Posts in the Confused? Category

A Few Last Things - 1 Corinthians 16:1-24

September 9, 2013 by Matt Morgan

How do you end an examination of a NT letter? What do you do when you see bold faced headings in a final chapter that read things like "Plans for Travel," or "Greetings." Do you mentally check out and just go through the motions of reading the words? Do you make the assumption that there won't be anything of great significance which God can use in your own life to challenge and continue to shape you? (After all, this was a letter and it was customary at the time for the author to give some final greetings.) Or do you stay engaged, believing that even in the final few verses the Holy Spirit can open your eyes to significant truths? I hope you'll choose the latter this week as we conclude our examination of Paul's first letter to the church at Corinth. Even in the last few verses of his letter Paul included some important truths we need to hear and meditate on.

Categories: Confused? | 0 Comments

Resurrection and Transformation Spell Ultimate Defeat - 1 Corinthians 15:50-58

September 3, 2013 by Matt Morgan

"Powerless" means that one is without any power. It doesn't mean that some of his power is removed or that most of his power is removed, it means that all of his power is removed. Paul had earlier written that death would be the last enemy put under Jesus' feet. But what will that look like? What will it look like when death is rendered completely powerless? Paul answered that question in these last few verses of chapter 15 and then exhorted the church at Corinth to live out their lives in light of what is to come.

Categories: Confused? | 0 Comments

A Transformation Worth Getting Excited About - 1 Corinthians 15:35-49

August 27, 2013 by Matt Morgan

Have you ever gotten really excited about a new version of something? Most of us have probably heard of individuals lining up outside of stores to get a newer version of some product which they have enjoyed in the past. For some it's the latest version of the iPhone or the iPad; for some it's the latest version of a gaming system like the XBox or Playstation; and for some it's the latest version of some other thing. But what is if for you? What thing are you anxiously awaiting the newer, transformed version of? If you are a believer in Christ, the apostle Paul suggested that there is a transformation coming that is really worth getting excited about. We will discover exactly what that is as we examine the next portion of his letter to the church at Corinth this week.

Categories: Confused? | 0 Comments

Don't Leave Out the Resurrection - 1 Corinthians 15:12-34

August 26, 2013 by Matt Morgan

In the first eleven verses of chapter 15 we were challenged to remember and reflect on the gospel each day. We made the case that we can't allow the good news of the gospel to only become one bullet on a list of spiritual things to believe which we check off and move on from. The gospel is something that we should be reflecting on each day and allowing to shape our lives. And this week we will be challenged not to leave out the resurrection when we are reflecting on the gospel. Paul made clear in those first few verses what the essential parts of the gospel were. But perhaps we are sometimes guilty of only reflecting on certain parts. Reflecting on Jesus' death and burial is comforting at times because it reminds us that Jesus took our place and that our sins are forgiven and paid for. But we also have to reflect on the resurrection! In this portion of chapter 15 we will see some important reasons why.

Categories: Confused? | 0 Comments

Remember the Gospel! Every Day! - 1 Corinthians 15:1-11

August 13, 2013 by Matt Morgan

We titled this series through the NT letter of 1 Corinthians "Confused?" The reason for this title is because the church at Corinth seemed to be confused about the ways in which God, Jesus, and the gospel were to impact their everyday lives. One of the reasons this may have been the case was because the believers in Corinth were not remembering and reflecting on the gospel each day. Perhaps like many believers in Jesus today, they viewed the gospel as something to believe in and then move on from (like a box to check off on a spiritual to-do list). It's no wonder then that they were confused about the gospel's implications in their everyday lives - they never realized the significance of reflecting on it every day. So in the first few verses of chapter 15 Paul took the time to remind these believers of the gospel - something they needed to do regularly to rightly live their own lives. And as we look at the state of the Church in America today, we seem to being seeing a church that looks a lot like the church at Corinth. Perhaps it's because we are guilty of the same thing. We need to realize the significance of the gospel for our lives each day and take the time to remind ourselves of the good news of forgiveness and salvation through God's Son, Jesus, on a daily basis.

Categories: Confused? | 0 Comments

Bringing a Habitat for Humanity Mentality to Church - 1 Corinthians 14:1-25

August 6, 2013 by Matt Morgan

Have you ever attended a church worship service? Most of you who will read this post have. For some of you it is something you do every week. For others of you it is something you have only done once before. But what I really want you to consider this week is what you were thinking about in the hours the preceded your attendance. Many of you were probably thinking like a consumer, wondering what you were going to get from your attendance. But is that the way we are supposed to think when we are getting ready for worship? Is that the right mentality to have? Or do we need to condition ourselves to think differently about corporate worship services? Paul has some thoughts to help us think through these questions and we will do our best to examine them and put them into our context this week.

Categories: Confused? | 0 Comments

The Essential Marker - 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

July 22, 2013 by Matt Morgan

If you have ever seen one of the episodes of American Idol that shows individuals auditioning to be contestants on the show then you have probably heard the judges ask the individuals the question, "What makes you the next American Idol?" If you think about it, there is really only one acceptable response to that question, "I have the ability to sing extraordinarily well." A great personality might help; good looks might help; a unique style might help - but if one possesses those traits without having the ability to sing then that individual is not going to have any hope of winning a singing competition. First and foremost the individual must have the ability to sing. Similarly, if one were to ask an individual, "What sets you apart as a believer in Christ?" our temptation might be to respond with any number of answers. One might answer, "I have an incredible knowledge of the Bible," "I am a gifted worship leader," "people are drawn to me when I teach," or "I serve as an elder at my church." But Paul warned that church at Corinth to be careful about what evidence they point to when it comes to determining the maturity of their faith. Paul said that there is one essential marker that we all should possess if the Holy Spirit is residing in our lives. When our lives are transformed by the Gospel then this one marker should be evident in us all.

Categories: Confused? | 0 Comments

An Unworthy Manner of Eating - 1 Corinthians 11:17-34

July 5, 2013 by Matt Morgan

There is a good chance that if you are considering reading this post that you have participated in the Lord's Supper before. (It may not be true for all of you, but probably true for most.) And there is also a good chance that you've heard the warning not to participate in the Lord's Supper in an unworthy manner. But what does that mean? Many of you probably have an idea which is partially right. But if you look at the context in which Paul gave that warning, you might find that you haven't seen the whole picture and that making sure that you are not participating in the Lord's Supper in an unworthy manner actually requires further examination. We'll explore that in detail this week as we look at 1 Corinthians 11:17-34 and what it means to partake of the Lord's Supper in an unworthy manner.

Categories: Confused? | 0 Comments

What I've Been Given and What It's For - 1 Corinthians 12:1-31

July 5, 2013 by Matt Morgan

Chapter 12 of 1 Corinthians contains one of the most recognizable illustrations in the New Testament. And yet it continues to be one that many believers in Christ refuse to live out. So what's the deal? What is chapter 12 all about? Has the church misunderstood Paul's point in 1 Corinthians 12? Or is our problem one of obedience and faithfulness? This week we'll examine what it is, that as believers in Christ, we have been given and what it's been given to us for. Then hopefully we'll have a clearer understanding and resolve to faithfully live out what God reveals to us in this great chapter of Scripture.

Categories: Confused? | 0 Comments

Christ is the Source of our Life so that we can be the Glory of God - 1 Corinthians 11:2-16

June 17, 2013 by Matt Morgan

This week we take on perhaps the most difficult portion of this letter to the church at Corinth. It addresses a very specific problem in a very specific context and gives almost no supporting details. Yet in the midst of some uncertainty come some profound principles that can certainly be applied to the Church today. Both women AND men need to spend some time giving some consideration to implications of the Gospel that we don't always do the best job teaching. Not so that we become more knowledgeable, but so that we can glorify God more.

Categories: Confused? | 0 Comments

Lay Aside My Freedoms for 'Who?' - 1 Corinthians 10:23-11:1

June 10, 2013 by Matt Morgan

Living in America - "the land of the free" - really causes us to value our rights and our freedoms. As a nation it seems like we are always working to protect our rights and freedoms. So the idea of laying our freedoms aside doesn't seem very appealing to most of us. I think many of us would be willing to lay aside our rights and freedoms, IF in the end it worked out for our benefit. But how many of us would actually be willing to lay aside our own rights and freedoms for the good of another. The answer is probably very few. Paul had some words of instruction for the church at Corinth in regards to their personal rights and freedoms - words to help bring some clarity to a church that was confused about the Gospel's implications on this area of their life. They are words that the Church in America today desperately needs to hear as well.

Categories: Confused? | 0 Comments

Life-threatening Idolarty: A Lesson from History - 1 Corinthians 10:1-22

June 5, 2013 by Matt Morgan

Many of us have heard Edmond Burke's (1729-1797) famous quote, "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it." I'm not sure what inspired him to say/write this - if it was an original thought or a concept/idea he picked up on while reading something else. But while the quote (and variations of this quote) seem to go back to Edmond Burke, 1 Corinthians 10 sounds as if the Apostle Paul had had this idea 1700 years earlier. Paul challenged the church at Corinth to look at Israel's history - both the privileges they had and the judgment they endured - and to ask themselves if they were following in Israel's footsteps. The Corinthians needed to understand that God had not looked lightly on Israel's idolatry and that there was no reason to believe that He would look lightly on theirs. And I believe that the church today needs to be challenged to do the same thing. If we don't learn from Israel's idolatry - we may in fact be destined to repeat it.

Categories: Confused? | 0 Comments

Self Disciplined for Running Purposefully - 1 Corinthians 9:1-27

May 28, 2013 by Matt Morgan

Races make sense when the runners in the race are all running towards the same finish line. But that takes great self-discipline. The runners have to train hard; they have to know where the finish line is; and they have to stain within their lanes. When runners practice self-discipline then one is able to watch a race and understand what the runners are running after. If runners run aimlessly - the race doesn't make any sense at all. In this week's text, Paul encourages the church at Corinth not to run aimlessly.

Categories: Confused? | 0 Comments

Full of Knowledge But Empty of Love - 1 Corinthians 8:1-13

May 20, 2013 by Matt Morgan

I'm going to make a big assumption! I'm going to guess that none of you have eaten a meal at the temple of an idol in the last 6 months. So you're probably thinking that you can find something much more productive to do with your time than to work through 1 Corinthians 8, in which Paul addresses some in the church at Corinth who were regularly involved in the practice of eating at the temples of the idols in their community. But let me plead with you not to do that. Yes, Paul writes to a very specific issue taking place in the church at Corinth that doesn't directly correlate to what believers in Christ wrestle with in our communities. But Paul also helps clarify some implications of the Gospel that are incredibly important for believers in Christ today. So take a few minutes to work through this passage with me. Take a few minutes to ask the Holy Spirit to speak truth into your heart and mind. And take a few minutes to give some consideration to how this passage should change your every day life. Our churches desperately need individuals who will wrestle with 1 Corinthians 8 and live out the truths of the Gospel that it challenges us with.

Categories: Confused? | 0 Comments

Relationship Status: Fully Devoted to Jesus - 1 Corinthians 7:25-40

May 14, 2013 by Matt Morgan

Those who are engaged to be married will sometimes get anxious or nervous about their engagement. Usually it's because there is a lot of uncertainty about what the future will look like and what life will be like when one's relationship status changes from 'single' to 'married.' However, for many of the single and engaged believers in Corinth, they were anxious and nervous about engagement for other reasons. They had heard from some that marriage was sinful and that it should not be pursued. So not surprisingly they had some questions for Paul. And in this week's text we'll discover Paul encouraging all believers that their relationship status with others was not nearly as important as the relationship status: "fully devoted to Jesus."

Categories: Confused? | 0 Comments

Living by Gospel Rule Rather than Exceptions - 1 Corinthians 7:8-24

May 6, 2013 by Matt Morgan

Do you ever get the feeling that everyone around you is trying to be the exception, or that people in our culture have presumed that the rules are for everyone else and that they can do as they would like to? That mindset is rampant in America today. But this isn't just a modern day problem. In fact there is evidence that people were struggling with this mindset long before our generation began to wrestle with it. And what makes this problem even worse is that it is so ingrained into our culture that this way of thinking has made its way into the church. As a result, our churches are filled with individuals who are trying to live within the exceptions that the Bible allows rather than living according to the call that we have all been given. We can't be okay with this mindset! Instead we need to all strive to live our lives according to the call the Jesus has given to us!

Categories: Confused? | 0 Comments

Seeking Clarity on Intercourse - 1 Corinthians 7:1-7

April 29, 2013 by Matt Morgan

The title "Confused?" really is an appropriate one for this sermon series. The believers who made up the church at Corinth were really working hard to understand exactly how God, Jesus, and the Gospel impacted different aspects of our everyday lives. Throw into the confusion a culture that emphasized things like worldly wisdom and people's proneness to wander into sin and things really get crazy. The church seemed to need clarity on a lot of issues - including sexual intercourse within marriage. And Paul, longing to see the church rightly understanding the Gospel and rightly living out the realities of life in Christ, didn't shy away from setting the church straight. In this passage, Paul makes clear that while the Gospel changes us - it doesn't change God's design and plan for sexual intercourse within marriage.

Categories: Confused? | 0 Comments

On Account of Your Body, RUN! - 1 Corinthians 6:12-20

April 22, 2013 by Matt Morgan

Worldly wisdom wasn't the only thing that confused the believers who made up the Corinthian church. Many of these individuals also wrestled with issues regarding personal freedom and authority. Their limited scope of what Jesus accomplished in His death, burial, and resurrection combined with popular slogans of the time had led many believers to pursue what they considered to be harmless personal freedoms. What they didn't realize was that the Gospel was much bigger in scope than they had realized and that the "freedom" they were actually pursuing was sin that was damaging their personal purity and their Gospel witness. And the bad news for us is, we still wrestle with the same limited understanding, the same pursuits, and the same sin today. So Paul exhorts us to RUN!

Categories: Confused? | 0 Comments

Do I Really Need to Get Mine Now? - 1 Corinthians 6:1-11

April 9, 2013 by Matt Morgan

Have you ever heard someone say, "Just live for the moment?" My guess is that you probably have. In fact some of you may actually try to live your lives by that motto. But have you ever given any consideration to the mindset behind that way of thinking and living? One who thinks that way and lives that way has placed an incredibly high value on the present. And it's a mentality that is possessed by both non-believers and believers in Christ. But for those of us who are believers in Christ, we need to ask ourselves, "Do God, Jesus, and/or the Gospel have implication for what I value? And is such a high value on the present a good thing or are should there be other things that I value more?" These are questions we'll wrestle with as we work through this week's text.

Categories: Confused? | 0 Comments

Become What You Are! - 1 Corinthians 5:1-13

March 18, 2013 by Matt Morgan

In a Nike commercial several years ago, then star NBA player, Charles Barkley responded to criticism that he had started receiving from NBA front office executives and other concerned citizens. In the commercial Charles stated that he was not a role model and that he was not paid to be a role model. He stated that he was a basketball player paid to play basketball. Charles wanted the recognition and financial privileges that came from being a star NBA player, but he did not want many of the responsibilities that came with it. There were many saying to him that the responsibility of being a role model was something that he had accepted when he chose a career in the NBA. He was in reality a role model. They were just urging him to start acting and behaving like one. The church at Corinth had experienced a similar scenario thousands of years earlier in which Paul said to them, "Don't be confused about the real life impact God, Jesus, and the Gospel has had on you as a church. It has radically changed who you are. You have a new reality - you have become something different. Now it's time that you start living that way!"

Categories: Confused? | 0 Comments

Ready for the Test? - 1 Corinthians 4:1-21

March 11, 2013 by Matt Morgan

Can you remember the last test that you took? (For some it hasn't been very long. For other's we have to think back quite a ways.) Do you remember how you felt before the test? Perhaps you experienced an anxiousness that made you wonder if you were really ready for the test. But while most of us probably didn't like taking tests, they were good ways of measuring how much we understood and how well we had mastered the material. If the test told us we had a good understanding we could continue to move forward. If the test told us that we did not have a good understanding we knew that we needed to go back and correct the misunderstanding that we did have. In the text we are going to examine this week Paul provides for his readers an important spiritual test that every believer in Christ ought to take from time to time. It's a great way of measuring how we are doing spiritually and as stewards of the Gospel. The important question though is "Are you willing to take it?"

Categories: Confused? | 0 Comments

Gospel Building or Cultural Building - 1 Corinthians 3:1-23

March 4, 2013 by Matt Morgan

I think that there is evidence to suggest that our perspective towards building things changes over time. When we are young we find enjoyment and satisfaction in the building process. We are eager to build and have little to no care for titles and positions. But as we become adults our perspective towards building changes. Titles and positions are significant; we have greater expectations for leadership and those in positions over us; and we will only build so much if we aren't getting paid or recognized. This 'adult' perspective of building things has started to influence our perspective on how God calls us to build the church, and many of us are confused about how we are to go about building the church. Paul addresses some of those questions in this week's text and exhorts us to Gospel building instead of cultural building.

Categories: Confused? | 0 Comments

Revealing a Plan That No One Would Otherwise Ever Know - 1 Corinthians 2:6-16

February 25, 2013 by Matt Morgan

In the last passage we noted that Paul de-emphasized worldly wisdom because it isn't something that helps us to understand the Gospel better. Instead it actual hinders us from accepting and believing the good news of salvation that comes through faith in Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection. As we continue in our examination of Paul's letter to the church at Corinth this week we discover that God's plan for salvation through Jesus was actually a plan that no one was capable of understanding because it was a plan crafted by God's wisdom and then hidden in Him until He was ready to make it known to mankind. But in an incredible demonstration of His goodness and graciousness God reveals this plan to certain individuals through His Spirit. How does He do that and what does that look like? We'll try our best to articulate that in this week's post.

Categories: Confused? | 0 Comments

Who Did This to Me? - 1 Corinthians 1:10-2:5

February 11, 2013 by Matt Morgan

Last week we noted that those who had heard the good news of Jesus and believed in Him as Savior and Lord had been "sanctified" (i.e. their identity had changed - they went from evil, sinful individuals living for their own purposes to cleansed and forgiven individuals set apart for God's purposes). But in a culture that placed great value on 'wisdom' some began to be confused on the role that 'wisdom' played in the transformation they had experienced. As a result some started to place their allegiance in the wrong place. This week we'll look at Paul's response to one of the problem's in the church in Corinth and Paul's response as he sought to help the church at Corinth answer the question, "Who did this to me?"

Categories: Confused? | 0 Comments

The Asset Identity - 1 Corinthians 1:1-9

February 4, 2013 by Matt Morgan

The apostle Paul had proclaimed the good news of Jesus during his second missionary journey in the influential city of Corinth. Initially there were people who responded to the good news by placing their faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord, so Paul planted a church there to continue the work of proclaiming the message of salvation through Jesus. But after Paul left it appears that a little confusion set in. It seems as if there was confusion among the church at Corinth concerning how God, Jesus, and the Gospel impacted real life. So Paul wrote the church a letter to help bring clarity and to help resolve some of the problems that had come up. In the "Bible Belt" South there is no shortage of churches. However, there does seem to be some real confusion and doubt about how God, Jesus, and the Gospel are to really impact our lives. So we are going to spend the next several months working through Paul's first letter to the church at Corinth to see if we can bring clarity to some of the confusion we find in our own context. We invite you to join us in this process as we begin by examining the introduction to this incredibly important letter.

Categories: Confused? | 0 Comments