Our Response to The Gift


Message Title: (titled post-preaching) Our Response to The Gift
Theme: “Here Is the Church” 1 Corinthians series
Season: Epiphany
Main Text: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11;
Scripture Reading: Luke 5:1-11
RCL Scripture: Isaiah 6:1-8, (9-13); Psalm 138; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Luke 5:1-11
Focus: Paul reclarifies the Gospel to the Corinthians.
Function: To respond to the Gospel with awe and worship rather than a “try harder” attitude.
Other Notes:

SCRIPTURE READING: Luke 5:1-11 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret,[a] the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.


  1. AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT: How would you describe love? – Is your definition different depending on the relationship? (Couple, Parents/Kids, Food, Possession?)
    1. Emotion, action, & choice
    2. Bond, connection, commitment
  2. PG 13 question: When you think of expressing love to your partner—how do you feel about the term “making love”? I know of a couple that hate this terminology because it sells short the word love, leaving it only as a physical act. Others, prefer this phrase because it reminds us of the importance of intimacy in the foundation of a romantic relationship.

TRANSITION:  Last week we talked about Love and how Love should impact the way we use our gifts and interact with this world. Paul defined love through the Divine example of God’s love. Now, we are hoping forward a chapter to 15 to review the story of the Gospel – AKA God’s love story with creation. Let’s see how Paul tells the story.

MAIN TEXT: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Cephas,and then to the Twelve. 6After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. 9For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 11Whether, then, it is I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.


  1. Recap Ch 13
    1. Our gifts are pointless if we don’t do them in love.
  2. Back up to Ch 14 for a minute
    1. Orderly conduct of worship
      1. Tongues
      2. Wives saving your questions for home (Men are expected to educate their wives, there was no educational system for women at that time, so men were expected to share that information with their wives rather than leaving them clueless… that way the conversations in church could be productive. This is actually about empowerment and calling men out for not educating their wives which lead to disrupting the congregational worship)
      3. Also, women are celebrated as leaders & teachers in other of Paul’s letters
    2. Remember: This letter is to get the Corinthians back on track. They’ve been divided for a variety of reasons- we talked about the wealth gap. CH 12-14 talk about the gift gap and how unity and order should be part of worship & function of the church.
  3. NOW Paul is highlighting the Gospel message—don’t forget the basics of the gospel.
    1. Think of this as a skeleton and everything else is meat, tendons, organs etc. Without the skeleton, the body would have no structure to exist within.
    2. The Gospel provides us the structure to shape the rest of our lives around.


  1. Paul is simplifying the Gospel. He is clarifying the basics so no one can add to it. (Remember the Judaizers trying to add Moses’ Law and circumcision?)
  2. AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT: Paul’s Gospel- Reader’s Digest: Pinpoint details of the gospel in passage together
    1. VS 3-8
      1. Jesus’ death and resurrection
        1. For our sins
        2. Based on scripture
      2. Proof through appearances to: Cephas, 12, 500+, James, all apostles, Paul
      3. Vs 2 By this Gospel, you are saved
    1. Does it feel comfortable to leave the Gospel at these points? Are you compelled to add more details?
    1. What does Paul not specify that we consider Christianity?
      1. Stuff from the Janizaries:
        1. Circumcision
        2. Practicing the Law
      2. Regular worship practices
        1. Communion
        2. Baptism
        3. Tithes/offerings
        4. Sunday School/Bible study
      3. Current Cultural stuff:
        1. Thoughts on politics or social issues
        2. A specific version of the Bible


  1. Connect to Scripture reading: Luke 5:1-11
    1. “Because you said so…”
    1. they left everything….
      1. $$, good catch, safety/consistency, security, family business
    1. They responded with awe & curiosity for more
  2. Worship God in the story of the Gospel
    1. How do you react when you hear the Good News?
      1. My natural response is “thank you”
    1. Can I let you in on a pastor conversation? Sometimes we talk about writing sermons and the struggles together—many pastors struggle to take a passage and make it into a practical step for a few reasons.
      1. Christianity isn’t about trying harder. We don’t need to add anything to the Gospel. It is complete as Christ delivered it and Paul rephrased it.
      1. Christianity is a response to the gift of life in Jesus. Our lives are a response to God’s gift.
        1. Do you know how to follow Jesus in your daily life? (WP)
        1. How have you been handing down the gospel to others as Paul and the early Christians passed it on to us? (Jerrod)



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