Sunday, January 4, 2015

Paul's Epistles - 1 Corinthians Part 8 – Warning

Paul's Epistles - 1 Corinthians
Part 8 – Warning
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

We are looking at Paul's letters in order, first looking at Romans, and now I Corinthians.

In Paul's letter to the church congregation in Corinth, he has first addressed their issues over whom to follow, or who is the head of the church. Paul makes it completely clear; it is Christ Jesus, and no one else.

He explains that the teaching and wisdom of God comes from the Holy Spirit, and teachers and preachers are "laborers", whom build on the only true foundation, which is that of Jesus Christ crucified.

Last week Paul addressed humility; this week we read of an appeal and warning.

SCRIPTURE REFERENCE I Corinthians 4:14-21
 I am writing this not to shame you but to warn you as my dear children.15 Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.16 Therefore I urge you to imitate me. 17 For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.
18 Some of you have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have. 20 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. 21 What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline, or shall I come in love and with a gentle spirit?

                   I.            SPIRITUAL GUIDE
a.      Paul states, he is not writing this letter to shame the church in Corinth
                                                                         i.      Rather, it is a correction, a warning to them

b.     Paul states that he has become their "Spiritual Father"
                                                                         i.      Because he is mature in the Word, and they are like his children, needing correction and guidance, so they too can mature in Christ Jesus.

c.      Paul urges the church members to imitate him
                                                                         i.      Why not imitate Christ?

                                                                      ii.      For the same reason Jesus called Disciples to follow Him, so that THEY would be our examples.

1.      Who is the one we could more likely imitate in following the Word, Jesus, who is perfect and never falters, or a man, who has faults and imperfections, yet allows God's Holy Spirit to give him the ability to serve and follow the Word?

               II.            PAUL AND TIMOTHY EXAMPLES
a.      Paul writes that He is an example
                                                                         i.      And that he will send Timothy as an example as well.

b.     Why Timothy?
                                                                         i.      Because Paul was still establishing churches, and could not rub back to every church every time they had a problem.

                                                                      ii.      Timothy was like a son to Paul, and was faithful to the Lord.

                                                                   iii.      Paul trusted Timothy to be a good example to the Church in Corinth.

c.      Paul tells the church, Timothy will remind them of Paul's way in the life of Jesus Christ, which would be the same that Paul taught everywhere in every church.
            III.            THE ARROGANT ARE WARNED
a.      Remember Paul's statement earlier in the letter, "do not go beyond what is written"?
                                                                         i.      Some in the church had become arrogant, and prideful, not thinking Paul would return to correct their ways.

                                                                      ii.      They believed that, though Paul taught them, they were now more spiritual then he was. This, of course, was their pride, which eventually lead to arrogance.

                                                                   iii.      Just as with anything that is given to man, there are some who abuse, find footholds and develop their own religion of control and manipulation.

                                                                     iv.      Paul understood that these weaknesses in men would be capable of exploit if they wandered away from what was written.

b.     Paul warned, he would return if God allowed him to.
                                                                         i.      And when he did, he would find out who was running their mouths, who was being arrogant, who was doing all the talking, and what "power" or "authority" they actually had.

c.      Paul explains, the real power is in the Kingdom of God
                                                                         i.      Not in the vain words of a man

                                                                      ii.      Paul says, "...the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. 21 What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline, or shall I come in love and with a gentle spirit?"

1.      The choice was theirs; however, the correction would still be made regardless of their attitudes.

In the words of David in Psalm 23;

The Lord is my shepherd... I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

The Lord is our Shepherd, and in full authority and power, so we fear no evil.

His rod of correction and staff of direction leads us both spiritually and physically in this world.
We, as the church in Corinth, can accept the Lord's guidance with the staff of direction in humility, by love in His gentile Spirit, or we can receive correction from His rod of discipline for not adhering to the Word.

The choice is ours. Listen to the entirety of Psalm 23.

The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want...We submit to his provision. It's not "What do I want", rather, what does HE want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures...When He says rest, I will rest.

he leadeth me beside the still waters...Because He knows the path, my way leads to troubled waters.

He restoreth my soul...Without Him, I am weak, empty, drained.

he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake...Our righteousness is not for us, but for Him and His Name!

though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me...What do we have to fear, when the author of all Creation, and the one who has defeated death, and holds the keys to heaven and hell is the one leading us?

thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies...We are so safe, we can sit to a meal.

thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over...Because of our Shepherd, He pours out the Holy Spirit of God upon us, more than we could ever want, more than we could ever need, more than we could ever hold, to overflowing.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life...Who's goodness and mercy?  Our shepherds! For all the days of our lives.

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever...on earth, and in heaven.

If you do not have a relationship with the Lord now, you will not have one when you die.

If you cannot serve Him as Lord on earth, do not believe for a moment you will serve Him in heaven.

We must submit to our Lord, in humility, serving Him in the manner as we are instructed in the Word, and not going beyond what is written.

God gives us freedom to chose, freedom of choice, freedom, even when we follow Him as our Shepherd, we may chose, as children do, to learn by following direction or receiving correction.

Want to learn more about Salvation and Getting Saved?    CLICK HERE!

No comments: