The good news mantra for the day and age and culture that we live, is one that places the individual at the centre of the world. One which promotes and celebrates the reckless development of the individual, where people are not bound by “man made” patterns and ideas of existence that have been formed by society, religion or politics. It is a world where things such as religion are there to serve the individual and should underpin and celebrate the desires and conclusions regarding the reality that an individual comes to, whatever that may be. We live in a society where people are encouraged to indulge their desires whatever the consequences and as a result, people make sense of everything through the prism of their individual desires, needs, comfort and “development”.
These are the waters that we swim in every single day, the questions we have to face and consider in our pursuit of contending for the truth, the pastoral swamp that we have to wade through as we seek to point people to Jesus. It is within this atmosphere that the people of God live and it is from this darkness that people are saved from. And more often than not it is a wrestle for us as we seek to live out as people of light and truth.
People who live in a world that says that their desires and wants are most important but have been brought into a reality of Jesus being preeminent and experience a call and conviction to love and consider others more than themselves, can bring difficulty and struggle as the old person wrestles with the new creation that they are.
As the truth of the gospel collides with broken ways of thinking and living in the context of community, it makes things messy. And churches up and down the land fail to step into the mess by not proclaiming truth, allowing sin to fester and disunity to continue, and then the world sees a people who are supposed to be declaring the glories of the one who is love, have nothing amongst them that would resemble that at all.
Why are we wanting to study 1 Corinthians? Because we want our churches to be communities of people who care for and desire holiness, have real unity one with another around the truth of the gospel and live out the language of God’s love in a way that is plain to see by all. This is what Paul’s hope and goal was as he wrote to the church in Corinth. Yes, he was responding to concerns brought to him but he was also reminding them of the truth of the gospel. As we will read in this letter to the Christians in Corinth we will see and also come to realise that as we contend for holiness, unity, love and truth things may get messy, but there will be fruit amongst Gods people for his glory and our good.
The churches of Cornerstone Collective are messy and will be till Jesus returns, but we want to step into the mess with the gospel and we want to confront the mess with the gospel, walking with one another as Jesus works out his purpose in and through us.