Just what is the gospel anyway? And how important is it? According to Paul, it is absolutely crucial and its content is bound up with the real resurrection of the LORD Jesus Christ. Anything less than the true Gospel that Paul preached was to be anathema (as he states vehemently in Galatians) because it was NOT really a gospel at all, it would have no power and faith in it would be in vain. Brothers and Sisters, we want to put our faith in the right Gospel! because only the true Gospel can truly save!
Decently and In Order (1 Corinthians 14:26-40)
The great cry of the Reformation was not only Sola Scriptura – but first and foremost SOLI DEO GLORIA – To God alone be the Glory! And that is exactly what Paul urged the Corinthians just before addressing their problems of worship – he said: “…whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” – and he also laid down immediately one of the most important ways that we glorify God by trying to please everyone in everything we do, not seeking our own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved. – Where did Paul get this Idea? From Christ – this is how Christ brought glory to God. I see in Paul’s final argument for the procedure of Spiritual worship the patterns are all reflections of Christ, in whom the Spirit’s power and God-honoring submission were perfectly combined. What we should see in these verses is not just a list of rules but the grandeur of the glory of God through our reflection of Christ. Indeed. the service of the church should manifest the character of God!
Truly God is With You! (1 Corinthians 14:20-25)
Maturity in Christ is when we are able to take the deep truths about the person and work of Christ and apply them appropriately to our lives. A believer either walks in the flesh or he walks in the Spirit. It defies the Biblical understanding of this very basic warfare to assert that those walking in the flesh can and will manifest gifts of the SPIRIT. And we need only look at the letter – to see that Corinth struggled more than most to walk in the Spirit! So when we come to the 14th chapter we should NOT conclude that they were manifesting the TRUE gift of tongues or any other gift of the Spirit as long as they were walking in the flesh! The problem that Paul is dealing with here is that of Spiritual Childishness!
Christ Undivided (1 Samuel 25:1-44)
So stirred up by a recent discussion about preaching Christ I had to revisit David and Abigail to discover what are we really after when we look into this chapter and are we finding it?
Excel in Doing Good (1 Corinthians 14:1-19)
Like the Corinthians, we are prone to make one HUGE mistake when we contemplate what it means to be Spiritual – and that is we go inward. We look for sensation. Paul makes it very clear that the point of everything in public worship is NOT some experience in the Spirit, but is the building up of the people who are around me. – that is a fundamental element of what it means to come to WORSHIP. If we are growing in selflessness, we are preparing for heaven, but growing in selfishness is truly preparing for hell! Self is such a horrible prison. Only Christ releases us from that prison and that is why the greatest expression of Spirituality is Christlike service!
Vengeance is Mine (1 Samuel 25:1-44)
We sometimes see too late that vengeance really does belong to the LORD. David in the previous chapter was so good and ready to spare his enemy – but now David gets into a situation far less important or dramatic and he is ready to reverse course. Ready to take matters into his own hands and meet out his own vengeance. As we look at the narrative we see the glorious truth that, You can wait on the LORD because He is always with and for you!
Views of God (Luke 19:28-48)
The text before us is very provocative. The crowds are provoked. The Pharisees are provoked. and Jesus is provoked! The provoking of Jesus’ tears came from the willful ignorance of His own people, which renders Christ’s true triumph ‘An Unknown Triumph’. I wonder if you will be provoked? Provoked to love and clinging to Christ! Why? Because Christ, the compassionate king, has driven out sin by taking your curse!
Justification Song (Psalm 4:1-8)
In our flesh, we get caught seeking lies that will end only in the worst frustration, even if we abound in things there is no peace, but even the poorest of God’s little ones has true peace! Not as a platitude, not as a generality. NO, we have true peace because Christ gave himself for you personally! He was raised for your Justification personally! And He conquered the STING of YOUR death! So pray reflecting on His past relief for you by being your righteousness. Worship in the present with the sacrifice of praise for His Marvelous Distinction He made his ONE sacrifice for sin, and repose in confidence in your future state that Christ alone has made for you!
Now and Then (1 Corinthians 13:1-13)
Last week we began exploring how Paul was fleshing out the all-surpassing love which he called the MOST EXCELLENT WAY. It was vital for Paul to spell this out for the Corinthians to rebuke their ambition for all the wrong things, last week we pointed out how much of those poetic lines in v.4-7 are REBUTTALS of the Corinthian PRIDE, However, the Corinthians had this prideful pursuit now doubt because of a faulty understanding of Perfection. We need to understand that Christian love is the core of Christianity and nothing else compares!
Wait on the LORD (1 Samuel 24:1-22)
If God’s ultimate purpose for his creation is the new heavens and the new earth where there will be no more tears, why is the journey to that kingdom so long and difficult? Why are there so many tears on the way?” Well, brothers and sisters, this is where the real issue of Christianity comes out. I have been reading Ryle and he helpfully has reminded me that, “No doubt Christ’s way to eternal life is a way of pleasantness. But it is folly to shut our eyes to the fact that His way is narrow, and the cross comes before the crown.” Of course, we saw this same conflict in many of the Saints of God throughout the ages, but none more so than in the life of our Saviour. And when Satan gave Him the opportunity to opt out of the pain Jesus rejected the temptation, and he set out on the long and difficult journey that would take him to Jerusalem and to the cross. Because when we wait on the LORD the day maybe long and hard, but the glory to God will be unmistakable!