Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Beyond Sermons

Yesterday I had every intention of writing about Sunday’s sermon, but Paul’s story is so moving. I do wander at times, yet return to study what has been given, and Sunday’s sermon is a good example. I take notes during sermons and lessons. I’m not sitting there just to listen or fill a spot in a congregation. I’m there to learn. For me, there’s homework involved.

I appreciate the ministers in our church who give expository sermons. These offer opportunity to continue the analysis and seek further evidence in the explanation of the scriptures. It’s a far cry from some unbeliever’s view that Christians do not or cannot reason. In-depth research is generated and lively discussions ensue. Often, there is discord, but it should be very short lived. Paul explains why:

Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. (1 Corinthians 1:10)

Corinthians had an advantage – they had Paul and other very good preachers. We have an advantage, too – the writings the apostles left us regarding Jesus, the gospel, the church, the Revelation. Mankind has failed to take all of that and maintain a close relationship with God. We would rather align ourselves in cliques, as Corinth:

Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:12)

If we don’t add such labels, the world is quick to apply them. And, there remain such divisions among churches. It appears Paul did not want his name connected to such fracturing:

Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? (1 Corinthians 1:13)

Paul describes elsewhere Christians’ common purpose:

Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:5-6)

We should understand this purpose when we hear preaching:

For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, … (1 Corinthians 1:22-23a)

Paul knew the difficulties in preaching that message:

… unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; (1 Corinthians 1:23b)

Paul understood fully why he preached – and why preaching is necessary today:

For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. (1 Corinthians 1:21)

Back to Romans, where Paul expands on preaching – and the message of salvation it brings to all:

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! (Romans 10:13-15)

Find a church where the Bible is read, studied, preached and treated as the word of God. There you will find glad tidings of good things!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking time to read and comment on the blog. Comments should take into consideration this verse: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8 KJV)