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August 11 - Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing!

Thursday, August 11, 2011 View Comments Comments (0)
As you continue to read Paul’s letters, we always talk about the mess that the churches in Corinth had gotten into. Anytime we got off the main message or away from our primary purpose we are heading for trouble. Years ago I saw a motivational poster that had a scene of a man surrounded by alligators. The alligators seemed in the picture ready to have the man for supper. The caption read “When you find yourself up to your armpits in alligators it is hard to remember that your initial objective was to drain the swamp.” 
 
As I described in my last post, Paul identifies three reasons for the problems in the Corinthian churches in his first letter written to them as Paul worked in the city of Ephesus. Read 1 Corinthians 1:18-3:4. The first reason that he addresses is that of their misunderstanding of the message of the Gospel. We might excuse their misunderstandings because they were just getting started. We have no excuse. We have almost 2000 years of Christian history and teaching. Yet, we continue to get it wrong. The Corinthians were depending on human wisdom rather than the simple preaching of the Cross.
 
Their dependence on human wisdom had moved them away from their main purpose and only reason that would make a difference in their lives. Problems had occurred in their churches and lives. Sin had entered into their fellowship. They had drifted into false teaching that was taking away their hope. They had moved away from the promise of eternal life through the death and resurrection of Jesus.  Read 1 Corinthians 15. They had lost their love for each other and for God. This led them to compare the gifts of the Spirit, judging who had the greatest gifts. 
 
Let’s be honest, problems do occur. We do have an enemy who would want to destroy us. We must deal with the problems in the proper way. Read 1 Corinthians 2:22. The main thing that has to be kept the main thing is Jesus. Notice that Paul reminded the Corinthians that when he was with them, his message was  Jesus, and what Jesus had done for us, His death on the Cross and resurection. The focal point of Paul’s message was the Gospel, Good News, that God had given Jesus to die for us on the Cross. 
 
Paul wrote to the Galatians, who had also developed problems, that there is only one Gospel. Read Galatians 1:6-10. Paul wrote that any other message was not a Gospel at all.  Any  message other than the fact that “God so loved the world that He Gave His only Son,” is not Good News at all. When we move away from that message we lose the Good News that has set us free and can carry us through the problems we encounter. 
 
The answer to any problem we encounter is always Jesus. Now that sounds far too simple. Our problems are far more complicated than that. Yes, our problems are complicated but the answer is simple. Jesus came to be our Savior. Read 1 Corinthians 15:50-58. God gives us the victory over everything including death through our Lord Jesus Christ. When you find yourself up to your armpits in alligators remember - Jesus is the victory, and just “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:58) What is the main thing in your life? 

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