WHO ARE YOU? -- Being a Blessing to Other

By Philip Gee

1 Corinthians 1:1-10

Introduction:

1. Many years ago, there was a TV series called 'Quincy' where Jack Klugman (the bigger of the Odd Couple) would try to solve mysteries by examining dead bodies. Good ideas always get recycled and now there are new shows based on forensic medicine, the science that deals with the relation and application of medical facts to legal problems.

2. While the corpses cannot talk, there is enough information from the decomposed bodies, the clothes, the location, and the position of the body to guess who that person is and how and when he or she died.

3. We are in the world of the living and not the dead, and I wonder how difficult it is for others to know who we are. Would it be as hard as figuring out the identity of a corpse and what happened?

a. Surfing the web, we can find out just about anything about a person.

b. I found out that the Philip Gee has a relative in Australia, Robert Gee, who has a Ph. D. and is an expert in raising sheep! (not me)

c. I also found out that I am the son of Arthur and Betty Gee who are missionaries and that I am ordained minister.

4. We are here to answer an important question this morning: Do you know who you are and why God placed you on this earth?

a. Paul, in answering some questions that they had about the Christian life begins his letter to them by reminding who they were in Christ and how, out of that identity flows out their responsibility in Christ.

b. God has blessed us to be a blessing to others.

5. This year, our goal is to understand and practice 'brotherly love.'

a. We will be basing our sermons on the first book of Corinthians because it was a church that had so much potential and talent but their lack of love for God and his people led to Paul's strong rebuke.

b. Things are no different today as it was back in the first century where people mistook the notions of being loving and lovable.

c. It is the old 'cat and dog' theology: dogs think because his master feeds him, his master is God, but cats think because their master feeds them, the cats must be god!

d. The Corinthians believers wanted to be loved but did not want to put out the effort of being loving & caring to others. To put it mildly, they were not a warm a friendly church. Instead they were proud & selfish.

e. What makes us different? What makes us attractive when there are so many other organizations or groups to meet with? Why should I become a Christian or be part of DCCC when I can stay home and worship with some other church on TV? Turn with me to 1 Cor 1.

1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,

2 To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ - their Lord and ours:

3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

4 I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.

5 For in him you have been enriched in every way - in all your speaking and in all your knowledge - 6 because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. 7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.

Christian, who are You? We are....

I. A people called by God to be different. vv. 1- 2

2 To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ - their Lord and ours:

A. We live in a world that is obsessed with being extra-ordinary.

1. We buy only award-winning ice cream, the highest-rated brands of electronic goods. Successful authors write 'best sellers' and chefs only use 'extra, extra' virgin olive oil from Italy.

2. But spiritually speaking, we seldom reflect how extra-ordinary Christians truly are. An experiment was once conducted in a classroom of students. By random, certain students were told that they tested to be extra-ordinarily gifted. In the end, they found that these students indeed excelled in their productivity due to the fact that they were told that they were special.

3. If a mere suggestion can change a class of children, just imagine what could happen if God told us believers as a fact how special we truly are.

B. We have been called- there is a calling involved:

1. We have been called out- selected- 'church' (ekkhlsia) v.2a

-The word 'church' is actually a old German word (kirch) for the Latin term of the Greek word 'called out.' [just think that 'ketchup' is actually an English word that derived from the Chinese words for 'tomato juice.'

2. A shift back to the biblical definition is needed. (taken from Dan Kimball's The Emerging Church and The Missional Church edited by Darrell Guder:

a. Consumer Church: Church is seen as a dispenser of religious goods and services. People come to church to be fed, to have their needs met through quality programs, and to have the professionals teach their children about God. "I go to church"

b. Missional Church: Church is seen as a body of people sent on a mission who gather in community for worship, encouragement, and teaching from the Word that supplements what they are feeding themselves throughout the week. "I am the church"

C. This new mindset changes everything:

-People won't "go to church" but will be the church on a mission.

-People can't help but feed deeply on the Scriptures on their own to keep their hearts soft and their minds sharp and ready to give an answer of hope they have to those they interact with (1 Peter 3:15-16).

-People see themselves as ambassadors of Jesus (2 Cor 5:20) and be motivated to live holy, kingdom-minded lives so that they do not dishonor the name of the King they represent.

-Parents who see themselves as the church will lead their families the way Deuteronomy 6:4-9 describes, rather than leave it only to the church.

-People will become desperately more dependent on prayer for the mission the church is on (John 15:5).

-People will more naturally see the church as family and as a community on a mission together (Acts 2:42-46).


Title:
By: Philip Gee
Series: Loving the Brethren
Date: 10/19/03

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Davis Chinese Christian Church
536 Anderson Road
Davis, CA 95616, USA