Principles for Powerful Living Podcast by Pastor John MacArthur for Grace to You
Take your Bible, will you, with me, and let’s look together at 1 Corinthians chapter 16. We want to examine, as we close out the book of 1 Corinthians in the next couple of times together, these final words that Paul gives. The sixteenth chapter is kind of broken up into several sections. The first section Paul talks about the collection that he wanted to take for the Jerusalem saints. The next section, which we have discussed in the last two weeks on doing the Lord’s work in the Lord’s way, Paul discusses something of his own ministry and how he abounded in the work of the Lord. Then in our section for this morning, just two verses, 13 and 14, Paul lays down some very essential imperatives for the Corinthians. And then from 15 on to the end of the chapter he closes with a discussion of certain personalities and things that are a part of the church. And we’ll be looking at those next time.
But for now we look at verses 13 and 14. Let me read them to you just so that you’ll get the picture of what we’re going to discuss this morning. “Watch, stand fast in the Lord, quit you like men, be strong. Let all your things be done in love.” Now that’s a very short text, but it is literally loaded with things that we need to understand. It’s just a high-impact kind of text. And we’re going to see this morning five wonderful imperatives, that I call principles for powerful living, that are in these two verses.
But let me begin by setting the stage a little bit. Of all the churches in the New Testament to which Paul wrote, there was none that was in as much trouble as the Corinthian church. There was none that was as sinful as the Corinthian church. There was none that had failed so badly to be what God designed His church to be. The Corinthians were really in trouble. In fact you remember long ago, we used to call them the Cruddy Corinthians. If something was wrong, they were at it full blast. There were a lot of problems. Consequently since it was probably in the worst shape of any New Testament church, it received the greatest amount of rebuke. No other church is so rebuked as this.