Under The Cross

Southside Bible High School Ministry – 1 Corinthians 1:18

Why not suffer wrong?

Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6:7b, “Why not rather suffer wrong?  Why not rather be defrauded?” (ESV)  This question lies in the context of letting a brother/sister in Christ wrong us or defraud us rather than allowing a public trial to harm the image of Christ and His Church, but it could easily be taken to a larger context.  Look at Christ’s words in Matthew 5:40 “And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.” (ESV) 

God is challenging us to remove pride and humble ourselves.  He is also asking us to be active in our relationships.  If we just look at the verses in the first part of 1 Corinthians chapter 6 we would be in a state of inaction (not doing something, in this case not bringing a fellow brother/sister to trial), but we are called to do more than this as Matthew 5:40 challenges us to go a step further by piling on grace in the action of giving. 

As followers of Christ, when we are wronged, it is not enough for us to turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39) but we should also show love, be active, pursue a relationship through reconciliation as Christ would desire (Matthew 18:15) and just as Christ did Himself. 

The challenge I propose is for us to humble ourselves before those who we feel have hurt us and pursue a relationship.  This is just what Christ did when He died on the cross for you and I, and it is what He is calling us to do as well.

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Do you stink?

This week we discussed how our actions in Christ can make us seem odd to the world around us.  The challenge then was to ask ourselves if Christ is obvious enough to be noticed in our daily lives.  Are we, as Paul puts it, like scum.

1 Corinthians 4:13(b) – We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things. (ESV)

The word scum makes me think of something which smells bad.  Of course this smell would be a sweet aroma to Christ but not the world.  When people look at us do they see Christ, are they offended at our odor, or do we just blend in and smell like the rest of the world. 

 

What We Need

This week, in preparation for our upcoming mission trip, we have been reading through Galatians.  The current passage is chapter 2.  A lot of this is dealing with the difficulty of reconciling the Greek (Gentile) and Jewish cultures through the lens of Christianity.  As Paul closes the chapter he states one of the more summarizing scriptures of the book.

Galatians 2:20 – I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.  And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (ESV)

The verse clearly explains our position once receiving the gift of salvation.  Once we have given ourselves to Christ’s grace we are no longer in control but rather He lives in us.  The challenge is to continually give ourselves to what He is calling, yet the verse tells us that faith is what we must have.  It also clearly defines Christ’s love – He did not say it but lived it by giving Himself for us.

In so many ways this short verse shows us our need for Christ.  We needed Him to give His life that we might be saved, we need Him living in us that we might have faith, and we need Him to live through us that we might please the Father rather than our own flesh.

Removing the Logs

Luke 6:42 – How can you say to your brother, “Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,” when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye. (ESV)

As we discussed this last week, many of us have sin issues (logs) in our lives which we need to deal with before we have the ability to help our brothers and sisters deal with the sin they are facing.  The question then is simple: have you been removing those logs or are you still blind to what they are?

Spend time in prayer today asking God to reveal the logs in your own eye.  Once revealed, seek forgiveness (from God as well as others you may have wronged) and allow Christ to remove the logs from your life.

 

What are you eating?

1 Corinthians 3:2 – I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it.  And even now you are not yet ready (ESV)

What are you doing to change your spiritual diet?  Paul was disappointed in the Corinthians for their lack of growth in their relationship with Christ.  How do you compare?  Are you still eating the same food?  Consider this week alone.  What have you done this week in an effort to draw close to God? 

It is halfway through the week and regardless of what you have been doing you can always do differently the next few days.  Set aside time to be with God to look into His word, share your life with Him in prayer, and lean on Him for we have nothing without Him.

1 Corinthians 3:18 – Let no one deceive himself.  If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. (ESV)

What should I share?

Sharing our faith can be a scary thing.  Where to start, what to say, when to say it?  While these may or may not be common struggles for you, one thing is clear.  When sharing about Christ do just that, share about Him.  If our message to non-believers is constantly pointing to Christ and the Cross then it is hard to go wrong.

1 Corinthians 2:2 – For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. (ESV)

Paul knew his own wisdom could not save but the message of the Cross could.  Consider this next time you share your faith, share the message of the Cross and what Christ did for you and what it can do for others.

Foolish or Wise?

This last week we discussed the wisdom and strength of God in comparison to our own. 

1 Corinthians 1:25 – For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (ESV)

As you consider this how have you applied the idea to your daily life this week.  If we truly believe that God is wiser and stronger than us then should we not be trusting Him to have control of our daily lives.