mp3 recordings from our series on the Epistle to the Hebrews
mp3 recordings from our series on the Epistle to the Hebrews
Just added a new message from 1 Corinthians chapter 7 verses 1 to 7:
Notes from this message:
In response to the Corinthians questions about marriage; Paul appears to agree with their suggestion that ‘it is good for a man to touch a woman,’ but only good for those so gifted and not everyone is (7:7).
Sometimes we don’t see gift as gift!
Some people are naturally fitted for a particular life of service:
Each individual is a unique mixture of grace, gifts and abilities.
‘To avoid fornication’ (7:2)
What’s so bad about fornication?
Does the media of our day, the stars of the day, the films of the day, the celebrities of the day not attempt to normalise / glorify these extramarital relationships?
Notice how prevalent a sin fornication is in the bible; how often it is recorded:
If we include the polygamies there are even more cases of fornication.
A sin affecting not only the ungodly Canaanites but equally the great and the good: Judah, Lot, David, Samson and not just the carnal Absalom, Amnon and Herod.
It was frequently through fornication / sexual immorality that the great and the good blotted an otherwise unsullied copy book.
What’s so bad about fornication?
1. Frequent / common problem affecting both the great and the good and the godless alike.
2. It is a problem with spiritual consequences:
3. It is the corruption of Gods creatorial order
‘let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.’ (1 Co 7:2)
One man and one woman – the original creatorial order and pattern
‘for this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife and these twain shall be one flesh.’ (Gen 2:24) – word spoken by Adam? From Matthew 19:5 it becomes clear that these are actually words spoken by God and quoted by Christ. Whilst it might appear from the text of Genesis 2:23-24 that Genesis 2:24 are the words of Adam, according to Matthew 19:5; the are in all probability the Words of God Himself, drawing a conclusion from from the creatorial work of Genesis 2. In other words, because of what I have done with Adam and Eve this is henceforth how the whole of human society will be organised and arranged. Marital relationships are a reflection / consequence of Gods creatorial work. Genesis 2:24 is a reliable commentary to read on the Word of God; it is Gods commentary on His own work! All subsequent marital relationships, the structure of society would be patterned after Gods creatorial work.
Marriage is one of the few remnants of Eden. No wonder it is under such attack.
It is important to see that the Divine ordinance of marriage in Genesis 2:24 for all subsequent humanity is patterned on the creatorial order of God in Genesis 2:23-24. This is important for our understanding of 1 Corinthians chp 7. Some will suggest that there is a difference in the ministry of chp 7 depending upon wither or not a marriage or divorce was pre conversion or post conversion. It is quite clear that the nature of marriage / validity of marriage is not altered by conversion. It is quite clear that marriage is a creatorial ordinance and as such is not materially altered by conversion; any more than your chronological age is altered by conversion or your health status is altered by conversion.
A conjugal ordinance rests on a creatorial order.
4. It is an attack on Gods character
To understand this you must appreciate what is so special about the creatorial order.
Man looks at creation and considers; wow isn’t that nice:
Fruit for me to eat
Water for me to drink
Flowers for me to see
Beaches for me to go on holiday to.
Well here is a shocker, creation is not all about me!
Creation is all about God.
From our studies in Romans chp 1:18-23 we are aware that creation is and was Gods first means of communication to mankind.
Of significance in Creation Gods character is revealed: His eternal power (Rom 1:20) and Godhead (1:20) and His Glory (1:23).
Creation is Gods first means of revealing His character.
You will have noticed, as you read through Genesis chapter 1 how the character of God, is subsequently progressively revealed in the Word of God and finally and fully revealed in Christ. The seed plot is here in Genesis chapter 1:
‘let there be light’ – a reflection of the nature and character of God; ‘I Am the light of the world’ – Gods creation is infused with light because of His Character. Life can exist deep in the Marianna Trench, 10km deep, in total darkness, at 1000 atmospheres of pressure, but this is not good enough for the God who is Light!
‘God saw that it was good,’ (1:4,10,12,18) – Gods creation is a reflection of Himself – Good.
‘Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed and fruit tree yielding fruit.’ God is the source of all fruitfulness; ‘I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; because apart from Me you can do nothing.’ (Joh 15:5)
‘Let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and for years’ (Gen 1:14) – God is a God of order; ‘declaring the end from the beginning,’ and ‘To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:’ (Ecc 3:1)
‘Let the waters bring forth abundantly, the moving creature that ahth life,’ – He is the God of Living waters; ‘He that believeth in me as the scriptures have said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.’
‘let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle and creeping thing and beast…’ (Gen 1:24) God gives life. ‘In him is life and that life was the light of men.’
‘let them have dominion…’ (1:26) – God is a God of order; ‘The most High God ruleth in the Kingdoms of men and giveth them to whomsoever He choseth.’
So too in marriage – a creatorial order; Gods character is seen; God is faithful; ‘yet He abideth faithful’ (2 Tim 2:13); God is reliable; ‘I change not.’
God is a God of union and communion; Christ and the Church (Eph 5).
God likes what He is. God is what He likes. There is no sin in Him.
God hates what He is not – Sin
v2 “let every man have his own wife and let every woman have her own husband” – By implication if I am going to hold to this and respect this I am going to also reject ‘divorce and remarriage’ – no adultery; this is my wife, this is your life.
V3 “due benevolence” – favour, goodwill, notice there is an equality of favour and a difference of function.
In NT times marital rights were very much skewed in favour of the man, with Roman and Jewish men able to have multiple wives. Jewish laws on adultery differed for the man and the woman. A woman who had a relationship out with her marriage was guilty of adultery. A married man was only guilty of adultery if he had a relationship with a married woman. This perhaps answers the question often posed from John chapter 8 – what about the man taken in the act of adultery? He may not have been guilty of adultery!
Biblical recognition to the sexual needs of both husband and wife.
V5 ‘That Satan tempt you not for your incontinence’
think of those times in the Word of God when men failed, when women failed too.
Those episodes were not totally unpredictable:
Judah and Tamar (Gen 38:12ff)
Judah left widowed – unmet sexual needs
Tamar left without husband – unmet needs
This fall does not occur in a vacuum but in a setting in which Judah and Tamar are open to temptation, to some extent the scenario is predictable.
If predictable then it is preventable.
David and Bathsheba
Occurs when Bathshebas husband is away from home
Samson (Judges 14ff)
Consider Samson, the character perhaps more than any other in the OT we might associate with sexual immorality and fornication.
Samson had a series of illicit relationships; Judges 16 – Harlot from Gaza and Delilah
It was ultimately that final relationship with Delilah which would destroy him.
We have drawn many a lesson from Samson over the years – a story replete with lessons and teachings for us today – lessons on the attack of Satan, on the restoring Grace of God, lessons on final recovery, lessons on the slippery slope of compromise – Samson is drawn deeper and deeper into the trap of Judges 16; physical, emotional and ultimately spiritual.
Consider the background to Samsons downfall – his first relationship; his first marriage, whilst it was to a Philistine woman, which would ultimately be its undoing, yet in other respects every ting was done properly and above board:
i. Judges 14:1 ‘and saw a woman’
ii. Judges 14:2 – goes to his father and mother
iii. Judges 14:7 – Talked with the woman
iv. Judges 14:10 – marriage ceremony
v. Judges 14:15 – legitimate marriage ‘husband’
After the marriage and riddle – Samson leaves (Judges 14:19), but naively – maybe child like returns for his wife (15:1-2) whom he fully expects to be waiting for him!
He even respects his father in laws instruction (Judges 15:1)
His wife, having been taken by another is now burned to death by the Philistines
It is against this backdrop that we can / ought to appreciate the failings of Samson:
A broken marriage
A wife taken by another
An adulterous wife
Ending in the violent and cruel death of his wife
Yet Samson did seem to love her:
‘she pleaseth me well’ (14:3)
‘she pleased Samson well’ (14:7)
Returned for her in Judges 15:1
Samson was the big man with the soft heart, a broken heart
Note how his final downfall unfolds – with words re-echoeing of his first love; Judges 14:16; 16:15
“lest Satan tempt you for your incontinence”
Samson failed in the testing and tempting
Yet the temptation did not occur in a vacuum
Just added to our series of messages from 1 Corinthians, a new message preached by J Stewart Gillespie from 1 Corinthians chapter 7 verse 1:
A number of years ago, during a trip to the north west tip of Zambia, close to the Angolian border, a missionary friend related to me the real life tragedy that has become for me something of parable of human happiness. Diamond smuggling across the Angolian border is a high risk activity but a highly profitable one. A local villager grasped the opportunity of a lifetime to swap his meagre but sufficient possessions and live stock for a bag of such contraband and arrived at the house of the missionary hoping to cash in some of his new found wealth for hard US dollars. The bag was placed on the kitchen table, with delight the grinning millionaire poured out its polished coloured contents over the table. A sack full of childrens glass marbles, as foreign a commodity to the impoverished Zambian as uncut diamonds bounced onto the floor. In seconds happiness was turned to gut wrenching disappointment.
1 Corinthians chapter 6 adds to the already frustrating and at times fruitless human pursuit of happiness the realisation that many who think they have found it, are just about to lose their marbles. A claim to happiness may represent the joy of finding peace with God through His Son Jesus Christ. ‘I am happy,’ may mean, ‘I have cracked it,’ it may mean ‘ I have life and I have life in all of its fullness,’ ‘I am happy,’ may mean that I have had the barrier between me and God removed and know who He is; He is Jesus Christ and I am living in the real joy of His presence and power. Alternatively, as was the case for some at Corinth; ‘I am happy’ may simply mean I have totally missed the purpose of life, I live in ignorance of God, and I have shut myself off into a self contained and self fulfilled cocoon of satisfied natural desires and needs; my stomach is full, my sexual desires are satisfied, my financial needs are catered for and in this bubble of a God denying delusion, I am content and happy. Happy that is until God Himself opens the sack and pours out before His judgment seat; glass marbles and a lost life.
Just added; a new message preached from 1 Corinthians chapter 6 by J Stewart Gillespie:
Download or listen online to mp3 recordings of sermons preached from the book of Habakkuk:
Just added an mp3 recording of a new message preached by J Stewart Gillespie from 1 Corinthians chapter 6:
Recordings from the 144th annual Christian Conference in Inverurie, hosted by the Gospel Hall, Inverurie, speakes: Kevin Binnie (Aberdeen) and J Stewart Gillespie (New Cumnock)
Just added; recordings from this years annual Christian Conference in Inverurie, hosted by the Gospel Hall, Inverurie, speakes: Kevin Binnie (Aberdeen) and J Stewart Gillespie (New Cumnock)
Just added, a recording from Sunday evenings gospel service with Gary McCurdy (Stevenston):
Just added, a new message in our series on 1 Corinthians :
1 Corinthians chapter 4 verse 8: ‘Thy Kingdom Come’
Reminded of Derek Binghams introduction to Daniel when he observed that God does not give prophesy simply to satisfy our intellectual curiosity about the future, but with prophetic revelation God has moral and spiritual goals in mind.
1 John 3:1ff : ‘and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in Him purifiers himself even as he is pure’
2 Peter 3:11 – Edward Blum, ‘Peter makes the impending disintegration of the universe the ground for a personal challenge to his readers.’
Christ is coming back
Gods wrath is about to be poured out on a Christ rejecting world
The heaven and earth will be dissolved
A new heaven and earth are to be ushered in
So what does all of this mean?
Be careful what you are watching on the Tele
Be wary of what you are browsing on the Internet
This truth seems to come to the fore here in 1 Corinthians chapter 4, in a negative sense, namely a wrong understanding of future events results in wrong behaviour.
The Corinthians appear to be suffering from a wrong view of the kingdom.
1. Problem of the Kingdom (4:6)
2. Proof of the Kingdom (4:7-14)
3. Power of the Kingdom (4:15-21)
1. Problem of the Kingdom
Problems seem to have arisen due to a wrong appreciation of the Kingdom of God.
That now is the time to reign and rule; ‘now ye are full, now ye are rich’ (4:8)
How did this problem arise?
We will discover in chapter 15 that they also have a wrong view of the Resurrection, that there are some among them who deny the resurrection.
It may well be that these 2 issues are not disconnected.
The OT spoke very clearly of a coming Kingdom when Messiah will reign physically and visibly upon the earth with His administrative centre at Jerusalem
Psalm 2:1ff, 6
With Christ we have Messiah, God’s anointed one; We recall from our studies in Hebrews for example that Christ is; ‘King of Righteousness’ and ‘King of Peace’ (Heb 7:1-2, 15-23).
So if we have the King, do we not then have the Kingdom.
Again in Hebrews chp 1:8
Rev 19:16 “King of Kings and Lord of Lords”
The Lord and the apostles certainly speak of the spiritual or mystery aspect to the presence of His Kingdom on earth; that is that:
all who are saved enter into this Kingdom (John 3:5)
The Kingdom of God is ‘within you’ (Luke 17:21)
“The Kingdom of God is not meat and drink but righteousness, and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Rom 14:17)
So all who bow to the rule of Christ in their lives are part of His spiritual Kingdom.
This is however a most unsatisfactory fulfilment of those literal OT prophecies and hardly does justice to Christs titles of “King of Kings” and “Lord of Lords” ; that His Kingdom reigns over a world which is on the most part in a state of outward rebellion.
So there will be a future, literal outward Kingdom which will fulfil those OT prophecies and NT expectations.
When will that be?
Does the present age of Church testimony and world rebellion just merge imperceptibly with the future Kingdom or is there a specific event or set of events which divide this present time from the future Kingdom?
If you were to ask me for those specific events which trigger the beginning of that transition I would identify 3 concurrent events:
1 – The return of Christ
2 – The Resurrection of the dead in Christ
3 – The removal, by rapture of the believers form the world.
It is these 3 events which pave the way for the pouring out of Gods wrath on a world which rejects His Son, His Spirit and His Gospel.
These 3 events separate this present time from the future day of tribulation and wrath which paves the way for the binding of Satan for 1000 years and the establishment of Gods Kingdom under Christ.
What is interesting is that when you come to 1 Corinthians we find that there is a group of believers who deny this resurrection (1 Co15:12ff).
More than this in 1 Co 15:23ff Paul makes the connection between:
1 – The Resurrection of believers (15:18-23)
2 – The Return of Christ (15:23)
3 – The Rule of the Kingdom (15:24ff)
These believers then in denying the physical bodily resurrection of believers not only undermine the fundamentals of the Gospel (1Co15:17ff) but it also fundamentally alters their view of the Kingdom; for them there is no transition the present merges imperceptibly into the future.
This all may sound a bit complicated, a bit tenuous, but in fact it has been a not infrequent teaching over the years; so much so, it even has a name: ‘post millenialism’.
Satisfaction : “full” : ‘korenmoi’ : to have enough (4:8)
Prosperity: “rich” : ‘plouteo’ : to be rich (4:8)
Authority: “reign as kings” : ‘basileuo’ : to reign, rule, be king (4:8)
They were as a consequence accustomed to:
Fighting for their rights (6:1ff)
Self confidence in their new found knowledge (8:1ff)
Standing on a few toes / breaking a few eggs to get what they wanted (8:11ff)
Playing a prominent part in Corinthian society (8:10; 10:19-21)
Awareness of place, position and status (1 Co 11:21ff)
Using their gifts and abilities to claim position and place (1 Co12:15-18)
Used to being heard and making their views known (14:26-32)
They were reigning as Kings in their own Kingdom!
This was a gospel for winners!
This was a gospel with prosperity!
But this was not the Kingdom of God (4:20)
So long as I am doing alright
So long as my fellowship is doing alright then all is ok!
Proof of the Kingdom
But here is a different view of being a king (4:9ff) – A King in Gods Kingdom.
compare Matthew chp 5 and 1 Corinthians chapter 4: