Enriched in Every Way

1 Corinthians 1:4-9 

4I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge— 6God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. 7Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Fullness of Life

            What is the ideal life you want to live? Do you have the ideal life right now? Do you have a fullness of life? Can you readily admit that your life right now is the kind of life you want to live all your life? Are you praying for miracle to happen?

Personally, how do you interpret what Christ declares in John 10:9-10? 9I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

            Did Christ say that whoever approaches life through him, live to its fullness?

Pray for stronger faith to believe his promise. Do you strongly confirm that if we approach life through faith in Christ, we find green pasture or life in its fullness? The pasture or abundant life that Jesus Christ offers to whoever approaches life through him includes practical things. How should we practically approach life through Jesus Christ then? We follow the guiding principles that he commands.

            The Scripture contains all essential commands of the Lord to guide us find the pasture he prepared; we experience fullness of life he offers when we obey.

          Together, let us reflect on what our Lord Jesus Christ declared in Luke 11:28: 28Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.

            It is by faith we believe that what Christ declares is truly flawless. Christ is the truth. We obey him because we believe that obedience to him is impartial design to bless believers. So, the more we obey the Lord, the more we get his blessings. Additionally, obedience to him confirms also that we have faith in him.

1.  Confirm

4I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge— 6God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. 

            A transformed life in Christ is confirmation of the grace of God. The lifestyle of believers in Corinth confirmed that they were transformed when they believe in Christ. Indeed, after sharing the gospel of Christ, we disciple. When disciples are transformed from worldly to godly behavior, it inspires praise of God.

Transformed life of believers is indescribable stimulant of praising the Lord.

            When he said, 5For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge,” what did Apostle Paul want to convey?

            The Corinthian believers have been enriched in Christ in every way—with speech and knowledge. What is it? It is godly manner of speaking that promotes Christian values as proof of intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. It encourages, inspires, motivates and comforts. Scholars termed it as “experiential knowledge.” It’s not a copied speech from the original source. It’s their personal testimony.

            The phrase, “in every way,” implies that they had experiential knowhow in all aspect of speaking as proofs to the transformational grace of God in their life.

To be enriched with all kinds of speech by God’s grace, the result should be harmonious edification. What is harmonious edification? It pertains to learning and teaching each other for spiritual growth; it may include constructive criticism as opposed to argumentation that could cause division among believers.

            Interestingly, the very first problem of the Corinthians that Apostle Paul had addressed in his letter was division among them. That’s for our next sermon.

            When speakers use their personal experience to illustrate their point, it can inspire listeners. It can stimulate reflection on our personal relationship with God.

Sadly, even with gifted speakers, listeners may still doze, slumber or take a nap.

Anyway, if you were bored during sermon, just take a nap or pray silently.

Board Meeting

            Anyway, you may have heard this unverified story before. They announced at the pulpit, “We have Board Meeting at the Board Room after Worship Service.”

            So, Board Members gathered at the Board Room after the Worship Service. The pastor was surprised when a visitor entered the Board Room; so he asked, “Excuse me Sir, this is Board Meeting!” The visitor answered, “Yeah, I know. I heard the announcement that, ‘There is Bored Meeting at the Bored Room after worship service.’” “So, why are you here, Sir?” the pastor was confused. “Well, it is not to embarrass you; but frankly, I was bored when you were giving your sermon. It’s great that you’ve arranged meeting of the bored, and I’m bored!” he replied.

            We admit. Anyone can get bored even during sermon. No enthusiasm at all. How can we overcome boredom while listening? Pray that the Holy Spirit would produce joy and self-control in you. Boredom practically proves human limitation.

But when we are inspired by the Holy Spirit, we sense enthusiasm in us.

            Christ implied that blessings and obedience to him are inseparable twins.

The Lord challenges us to obey him in Leviticus 26:3-5, 3If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, 4I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit. 5Your threshing will continue until grape harvest and the grape harvest will continue until planting, and you will eat all the food you want and live in safety in your land.

Pray for increase of faith to seriously believe the Scripture and obey God.

Well, if you still feel sleepy during sermon, close your eyes and pray that the Lord gives you rest. Christ invites, “Come to me to me, and I will give you rest.”

            Remember: Christ is the truth. Whatever he declares is true. His word is flawless. He is not kidding when he invites us to come to him for rest, even if you rest or sleep in the Sanctuary. The Lord knows when you need rest while asleep.

You may not want to miss when the Lord comes again. Be prayerful always.

We would rather wish that when he comes soon, he finds us obeying him. Right?

2.  Come

7Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

            The phrase, “Christ to be revealed,” pertains to Christ when he comes again in majestic power. How strong do you believe that? Have you prepared for that? Do you eagerly wait for the majestic power of Christ to be revealed eventually?

            God gave each of us spiritual gift. When we use our spiritual gift, it exhibits eagerness of waiting for Christ’s return. Do you know why? The Holy Spirit in us inspires us to use our spiritual gift. He helps us store up for ourselves treasures in heaven. So, he empowers us to persevere; he keeps us firm to the end. And we won’t play blame game when Christ comes again in majesty, power and glory.

House Hunter

            If you were looking for house to buy or rent, you are called house hunter. Some years ago, a house hunter went to an open house. He wants to personally see if the house for sale is worth buying. The owner of the house for sale was 56-year-old man who lived alone. The realty agent said that the owner of the house for sale will be relocating to the home for the aged after his house in sold.

             “Why would a 56-year-old man want to live in the home for the aged?”

Do you know someone, a relative or friend, living in the home for aged?

Surely, everyone will die eventually. But, to spend prime of your life in the home for the aged waiting for death, would you consider that as fullness of life?

Sadly, many church attendees have not discovered life in its fullness, why? They have disregarded their spiritual gift. How do spiritual gifts facilitate life in its fullness? God has designed fullness of life, and his Holy Spirit knows how life in its fullness is maximized. Spiritual gift is the integral factor to live life in its fullness.

Try this: If your life is not lively or just plain no excitement, pray to be filled by the Holy Spirit until you sense enthusiasm. The term “enthusiasm” evolved from Greek word enthousia which means “possessed, inspired by God.” The Holy Spirit inspires productive life and not lingering around waiting for our death.

Do you regularly evaluate your spiritual growth? What is your eternal goal?

Apostle Paul had testified in Philippians 3:12-14, 12Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. (ESV)

            What do you think about his situation? How old was Apostle Paul when he wrote his letter to the Philippians? According to historians, Paul was born in A.D. 5 and died in A.D. 65. He’s imprisoned in Rome in A.D. 62 where he wrote his letter to the Philippians. Paul may have expected that he would be executed in Rome, yet instead of waiting for his death, he was thinking of how he may continue to do what he can to win the prize that Christ has prepared for obedient believers.

            Together, let us keep on obeying the Lord to win the prize that he prepared for obedience. Discover your spiritual gift and participate in the calling that God planned for you. What is your calling? Have you identified your call, yet?

3.  Call

9God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

            God called us into fellowship with Christ our Lord, even now until forever.

Do you personally sense it at the moment, if you’ve fellowship with Christ?

What do you personally understand or think about the term “fellowship?”

            Fellowship includes sharing, participation, partnership or contributory help. Most often we interpret fellowship as eating together which is practical sharing. Everyone tastes whatever is prepared, but we also have choices – to eat more, eat less or just eat enough of everything. When we eat, food becomes part of our life; it strengthens our body, and eating together strengthens partnership.

            Similarly, to have fellowship with Christ includes participation in his body.

The church is the body of Christ. Believers are integral and essential part of the body of Christ. When we participate, others are inspired to participate also.

            Everyone has a choice what to eat during fellowship; you choose food that benefits your health. Similarly, choose ministries that should benefit your spiritual growth. Pray that God inspires you to participate in ministry and grow spiritually.

            Our calling helps us identify which ministry God has designed for us to grow mature. Discover your spiritual gift to know how you can be efficiently effective.

NBA Finals

            Do you watch the NBA Finals? What do we learn from it? The significance of teamwork! The team that cohesively plays together wins. If only one player does his best while other players passively slack, that is not a strategy to win games.

All players in the team are called basketball players, but each player could be talented very uniquely. The coach prescribes how players approach the game; he makes necessary adjustments, if he deems it as productively effective strategy.

            Similarly, all believers are given a unique spiritual gift. But we need to seek earnestly the guidance of the Holy Spirit of Christ to be productively effective.

Let’s learn from the testimony of King David in Psalm 25:1-7, 1In you, Lord my God, I put my trust. 2I trust in you; do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. 3No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame, but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause. 4Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. 5Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

King David was mighty warrior because he depended on God for guidance.

To personally experience much of his grace, we should rely upon the Lord. As we grow stronger in our faith in Christ and experience his grace and love, we obey him seriously and frequently. Then we store up for ourselves eternal treasure.

May God enrich us in every way as proof of his transformation in us!

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