Good morning friends and thank you for joining us here on Paltalk as we continue this series on "Who Are We In Christ?" studying from the book of 1 Corinthians. Also Leanna and I want to thank A Far From Normal Faith Ministry, My Look Online and Lokey Sisters for allowing us to post on their social websites, and also thank each of you that read, listen to and watch on all the various networks.
As we continue this series, please have your pen and paper ready so that you can keep notes as we go along and also your Bibles. As she does each week, Leanna will be posting the scriptures here in the room and I thank you Love for doing that.
Let's all turn to 1 Corinthians chapter 4 verse 6. For those who joined us last week, you will remember that Apostle Paul was dealing with judging.
1 Corinthians 4:6-7 KJV (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. (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?
1 Corinthians 4:6-7 GW Brothers and sisters, I have applied this to Apollos and myself for your sake. You should learn from us not to go beyond what is written in Scripture. Then you won't arrogantly place one of us in opposition to the other. (7) Who says that you are any better than other people? What do you have that wasn't given to you? If you were given what you have, why are you bragging as if it weren't a gift?
Friends, I've shared with some of you that I'm not about titles. There are those in the ministry who get irate when you don't address them as pastor. To me, that person needs to earn that title. I have some on my wife's and my site, Cross Roads Fellowship who call me Pastor Jim. Usually it's from members we have from the Philippians. It's their custom to place a title before one's name. At one point I was leading these young members spiritually. When we have respect for a leader, it's natural for us to feel loyalty toward them. Paul warns us not to allow these loyalties to cause divisions within the church. Our loyalty should be to Christ, not to His human servants.
Leanna and I have been under pastors that we loved, but, I find often that some of the congregations put these leaders so high on a pedestal that it's like they're worshiping this man or woman. Church, true spiritual leaders are representatives of Christ and have nothing to offer other than what God has given them. Those who spend more time debating church leadership rather than delivering Christ’s message don't have Christ as their top priority. I hope we all have an understanding of this.
Like the Corinthian church, we see many of the same things affecting churches today. What are those things? The biggest problem in the divisions they were facing? And often times because of these things we see division and that was exactly what was happening in Corinth and what Paul was addressing to them and for you and me today. Glory to God!
Pride being one of the first things. Clicks within the congregation will cause problems. Come on everyone, we've all seen it. Maybe been part of it. That usually leaves a group feeling left out, doesn't it? They feel like they're not worthy to even be there. They feel shunned. Seen it friends? Been part of it? On either side of the fence?
Let's get away from this chapter for a few minutes, yet we're still following the guidelines of the title, "Who Are We In Christ".
I want to read a post that I've shared a couple times within the past probably 6 years. I'm not sure who the actual writer is, but I usually get choked up reciting this. Why? Because I've seen much of this.
Jesus will bear the sin of the Assyrians who gloated over their captives they skinned alive. Jesus will bear the sins of SS troops gunning down women and children running from burning synagogues with clothing burning ablaze. Jesus will bear the sins of child molesters making sure their victims never testify. He will bear the sins of Pharaohs sacrificing thousands of laboring lives to build a deifying tomb. Jesus took on all of this and more. He was tossed about in the endless storm of enraged fathers beating toddlers to their deaths, pimps seducing runaways into lives of drugs and prostitution, Canaanites burning their children to Moloch. Nice church ladies cannibalizing other nice church ladies over coffee. Impoverished parents in China selling their children into slavery. He will bear the sins of Bible-believing leaders praying long and loud while their wives sit in the back of many churches hoping their make-up covers their bruises. Jesus will tumble alone. He will bear the sins of embezzlers, gangsters, bullies, rapists, liars, thieves, the indifferent, sadistic, and self-righteous. It's a scene of unbearable horror, and unspeakable magma. He is the accused for us all, bearing the weight of abused children, families destroyed by adultery or apathy, civilizations decaying, and wars ravaging.
So why do I bring this up? As I read and you heard, these are huge events that happened that Jesus took to the cross some 2000 years ago. Yes we heard of World War 2 events, horrific things in Vietnam , things that we can read in the Old Testament. But my friends, did we notice some of the other issues? Nice church ladies cannibalizing other nice church ladies. Is there any difference between the things I just said? What about the pimps? What about the pastor's wife who covers her face because that minister who's preaching hell and brimstone and telling the congregation they need to repent of their sins hours before slapped her silly because his toast was burnt, or his suit wasn't ironed? But ask him if he's a Christian, he would say, "Of course I am, I am a pastor." Oh yaa.
Same on Christian networks, I see so much bullying, gossiping and lying, but praise the Lord that's not the normal for Cross Roads Fellowship. Friends, when we learn the truth of how we're to live our lives according to the scriptures, we need to act them out also. Resist the devil when those thoughts of slandering another brother or sister happen. Before saying things that you know will hurt them. Where is that uplifting and edifying, especially when those things said are a lie?
Turn please to Philippians. I want us to look at humility. Jesus was absolutely divine, yet absolutely human. In coming into the world He did not empty Himself of His divine nature or attributes, but only of the outward and visible manifestation of the Godhead, The insignia of majesty. He had to empty Himself of His glory or He would have paralyzed the men He came to save. Although equal with God, He took upon Himself the form of a servant for our sakes, that He might meet, as God manifest in the flesh, the death of the cross.
Let's see what Apostle Paul says. And remember my brothers and Sisters, while Paul wrote this epistle, he was led by the Holy Spirit in what He wrote. That is very important for us to remember.
Philippians 2:5-11 KJV Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (6) Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: (7) But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: (8) And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (9) Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: (10) That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; (11) And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Church, I see so many that when they get saved, or born again, they want to get right into ministry. Many want to become preachers, yet they're very naive to the gospel. Everyone is called into ministry, but God has a specific plan and being a minister may not be that calling. It may be missions work. It may mean working at a food cupboard or pantry. Maybe leading Sunday school is where he has you start. We my friends need to be humble, and this is what Apostle Paul was trying to get across.
Lets read 1 Corinthians from the King James and then from God's Word.
1 Corinthians 4:8-13 KJV (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. (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. (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. (11) Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; (12) And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: (13) Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.
Paul isn’t saying that he likes dealing with the brokenness, he's just saying that it's part of the deal. The path to real life often feels like death. The Corinthians could not escape this process.
1 Corinthians 4:8-14 GW (8) You already have what you want! You've already become rich! You've become kings without us! I wish you really were kings so that we could be kings with you. (9) As I see it, God has placed us apostles last in line, like people condemned to die. We have become a spectacle for people and angels to look at. (10) We have given up our wisdom for Christ, but you have insight because of Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are honored, but we are dishonored. (11) To this moment, we are hungry, thirsty, poorly dressed, roughly treated, and homeless. (12) We wear ourselves out doing physical labor. When people verbally abuse us, we bless them. When people persecute us, we endure it. (13) When our reputations are attacked, we remain courteous. Right now we have become garbage in the eyes of the world and trash in the sight of all people. (14) I'm not writing this to make you feel ashamed but to instruct you as my dear children.
Can we see the love and compassion Paul is showing, yet with instruction of how to live for Christ? The disciples of Christ, and especially his ministers, should hold fast their integrity, and keep a good conscience, whatever opposition of hardships they meet with from the world. Whatever they suffer from men, they must follow the example, and fulfill the will and precepts of their Lord. They must be content with Him and for Him, to be despised and abused.
2 Timothy 2:19-26 KJV 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. (20) But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. (21) If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work. (22) Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (23) But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. (24) And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, (25) In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; (26) And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
Someone right now I believe needed to hear this. Maybe many. Friends, when you and I go through the storms of life, we need to remember this. His incarnation and resurrection, heartily believed, Church, with all your faith, non wavering, will support the you and me under all the testings of the present life.
Let's read the rest of the chapter in 1 Corinthians and we will finish up for today.
1 Corinthians 4:15-21 KJV (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. (16) Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me. (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. (18) Now some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you. (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. (20) For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. (21) What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?
So what's Paul telling the church in Corinth? To me he's letting them know that there aren't many good examples to follow. Paul is sharing with them that he, being led by the Holy Spirit, should be their example. He's encouraging them to imitate his life. Now, Paul is not telling these people that he's God and that he's perfect. He's saying that as he lives his life trying to follow the model of Christ, they should do that as well. Timothy has been doing this, so they can also look to him for help in this area. I don't think I've said this yet, as I guess it's been said I say amen to much, but amen someone? Do we get this?
My dear friends, teaching from God's Word is not what I had planned for my life. No way Hosea. But there are those who are in my circle of friends that God has drawn to me. Praise Christ Jesus. I've shared hundreds of times when there was a terrible mess in a church that Leanna and I were part of and because I was not going to be part of that, we prayed and we prayed and 2 months later after telling God every excuse I could come up with of why I did not qualify, every single time I would pray or think of where He would have us go to church, I kept hearing "Right here and let me guide you." March 4, 2012, we started holding services here at our house. Glory to God.
So I often think about, even now, "Why me, Lord? Why now? Why here in Brownville Junction of all places? I don't know why He chose me. Maybe because I asked Him many years ago to lead me where He will. Maybe because I said I want to do all He wants me to do. Maybe because I've allowed Him to break me? And anyone that knew me 20 years ago, 10 years ago and even 5 years ago, know that there's been a change in me. Nothing that I did, but what Christ has done in me. Glory to God.
So why do I bring this up? Church, much like Apostle Paul, I'm hoping that God will use me as a Spiritual leader. I do study the Word of God. I try to teach you my friends in a way that you understand what scriptures say without taking away from it. I also try to teach those who've followed this ministry by example. There are those who have followed these sermons and the prayers added on many sites from other countries. Most are from here in the United States.
I think if we look at how this chapter ends, we find that Paul does it in a peculiar way.
Leanna, can you please post 18- 21 again please?
1 Corinthians 4:18-21 KJV (18) Now some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you. (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. (20) For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. (21) What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?
I see here that there are those who are causing problems and to me, Paul is writing like a father figure, if you will. Do we see that? Are you going to do what I say or do I have to sit you in a corner for a time out? I think back to my childhood and I never heard that. There were times I heard about the belt, or one time I can remember getting a yard stick and oh yea and having to choose a stick and of course I picked the thinnest one. What a mistake that was!
But we see here that Paul's asking if this letter and Timothy will be enough to correct their arrogant spirit and bad behavior or will he need to discipline them when he arrives? His motive is still love but his manner will change if necessary.
Friends, in closing and this is hard for me to say but needs to be said. Because of an issue that is going on and because of where we are in this chapter, it's speaking to me. Christian leaders do have the responsibility to call God’s people to repentance. Christian leaders are to exhibit spiritual power. The claims of the troublemakers simply will not hold up to this test. I shared with a friend a couple days ago that when there are those who ask for prayer for certain things, I pray that the things being kept in the darkness are revealed in the light. I do hope that each of you knows what I am saying.
1 Corinthians 4:21 KJV What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?
Friends, I need you to get this message that I am about to share. God loves you. There are times that it seems like He is not only invisible, but distant and is not hearing our cry's when we run into tempests. I spoke with a woman just yesterday that shared some very personal happenings going on in her life and within her family and asked me to be in prayer.
Church, God knows everything about you. Every little thing. He knows you are going to mess up. He knows there are going to prideful issues. He knows there will be temptations that come and he knows that you an I are going to fail at times. Friends, we are going to fail at times. He knows that that there is wickedness all around us. We see these things spoken in His Holy Word, but friends, that is why He sent His Son to die for you and I. It is why that gruesome picture of Jesus hanging on the Calvary's cross should be imbedded in our mind, but also should be beautiful because it shows His love for you and I.
Church, you and I have to understand this, with no hesitation. No resistance. No wavering in our faith, what so ever. God loves you so much and He loves you so much that even though you have been wicked, even though you have been hatful. Even though you have lived a life of doing everything that you can against God's perfect plan that He had for your life, He wants you in His family. He will do anything to have you and I in His family. Church get this. He will pay to have you and me in His family and will go as far as paying to have you in His family. And that is exactly what He did. He bought you and I with the life of His son. His son was brutally beaten, mocked, charged with a crime that He was not guilty for, so that you and I my dear friends could be freed from bondage of sin. He took the place of our eternal damnation. Someone shout Halleluiah!! Praise the name of the the Lamb that was sacrificed for you and I. That my friends is how much God loves you.
There are times that leaders of the church need to take the bull by the horns. As I've shared with you for the past couple weeks, pastors that Leanna and I were under a few years ago had to deal with me because they loved me. They knew there was something in me that God wanted to use to further the Kingdom of God. As I shared with you, there was a religous spirit that needed to be dealt with and praise God He took that from me. There have been times I've had to make tough decisions and I know there will be those times again when ministering with others. As I mentioned before, I have a terrific bunch on both our Christian social sites and I think a lot of it is they have respect for me and I have love, compassion and respect for them.
As we will see next week, the things going on in Corinth were terrible, just like here, and we'll see how Paul addressed those issues.
Leanna and I want to thank each of you for joining us here in the J and L Ministries room here on Paltalk and also those who read, watch and listen on jandlministries.weebly.com. We thank you who have been watching on our u-tube channel called J and L Ministries, and also those who watch on all the secular and Christian networks. We thank you so much for your support.
We love you my friends, and our hope is that you take what you've learned each week and put your faith in it and live it out in your own lives.
Have a blessed week our friends.
Good morning brothers and sisters in Christ. Leanna and I want to thank you for stopping by this morning and I hope that those who have been joining us here on Paltalk and reading or watching this series on the Christian and secular sites have been gaining some knowledge on this epistle that Paul wrote to the believers in Corinth.
So if you turn to 1 Corinthians chapter 4 as we continue in this series "Who Are We In Christ?" based on the book of 1 Corinthians. For those who don't have a Bible with them, Leanna will be posting the scriptures as we go through this message, but I would suggest that you write these scriptures down and look them up later.
Today we are going to look at judgment of Christ’s servants not committed to man. Apostolic example of patience and humility. I think as you follow along, you'll notice that this chapter deals much with the leadership of the church then, as it should speak to the leadership of the church today.
1 Corinthians 4:1-3 KJV (1) Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. (2) Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. (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.
So friends, let's start breaking down verse 1. Let's look at how some churches run and then see how Apostle Paul said it should be, and remember when we're reading from this epistle, Paul was being led by the Holy Spirit.
Because I've been part of different congregations. and even in leadership of some, I know that different churches have different ideas about this subject. Some church leaders have so much authority that they control the lives of their church members. Other church leaders seem to have no authority whatsoever. They must constantly obey instructions from other people in their church. One particular church that Leanna and I attended wrestled with both of these scenarios. Talk about a struggle and going through many splits.
I think as we look at this passage, we'll find that Paul had a different idea. A church leader’s most important relationships are with Christ and with the Bible. To explain this, Paul used two different words for ‘servant’ in this verse. Let's look.
Church leaders are servants of Christ. As we look at this verse, the word 'servant' means that they carry out personal duties for their master. They do what he wants them to do. Church leaders are stewards of God’s mysteries. A steward is a servant who has the responsibility to look after the master’s house. He must look after his master’s valuable things.
The word ‘mysteries’ has a particular meaning in the Bible, which doesn't match its usual meaning today. It means the plans of God, especially His plan to save His people. We saw this back in 1 Corinthians 2:7 and then I want to look at a passage in 1 Peter verses 10 through 12. Glory to God. Remember friends, we need to rightly divide scriptures with scriptures.
1 Corinthians 2:7 KJV But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
In the past, people didn't know those plans clearly. But now, through the Gospel (God’s good news), God wants His servants to declare His message. It's for everyone who will believe. Amen church?
1 Peter 1:10-12 KJV Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: (11) Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. (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.
As brother Jeff would say "Boom boom." Church, do we get this? Glory to God!!
Lets look at judging, and I know that there are those who are going to have eyes opened on both sides on how they believe, or should I say have been taught.
There are those believers who take the words "do not judge so that you may be judged" to mean that there shouldn't be any judging whatsoever. We've all heard this, right? So that would mean to be "nice" at all costs, even if it means ignoring behavior that's harmful to the rest of the church. Do we get that? Now, there are those who believe the totally opposite. They believe in a judgmental attitude. These self-appointed critics wreak havoc with their harsh words, possessing a righteousness that is nothing less than mean. Been their church? And these were the things that Paul was addressing to the people in Corinth. We should be dealing with them today.
As I read and studied these verses, I find that there must have been a large group of leaders. I think what was happening was that the ones that Paul had led to the Lord, and because Paul was not there to direct them, let their pride keep them from the mission that God had for them. Amen? And we see that happening today.
From what I get from this chapter was that the leaders of Corinth were so full of themselves that they became boastful and overbearing in their attitude towards Paul. As we'll see later, Paul cautions them to teach beyond what is written and to teach from Paul's example. We'll see that he warns them to not forget where and Whom the Gospel message came from. Christ Himself. Amen!!
In verse 3, Paul reminds the community that they're living in-between the times, just like us. Not only did Jesus come to earth to die for you and me, He's coming again. Glory to God! Christ's return has significant implications for how the community acts in the present and thinks about the future.
1 Corinthians 4:4 KJV For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.
Do we get this verse? Paul scoffs at the criticism of the Corinthian church declaring that "it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you" and then says "I do not even judge myself".
Friends, today we see in typical males sin is arrogance and we also see that females struggle more with self-worth. I know this because many write and call and this is what I hear. There are so many in churches today and on Christian social networks who are extremely hard on themselves. They're convinced that they aren't smart enough or not thin enough. Not pretty enough. To me, they live on the edge of shame, secretly harboring the conviction that they must be some kind of divine mistake. Anyone else notice this? And there are others who are so stuck on themselves that they're unbearable to be around. I know we've all been with this bunch.
Here's what Paul's saying and church, please get this. Dismissal of our ability to accurately judge ourselves can be liberating. He insists we simply lack the lenses to gain an objective picture of who we are. When you and I, my friends, spend time in our Bibles, we see the truth about ourselves only emerges from our relationship with God. Amen someone? We can't get an accurate picture on our own because we tend to over or under estimate. What does Paul say? It's the Lord who judges us. That may mean we need reminding that we're fundamentally here because God wants us here - we're created in God's image. Or for some it entails hearing that "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God."
So 'should we judge' is the question here. I believe the thought that Christians should not be judgmental of others is completely unrealistic. It would be harmful if followed literally. There's a sense in which Christians must not judge, but that has to do with our eternal destiny and not with how we're to conduct ourselves in our life together.
When we look at this whole epistle we see that Paul feels it's important to judge matters here on earth. It's all about their actions. Do we get this? But my friends, and I share this often, when I'm helping other brothers and sisters who have issues with other brothers and sisters...... we need to pay attention to the way that Paul judges the church, just like we have to be careful how we judge.
Paul also reminds us that there's a day coming when the Lord will return and bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive commendation from God.
Please turn to Romans 2: 16. We'll see that Paul saw a day of judgment coming in the future.
Romans 2:16 KJV In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
Also, lets look at 2 Corinthians 5:10.
2 Corinthians 5:10-11 KJV (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. (11) Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.
Does this scare you, friends? For many of us this day of judgment has been imagined as a time of terror and doom. Christ coming at the end of time and separating the saved from the damned.
Paul doesn't seem to share the feelings of dread and despair that accompany many Christian thoughts on the second coming of Christ. As we'll see in the last verse we'll be looking at today, that God will bring to light things now hidden. All of our secrets will be revealed. That might be a cause for fear and trembling. but, we are to have confidence that God will strengthen his saints to the end, so that they might be blameless.
We read that in 1 Corinthians at the beginning of this series.
1 Corinthians 1:8-9 KJV (8) Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. (9) God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 Corinthians 4:5 KJV 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.
Are we seeing this my friends? Paul's confidence is rooted in the fact that the end of time is in the hands of one who was crucified for His sins for you and me. Jesus. The Christ. The anointed One. The coming Judge Himself has been judged. Praise God For our sake God made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. Actually, let's look at those verses.
2 Corinthians 5:20-21 KJV (20) Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. (21) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
The Christ coming to meet us has already died our death. Thank You, Jesus! No songs of doom on the last days. There is joy in the air as earthly shadows give way to a blinding light. Praise the true Living God.
Next week, God willing, we'll finish up with this chapter, and then we're going to get into the sins that were happening in the church then, same as it is right here in our day now. For some, it may open up their eyes.
I'm finding it very interesting, yet disturbing, that many of those who claim to be Christians don't know that some of their choices they're making are sin to God. No joke. I've had those who ask me if dealing with horoscopes are wrong. Tattoos, piercings. Living together as unwed couples. Getting commode hugging drunk on the weekends. Then we have the gossipers and those who cause strife amongst other brothers and sisters and so on and so on.
We thank all of you on Paltalk for joining and we hope that you'll join us next week and invite your friends. Thank you Lokey Sisters, Far From Normal Faith Ministry, Mylook Online for sharing these Sermons. We thank those of you who read and watch on the J and L Ministries website and both Cross Roads Fellowship sites and also those who've been following these on Google+.
Our friends, we love you and hope that you have a blessed week in the Lord.
Good morning friends and Happy Mother's Day to all you moms listening here on Paltalk and those reading or watching on all the Christian and secular websites this morning.
Before we continue in our study on 1 Corinthians titled "Who Are We In Christ?" I want to ask you all who have moms still living to take the time today to call or visit them moms today. For those who might have had words some time ago, this is the day that you should make amends. Praise God. Forgiveness is mentioned so many times and yet it often times is not done. Just something to consider today.
Today, we are going to continue where we left off last week. So if you could please open your Bibles to 1 Corinthians chapter 3 and verse 16.
1 Corinthians 3:16 KJV Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1 Corinthians 3:16 1965 Bible in basic English Do you not see that you are God's holy house, and that the Spirit of God has his place in you?
Then the next verse reads like this.
1 Corinthians 3:17 KJV If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
Does this mean anything to you my friends? It should, and should be a constant reminder every day to each of us. Glory to God! You and I, brothers and sisters in Christ should value the church because God dwells within it. Notice the question Apostle Paul asks. “Do you not know?” Paul does this ten times in 1 Corinthians. It seems to be a a favorite expressions of Paul's and I think he uses it to let his listeners to know, or should know but don’t.
Friends, maybe like even today with many believers, we know, but maybe forgot what scriptures say about what, or how we should live. Or, and I think this fits better, rejected these things.
Paul, being led by the Holy Spirit, asks us this, “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”
When we first started this series, we looked at the Greeks and found that they were very knowledgeable. We'll see the same thing in just a moment in verses 18-23. Paul asks, “Can it be that you who boast in ‘wisdom’ do not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”
Church, think about what Paul's asking them and think how it speaks to us right here in the community where you live. Maybe even in your own home. To me, I find this question is a stinging rebuke that centers on the failure of the Corinthians to recognize who they are. These knowledgeable people should have had this down pat, but they did not grasp this elementary truth. Not meat, but milk. And I see the same thing today.
I think it's important to spend some time on these two verses and I hope that you continue to listen as I share why.
When I meditated on this these two scriptures, I found something that really startled me. I had always been taught that these verses were discussing for you and me not to harm our bodies...drinking, smoking, lusts of the flesh and so on. Wow, wow and wow. This morning as I was praying for guidance on this message, my eyes were opened up.
Friends, I hope you all see what I'm trying to share with you. For those who have a concordance, you can follow along with me.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 KJV+ (16) Know G1492 ye not G3756 that G3754 ye are G2075 the temple G3485 of God, G2316 and G2532 that the G3588 Spirit G4151 of God G2316 dwelleth G3611 in G1722 you? G5213
(17) If any man G1536 defile G5351 the G3588 temple G3485 of God, G2316 him G5126 shall God G2316 destroy; G5351 for G1063 the G3588 temple G3485 of God G2316 is G2076 holy, G40 which G3748 temple ye G5210 are. G2075
Paul's saying that “you” are God’s temple, the very place where God dwells. Here's what I found. The term “temple” (Greek, naos) means “the building, the house (holy place, holy of holies)”.
Here we go even further. Paul says, “The Spirit of God dwells in you.” “You,” here is plural, meaning the whole body of Christ at Corinth, not the individual Christian.
"Brother Jim, does that mean the Holy Spirit does not live in me?" That's not what I'm saying and if we look at other scripture, we'll see that yes He does live in us.
Acts 2:38 KJV Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Romans 8:9-10 KJV But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. (10) And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
Here's what I believe that Paul was addressing in these scriptures and I think it might help you to understand better why I'm so much about these 2 verses. Why does God get upset about someone destroying His church? First, the church is the place where His Name is revealed. When you ask someone about God, they usually think about the church building, yes? I believe that's how the world views God.
Now, because I have had numerous conversations with people in person and online, who have been hurt by others in the church body and even within the leadership of the church, what happens? They blame God. I see this all the time. They feel this is the character of God and base solely on what they see in God’s people. In the process God’s reputation is damaged. Can I get an amen, church?
This past week, I've seen many posts about the character nature of Christians. I've been very involved in some of these posts, because I feel my calling is to lead the unbelievers to the saving knowledge and grace of Jesus and then to disciple them to the truths of His Word. Yet within many Christian sites, I see much back biting, gossip, brothers slandering other brothers and sisters. There have been some Christian social networks that I've left because I won't belong to such nonsense, and there's another site that I may leave very shortly.
I look at some of the churches in my area and I see such carrying ons and it makes me wonder where is the love of Christ in these people. I've heard tell of one denomination where 3 Pastors were fired because they taught on sin issues. So I need to ask myself as far as these congregations and Christian sites, do they know if they resist the devil he will flee? Do they take scriptures as we just read here in 1 Corinthians, or any of the verses dealing with how the church of God should be run? While Satan can never destroy God’s character, he certainly tries to damage His reputation, and he does it through the people of God. This is hard for me to say, but that was me at one time. My actions and choice of words, even though one had to read between the lines to know that it was an insult, hurt a ministry that we were part of.
Let's look at verse 17 again.
1 Corinthians 3:17 KJV If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
I want us to really look at this verse. I think when we really study these verses they're not to warn people about their sinful activities regarding their personal physical bodies. When I study the Greek language, Paul's not dealing with the Christian’s individual physical body, but with the spiritual body of believers in Corinth and even today during our time.
Now, someone might be thinking "Whew, I'm safe, I can keep on doing the things I like to do." Not so fast my friend. Your not off the hook that easily. We'll see that Paul does deal with the Christian’s body later in this series, but those who want to check it out before hand in 1 Corinthians 6, you'll find that there Paul is warning the believers at Corinth to not use their bodies for immoral purposes, such as fornication. They must not use their physical body to sin by means of sexual sin.
I hope that your eyes might have been opened this morning to what these two particular verses are saying. Like I said earlier, I couldn't believe what was opened up to me when I found this.
Let's continue on to the remaining verses in this chapter.
1 Corinthians 3:18-23 KJV (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. (19) For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. (20) And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. (21) Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; (22) Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; (23) And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's.
For those who were with us at the beginning of this series, this might sound familiar. Paul wrote much of the same thing in chapter 1.
Friends, I think from theses verses you and I need to understand this. When we read the Bible, we see from Genesis all the way through to the book of revelation, God will not be mocked. We see warnings from God all the way through and we also see the consequences, for being in disobedience. We just read what happens when we come against the church.
But what we really need to fully understand church, is the only true wisdom we find is in our Savior, Christ Jesus. The Anointed One. Glory to God. I'm sure that Satan thought he won, but the Lamb of God shedding His innocent blood on that Roman cross, dying for you and me brothers and sisters in Christ and being raised from the dead three days later, brings salvation to you and me and all those who verbally confess Jesus as Lord and Savior and repent of their wicked ways. Halleluiah, Glory to God.
Friends, there are those who think our beliefs are strange. There are those who think we're nuts for believing in an invisible God. Yet, without faith in God we cannot please Him. I'm not sure about you, but I see Him every day. I see the beauty He created. I hear and smell all that beauty, yet I also see, smell and hear all the filth that man has created too.
Church, when we look at these verses, what the world considers foolish is actually the greatest wisdom we can ever obtain. We looked at this earlier in this series at what Jews seek in the truth in the Law and Gentiles seek truth in their own minds, Paul says the truth of God is found in the sacrificial, atoning death of Jesus Christ on a cross. What makes no sense in our pea brains is the greatest truth any man or woman could ever discover. Rejoice in this church.
In closing today my friends, because some of you are probably going to spend time with your moms, and Leanna and I will be traveling 2 hours north to visit my mom, I want you to take a good look in who you are in Christ this week. Are you living a life that shows the world that Christ is living in you? If someone forgot your name will they still know you because of what Christ living in you has revealed to them? Did you leave that kind Godly impact in someone's life?
For those who are visiting a mom today, or spending time with family that may not know Christ as their Lord and Savior, what impact will you leave with them today? Will they know without a shadow of a doubt that you, with no hesitation are living a life that glorifies God? I hope so, and that's been my prayer for all who have followed J and L Ministries.
Leanna and I thank you for joining the J and L Ministries room here in Paltal. We thank Mylook Online, Lokey Sisters, Far From Normal Faith Ministries for allowing us to share these sermons on their sites. We thank all of you on both the Cross Roads Fellowship sites for supporting us and for all you do to further the Kingdom of God. We also thank all who visit the J and L Ministries site and for those who have taken the time to watch the videos on our u-tube channel.
We love you all, we wish all the moms a very special Happy Mother's Day and we ask the Lord in Jesus' name that you all have a blessed week.
A blessed Sunday is my hope for all of you this morning. Leanna and I want to thank all of you attending here on Paltalk and those who read and watch these sermons on all the various Christian and secular sites. We also want to thank Mylook Online, Lokey Sisters and A Far From Normal Faith Ministry for allowing the videos and sermons to be shared on their sites.
Let's continue where we left off last week on our series "Who Are We In Christ". We've been studying from the book of 1 Corinthians.
As we've seen in the past few weeks, Apostle Paul has been addressing many issues that had been happening within the church, just as it has continued to be a huge issue since. We see there was a division, much being philosophy and the other traditions. We also see that there was much strife.
As we looked into the first part of Chapter 3, we saw that there seemed to be a click happening within and again, I have witnessed the same thing in several churches that I've been a part of.
So let's turn to 1 Corinthians 3:10. While you're turning there, I want to thank my beautiful wife Leanna for posting the scriptures that we read from each week. I also want to thank Tim and Leanna for moderating the room.
1 Corinthians 3:10 KJV 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.
What a verse to get started with. I think, and am in hopes as we continue in this chapter, that the next verses might help you get an understanding of what was happening and why Paul had to address this.
A couple weeks ago I shared why Jesus shared the things that He shared with His disciples. Why during most of His ministry, His closest friends were right there. They were to carry on His teachings. Amen someone? If there was no one to share what He had taught them, would we know now the things of Christ? No. They at that time were few, but after Jesus was ascended to Heaven, the Holy Ghost came down and filled the believers and then the church grew. Glory to God, and we see that even Peter who had denied Jesus 3 times, just as Jesus had said, preached with such boldness.
I think Paul was trying to do the same... teach the things of God as the Holy Spirit instructed. Paul was speaking about Apollos and himself and their ministry to the Corinthian believers. I also believe that he was primarily speaking to ministers about the way they minister to God's people, and we'll see that as we continue.
Friends, as I shared last week and the week before, we're all called to share the Gospel with this dying world. I've shared this many times and even as far as a whole sermon back a couple years ago. Now, in saying that, not all are called to be teachers, pastors, evangelists and so on. Doing what I'm doing right at this present moment was not my plan. As I share with many, I struggled for 2 months when I asked God where He would have Leanna and me go to church after there was much corruption that entered the church we were attending after our Pastors left and appointed a man to take over. For two months I heard every time I prayed or even thought about where we should go to church, "Right here and let Me guide you."
You bet the doubts and fears came. I'm not a theologian. I don't consider myself a good speaker. People know that I used to be selfish, prideful and the list goes on. What about a church building? "Lord, people won't come to our house for services." I didn't see God's plan. I looked at it through my eyes. My thoughts and ideas and fear. Amen?
But my friends, as we're going to see in chapter 13, those who minister under the leading and inspiration of the Holy Spirit will be like the gold, silver, and precious stones. They will stand the test. Leanna and I have stood some tests and I know that they will continue. However, those who minister carnal things that cause divisions will not stand God's test. Just like wood, hay, and stubble cannot withstand the fire, and we'll see that in a few minutes. Glory to God.
1 Corinthians 3:11 KJV For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Here we go. Boom, boom. Church, you and I as believers in Christ have a race to run, of service and sufferings, a course of active and passive obedience, in all of which you and I, my brothers and sisters in Christ need to keep our eyes fixed upon the Lord Jesus. Halleluiah.
Have any of you been part of building a house? A tree house, maybe? For those who have, the foundation is the most fundamental part of a building, upon which all else is built. It needs to be strong. Actually, let's turn to one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. Let's see what Jesus said about foundations and maybe you'll see what I'm trying to say here. Matthew. 7:24-27. It is possible to build wrongly on a good foundation, but if the foundation is wrong, nothing else can be truly right.
Matthew 7:24-29 KJV Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: (25) And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. (26) And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: (27) And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. (28) And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: (29) For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
Friends, and I know the hate letters will come pouring in from what I'm about to say. Who is the foundation of the Church? Jesus. Yet, the Catholics theory is that Peter, or the office of Pope is the foundation of the church. Really? Do you want to see scripture that totally throws that out?
Matthew 16:18 KJV 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.
Who died so that we could have an intimate relationship with God? Jesus. Who is the only man that shed innocent blood to not cover our sins, but to cleanse us of all unrighteousness? Jesus. Jesus is our Redeemer, Our Lord and Savior. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords. He is our defense attorney. Amen. He Is The Head Of The Church, Halleluiah. Glory to the Lamb of God. Praise the Anointed One, Church.
Now Paul is not saying, that it's impossible to try to use any other foundation. We see that happening today in some of the so called faiths. He's saying that would not be the true foundation, but a false one. Amen someone? And anything built on that foundation could not be the Lord's true church. This then forever forbids the possibility that any church, including the Catholic Church, could possibly be the true church when it openly professes to be built on a foundation other than Jesus. Do we get this? I've not studied much on the Catholic Church. I have asked people who do attend these places of worship about what they believe and most can't tell me. I find that very strange indeed.
Let's look at one more passage and then get back to 12 in 1 Corinthians. I think it's important to see that what Paul is saying isn't just in one place and that is what I love about the living Word. Glory to God!
2 Timothy 4:1-5 KJV I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; (2) Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (3) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; (4) And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (5) But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
Friends, our salvation rests solely upon the completed work of Jesus Christ, but rewards are to be earned by spiritual service for God and will be according to the quality of our works. Friends, the important message in this is true service done in the power of the indwelling Spirit, is of eternal standing, but fleshly service is perishable and will bring the Christian loss of reward at the final day.
1 Corinthians 3:12-13 KJV (12) Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; (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.
What does verse 12 mean to you? (12) Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; I think we can look at it like this. We, as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, are the building which the preachers are building up. Amen? We saw this in verse 9 and when we get there, we'll see it in verses 16 and 17.
We see something similar in 1 Peter 2:5 KJV 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.
back to 1 Corinthians 3:13. 1 Corinthians 3:13 KJV 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.
In recent conversations on sites, there are two thoughts here. I believe it means this. The fire refers to the day of judgment because of how it says, "the day." I believe when we look at the materials said in verse 12, we're looking at the different kinds of Christians. I asked you earlier if any of you had helped to build a building. When someone builds a house, or any kind of structure, they usually know what materials they're going to use, right?
Ok, now coming into this Paltalk room this morning, or when I post these notes, or when I share the videos, I know some of you who will listen or read, but I don't know everyone. Amen? Am I laying a foundation, seeing we are talking about foundations? Let's take the J and L Ministries site. In the past 2 weeks, the day that the site was visited the most, it had 717 hits. The lowest in the past 2 weeks was 111. Most of the visits are because of the prayer that's shared each morning and then there are those who watch and read these sermons. Now, do I know who reads and watches? I may know 10 at the most.
Church, what I think Paul was getting across is, unlike a real building, preachers or teachers have no clue ahead of time what kind of material the people they teach will turn out to be. Do you see this? I hope, like I'm sure Paul did, that the messages being taught are sinking in. That spiritual ears are opened. Amen someone? Some people will prove to be weak and unable to stand. They'll be destroyed like the parts of a house that burn up in a fire. Others are faithful and strong and will endure, like parts of a house that are not destroyed in a fire.
Let go to verses 14 and 15.
1Corinthians 3:14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. (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 people choose to do good things, thinking that that saves them. I know I've said this often, but it's true. They think good works saves them. We, brothers and sisters in Christ, were created with a purpose, and each one of us has a God given plan for our lives. God created you and me to have a relationship with Him and He gives us free will to do just that. Amen?
Friends, many take the last part of verse 15 and argue between the idea of once saved always saved. I think we could go back and forth with scriptures all day long, and we aren't going there with that today.
For those who are Pastors, leaders of Bible studies, if we're diligent in our work of teaching, then our salvation doesn't depend on whether or not the people we taught remain faithful. The final outcome of any man's salvation is between him and God. Amen? Glory to God. Brothers and sisters, if we do what Christ has us to do, we live in His obedience, keep our focus on Him, we know in faith He will bless us and we'll enter into the Kingdom of God.
In closing, I ask you my friends. What is your life going to count for? That's the question. Every one of us here in this Paltalk room, or reading, or hearing this message, is investing his or her life in something. You can't live without making an investment. What is it in? Will it be permanent? Will it abide? Will it stand the test? In the great day when all the universe sees things the way they are, will you be filled with joy that your life was invested in what stood the test and contributed to the glory of the Lord? Or will you be ashamed that you wasted all these years making an impression on men and teaching and influencing others to do so, and it was all burned up in the fire. You might be saved, but is it as though you had to run through the flames and lost everything besides?
I know there are people who don't like this kind of preaching, but as we continue in this study there are going to be many offended, because of what the Holy Spirit laid on Apostle Paul's heart to write.
There are those who want to hear that ear tickling message. Many want to hear only about the grace of God, but the Scriptures teach us that we have some choice in this matter. Are our lives going to be lived on the basis of gold, silver and precious stones, growing out of that revelation of God by the Spirit, or are they going to reflect the empty, vain philosophies and speculations of the world around so that we live only for pleasure, fame and power instead of being an instrument of the living God?
That choice is yours, my friend, but remember there are consequences for wrong choices.
Friends, thank you for joining with us this morning. If this was your first time hearing us on Paltalk and you were blessed, please add this room to your list. If you read this on any of the social Christian sites, or secular sites, we thank you and please leave a comment. If you listened on our u-tube channel and want to continue hearing these messages as we continue this series, please subscribe and comment.
I'm stopping this recording now, but will keep this room open for comments and questions.
We love you and hope you have a blessed week in the Lord.