NEXT WEEK: The Armor of God
Paul helped start the church in Corinth, a city in southern Greece, during his second missionary journey. Corinth was known for its wickedness. If any city needed a church, this was it. Paul remained in Corinth for about 18 months and then continued traveling to share the gospel and plant more churches. Six years later, Paul received word from Chloe, a believer in Corinth, that the church there was struggling. The church was fractured and openly engaging in various sins. Some believers were even denying the resurrection! This news surely troubled Paul, so he sat down to write a letter to the church. One of the first issues Paul addressed was the church’s division. Even if he could help resolve the other issues, a divided church would never be healthy and impact the city the way it needed to. According to Chloe’s report, several factions had formed in the church. Some claimed to follow Paul. Others Apollos. Others Peter. And some even claimed to follow Jesus, which wasn’t as good as it sounded. This group was most likely simply trying to sound more spiritual than the others. Paul told the Corinthian believers that they should not be divided; they should all be one because of their shared faith in Jesus. Jesus isn’t divided, and He alone died on the cross for them. Paul’s message was clear: the gospel does not divide believers, it unites them.
Paul told believers in the Corinthian church to come together because of the gospel of Jesus. He reminded them that Jesus saves sinners. Because of Jesus and what He has done, believers can humbly come together as one body.
We all—our kids included—are experts in finding ways to divide ourselves. Sin and selfishness divide, but Jesus and the gospel unite. God designed the church to show what true unity among a beautifully diverse people looks like. This week, pray that the message Paul shared with the Corinthian believers takes root in your heart and in the hearts of your kids. Pray that God would break down the barriers we create and bring your kids together as brothers and sisters in Christ.
FAMILY STARTING POINTS
● Babies and Toddlers
Why does God want us to obey Him? Obedience is our response to God’s love for us.
Paul wrote that Christians are joined together by faith in Jesus.
UNIT KEY PASSAGE
● Galatians 2:20
“The Church Showed Favoritism” (James 2:1-13)
God’s law for the people was plain. Read Deuteronomy 6:5. But God’s people, and all people, have broken the law. We have loved other things more than we love God. That is sin.
Jesus’ purpose for coming to earth was to save us from our sin. (Matt. 1:21) Why did Jesus have to die? Why couldn’t He just say, “You are forgiven”? God is just and requires due payment for sin. To simply forgive sin without requiring a payment would be unjust. According to God’s Word, the payment of sin is death. (Rom. 6:23) But not only is God just, He is also loving. That is why Jesus was willing to die in our place.
Jesus came to live and die to show God’s love to us (Rom. 5:7-8) so that whoever believes in Him might not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16) Jesus came to die so that we would be forgiven. (Eph. 1:7) Jesus came to die to bring us to God. (1 Pet. 3:18)
Jesus died on the cross to satisfy the wrath of God toward sin. Jesus’ resurrection proved that God was satisfied with Jesus’ sacrifice, and forgiveness and life are found in Him. (See 1 Cor. 15:17.) If Jesus had died but not been raised up, He would have been like military leaders who died without a throne. (Acts 5:33-37) But Jesus conquered death, just as He said He would. (John 2:19-21)
Jesus’ resurrection gives us hope for our resurrection. (Rom. 6:5) Romans 8:11 says that the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead will raise our bodies to life.
Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection are not the end of the story, but the center of it. Everything that was written about Jesus in the Old Testament and spoken by the prophets was coming true.