Not Many Wise - Part Three


Yesterday’s lesson mentioned Carl Sagan’s book and television series on evolution, Cosmos. Today I want to point out the great errors in Sagan’s approach to things. Let me suggest a few. The first is the error of supposing that all there is can be observed by the human eye. I cannot see anything spiritual, but I can see planets, and atoms, and the relationships between those things. So I assume that that is all there is. If all I can imagine is only what I can see - and that is what Sagan is talking about - that is utter foolishness because at the beginning, in a most unscientific way, it excludes the possibility of the existence of a God who stands over and beyond the creation.

Not Many Wise - Part Two


There should be a connection between wisdom and results, and this is precisely the point at which the world's wisdom, which is foolishness to God, is found wanting. In recent generations, a great deal of hope was put on the field of psychology and psychiatry, at least ever since Sigmund Freud introduced his theories. Through our great schools of psychology and the training up and practice of psychologists and psychiatrists in their disciplines, we have given ourselves the idea that we have been able to gather data and understand how people function. Yet, it is an obvious fact - to anybody who looks around at our culture - that in spite of this supposed wisdom, we have even more psychological misfits today.

Not Many Wise - Part One


The believers at Corinth are commended by the apostle Paul in the first seventeen verses of chapter 1 for what they have and are in Christ. But in practical terms, they were rent with all kinds of divisions and personal loyalties. As we read on in the letter, their troubles unfold.

Saints and Sinners - Part 5


At the conclusion of yesterday's lesson, we looked at the many problems in the Corinthian church. Today we continue to explore the depth of their struggles. Chapter 6 of 1 Corinthians talks about lawsuits. Here were Christians suing one another in the church, the very fellowship of the people who were called by the name of Christ, suing one another because they could not agree on matters concerning property and such things.

Saints and Sinners - Part 4


We are looking at the opening of Paul's first letter to the Corinthians. In verse 7 he says that they had spiritual gifts. In the context of this book, that is really quite something to say. Here at the very beginning of his letter he begins to address himself to these Christians saying, "Yes, and among all those other gifts that are yours of God, there are certainly these gifts of the Spirit with which God has enriched you and does so to such a degree that you lack nothing that is essential for the health and well-being of your Christian fellowship."

Saints and Sinners - Part 3


Today we continue our close examination of 1 Corinthians 1:2. Although Paul uses the same word hagioi in the first two phrases of this verse, there is a slightly different meaning between the two uses. The first phrase, "sanctified in Jesus Christ," talks about our separation, which is what it means to be a saint. In the second phrase, "called to be holy," Paul is not repeating himself, saying exactly the same thing. He is saying that you are separated unto Christ, and you are called now to go on in terms of what that separation means and become increasingly holy in the context of your life.

Saints and Sinners - Part 2


Yesterday we learned how Paul established himself in the city of Corinth. During those early months in Corinth the Jews were stirring up trouble against Paul. The Lord appeared to Paul on one occasion and said, "Do not worry. I am not going to let anything happen to you here. I have many people in this city." Paul took courage from that, in spite of having been mistreated - even stoned - in other places, and carried on his ministry there in Corinth for eighteen months.

Saints and Sinners - Part 1

Saints and Sinners
1 Corinthians 1:1-17
Theme: Unity in the body of Christ.
This week’s lessons teach us about holiness.

The city of Corinth was a city with an interesting location and a long history. It was located on the narrow isthmus of land that divided the upper, northern, main portion of Greece known as Attica, from the southern portion of Greece, the Peloponnese. The capital of the northern portion was Athens. Sparta was the capital city in the southern portion. Between, on this narrow isthmus, lay the city of Corinth. It was a city of commerce, a great city for the mixture of races.

Keeping Watch and Being Ready - Part 5


Each of these pictures in Matthew 24:36-51 has been alike in stressing the sudden nature of Christ's return. But each has also added its own unique elements. The picture of the flood has reminded us that many persons will be lost. The picture of the two men working in the fields and the two women grinding at the mill points to a radical separation and reminds us that we are not saved by being close to a believer. The picture of the thief reminds us that our souls are valuable and that it is prudent to be ready.

Keeping Watch and Being Ready - Part 4


The third of Jesus’ illustrations is of a thief breaking into a house. "But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into" (v. 43).
This parable also teaches the sudden and unpredictable coming of the Lord, and is used this way in four other New Testament passages. Paul wrote, "The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, ‘Peace and safety,’ destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape" (1 Thess. 5:2-3).

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