• 1 Corinthians 1:1-9 Being Graced, and Doing It Gracefully (Stevenson)

    We are where we are because of the grace of God. And God is faithful and will not stop blessing us. He will strengthen us to the end. So let us gracefully acknowledge the source of our gifts. Let us give God the glory and place our trust in him!

  • 1 Corinthians 1:3-9 Appearances to the Contrary (Hyde)

    Appearances to the contrary, God will come to us again in human flesh and dwell among us. The hope that marks this special season is not generated by us. It is a gift from God. If we will open our hearts this season to receive it, appearances to the contrary, God will indeed dwell with us. That, I think, is worth hoping for. Do you agree?

  • 1 Corinthians 1:10-18 Same Mind, Same Purpose (Kegel)

    Christ is the center of our faith--the center of our Church. In Christ divisions between church bodies, races, backgrounds, educational levels, incomes, political affiliation, break down-or should. In Christ there is no north or south, no east or west. In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female. We are all one as we are one in the Lord--or should be.

  • 1 Corinthians 1:18 God’s Foolishness (Gerhardy)

    People said Jesus was a fool. Crowds came to hear his message of God's love. Sick people pressed on him to be healed. Teachers of the Law were shocked by his disrespect for their religious traditions. Mark's Gospel reports, "When his friends heard it, they went out to seize him: for they said, 'He is insane.' The scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, 'He has Beelzebul.'

  • 1 Corinthians 1:18-24 Riding the Donkey in Life (Bowen)

    One week a year God is supposed to get a fighting chance for our attention. Because that is what the old story is all about – God. Not whether he exists. Everybody in town on that Palm Sunday knew he existed. About that there was no question. Atheism is rather new to the human scene. It might stem from an adolescent difficulty with authority, that some people never get over.

  • 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 God’s Bypass of Elites (Bowen)

    Where is God in this world? That's where he is. Extraordinary spirit in an ordinary place. And it really has the power to change things, to change us. So that's where God is in this world - the extra-ordinary spirit of Jesus still present and powerful in very ordinary places.

  • I Corinthians 3:1-11 Partners with God (Donovan)

    When I look at the newspaper headlines, I see problems so large that I am overwhelmed. I would like to help, but what can one man do? What can this congregation do? What can the whole church do? Isaiah felt much the same way.

  • 1 Corinthians 8:1-13 It’s Not What You Know (Leininger)

    In Clarence Jordan's Cotton Patch Version of Paul's Epistles, the parallel is First Atlanta, and the subject is not about what food Christians may or may not eat but rather whether it is permissible for Christians to work on Sunday, an issue in 1968 when the Cotton Patch version was published, but now, not quite 40 years later, one we rarely hear discussed.

  • 1 Corinthians 8:1-13 Eating the Food of Idols (Sylvester)

    There are three lessons for us here. First, what is safe for you may not be safe for me. Second, we can't decide everything with just our minds. God gave us hearts to use too. Third, God wants more from us than just a token sacrifice.

  • 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Getting in Shape (Bowen)

    If there is a cultural battle in our time, it is over the question as to which of these dimensions of human experience will dominate. Life as race, fight, battle for self-mastery, self-discipline, self-control, or life as satisfaction of desires, enjoyment of all the available pleasures, life as focused on fun and ease.

  • 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Olympic Challenge (Kegel)

    The sports metaphor in this text is a radical departure from everything we have in biblical literature, and shows just how radical Paul is in adapting the faith to his culture. In antiquity, athletes performed nude. Women were forbidden to watch the contests for this reason.

  • 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Spiritual Aerobics (Bowen)

    Behind what we are calling "responsibility skills" lies the need for self-discipline, and learning the discipline of the self is painful. This is a truth our society chooses to ignore. Everything from diet pills to Willow Creek testifies to our desire to avoid the discomfort of self-discipline.

  • 1 Corinthians 11:17-26 For Better or For Worse (Wagner)

    Paul told the church at Corinth to "remember." They had apparently forgotten what it meant to be a church. There were divisions among them, not because they were different, but because each was doing his/her own thing. It wasn't the supper of the Lord they sought, it was to feed their own stomachs.

  • 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 The Grace of God (Brettell) First Communion

    When you come up here today to join in this Eucharistic meal, know that you are receiving; just as Jesus' friends did 2,000 years ago--know that you are receiving the body and blood of Jesus, the covenant between God and you that your sins—all of them—are forgiven.

  • 1 Corinthians 12:27 Unity in the Spirit (Gerhardy)

    Some regarded their spiritual gifts as superior to those of others and it went on. Paul spoke firmly to those Christians saying, "For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free; and were all given to drink into one Spirit" (1 Corinthians 12.13).

  • 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 The Community (Hyde)

    Paul says that we have a variety of gifts. Some are good at some things while others are good at doing something else. There is one Spirit, Paul says, but when the Spirit dispenses gifts to us they come out varied and different. But when we put all these gifts together, we form community.

  • 1 Corinthians 12:4-13 Unity, Not Conformity (Donovan)

    There was a lot of vitality in Corinth. People exercised a variety of gifts. One gift, in particular, was causing trouble — the gift of tongues. Some people, then as now, made the speaking of unknown or spiritual languages the criterion for a faithful Christian. They wanted limit the church to tongues-speakers. They wanted conformity.

  • 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 Our Gifts: Tools or Trophies (Donovan)

    The problem in Corinth was that people took pride in their own gifts and demeaned other people's gifts. In many cases, our problem is just the opposite. We admire other peoples' gifts, and demean our own. We know that some people are smart--talented--beautiful. But we feel ordinary—plain—ungifted. But God didn't leave any of us without gifts.

  • 1 Corinthians 12:12-32 Where Everyone Counts (Wagner)

    In Corinth. some folks thought they were better than others. They were not inclusive, so the love of God was not very visible. Therefore, Paul was reminding them that although they weren't all the same, they were still the body of Christ. The only way they could be the body of Christ was to be united.

  • 1 Corinthians 13 That Without Which — Nothing! (Donovan)

    Everyone knows the 13th chapter of First Corinthians—the great "Love Chapter" of the Bible. But very few people know the 12th chapter of First Corinthians. That's unfortunate, because the two chapters go together. In the 12th chapter, Paul presents a problem. In the 13th chapter, he presents the answer.

  • 1 Corinthians 13 Love (Stevenson)

    Ancient philosophers said that everything is made of four elements: earth, air, fire, and water. The movie "The Fifth Element" imagined that there was a fifth element that tied these four together. That fifth most important element was "Love." Maslow, the psychological theorist, said that Love is one of the five basic needs of a human and that to be healthy and happy we need to love and be loved.

  • 1 Corinthians 13 The Greatest Gift (Leininger)

    Here Paul explains what he DOES mean. Love is not some warm-fuzzy feeling. Love means some very practical things: Love is patient--kind--does not envy--does not boast--is not proud--is not rude--is not self-seeking--is not easily angered--keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always protects--trusts--hopes--perseveres. No sentimental journey here. This is where the rubber meets the road.

  • 1 Corinthians 13 The Take and Give of Love (Donovan)

    Now this is not a sermon on divorce. I am not saying that people should never divorce. This is a sermon about love, and the subject of love gets all wrapped up with marriage. Now compare Shelley Winter's view of love with that of the Apostle Paul, who said....

  • 1 Corinthians 15 Empty Tomb––Full Life (Bowen)

    As N.T. Wright puts it, "They knew as well as we do that things like that just don't happen. When people died they stayed dead.... Jesus' followers weren't expecting him to die in the first place; when he did, they certainly weren't expecting him to rise again. Yet they say, loud and clear, that that was what had happened. He had gone through death and out the other side, into a new mode of human existence."

  • 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 Small Deaths and Little Resurrections (Entrekin)

    Paul wrote to friends in distress: Back to basics, friends. I give to you what I received, the most important thing, that Christ died for our sins, was buried and was raised on the third day and then appeared to one, to twelve, to many, many more including me, even me. If you believe this, you will receive grace--and become grace for others.

  • 1 Corinthians 15:3-20 My Future is Forever (Bowen)

    Eugene Smith never sang much. But one year his daughter persuaded him to sing with the choir on the Hallelujah chorus. Near the end, he was just about to sing a couple more Hallelujahs when the choir stopped. He said, "Since that time I have been going around with a couple of Hallelujahs inside just waiting to get out."

  • 1 Corinthians 15:12-20 Baptized into Easter (London)

    Do you remember the Etch-A-Sketch? When you made a mistake you could shake it and voila — clean slate — you could start over. We're here this morning to celebrate Easter--God's shaking up the world so that we could start over. All the death and sin that had been written and drawn has been erased and God has begun a new creation.

  • 1 Corinthians 15:19-26 Does the Resurrection Make a Difference (Anders)

    Perhaps the greatest line about the Resurrection comes from the famous preacher of another age, J. S. Whale, who said, "The Gospels do not explain the Resurrection; the Resurrection explains the Gospels."

  • 1 Corinthians 15:51-58 What Happens When I Die? (Donovan)

    Paul didn't write First Corinthians 15 as a scientific textbook. Instead, he simply gives us a glimpse into eternity, and promises that it will be wonderful. Paul concludes: "Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (15:57).