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 John chapter 1 begins with those famous and staggering truths about Jesus Christ. That, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” And that “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we have beheld his glory, as of the only son from the Father.” It’s almost as if John is beginning his gospel with a hymn of...

Rewire

Paul has been talking about the nature and the boundary, the limits, of Christian freedom. The Corinthians had written to him asking for advice about a particular problem that was especially pressing in the culture in which they lived. Food, meat was often sold in the market as surplus to requirements after having first been used in the sacrifices of the pagan temples in the city of Corinth. And so...

That’s what Paul is up to tonight. He is writing to his young charge, Timothy. And this is kind of the guy Paul has mentored in ministry. And isn’t it interesting, here at the end of his life, these are the last letters that he wrote – 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy and Titus – Paul, who taught us about spiritual gifts – speaking in tongues, resurrections, all of...

Rewire

Paul has been dealing with the problems that a misunderstanding of Christian freedom can bring in the life of a church. In verses 1 to 13, as we looked at last time, Paul focused on the problem of presumption. The Corinthians were in danger of being presumptuous, thinking themselves free to live however they pleased. Then this week, 14 to 22, the problem of compromise – seeking to...

We’ll come back to that passage, but let’s start at the beginning. It’s a great story; I wish I had several hours to unpack it. I just learned that the Twin Lakes Camp told the story of Esther all summer long. We’re going to try to do it in thirty minutes! Chapter 1. We’ll go through the chapters, I’ll give you a title, tell you what’s there, and...

Rewire

Back at the end of chapter 9, in the very last verse, Paul has been talking at the end of chapter 9 about his self-discipline as he lives the Christian life and as he fulfills the ministry Christ has given to him. And in the very last verse of the chapter, he explains one of the concerns that has animated and driven that commitment to self-discipline. He says...

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