Resource Library

Resources from the series: Rewire

Everybody wants to change. We often seek "quick tips" and self-help strategies in hopes that they will produce the lasting change we need, but the problem is these solutions are too superficial. Because sin affects us at the core of our being, we need a solution that does, too. We need more than surface change, we need a total re-wiring.

Rewire

And so as we think together about chapter 16, we’re thinking about living out the Christian faith in the real world, and in particular, in the fellowship of the local church. We’re going to see four themes. The first, if you’re taking notes and you’re looking for an outline, here it is. The first theme, verses 1 through 4, Paul teaches us about money and the church of...

Rewire

And in verses 50 through 58, which is our passage this morning, as Paul draws his argument about the resurrection to a conclusion, we’re going to watch him transition. There are three types of argument that he makes here. That is, a word of explanation in verses 50 through 53 where he urges the Corinthians to comprehend the truth at last. Then, there’s a word of celebration in...

Rewire

There were those, you may remember, at Corinth who had begun to teach that actually there is no such thing as a resurrection. For them, the very idea of resurrection was, we might say, one giant April Fools. Paul quotes them in verse 12. You can see it if you look in verse 12. Here’s their perspective. “Some of you are saying, ‘There is no resurrection from the...

Rewire

Now, this morning, beginning in verse 12, we’re going to see him engage more directly with their mistake. And as we read verses 12 through 34 together, I want you to be on the lookout for three themes. Three themes to see here. First, in verses 12 through 19, the pitiable consequences of a dead Christ. If there’s no resurrection, well then, so what? What difference does it...

Rewire

The apostle Paul tells us that he has delivered the Gospel to the Corinthians, but as we’re going to see, as the communication of the Gospel has passed from ear to ear and heart to heart, it has gotten rather garbled along the way. Actually, not with hilarious consequences but with disastrous consequences. If you’ll look for a moment at verse 12 – we’re not going to think...

Rewire

 Paul is wrapping up his engagement with a series of problems, divisions, that were erupting in the Corinthian congregations, primarily in the context of public worship. He’s wrapping up a discussion of all of that which he began all the way back in chapter 11. You will remember in chapter 11 that he dealt with the breakdown of Biblical role relationships between men and women. He’s going to...

Rewire

Paul, you may recall, has been writing to combat a prideful, divisive spirit at Corinth, especially when it came to the way that spiritual gifts were functioning in the life of the church. And in chapters 12 and 13, he has tackled that problem at the level of general principles. You will remember in chapter 12 he spoke about celebrating our unity and cherishing our diversity. We are...

Rewire

You will remember that Paul has been dealing with the problem of divisions at Corinth and in the second half of chapter 12 he is particularly concerned about the kind of divisions that have developed over spiritual gifts. Some at Corinth, tongue-speakers and others, consider themselves, because of the gifts they had, to be super-spiritual and they were looking down on others. Which led to some at Corinth saying, “Because...

Rewire

Paul, you will remember, has been dealing with the problem of division in Corinth and it’s a problem that has reared its ugly head in different ways as we’ve worked through the book together. There’ve been divisions over leadership. Some were boasting in their favorite preacher and others in a different preacher. There were divisions over economics and lawsuits among believers. There was even division over which foods...

Rewire

One of the recurring themes Paul has dealt with over and again in 1 Corinthians is the theme of division. It has really been troubling the Corinthian congregations, so back in chapter 1 and again in chapter 3, you will remember the Corinthians were dividing over their favorite preachers. There were different groups claiming their different favorite. “I follow Paul.” “I follow Apollos.” “I follow Cephas.” Even, “I follow...

Rewire

We have been working our way through Paul’s letter to the Corinthian Christians and Paul, in this letter, is responding to a number of concerns that have been sent to him for his input and instruction by the Corinthians themselves, but he’s also responding to reports that have reached him directly from people who have worshipped in that congregation. And in the section we are in now in...

Rewire

Paul is beginning a new section of his letter that will take us all the way through chapter 14 concerned primarily with an entire array of issues connected with public worship in the Corinthian churches. He will speak to us some more about the Lord’s Supper in the second half of this chapter. He will talk about Christian unity in the public assemblies. He will talk about the...

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...

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...

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...

Rewire

Paul, you will remember, has been defending himself against those who have been criticizing his ministry. As he does so, in the second half of the chapter, we've seen him give us something of an extended discussion of his own approach to Gospel ministry. And last time, you will recall, we were in verses 19 to 23 and we noticed the direction in which Paul is turned and...

Rewire

Paul, you will remember, has been defending his ministry. He would not take a salary from the Corinthians. Some of them felt that was grounds to begin undermining his ministry. They could not control him, you see, if they couldn’t pay for him. And so they began to insinuate that perhaps Paul ought not to be trusted. “He’s not a real apostle, after all.” And so for most of chapter...

Rewire

We’ll be focusing on verses 15 through 18. You can find they’re on page 957 if you’re using one of our church Bibles. You will remember, if you’ve been with us, the story so far. Paul is responding to a letter that has reached him from Corinth raising a number of practical and theological questions that were troubling the believers there. And beginning last week, we saw Paul defending his...

Rewire

Last time in chapter 8, if you were with us, you will recall Paul was responding to a problem presented to him by the Corinthians in their letter to him. The problem was food offered to idols. And as he worked through that problem, he articulated a timeless principle. The principle is, that love constrains liberty. That is to say, though we may know the truth, knowing the...

Rewire

Let me again welcome you if you are visiting. We’re so glad you’re here. I know some of you are students returning or you’re family members with your children coming to college. We’re so glad that you are here. If we can serve you in any way at all, please will you let me know? I’ll be at the back as you leave, the North State Street entrance. I’d love...

Rewire

 In our morning services, we’ve been working through 1 Corinthians together. And in chapter 7, we’re in the second half of chapter 7 this morning, Paul has been responding to some questions the Corinthians have asked him about singleness and marriage. He’s concluding this part of his discussion about singleness and marriage in the last chunk of the chapter, verses 25 to 40. You’ll find it on page...

Rewire

Now you may remember that Paul has been dealing with the tangled, confused thinking of the Corinthians, particularly in the area of sex and sexuality. And so chapters 5 and 6, Paul dealt with one extreme of this problem at Corinth where there were those who, though they’ve come to join themselves to the church and professed faith in Jesus, nevertheless had a very hard time indeed leaving...

Rewire

1 Corinthians chapter 7 – let me just give you an outline of some things to look for. This is where we'll be going as we work through the material and then we'll read it together after we pray. First of all, Paul is going to teach us about singleness and the gift of God. Singleness and the gift of God. Then secondly, divorce and the Word of...

Rewire

Now a cursory glance at the direct and pointed discussion of marital union that we find in our passage will immediately reveal to you that the author could not possibly have come from the British Isles. This is a passage I have been dreading since we began 1 Corinthians and so here at last it is. It is, let's be clear, a very open discussion of a very...

Rewire

Now 1 Corinthians chapter 6:12-20. You will remember where Paul has been so far in the first four chapters of 1 Corinthians. He’s been talking about the believers' overweening pride there and how that had led to really deep division, factionalism, dividing the congregations at Corinth. And then he spoke about one very specific and egregious case of open and scandalous sexual immorality and how that ought to...

Rewire

Let’s think about the word of warning Paul gives us here first of all. Would you look with me at verses 9 and 10 please? One of the great temptations when you come to this passage is to focus prematurely on the list of sins that will exclude a person from the kingdom of God and to skip right over the nature of the problem itself at Corinth. We talked about the...

Rewire

If we were to identify the problem at the root of the mess at Corinth, the best diagnosis that I’ve come across is what one commentator calls “Gospel amnesia.” Gospel Amnesia – that’s what they suffer from at Corinth. I read a story – actually I saw this story on a news website the other day about a man called Benjamin Kyle who was found beaten and abandoned...

Rewire

Church discipline, I suspect you all would agree with this, church discipline is relatively easy to say we believe in, and really very hard to practice, certainly to practice consistently. One study I read conducted by the Barna Research Group found that only 5% of Christians in America indicated that their churches did anything to hold them accountable for what they believed or how they lived – 5%...

Rewire

Well before we begin, let me once again wish all the moms in the congregation a very happy Mother’s Day. At a time when families are under so many pressures from our culture, the calling of a mother demands sacrifice and courage and perseverance. We’re right to celebrate the great gift you all are to our families and to our church. We are very thankful for...

Rewire

So as I say, Paul wants to deal with the sin of pride. That has been his theme, in one way or another, hasn’t it, since the second half of chapter 1. It really has dominated this whole opening section of 1 Corinthians. You can see it clearly enough in the passage before us this morning if you look at the end of verse 6. He says he...

Rewire

I wonder if you remember these moments on Monday, August 29, 2005, when Hurricane Katrina began to batter the coastline down on the Gulf of Mexico. On that day, brigadier general, Matthew Broderick was on duty at the Homeland Security Operations Center which is responsible for assessing really any threat of any kind to national security, whether it’s terrorism or natural disaster, and then relaying it to the...

Rewire

You will have noticed as we read it through together, the passage divides into two neat sections, each part with three verses in each, both of which begin with a word of exhortation. Do you see that in the text? Verse 18 – the first exhortation. “Let no one deceive himself.” Then verse 21, the second exhortation – “Let no one boast in men.” Those are the two...

Rewire

Let’s try to fix the image in our minds. Here’s a great construction site. First of all, the foundation must be excavated then carefully laid. And then each layer of the superstructure build upon that foundation with equal care. And there are, on that great construction site, different workers with different roles, swarming all over the place about their tasks – architects, project managers, structural engineers, electrical engineers...

Rewire

When we were first married, my wife, Sheena, worked as a community nurse in a town called Airdrie between Glasgow and Edinburgh in central Scotland. And her job took her oftentimes into the homes of some quite poor families, usually to check up on newborn babies and their mothers. And one of the things that the practice she worked at would sometimes have to deal with was what...

Rewire

In the opening verses of this portion of the chapter, Paul is wrestling with the way in which the world receives, or rather rejects, does not receive the wisdom of God but regards it as foolishness. And I was reminded of a story, probably apocryphal, about the way in which our presuppositions often color our conclusions. It’s a story that has resonated deeply with me for reasons that...

Rewire

Well, this is one of only a few passages in the New Testament where Paul speaks in an autobiographical mode and he is remarkably candid about himself as he does so. Don’t you think? Look at some of the languages that he uses to describe his first coming to the Corinthian believers. Verse 3, “I was with you in weakness and fear and much trembling. My speech and...

Rewire

Selina Hastings, Countess of Huntingdon, one of the great evangelical noble women of England in the first half of the 18th century during the Great Awakening, she was a supporter and a patron of the early Methodists, especially of the ministry of the great George Whitefield, and she used to say that she knew she was going to get to heaven thanks entirely to the letter “M.”...

Rewire

The great German reformer, Martin Luther, I think understood the inner logic of our passage when he used the old Latin phrase, “crux probat omnia;” “crux probat omnia” – the cross is the test of everything. The cross is the test of everything. You see for Christians, the cross of Jesus Christ isn’t simply the center and the foundation of our faith and devotion. It becomes the gauge and the standard by...

Rewire

Now if you would please take your Bibles in your hands and turn with me to Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, 1 Corinthians chapter 1; page 952 if you’re using one of our church Bibles. We have, over the last few weeks, been working our way through the book of 1 Corinthians and so far we’ve seen Paul introducing himself and some of the major...

Rewire

So as I said, this is Paul’s spiritual biography of the Corinthian believers. Here’s what grace has done in them, is doing in them. Here’s what grace may yet be doing or may yet still do among us. And as we look over these six verses, I want to highlight four aspects in particular of the Christian life that we find here that Paul celebrates in the Corinthians...

Rewire

In one of my favorite TV shows, the opening sequence is often made up of a kind of montage of clips from previous episodes in which each character is introducing himself to someone else so that by the time of the opening credits, we’ve been reminded of all the principle figures in the storyline that are about to unfold in that episode. In some ways, that is precisely...

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