Sermon – July 13, 2014

Community - Letters to the Church in CorinthIN-formation,” by Rev. Mike Holly
Sermon Series: Community – Letters to the Church in Corinth

The human mind is a marvel. Our brains are capable of storing memories, comprehending complex information, and expressing a range of emotions. Human minds have contributed to amazing feats such as the building of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, human flight, and life-saving medical procedures. However, the human mind has also conjured up schemes and atrocities that we would much rather forget.

The human mind is a source of immense creativity when it is well utilized and we should thank God for the gift of free will and imaginative thought. But within each of our minds are tendencies towards selfishness and pride. This is wired into us for good reason developmentally, but it becomes an issue as we mature and find that our lives depend upon healthy relationships.

“Knowledge puffs up,” Paul tells us. Now, he is not saying that intellectual pursuits lead to vanity. Instead, he points out that when someone has knowledge that others do not have there is a tendency for that person to feel superior. “Love builds up,” Paul continues. The point of knowledge and information — particularly that which we find in our Christian faith — is that it is free and open to all. We do not withhold or force upon others the knowledge that we have been given because to do so would damage our relationship with God and others. Instead, we are to build others up with what we have learned. I believe that God does not want us to check our brains at the door when we come to church or when we read Scripture. But I do think that God desires us to see that there is more to this faith than knowing doctrines and memorizing answers.

—Rev. Mike Holly

The Word

1 Corinthians 8:1-6

Now concerning food sacrificed to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. Anyone who claims to know something does not yet have the necessary knowledge; but anyone who loves God is known by him.

Hence, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “no idol in the world really exists,” and that “there is no God but one.” Indeed, even though there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as in fact there are many gods and many lords— yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

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