"SKIP OVER" SCRIPTURES:
1 Corinthians 16:10-24
One of the more demanding situations we enter is the awkward situation. This
awkward situation involves us, but we did not create it. However, because it involves
us, it is essential that we deal with it. We do not have the option of ignoring it (unless
we want to generate even bigger problems). We must get constructively involved.
Tonight we look at 1 Corinthians 16:10-24. After writing a letter that dealt
"head-on" with some extremely awkward situations, Paul said, "Here are some specifics
in which you can practice what I am writing you about. Show God, show yourselves,
and show me that you want to be godly people, not worldly people."
- Let's begin with just a little bit of review.
- This was a community of Christians who had a lot of problems.
- Internal division.
- Sexual immorality.
- Confusion about marriage.
- Confusion about worship.
- Too little love.
- Competitions in the use of spiritual gifts.
- Denial of a personal resurrection.
- The first four chapters of the letter are devoted to the problem of internal
- In the world and society of a Roman city, it was absolutely essential that you
be loyal to your patron.
- Some regarded Apollos to be their spiritual patron, some Peter, some Paul,
and some Christ.
- Their divisions occurred along the boundaries of their loyalties to those they
regarded their spiritual benefactors.
- Would you please note: at no time did Paul commend those who caused
division out of loyalty to Christ.
With that brief review, I want to focus your attention on Paul's ending of the
- Paul begin the letter by dealing with a very awkward situation: their internal
- Some of those causing that division definitely opposed Paul.
- Some of those causing that division championed Paul.
- Paul dealt with both "head-on," and he commended neither of them.
- He told those who were for him and those who were against him that they
- He emphatically declared that spiritual loyalty should never be given to a
- One of his closest friends, finest fellow workers, closest associates might soon
arrive in that volatile situation.
- Timothy might come; Paul in other places referred to Timothy as his son in
- What a time for Timothy to visit Corinth! Timothy might arrive and find
everyone mad at Paul! He might come to a situation when it was a serious
disadvantage to be Paul's close friend!
- Paul made some requests on Timothy's behalf.
- Do not give him reason to be afraid.
- Realize he does the same thing I do--work for the Lord.
- Do not let anybody despise him.
- Send him on his way to me peaceably.
- Then Paul talked about Apollos (remember that Paul mentioned him several
times at the beginning of the letter and confronted those loyal to Apollos for
- Note that he declared Apollos was a brother--confronting those causing
divisions did not mean Apollos was less than a faithful brother.
- Paul encouraged Apollos the visit these Christians at Corinth--Paul
regard his presence there to be a positive asset.
- Apollos made the decision not to come--Paul was not the reason he did
- Apollos would visit them later.
- Paul then gave them some urgings:
- Be dependable in your devotion to Jesus Christ like the mature people
should; that means you have to be alert (which they had not been in chapters
5 and 6) and you have to be strong (in their commitment to godliness).
- In everything you do, let love be your standard (which had not been the case
in the divisions).
- Note the people among you Christians who are committed to Christians and
who serve Christ's purposes: follow their lead and encourage them.
- I am glad three of you visited me.
- The three who came to see me supplied what was lacking on your part
(they made Paul feel loved and appreciated).
- They lifted my spirits.
- Paul sent greetings from Christians in Asia.
- He also sent greetings from Aquila and Prisca who had a group of Christians
meeting in their home.
- He said all the Christians there sent greetings.
- Then he asked them to greet each other (remember the strains produced by
the division he noted) with a holy kiss--showing affection for each other had
to attack the stresses that had separated them.
Paul closed with these requests.
- Note this letter is signed by me.
- Love of Jesus Christ must be the standard for every Christian.
- If a person claims to be a Christian but does not love Jesus Christ, let that
person be accursed--anathema.
- Lord, come!
- May Jesus' grace be with you.
- I love you all in Jesus Christ (his confrontations did not mean he did not love
Two concluding observations:
- We need to understand that being in Jesus Christ produces godliness in our relationships and behaviors.
- When we confront ungodliness, we must let the love be evident.
West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
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Evening Sermon, 6 April 2003
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