What would your life look like without Jesus? I don’t know if you think about that, but I think about it often. I shudder at the thought of what my life would be without Jesus. I’m sure my heart would be cold because I felt it headed that way when I met Christ. I’d probably be very lonely. I may have had all kinds of addictions and seeking glory for myself. I don’t know where I would be. The reason that I ask you is because the answer to the question is important. The gift of God’s grace in your life should remind you of who you were without Him. As we look at the very relational aspect of God’s grace in this plan, it will help us understand how we can approach relationships in an entirely new way.
How do you approach relationships in your life? Do you approach them in a stranger danger, stay low, protect your valuables, kind of way? Are you distant in your relationships because people have hurt you in the past?
Relationships are heavy and hard. They can give us the greatest amount of joy yet can wound us like no knife can. I would like to show you today one of the gifts of God’s grace that will radically change the way that you and I can approach relationships. The book of Corinthians was written by Paul and Sosthenes. Corinth was a very metropolitan city at the time. It was a combination of New York, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. There were 26 places of worship to different Gods, not least of which was the massive temple on top of the mountain behind the city called Acrocorinth. It was a city where people were searching for wisdom, sensual pleasures, wealth, independence. And in the midst, there was a small church that Paul was influential in and wrote the letters to the church of Corinth addressing these specific issues. The first 4 chapters are about relationships; about divisions, quarrels, and disunity.
We’re going to look at chapter 4 in this plan but let’s recap the previous 3 chapters. The first 3 chapters, Paul wants to address the issues that the Corinthians are having. He tells them that the reason they’re fighting is due to pride and pride is not from Jesus. He then asks them, “Where were you when Christ rescued you?” The Corinthians had become judgmental and thought they were better than others. What Paul wanted them to see was that pride had taken over their hearts, hence, the cause of the division and quarrels between their relationships. Paul is asking them, “Where were you before Jesus?” Why? Because that very question reminds us all that we were all in the same place before Christ.