The Most Excellent Way
Pastor T. J. Hallock
September 21, 2003
First Corinthians 13
Paul says that what he describes in First Corinthians 13 is intended to show us "the most excellent way". The "most excellent way" to what? It is the most excellent way to make each of us all we can be as Jesus' followers and the Church all we can be as Jesus' Body.
You did notice, didn't you, that I just said that while this "most excellent way" will make each of us all we can be as Jesus' followers, it isn't given for our private benefit alone? This "most excellent way" is ultimately designed to make the Church all we can be as Jesus' Body in the world. We cannot be Christian alone. We can be religious alone. We can read our Bible alone. We can pray alone. We can attend a worship service alone. But we cannot be Christian alone because the moment we belong to Christ we belong to His Church and the moment we belong to His Church we belong to each other.
In First Corinthians 12:27, Paul says this about Jesus' Church. "Now you (all believers) are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it." Throughout that 12th chapter Paul describes how the Holy Spirit has indwelled each believer in a local congregation with a spiritual gift -- a part of the presence and power of Jesus. Some are given Jesus' wisdom. Some receive His knowledge. Some are gifted with His faith. Some receive miraculous powers. Some are presented with the gifts of prophecy, healing, distinguishing of spirits, speaking in tongues, the interpretation of tongues. While still others are appointed as apostles, or prophets, or teachers. Yet no matter what spiritual gift each believer in a local congregation is given it is so that TOGETHER they might be Jesus to the world. The Church is not a building. The Church is a people -- the family of God. We don't come to Church. We are the Church!
Therefore, since we have been saved and called to be Jesus' Body in this world, we are not a spiritual convenien ...
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