With regards to obedience there are not two ways to live, but three. There is disobedience, sullen obedience, and joyful obedience which comes from a heart transformed by the Holy Spirit. True obedience comes from a heart that treasures the One we obey, such that obedience is our desire and our delight. It is possible to go through life apparently keeping God’s commandments — being a good Christian and an obedient child — but all the while being spiritually dead! This sermon is a call for “inside-out” obedience.
In the same way… (Eph 5:28). In this passage of God’s Word we have three more ways a husband is to be like Christ in the way he loves His wife — dutifully, tenderly and faithfully.
Paul is not addressing just anyone, but saints, those who are in Christ Jesus – those who have been graciously redeemed by the blood of Christ, who gave Himself up for them, and who are empowered by the indwelling Spirit of God. It is because the recipients of this letter are believers who know God and His love that they can fulfill their duty to love their wives in the same way.
1 Corinthians 12:1–31
What is your view of the local church? What do you think is your role in the local church? 1 Corinthians 12 teaches that God sovereignly and graciously blends believers together form the local church, the body of Christ — one body, made up of many different parts, who together use their gifts for the building-up of the church, and all this for the glory of God. This sermon is an encouragement for believers to pursue the visible unity of the local church and work for the common good with whatever gift the Spirit of God has given them.
In this portion of the Bible, God chooses to reveal this most profound of all the mysteries revealed in the NT — the union of Christ and the church.
The apostle Paul never refers to a believer as a Christian, but again and again describes a believer as someone who is “in Christ” — this is how he describes himself, and it is his emphasis throughout his letters. Thus it has been well said that, “The heart of Paul’s religion is union with Christ.”
Do you think of yourself as fundamentally someone “in Christ”? Has this reality yet dawned on you and taken root in your heart? Does it thrill you and comfort you and give you hope for the future? Is this something that encourages you and causes you to praise God? Here we have four descriptions of a believer’s union with Christ, to the praise of His glorious grace and our enjoyment.