Sermon Text: 1 Corinthians 15:1-8
The Church in America is in crisis today. Sectors of the Church in America are characterized by false teaching, by celebration of sexual depravity, by weak and failing leadership, and by an embrace of worldly philosophy.
In 1 Corinthians, we learn that the Church in America was not the first to suffer a crisis from many of these same things.
In 1 Corinthians, “Doctor” Paul will diagnose the problems of the Corinthian church and will offer solutions. Like a diseased tree, he will identify the bad fruit and the root issues that are the source of their problems. In doing so, he also identifies what a healthy tree – that is, a healthy church – should be like.
|FRUIT ISSUES (CHARACTERISTICS)|
|DISEASED CHURCH||HEALTHY CHURCH|
|ROTTEN FRUIT||PASSAGE||GOOD FRUIT||PASSAGE|
|Sexual Depravity||5:1-13 (5:1-2b); 6:12-20 (6:15-16)||Discipline & Purity||5:2c—5, 11; 6:18a & 19-20.|
|Conflict||6:1-8 (6:1)||Dispute Resolution & Repentance||6:5 & 6:9-11|
|Confusion about Relationships (Marriage, Unmarried, Widows, Slaves & Betrothed)||7:1-40 (7:1)||Live Faithfully as Called||7:17, 20 & 24|
|Abuses of Liberty||8:1-11:1 (8:9-12)||Self-Control||8:13, 10:31 & 11:1|
|Disorderly Worship||11:2-14:40 (11:20-22, 14:23||Orderly Worship||14:26 & 14:40|
|False Teaching||15:1-58 (15:12-14)||Steadfastness in the Truth||15:58|
|ROTTEN ROOTS||PASSAGE||GOOD ROOTS||PASSAGE|
|Lust (Fleshly Desires)||3:1-3||Love||13:1-14:1a & 16:14|
|Weak Elders||1:10, 4:17, 5:6||Strong Elders||16:13|
|A “Gospel and ---” Foundation||3:18-19a||A “Gospel Only” Foundation||1:18, 2:2 & 15:20-22|
The Church in America is in a state of confusion, chaos and crisis.
If there is conflict and division in the church, check your love.
If there is confusion and false teaching in the church, check your leadership.
If there is perversion and depravity, check your foundation.
Pollution of the Gospel will always lead to problems and perversion in the church.
What is this Gospel? Paul identifies it for us in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8. Some scholars think that vss. 3b – 5 may be the earliest creed of the Church.
What about you, believer? Is the Gospel your only foundation? What about you, non-Christian? Will you believe this good news – that your sin has created an infinite moral debt to God, that Jesus Christ in His crucifixion signed the check in His blood to pay off your sin-debt, that He will not only pay your debt but He will transform the debtor from sinner to saint – will you make this Good News your foundation, today?