I want to begin today by giving praise and honor to who is jesus us His Word. Through the centuries, piece by piece, man by man, came the infusion of the Holy Spirit into the minds of 40 different authors living at different times in different places. But one unified message we call the Bible. Today that word comes to us still intact, still proclaiming Truth. So many attacks have been mounted and are still being mounted against it, but it remains, unchanging, solid, true. You can build your life on it.
I have been present when foreign peoples have received their first Bible. I saw firsthand the weeping of Filipinos when a shipment of Bibles came in, and they were holding one for the first time. What an emotional moment. You’ve perhaps seen the videos of those Chinese in the same situation. What glory to know you are holding in your hand God’s very words.
Now we put the Book on a screen. People don’t carry them to church like they used to even in my day. And at home, the Book is all but forgotten by many. You should know what is in this Book, for out of it we will be judged on that Day. Learn it. Obey it.
New Testament books were written by apostles and those with whom the apostles associated closely. One of those apostles was a man named Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles. We like to call him our apostle. But he’s not easy to get to know. He can be very sharp. Even harsh. But always true.
A church in Corinth found this out first hand. 29 chapters of your New testament were written to this congregation. Not because they were so wonderful, but quite the opposite. They had serious problems, and Paul addressed them one by one.
In First Corinthians alone, Paul had to deal with their lack of unity, their need for the wisdom of God, their lack of understanding of the Spirit of God and the gifts that he was giving, and why He was giving them. They, like us, valued giftedness above character. There was rampant immorality in the church. There were people filing lawsuits against one another. They needed marriage counseling. And counseling about true liberty, and church order.
And, in chapter 15 of the first of the 2 letters, a very strong statement about resurrection. Christ’s. And ours.
Corinth was a trouble spot. Unfortunately, the things Corinth experienced are not a lot different than the church in America, even Chicago. That’s why the Holy Spirit in His wisdom allowed an apostle to write down, under His anointing, answers to these problems.