Be Strong

Hope for the Church, Part 5

Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. 1 Corinthians 16.13

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Indications of weakness
The Corinthians, alas, were not strong in the Lord. This was evident to the Apostle Paul in a number of ways.

They allowed scandalous sinners to continue in their midst; squabbled over the supposed superiority of their various groups; looked down on weak brethren; preferred vindication in secular courts to peaceful agreement between brethren; made a mockery of worship and the Supper; and neglected to develop their spiritual gifts – except to the extent that they could vaunt them for personal gain.

Grow Up!

Hope for the Church, Part 4

Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave... 1 Corinthians 16.13

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Babes in Christ
The believers in Corinth in the days of the Apostle Paul were not acting like mature adults in the Lord. Rather, they were acting like children, like “babes in Christ” (1 Cor. 3.1).

They weren’t growing, and they weren’t acting like responsible followers of Christ, able to deal with their problems by standing fast in the faith of Jesus. Paul chided the Corinthians as “babes in Christ” who hadn’t matured in the Lord one whit since his visit. His exasperation with them is palpable as you read through this epistle.

Stand Fast

Hope for the Church, Part 3

Watch, stand fast in the faith... 1 Corinthians 16.13

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Interesting, but Christian?
You could hardly say the Corinthians were standing fast in the faith.

Oh, undoubtedly they all professed faith in Jesus. They surely sang whatever Christian songs were current at the time when they gathered for worship, and they no doubt looked, for all appearances, like most churches of their day.


Hope for the Church, Part 2

Watch... 1 Corinthians 16.13

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Pay attention!
The Scriptures frequently exhort believers to pay attention to what’s going on in their lives.

Paul’s command to the Ephesians to be very careful how they walk (Eph. 5.15-17) echoes similar exhortations from Solomon, the prophets, Jesus, and other apostles. Christians – and churches – are charged with keeping a close eye on our discipleship.

A Struggling Church

Hope for the Church, Part 1

Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love. 1 Corinthians 16.13,14

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Two failures
The Church in Corinth in the days of the Apostle Paul was a struggling church, not unlike many of our churches today.

In his first letter to the believers there Paul addressed the problems that were threatening to tear the church apart and bring disgrace on the Gospel. Essentially, the Corinthians were guilty of two failures: they failed to obey the teaching of Scripture they had received, and they were beginning to go beyond what the Scriptures require or permit in certain ways. They weren’t living up to what they’d been taught, and they were making up the rules about being a church as they went along.

Lessons for Church Leaders

Visionary Leadership, Part 7

The Lord gave the word;
was the company of those who proclaimed it... Psalm 68.11

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The vision process
Church leaders who do not cast vision for the people entrusted to their care should either learn how to do this important work, or find something else to do.

It’s that serious, friends.

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