Chaos @ Corinth – When Christians get Distracted

Just added, a new message preached by J Stewart Gillespie from 1 Corinthians chapter 15:


1 Corinthians chp 15 – Chaos at Corinth – When Christians get Distracted – 09082016 – JS Gillespie


Resurrection: the Identity behind the Mystery – 1 Corinthians chapter 15 vs 21 to 23 – J Stewart Gillespie


Just added to our series on 1 Corinthians, a new message preached by Dr J Stewart Gillespie:


1 Corinthians chp 15 vs 21 to 23 – Resurrection the Identity behind the Mystery – J Stewart Gillespie – 10072016


Resurrection Connecting to the Mystery – 1 Corinthians chp 15 vs 20 to 23 – J Stewart Gillespie

Just added, a new message preached in our series on 1 Corinthians:


1 Corinthians chp 15 vs 20 to 23 – Resurrection Connecting to the Mystery – J Stewart Gillespie – 05072016


Christ the Firstfruits – 1 Corinthians chapter 15 vs 20 to 24

Just added, a new message preached by Dr J Stewart Gillespie from 1 Corinthians chapter 15:


Christ the Firstfruits – 1 Corinthians chp 15 vs 20 to 24 – Dr J Stewart Gillespie


Saved by A Living Saviour – 1 Corinthians chapter 15 vs 17

Just added, a new message preached by Dr J Stewart Gillespie in our series on 1 Corinthians:


1 Corinthians chp 15 vs 17 – Saved by A Living Saviour – J Stewart Gillespie – 14062016


What Made Paul Great? – (1 Corinthians chp 15 vs 10)


Just added, a new message rpeached by J Stewart Gillespie from 1 Corinthians chapter 15:


1 Corinthians chp 15 vs 10 – What Made Paul Great – J S Gillespie – 24052016


outline notes from this message:

What made Paul great?

One of the greatest historical figures!

  • His lifes work lives on
  • His effects are still being seen today
  • His works are read more today than possibly any other author
  • Lifes are still being changed by the message he brought and recorded in the scriptures


What made Paul great?

He had a number of great abilities / opportunities in life:

  • ‘a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee’ (Acts 23:6)
  • ‘after the most stratest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee’ (Acts 26:5)
  • ‘Hebrew of the Hebrews, as touching the law, a Pharisee.’ (Phil 3:5)
  • ‘brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel’ (Acts 22:3)

Paul was:

  • Zealous, Religious, Well educated, Able preacher, organiser, Powerful, Successful (before men)

Yet a million miles from God and a hater and persecutor of Christ.

All of this simply made Paul a monster.

What made Paul great?

‘but by the grace of God I am what I am’ (1 Co15:10)

This was a Grace:

  1. Personal : ‘I am what I am’
  2. Persistent & Persevering: ‘bestowed upon me’
  3. Powerful and effective: ‘I laboured…yet not I but the grace of God which was with me.’
  4. Purpose: ‘was not in vain’
  5. Product: ‘so we preached and so ye believed’
  1. Personal : ‘I am what I am’

Pauls personal experience of Grace

A grace that made Paul what he was (Acts 9):

Character of Paul:

  • God meets Paul in spite of what he was and in spite of where he was going and in spite of what he was doing and in spite of how he was living (9:1) ‘Saul yet breathing out threatening and slaughter’. God is not seeking those who have first sorted themselves out! This is an appointment, an encounter on the foundation of grace! Grace is not God welcoming those who deserve it. Grace is God welcoming those who do not deserve it! This isn’t someone cleaning up their act and coming to God. This was a man with a passion and a zeal AGAINST Christ and AGAINST believers in the Lord Jesus.

Conversion of Paul:

  • Grace intervened in the life of Paul when he was close to disaster, ‘he came near Damascus’ (9:3)
  • Paul was drawing closer and closer to outright rebellion
  • He was pursuing the persecution of God
  • This was a:
  • Sovereign act of God (9:3)
  • Sudden act of God
  • Supreme act of God (Acts 26:13), ‘above the brightness of the sun’
  • God takes the initiative and the ‘light from heaven’ shines
  • This isn’t a man pursuing Christ
  • This is Christ pursing a man who is persecuting Christ
  • This is has its origins in Grace
  • ‘I am come to seek and to save that which was lost’
  • It was in Pauls pursuit of rebellion and hatred that God pursued Him

The Hound of Heaven

Francis Thompson:

I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the midst of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hopes I sped;
And shot, precipitated,
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmed fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
But with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbèd pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
They beat—and a Voice beat
More instant than the Feet—
‘All things betray thee, who betrayest Me’.

Pauls conversion was:

  • sudden
  • sovereign
  • supreme act of God

Paul did not know what was happening, ‘who art thou Lord?’

This conversion of Paul in Acts 9 was a personal revelation of Jesus, by Jesus (v5), followed by an immediate commissioning of Saul to service (v6).

The Lord took Paul to a place of total dependence upon Himself, a place of dependence and need:

  • Blind (v8)
  • Dependent (v8)
  • 3 days of darkness (v9) – a spiritual death to all he was and had, in spite of Himself, God saved.
  • Depending in the darkness of blindness for the grace of sight (v12)
  • So wicked was Saul that Ananias, a man of God, having received a direct Word from the Lord questions he wisdom / will / purpose of God in restoring the sight of Saul!

‘brother Saul’ – brought into the family of God he had persecuted (9:17)

  • Given sight
  • Given light
  • Given the Holy Spirit

Saul transformed to Paul:

  • Preached Christ instead of Persecuting Christ (v20)
  • Instead of dragging believers out of the synagogues he made converts in the synagogue
  1. Persistent & Persevering: ‘bestowed upon me’

Gods Grace did not conclude at conversion

Gods Grace commenced at conversion

The encouraging truth is this – that the grace God gives, is the grace that continues with us, that grace never leaves, that grace is never removed by God!

Paul realised and practised this truth

Consider the potential when such a truth is realised and practised!

  1. Powerful and effective:

‘I laboured…yet not I but the grace of God which was with me.’

We do not work alone

We do not preach alone

We do not labour alone

  1. Purpose: ‘was not in vain’

A purpose for Grace in his life

There are some things which we can fritter away our life doing, which is not worthy to be called a man!

Look back at all the way God has:

  • spoken to you, called you, saved you, equiped you, challenged you, changed you, kept you, over many years!

Has God done this for a purpose?

Grace had saved Paul but not just so that Paul had:

  • a story to tell
  • a better quality of life
  • get out of jail free card

This was grace with a purpose / prospect

Grace to live for God / serve God

Paul would spend the rest of a life he almost messed up serving Christ!

Not distracted by the:

  • Trivial
  • Apathetic
  • Introspective
  • Sin

But to:

  • Reach out
  • Preach out
  • Burn out

For Christ

This Grace bestowed on Paul was not wasted.

What does it mean for a grace to be ‘not in vain?’

It means to:

  • Preach

Paul in his ministry reached out to:

  • Damascus, Jerusalem, Caesarea, Tarsus, Antioch, Seleucia, Cyprus with the conversion of the deputy of the island Sergius Paulus, Perga, in Antioch with great blessing, Iconium with mass conversions, Lystra and Derbe, in Samaria, Troas, Philippi and Macedonia, Thessalonica for 3 weeks with conversions, Berea with many saved, Athens with converts, Corinth for 18 months with many converts, Ephesus

    Paul preached to Jews, gentiles, Greeks and Romans, Roman soldiers, Chief captains, Centurion, Sanhedrin, Chief Priest, Felix and Druscilla, Festus, Agripa and Bernice in Acts of the Apostles.

  • It means to:
  • Pen – half of the NT
  • It means to leave a legacy of teaching spanning 2000 years
  • It means to write words still read today
  • it means to be used to transform lived
  • It means to bequeath words for which men will die
  • It means to write a book to live by
  • It means to share with others the words of eternal life

What has grace achieved in our life?

  1. Product: ‘so we preached and so ye believed’

When Great Men Sleep – 1 Corinthians chapter 15


A new message preached by J Stewart Gillespie from 1 Corinthians chapter 15:

1 Corinthians chp 15 vs 1 to 11 – When Great Men Sleep – J S Gillespie – 10052016



outline notes are available for this message:

1 Corinthians chp 15 begins with
The Gospel:
1. The Presentation of the Gospel (v1)
2. The Problem of the Gospel (v1-2)
3. The Power of the Gospel (v3)
4. The Proof of the Gospel (v3-11)

1. The Presentation of the Gospel
A clear declaration of the good news :
‘declared ‘ and’ preached ‘
The Gospel is not points for discussion or debate
We are speaking as though God were our equal
These are Gods demands upon us
‘ God now commands all men everywhere to repent and believe the gospel. ‘

2. Problem with the Gospel :
Paul has to declare what he has already preached
The Gospel is at risk of being :
Chiseled away / eroded away
Sometimes erosion can happen just with that one steady drip
It is little short of miraculous that we still have the gospel in our hands
The constant steady attempts at erosion of this message down through the centuries
Not just the Big attacks and the major heresies, but the slow and steady drip, drip, drip of one small error after another, each taking its toll over the years :
‘what about the resurrection body of the believer – it doesn’t really need to be a literal body, does it? ‘
And so drip, drip, drip
Here a little, there a little
You know what is really amazing about grace?
It’s amazing that we have any grace left.

Pilate tried to crucify grace
Nero tried to burn it
Communists persecuted it
Fascists attacked it
Kings tried to control it
Western democracy have tried to silence it
Muslim nations ban it
Darwin tried to disprove it
Atheists mock it
Cults confuse it
Yet the Gospel remains
Because I have in my hand a bible.
Because the apostle took the time to : ‘declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you’
We have written down for us the most precious message ever recorded
Here is the word which not only presents the words of eternal life but prevents us from forgetting the Divine truth (v2)
Without knowing this book you are only as sound as the last error you met
3. The Power of the Gospel
‘ye are saved ‘
Need to be saved
We are lost
We don’t start off saved
We didn’t drift into being saved
We need to be saved
That salvation only came by’ receiving the gospel ‘ (V1)

The Gospel :
i. The Person of Christ
ii. The Power of His death
iii. The Proof :
Text of scripture (v3-4)
Triumph of Resurrection
Testimony of Eye Witnesses
Transformed Life of Paul

The Testimony of Eyewitnesses (v5-8)
How significant is this?
(1) Paul sees the necessity of providing evidence for the resurrection!
Paul is not thinking in terms of:
But sees and presents the resurrection as real historical fact and gives it a real historical setting!
If you talk to spiritists, mystics, pagans about their religion, the last thing they will talk about is historical evidence!
You don’t need concrete historical proof to start a religion!
You do need concrete historical proof for Christianity.
The apostle intends for the Gospel and the resurrection to be taken literally.
This is no myth.

(2) They prove the historical reality of the resurrection
‘these appearances … cannot prove more than that after the crucifixion certain persons believed that they had seen Jesus again…’ (CK Barrett)
They prove far more than that of course!
They didn’t think they saw Jesus or ‘believe’ they saw Jesus, if 12 or 500 hundred saw Him at the same time, then they did see Christ.

(3) Paul takes risks
Paul not only claims witnesses, but Paul names witnesses
More than that Paul names witnesses that they know:
Peter (v5)
James (v7)
Paul (v8)
We can be confident from the NT, historical references in the Acts and the history from the church fathers, that Paul is writing in the 1st Century AD.
If Paul is not telling the truth he is making a great blunder in naming his sources.

(4) When Great men sleep
‘but some are fallen asleep’ (v6)
This is no academic piece of literature
Saul depends on it!
Including Paul and those other witnesses, they would also die, they would be put to death and in that experience, their hope is the same as the hope which they share with us; ‘fallen asleep’ (v6)

The Heart and the Head of the Gospel – 1 Corinthians chapter 15 vs 1 to 3

A new message, just added to our series on 1 Corinthians:


1 Corinthians chp 15 vs 1 to 3 – The Heart and the Head of the Gospel – J Stewart Gillespie – 12042016


When Men know There is a God – 1 Corinthians chp 14 vs 1 to 25


Just added, a new message preached from 1 Corinthians by J Stewart Gillespie:


1 Corinthians chp 14 vs 1 to 25 – When men Know there is a God – 05042016 – JS Gillespie

Jesus Loves me This I know

A new message preached from 1 Corinthians chapter 14 verse 1 by J Stewart Gillespie:


1 Corinthians chp 14 vs 1 – Jesus Loves me This I Know – J Stewart Gillespie – 29032016


Outline notes from this message:

We noticed last time that we considered 1 Co 13:10; ‘that which is perfect

We suggested that this was a reference to the completeness and perfection of Divine Revelation not presently in the Bible but in a future day at the return of Christ

We suggested 3 major reasons why ‘that which is perfect’ cannot be a reference to the completed canon of scripture:

  1. We noted that in verses 8 and 9 that ‘prophecies’ fell into the category of the passing (verse 8) and the partial (v9). That is that prophecy by its nature is subject to a frame of time and moves through distinct phases of revelation, expectation and then fulfillment. Until that prophecy is fulfilled exactly what it means is the subject of interpretation, and until it is fulfilled its full meaning will remain unclear. Any revelation therefore dependent upon unfulfilled prophecy cannot be the ‘perfect’ or fullness of revelation. The Bible contains unfilled prophecy, it is in fact, ‘a more sure word of prophecy,’ and thus cannot be that complete revelation.

  1. Perfect revelation requires perfect preparation of the individual to receive it (13:11); that perfect preparation is the ongoing work of God in us, transforming and conforming us to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29), a work which will only be complete when we meet Christ (1 John 3:2), perfect revelation and comprehension, ‘to know even as I am known,’ must await that future day.

  2. The imagery of 1 Co 13:12, in referring to seeing through the glass darkly uses the image of the Bible – the glass, used in 2 Corinthians chp 3:18 and James 1:23, that is the position of the present, the future position is, ‘face to face.’

That perhaps leaves us with something of a problem then, if I am saying that, ‘that which is perfect,’ lies in the future, am I then left with the continuance of sign gifts till then? Do I expect miracles, tongues, prophecy and wonders to continue until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ?


7 reasons for the cessation of sign gifts:

  1. Specifically of ‘tongues’ verse 8, we are told that they shall ‘cease’ – middle tense, they are given for a purpose, discussed in 1 Corinthians chp 14 and then of their own accord will stop. They only appear 3 X in the Acts of the apostles, and then here in 1 Corinthians, when they are abused / misused.

  2. The sign gifts were essentially signs of the apostles; Acts 5:12; 2:43; 2 Co 12:12; Heb 2:3-4. The apostles were those who saw the Lord in His death (11/12) and His resurrection (12/12) (Acts 1:22). If someone today claims to have the gift of miracles / prophecy / wonders then your first response can be; ‘you must be an awful lot older than you look.’

  3. Prophecy was foundational to the church (1 Co 3:10-12; Eph 2:20) – we cannot go back after 2000 years and re-lay the foundation! Well that’s not entirely true, outside my house you can see 2 or 3 great foundation stones from the Arthur memorial church, layed over 100 years ago. You can change the foundation, but to do so, they had to first demolish the church. That is precisely what happens when we re-lay the foundations!

  1. The faith which we hold and believe has been “once and for all” (Vincents Word Studies), delivered unto the saints; Jude 1:3 and is now to be passed on (2 Tim 2:1-2) rather than being freshly revealed (2 Tim 2:1-2). The passing of the baton.

  2. Revelation 22:18-19 makes it clear that we cannot add to the NT scripture – no new revelation

  3. The overall pattern of the Bible – supernatural signs and the gift of miracles were never normative; they occur during only 3 phases of history:

  1. Moses and Aaron,

  2. Elijah and Elisha

  3. Christ and the Apostles

  1. When we come to later epistles, the exhortation is not to prophesy but to expound scripture; read, study, and teach scripture: 1 Timothy 3:1-2; 4:6,13-16; 2 Tim 2:15; 3:14-17. Herein leis the real problem with the charismatic movement; not so much in the gifts which they think they have and do not possess but in dwelling on the fake and fraudulent they miss what God really does have for us.

The problem with all of that was not so much what he said – babbling in tongues; the problem lies more with what he did not say; all of the blessings which God has in His Word for us, were ignored.

‘Follow after love and desire spiritual gifts but rather that ye may prophesy’        (1 Corinthians 14:1)

So we might find at Corinth, brother Jim, he has the gift of prophecy, you may ask, well why does brother Jim prophecy? From 1 Corinthians 14:1 you could rightly say that brother Jim prophecies as a consequence of love. It is because he loves Gods people at Corinth that he prophecies. But you knew brother Jim from years ago; from when he worked and lived in Corinth, you may well scratch your head at that explanation and tell me, but I knew brother Jim years ago, when he bought and sold and lived in Corinth, all he was interested in was himself, in maximising his profit and pursuing his pleasures.

If brother Jim is now acting out of self sacrificial love, well that is something new! Where did he get that love from? You know the answer to that of course. Brother Jim got saved. Brother Jim was born again, he is a new creature in Christ, filled by His Spirit and the fruit of that Spirit which is; ‘love, joy, peace, longsuffering…’

Let’s just bring all of that together then, all of that means that the exercise of brother Jim’s gift, that gift of prophecy is ultimately a product of Gods love for Jim and Gods love for His people through the ministry of Jim? Is that correct?

So if I ask the question, how do I know that God loves me? I can look back into the past and remember Calvary (John 3:16) but I can also look into the present and perceive His ongoing love and care for me in the provision of the ministry of His Word.

Sometimes you will hear Christians say some very ill thought out things and I wouldn’t like you to imbibe them! Statements such as:

  • I’m not so much interested in the Word of God, I’m more interested in the love of God

  • There really wasn’t enough love in that place, a lot of Bible teaching.

You see God continues to express His love for us, in the care that He shows for us in the teaching and ministry of His Word.

Disregard for that, prioritising other things before that is really a disregard for the love of God and that has costs and consequences.

I’ve noticed it over the years, a particular Word of ministry, Word in the Gospel, that would have been particularly helpful to some of Gods people, but they had absented themselves that evening for other things. God’s love had been extended and rejected. They were the poorer for it.