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!
Love is the Greatest (1 Corinthians 13:1-13)
Chapter 12 ends and chapter 14 begins as a way to punctuate how much more excellent LOVE is to even the MEGA Charismata. But such all surpassing love needs to be defined and fleshed out. It was vital for Paul to spell this out for the Corinthians to rebuke their ambition for all the wrong things, but we too need to listen to Paul’s great love chapter, not because of its poetic beauty – but because of our own tendency to seek external or secondary things. We need to understand that Christian love is the core of Christianity and nothing else compares!
True Love (1 Corinthians 12:27-31)
The tail end of chapter 12 provides a smooth transition into the glorious LOVE chapter next. And Paul lays the foundation down by arguing that what we ARE is more important than what we DO. And that the Charismata “grace gifts” only serve to aid the offices that Christ has set up in the church, which is His body. The variety of members serve different functions as do the offices, but all this variety is for service, really nurture. It is Christ’s TRUE Love to His bride. Don’t you see that God’s love for you is far more valuable than any gift!
Overcomers (1 Samuel 23:15-29)
We are blessed to come again to a study of David on the run from king Saul because our Christian life is a struggle of similar attacks. Our foes are monotonous in their relentlessness – and as we carry the treasure of the Word of God in our vessels of clay, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; …” You see, we have this great promise that Gods saints will overcome because they’re strengthened by God’s Word! – So do not lose heart!
One Body (1 Corinthians 12:12-26)
Ought not the Christ to Suffer? (1 Samuel 23:1-14)
Many Psalms teach us that it is better to trust in God than in Princes – but it will cost ignominy and a cross. Still, as David is now awakened from his fearful flight he does draw our attention to the reality that “it is always better to have the provision of God’s Word than the worldly accouterments”, as Richard Philipps says. Saul had human power, David had divine assistance.
Common Good (1 Corinthians 12:4-11)
We confess One God IN three persons. Wonderfully, those persons are always deferring to each other – ever exemplifying selflessness. The World, the Flesh, and the Devil despise this kind of unity. Satan has always pushed for selfishness, from the garden to the betrayal of Judas. The World pushes for unity without diversity. A global conformity. The flesh is desperate for those who would unite with it (see
4 With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; (ESV)
) in debauchery, but ever selfish in all it touches. If we hear Paul correctly in these verses we see that when we use God’s gifts to build up Christ’s Bride the goodness of the Triune God shines!