Sunday, February 8, 2015

Paul's Epistles - 1 Corinthians Part 13 – Be Content

Paul's Epistles - 1 Corinthians
Part 13 – Be Content
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

Paul's letter to the church in Corinth, up until last week, was addressing the things he had heard about them, including incest, adultery, over-spiritualized behaviors, wandering away from the Word of God, and an overall pride about them.

Last week Paul addressed the churches notion that it was somehow holier, or more spiritual not to have relations with your spouse.

Paul made it clear, if you are married you should. However, with the one you are married to only.

If you have the Spiritual gift of celibacy, as Paul did, that's one thing, but you cannot force yourself in that manner or any other as far as Spiritual Gifts are concerned.

People sometimes try to force certain gifts, such as speaking in tongues, healing, discernment, here we see celibacy.

You may pray for any gift, Paul says, it is OK to desire certain gifts, however, you cannot make them manifest from your will or "acts".

SCRIPTURE REFERENCE I Corinthians 7:17-24
Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches. 18 Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts. 20 Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.

21 Were you a slave when you were called? Don’t let it trouble you—although if you can gain your freedom, do so. 22 For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lord’s freed person; similarly, the one who was free when called is Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings. 24 Brothers and sisters, each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.

                   I.            BEING CONTENT IN ALL SITUATIONS
a.      The circumstances of our lives are regulated by the providence of God
                                                                         i.      Divine providence is the means by and through which God governs all things in the universe. The doctrine of divine providence asserts that God is in complete control of all things. This includes the universe as a whole (Psalm 103:19), the physical world (Matthew 5:45), the affairs of nations (Psalm 66:7), human birth and destiny (Galatians 1:15), human successes and failures (Luke 1:52), and the protection of His people (Psalm 4:8).

                                                                      ii.      The purpose, or goal, of divine providence is to accomplish the will of God. To ensure that His purposes are fulfilled, God governs the affairs of men and works through the natural order of things. The laws of nature are nothing more than a depiction of God at work in the universe. The laws of nature have no inherent power, nor do they work independently. The laws of nature are the rules and principles that God set in place to govern how things work.

b.     The Lord allocates our way, and we should not try to change that path, unless we step off the path He has laid for us.
                                                                         i.      This in no way interferes with our free will.

                                                                      ii.      As we see in the Corinthian church Paul is correcting their path, their "way" because they had strayed from the word and path that Paul had founded the church on.

                                                                   iii.      So Paul, wanting to correct their path, back to the written word of God and instruction he had given them, also wanted to remove their pride and arrogance, as well as their following of immoral desires by commanding that all in the church should be content.

c.      This is the rule I lay down in all churches

a.      Circumcision is nothing
                                                                         i.      Christ fulfilled the Levitical Law; so it is no longer binding!

                                                                      ii.      There were 76 Levitical laws covering many sins. Christ has fulfilled the Law, therefore, all of those sins can now be forgiven if you are in Christ Jesus.

                                                                   iii.      It does not give allowances TO sin, rather, forgiveness for them.

b.     However, you are to keep the Commandments of God
                                                                         i.      What are the Commandments of God? Not the 10 commands of Moses...
1.      “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
a.      Matthew 22:36-40

                                                                      ii.      They can only be kept by the Believer understanding that all the power and strength come through the Cross, which must be the object of our Faith. That gives the Holy Spirit latitude to work in our lives, helping us to do that which needs to be done.
c.      Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called (vs. 20)
                                                                         i.      This pertains to the state or position one is in when he comes to Christ.

                                                                      ii.      Respecting positions and particular jobs that are honorable.
1.      i.e. if you works as a manager of a Coffee shop when you became a Christian, by all means, stay and be a light.

2.      If you were married and became a Christian, stay and be a light.

3.      If you were a pimp, you would have to stop, because you do not love your neighbor. (Does not fit I Corinthians 13 definition of love)

4.      If you are a drug dealer, you do not love your neighbor.

5.      If you ran an abortion do not love your neighbor.

6.      If you were a maid/servant to a millionaire, you should stay, etc...

                                                                   iii.      In fact, Paul says, even if you are a slave, be content, if you can get your freedom, do so, but in any case, be content.

                                                                     iv.      Philippians 4:10-13 " I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength."

1.      Paul wants the same for all of be content in all and every situation.

2.      How? What is the secret?

3.      I can do all things through Him, (Christ Jesus), who gives me strength.

            III.            YOU WERE BOUGHT AT A PRICE
a.      Paul reminds the Corinthian Church "who" they belong to
                                                                         i.      If you are a follower of Christ, then He must be your Lord...for Him to be your Lord, you must follow and obey Him.

                                                                      ii.      They were slipping away from the Lord and into an over-spiritualized, almost cult like setting...following prideful leaders and engaging in sexual immorality. Such as the likes were even frowned upon by the Gentiles.

b.     The Price at which you were bought
                                                                         i.      The precious blood of Jesus shed at Calvary as a ransom for you.

                                                                      ii.      Therefore, do not be servants of men.
1.      Liberation by Jesus Christ not only frees us from sin, but also from the fear of man, and what they can do to us.

c.      Brothers and sisters, each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.
                                                                         i.      How are we to be lights to the world if we all run from the world when we become lights?

God calls us to be separate from the world (Do not engage in their sin or act like them), however, he also calls us to be in their midst

Our ministry is our life, our sermon is our personal testimony, and our congregation is our friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors.

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

No comments: