Faithlife Sermons

God’s Grace is not without Effect

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God’s Grace Results in a Changed Life

1 Corinthians 15:9–11 NIV
9 For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 11 Whether, then, it is I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.
least (thing) n. — someone or something that is of little importance.
When God faced off with Paul it made a lasting impression! Paul’s conversion was a passing experience but it changed his life forever!
As Saul sought to live life on his terms God revealed to him what the end would be!
Paul, “I persecuted the church!” “His grace to me was not without effect”

Stand Firm in God’s Grace “Let Nothing Move You”

1 Corinthians 15:58 NIV
58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
Paul says the sting of death is sin. sting n. — a painful wound caused by the thrust of an insect’s venomous stinger into skin.
The Power of sin is the law! sin (personification) n. — sin personified as a destructive and depraved principle reigning over unbelievers and persisting in believers; especially as a slavemaster doling out payment with the currency of death and decay.
law of God n. — any representative declaration of God’s legal requirements for His creatures; whether in Scripture or in the conscience.
STAND: to become (condition) v. — to enter or assume a certain state or condition.
FIRM: steady adj. — not subject to change or variation; especially in behavior.
Let nothing move you: (immoveable)
GIVE: to abound v. — to be abundant or plentiful; exist in large quantities.
WORK: duty n. — work that a person is obliged to perform for moral or legal reasons.
labor n. — productive work; especially physical work done for wages.

A Partial Gospel is an Empty Gospel.

1 Corinthians 15:32 NIV
32 If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”
Useless Preaching - The Power of a Testimony
Paul is addressing some of the church who doubt actual physical resurrection.
Paul’s call to the Corinthian church to “stand firm”, adds meat to some of the church’s testimony that there isn’t a physical resurrection.
Keep in mind that Paul is addressing a local church whose members are divided in theology and practice.
“I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.” (1 Corinthians 1:10, NIV)
Paul tells the church in Galatia to follow through on works of faith
In his second letter to the Corinthians he instructs them to finish the work they started in sending a financial gift to the church in Jerusalem.
Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means.” (2 Corinthians 8:11, NIV)
According to Paul there is an empty way of living the Christian life.
Paul makes the point that “if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.”
Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.” (1 Corinthians 15:33–34, NIV)

Hold Firmly onto the Gospel. This is what You Believed!

1 Corinthians 15:1–2 NIV
1 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
TAKE YOUR STAND: to stand (maintain) v. — to hold one’s ground; maintain a position; be steadfast or upright.
1 Corinthians 15:3–11 (NIV)
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. (premature Birth)
9 For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 11 Whether, then, it is I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.
Paul’s Conversion experience changed his way of living life completely.
Galatians 3:1–5 (NIV)
Faith or Works of the Law
3 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? 4 Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain? 5 So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?
There are mixed signals in relationship to church life in America. Some statistics reveal how christianity is on the decline. Others show how christians are leaving the church.
We have heard from within this church a number of responses concerning the life in the church.
One view centers just on the worship hour.
Another view centers on fellowship meetings outside of this building
Some tell me how they are overworked
Others seem oblivious or fell disconnected.
Although not based on theology, we are divided in practice at some levels.
In a general way, we need improved communication that fosters more commitment.
Communication: the gospel of Jesus Christ
Commitment: serve in the power of God.
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