This past Sunday, Brad kicked off our new sermon series, “The Beautiful Mess,” which will be a verse-by-verse look at 1st Corinthians over the next year. Paul planted the church in the city of Corinth (modern day Greece) in AD 50 and stayed with the new Christians for 18 months before taking off to Ephesus. After Paul left Corinth, things began to get crazy as the Corinthians went back to the habits of their life before Christ in a city famous for its immorality. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians is primarily a rebuke to the church that they are not living in light of the good news of what Jesus has accomplished through His life, death, resurrection, ascension, and future return.
While 1st Corinthians is a letter primarily of rebuke and correction to a church that is delighting and indulging in sin, Paul begins his letter by encouraging the Corinthians with the grace of Jesus. In verse 4, Paul writes, “I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus.” Paul encourages the Christians/saints in Corinth by reminding them of the grace of Jesus. He encourages them by pointing them to the finished, continuing, and future work of Jesus.
- “You were enriched in Christ” v.5
- “You are not lacking in any gift.” v.7
- “Jesus will sustain you till the end.” v.8
- “You will be declared guiltless on that day.” v.8
- “God is faithful.” v.9
- “You have been called into the fellowship with Jesus.” v.9
Brad showed us that while the Corinthians are a complete mess, Paul reminds them of Jesus’ beauty at work in them. As Christians, we are a Beautiful Mess. We have been called into relationship with Jesus and called together as a family. We are a family who sins, yet are saints. We are a family with brokenness, yet covered in grace. We are a messy family, yet a beautiful one. And this is all because of Jesus and the greatest Beautiful Mess of the cross. At the cross, Jesus took on our sin so that we could receive His righteousness. His beauty for our mess. Let us be encouraged today in Jesus’ gracious past, present, and future work in us.
If you missed Sunday’s sermon, “The Beautiful Mess,” listen to it here.