by the way, where is Pa?
“Under the wagon!”

How many of our friends and neighbors are under the wagon while we go about our lives? Let’s lift them up in Christ.


Pastor Ed Backell

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