Faithlife Sermons

A Time to Examine: Finding The Source of Faith

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Static Electricity/ Potential Energy

We cannot see electrons. We cannot see the potential energy that is stored up in an object like a sheet of paper, a balloon or an electric wire. We cannot see the potential energy stored in a storm cloud.
Wires are small and flexible yet hold a strong enough current to activate devices or to stop our hearts or shock them enough to beat again. Potential Energy must be probed to be detected.
Bring something near that is not grounded and it will insulate the electrical charge or nothing at all will happen, at least initially.
But if there is an opening in that insulation or the wire is overcharged that energy will spill out with heat or even with explosive effect.
But if we bring something that is grounded near to what is charged, we see the shock of power driving through it.

Making connections allows for the free flow of energy.

By disconnecting they lose our energy.

When we get disconnected from the source, we lose energy.

Like the disconnected conduit, when we get disconneted from our energy source, and others who are grounded, our potential energy is wasted and we lose our purpose, and we might even try to steal what little energy other have left.

When we get disconnected from others, we lose our purpose.

We may try to guess at the source; we may try to guess at our purpose; or we may guess at how to make the connection; but nothing is better that staying connected to our source and those connected to the source.

We need to know where our source is, if we are to live by our created purpose.

The church gathered in Corinth was starting to lose their ability to identify their source.

They were a connection of people.

There were too many distractions and too many claims to the source (splices, redirects, and useless devices).

Paul warned them about their behavior 3 times.

Deuteronomy 19:15 NIV
One witness is not enough to convict anyone accused of any crime or offense they may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.

They started to doubt their beginnings and the Apostle Paul, their spiritual father.

Paul was their connection to the source, Jesus Christ

Paul warned them all, as a group (a bundle of wires).

Paul was a Jew in Gentile Corinth.

Paul was Jew with higher ideals based in the moral Laws of God, and in Corinth he was among Gentile Converts who did not know God’s Laws.

There were two groups involved

Those who supported Paul and those who did not support Paul, but both were being contentious. All were in the wrong.

Instead of admonishing (correcting) each other in love, they argued about who they should listen too.

To some Paul seemed weak in person, even if his letters were strong.

They demanded proof from Paul that he spoke God’s true word.

The church in Corinth were demanding proof of Paul’s authority to instruct and correct them. They were questioning Paul’s motives and his power; possibly what miracles he had performed or how much suffering he had to endure, thereby proving to them his wisdom from experience.
Could they trust that Paul was teaching them the right things?
How were they to discern what was being taught to them was right?
v. 3-4 The real proof for that lies in the basic structure of his and their faith in Christ [The Source]: the paradox of the weakness of the cross and the power of the resurrection.

The cross may look weak, but it possesses all the strength of God (1 Cor. 1:25).

If it was true for Christ, it is true also for his servant Paul.

He is simultaneously weak and strong since he participates in both the dying and the risen Christ (4:10; Phil. 3:10).
1 Corinthians 11:1 NIV
1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

It is Jesus Christ who is the Source of our Faith.

The moment that we comprehend and accept the Grace of Jesus Christ and repent of all sin, Jesus gives us faith.
Faith is given to us as the Evidence of the Hope that we find in the Grace of the Jesus Christ dying on the cross for our sin.

Paul told them that they needed to examine themselves for the proof of his authority.

For Paul faith is primarily an attitude of trust and obedience towards God through Christ.

He essentially asks them if they are still Christians?

The body of Christ is the temple of the Spirit in which Christ dwells (1 Cor. 3:16).

The faith they had in Jesus Christ was the proof.

Paul reminds the Corinthians that it is the faith they have in Jesus Christ that proves whether what he taught was the truth.

It was Paul who had come to them to share them the truth, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Paul knew that Christ was in them. So, he appealed to them corporately to hold the faith and remain strong.

He did not want to punish anyone but to build them up.

He instructs them: “Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace.”

In private do you?

Searching the Scriptures
Healthy Living

Hold together through:

Public Worship
The Lord’s Supper
Holy Conferencing (speaking together)

Share in the acts of Mercy:

Doing Good
Visiting the Sick
Visiting the Imprisoned
Feeding & Clothing the needy
Earning, Saving, and Giving Generously
Seeking Justice
Opposing Slavery/Human Trafficking/All forms of Racism

The Triune God builds us up with Grace, Love and Fellowship

The Grace of Jesus Christ’s activity, death and resurrection;
The Love of God;
Our Fellowship with the Holy Spirit draws us all together as the people of God.

Examine your hearts and ask: Do I have faith in Jesus Christ to save me? Do I continue to look for hope by the means of his grace?

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