24th May 2020

Refreshing Voices

“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 3:11 (NRSV)

“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.” The words of Paul to the Corinthian community. He was addressing division. Corinth was a cosmopolitan community in which everyone was looking for the latest teacher fad that would have them ahead of the crowd and up with the newest thing. Notice Paul’s words: “For when one says, ‘I belong to Paul,’ and another, ‘I belong to Apollos,’ are you not merely human?” (1 Corinthians 3:4).

Everyone was trying to one-up each other. “I’m listening to the new podcast from Paul!” “That’s nothing! I have an autographed first edition Thessalonians!” Everybody was in-fighting over who’d the best, the brightest and newest. David Ogilvy, father of modern-day advertising, talked about what he felt was negligible difference between top-shelf and mid-shelf whiskey. He said it came down to presentation: “It isn’t the whiskey they choose, it’s the image. The brand image is 90 per cent of what the distiller has to sell…They are tasting image.” Drinkers didn’t particularly like one whiskey over another, they couldn’t discern between the different blends, they just liked the image of it.

The Corinthian community was after an image, trying to be in the in-crowd. Division was the result, with each trying get the best brand and taste of the gospel. Paul demolishes this showing these leaders are part of the same process and that the cause is more important than the individuals involved. “What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you came to believe, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth” (1 Corinthians 3:5-7). He shows them the big picture with God rescuing his people from sin, and the individuals are nothing without each other.

In a world not just drinking, but drunk on images, how can we be a refreshing voice? By being remembered for being conduits of Christ’s light and love of the magnificent Triune God. For reminding others that it is God who gives the growth and deserves the glory.

Gracious Father, help us to remember that Christianity is to be a way of life, to change us and to help us in this life to experience your lifestyle. We pray this in Jesus’ name.

Study presented by Greg Williams

About the Presenter:
The Day by Day each Sunday is taken from ‘Speaking of Life,’ (https://www.gci.org/videos/media-speaking-of-life/), a public resource video on the USA website of Grace Communion International. Greg Williams is President of Grace Communion International and lives in North Carolina, USA.

Local Congregation:
You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.church under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Email: admin@daybyday.org.uk

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