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Alternative City: All The Media

December 9th, 2009


Throughout the Autumn at CCK
we’ve been working through a preaching series from 1
Corinthians entitled –
Alternative City.

This series by Joel Virgo began in September and will continue into the new year as Joel continues to explore the letter of Paul to the Church in Corinth. Relating Paul’s instruction to the Corinthians with our own 21st century experience of life in a city such as Brighton, the series has touched on issues like ‘alternative attitudes’ and ‘alternative fathers’. A brief summary of each week so far, as well as links to the audio and video content is listed here…


Week 1; Many in this City

Acts 18; 1-17
Part 1 introduces the similarities between the ancient city of Corinth and our own culturally influential city of Brighton. The great mission of taking the Gospel to Brighton is vital, having perseverance and faith amidst persecution and resistance.

Audio link/ Video link

Week 2; Alternative Attitude

1 Corinthians 1;1-17
Part 2 explores grace, and its effect in promoting unity and thankfulness in place of division. Paul brings the Corinthians down to Earth by pointing out the centrality and sufficiency of Jesus, while addressing their attitudes; specifically their obsession with public orators…an obsession that had caused great division.

Audio link/ Video link

Week 3; Alternative Wisdom

1 Corinthians 1;18-25
In this passage Paul addresses his Corinthian audience which was made up mostly of Jews and Greeks. For the Jews, the paradigm of cultural fulfillment was power (strength) for the Greeks it was wisdom. The gospel insists that both can only be found in Jesus – whose wisdom looks like foolishness and whose power (The Cross) looks like weakness.

Audio link/ Video link

Week 4; Alternative Confidence

1 Corinthians 1; 26-31
Paul here essentially states that the more conscious we are of ourselves and our accomplishments the less conscious we will be of God’s work. Growth and maturity begin when we recognise the sufficiency of Jesus for all that we need – wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. Our confidence is in him, not ourselves.

Audio link/ Video link

Week 5; Alternative Speech

1 Corinthians 2; 1-5
Paul was an eloquent speaker. But he knew that while eloquence is good, when it replaces God it becomes an idol. Impressive rhetoric and great oratory can get in the way of the gospel. The powerful thing that needs to be heard is Jesus. Life is all about him. Our preaching is not here to offer good advice alone but instead offer Christ. When Jesus is at the centre everything else takes shape.

Audio link/ Video link

Week 6; Alternative minds

1 Corinthians 2; 6-16
How Wise is Christianity? How Do We Get This Wisdom? Why Doesn’t Everyone Get This? Paul explains that the message of Jesus Christ IS wisdom from God, among those who belong to jesus. The truth of Jesus is revealed in the minds and hearts of those who believe in him.

Audio link/ Video link

Week 7; Alternative Maturity

1 Corinthians 3; 1-13
This week Joel takes a frank look at Paul’s admonition to the immaturity of the Corinthians, who despite being intellectually mature were spiritually like babies. The truth is that we are no different to the Corinthians in our need to be reminded of the importance of growth in spiritual maturity.

Audio link/ Video link

Week 8; Alternative Temple

1 Corinthians 3; 10-17
For Paul to tell the Corinthians that the Temple of God was no longer a stone building, but rather themselves, would have been hugely significant news. We are indeed the place that God loves to make his dwelling. Because of that we must expect his presence with us, but also make sure we have Christ as the foundation.

Audio link/ Video link

Week 9: Alternative Security

1 Corinthians 3; 18-45
Paul addresses the fact that boasting (in ourselves and our own achievements) is the opposite of faith. Boasting in God is faith. Joel also brings us to the truth that God, the one who is in control of all things, is intimately involved in our lives. While sustaining planets, he considers us. We are to find security in knowing Jesus.

Audio link/ Video link

Week 10: Alternative Fathers

1 Corinthians 4; 6-21
Paul likens himself as a father figure to the Corinthians, someone who, out of genuine love, wishes to speak correction and admonition to them to help them grow in maturity. Lines of communication between believers must be open, so that people can speak into each other lives. Ultimately though it is God’s power that brings about change, not just talk…

Audio link/ Video link