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Text: 1 Corinthians 1-4
Wisdom and spirituality look like building upon the Rock who is Christ: the wise man built his house on the rock. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Paul says the cross is the power of God in 18. Well, is it just the power of God to forgive sins? No. It’s the power of God to people who are already saved. The power to do what? The power to overcome the flesh and quit being carnal!
The crucified life eliminates divisions (chapter 1)
- Contentions because everyone has their agenda and their “preacher” (vss 10-11)
- James 4:1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
- Cliques are based on teachings and methods, so Paul goes after the wisdom of this world. Generally, strong personalities get followed.
- The crucified life is not of interest to carnal people. They find their value in the name they associate with.
We are nothing without revelation from God (chapter 2)
- Verses 2-3 aren’t saying that Paul keeps telling them Jesus died for their sins. That’s understood. He’s applying the cross to their lives and to their understanding as well as his own.
- The mystery just means things that aren’t seen and can’t be seen with physical eyes.
The only foundation is Jesus Christ (chapter 3)
- Verse 2 – Milk defined in Hebrews 5:12-6:2 as doctrines of Christ, repentance toward God, studying baptisms, studying resurrection from the dead, while meat is defined as being able to love one another, be kind to one another, preferring one another, getting along with brothers, serving God with joy, and longsuffering.
- Verse 3 – Meat is defined as stopping envying, quitting causing strife, quit dividing with cliques and agendas. Many church splits and everyone said they believed the Bible. People who hate each other and say they believe the right dispensations. You don’t have to be spiritual to have information. You can get children to repeat information. I’ve watched people who believed the Bible, check all the marks of “fundamentals of the faith” and gossip about brothers and sisters.
- Verse 4 – I am of Paul Chappel, I am of Ruckman, I am of Jack Trieber, I am of the Southern Baptists, I am of Hyles, my uncle is a deacon, my dad was a deacon … who cares?!
- It is God’s ministry (vss 5-9)
- Verse 5 – Who is Paul? If Paul, the greatest Christian that ever lived asked who is Paul, then whatever man or family member you’re devoted to isn’t anybody.
- Verse 9 – This is God’s work
- Verse 9-10 – God’s building, God gives the jobs. When I worked in the oilfield and came out of the field to work in the office in management I understood my boss wasn’t moving me into a position to do “my job”, he was moving me into a position to do “his job.” Then we’d have guys out of college or trying to move up, which is fine, but with agendas wanting leadership roles who didn’t understand the work was not theirs, the work belonged to whoever hired them. You guys that have owned business understand this completely. If you don’t have a job to do, you don’t need employees. And you only hire employees to do “your job.” This is God’s work, not yours.
- Note all that the Lord gave in verses 5, 6, 7, 9, and 10.
- Only lasting work is in Christ (vss 10-15)
- Means you can’t build on Paul. You can’t build on Peter. You can only build on Christ. Paul could only build on Christ. Peter could only build on Christ.
- Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid which is Christ.
- The only accepted agenda is God’s Holy Spirit (vss 16-23)
- Verse 17 – That’s the hill you’ll die on?
- Verse 18 – Deceive himself is easy. You don’t have an ability or a desire to allow the LORD to actually search your own ideas you’ve come to accept.
- Verse 19 – taketh the wise in their own craftiness.
- Verse 21 – let no man glory in men. Religion does this regularly. Mohammed over Jesus Christ. The Pope over Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith, Mormonism, over Jesus Christ. Charles Darwin and evolution over Jesus Christ. Or even Bible-believing people over Jesus Christ.
- Verses 21-23 when it comes to serving God, all things are at your disposal. Truly, if you’re willing to serve God and allow His will to be your will, all things are there for your use.
Paul is just a minister of Christ (chapter 4)
- Paul’s not starting a new idea. He’s just ministering instruction in the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Verses 6-7 explain the divisions again.
- Sarcasm begins in verse 10.
- Verses 19-20 are incredibly convicting. No power in fancy teachings or harsh rhetoric. Or fancy homiletic sermons. The power is found in verses 12-13. It’s transformative. Participation in the kingdom of God means the normal reactions are subdued under the cross of Christ as you’re submitted to the will of God.