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)
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!
All in All Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:20-34)
Most today reduce the Gospel down to “your own personal Jesus” but don’t even fully embrace the intimacy that is offered in the Gospel. Certainly, there is a huge neglect of Christ as the King of kings and Lord of lords. His victory over all of the creation being missed is not just a reduction of the Gospel but it is another gospel all together!
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)
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!