Otherworldly Impact (1 Corinthians 7:17-40)

Otherworldly Impact (1 Corinthians 7:17-40)

Christians are not so Heavenly minded that they are of NO earthly good. On the contrary, because of their heavenly mindedness, they are of the MOST earthly good and they are able to thrive in any condition. They can abase and abound and be triumphant in both conditions! This truth is what Paul is applying to the context of Marriage in Chapter 7 – so he shows that even in the case of mixed marriages (I mean believer with unbeliever) when the wife becomes a Christian – she becomes a better wife! And likewise the Husband! This extends to every kind of relationship among men. What Paul is teaching us gets at the heart of How Christianity impacts culture and life and teaches us that Christianity leavens society rather than leveling it!

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Plotting Against the LORD (1 Samuel 18:17-30)

Plotting Against the LORD (1 Samuel 18:17-30)

While everyone else is loving David what does Saul do? Does he turn to the LORD in repentance? Certainly not! Does he seek godly counsel from Samuel? No, perhaps because he knew it would not be what he wanted to hear! – Both these he should have done, but instead what he did was plot against the LORDS anointed, this time employing more subtly and subterfuge. If he could not defeat David with brute force (the javelin toss) and could not ignore him by sending him away… now it was time to use honey to trap a bear. It is amazing how ingenuitive sin will be! but our text reminds us that plotting against the LORD and His anointed will always fail!

King of Creation (Psalm 104:1-35)

King of Creation (Psalm 104:1-35)

We are so prone to miss the correct object of praise. We look at the galaxy and say “WOW!” – but even if we attribute it to a powerful being it is NOT the God of

Bless the Lord, O My Soul

103:1 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his acts to the people of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
14 For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.

15 As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
18 to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.
19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.

20 Bless the Lord, O you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his word,
obeying the voice of his word!
21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts,
his ministers, who do his will!
22 Bless the Lord, all his works,
in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul! (ESV)

! We see the complexity of the human body or mind – and our minds are blown – but we are more apt to worship IT than we are the TRIUNE God of the Bible if He does not first come to us, forgive all our iniquity and redeem our lives from the pit. Now, we are not going to preach on 103 this morning – but 104 it is a long enough psalm itself to easily get lost in the glorious details but I trust that we will see that as the redeemed psalmist poetically meditates on Creation (and all 7 days of creation are here) he is ever drawn to the Goodness of God in redemption showing that the works of God cry out in praise ever pressing toward redemption!

Super-Spiritual Misconceptions (1 Corinthians 7:1-16)

Super-Spiritual Misconceptions (1 Corinthians 7:1-16)

The same pendulum swings that plagued Corinth, indulging the flesh and its desires on the one hand, and denying the flesh even of the good things God intended on the other, have been in the church throughout her history and the potential swing to asceticism as ‘holier’ denies the reality of Christ’s incarnation. Without centering our lives on and in Christ, we are bound to head off to one of the pendulum extremes, and what is behind Paul’s addressing of the first Corinthian concern is that marriage glorifies God most when fully pictures Christ!

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Conquest of Our Bodies (1 Corinthians 6:12-20)

Conquest of Our Bodies (1 Corinthians 6:12-20)

The Bible is the revelation of Jesus Christ! – Christ himself affirms that about the whole OT in

The Resurrection

24:1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, 11 but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.

On the Road to Emmaus

13 That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14 and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. 18 Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 19 And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. 22 Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, 23 and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” 25 And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

28 So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, 29 but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” 33 And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

36 As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” 37 But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. 38 And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate before them.

44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

The Ascension

50 Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. 51 While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple blessing God. (ESV)

– and it is no less true of the NT (how could it be?), and this is why we believe that preaching will always be “gospel-preaching” unfolding God’s redemption in Christ, not just giving examples to live by or moral stories. Nor a rule book for self-improvement. Interestingly, this truth comes out clearly when Paul deals with a subject that we might assume is just about ethics and moral conduct, sexual immorality. Paul teaches us that how we use our bodies is connected to the heart of the Gospel our bodies are the stage upon which the whole plan of salvation plays out!

Colossal Fight (1 Samuel 17:41-58)

Colossal Fight (1 Samuel 17:41-58)

Where does our strength come from? I have noted that many conservative commentators want to insist that we are NOT to see ourselves as David in the conflict – but the cowering people. Liberals gladly latch on to David – but not as the text presents him and they miss the Davids Son and Davids LORD whom he pictures for a cheap easy believism. So once again, we approach the OT climactic showdown more carefully and see that the truest strength of a Christian is found in his weakness and Immanuel!

Otherworldly Etiquette (1 Corinthians 6:1-11)

Otherworldly Etiquette (1 Corinthians 6:1-11)

Forgiveness is a great principle of the NT that must be submitted to (see

31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Walk in Love

5:1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. (ESV)

) – because of what Christ did! – we are to forgive because of what Christ has done for us. This can only be done by understanding how much Christ has forgiven us and done for us – that is to be the standard. This has to be understood in connection with the previous chapter and the importance of Church Discipline! Purging out the old leaven… How can we do that and at the same time walk in love? forgive and forbear? “Do not confuse the exercise of forgiveness in the judicial-ecclesiastical context with forgiveness on the personal level.” So here in 6 Paul moves on to another problem of pride when Christians refuse to forgive and Paul will insist that this behavior is totally unbecoming a Christian, even a failure because it betrays a wrong ethic and etiquette – one that belongs to this world. But as Johnathan Edwards points out, “Paul knows nothing of a mere interim-ethic, an ethical norm that pertains only to the present life, for in fact the ethics of the kingdom yet to come determine the morals of the kingdom that now is.” for Christians, conflict presents an opportunity to demonstrate that we are of a different kingdom. What Paul is urging upon us is that because God has made peace with us, we must make peace with one another.

Purge the Evil (1 Corinthians 5:1-13)

Purge the Evil (1 Corinthians 5:1-13)

Just as pride which led to factions was a serious problem in Corinth – Paul goes on to address another problem produced by pride and which, like factions in the body of Christ – amounts to a lie about Christ – we are excused to borrow Paul’s astounding statement from 1:17 “lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power” and apply it here when pride causes us to allow sin. Here in

Walk in Love

5:1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Wives and Husbands

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (ESV)

, we come to the difficult subject of Church Discipline and the hard teaching of “handing the offender over to Satan”. There is a lot of description and helpful instruction here – but we can miss the main thing. In pursuit of purity, we can purge out GRACE instead of the evil leaven! What Paul wants us to see is that the purity of the church is dependent on her identity in Christ!

Testing the Champion (1 Samuel 17:12-30)

Testing the Champion (1 Samuel 17:12-30)

It is imperative to see our need for Jesus’ whole obedience and the trials that go unnoticed – you see, Faith in Jesus is not nebulous belief – but rich content made up of details. The greatest detail is that Jesus is LORD and that God raised him from the dead, but there is more to living from faith to faith – there is faith in Jesus whole obedience in the incarnation where

Christ’s Example of Humility

2:1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Lights in the World

12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. 17 Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.

Timothy and Epaphroditus

19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. 20 For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. 21 For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel. 23 I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me, 24 and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also.

25 I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need, 26 for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. 27 Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. 28 I am the more eager to send him, therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious. 29 So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men, 30 for he nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me. (ESV)

says Christ emptied himself! but also the whole path of humble obedience that led this man of sorrows to endure the despising of his own people, even his own family – finally to the point of death on the cross where he was stricken smitten and afflicted – and we esteemed him NOT. When we rest in Christ’s finished righteousness in ALL the details – the particulars that usually go unnoticed/ unesteemed, that we have a resource for all our sanctification! Because it’s Christ constant faithfulness that makes him a true Savior! In our text, we have 3 contexts that try David character and show us the Faith of the man of the Spirit who is the type of Christ our saviour.

The Kingdom Not in Talk (1 Corinthians 4:1-21)

The Kingdom Not in Talk (1 Corinthians 4:1-21)

Christianity is not an underdog story! Rather it is a tale of uncommon humility and service unto death. There is Power, True Power, and exaltation but not without humility – No resurrection without the cross, no “new life” without death. Here in the final leg of Paul’s teaching about the foolishness of the power of God in the cross (1:18) Paul will vindicate his own ministry as a demonstration of his argument that God’s kingdom power is manifest through humble, faithful servants!

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