Tag: Book of 1 Corinthians

Unresolved Disputes In The Church

The Problem Of Unresolved Disputes

1 Corinthians 6

In the days of the Apostle Paul, we know that in Greek culture we find that they were a quarrelsome people and actually enjoyed taking their problems to the law for settlement.

In our last few lessons we have seen that it is not the job of the Church to judge this lost world, that is the job of God!

If we are not to judge the lost world then why would we even think that the lost should judge any matter of concern to the Church?

How can any preacher teach the superiority of a life in Jesus Christ, if Christians then feel that they must call on the world to settle their disputes for them?

We must be clear, this church was already a divided Church.

They were divided over God’s messengers.

They were divided over immorality.

They were divided because of envy.

And they were divided over trivial matters that had no real meaning to either party!

This church was so full of “Babes in Christ” that their confusion was the main cause of their division!

We must also be very clear, these Scriptures do not mean that Christians are never to defend themselves under the laws of government!

It is always necessary to call in the law and the police to vindicate and to protect us from crime and criminals!

The Apostle Paul is teaching us about things that are private, personal, and of individual interest, to those of the “Body of Christ” and not about crime or criminals.

Personal matters between two Christians should be settled according to the Word of God!

When we face the Lord Jesus at the “Judgment seat of Christ” we will not be judged over trivial matters in our past history unless these things affect the work of the Church!

Allowing a carnal world to judge matters that are private between two Christians will certainly affect the work of the Church!

It is hard to imagine a church with so many problems, who was so careless about serious sins, and who were also so quick to go outside the church in civil court to settle trivial disputes.

We can see they were certainly “Babes in Christ” who lacked in “faith” but also knowledge of the Word of God, even after God had sent two of His best messengers to this Church.

Let’s Begin:

*****1Co 6:1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?

The Apostle Paul uses that word “dare” to imply that to do such a thing was in defiance of the Word of God and even challenging the truth of the Scriptures!

What had God said?

Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Those that are “unjust” are all those that do not know the Lord Jesus as their Savior!

It is rare that a Christian receives justice from those that are “unjust” because they would first be judging the facts of a salvation, that they know nothing about!

The truth is, that we can be justified only by our Supreme Judge, who is the only Fountain of Justice and we should know that we should not expect justice from an unjustified judge!

Paul was very clear in his opinion that it was better to bear injustice and even be wronged, rather than go before a heathen tribunal!

If two people could not come to some reasonable conclusion themselves, then they should take the matter before the saints of God and allow them to decide and end this thing before it went any further.

But even before these things, the first place to go is before the Lord in prayer!

And Paul proceeded to give his reasons according to the Word of God.

*****1Co 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

These same “Babes in Christ” who refused to judge incest within the House of God would turn around and sue each other over things that were so trivial they could have easily have been settled just by taking the matter to the Lord and then the Lord’s people!

Will the saints of God judge the world? There are many Scriptures that make this statement true and it should be accepted as the truth!

Dan 7:21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;
Dan 7:22 Until the Ancient of days came, “and judgment was given to the saints of the most High”; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.

What are the facts?

1) Christians should be able to settle any dispute that comes between them!

2) Christians should never insist on having things their way even if they are right!

What did Jesus teach?

Mat 5:40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.

Mat 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
Mat 18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
Mat 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

How often are we to forgive our brothers and sisters in Christ?

Mat 18:21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
Mat 18:22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

These things are not always easy to do but this is the truth of the Word of God!

But when one brother goes to the law with another brother it cannot preserve the peace and understanding of the Word of God!

It shows the bonds of love are broken between the saints of God and these things ruin the testimony of the Church!

Solomon who had experienced in such things wrote that such things would cause harm in the relationship of these saints!

Pro 18:19 A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.

It is true that the saints of God will sit with the Lord on His throne, which designates the world under the absolute control of the Lord and will judge the world and Christians should not “dare” to do anything that goes against the Word of God and certainly not over trivial matters that have no real consequence other than showing the world just how carnal a Church can be that is not led by the Word of God!

America is now known as the land of the lawsuit and the Church members must not get caught up in such things!

*****1Co 6:3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

There is a reason that there will not only be a New Earth but also a New Heaven.

Job 4:18 Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly:

It is a fact that even the angels are not perfect and not one, even the highest angelic excellence, falls infinitely short of our Perfect God!

We may not understand this verse exactly except to accept it as the truth.

The saints of God will be made into perfection and have the mind of Christ on that day when we meet Him in the air and we will then understand all things!

1Jn 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
1Jn 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, “when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is”.
1Jn 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

In truth, the things in this life, beyond salvation and the work that the Lord has given us to do, are much to trivial to waste much our time on for they yield nothing but trouble!

1Th 4:11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
1Th 4:12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.

The rewards of this world come to those who obey the Word of God and certainly the rewards of the world to come!

*****1Co 6:4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.

Notice that no one was to judge things relating to the life or death of a fellow brother or sister in Christ, these things would be judged in the Legal System.

It was trivial disputes, things that pertain to this life, that continued to divide this Church!

In the Church no one has more authority than any other but it is a fact that Christians come from all walks of life.

Paul is saying to set them to judge who were farmers or ordinary workers rather than those who were educated in higher learning or who had businesses in that day.

Paul was saying let those who had “common sense” rather than “business sense” be the judge of these trivial things that was affecting the church in an evil way!

It would be a rare thing that those who were the poor of those days were ever caught up in law suits!

As an example, when the Apostles chose the first Deacons, the main requirement was that they be full of the Holy Ghost.

Act 6:3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

Things that affect the Church are best decided by those who cherish the Church and Love the Lord and are full of the Holy Ghost!

*****1Co 6:5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?

The Greek word for shame is “entrope”.

In science “entropy” is a measure of disorder and confusion!

These that had set themselves above their own brothers and sisters in Christ had forgotten true wisdom.

True wisdom comes from a fear of the Lord!

Job 28:28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

These Corinthians were so confused in their “Doctrine” they went against their own beliefs!

True wisdom is in the “Body of Christ” and not out in this “Lost World”!

It was also a shame to them that they had gloried in their own wisdom and boasted of their own abilities, but still felt that the heathen world could best settle their most insignificant matters.

What does God say of these things?

Jas 3:14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
Jas 3:15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
Jas 3:16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

Until all earthly wisdom is removed from the the Body of Christ, there will continue to be envy and strife in the Church!

What is the result of earthly wisdom?

*****1Co 6:6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.

What is the truth of such people?

1Jn 2:9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.
1Jn 2:10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.
1Jn 2:11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.

This is why Paul spoke to the shame of these brothers in Christ!

They simply had to grow out of all these things before the Church of Corinth was destroyed.

The work and the outreach of this Church was already tarnished!

What was the truth?

*****1Co 6:7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?
1Co 6:8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.

These things are even more important today that in Paul’s day!

It is said that the Christian is his own worst enemy!

Our military has a saying that no man be left behind.

But the modern day church leaves it’s own wounded warriors on the battlefield to die!

Christians certainly do have arguments and disagreements with each other but by following the Word of God, all disputes can be settled but the truth of the Scripture says, that those that suffer in the name of the Lord are following in the footsteps of Jesus.

1Pe 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
1Pe 2:22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
1Pe 2:23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
1Pe 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

Even when we are right, it is sometimes best to lose an argument or a settlement than to lose a brother in Christ!

To defraud is “deception” and it is Satan who is the Deceiver!

To defraud is unrighteousness!

*****1Co 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 1Co 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

The unrighteous are simply those that do wrong!

There are many today that think that Church membership is their ticket into Heaven but that is simply not true!

What is the truth? Faith without works is dead!

Jas 1:20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
Jas 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

Jas 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

Christianity is not in outward service!

Christianity is living a spiritual life led by the Holy Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit is in these things:

Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Eph 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
Eph 5:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

Note: Before we move on from this passage we should take note of that word “effeminate”.

As the gay movement and the sins of homosexuality, have made their way into the Church, we can see that those “effeminate”, those men who submit themselves to be used sexually as women are also mentioned along with fornicators those who operate outside the bonds of marriage between “one man and one woman” along with all these other things.

Upon salvation all these things are to cease and the fruit of the Spirit should rule in all our lives!

*****1Co 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

There is not one of us that did not fit into at least one of these categories before salvation!

We cannot be perfect after accepting the Lord Jesus as our Savior while we still live in these wicked bodies but we are to do our best to try!

Any man or woman, no matter how wicked can be saved and “transformed” through “faith” in Jesus Christ!

The object of the death of Jesus Christ was so that we are washed in His blood.

Christ has cleansed His Church!

We are not washed by the water of Baptism, we are washed by the Word of God on which we base our “faith”!

When we find the Lord, we will find the real purpose and the true meaning of life!

***To be “sanctified” is to be set apart for God’s use. God will not use us to continue in our sin!

Joh 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

To be sanctified is to become a saint of God!

1Co 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

***To be “justified” is to be declared righteous!

The only way to be justified in the eyes of God is by “faith” in Jesus Christ!

All believers are made right with God through the righteousness of Jesus Christ which is credited to our account by “faith”!

Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Rom 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

These things can only happen by the mercy of God!

Tit 3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
Tit 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Tit 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
Tit 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

When we are no longer deceived by the foolishness of this world, we will not do the things that this world does!

Just because the world approves of some sinful thing, we are still to follow the Word of God in all things!

*****1Co 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

I believe the thought of this passage to be this.

Unless some practice is specifically revealed in the Scriptures to be right or wrong, each believer should use the context of all scripture as his guide and formulate his own convictions about it.

We should be guided by these two things:

1) This thing must never be allowed to be our master!

Among these things would be drugs, alcoholic drinks, smoking, gambling and any other behavior that could become addictive!

Eph 4:27 Neither give place to the devil.
Eph 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
Eph 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Eph 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

2) We must abstain from anything which threatens out testimony as servants of the Lord, but also anything that could become a stumbling block in any other Christian’s life!

1Th 5:19 Quench not the Spirit.
1Th 5:20 Despise not prophesyings.
1Th 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
1Th 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
1Th 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Lord redeemed us and we now belong to our Redeemer!

*****1Co 6:13 Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.

Food was made to be nourishment for the body and it is therefore indifferent.

The body was not created for fornication. Fornication is a sin against the body.

What ever evil things in one body passes to the other body such as Aids, and many other Venereal diseases.
Fornication is therefore not indifferent as is food!

The body was made for the Lord and the Lord for the body!

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

If it is reasonable to give our bodies over to the Lord’s use, then it is unreasonable to not do so!!!!!!

Ecc 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
Ecc 12:14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

If the Lord has the power to save us and He does, then He certainly has the power to keep us saved and use us under His own power!

*****1Co 6:14 And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.
1Co 6:15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.

The power that raised the body of Jesus Christ from the grave is surely strong enough to raise our bodies from the bondage of corruption and place us in a position of the first resurrection or even the Rapture of the Church!

Rev 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

1Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
1Th 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

We are the members of Christ because the Church is the “Body of Christ”!

We are the branches, He is the Vine!

We are the lively stones, he is the Foundation and the Corner Stone!

We are the ship, He is the Captain of the ship!

If we are Christians, Christ Jesus regards our bodies as having a vital connection with Him!

The Lord had a human body when He walked upon this earth and that human body that was raised to Heaven is the model into which our bodies will be changed!

1Jn 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
1Jn 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

God forbids us to allow our bodies to be used as a harlot!

A harlot is one who will prostitute her body for hire!

A Christian prostitute is one who forsakes the true God, and Our Lord and prostitutes their body for Satan!

Jer 2:13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

*****1Co 6:16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.

Most of the world we live in does not want to see this verse but the pure truth is a marriage is to be between one man and one woman!

Gen 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be “one flesh”.

This is to be an unbroken unity between one man and one woman throughout their remaining days!

The Lord Jesus reinforced this Scripture:

Mat 19:5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
Mat 19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

No intercourse between the sexes is free from sin, except under the sanction of marriage and that according to the standard of one man and one woman as the Scriptures state!

Fornication, Adultery, and all manner of Homosexual activity is sin pure and simple!

Just as this is true, so is the relationship of Christ to the Christian believer!

*****1Co 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.

There must be a bond, similar to the marriage bond, between Jesus Christ and His Church but not only that but between Christ Jesus and the soul of the believer!

Spiritual life depends on that bond with Christ!

Jesus Christ must live in the heart of the believer!

Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

When God looks over the portals of Heaven and He does not see His Son in each and every believer then we are not saved from His wrath!

We must realize that we are in training for that future life to come or other words, why do we pray that “God’s will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”!

God’s will is, that we live as we are ready for Heaven and watching and patiently waiting to get there!

We must not just avoid sin but we must flee from sin!

To flee is to run away from sin as rapidly as we possibly can!

*****1Co 6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

In a battle with sin there can be no victory, so there must be absolute flight!

Sexual sin will leave their remains in your body and to flee from those sins is of even a greater need for they will destroy the body!

It may seem that drugs, alcohol, gluttony and even suicide would fall in this same category but they are still sin that is outside the body. Though they injure the body whereas the source of sexual sin comes from the uncleanness of the heart.

It is the uncleanness of the heart that defiles the body!

Mat 15:11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

Mat 15:18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
Mat 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
Mat 15:20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.

Once saved we are endowed with the Holy Spirit and therefore a Temple of God!

*****1Co 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
1Co 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

As Christians, our bodies belong to God and not to ourselves!

Our bodies are the members of Christ and for His use!

We absolutely have no right to unite our bodies with some other body in any sexual relation outside the bondage of a Biblical Marriage!

This is sin against our own bodies which could easily result in one of many sexually transmitted diseases not to mention many psychological disorders!

The payment for our bodies was the precious shed blood of Jesus Christ!

When we clearly understand these facts, it provides us with the knowledge to discern between right and wrong and what’s good and and what’s evil and will control our behavior.

Only then can we glorify God in our bodies and our “Born Again” spirit!

The Heavens declare the Glory of God!

The Angelic host glorifies God!

As the redeemed of the Lord, we are also to glorify God!

Our glorifying must begin with our praise!

Psa 50:23 Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.

Questions?

Let’s Pray!

Neglecting Church Discipline

The Problem Of Neglecting Church Discipline

1 Corinthians 5

Before we begin such a topic as church discipline we need to consider that no matter who we are, we are all sinners who are saved only by the “Grace of God”!

Many of us always seem to be guilty of justifying our own sin, while we condemn the sin of others!

Most of us go out of our way to concoct ways to make wrong conduct appear to be right!

It is because we all still possess that old sin nature passed down to us from Adam!

Many will say that the Bible does not teach much on church discipline but it does not take much for us to know what God really means!

What is the only intent of church discipline? Ask Job.

Job 36:9 Then he sheweth them their work, and their transgressions that they have exceeded.
Job 36:10 He openeth also their ear to discipline, and commandeth that they return from iniquity.

The intent of church discipline is for that guilty party to return to the fellowship of the church!

To return means that at some point they were denied fellowship with the church!

By what means is church discipline to take place?

2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, “for correction”, for “instruction in righteousness”:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

It is by the “entire Word of God” that we are use, not only “for doctrine” but also “for correction”!

We are not to make up things as we go, we are to follow the written Word of God!

Let’s see what the Apostle Paul says:

*****1Co 5:1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.

We know that the house of Chloe had reported many things to the Apostle Paul but it does not seem that this thing was reported by them.

Paul says it was “commonly” reported!

This act of fornication was done, not by some citizen, not by someone who had visited the church, but by someone who was an actual member of the church in Corinth and it was known by everyone inside and especially outside the church!

It is a fact, that the church in Corinth could not plead ignorance of this thing nor could they excuse such an act and push it aside, even though up until this letter by the Apostle Paul they had condoned this thing and had said nothing.

Immediately we can see that their standard of morality was very low at this time, still much like the city of Corinth, whose nickname was “the city of fornication”.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Most of the world today would just say, so what.

Today in our societies it seems that all immorality is accepted!

1) The father of this young man was still alive and had suffered for what his son had done to him!

The proof is here:

2Co 7:12 Wherefore, though I wrote unto you, I did it not for his cause that had done the wrong, “nor for his cause that suffered wrong”, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear unto you.

2) Corinth was ruled by Roman law which was loose on morality, but in this thing, it was still branded as a public scandal, which meant it brought shame and reproach to both families and was considered a crime.

3) The man was a church member who was bound by the Word of God to walk by a higher standard than even the laws of Rome and the laws of all men, but he walked by his own laws!

It is these types of things that is fatal to the Christian image and the image of the “Body of Christ”!

We must remember the last verse in Chapter 4 where Paul had said this:

1Co 4:21 What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?

You see, through the first 4 chapters, no one had been singled out to blame for the divisiveness of this church and we should believe that this was not the only sin of it’s members!

We can see that before Paul wrote this letter, this epistle, he had spent much time in prayer and much counsel of the Holy Spirit to provide a method for church discipline then, and that is now to be used by the church!

We can already see the the commandment of the Lord Jesus had already been rejected!

Mar 12:31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

The is also means that this church did not love the Lord as they should, which is the first commandment of the church, “To Love The Lord With All Our Heart”!

*****1Co 5:2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed “might be taken away from among you”.

This an awful example for a church!

Rather than being grieved by the behavior of the church member, this church had defended their open-mindedness!

This is exactly what we see today in those place of worship that have welcomed the gay community into the church and not condemned that sin, “not that sinner” but “the sin” itself!

They try to defend their open-mindedness at the expense of the truth of God!

Some are even more arrogant to allow this sect into the priesthood directly violating the Word of God.

The Book of Timothy lays down specific guidelines for the Priest, the Preacher, and the Servants of the church named Deacons.

The the testimony of the this church had reached all the way to Ephesus where the Apostle Paul was now located when he wrote this Epistle.

When sin in the house of God, is a sin that even the world condemns, that news will spread faster than any other sin of the church.

Incest, even at that time was a revolting public offence that had to be addressed by the church!

It did not require some gathering of the elders!

It did not require some vote by the church body!

These things are completely addressed in the Word of God and no action of the church is to ever go against the written Word of God!

The “integrity” of the Body Of Christ is on full display throughout the world and it must remain the cause of all those who love Jesus Christ enough for salvation, “to protect the integrity of the Church at all costs”!

The Body of Christ should be in deep mourning today, and emotionally charged, to end such nonsense and return to the work of the Church, as outlined by Jesus Christ and moved by the Holy Spirit!

The Apostle Paul then proceeds to give acceptable guidelines to this church in Corinth which must apply to all the Body of Christ even through our day!

We must look at these words of Paul as the actual Word of God because all Scripture is inspired of God!

*****1Co 5:3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,
1Co 5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
1Co 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

Paul said though he could not be there bodily, he was always with this church spiritually!

Paul said his decision was instantaneous and his judgment was final, just as soon as he heard of this thing, as though he were present!

That word “judgement” turns off many in the “Body of Christ” but is a fact that God will not only judge the World by His Word, but God will also judge the Church by that same Word of God.

We are never to judge that lost soul, because that is the job of God Himself!

But just as God judges by the Word of God we are definitely to judge the actions of those that are welcomed into the fellowship of the “Body of Christ” by that same Word of God!

“Not in condemnation” but as loving brother or sister in Christ!

Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

God’s Word give us specific guidelines for these things but to ignore these things makes us a part of that sin!

The existence of the Church itself was in jeopardy then, even as it is today!

Remember what Jesus said about His soon coming return.

Luk 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, “shall he find faith on the earth”?

We all look forward to the “Rapture” of the Church, but in truth there may not be many left that God has not already taken home!

Jesus is referring to the modern day church, that is not led by faith but by those who twist and turn the truth of the Word of God into something that is itself a condemning sin!

We must remember there is a highway to hell but only a stairway to Heaven!

Since no single individual had approached this man who was living in the sin of incest, it was time for the church to gather and come to the proper decision to remove this person from the fellowship of the church!

The church of today must also repent and gather together and remove all the “unrepentant sinners” from fellowship in every house of God.

We all know that when a child of God sins, if they will repent, God will forgive them of that sin and when God has forgiven them, then the church can allow that repenting one back into the fellowship of the Church!

The world may never understand these things but the world does understand it is a hypocritical church that does not condemn sin, especially a sin that even the world condemns!

Today the world condemns very little sin!

The ultimate goal of any church discipline, must always be to restore that sinner back to fellowship!

But the Church must take a stand on the entire Word of God and make an open statement condemning any action that goes against the Word of God!

It must be very clear that all those who refuse to confess their actions as sin before the Lord and repent of that sin, then they should never be allowed back into the fellowship of the Church!

Gal 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

That phrase “to deliver such a one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh” is clearly misunderstood by many.

If we want a glimpse into the unseen spiritual world that goes on around us, but is out of our sight, we can see a part of it in this reality!

Ever since Adam, Satan “in some sense” has the power of death over human beings!

Heb 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy “him that had the power of death, that is, the devil”;
Heb 2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Ultimately God Himself restrains this power that He has given to Satan, especially for all those that are redeemed into the family of God.

The child of God can only be hurt or even stressed, only to the point that God allows and this can happen when God is fulfilling some purpose He has for that individual!

The Book of Job addresses this issue as we know.

We also have this account of Peter:

Luk 22:31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
Luk 22:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

And of the Apostle Paul:

2Co 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
2Co 12:8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
2Co 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Satan’s power of death only extends to the reach that God allows it, but we know that God allows it from time to time and it is for sure that sin can destroy any life!

Even that child of God who has returned to a sinful life!

We also have the case of Ananias and Sapphira in the Book of Acts.

And we must not forget the statement Paul made to these same Corinthians about partaking of the Lord’s Supper ,while still partaking in unconfessed sin in their lives.

Paul told these same Corinthians this:

1Co 11:30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, “and many sleep”.

That that sleep are those that had died in their unconfessed sin!

It is obvious that God will sometimes remove His hand of protection, even from the child of God, during times of unconfessed sin!

This is not ever to come as a threat from any Pastor or church leader or any church member, but it is truly a fact of the Scriptures!

What is the job of the church in discipline?

*****1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
1Co 5:8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

To purge out all leaven!

What is the truth of all open sin in the church or of it’s members?

Even if only one member in the church is involved in open sin, his conduct will rapidly influence the rest of the congregation!

The truth is, this may have been the only member who was involved in open sin in the church but we all are sinners saved by the “Grace of God” and we all still have some sin in our lives because we all are still in this sinful flesh!

Certainly this man was to be denied the fellowship of the church unless he repent but we all must search out any sin in our lives and purge out that sin also!

We must also remove and purge all false doctrine, all false practices and anything else that goes against the pure Word of God!

The “Feast of the Unleavened Bread” symbolized the deliverance and freedom from sin, which was obtained only through the offering of the Passover Lamb.

The Passover Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ, had no sin in His life!

When we accept the Lord Jesus Christ “as our Passover”, then we to are to purge out all the sin in our lives all our remaining days!

The most essential requirement of this feast was the absolute putting away and even the destruction of every trace of leaven and this leaven was to be diligently sought for on the day before the Passover began!

The purging out of all leaven is another way of saying “Sanctification”!

Psa 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
Psa 139:24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

The congregation of the church is made up of all these who have purged themselves from all sin and to allow some one to commit open sin and not repent of that sin, will destroy the intent of the “Body of Christ”, and the New Testament Church!

The modern day church is ignoring these things of God!

It is a waste of time to keep the Christian Feast “of Christ’s resurrection” in a spirit of unholiness if we cannot purge away the sin from the midst of us God will not honor our sacrifice!

If we are now in Christ, then we are a “new creation” but leaven is hypocrisy and this will be what the world will see!

Luk 12:1 In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, “which is hypocrisy”.

When we confess to know the Lord and commit open sin we become nothing but hypocrites!

This is what the world thinks of the Church today!

Harsh as it is, this is the truth of the Scriptures!

If the church is that ship sailing through this world, then the world cannot be allowed into the ship or that ship will sink!

What are the marks of the Christian?

“Sincerity and truth” before God and before the world!

Tit 2:7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,
Tit 2:8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.

We will never reach that ultimate goal of “sanctification” without these things!

Joh 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
Joh 17:16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
Joh 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

*****1Co 5:9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
1Co 5:10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.

It is evident that Paul had written another epistle that has not been preserved but we can still be sure that we have the entire Word of God because God has preserved the Words that we need.

It is also clear that this letter may have caused some confusion in this church and God is not the author of confusion.

1Co 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

We are expected to take the Word of God as literal and Paul understood that if his words in a previous letter, that has not been preserved, were followed literal then Christians would become isolationist and this was not his intent, nor God’s intent!

We must take the Word of God out into the world, keeping in mind that only God can save those when they come under Holy Ghost conviction.

Certainly we all will have some friends who are not of the church and we are to certainly to avoid all the sin in which they partake but we are still to be friendly to all people!

Pro 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

Our testimony begins with our own actions that can be seen by the lost!

Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

All those works of darkness will never produce works of righteousness and they will never be satisfying!

Joy is never obtained through immorality but maybe for a season but will soon turn to misery and lost hope!

The testimony of the Christian must be lifted up against these shameful things which will ultimately bring the wrath of God!

Jesus said this:

Mat 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

This our only means of leading the lost to the Lord!

Then Paul explains the intent of this other letter!

*****1Co 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

Paul says this is what I meant in that other letter.

We know that Paul never forbade the Body of Christ to be unfriendly to the lost people of this world because that would go against the command of Jesus Christ!

Jesus said this:

Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Paul was clearing up this confusion:

1Co 10:26 For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.
1Co 10:27 If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake.
1Co 10:28 But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof:
1Co 10:29 Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience?

Jesus also said this:

Joh 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

Those we are not to keep company with, are those that are brothers and sisters in Christ who fall back into the sin of this world!

They may call themselves Christian but in reality are they “fornicators, or covetous, or idolators or any of these other things that Paul mentions.

Those that do such things should not be allowed the privileges of the “Body of Christ” and certainly not be allowed to partake of Holy Communion!

In fact God says this:

2Th 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that “ye withdraw yourselves” from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

We should follow the many places in the Word of God on how to restore such a brother or sister, if that is possible.

Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
Gal 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

That word “judge” takes on a whole new meaning when we obey the Word of God!

*****Co 5:12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?
1Co 5:13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

The intent of Paul’s message is this. If we remain “Babes In Christ” and do not take the time to learn the entire Word of God and grow daily in the Lord, the Church cannot properly function to do the work of the Lord!

We will end being judges to those outside the Church, when we should friendly and show the characteristics of Jesus!

We will allow those that say they are Christian to act like they are still in the world, with no rebuke of the truth and the Church will appear as it does today!

Christianity is not designed to drive us “out of the world”!

We are to live among those of the world but we are to live righteously!

We cannot escape all the evil in this world!

What did Jesus pray?

Joh 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, “but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil”.

The work of the Lord may call on us to to mix with those of the world, but we must always be aware of the danger of doing this!

That’s why we must put on the entire armour of God, when we go out into the world:

Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

When we are dressed in the armor of God, we are going into battle with evil!

We are to mix with the world but only as a witness for Jesus Christ, and our actions as Christians is our greatest witnessing tool.

If we look like the world looks, then the lost will see no reason to change their ways!

We must walk in this world while being separate from this world!

2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

The Lord will judge those outside the Church, but the Church must judge those on the inside, not to rid the Church of that wicked one but to restore them to the family of God!

They must remove themselves from all sin, that’s called repentance!

If we are to rate the quality of a church, then we can judge a church not on what happens on the inside, but what those on the inside do when they are on the outside!

It is when we walk outside the doors on the House of God that we all walk into our assigned missionary field!

Jesus said:

Luk 10:2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.
Luk 10:3 Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.

We must remain “a lamb” while we walk “amongst wolves” while depending upon the true Shepherd to take care of us!

Questions?

Let’s Pray!

The Problem Of Church Criticism

The Problem Of Judgmental Criticism

1 Corinthians 4

Criticism is the art of scrutiny and scrutiny means a critical examination!

A critic is one who has exalted himself to the position of “a judge” of others!

In the church many times there are those who seek to find the faults of others without considering their own faults.

We actually have only one Judge and He is also our Creator!

Gen 18:25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right”?

Paul will use two words that we must consider in these Scriptures.

**Ministers: The Greek word used for minister in this verse is “huperetes”.

This Greek word has the meaning of an “under oarsman”.

In the time of the Apostle Paul the “oarsman” were in the belly of the ship and they had only one job and that was to row on command.

They did not see in what direction the ship was sailing, their job was only to move the ship along in the direction that the Captain chose and at the speed that He chose.

In many ways the Church is like a mighty ship sailing through the Church Age and it the Ministers job to keep the ship moving while Captain, Jesus, chooses the direction and the speed of the Church.

**Stewards: A steward on the other hand was employed by a master to manage the daily affairs of that master, including in many cases the financial accounts but also the provisions for that family.

The truth is, that the Lord calls out certain individuals to be the ministers and the stewards of the Church.

He has many names but here we call this man the Pastor or the Preacher or the Evangelist!

Paul continues in Chapter 4

*****1Co 4:1 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
1Co 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

If we remember this Church at Corinth was a divided church and one of the things that they were divided about was the men who had come to preach to the church.

Some insisted Paul was the best and others Apollos, and others Peter and yet others who only considered Jesus Christ to be just another prophet and just a man.

Paul had already shown them the “Gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul now was teaching that it was not so important who the messenger was that was sent of God.

Of most importance, were they indeed “faithful” to teach the “Gospel”, were they “faithful” to the God they served and to His entire Word!

Christian stewards are to be stewards of the mysteries of God!

The mysteries of God are all those things of Jesus Christ, that were hidden in the Old Testament that are revealed in the New Testament!

Christians are also to be stewards of the manifold “Grace Of God”!

1Pe 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

God expects all those called to be Preachers, Pastors and Evangelist or wherever God calls each of us, to be faithful to His “Grace” and to share the literal biblical explanations of the mysteries of God!

These men are subject to God for their message and for their faithfulness to their calling but only God can give the increase to the Church!

It is the job of the Church to listen to the message that comes from the Word of God and not to judge the messenger who is sent of God!

We are only to compare that message to the actual written Word of God to know if it is a true message!

We are all accountable to God, who is our sure Judge, during our life time and in the end, when we will face God in judgment either at the “Judgment seat of Christ” or the “White Throne Judgment”!

If we are to be stewards of the Word of God then we must be faithful to the truth of the Scriptures!

*****1Co 4:3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.
1Co 4:4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

The judgment of all humans lies in the hands of God. Mankind is not capable of judging each other!

We may or may not despise the judgment by others but in reality it amounts to almost nothing as compared to the judgment of God!

We live now in man’s day and will continue to do so “until the Day of the Lord”!

Paul is saying that even though he has been found faithful in delivering the mysteries of God, he does not need man’s approval and he continues by saying that he did not even assume the right of judging himself.

It is only the judgment of the Lord that has any real importance!

It is still a fact that we as humans live only on average around 70 years. This is certainly not enough time to gain enough wisdom to judge other human beings!

For most of us, it is only after our death that we will be remembered or judged for the things we accomplished in our lifetime and that usually only by our own families.

But one thing is sure and it is that if we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior in this life time we have now, then we can be judged and justified by the Lord even before our death!

Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Rom 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

The heart of all humans is much to full of deceit to be an accurate judge of any other human being but only by their actions toward the Word of God!

Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Jer 17:10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

*****1Co 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

In reality, we of the Church have no right to judge the messengers that are called into the work of the Lord.

If that Messenger is conveying the actual Word of God, “rightly divided”, and in context, then our one thing is to listen to that message that is sent from God and concentrate on being obedient ourselves!

You see it is only the Lord that can see into our hearts and expose those “hidden things of darkness”!

Heb 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

All things of our heart are naked and open to the eyes of the One who has called us out of the bondage of Satan!

If our own heart is the seat of our intellect and emotions, and it is, then only God can know what goes on in the mind of each of us!

The praise of God is so infinitely precious to all those called of God that it reduces to nothingness the value of human praise or of human blame!

Every child of God simply wants to hear these certain words in the end!

Mat 25:23 His lord said unto him, “Well done, good and faithful servant”; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: “enter thou into the joy of thy lord”.

If our hope is not in the joy of the Lord then we need to question our salvation!

When we do not look forward to entering into the “joy of the Lord”, then we will only become judges in this world and suffer loss because of it!

*****1Co 4:6 And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.

Paul continues to show his love for these, his brothers and sisters in Christ, the Brethren. Paul also does not point out those that chose to follow the teaching of Apollos and those that have said that followed his own teaching because Paul knew they both taught the same message of the “Gospel”.

Paul also did not mention Peter who at this time had not preached the “Gospel” in Corinth and may not have ever but was well followed in Jerusalem.

The message of Paul was that all the messengers called of God are laborers in the building up of God’s Kingdom. No one more important than any other!

One would simply be the planter and the other the waterer because only God can give the increase!

To exalt one above the other would also be to depreciate one below the other!

When church members get puffed up, one against the other, it’s like trying to build the House of God with a balloon rather than on the truth of God, which are to be the building blocks of every church!

These Corinthians were still full of emptiness rather than accepting that the gifts of God may differ in each individual, but the Word of God must remain the same in all of us!

God distributes gifts to His children according to their need and their abilities to perform the work that He has called on them to do and these things will never change until He returns!

*****1Co 4:7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

Even when we believe that one speaker or one preacher presents the “Gospel” in a better way we must realize any gift that they have came from the Living God!

God’s gifts are not for bragging!

God’s gifts are for using!

While bragging on or choosing one above the other we should also consider our own gifts from God “that we are not even using” for the work that God has called us all to do!

The truth is that God has given each of us gifts to use to carry the “Gospel” to the lost!

1Pe 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
1Pe 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

We are arrogant to believe that God exalts His workers one above another!

We are not superior one above the other!

We absolutely have no right to sit in “judgment” one above any other!

When we glory, then we must glory in the Lord who has placed us where He wants us to be and has given us the tools we need, whether they be spiritual gifts or carnal gifts.

All we have belongs to the Lord!

Even John the Baptist was well aware of these things!

Joh 3:27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.

*****1Co 4:8 Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you.

As “Babes in Christ” it is easy to have the opinion that you are saved and you need nothing else.

These Corinthians were full but they were not full of Christ, they were full of themselves!

In their own still fleshy minds, they believed they had already reached perfection in the eyes of God and really had no further need of any instructor in the Word of God.

They certainly felt they had no need to pick up their own cross and follow the Lord Jesus.

They forgot that before the “Kingdom of God” could come that they would also suffer.

They forgot that before there was a fullness of joy, there would be persecution.

They forgot that before the marriage supper of the Lamb, they must eat the meat of ridicule in this world.

They became self-complacent and self-sufficient and felt they had no sin and no need of anything else of God!

We should remember the Age we live in now, which is the last of the Church Ages!

Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Rev 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

These Corinthians were still blind to the complete truth of the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ!

They had one foot in the Church and still had one foot in the carnal world!

*****1Co 4:9 For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.

It was obvious to these Corinthians the way the world was treating the Apostles of Jesus Christ.

It was obvious to these Corinthians that persecution followed the Christian where ever they were.

Many of this church had actually come from Jerusalem because of the persecution of Christians!

It should be sobering to us all that Christians, especially those Christian leaders such as the Apostle Paul are actually on a stage being carefully watched by the audience of the world, to point out every mistake of the Church and it’s followers, ready to persecute and humiliate everyone in an attempt to stop the message of God!

These things are not going to change and to correctly understand these words of the Apostle Paul, we can see that for more than one reason, even the Angels of God also keep a close eye on each believer.

1Pe 1:12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; “which things the angels desire to look into”.

*****1Co 4:10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised.
1Co 4:11 Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace;
1Co 4:12 And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:
1Co 4:13 Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.

What is the difference between a true Christian and a counterfeit so-called Christian or even a carnal Christian?

The counterfeit is so full of themselves, rather than Divine Knowledge, that he thinks he needs no further instruction.

The counterfeit is so rich in his own grace, that he exalts himself above those who are spiritually poor.

The counterfeit is so confident in his confession of himself, that he would try to rule others who he believes are of a lower class of Christian than he.

The true Christian regards himself as the least of all Saints.

The true Christian submits willingly to suffering for Christ sake.

The true Christian repays all evil with good!

The Apostle Paul left the schools of higher learning, which would have led to untold riches, and devoted the remaining days of his life to the work of Christ, totally understanding that his only riches would come from his “faith” and the “Grace” of God!

Paul said in the eyes of the world, he was certainly a foolish man!

The model for the Apostle Paul was Jesus Christ Himself, who left the riches and glory of Heaven, to give his life in order that we might live!

How did Jesus respond to such people?

Luk 9:57 And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.
Luk 9:58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
Luk 9:59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Luk 9:60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
Luk 9:61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.
Luk 9:62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

The Bible teaches us that because of our loyalty to Jesus Christ,the world will despise us and consider us all mad and ignorant.

These Corinthians sought ways to make the teaching of the “Gospel” a means of becoming a celebrity and these “type” are still around today!

Christianity brings with it sacrifice, sometimes shame, many times suffering, and certainly a true work ethic.

But Christianity brings companionship in the greatest family of all, the “Grace “of God, and rewards that cannot be known of in this world!

The Christian must be a humble, and a meek, and a patient child of God!

The signs of the Christian are these:

1Co 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
1Co 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
1Co 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Paul said to these Corinthians, “you simply need to know the truth”.

Who is the most important example for the Christian to follow?

1Pe 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, “leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps”:

*****1Co 4:14 I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.
1Co 4:15 For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.
1Co 4:16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.

We can be sure that the Apostle Paul did not write these books to the these Corinthians, nor to the Church, for the purpose of causing them shame and embarrassment!

The truth is that, the liberal church cannot survive and function for the good of God!

There is a great danger to the “Body of Christ” if the majority remain “Babes in Christ”!

This is what we see in the Church of the modern day and the Church no longer has the Holy Ghost power it once had!

It was the Apostle Paul who had caused the beginning of this church at Corinth, and to Paul these were his spiritual children and there are no spiritual grandchildren!

Paul, by example, followed the life of Christ as close as he could after his salvation and this should also be our goal!

Paul is simply saying that beyond the Lord Jesus Christ, no one cared as much for the Church at Corinth as much as he did!

Paul was simply rebuking this church much like a loving father would rebuke their own children!

I see this same thing here at Gethsemane, where through the years we have had many tutors who have come through to teach us the great depths of the Word of God, but it is our Pastor who teaches us as a loving father does his own children!

And Paul further more states, that no church can have a father who is not following the Lord Jesus Christ!

Mat 23:9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

We must never forget the One from which the New Testament Church had it’s beginnings and that One is the Lord Jesus Christ!

Mat 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God”.
Mat 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, “but my Father which is in heaven”.

The Church at Corinth was begotten through the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” and it is on Jesus Christ that the Church must stand!

Paul said he was just filling in, until the Lord returned to fulfill His own “Gospel”!

Paul as a “faithful steward” of the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” said “you can follow me because I am following the Lord”!

It is a fact that good spiritual leaders will light the way for their followers to follow!

What is the job of the Pastor?

1Pe 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
1Pe 5:3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
1Pe 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

Paul was a church planter, who totally understood his calling by the Lord Jesus Christ!

Paul was not being arrogant nor was he conceited.

Paul explained himself to the Ephesians with these words:

Eph 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;

Many false teachers had come to the church at Corinth, just as happens today in most all places of worship!

We know that the Lord Jesus Christ cannot actually be seen with the eye but only with the heart until He returns, but the true man of God, such as Paul, would be more like Jesus than any false teacher could ever be!

The truth of the Church is not what we look like inside the Church, it is how we appear outside the Church!

We would be wise to follow the example of the Apostle Paul rather than the example of some false so-called man of God, who might speak great words but their lives tell a different story!

Paul had a another spiritual child of God who was following the Lord Jesus Christ by the example showed to him also by the Apostle Paul and his name was Timothy.

*****1Co 4:17 For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.

No doubt that it Paul who had led Timothy to the Lord!

No doubt that Timothy was already on his way to Corinth as Paul was writing this letter and the letter had arrived before Timothy had gotten there.

It was Timothy’s job to bring this church back to the teachings of the Apostle Paul!

Timothy was also a faithful steward of the “Gospel of Jesus Christ”.

Paul was telling these Corinthians that Timothy would not only teach sound doctrine, but he would also put these people in remembrance of Paul’s ways!

They could see with their own eyes, whether the child’s walk was like those of his spiritual father and also in Jesus Christ!

It is a fact that a Man of God who generates in another the character of Jesus Christ, has done a greater work than any teaching that this world does!

But Paul also knew that not all in the church would be satisfied with Timothy but expected Paul to return himself.

Here again we see that Paul knew many in Corinth cared more for the speaker, than for the message, which is still the failure in many houses of worship today!

*****1Co 4:18 Now some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you.
1Co 4:19 But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power.

Those that still allowed their own pride to interfere with right judgment would still be puffed up.

There were many at Corinth that believed Paul feared to return to Corinth, which was certainly not true.

We should be very clear that the Apostle Paul had the same powers that Jesus had granted to all the other Apostles!

Most of that power was the fact that if an Apostle asked anything of the Lord, then it would certainly take place as Jesus told to the Apostles.

Mat 18:18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

*****1Co 4:20 For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.
1Co 4:21 What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?

Paul informed those that rejected this letter from him, that he could come with the rod just as easy as he could come in love.

It would be their own choice!

God gave us the freedom to choose but we must certainly know that there are consequences to every choice we make!

What is God’s promise?

Isa 11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

We may not understand that “rod of the mouth” but it is very clear what God will do when He says He will slay the wicked!

Questions?

Let’s Pray!

The Danger Of Remaining A Babe In Christ

The Problem Of Carnal Immaturity

1 Corinthians 3

The English word “carnal” comes from the Greek word “sarkikos” and it means “as pertaining to the flesh”.

The Webster dictionary describes “carnal” as pertaining to the flesh, sensual; opposed to spiritual; as a carnal pleasure.

The Bible says:

Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
Rom 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

It is obvious that those who do not know the Lord Jesus as their Savior are indeed carnal and follow the ways of the world or are led by their own desires.

It is also a fact that one who has just accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior.” is just one step from where they once were” and still possess a carnal mind.

The reality of Christian life is that there will always be a process of spiritual maturing that follows salvation of each individual!

Each individual must realize that they are a three part being made up of a fleshly body, a carnal mind, and an eternal spirit.

Upon salvation it is only that eternal spirit that is “Born Again”!

Tit 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Tit 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
Tit 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

So let’s continue with the Apostle Paul and the Church at Corinth.

*****1Co 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

We must all realize the distinction between the “spiritual” believer and the “carnal” believer!

The “spiritual” believer is under the control of the Holy Spirit!

The “carnal” believer is still under the control of his own flesh!

A Christian can be carnal and still be saved but they need to examine themselves and make their salvation sure.

This is sometimes the problem with “babes in Christ” who have not “grown in Grace” and “the knowledge” of the Lord and our Savior, Jesus Christ!

God expects us all to grow in the ways of the Lord!

When Paul established this church in Corinth, he, himself had stayed for at least 6 months and had taught them.

Apollos had since come and spent some time to help them mature but they had not grown in the Lord and this was the main problem in this church, they had remained as “babes in Christ”.

And a baby requires milk rather than meat!

*****1Co 3:2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

What is the milk of the Scriptures?

Heb 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be “the first principles of the oracles of God”; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

It is a fact that all Christians differ in their measure of understanding and strength, as well as the gifts of God but every Christian should grow, striving to reach maturity throughout their remaining days.

Heb 5:13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
Heb 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Every new child of God is a blessing to God and to the Church but if they remain babes indefinitely they are of no use to God and they will drag down the Church rather than help it grow!

When we allow our old nature to take control of our actions then we are still acting the way the world does and the world will see no difference in the Christian and the lost.

The way we lead our life, the way the world sees us, is our most important witnessing tool.

Today here in these United States we see the Church looking more like the world every day!

The modern day Church have rejected the meat of the Word of God calling it old fashioned and not ready for the modern times and the Church is sinking and unproductive in the things of God!

The Church can no longer discern between whats good and whats evil!

This was a problem in the days of Paul and the same problem exist today!

How can we tell, the same way the Apostle Paul could tell!

*****1Co 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

These things are all manifestations of the flesh!

Envying is also jealousy and rivalry.

These are the same sins that have disgraced the Church from it’s early beginning!

Every Church that displays these things to the world is walking in the flesh and not in the Spirit nor
walking in the Lord!

The truth of salvation rests solely upon the completed work of the Lord Jesus Christ, but rewards are to be earned by “our spiritual service for God” and will be according to the quality of our works and not the quantity!

A carnal Christian has only a fleshly service that is perishable and will suffer a loss of reward at the “judgment seat of Christ”!

The doctrine of Jesus Christ and His becoming our Mediator between us and God are the principle doctrines of Christianity!

How do we know we are in the last of the Church Ages?

Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

If Jesus is standing at the door and He is knocking, then He is trying to get back on the inside of the Church, no one knockes to go outside!

Take a serious look and you will see that Our Lord And Savior is being kicked out of the modern day Church!

The Church is walking as men “who have made no confession of faith” and not walking with the Holy Spirit!

The carnality of the Church can be seen as it allows the views of the world to mix with the elements of the new life it has received by Jesus Christ!

*****1Co 3:4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

The question Paul is asking is “are you not influenced by mere human passions”?

ALL those that are influenced by men rather than the Word of God are truly carnal in their behavior!

This happens when we do not take the Word of God literal!

Jesus says this about those that bring the Word of God to us:

Mat 20:26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
Mat 20:27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

A minister is then, no more than the chief servant of the Lord.

It is the Word of God itself that we are to live by and not the words of any man and not some commentary written by some man!

*****1Co 3:5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
1Co 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
1Co 3:7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

It is not easy to learn that the planter or the waterer are nothing but the messengers of God but the absolute truth is that once saved we must become instruments in the hands of God for His use!

We are simply God’s fellow workers and under a higher authority than we ourselves!

Paul clearly understood this and the Church must understand this also!

Again Jesus had these words:

Joh 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: “for without me ye can do nothing”.
Joh 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
Joh 15:7 If ye abide in me, and “my words abide in you”, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

When we think of ourselves as some one mighty in the work of God or we think of other men as some one mighty in the work of the Lord we are only deceiving ourselves!

Gal 6:3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.

We are simply laborers together with God!

*****1Co 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.
1Co 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

Husbandry refers to a farmer and the principles of farming.

As God’s husbandry, we are simple farmers who till the soil of that one who is lost or we are the ones who water the field to that one who needs to grow in Christ!

This lost world is God’s field to bring forth His harvest and we are but workers in God’s field!

We are God’s building, means that after our salvation, we are being constructed for God’s use and He does this by filling us with His own Holy Spirit!

2Co 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, “I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people”.

When we think of ourselves or some preacher as something greater than these things we are ignoring the plan of God!

The Apostle Paul says it takes a master builder to be smart enough to lay a proper foundation!

And there is only one foundation that is the proper foundation of the Church!

*****1Co 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

This means not some mere abstract doctrine of Jesus Christ but “that Jesus Christ Himself, His person, His deity”, must be the foundation of every church, and every group of believers!

God has laid this foundation of His Son and mankind cannot lay a better foundation than God!

Gal 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

Those that pervert the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” are cursed of the God they say they serve!

2Ti 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ “depart from iniquity”.

No part of any structure can be built without a solid foundation and be expected to stand!

God’s created world is the foundation of life of the cosmos!

Jesus Christ was the Creator before He became our Savior!

The record of our created world back in the Book of Genesis is the foundation of the revelation of God!

Jesus Christ, first our Creator, then our Redeemer, is the only foundation of any true and Lasting Christian Life!

1Pe 2:4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
1Pe 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

It is only after the foundation of Jesus Christ has been laid that the house of God can be built!

*****1Co 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 1Co 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

Gold and silver can go through the fire and come out purer.

Precious stones can go through the fire and the fire will have no effect on them. Granite and natural stone, actual building materials can withstand the hottest of fires.

That fire that is to be revealed is God’s judgment!

2Co 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

It is a fact that wood, hay, and stubble will not withstand any fire at all!

The Apostle Paul had laid the proper foundation in every church he had established but if those that came behind him or those in that church did not properly build onto that foundation then their work would fail.

Jesus said these things:

Mat 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Mat 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Any church not built upon the knowledge of Jesus Christ as the Son of the Living God, will not be able to stand against the gates of Hell!

If Jesus Christ is only a man then the Church will one day fall from existence!

Jesus Christ must our Prophet who proclaims the truth of God!

Jesus Christ must be our High Priest who stands between us and God and provide the proper sacrifice.

Jesus Christ must be our King who claims our love, our loyal obedience and our thanksgivings and our worship.

It is the Divine presence of the Lord Jesus Christ that must dwell in our hearts!

There is good teaching about Christ and there is bad teaching about Christ.

Good teaching is the showing forth of Christ Jesus and His Word and in His Life in our own lives and it is these things that will be rewarded at the “Judgment seat of Christ”!

*****1Co 3:14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Many things go on in the modern day church called the outreach of the church.

If we consider the outreach of the church as the walls of the building, then we can be sure that fire will destroy walls that are built of shoddy material, such as wood, hay, and stubble!

At the “judgment seat of Christ”, Christ will reveal the worthlessness of some of the church work that is being done and that has been done since it’s beginning.

All those that are responsible for these things will suffer a loss of rewards but as one who escapes a burning building they will escape with their lives!

All those that build on anything other than Jesus Christ will suffer loss!

We already know that it is God that controls the increase of the church so quantity is in His hands.

Therefore these Scriptures are referring to the “quality of the work” and “the motivation of the church” and also each individual believer.

It is very important that we assemble as the “Body Of Christ” but of as great an importance “we will be judged for what we do outside the walls of the church”.

The reward for attending church is becoming a better disciple of Christ for the work outside the church!

The rewards at the “judgment seat of Christ” is taking that knowledge and teaching all who cross our path of the love of God and His Redeemer!

We are called of God to contribute our share, to the building of saved souls to become a place that God dwells through the Holy Spirit!

Eph 2:21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
Eph 2:22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

In addition to this main thing we must not neglect the building of our character on the “one foundation” of Jesus Christ!

It is a fact that all are saved who have made Jesus Christ the foundation of their lives!

It is also a fact that they remained saved, though the work that have done has accomplished nothing in the building of the “Body of Christ”!

And it is a fact the God will judge the work of His Church before He will judge this world!

1Pe 4:15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.
1Pe 4:16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
1Pe 4:17 For the time is come that “judgment must begin at the house of God”: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

We must consider that no matter what we do and no matter where we go, we are carrying with us the Holy Spirit of God!

*****1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1Co 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

Every believer on the things of Jesus Christ will certainly come face to face with Jesus one day, therefore it is vital that we live in daily obedience to the guiding hand of the Holy Spirit.

We must die daily to our own wishes and pick up our own cross and follow the Lord!

There are many who say that God speaks to them!

That “still small voice” comes from within each believer is the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit will never go against the Word of God and will always lead us in the ways of Jesus Christ!

Anything that goes against the Word of God is not following the lead of the Holy Spirit!

We must be especially respectful of our bodies and what we do with them for we that are saved house the “Glory of the Lord”!

Php 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, “among whom ye shine as lights in the world”;
Php 2:16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

If we are not rejoicing in the day of the Lord now, we certainly will not be rejoicing in the Lord on our own day of judgment and we are deceiving ourselves if we think so!

*****1Co 3:18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.
1Co 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.

God says it takes a fool to reject the Lord Jesus Christ as the One and Only Redeemer!

We are not to reject the knowledge of this world because we still live in this world, but God says we are not to glory in that knowledge.

The truth is that God’s way of thinking goes far beyond our own way of thinking!

What is the truth?

All the things of God’s creation will serve each man and woman who serves Jesus Christ!

The Lord Jesus Christ came down to this earth to do the will of His Father in Heaven!

Luk 22:27 For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but “I am among you as he that serveth”.

When we are serving the Lord Jesus we are serving the great purposes of God!

God will then allow His entire creation to serve the individual believer who place their trust in Him.

This includes the extremes of our own existence, the extremes of His creation and the extremes of the duration of our own lifetime!

Rom 8:28 And we know that “all things work together for good to them that love God”, to “them who are the called according to his purpose”.

Those that depend on the wisdom of this world will find out that the extremes of this world will not serve them.

The preaching of the cross may be foolishness to all those that are unsaved but their own wisdom is even more foolishness with God!

Psa 7:14 Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood.
Psa 7:15 He made a pit, and digged it, “and is fallen into the ditch which he made”.
Psa 7:16 His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.

*****1Co 3:20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.

God knows “the plans” of those that think they rule this world but only God’s plan will be fulfilled!

God knows “the purposes” of those that think the wisdom will prevail but only God’s purpose will remain in the end!

God knows “the designs” of those that think they are so wise but we know that Moses got the complete design of the Tabernacle from God. The design of the Temple came from God.

The most important design here on earth is the plan of salvation which came down from Heaven!

One day soon we will see God’s design of the New Jerusalem and the New Heaven!

It is only God’s designs that will prevail!

The thoughts of those who are wise in the ways of the world are vain things in the plan of God because they truly lack real wisdom because real wisdom comes only from the Lord!

Therefore:

*****1Co 3:21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;
1Co 3:22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;
1Co 3:23 And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.

God says everything belongs to the Church!

We have a great pastor here at Gethsemane but sent him to serve the Church and not the Church to serve him.

There are now and have always been great men of God that have been sent to the Church but they were sent to serve the body of Christ and not for the Body of Christ to serve them!

All the things of this world, all God’s creation unfolds to serve the Church in some way!

All things pertaining to life and death belong to the Church because we can begin life eternal while we still are alive!

All things in this present life and all things to come, belong to the Body of Christ!

Heb 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

When we believe all these things, then those few things we suffer in this world cannot compare to the Glory of Christ on the day we will be glorified with Him!

Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Those that belong to the Lord Jesus Christ then also belong to God!

Questions?

Let’s Pray!

The Problem Of Humanism

The Problem Of Human Wisdom

1 Corinthians 2

Wisdom is the right use or the right exercise of knowledge. Wisdom then is discerning or judging what is the most just, most proper, and most useful means to an end result.

Knowledge is a clear and certain perception of things that exist, or the truth and the facts of those things.

We cannot have knowledge of that which does not exist!

The truth is that God has a perfect knowledge of all things that exist but human knowledge is very limited and is mostly gained by observation and experience.

Therefore there are great problems that come from human wisdom!

Humans simply cannot ever know all the things of God!

The problems of divisions in the church at Corinth was caused by an underlying ignorance of the purpose of true preaching.

In last weeks lesson we had this verse:

1Co 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

If we trust human wisdom, then we can never know God!

The truth is, that the Preaching of the Word of God was never meant to be a popularity contest!

The truth is, that if we walk in God’s wisdom we will enjoy God’s blessings!

*****1Co 2:1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.

Preaching then should be more about the message than the act of proclaiming that message!

We should not forget that Paul was a highly educated man. Paul studied the Old Testament at the feet of Gamaliel the most noted Doctor of the Mishna in Israel during his day.

The Mishna was a collection of all Jewish traditions and explanations of the Scriptures.

Paul was saying that he came to Corinth and he spoke neither oratorically nor philosophically.

The salvation message of God is simple and it does not require a great speaker!

What is the testimony of God?

1Jn 5:10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
1Jn 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

The message of the Gospel is a simple message and not hard to understand and it seems this is why it is so easily tossed aside and rejected but the truth is the most always the simplest answer.

What is the truth of the Gospel?

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Joh 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

What was the message of the Apostle Paul?

*****1Co 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

Paul did not mean for anyone to set aside all human knowledge.

Paul meant that Jesus Christ and Him crucified would always be the central point and the essence of all his knowledge the rest of his own life as a minister of God.

Php 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
Php 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
Php 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Php 3:11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

Salvation can begin immediately to all those that accept this one point in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and there is no more important point to be made in all of Scripture!

Each sinner in need of a Savior has see Christ Jesus as that Savior!

The Apostle Paul preached what he believed!

Sadly many in the pulpits today do not even believe the Word of God that they preach and it effects the message that they have in a most negative way!

The truth is “faith” produces “faith”!

And without “faith” we cannot begin to please God!

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

It is these truths that made this mighty man of God so humble in the pulpit!

*****1Co 2:3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.

The proper state of mind to preach the “Gospel” must always be the opposite of self-confidence!

The success of the “Gospel” does not depend on the skill of the preacher, but wholly on the the work of the Holy Spirit!

The act of saving faith is not by reason of, and not by arguments addressed to it’s understanding, but solely on the power of God and the truth that is accepted in the heart of that one that hears it!

Rom 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

The preacher that knows all these things will trust that the Lord is by his side and any needed strength will come from the Lord by His Holy Spirit!

*****1Co 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
1Co 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

If we remember the Book of Acts, Paul came to Corinth from Athens. In Athens Paul had spoken as many of the philosophers had on Mars Hill.

Philosophical messages do not lead to much results.

A preacher must not ever preach down to those listening.

The message of the Lord must reach out to those who have a need!

When Paul arrived in Corinth he kept the message of the Lord simple!

It is the message of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ that remains the most important message of salvation!

Paul did not come to Corinth to persuade men through words of wisdom or enticing words.

It is not important for any preacher or teacher to compete with philosophers or mighty men of wisdom who twist and turn words to meet their goals.

The Word of God is not in competition, the Word of God is simply the truth!

It is important for the man of God to teach the facts of the cross!

It is important for the man of God to stay out of the business of the Holy Spirit because it is only the Holy Spirit who can lead those that hear the “Gospel” to the Lord!

Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

We cannot become Christians until we allow the “Cross of Jesus Christ” to make it’s impression upon us!

If we cannot realize that Christ died so that we can live, we have missed the importance of the Word of God!

The world we live in is becoming more and more resistant to the Laws of God!

The world we live in is ignoring the warnings of God!

The world we live in ignores the God who provides the air we breath and the food we eat and considers God too feeble to be of much help in this world!

But, there are still those in this world that understand the act of self-sacrifice!

God sacrificed Himself so that we can live!

Once we understand the “Mercy” and the “Grace” of God and His desire to save us from sin and destruction and instills in each believer the hope of true life eternal, then salvation is in the asking of God for forgiveness.

Without faith we cannot please God!

The only secure place for faith lies in the Power of God!

Men have theories that change as new things develop.

True science changes when new facts are discovered.

Politicians sell out their influence for money and power!

Philosophy and religion are just man-made words and ideals!

But the “sure” Word of God can be depended on!

What is faith?

Heb 10:39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

1) The substance of faith is in the promises of God!

Tit 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

2) The evidence of faith is in seeing in our mind what the eye cannot see.

3) The things that are not seen are the invisible and spiritual world of our Holy God!

When we can get that mental picture of Heaven in all it’s glory, then that desire to go home to be with our Savior will remain with us all the days of our life!

Isa 64:4 For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.

*****1Co 2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:

We know that there are no perfect Christians but Paul is referring to those who are no longer “Babes In Christ” and have moved on to those who are maturing in Christ.

Even a Babe in Christ, though saved, have not reached a point where they can comprehend the wisdom of the Word of God!

The word “world” normally would mean the “Cosmos” which means the material aspects of our world.

Paul uses instead the word “Aeon” which means “the world in it’s moral and intellectual aspects”.

Paul is saying there is a wisdom that is much higher that that of any man!

Our salvation was purchased by the Son, the Lord Jesus!

Our salvation was planned by the Father, Our Heavenly Father!

Our salvation is eternal because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit!

To the Church we know we live in the Church Age.

In reality there are only two ages, this Age we live in now and the Age that is to come.

The Age of now began with Adam and will end with the Second coming of Christ.

Most of us will only see a small portion of this Age because we can live only a short period of time.

The Age that is to come is when God Himself will take control of this world and remove all sin and make all things right!

Only for the Christian, the Age that is to come can already be realized and in a sense we are already living in that Age that is to come now after accepting the truth of the Scriptures!.

Only for the Christian do these two Ages over lap!

Only in this Age are the princes of this world allowed to govern and rule under the limits that God has set!

It is obvious that in the end all the rules and the ways of mortal men will come to nothingness!

In all these years of mankind, none have been able, to overcome the truth of God and they never will!

1Jn 5:19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.
1Jn 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

No mere man can obtain the wisdom that is God’s only!

*****1Co 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
1Co 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

All human wisdom and philosophy of the world’s so-called intellectuals will eventually come to mean nothing.

True wisdom is that wisdom that is centered on Jesus Christ!

This is the wisdom that existed in the heart of God before the world began!

Pro 8:22 The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.
Pro 8:23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.

Pro 8:35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.
Pro 8:36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.

The carnal mind cannot understand the deeper truths of Christianity!

Even a brand new Christian still has a carnal mind and still a “Babe in Christ”.!

Php 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

A full grown Christian is one who is no longer a “Babe in Christ”!

In the government of Israel and that government of Rome had truly accepted the wisdom of Christ Jesus, they certainly would never have crucified the “Lord of Glory”!

Act 3:17 And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.
Act 3:18 But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.

The wisdom of this world can only lead to the death of those that follow it!

In reality then, can this carnal worldy wisdom ever be very wise?

The wisdom of the world has never been able to accomplish the needs of this world in over 4000 years!

*****1Co 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

The truth is, that no matter how wonderful we think Heaven will be, the truth of Heaven goes far beyond the imagination of all mankind!

This world we live on still has many beautiful places that have escaped the results of sinful men and it was the Lord who created this entire Cosmos.

Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

It is this same Creator who has gone to prepare a place for all those that love Him!

Joh 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
Joh 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
Joh 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Joh 14:4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

We can only get a glimpse of these things if we are endowed with the Holy Spirit of God!

*****1Co 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

We know the Word of God came to us by the Holy Spirit!

2Pe 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
2Pe 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake “as they were moved by the Holy Ghost”.

So what we can know of the beauty of Heaven, we can only find in the written Word of God and most of the things we know about Heaven were revealed to the Apostle John and recorded for us in the Book of Revelation.

These things were therefore revealed to us by the Spirit of God!

*****1Co 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

We are all individuals and no two of us are alike. We can be close friends but there is no way that I can know all the things of your life without you telling me.

Each person has his own body, soul, and spirit.

The spirit of man could be said to be our self-consciousness.

Our spirit is the substance in which thinking, knowing, doubting and the power of motivation subsist!

God not only has a spirit, God is Spirit!

Joh 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Our own spirit has the power of understanding what kind of people we are.

In much the same way the Spirit of God understands the nature of God.

Each of us understand our selves better than anyone else could possibly understand us!

And likewise it is only the Holy Spirit that can know the great depths of the wisdom of God!

To know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior and to be endowed with the Holy Spirit, is proof that God wants us to know everything about Him!

*****1Co 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

The very moment we trust in Jesus Christ the Holy Spirit enters into our body!

1Co 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
1Co 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

We are at that time baptized into the “Body Of Christ”!

1Co 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

At that very moment God places His seal of ownership upon each believer!

Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Eph 1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

The Holy Spirit is God’s gift to all that call upon the Lord Jesus for salvation!

Joh 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

It is the Holy Spirit that makes our liberty possible!

2Co 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

To all that trust in the Lord, we then become citizens of Heaven even the remaining days on this Earth!

Joh 17:14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
Joh 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
Joh 17:16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

We can never be caught up in Satan’s bondage ever again because we have a new Father, a Heavenly Father, who is more like a dad than any dad of this Earth!

Rom 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

BUT, No one can know these things without knowing the Holy Spirit of God!

*****1Co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

We can see that the Apostle Paul claims that his teachings are not really his.

Paul’s teachings were God’s because his words were taught to him by the Holy Spirit and this lines up with what the Lord Jesus taught!

Joh 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Jesus promises us the Holy Spirit would be our guide to all the truth of the Scriptures!

Joh 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

Just as the Apostles Paul was taught by the Scriptures, then we must begin at the same place. We must become familiar with the Scriptures.

Joh 17:8 For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.

You see it is only by the Holy Spirit that we can compare spiritual things with spiritual!

The Holy Spirit becomes our personal householder!

Mat 13:52 Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.

But those that reject the Word of God can never know these things this is the problem of humanism!

*****1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

The natural man who cannot accept the truths of God then cannot appreciate spiritual truths!

Without understanding the truth of the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, the natural man only sees foolishness in those that believe and foolishness in the Word of God!

1Co 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

Jude says these are those persons who exalt themselves above the truth of God!

Jud 1:19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.

It may seem strange but no matter how intelligent these people are, they will never understand the things of God until they accept the Lord Jesus Christ!

That is the one real thing that most of the world rejects but it is the only means of salvation and the only means into the family of God!

Joh 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
Joh 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
Joh 16:9 Of sin, “because they believe not on me”;

The only sin that cannot be forgiven is the sin of rejecting the Lord Jesus Christ, ALL other sin can be forgiven!

On the other hand, those who are “born again” and “spiritually mature” can discern and understand all the deep things of God!

*****1Co 2:15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

These spiritual are all those that follow the lead of the Holy Spirit!

These are the same ones who can judge every situation as God would judge it!

These are those who judge by the Word of God!

1Jn 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

We are to be witnesses and not judges but the truth is that God judges all people by His own Words and therefore things that go against the Word of God we are to also point out to others!

This not as much being a judge as it is pointing out the truth!

We cannot be judged by the natural man or any other man because we have already been judged by a higher power than mortal men!

Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Rom 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Anyone that passes judgment on a “born again” child of God is passing judgment on God Himself who is the only true Judge of all mankind!

*****1Co 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Though it is impossible for anyone to have the mind of Christ, by the Holy Spirit we can understand all the words that Jesus spoke and are recorded in the New Testament.

We also have the completed Word of God in the 66 books of the Bible!

The truth is, that the Word of God does not have to be analyzed and to be understood.

The Word Of God Only Has To Be Believed!

To have the mind of Christ means to look at our world through our Savior’s point of view and accept what He says as the complete truth!

Having the mind of Christ does not mean we have the ability to instruct God nor change any of His Word!

Rom 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
Rom 11:34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
Rom 11:35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
Rom 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

The things of God are unsearchable except through the Words He has given to us!

God teaches us all we need to know in this world we live in now!

Questions?

Let’s Pray!

The Causes Of Church Divisions

The Problem Of Church Divisions

1 Corinthians 1

The Church at Corinth was established on the second of the three missionary journeys of the Apostle Paul.

Paul had traveled as far as Macedonia and Greece.

Paul had made successful visits to Philippi and Thessalonica and then he had a not so pleasant encounter with those of Athens.

After these things Paul had finally made it to the city of Corinth.

Corinth was an important commercial center and was already populated by more than 600,000 people.

Corinth was heavily Grecian in character and was famous as a center for sports in those days.

Corinth was also a very immoral city and sin was rampant, and there was also had a temple to the false goddess Aphrodite.

It is said that there were 1000 female prostitutes who served as priestesses in that place.

Temptation was everywhere and Corinth was “sin city” in that day!

It was at the city of Corinth where Paul met Aquila and Priscilla.

Luke the physician and of the Book of Luke, was also with the Apostle Paul at this time.

Corinth had been founded by Julius Caesar and also had a heavy military presence.

Corinth was also the capitol city of Achai and the residence of the Roman proconsul who administered the city according to the Roman Emperor.

Because of it’s location at the isthmus of Corinth commercialism fueled the sin of this city and this city also had a very mixed population from many nations.

Corinth was a city of wealth but that wealth was distributed unevenly and the gap between the rich and the poor grew ever wider as time passed.

Corinth was as famous for sexual immorality as it was for all these other things!

The Greek word for Corinth is “korinthos”.

BUT, The people who lived there would simply say “korinthiazethai” which means “to fornicate”.

The Apostle Paul remained in Corinth for a good while before he returned to Antioch in Syria.

Let’s begin:

*****1Co 1:1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,

The word apostle means “one sent” and many question the apostleship of Paul but we should not!

If none of the other Apostles questioned it then neither should we!

The Apostle Paul was certainly God’s messenger to the Gentiles!

Gal 2:8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)
Gal 2:9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

The Bible says that it was the Holy Ghost that separated Paul and paired him with Barnabas just as the other Apostles were paired and sent out!

Act 13:2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

Paul was personally called just as the others were called!

Act 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
Act 9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
Act 9:6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

Paul was an eyewitness to the resurrection of Christ Jesus!

1Co 15:8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

Paul received the same three years of training as had the others!

Gal 1:17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.
Gal 1:18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.

Paul was given the same “so called” powers of the Apostles as was the others!

Act 14:8 And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked:
Act 14:9 The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed,
Act 14:10 Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.

Act 19:13 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.
Act 19:14 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.
Act 19:15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?

Act 20:9 And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.
Act 20:10 And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him.

That Paul was a Christ chosen Apostle, is a sure thing and we should accept him as an Apostle of Jesus Christ!

Paul identifies this Sosthenes as his Christian brother. It is possible that this was the same Sosthenes that ruled the synagogue at Corinth who was unjustly beaten by a mob.

Act 18:17 Then all the Greeks took Sosthenes, the chief ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. And Gallio cared for none of those things.

The truth of Scripture is this:

Rom 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

No one can know God until they are called!

*****1Co 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

The word Church comes from the Greek word “ekklesia” which means a called out assembly.

The word “sanctified” comes from the Greek word “hagiazo” which means purified or consecrated to God or those that have been washed in the blood of the Lamb.

Sanctified means all those that are separated or set apart for God’s use and at that time “living or dead” become a Saint simply because of their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ!

Each individual believer is then the “House of God” and when two or three or more are gathered together they form the Church!

1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

Paul addressed this epistle to the Church at Corinth but also to all Saints in every place that call on the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior!

There is only one Church and we are all brothers and sisters in Christ no matter where we live as long as we recognize the Lord Jesus as our Savior!

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

*****1Co 1:3 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

The two things the Apostle Paul knew for sure was, that he was not worthy to called an Apostle and we are also not worthy to be saved.

Salvation is all about the “Grace of God”!

To be called of God is to then to be more like God in the way we live “as best we can”!

It is only by the “Grace” of God that we can be at peace with God!

Those that build on anything but “Grace” will never know the “peace of God”!

Peace with God comes to only those that know the Lord Jesus Christ as a personal Savior!

The “Grace” of God comes only by the unsearchable riches of Jesus Christ!

If this church at Corinth was to survive then they would have to come together in the Lord Jesus Christ!

*****1Co 1:4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;
1Co 1:5 That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;
1Co 1:6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:

The purpose of this epistle was to address the divisions in this church so Paul first commends the good things of the church.

The glory of the church must be in the Lord and not in some human of the church!

We must be thankful for the “Grace of God”!

Grace is the unmerited favor of God and comes only by Jesus Christ!

A church is not a church, unless it is enriched by Jesus Christ!

To be “in Christ” is to be a member of the church!

It is the church that is the “Body of Christ”!

1Co 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

All divine powers and all qualities of character which belong to Jesus Christ, are passed on to the members of each Christian assembly, so that we all can share in the the utterance and the knowledge of God!

It is the testimony of Christ in each believer that confirms us all before God!

*****1Co 1:7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
1Co 1:8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We can see that all believers stand on level ground at the cross of Jesus!

No Christian is inferior to any other Christian!

AND, even in the beginnings of the New Testament church, we can see that they knew that the Lord could come back at any time to get His Church!

Most all prophesy concern the restoration of Israel and not the Church!

The process of being made holy in the eyes of God consist of:

1) Salvation: Repenting of sin and accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.

2) Sanctification: Christ saving work involves the completed, the on-going and the future saving activity of each individual saint of God.

We are saved, we are being saved, we are saved daily and we will be saved eternally!

3) Glorification: The completed work of salvation and sanctification!

Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Heb 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
Heb 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
Heb 2:11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,
Heb 2:12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.

When we see Jesus on the “day of Jesus Christ we will be like Him”!

1Jn 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
1Jn 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

So Paul, after bragging about the truths of the church, it was now time to address the issues of the church.

*****1Co 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

What was the first problem of the Church at Corinth?

The congregation was split into separate groups!

Now it is not possible for every Christian to agree on every detail in the Word of God but it is extremely important that we all agree on the doctrine of the Word of God and the doctrine of Salvation!

In reality and in content, the Bible stands distinct from all other religious writings!

For example, the Koran was written by by one man under the guidance of Mohammed’s father in law. Later a group of Arab scholars produced a unified version and destroyed as many variant copies as they could find trying to preserve the unity of the Koran.

The Bible on the other hand was written by at least 40 different writers from diverse vocations and across separate periods of time and each writer had very little knowledge of what previous writers had written but in the end the Bible is a completely unified book!

There are no contradictions or inconsistencies within the pages of the Bible!

This is true because the Holy Spirit caused the writings of the Word of God!

2Pe 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

In unity, within these 66 Books of the Bible, they teach of the “Triunity of God”, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit!

In unity these books teach the “Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ”!

In unity these books teach of the “Personality of the Holy Spirit”!

In unity these books teach of the “fall of and the depravity of mankind”!

And in unity these books teach of the “Salvation by the Grace of God”!

Is is apparent to anyone who takes a serious look at the Word of God, that no human being or beings could have orchestrated the harmony of the teachings of these divine Scriptures!

Had God not revealed Himself in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, then the Bible would be as useless as the other so called religious writings such as the Koran!

Luk 2:30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
Luk 2:31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
Luk 2:32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

Rom 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
Rom 16:26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

There is no excuse for any Church to be divided over the consistent Word of God!

There is no excuse for the many denominations to be so divided over the consistent Word of God!

There is only one Word of God and there is only ONE CHURCH of the Living God!

Our God is ALIVE!

SO, why was this Church in Corinth so divided?

*****1Co 1:11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.

Contentions from strife or struggles in an effort to obtain something that no one else has!

There is only One God and there is only one means of Salvation and the Word of God is specific!

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Joh 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

To dispute this fact of the Word of God will bring contention to all Bible Doctrine!

Chloe was a concerned Christian who she, and her household, had stayed in touch with the Apostle Paul but Paul had also gotten his information from other sources.

1Co 5:1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.
1Co 5:2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.

The Church in Corinth were grouping themselves around various human leaders and this caused divisions in the Church.

The was a church where the people had remained “Babes in Christ”!

*****1Co 1:12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.

Whenever we try to group ourselves around other human beings we will automatically reject other leaders and their followers!

At this time in Corinth, Paul, Apollos, and Cephas (Peter) all preached the same sermon and had the same message.

It is true that the authority of Paul was being questioned by many because of false men of the Jews who were called the Judaizers.

It is true that Apollos was an eloquent speaker.

But there is no evidence that Peter had ever preached at this Church but we do know that many Christians had escape Jerusalem because of persecution and had heard Peter preach.

And it seems that there some who still considered Christ to be a mere man, which ignores the Word of God!

*****1Co 1:13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?

What are the facts?

It is the Word of God that is to be the final authority in every congregation of believers!

No human leader, human teacher, Pastor or Preacher or Pope has the final nor the sole authority of the Word of God!

2Pe 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

We must accept a literal interpretation of the Scriptures!

Literal means that the words and sentences of the Scriptures are understood in their normal meaning,

Literal means that the words are to be understood in a normal communication or a normal conversation.

For instance Psalms 22 has been fulfilled literally.

Isaiah 53:1-12 has been fulfilled literally.

Micah 5:2 has been fulfilled literally!

There is only one truth of all the Scriptures literally!

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

It is not just necessary that we read the Scriptures, it is also important that we study the Scriptures!

2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Because all Scripture comes from God!

2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Then Paul describes his personal calling.

*****1Co 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

Paul “is not saying” it is not important to be Baptized.

Paul “is not saying” that he did not speak in the wisdom of the Scriptures.

Paul “is saying” the most important message of the Church is the “Gospel of Jesus Christ”!

Until salvation is secure, no Church ordinance has any real meaning!

Until salvation is secure there is no wisdom that can be gleaned from the Scriptures!

There is nothing that can become a substitute for the truth of the Cross!

What was the commandment given to Paul?

Act 26:17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
Act 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, “that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me”.

Many of the Body of Christ have gotten away from this most important message to the lost, which is the “good news” of Jesus Christ!

1Co 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
1Co 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
1Co 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
1Co 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
1Co 15:5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:

The preaching of the cross must return as the most important message in each and every Church!

*****1Co 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

Being saved is not an intellectual process!

Salvation only becomes the power of God when the Holy Spirit moves into the believer!

Those that regard Christianity as foolishness prove to others that are perishing in their own sin and on their way to Hell!

BUT, All mankind are fools until we meet Christ Jesus at the foot of His cross!

Tit 3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
Tit 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Tit 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
Tit 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

It is the preaching of the “Gospel” that brings salvation!

1Co 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

The most important message to the Church that is making disciples, is to keep the main thing, The Main Thing!

The Main Thing of the Church is Jesus Christ!

*****1Co 1:26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

The Apostle Paul was addressing the membership of those of Corinth.

Paul said to look at your own church, the ones God has called and blessed.

It is a fact that in most every church you will not find many that the world considers to be wise.

There are usually not many of nobility or families of the so-called “well to do”.

There are usually not many people of power that attend church.

BUT, God calls “whosoever will come” in spite of these things!

The Apostle Paul was once a self-righteous religious zealot, but he was called.

These Corinthians came from one of the most evil cities in the world of that day, but they were also called.

No one is too sinful, no one is too evil, no one is so out of touch with reality, that God will not save if they answer God’s call!

All the Apostles of Jesus Christ were considered to be unlearned and ignorant men by the religions of that day!

Act 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

*****1Co 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
1Co 1:28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

God chose to begin His Church with these men, that the world considered to be unlearned and ignorant men!

The lost world may admire men of power, men of royalty, men of great knowledge, men of a high social status, and men of great riches, but none of these can ever guarantee eternal life!

As the world has found out, it is those that call on the Lord Jesus Christ that have obtained salvation and life eternal because God is no respecter of persons.

Rom 10:8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Rom 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Rom 10:11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
Rom 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
Rom 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

God’s foolishness truly does confound all those that seek the wisdom of this world!

God does these things to erase the pride of life from all those that have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ!

It is the pride of this life that becomes the stumbling block to those that need to seek the Lord Jesus Christ the author of eternal life!

*****1Co 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.

Justification before God can come only by “faith”!

Rom 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

By using what this world considers to be nobodies, God shows that all wisdom and all power are entirely His own!

There will be no boasting of human greatness or human wisdom when we stand before God at the “judgment seat of Christ”.

The wisdom of the believer simply comes from Jesus Christ!

1Co 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

*****1Co 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, “who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption”:

Jesus Christ is our wisdom!

Jesus Christ is our righteousness!

Jesus Christ is our sanctification!

Jesus Christ is our redemption!

Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Humanism nor human philosophy can never bring these things to any person!

We are nothing in ourselves but we can find all we need in the Lord Jesus Christ!

Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

A Church that is bound up in Christ Jesus and the love of God will not have divisions!

But, because we are only humans there can never be a perfect church!

It is only by Jesus Christ that our relationship with God is restored and it is only by Jesus Christ that any rifts that come between believers can be restored!

Jesus is all we need!

Questions!

Let’s Pray!