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The church is urged to have a unity that derives first of all from a right understanding of the cross. The cross shows us that Spiritual leadership doesn’t involve being at the top of a pyramid but at the bottom. Leaders are the servants of Christ, the stewards of the mysteries of God, the scum of the earth, and father-like.
The temple, or sanctuary, is where God’s presence is. Jesus is the ultimate temple of God. The church corporately is also God’s temple, as are our individual bodies. Ananias and Sapphira (in Acts 5) and Simon the sorcerer (in Acts 8) are examples where people had to be dealt with harshly by God because they were in effect destroying God’s temple.
There was a real and serious problem in the church where vulnerable people were going hungry. The leaders recognise the problem, but they also recognise their own limitations, so they delegate responsibly to others.
God’s power works through weakness - he work in weak people with a weak message preached by weak messengers. Hence we should boast in God, not in ourselves. We should think of our time of worship as a time of boasting in God.
Paul desired to see the church holy and united, but there was a problem of division in the church at Corinth. Paul’s response is to appeal to them in the name of Christ, to encourage them to fix their eyes on Jesus, and to draw their attention to the Cross and to the one who died for us.
Great darkness covered the land when Jesus was born. Herod was an example of this. The religious people, who knew the Bible, made no effort to search for the Messiah. We must not fix our eyes on the evil that surrounds us, but on Jesus.
Joseph was a righteous man. He knows what Leviticus and Deuteronomy say about adultery and divorce, but he decides not to humiliate Mary. He was not asking for God to speak to him in a dream, but God gives him a dream anyway.
Matthew begins with Jesus’ genealogy to show that Jesus is the promised king for whom the generations were waiting. Matthew shows God’s grace by including evil men in the ancestry, and he shows that God welcomes everybody by including Gentile women.
God was Jacob’s shepherd all his life. He is a shepherd deliverer, a shepherd warrior and a kingly shepherd. The shepherd sought and found us, and collectively we are his flock. Our mission is to take the gospel to the people of the nation and our communities, who are like sheep without a shepherd.
Just as a power tool can do nothing without electricity but a lot with it, so we can do nothing without Jesus but so long as we remain in him we can bear much fruit. He chose us, and all we have to do is to remain in him and allow him to prune us.
Jesus can calm our troubles. He tells us that we can trust in him, that he is preparing a room for us in Heaven, that he is coming back to take us to be with him, and that he is the underlying reality behind the appearance.
Jesus doesn’t say “I will resurrect you and I will give you life” but “I am the resurrection and the life”. He wants to invade our lives now, not just in the future, so that we experience the resurrection and the life today.