Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wed Night Lesson - 1 Corinthians 3:1-23

Spiritual Growth
1 Corinthians 1:1-23

  1. Human Growth Process
    1. 3:1
      1. could not
        1. Paul was limited in what he was able to teach the Corinthians.
      1. as unto spiritual
        1. Paul longed to share with them a great many spiritual truths.
      1. as unto carnal
        1. These were saved individuals, but their minds still tended to the worldly - carnal nature that is common in all people.
      1. babes in Christ
        1. They had not reached maturity.
    2. 3:2
      1. fed you with milk,
        1. Certainly they were being fed spiritual truths, but they were only the most basic teachings of the Christian faith.
      2. and not with meat
        1. Meat = solid food.
        2. They were straying before getting far down the road.
        3. Some of these "basics" Paul touches on throughout the letter:
          1. Their salvation was in Christ, not the preacher.
          2. Immorality was not acceptable practice.
          3. There were expectations and consequences among the membership.
          4. Spiritual gifts were to be used properly.
          5. The Lord's supper was to be taken properly.
          6. They should care and concern themselves for each other.
          7. The resurrection was a fact of their faith.
      3. were not able/ are ye able
        1. Until they got these basics in order, they wouldn't be able to dig deeper.
    3. 3:3
      1. yet carnal
        1. They were still acting in accordance with sinful flesh.
      2. envying, strife, divisions
        1. Their problems with the basics of Christianity hearkened back to these old sins
      3. are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
        1. An honest assessment of their situation proved Paul's point. Considering the evidence, they would reach his conclusion.
    4. 3:4
      1. are ye not carnal
        1. Reflects back on previously cited problem of flocking to a particular individuals ministry. Again, the facts prove the point.
    5. 3:5
      1. Who is Paul... Apollos
        1. Paul minimizes the importance of the person and personality of the minister.
        2. Does it really matter who delivers the mail as long as the bring the same letter?
      2. but ministers
        1. They had exactly the same job. Personal preference didn't make one better than the other.
      3. as the Lord gave to every man
        1. God provided the perfect sacrifice to every person on the planet. In Jesus every single person has access to the saving work of God. Ministers can only deliver the message of God's completed work.
  2. Agriculture
    1. 3:6
      1. I planted
        1. Paul had established the Church at Corinth during his X missionary journey. (Acts 18)
      2. Apollos watered
        1. Apollos came to Corinth from Ephesus (Acts 18:27) and had a powerful ministry among the Corinthians.
      3. God gave the increase
        1. Paul gave God the credit for the Corinthian Converts.
        2. The work of Salvation was completed by God in the person of Jesus Christ.
        3. Jhn 6:44 KJV - No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
    2. 3:7
      1. he that planteth...he that watereth
        1. God uses human actors to carry out his Divine story. The planter and the waterer play their part, but its still God's story of Love, Redemption, and Glory.
      2. God...giveth the increase
        1. So, when this is the Church successful? When we have a bunch of converts? No. Rather we are successful when we plant and water. Then we patiently rely on God for the increase.
      3. James uses a similar metaphor to teach patience
        1. Jam 5:7-8 KJV - Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
    3. 3:8
      1. are one
        1. In subject (task and goal) they are united.
        2. In quality, they may differ.
      2. his own reward
        1. 2Cr 5:10 KJV - For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things [done] in [his] body, according to that he hath done, whether [it be] good or bad.
    4. 3:9a
      1. we are laborers together
        1. When we transform our will into God's will we make our goals and objectives the same as God's.
        2. We are working toward the same end.
      2. ye are God's husbandry
        1. field, garden
  3. Construction
    1. 3:9b
      1. God's building
        1. Similar to Peter's analogy - spiritual stones
    2. 3:10
      1. According to the grace
        1. Paul was explicit not to make this about Paul
        2. Are you doing the work God has given you the grace to do?
      2. as a wise master builder
        1. Wouldn't the wisest builder lay the best foundation?
      3. laid the foundation
        1. The foundation comes first.
        2. The foundation is fundamental.
        3. A weakness in the foundation will cause the rest of the building, no matter how spectacular to fail.
      4. another buildeth thereupon
        1. After the foundation is laid, great things can be built upon it.
        2. It will support varied structures.
      5. take heed how he buildeth
        1. It is not enough to build on a firm foundation. It is still important what is built.
    3. 3:11
      1. other foundation
        1. The foundation can not be relaid.
        2. The foundation can not be substituted.
      2. which is Jesus Christ
        1. The entirety of our corporate labor must be built on Jesus!
    4. 3:12
      1. gold, silver, precious stones
        1. The right things
        2. God's way
      2. wood, hay, stubble
        1. The wrong things
        2. Our way
    5. 3:13
      1. made manifest
        1. become evident
        2. be seen
      2. the day
        1. The day Jesus Judges his saints for rewards. The Day of the Lord.
      3. revealed by fire
        1. The righteous judgment of Jesus
      4. what sort it is
        1. There are gonna be folks who feel like they have built a pretty good building, but in the end it was paper mache.
    6. 3:14
      1. work abide...reward
        1. Some men will tell you exactly what our heavenly rewards will be like
        2. They seem to know more than the Bible reveals.
        3. Know this: Jesus Christ the Righteous will be handing out the rewards. Noone will be able to argue "thats not right"
    7. 3:15
      1. work...burned... suffer loss
        1. Again... it will be RIGHT!
      2. he himself shall be saved
        1. This judgment of rewards does not diminish his relationship with Christ.
      3. as so by fire
        1. his works shall vanish in the flame, but he is still saved.
        2. Some people describe this person as "barely saved" or getting to heaven by the "skin of his teeth"
          1. Every believer where's the righteousness of Christ. The gates of heaven are open wide for the righteousness of Christ.
          2. No one is saved by the skin of their teeth, but by the precious blood of Jesus.
  4. Temple
    1. 3:16
      1. ye are the temple of God
        1. Temple is the place where God dwells.
      2. dwelleth in you
        1. God dwelled in every Corinthian believer as he dwells in every believer to day.
    2. 3:17
      1. defile the temple of God
        1. That is defile his body through sin.
      2. shall God destroy
        1. God is longsuffering and patient with us
        2. He will forgive our sins
        3. But We can expect chastisement even to the point of Death. There is a Sin unto death....
      3. temple... is holy, which are
        1. Right now, in this body, we are God's temple.
        2. We are separated from the world. God sees us differently. As children, not strangers. As friends, not enemies.
  5. Wisdom
    1. 3:18
      1. deceive himself
        1. Self deception can be very dangerous.
      2. seemeth to be wise... become a fool... that he may be wise
        1. Recognize God's wisdom as superior to our own.
        2. In comparison to God, all men are fools.
        3. Acknowledging these fact.. that the Bible is true .. that God is true ... whether I understand it or not... is key to true wisdom.
    2. 3:19
      1. wisdom... is foolishness
        1. What the world considers wise, God considers foolish.
      2. ...taketh the wise in their own craftiness
        1. Smart people who's smartness caught up w/ them?
          1. Bernard Maddoff - Billion dollar ponzi scheme
          2. how many others?
    3. 3:20
      1. they are vain
        1. Great thoughts that amount to nothing
    4. 3:21
      1. glory in men
        1. Put confidence in God, not men.
        2. Recognize the greatness of God, not men.
      2. all things
        1. Think about what we have
          1. Presence of Christ
            1. 1Th 4:16-17 KJV - For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
          2. Power of Christ -
            1. Rev 20:6 KJV - Blessed and holy [is] he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
    5. 3:22
      1. all are yours
        1. Our mind has a hard time grasping the extent to which we will enjoy God's glory
    6. 3:23
      1. ye are Christ's
        1. We belong to Jesus.
        2. He paid a high price to have us.
      2. Christ is God's
        1. It is through Jesus we are reconciled to the father.

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