As we begin to bring our series on Identity to a close, we begin to look at Gospel singleness, and what it is, and is not, in the context of the Gospel.
Picking up where we left off last Sunday, we move from Chapter 4 into Chapter 5.
We look at the exaltation, the presentation, the bestowed authority, and the acclamation, of Jesus, as revealed in the description of the Lamb taking the Scroll from the right hand of God.
Pete starts off our “Redemption Sent: The Unavoidable Ramification of God at Work” series, and looks at the intimate conversation between Jesus and God the Father in John 17th, and what we can learn about God, God’s focus on His glory, and our true purpose.
Chapter 15 is a long chapter, where Paul teaches the Corinthian church about the most important thing: the Gospel of Jesus. He explains why it is important that Jesus has risen from the dead, and how we can be certain of it: because Jesus has appeared to hundreds of people, most of whom were alive at the time Paul was writing. Among the people that Chapter 15 names are Cephas (Peter), Jesus’ best friend; James, Jesus’ younger brother; and Paul, who at the time was one of Jesus’ enemies. The only way that Jesus would be able to convince his friend, his brother and his enemy that he is God, is by rising from death.
It’s a short sermon this week because it was followed by a baptism and baby dedication.
This sermon finishes Chapter 14 and goes into the start of Chapter 15. Paul wraps up his section on orderly worship, touching again on prophecy, tongues and headship. Then Chapter 15 begins with the most important thing: the gospel. Jesus died for our sins, and rose again!
Paul continues to teach the Corinthian church about spiritual gifts. The Corinthians were putting a great emphasis on their giftedness, and neglecting to focus on the graces of God, that Paul describes famously in Chapter 13. It is patience, kindness, forgiveness, and above all love that allow us to use our spiritual gifts for the purpose God intended: to make much of Jesus.
After dealing with headship and communion in chapter 11, Paul continues to teach the Corinthians about worship by moving on to spiritual gifts. While it was tempting for the Corinthians to use these gifts to show how great they were, rather than how great God is. The chief purpose of spiritual gifts, as with communion and headship, is to make much of Jesus.