Go Labor On! (1 Corinthians 15:45-58)

Go Labor On! (1 Corinthians 15:45-58)

There is no doubt that God wants us to be happy! The idea that God is a curmudgeon or is too snooty and too good for us until we clean up – is a distortion of God’s holiness and wrath based on Works religion. We often present ourselves with a false dichotomy = God wants me to happy and not holy / God wants me holy and unhappy. This false dichotomy is so tempting because of the world that we live in, this present evil age. Much like Asaph in

Book Three

God Is My Strength and Portion Forever

73:1 Truly God is good to Israel,
to those who are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled,
my steps had nearly slipped.
For I was envious of the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

For they have no pangs until death;
their bodies are fat and sleek.
They are not in trouble as others are;
they are not stricken like the rest of mankind.
Therefore pride is their necklace;
violence covers them as a garment.
Their eyes swell out through fatness;
their hearts overflow with follies.
They scoff and speak with malice;
loftily they threaten oppression.
They set their mouths against the heavens,
and their tongue struts through the earth.
10 Therefore his people turn back to them,
and find no fault in them.
11 And they say, “How can God know?
Is there knowledge in the Most High?”
12 Behold, these are the wicked;
always at ease, they increase in riches.
13 All in vain have I kept my heart clean
and washed my hands in innocence.
14 For all the day long I have been stricken
and rebuked every morning.
15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,”
I would have betrayed the generation of your children.

16 But when I thought how to understand this,
it seemed to me a wearisome task,
17 until I went into the sanctuary of God;
then I discerned their end.

18 Truly you set them in slippery places;
you make them fall to ruin.
19 How they are destroyed in a moment,
swept away utterly by terrors!
20 Like a dream when one awakes,
O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms.
21 When my soul was embittered,
when I was pricked in heart,
22 I was brutish and ignorant;
I was like a beast toward you.

23 Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me to glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

27 For behold, those who are far from you shall perish;
you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.
28 But for me it is good to be near God;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
that I may tell of all your works. (ESV)

– we look around and see the wicked prosper and we are envious of them because our situation is hard we feel like we have been stricken and rebuked every morning! – Why do we do this? Why do we think this way? BECAUSE we fail to keep the fact and importance of the resurrection before our eyes! In fact, it was Asaph’s view of the resurrection promise that transformed his thinking. It was Union with the LORD that all of a sudden gave meaning to Asaph’s entire life and this is what we see even in grander scale in our chapter where Paul shows us that the resurrection gives the most precious and triumphant meaning to our lives!

Grand Illusion (1 Samuel 28:1-25)

Grand Illusion (1 Samuel 28:1-25)

Things do not appear as they really are until the LORD reveals the truth of them. This condition of illusion is from one source only – sin. Remember that in

The Lord Is My Light and My Salvation

27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?

When evildoers assail me
to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
it is they who stumble and fall.

Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
yet I will be confident.

One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in his temple.

For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will lift me high upon a rock.

And now my head shall be lifted up
above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud;
be gracious to me and answer me!
You have said, “Seek my face.”
My heart says to you,
“Your face, Lord, do I seek.”
Hide not your face from me.
Turn not your servant away in anger,
O you who have been my help.
Cast me not off; forsake me not,
O God of my salvation!
10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
but the Lord will take me in.

11 Teach me your way, O Lord,
and lead me on a level path
because of my enemies.
12 Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;
for false witnesses have risen against me,
and they breathe out violence.

13 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living!
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord! (ESV)

God was NOT mentioned at all, and yet He was NOT inactive even if David had lost confidence by the constant pursuit of Saul. In both of these

The Lord Is My Light and My Salvation

27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?

When evildoers assail me
to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
it is they who stumble and fall.

Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
yet I will be confident.

One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in his temple.

For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will lift me high upon a rock.

And now my head shall be lifted up
above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud;
be gracious to me and answer me!
You have said, “Seek my face.”
My heart says to you,
“Your face, Lord, do I seek.”
Hide not your face from me.
Turn not your servant away in anger,
O you who have been my help.
Cast me not off; forsake me not,
O God of my salvation!
10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
but the Lord will take me in.

11 Teach me your way, O Lord,
and lead me on a level path
because of my enemies.
12 Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;
for false witnesses have risen against me,
and they breathe out violence.

13 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living!
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord! (ESV)

and 28 we are forced to recognize that We are not to look at the things that are visible (the age that now is), but to the invisible eternal things to understand what we see! The Lord will vindicate all His own no matter how precarious life gets!

We All Must Change (1 Corinthians 15:35-49)

We All Must Change (1 Corinthians 15:35-49)

When it comes to the Resurrection it can’t be a surprise to us that it evokes many questions. It baffles many minds. So, Paul imagines that someone will ask the “How” and the “Detail” questions. Some scholars say that this was an expected part of Good Speech for the Greeks and the Romans called the “Refutado” – by doing this Paul is removing all the objections even and sealing the case. Paul is now pressing the POINT because he wants to show just how much the resurrection matters. Derick Thomas said of this chapter that Paul never speaks about other aspects of salvation history or of Christ like he does here. Paul is doing this because our whole identity is wrapped up in Jesus Christ and his resurrection. You see, we become our truest most distinct self when we are fully conformed to Christ at the resurrection!

Super Subjection (1 Corinthians 15:20-34)

Super Subjection (1 Corinthians 15:20-34)

The Gospel is so much bigger and more triumphant than we usually think of. The great finale of Human History is marching forward in every conversion, in every event, as Christ by His power subjects all things to himself until that day when He hands the kingdom over to the Father. What I wanted you to take away from this whole text was that Christ’s exaltation is our exaltation, and there is nothing grander! The main point I want to convey today is that exaltation is gloriously connected to humiliation – in Christ and in us.

Good Grief (1 Samuel 27:1-12)

Good Grief (1 Samuel 27:1-12)

We cannot always tell how God is working out his purposes – but we can know that He is! So, my dear saints, take comfort in God’s mysterious ways. God establishes his kingdom even while we are faithless! We can take comfort in deeply feeling that Jesus Christ was pushed further than David was, that even the Son of God himself suffered so greatly that He was tempted to “Cross-over” to give in to His pain of heart, the irrational depression that thinks God is absent when He is silent. By the most strenuous battle, Christ prevailed in faithfulness – HOW DEEP HIS LOVE!

But In Fact (1 Corinthians 15:12-20)

But In Fact (1 Corinthians 15:12-20)

It was all for nothing! – no doubt, you’ve had the experience at least once in your life, even if your still young, that you put a great deal of effort into something only to find that it was the wrong thing? With schoolwork or housework, it would be merely an irritating trifle – a day spent reading the wrong book for class or fixing the wrong pipe for plumbing etc. But what a terrifying thought if we should apply it to our RELIGION! Many people would have us believe that you don’t need the resurrection to still have Christianity and a wonderful life. Aundrey Crouch wrote a song “If Heaven was Never Promised to Me” arguing that this life is wonderful enough as a Christian even without the life to come. But is IT? Paul certainly does not think so. Vos, when commenting on these verses says, “the very core, the very foundation, and substance of the Christian faith are at stake with the bodily resurrection of Jesus.” You see if Christ is not raised then Christianity really is all for nothing! It is right here that the whole thing depends – and enemies of God have tried and tried to suppress the truth they have tried to mock away the claim of Christ’s bodily resurrection – tried to divert Christians to other peripheral issues but for them, all their toil has been for nothing because the bodily resurrection of Christ is unable to be disproved and full of power!

The Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-11)

The Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-11)

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)

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)

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!