This 16-chapter letter is comprised mainly of troubleshooting, confronting, exhorting, and correcting. No other New Testament letter gives the pastor of a church in conflict a broader base of preaching material as he leads his flock out of carnal dangers and into new territory of purity and unity.
Without love, knowledge can be a source of pride. Without humility, knowledge can lead us into a judgmental attitude. Without wisdom, knowledge can result in idealism and a perfectionist spirit. Knowledge needs a buffer…something to soften it, to give it perspective, to make it workable and real. Perhaps the very best companion for knowledge is discernment.
In our previous time together, we were introduced to a syndrome that has plagued our society for years. Thanks to Dr. Dan Kiley, we have a name for it—the “Peter Pan Syndrome”—and the more we study it, the more we understand what we are dealing with. Although the name is new, the problem is old. In fact, we can trace its roots all the way back to the fall of man in the garden. As we shall see, not even the early church was free of this insidious problem
The Apostle Paul warned us to turn our attention to what really matters—the cross of Christ—even if the world thinks it foolish and weak. Because through the cross, God blesses.
Miscommunication can lead to misunderstanding. This is especially true when what is being communicated winds up in the hearing of the wrong person.
In our image-conscious society, there is an enormous emphasis placed on appearing to be someone you’re not. Playing such a role is not just inauthentic; it also encourages us to keep others at a distance.
“Troth” isn’t a word we often use. It’s a solemn pledge made at the altar between a bride and a groom, a pledge to remain faithful to one another. Maybe it’s a word we should start using again.
Loving the world means getting caught up in the attitudes and values that characterize our world...things that can lead to addictions and destroy you spiritually, physically, and emotionally. But that doesn’t mean you’re supposed to live in isolation and live a plain, drab life.
Christians are unwise when they remain out of touch and live in secrecy. Being responsible includes being accountable, not just to God but also to one another. If carried out in the power and under the control of the Holy Spirit, accountability can be one of the most secure and reassuring facets of our Christian experience.
Wondering how to stay pure in a world filled with temptation? Learn to run. As soon as you find yourself starting to lust, run. You cannot lust and run at the same time.