Read 1 Corinthians 1
Called by God to be His (I Cor. 1:2). Stay focused on His mission (1:10-31). The “weakest” point and most “foolish” plan of God is far more powerful and wiser than men (1:23-25).This is “too” good to overlook (2:9)! God has revealed His wisdom to His people (2:10-14). Learn this Truth (3:6-7). Responsibilities of leadership (4:1-4,15-16, 20-21).
Paul had met apparent defeat at Athens where he delivered his great sermon on Mars' Hill (Acts 17). There is no record of his establishing a church there or of his returning on any later occasion.
Next, he confronted the philosophic Greeks of Corinth. How would the Corinthians respond if he were to preach the resurrection of a man who had been hanged on a Roman cross as the Savior of the world? Suppose these men, too, would refuse to listen to such foolishness of preaching (I Cor. 1:21).
He presented the message of his Redeemer, unmixed, uncorrupted. To do otherwise — to wreathe the cross with flowers of thought and rhetoric till man could find no cross, no sacrifice, no blood — would be unfaithful to his Savior.
To the church that he later established in Corinth, Paul wrote: Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the Name of Jesus Christ. . . . in every thing ye are enriched . . . in all knowledge . . . waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ (1:2,5,7-8).
There are two types of men — "natural" and "spiritual." Corresponding to these are two ways of gaining knowledge — one by persuasive "wisdom" of men and the other by demonstration of the power of the Holy Spirit. Likewise, there are in close parallel two ways of preaching the Gospel — in word only or in the Word with power. When the message is received in the power of the Word of God, it brings about a change so radical as to be called a new creation (II Cor. 5:17). But the same message may be preached without power and multitudes will have a name only and yet remain dead in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1).
Unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith He that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die. . . . hold fast, and repent (Rev. 3:1-3).
Thought for Today:
For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek (Rom. 1:16).
For I Cor. 1:19: See Is. 29:14. I Cor. 1:31: See Jer. 9:24. I Cor. 2:16: See Is. 40:13. I Cor. 3:19: See Job 5:13. I Cor. 3:20: See Ps. 94:11.
1:21 the foolishness of preaching, foolishness to unbelievers; 2:6 perfect, spiritually mature; 3:1 carnal, worldly; 4:5 counsels, motives; 4:11 naked, poorly clothed; buffeted, treated with disrespect; 4:16 followers, imitators; 4:18 puffed up, arrogant, proud.
Pray for International Broadcasts in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Morris' 60th Wedding Anniversary • Staff: Jennifer Cunningham • Country: Ghana (19 million) in western Africa • Major languages: English and African languages • The government permits freedom to churches and missionaries that do not get involved in politics • 31% belief in spirits and witches; 22% Protestant; 17% Muslim; 11% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Pray persistently (Is. 62:6).
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 6:14