Escalate Sermon Blog & Connection Point Questions

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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Calling His Shot

April 8, 2013 by Matt Morgan

On October 1st, 1932 one of the greatest predictions in sports history was made and came true. It is still to this day, perhaps the single greatest moment in the history of baseball. It is a moment well known by many who don't even consider themselves fans of sports. But why is it so well known? Is it because the prediction itself, at the time it was made, was rather unbelievable? Was it because it actually happened? Or was it a combination of both? Who knows! The truth is, as amazing as it was, it has no eternal significance whatsoever. But history tells us there was another individual who made an even more unbelievable prediction, and it not only came true too - but it altered human history forever!

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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!"

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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?"

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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.

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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.

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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?"

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