First Corinthians 15 is a chapter brimming with cruciform language. The apostle Paul's symphony to the Church at Corinth crescendos into a 58-verse movement whose melody is the resurrection. From the first word to the last, Paul endeavors to draw the readers' attention to the veracity of the resurrection.
What makes a church a church? Is it the building? Is it the denomination? Is it the shared beliefs? Certainly these things are important, but they're not really what make a church. If that were the case, then the prettiest buildings would be the best churches, and the Catholics would have us beat by a long shot.
The fight to clean ourselves up is a common struggle that paralyzes both believers and unbelievers alike. We’re constantly wrestling with the law of righteousness and where that righteousness is found. By birth, we’re self-saviors. We look to ourselves for the peace and prosperity we crave. In our pride, we deem ourselves better gods than even God Himself.
Reputations and résumés. Our lives are guided by them. We come into this world with an ingrained notion that who we are is predicated on what we do. Thus, if we’re not accomplishing anything of much semblance, we feel like failures. The drug of the next generation isn’t an amphetamine, it’s notoriety.
I would say that as Christians and disciples of God’s Word, we are inherently called to be theologians. Many before me have rightly said that everyone’s a theologian. The only issue at hand is whether or not you’re a good one.
In every war throughout the history of mankind, there have been significant battles that would end up being the turning of the tide, for good or ill. These skirmishes have gone on to ultimately shape the course of history as we know it. Think the Battle of Hastings in 1066, the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, Napoleon’s demise at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, the Battle of Midway in 1942, or the Battle of Stalingrad.
One of the sillier things that happens in sports sometimes is the “players-only meeting.” These usually occur when things are looking awfully dire for the team. For whatever reason, they’re either grossly underperforming or just not executing properly. In order to correct what’s wrong, the players, then, take it upon themselves to get out of the rut by calling a meeting like this to clear the air and find out what’s really going on.
As we begin to close this colossal psalm, the writer reminds us of the foundation for all true godliness. For twenty-odd stanzas now, we’ve seen the remarkable prominence with which the psalmist placed upon God’s Word for everything he did. It was, indeed, his life and his all — a perpetual respite from the torrent and the storm.
The “Kingdom of God” is one of the more prominent themes that occurs throughout the Gospels. A quick inquiry will find the term frequently mentioned in all the Gospel records, to varying degrees of prevalence.
As with most stories, we are continually pursuant of the happy ending. We long for idealized conclusions to our favorite tales and wish there’d be a similar euphoric ending in our own life. This is why the standard fairy tale coda remains “happily ever after.” We want that. We want all the wrongs to be made right. We crave for the day when our fractured lives will be remade.