By Garry Knighton
Church of Christ/North  - Shreveport, La.
ADVICE TO A STRUGGLING CHURCH
Expository:  I Corinthians 16:13-14

   INTRODUCTION:

       A.  Every church has its struggles and must find a way to cope with them.

       B.  We have our struggles and problems also.

       C.  Corinth was a divided church:

            1.  Over teachers - 1:10-4:21.

            2.  Over improper judgments - 5:1-6:20.

            3.  Over marriage - 7:1-40.

            4.  Over Christian liberty - 8:1-11:1.

            5.  Over women's proper sphere - 11:2-16.

            6.  Over the love feast - 11:17-34.

            7.  Over the Spirit's gifts - 12:1-14:40.

            8.  Over the resurrection of the body - 15:1-58.

            9.  Over the collection for the saints - 16:1-9.

       D.  Our problems and struggles are not nearly this great, but we still need
             help.

       E.  Today, let's notice some advice that Paul gave the struggling church at
             Corinth in order to help them out of their problem.

   I.  WATCH YE.

       A.  A wise person is always watchful.

            1.  Most problems arise because we are not watchful.

            2.  Matthew 24:45-25:13.

            3.  We must have vision to see God's way.

       B.  Wisdom comes from asking God - James 1:5.

       C.  We do not need the world's wisdom - It won't help.

  II.  STAND FAST IN THE FAITH.

       A.  Many allow their faith to waver when problems arise.

       B.  James 1:2-4 - let trials build your faith.

       C.  Problems are necessary for Christian development.

            1.  I Corinthians 11:19.

       D.  Fight to keep the faith - Jude 3.

 III.  QUIT (ACT) LIKE MEN.

       A.  These men were acting very immature - 3:1-9.

       B.  Children are easily persuaded - no real convictions.

            1.  Denominations are "converting" thousands of children every year.

                 a.  They don't understand redemption at all.

       C.  Men don't fight among themselves.

       D.  Men don't run from their responsibilities.

  IV.  BE STRONG.

       A.  Man's weak nature stands out in a time of trouble.

       B.  For a Christian to be strong he must wear the armor of God.

            1.  Ephesians 6:10-20.

                 a.  No protection in the back to discourage you from turning your
                      back on the enemy.

   V.  LET ALL THAT YOU DO BE DONE IN LOVE - V. 14.

       A.  I Corinthians 13:1-8 - the more excellent way of 12:31.

       B.  When we start loving one another, problems will be easier to cope with,
             some even eliminated.

       C.  Love prefers the others HIGHEST GOOD.

       D.  Love is the basis of a TRUE family.

   CONCLUSION:

       A.  Can this advice help our struggling church?

       B.  For any advice to be effective, it must be taken.

       C.  Maybe you need to be advised to turn back to God.

       D.  Maybe you need to be advised to obey God today.