Unity to the Glory of God
4 January 2021
Our pulpit theme for this year is “Unity to the Glory of God”.
Unity is something that we all desire - but for what purpose was unity sought for?
1 Corinthians was the first letter written by Paul to a church in Corinth, a church that Paul founded on his second missionary journey (AD 48-51) and which he knew really well.
Corinth was the most important city in Greece, and a city much like our own, characterized by a cosmopolitan spirit and religious diversity. Success in the society was embraced, at whatever cost. Pleasure was sought out from every corner of lust, the strong take pride in their strength, the brilliant in their intellect. In this city, man recognizes no authority over himself, but his own desires. This reminds us of Judges 21:25, where “…everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
Everyone was headed in their own direction for their own success and benefits. Was there unity? Yes, there was unity among the people where there was a common purpose and goal in pursuing similar desire and agenda - but it wasn’t unity to the glory of God.
It was in that context that Paul spoke to a church in Corinth that has the same issues we have today.
· How are we to handle disagreements among God’s people?
· What does a Christian sexual ethics or morality look like when the culture and the city they are in is sexually promiscuous?
· How does the gospel shape the institution of marriage?
· How do we relate to the cultural practices and customs of those whom we disagree on in matters of faith?
· How does the gospel break down the barriers that we have built up between ourselves and others?
The challenge to us all is this: Are we living out what we say we believe? How do we see every part of life through the lens of the gospel?
Paul believes that each of us has a unique calling from God, that we “who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints” (1 Cor 1:2) ought to be united in the same mind and same purpose (1 Cor 1:10), but for God’s goal, God’s purpose.
1 Cor 3:9, “For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.”
The basis of our calling is not for individual satisfaction but for community development to the Glory of God.
It is my prayer that as we start on this epistle, we will begin to find the answers from Paul’s teaching. May we begin building Moriah in Unity to the Glory of God!
Assistant Pastor Daniel Gan