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First Corinthians (4 of 4)
Jesse M. Hendley
First Corinthians 1
Now, friends, I would like for you to turn with me, please, to First Corinthians, chapter 1, and we are studying today the wonderful truth of what the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ is to be in the midst of the world.
It reveals the great CONFLICT of the Church in the midst of the world. It reveals that the Church is the divinely-called messenger of Jesus Christ, and that the Church is in this world to do a job for the Lord Jesus, and that the members of the Church are God's possession, His saints, with a definite ministry, sent to proclaim His Message which alone can save people out of this wicked world and of their lost condition.
We found that the main theme of First Corinthians is "Spiritual Things." Chapter 12, verse 1, says: "Concerning SPIRITUAL THINGS, brethren, I would not have you ignorant." Ignorance concerning spiritual things is something that ought not to be in our lives.
We found that there were DIVISIONS in the Church. Paul is writing to CORRECT the things in the Church that needed to be corrected. There were evils, sins of all sorts that were rendering the Church helpless to fulfill its purpose, which was to be the medium of God's Witness in the world. What is the purpose of the Church unless it is TO MAKE CHRIST REAL, to present God's Message, God's SALVATION in the Lord Jesus Christ? And when a Church fails to fulfill its purpose, it is no longer a Church but simply an organization.
There were four divisions in the church, as mentioned in verse 10 through 13. There were four different parties. A split church, if you please, people at odds with one another instead of working together in unity.
But Paul in the Introduction calls attention to the fact that the Church was called of God, that it was to fulfill the will of God, that it was sanctified in Christ Jesus (that is, God's property), that it was unified (all Christians everywhere that call on the Lord), and ...
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