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Thursday, January 10, 2019

2019.01.10 Hopewell @Home ▫ 1 Corinthians 16:13-24

Questions for Littles: What four commands does the apostle give in v13? In what way must everything be done (v14)? Whose household has devoted themselves to the ministry of the saints (v15)? How must they also act toward Stephanus (v16)? To whom else must they submit? Who had visited Paul (v17)? On whose behalf had these three men served? What did they do for Paul (v18)? For whom else had they done this? What did the apostle tell to the Corinthians to do with them now? What did the apostle send to Corinth from the churches of Asia, and from Aquila and Priscilla (v19)? From whom else did he send greetings at the end of v19? From whom in v20? Whom did the apostle command them to greet in v20? How? What changes about the handwriting in v21? What frightful thing does the apostle say in v22? For what does he pray? What blessing does he give in v23? And what in v24? 
In this week’s Epistle reading, we see a combination of strength and love. The commands in v13 are fighting commands. Watch. Stand fast. Be brave. Be strong. All of these things are in the faith. The ability to follow this letters instructions apparently rests upon trusting in Christ and being committed to Him.

We are made right with God only by what Jesus has done. And it is exactly this confidence that enables all of the “doing” in Christianity. That doing, therefore, is first and foremost a loving response and commitment to a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ.

When Paul comes to write with his own hand just a couple verses at the end of the letter, he makes a shocking selection for the first thing that he writes: “If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him go to Hell!” That is what it means to be accursed.

Does that shock us? For the apostle’s part, it’s directly tied to his own longing for the Lord Jesus at the end of v22. I wonder if we have such a longing for the return of the Lord Jesus. We will completely agree with v22 at that point!

There is a symmetry with v13-14 in v23-24. How do we keep v23? The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ with you. How do we keep v24? May love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Yes, it is all about a loving response and commitment to the Lord Jesus. But from where do these come? Also from the Lord Jesus! We must look to Him and His love to give us strength in Him and love for Him!

And one of the first ways in which we will see this strength in Jesus and love for Jesus is in submission to the servants that Jesus puts over us, and affection for the family into which Jesus has brought us!
What are the times in your day and week that you are pointed back to Jesus and have fellowship with Him? What are the times that you submit to those of His servants whom He has put over you? What are the times that you show affection for His people in greetings and service?
Suggested songs: ARP197 “Christian Unity” or TPH409 “Blest Be the Tie That Binds”

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