Take Me To Church

This week, we’re looking at 1 Corinthians 6. The Corinthian church were suing each other in a court of law instead of keeping the matter “in the family” (6:1-8).

As strange as it sounds, this is the sort of thing happened all the time in the Roman world. Dio Chrysostom reports that the Roman word of the late first century was filled with “lawyers innumerable, twisting judgments.” (Winter, After Paul Left Corinth, 62). These lawsuits were politically motivated, between members of the rich and elite class (or want-to-be elite.) These lawsuits were opportunity for young orators to show off their rhetorical talents before the elite citizens (the judge, magistrate, jurors, etc.).

Paul’s solution to the problem is to “shame” them for suing their brothers. If the lawsuits were motivated by a perceived loss of honour in the first place, Paul turns a popular expectation upside down by saying that it is a loss of honour for a Christian to take his brother or sister to court. This is the “shame”: they are suing family members. The Church is a family not a social club. A person is not suing some stranger who has insulted them, they are suing family (and the Romans did not approve of intra-family lawsuits).

What does this mean for us? At the very least, we need to return to the truth than all the members of the Body of Christ are brothers and sisters and that it is dishonourable to treat a family member like a stranger.

See you in church 🙂


Where are we again?

Corinth was one of the largest cities in the Roman Empire (maybe third after Rome and Alexandria).

It was situated west of Athens, on a narrow ithsmus between the Aegean and Adriatic Seas. Sailors preferred to have their ships dragged overland here rather than go around the more treacherous waters south of Greece, Corinth controlled the naval trade between Italy and Asia.

With all of the people and money flowing through Corinth, it became infamous for its intellectual debate (“They do nothing but speak and hear new ideas all day long”), religious observance, and moral debauchery “All of this evidence suggests that Corinth was the New York, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas of the ancient world” (Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians, 3).

Paul brought the message of Christ to this city in 51 AD, about three years earlier (Acts 18:1-17), and a large number of people came to Christ. Since then, things hadn’t gone so well in the Corinthian church. Some were involved in sexual immorality, some in religious prostitution (Cp. 6) and some even incest (Cp. 5), some had serious drinking problems (Cp. 11:21), some were falling into religious syncretism (Cp. 10:21,22), some were embarrassed about key elements of the gospel (the cross Cp. 1 and the resurrection Cp. 15), and they were racked by division (Cps. 1,3,6,11).

To put it mildly, the church was a mess! They weren’t transforming Corinthian culture; Corinthian culture was conforming them! Fortunately, God doesn’t give up on messy people or messy churches. God can take messy people with messy lives in a messy church and make a beautiful masterpiece of His grace.

 

Joyful Peace-filled News!

Radio Norfolk’s special Easter Broadcast titled “JOYFUL PEACE-FILLED NEWS” will go to air in both bands on Good Friday 30th March @ 8.30 a.m. It will be repeated on Easter Monday 2nd April @ 9.30 a.m.

Maundy Thursday Meal | 6pm | Parish Centre Prayer | Praise | Fellowship

Bring a plate to share. We’ll read through and meditate on the events of Holy Week, before sharing the Lord’s Supper together.

 

Palm Sunday | Sunday 25th March 

8.30am St. Barnabas Chapel (Holy Communion)

4.30pm All Saints Kingston (Evening Prayer)

 

Maundy Thursday | Thursday 29th March 

6.00pm Parish Centre (Passover Meal)

Good Friday | Friday 30th March 

10.00am All Saints Kingston (Combined Churches)

 

Easter Sunday | Sunday 1st April 

8.30am St. Barnabas Chapel (Holy Communion)

10.00am All Saints Kingston (Holy Communion)

4.30pm All Saints Kingston (Evening Prayer)

1. Pray for a Hunger for the Bible.

Imagine a church that longs to open the Bible each morning to discover afresh the truth of God’s character. Imagine hearts so overflowing with the Bible that our text messages, conversations, and prayers just drip with the Scriptures.

Our Father, give our church delight in your Word. Help us always to hunger for your truth. Lord, make our church a Bible-saturated church.

2. Pray for Thankfulness.

Being unthankful is not what God wants for us! The Apostle Paul identifies being unthankful as the beginning of unbelief (Romans 1:21). One way we can be praying for our church is to plead with God that we would be thankful.

God, make us to be a church that is thankful to you and for you!

3. Pray for Gospel Growth.

Jesus commissioned us as missionaries (Matthews 28:19) and churches have been preaching the gospel ever since. This cannot happen, however, with churches full of people unmoved by the gospel.

God, make us more and more impressed with Christ every day. Help us to grow in the gospel and walk in a manner worthy of it.

4. Pray for Holiness.

Peter calls us to be holy because God Himself is holy (1 Peter 1:15).

Our holy God, help us to want and to pursue Your holiness.

5. Pray for Unity.

The gospel brings people together. What’s more, it brings sinful people with various backgrounds together. The gospel takes selfish people and helps us to love one another. We are told to preserve unity (Ephesians 4:2) by walking in a manner that is worthy of the gospel.

Father, You are one in three persons. There is such a loving, happy unity in the Trinity. Make our church feel this happiness. Help us to be united together, as a church, and in love.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s