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Sermons about Status
This sermon continues our study and our understanding of the implications of Psalm 83... loyalty, relationships, enemies, friends... and your standing with Jehovah makes all the difference... how we think, what we say and do, and the secret motives of our hearts all tell a tale we may not wish to hear... come and learn how to make sure Jehovah God gets the glory through our lives... we choose whether it be as His friend or foe..
In this sermon we see how Paul reminds the Corinthians what they were without Jesus, and what they should really be bragging about.
If you ever think that you’ve arrived in the Christian life, then you shouldn’t be down here with the rest of us miserable sinners, but singing with the angels. The truth of the matter is that we wear our “L” plates all our life on earth. We’re in the process of “educating Peter”; it began from his great statement of 16:16 – where he was first taught about a suffering Christ – which he didn’t get; then he was told to “take up his cross”; then he saw Jesus in all his glory but found his fellow disciples couldn’t heal a sick child; then he thought his Master paid the temple tax. And now he’s with all the others wanting to know “who is the greatest?”. Once again, Jesus turns human values upside down; status and importance are shown to belong to the meek, the humble; to the "little ones"; His family who believe in Him.
God spoke his word to Abram and commanded him to go from his country, his relatives and his father's house to the land that God would show him. In doing this, God was requiring Abram to do something that was very scary--to leave everything that in the ancient world was the source of security, status, success and satisfaction. Stephen in Acts 7 and the writer of Hebrews in his 11th chapter tell us that Abram did not receive in his lifetime the things promised, that he left not knowing where he was going, and that he, and all his descendants who believed in God for salvation were strangers and exiles on the earth. Faith in God means a way of life that is scary, but it is truly a life of faith in God; it casts us back on God, not ourselves. Abram is able to answer this call and obey this command because he received God's word.
The Corinthian church was a mess. Even though Paul had spent more time with the believers in Corinth than other churches to this point (18 months, see Acts 18), their pride, divisiveness, immorality, and cultural baggage hindered the church's maturity. The letter to Corinth addresses bad reports about the church (5:1) and responds to a letter previously sent by the Corinthians (7:1). In the end, Paul encourages the believers to get beyond their quest for status, and embrace an attitude of service. Jesus exemplified this attitude on the cross (1:18-2:5); the church should model this attitude in their love (ch. 12-14). The sermon challenges believers to disown their quest for status and learn to die daily (15:31).