January 15

In our message today we focus on Acts 18 and Paul’s work in the city of Corinth. Most are at least a little aware of the church at Corinth and what is said about them and the many problems they had based on Paul’s letters to them in 1 and 2 Corinthians. Their problems included those relating to division and immorality, as well as misunderstandings concerning the resurrection, the Lord’s Supper, and Christian love. And Paul of course had been through so much already by the time he reached Corinth, having basically been beaten, jailed, and chased out of the cities he had worked at leading up to his visit to Corinth.

So we should not be too surprised when the apostle describes his state when he arrives in Corinth, saying he came to them “in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.” (1 Corinthians 2:3) However, God provided encouragement for Paul while in Corinth, including heartening words from the Lord Jesus Himself. (Acts 18:9)

Just as Paul did, we need one another. We need words of encouragement along the way as we go through life. We need people around us that will call us out in loving ways when we get off track, and will be there for us when we are discouraged. The Bible clearly views this as a purpose of the church, and addresses this aspect of church life and ministry in what you might call the “one another” passages. Here are a few.

  • “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know
    that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)
  • “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
  • “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)
  • “Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another.” (Romans 14:15)
  • “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” (Romans 5:17)
  • “Serve one another in love.” (Galatians 5:13)
  • “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2)
  • “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:21)
  • “Encourage one another daily.” (Hebrews 3:13)
  • “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16)
  • “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.” (Ephesians 5:19)
  • “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not
    give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all
    the more as you see the day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25)

Bill Allen

Dr. Bill Allen preached at South Fork from 2005 to 2015. He received a Bachelors degree in Bible from Oklahoma Christian in 1978, a Masters in Bible from Abilene Christian (ACU) in 1988, and a Doctor of Ministry from ACU in 1992. He now preaches at the West Erwin Church of Christ in Tyler, Texas.

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