Good morning my friends and family. What a glorious day to be alive. To be able to see prophecy come to pass. To witness the things written thousands of years ago that we read in our Bibles unfold before our very eyes. Praise God!
Leanna and I want to thank all of you that have joined us here on Paltalk. We thank those members on Cross Roads Fellowship, Lokey Sisters and Mylook Online that take the time to read these sermons each week, and also we thank all of those who have read these on secular sites.
As we start this brand new series, I think some, if they are honest and let the Holy Spirit work in us as we go along, are going to see some things in a different way. For some, there may be verses we look at that pop out like never before. For some during this series, you may end up breaking down in tears, as there are going to be some things that we've been doing unknowing that is unpleasing to God. If this happens, don't tune me out. Don't leave and say to yourself, "Brother Jim's picking on me. Why is he bringing things up about me? There are others listening and reading this. Why me?" That, my friend, is the Word of God speaking to you.
As many who have followed this ministry for the past three years can testify, I use a lot of scripture. I would rather let the Word of God speak to you rather than me. I'm human, but the Word of God, every word of it, was inspired by the Holy Spirit. Praise God. It's true. W can see in Hebrews 4:12 KJV For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged 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. Amen! Thank You Jesus.
Please turn to 1 Corinthians. As you can see from the title, it may look like I made a mistake. "Who Are We In Christ?" is what the Colossian's study was titled. I felt because that's what we're learning, who are we in Christ, who is this living in me, who is this that changes my life, that we would call it the same, but add from The Book of 1 Corinthians.
A little history before we dive in. We all know who Apostle Paul is, right? For those who don't know, you can find out who Paul is in the book of Acts. Just a quick description. We know that he was a Roman citizen. Before he was saved, he was known as Saul of Tarsus and was a member of the Sanhedrin.
We can see in the book of Acts chapter 7, Saul was present when the religious leaders stoned Stephen to death for preaching.
Acts 7:57-60 KJV Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, (58) And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul. (59) And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. (60) And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
Acts 8:1-3 KJV And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. (2) And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. (3) As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.
Please turn to Acts 26:1 We see that looking at it through the eyes of a follower of Jesus, Saul was not a good person, yet he, I am very sure had a firm foundation of the Old testament. Church, do we get this?
Just so you know, I'm not making this up.
Acts 26:1-6 KJV Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself: (2) I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews: (3) Especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews: wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently. (4) My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews; (5) Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee. (6) And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers: (7) Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews. (8) Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead? (9) I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. (10) Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. (11) And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.
Church, you get the gist of what I'm trying to share here? Why the sudden heart, you might ask, to turn to a godly man? How did he do that? It wasn't what he did, but what Christ did while Saul was on the road to Damascus to threaten more of the followers of Jesus.
Acts 9:1-9 KJV And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, (2) And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. (3) And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: (4) And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? (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. (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. (7) And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. (8) And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. (9) And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.
Acts 13:9 KJV Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him.
So let's turn to 1st Corinthians and see what this letter is all about.
1 Corinthians 1:1-2 KJV (1) Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, (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.
I first noticed that this letter starts out much like all of Paul's letters. While we studied the book of Colossians, remember I showed you, because of the ending of the epistle, we knew it was penned down by Paul. This letter was not, but it was signed by Paul. I'm guessing that Paul was probably the one that dictated the message.
1 Corinthians 16:24 KJV (24) My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen. The first epistle to the Corinthians was written from Philippi by Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus and Timotheus.
Why this letter? As we will see, there were issues within the circle of believers in Corinth, like there were in Colosse and Ephesus, and like we have right here today. Another thing I'll show you later in this study, we'll find this wasn't the first epistle written to the Corinthian church. We know that there is 2nd Corinthians, but there was another before the one we are studying from now.
1 Corinthians 1:3-4 KJV (3) Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. (4) I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ.
Again, like we saw in the Colossian's study, Paul opens this letter in the same way. Everything is centered and based around God and our Savior, Christ Jesus. Paul is also showing and praising God for their salvation and their faith. Amen someone?
Now we'll start reading the very things that you and I and the believers all over the world need to read, understand and act upon. Glory to God.
1 Corinthians 1:5 KJV That in everything ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge.
Here again, Apostle Paul is giving thanks to God for those certain ones who are strong in their faith in Christ and who have stayed clear of the vain babblings of other beliefs that were entering in. He's praising God for the ones who teach only the gospel message, not watered down. No words added, or taken away.
1 Corinthians 1:6-7 KJV (6) Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: (7) So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I love these two verses. Glory to God!
The testimony of Christ. Whew! Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: Church, get this. So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Now there are some preachers who will take verse 7 to be only monetary gifts. New cars and houses and jets and so on. Is that what you think this is talking about? Wow, looking at these 2 verses, we could do a whole day Bible study on it. Praise God.
Let's look at the word gift, shown in verse 7.
From G5483; a (divine) gratuity, that is, deliverance (from danger or passion); (specifically) a (spiritual) endowment, that is, (subjectively) religious qualification, or (objectively) miraculous faculty: - (free) gift. Used as a noun. To show favor. A gift of grace, an undeserved benefit. We find in the New Testament it is only used of gifts and graces imparted from God.
1 Corinthians 1:8 KJV Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Friends, who is Christ in you? Does He know you? Do you know Him? A question that was brought up by a pastor in a Bible study that Leanna and I attended a couple nights ago was, "Where is Jesus?" Anyone want to share where you think Christ the anointed one is? Most will say He's in heaven. Others say He's sitting at the right hand of God the Father. For those who think that, you're partially correct. He is, but for those who are saved, He is living in you. When this reply was brought up, there were ones who said, "I thought the Holy Spirit lives in me when I was saved?" They were right, but what does scriptures say about, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit? They are 3 in One. Jesus said, "If you have seen me, you have seen the Father."
So what does verse 8 say to you? Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit, Jesus, is living in you, friends. He's your guider and comforter. When you are truly saved, He guides you to do right. As we'll see as we continue into this study, the Holy Spirit gives you discernment whether a false doctrine is being taught or not, but you do have to read it. Amen someone? This is a big part of why Paul wrote this letter.
As we will see, Paul brings up several issues that were brought to his attention. As I mention some of these things, think about churches in today's time. Division among church members. Immorality. Legal issues among each other. This one I had to snicker over, and when we get there I'll explain. Inappropriate practice of the Lord's Supper (taking communion). We'll see that there was false teaching about the resurrection. There are many other things that we'll look at, and as I mentioned a few minutes ago, we'll see the same things happening right now in today's churches.
One thing that I think needs to be made clear is, yes, Paul dictated these words and they were penned down, but we have to remember that every word came from God.
2 Timothy 3:15-17 KJV And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (16) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (17) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
One last verse and we'll close for today.
1 Corinthians 1:9 KJV God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
As you notice in all that we've read today from this epistle, Paul puts all the focus on Christ. I think that's a very important thing for us to get. It wasn't about Paul. Another thing about the church of Corinth, and I'll bring this up again as we get further in this study, is that it was a very busy trading port. There we people coming from everywhere and with all kinds of beliefs. That again is very important for us to understand. Also, there wasn't a huge building there where they met like many do today. No, they were meeting in homes, just like Leanna and I open our home.
The only place that there was a huge meeting place was in Jerusalem and people got together in the temple courts. If you were to study on your own, you'd find that church buildings didn't start to be built until 200 years later. Think about it. The teachings that Jesus shared were not taken very well and just like today in many areas of the world, to speak of Jesus brought consequences. Christians were being persecuted, so it would have been senseless to build buildings to have believers come, just to have them attacked and the buildings be destroyed. Amen?
Leanna and I want to thank you for joining us this morning and for those who read this online, or heard the audio version of this on another site. We pray that it's been a inspiration to you and encourage you to share this with friends and families. Next week we'll get into more of the meat of this epistle.
We love you and hope that this week will blessed.