Saturday, August 05, 2006

1 Corinthians 3:3 - 4 (NLT) 3. for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world? 4. When one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” and another says, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you acting just like people of the world?

When the church doesn’t act unified according to God’s plan, problems break out like jealousy and quarrels. Often times this is because somewhere along the line we (mistakenly) thought the church should be a democracy (a system of this “age”, world). But the church, the body of Christ, is to operate as a THEOCRACY with God as the Sovereign Ruler.

1 Corinthians 11:3 (NLT) 3. But there is one thing I want you to know: The head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

God has established an order to things. When we break it, problems occur in the functioning of the church. Take a look around at some of the churches you’re familiar with. Is Christ the head? Is the Pastor (Greek: shepherd of the local flock), if that position exists, the next authority in line to direct the church as God’s leader? Is the Pastor submitting to the Authority of Christ, or trying to do things in his own strength? Are the elders and deacons submitting to the authority of Christ and the pastor? Are they chosen according to the guidelines found in 1 Timothy 3 or by a “popular vote?” Or, are they/we trying to insert a man-made democratic system to appease “the people?”

God’s wisdom is far above man’s wisdom. When operating by God’s rules (found in His Word) jealousy, quarreling and following after different men (Paul, Apollos, you or me!) will not occur on a regular basis. If it does occur, look to see if you are submitting to the authority of those placed above you (pastor, Christ) and, if not, repent, realign yourselves with God’s will and move on to build up the body!

Friday, August 04, 2006

1 Corinthians 3:1 - 2 (NASB)
1. And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. 2. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able,

In looking at what the “church” should be, we must also look at what the church shouldn’t be. Paul started out this letter with God’s purpose for the church, our incredible calling to be “separate” from the world and the fact that this all occurs by God’s power as we yield our lives to Him and grow closer to Him.

In chapter 3, Paul begins by telling them that they have failed to grow. Does the responsibility to grow in Christ rest solely with the individual?

Hebrews 3:13 (NLT) 13. You must warn* each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT) 11. So encourage** each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

* KJV translates this “exhort”
** KJV translates this “comfort”
Both are the same Greek word: parakaleō, which according to Thayer’s Greek Definitions means:

1) to call to one’s side, call for, summon
2) to address, speak to, (call to, call upon), which may be done in the way of exhortation, entreaty, comfort, instruction, etc.
2a) to admonish, exhort
2b) to beg, entreat, beseech
2b1) to strive to appease by entreaty
2c) to console, to encourage and strengthen by consolation, to comfort
2c1) to receive consolation, be comforted
2d) to encourage, strengthen
2e) exhorting and comforting and encouraging
2f) to instruct, teach

We, the church, the “called out ones”, have a responsibility to see that we are all growing in the Lord. If this aspect of what the church is to “be” is left out, only spiritual babies are left…essentially, carnal Christians, still living according to the worldview of this “age” and not according to God’s worldview, a biblical worldview (operating system!).

Pray for each other and share what God is doing in your life. Share with each other what God shares with you from His Word. Not just on Sunday, but every time you see each other! Or, for that matter, even when you don’t see each other, share what God has laid on your heart with others through email, letters, IM, or a phone call. Remember the adage a chain is only as strong as its weakest link? Let’s eliminate the “weak links” by instruction, encouragement and through prayer.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006



The church according to 1 Corinthians 2 should:

* Seek out God’s purposes through His Word. (v. 7)
* Understand that the rest of the world, non-believers, will not understand God’s purposes. (v. 8-9)
* God’s purposes are revealed by God’s Spirit to believers (v. 10-12)
* It takes being “in the Spirit” (surrendered to, yielded to, etc.) to study God’s Word, because the Spirit is the One Who instructs us and reveals God to us. (v. 13)
* Understand that non-believers CANNOT understand the deeper things of
God and that’s why the church must continue to tell them WHO Christ is and WHAT Christ did for them. (v. 14)
* Judge/examine/correct itself but cannot be judged, etc. by non-believers who do not have a biblical worldview. –care must be taken not to let the church be influenced by non-believers- (v. 15)
* The church, the called out ones, have the Spirit of God, the mind of Christ and are taught by the Spirit of God. No non-believer can teach us “spiritual things” since they do not understand the things of God. (v. 16)

This was made very real yesterday as I received a call from a Christian girl wanting me to convince/convert her non-Christian/aethist boyfriend/fiancĂ©e. The only thing we can do is talk about sin in the world, our part in that, God’s remedy…Jesus Christ and His death on the cross for us. It’s up to the Holy Spirit then to convict them of that sin and the truth of God’s remedy.

We can not “argue” a non-believer into the kingdom. If we could it would be “man’s wisdom” that got the glory and accolades. A non-believer will not accept or understand God’s Word until they are indwelt by the Holy Spirit upon recognizing their own sinfulness and accepting Jesus Christ’s death on the cross on their behalf.

Prayer on their behalf and sharing what Jesus has done in OUR life, through verbal testimony and physical actions (the way we live), is the most effective way to witness.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Church, according to 1 Corinthians 2, should:

• Not try to impress others but (v. 1)
• Reach non-believers by preaching/teaching WHO Christ is and WHAT He did. (v. 2)
• Recognize all human weakness (including its own) and glory in God’s strength (It’s His church!) (v. 3)
• Demonstrate God’s power at work (not glorifying men's accomplishments) and be a place where His Spirit is clearly at work (v. 4)
• Show complete faith in the power of God and NOT in the wisdom of men (v. 5)
• Provide opportunity for believers to grow in maturity (v. 6)

1 Corinthians 2:1 - 6 (TMSG) 1. You’ll remember, friends, that when I first came to you to let you in on God’s master stroke, I didn’t try to impress you with polished speeches and the latest philosophy. 2. I deliberately kept it plain and simple: first Jesus and who he is; then Jesus and what he did—Jesus crucified. 3. I was unsure of how to go about this, and felt totally inadequate—I was scared to death, if you want the truth of it— 4. and so nothing I said could have impressed you or anyone else. But the Message came through anyway. God’s Spirit and God’s power did it, 5. which made it clear that your life of faith is a response to God’s power, not to some fancy mental or emotional footwork by me or anyone else. 6. We, of course, have plenty of wisdom to pass on to you once you get your feet on firm spiritual ground, but it’s not popular wisdom, the fashionable wisdom of high-priced experts that will be out-of-date in a year or so.

Monday, July 31, 2006

1 Corinthians 2:14 - 16 (NASB) 14. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 15. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. 16. For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ.

We, the “called out ones”, the “set apart to God” people, “have the mind of Christ.” That’s got to be the greatest ‘word’ to any and all who hear it. We don’t have to depend on our mind…we have HIS.

Thayer’s Greek Definitions says the word “nous” (translated ‘mind’) means,

the mind…comprising alike the faculties of perceiving and understanding and those of feeling, judging, determining, reason in the narrower sense, as the capacity for spiritual truth, the higher powers of the soul, the faculty of perceiving divine things, of recognizing goodness and of hating evil, the power of considering and judging soberly, calmly and impartially; a particular mode of thinking and judging, i.e thoughts, feelings, purposes, desires

I believe God’s Word to be absolutely True. When Paul says we have the mind of Christ and I think about having Jesus’ perception, understanding ,etc. I am blow away. We just need to “tune into” His mind, and “tune out” our natural mind until we only know His.

If you start getting down or depressed or worried today, just remember, you have the mind of Christ if you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

1 Corinthians 2:9 - 13 (NASB) 9. but just as it is written, “THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND WHICH HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.” 10. For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. 11. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. 12. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, 13. which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.

We, the “called out ones” of God have received the Spirit of God. Wow! The church is filled with people who have received the Spirit of God. For a purpose he goes on, “so that we may know the wonderful things God has freely given us (NLT)”. We are even taught by the Spirit!!! Talk about blessed….

But I suppose we should look at that little clause Paul has inserted in v.12, “not the spirit of the world.” All too often we participate in this world as though we were of this world. We pay just a little too much attention to entertainment, TV, secular music, hobbies, or even our jobs. But we “called out ones” are to “come out of the world” and the world mindset and be ONE together on God’s team, being about God’s business.
Going to school today? OK, but remember God is with you and wants you to act like you’re His child! Going to work today? OK, but remember when you get upset that God is there with you and wants you to react according to His principles.

We have received the Spirit of God. Think about that when you wake up in the morning. Thank Him. Ask Him to make you more aware of His presence in your life. How blessed we are!! Now, let’s go share it with someone else…