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Living a Cross Shaped Life (1 Corinthians 4:1-21) | Imperfect

In this chapter, Paul asks the Corinthians, “What do you have that you did not receive?” This question encapsulates Paul’s theology of grace, which holds that everything we have is a gift from God. In order to encourage the Corinthians to live a life shaped by God’s grace, and the sacrifice and surrender the cross calls us to, Paul employs a combination of irony, sarcasm, and tender love to guide them. However, he recognizes that mere teachings are not enough; the Corinthians need an embodied example to follow. As such, he sends them Timothy, a living embodiment of humility and grace, to model for them what it means to live a life in accordance with the gospel.

Sermon Notes:

  • How we view influence matters.
  • Who is influencing you?
  • Is scripture your standard?
  • Gospel centred influencers don’t reach for power.
  • Instead gospel-centred influencers humbly serve.
  • Gospel centred influencers don’t strike back.
  • Instead, gospel centred influencers surrender.
  • Gospel centred influencers doesn’t shame.
  • Instead gospel centred influence care.
  • Are we are following whose lives reflect the way of Jesus? 

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Good News That Annoys (Acts 4:1-27) (K)

In Acts 4:2 Luke writes that the Sadducees were “greatly annoyed” with Peter and John “because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.” When we function as Christ’s witnesses in this world, sooner or later (and likely sooner rather than later), we will end up saying things that greatly annoy the people and the culture that we find ourselves in. We should expect opposition and even persecution. That opposition and persecution shouldn’t cause us any worry or fear though, instead, we can speak with boldness like Peter and John did because we are convinced of the truth of what we have believed, seen and experienced and because God is in control and sovereign over all things.

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The Praise Filter

We might also think of this filter as the thankfulness filter. This filter is quite similar to the Honour filter, expect that the object here is God rather than people. Are we a people that are constantly in awe of God and all that He has done for us? Are we focused on the beauty of the grace He has shown to us through Christ? Yes, but also the common grace of a great meal, a beautiful sunset, a stunning vista? How would it change our entire disposition if we were rejoicing always and giving thanks in all things (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17). What if we recognized that every good thing, every gift we received was actually a gift from God (James 1:17)? What if we cultivated a prayer life that was less focused on all that we lack and more focused on all that God has provided?

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