Service Stewardship and Secret Sins

Noah hid his drunkenness, Moses hid an angry outburst and a violent murder, Achan hid some stolen clothes and a few hot slabs of gold till they cooled off, and David hid his adultery. Who could find out? What harm would it cause anyone else? In the privacy of their own homes. In the darkness of the night. In the scheming secrecy of plans opaque to the outside world? Who could know? It was a powerful amnesia that affected the godly and God fearing that rendered them senseless to the omnipresence of God. He saw. That was enough. That was all that mattered. This alone moves the tide from which breaks the waves of judgment and consequence. Irrespective of what mortal sees with dieing eye, and perceives with a conscience of clouded cataracts, He sees with penetrating moral purity and with unflinching righteous repercussions.

For service to endure and for it to stand with God it must be dependent upon Him, obedient to His every command. He is the oversman and we the under rower (1 Corinthians 4:1). “Just to trust and obey, there is no other way to be happy in Jesus.” Such a service performed for God can only be truly assessed by God, an assessment which will weigh both motives seen and unseen, and with it all of those sins, even the secret sins.

Taken from, a new message preached from 1 Corinthians chapter 4 verses 1 to 6, by Stewart Gillespie:

Service Stewardship and Secret Sins

Gold Silver and Precious Stones

Just added to our series on 1 Corinthians, a new message from 1 Corinthians chapter 3 verse 12:

1 Corinthians chapter 3 verse 12 – Gold Silver and Precious Stones

Quoted in the above message:

Martin Luther King: ‘Street Sweeper’


Notes from the above message:

We have considered so far in chapter 3:

1. Feeding
2. Serving
3. Building

In each of the sections some practical lessons to learn:

1.

    Feeding on the Meat

:

Paul desires that they should be feeding on meat and not on milk
Paul had good meat for them (3:1)
There was no famine in the land here, as there had been in the days of Naomi and Elimelech and in the days of Elisha and siege of Samaria.
The AVAILABILITY of food was determined by the ABILITY to receive that food.
What hinders that appetite for Christ, that ability to receive the meat is carnality manifesting itself in schism.
We note that the apostle holds us accountable for cutting off / dividing / withdrawing from fellowship because of offence (3:3)
Some made a definite decision to:

hold on to bitterness
harbour grudges
harden hearts

Offence caused, which there was no doubt at Corinth is not an excuse which gives a a God endorsed right to spend the rest of our spiritual life as a victim; ‘she said that to you, he did that to you? Well just you go in the huff for the next 25 years and I’ll richly bless you.’ A text by which many sadly live their lives!

The true heart of Christ towards His body is a heart which will not:

Cause schism
Countenance schism

So in the 1st section we note:

Cause of the schism
Content of the meat

That content is defined in 2:6-7
This is the wisdom section: the meat is the, ‘hidden wisdom of God in mystery’

‘The foreordained determinative purpose of God for His creation Christ, which has as its goal the Glory of His Son and consequently the blessing of His people. Such Wisdom was at one time concealed, to be revealed supernaturally at the time of its fulfilment.’

The above definition emphasises:

‘of God’ – the origin of this mystery wisdom is God rather than man
‘foreordained’ – built into the foundation of the world (1Co2:7)
‘determinative’ – theses are not a collection of random, disconnected secrets but rather part of one coherent plan with a purpose (Eph 1:9-10)
‘for His creation’ – Gods overarching plan and purpose for the created order (1 Co2:7; Eph1:10)
‘Glory of His Son’ – Eph 1:10-12
‘blessing of His people’ – 1 Co 2:7,9
‘revealed at their fulfilment’ – not an arbitrary hiding and revelation of Divine secrets but Divine purpose, revealed as it is worked out in time in the purpose of God (1 Co2:8; 1 Tim 3:16; Gal 4:4)

This Mystery Wisdom of God includes:

1. The Mystery of Israel in Unbelief (Rom 11:25)
2. The Gospel of Gods Grace in Christ (Rom 16:25; Eph 6:19)
3. The Mystery of the Rapture (1 Co 15:51)
4. The Mystery of Gods Will in gathering all things together in Christ (Eph 1:9)
5. The Mystery of Christ – bringing in of the Gentiles in one body (Eph 3:4-5, 8-11)
6. The Mystery of the union of Christ and the Church (Eph 5:32)
7. The Mystery of Christ in you the Hope of Glory (Col 1:26-29; 2:2)
8. The Mystery of Christ (Col 4:3)
9. The Mystery of the 7 Stars (Rev 1:20)
10. The Mystery of God (Rev 10:7)
11. The Mystery of Iniquity (2Thess 2:7)
12. The Mystery of the Faith (1 Tim 3:9)
13. The Mystery of Godliness (1 Tim 3:16)
14. The Mystery of Babylon the Great (Rev 17:7)

2. Serving (3:5)

We noted the ‘but ministers’ of Jesus Christ

Rebekah – carried some water
Widow of Zarephath – who gathered some sticks
David – who carried some cheese
Little maid – who served in the home

Each ‘but ministry’ led men to worship.

3. Building on the Foundations

i. Picture of Building
ii. People involved in the building
iii. Person on whom the building is founded
iv. Principles of Building
v. Purpose of Building

I. Picture of Building

Perhaps worth clarifying a small potential point of confusion before we proceed any further, here as elsewhere (eg Romans 7:1ff) the apostle makes fairly free use of metaphors.
Paul sticks with a metaphor and follows it through only so long as it serves his purpose.
When the metaphor ceases to fulfill it’s purpose he swaps the metaphor around.

As a results we find that the believer is at various times:

1. The builder (3:9ff), or perhaps builders labourers, rather than the master builder or architect (1 Co3:10). We don’t design, we don’t direct, we just labour.

2. The building (3:9, 16)

And let us not make the mistake of following through the metaphor to its logical conclusion; that if we are the building then the individual stones must be individual believers, as Peter uses the metaphor in 1 Peter 2; for here whilst the believers are the building (3:16), the material used to build it is distinct from the builders (3:15)

II. People involved in the building

“we are labourers” (3:9)
Not ours to know the master plan but ours to move in faith

III. Person on whom the building is founded

Note in the building, issues of:

Consistency
Compatibility

These are materials consistent with the foundation; “which is Jesus Christ” (v11)

Whatever we build in to the church needs to be consistent and compatible with Christ. So for example:

i. Jesus Christ is the “truth” (Jo 14:6)

Therefore error / lies are not compatible with the foundation and would be in the category of; ‘wood, hay and stubble.’

ii. “God is Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth”

Materialism is thus incompatible with the foundation

“Some of the stuff that we have put millions of dollars into thinking it would really help our people grow and develop spiritually, when the data actually came back it wasn’t helping people that much. Other things that we didn’t put that much money into and didn’t put much staff against is stuff our people are crying out for.” Willow Creek Church

iii. Christ is “holy, harmless, undefiled”

Immorality and sin are incompatible with the foundations

Note not only the issue of:

Consistency
Compatibility
Consequences

The consequences of making a mistake
It is possible to build, to build big, to build with wood, hay and stubble
Everything may have the appearance of progress and prosperity, but ultimately it will crumble, and it may be too late to do anything about it!

IV. Principles of Building

“take heed how he buildeth thereupon” (3:10)

looking to build with:

“gold, silver, precious stones” (3:13)

Can we be any more specific about what constitutes:

Gold
Silver
Precious Stones

Gold:

First mentioned with possible ‘moral’ overtones in Gen 2:12; “the gold of that land is good”
Many of the items of the tabernacle and later the temple were made of gold and of pure gold:
Ark of the Covenant overlaid with pure gold (Ex 25:10ff; 37:1ff)
Mercy Seat made of pure gold (Ex25:17; 37:6)
Cherubim made of gold (Ex 25:18; 37:7ff)
Table of Shewbread made of pure gold (Ex 25:24l 37:10ff)
Lampstand made of pure gold (Ex 25:31; 37:17,22ff)
Breastplate of judgment was held by pure gold chains (Ex 28:22ff)
Plate for the mitre made of pure gold; “holiness to the Lord” (Ex28:34ff)
Altar of incense – overlaid with pure gold (Ex 30:1ff; 37:25ff)

The tabernacle and the temple in their construction bring together’ ‘gold, silver and precious stones,’ (Ex 31:1-5; 35:32-33; 1 Chron 29:2,7-8)
Gold was likewise used extensively in the construction of the temple:

The oracle was overlaid with pure gold (1Kings 6:20)
The house was covered with pure gold (1 Kings 6:21)
Doors overlaid with gold (1Kings 6:32)
Cherubim overlaid with gold (1Kings 6:28)
Altar of Gold (7:48)
Table of Gold (1 Kings 7:48)
Lampstands of pure gold (1Kings 7:49)

Gold was one of the substances that could abide the fire and thus could go through the fire to be purified (Num31:22ff) – not difficult to envisage a moral metaphor from it therefore.
Gold linked to righteousness comes out in the poetic books:

Gold is contrasted with iniquity (Job 22:23-24)
The trials of life purify Job so that he comes forth as gold (Job 23:10)
Psalm 19:10 – “The judgements of the Lord are true and righteous altogether, more to be desired are they than gold, yea than much fine gold”
Psalm 45:9 – The queen stands in gold of Ophir, cf the Righteousness of the Saints (Rev 19:7-8) – “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints”

Psalm 119:27 – “I love thy commandments above gold”
Proverbs 8:17-20 – “Righteousness and gold”

Gold would point to the need for RIGHTEOUSNESS; cf 1 Co chps 5 to 10

Silver:

Associated with Redemption: Exodus 38:25 – half shekel of the sanctuary, Lev 5:15; Numb 3:46 – all the firstborn redeemed with 5 shekels

Precious stones – often linked with wisdom in the OT:

Job 28:1, 12, 18: “The price of wisdom is above rubies”
Prov 8:11: “Wisdom is better than rubies”
Linked with Solomon; 1 Kings 10:2,10,11; 2Chron 9:1
Present on the Crown, crowning the head of the King; 2 Sam 12:30; 1 Chron 20
Christ – Isaiah 28:16
Wisdom of the King of Tyrus (Lucifer): “Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.” (Ezek 28:13)

Precious stones – linked with Wisdom – consider 1 Corinthians chps 1 to 4

V. Purpose of Building

4. Worshipping in the Temple

When a Dream becomes a Vision

Dreams can easily become a sycophantic refuge for the apathetic and hypocritical. The ‘good old days’ of Gods blessing can be safely left there, in the past and with it past passions, past power and past progress. The Corinthians, perhaps not uniquely amongst Christians were happy to place men on a pedestal and praise those who had been a help to them in previous days. They lived their Christian life in the dreams of Joel 2:28. What God had done in the lives of others in days gone by was not the issue. Of primary concern to the apostle Paul was what was hindering the work of God in their life in the here and now. Carnality had eaten cancer like into their spiritual life. They were divided by schism, petty jealousies and compromised by the pursuit of personal lusts. For their dreams of others in the past to become a vision for their own future, repentance from their schismatic sins was required and once that had been acted upon, what was wrong with a little Service?

Taken from :

But a Servant – When a Dream becomes a Vision

Notes from the message :

1 Corinthians chp 3:4-10

We noted last time the significance of the sin of schism.
That despite the many sins of Corinth:

Moral (chps 5-6)
Material (chp 6)
Marital (chp 7)
Meat offered to idols (chps 8 to 10)
Meetings (chps 10 to 14)
Miracle of Resurrection (chp 15)
Money (chp 16)

That it is schism which is identified as both the:

Cause
Consequence

Of their failure to thrive and lack of spiritual appetite (3:3)
We noted that this was due to the:

Cause of Schism – the flesh, carnality

Character of schism – looks at people and fails to see the Person of Christ who is the real source of spiritual food and growth and maturity

Consequence of schism – it cuts us off from the very people who may be a help to us.

What could motivate believers to work together like seeing the blessing of fellowship with the fruitfulness of that fellowship flowing out.
The irony of the situation at Corinth is exposed in 3:6 – the secret of Paul and Apollos success lay in their fellowship with one another

Principles of service:

The Position of the Servant:

“who then is Paul? ”

What about position and place?
No Prime Minister here.
The servant loses his reputation in that of his Lord and masters.
We are unable to really see Paul and Apollos in their service because they hide behind Christ, they point to Christ
Like John the Baptist of old – just a voice crying in the wilderness
Paul is ‘just a servant’
There are lots of ‘just servants’ in the Word of God.
Have you noticed them?
Possibly not!!! They do it very well!

Rebekah was just carrying some water for Eliezers camels when she stumbled into her destiny as the mother of a nation of Gods chosen earthly people, just a servant carrying water!

David was just a message boy carrying some cheeses, and parched corn to his brothers in the valley of Elah, when he was drafted into Gods destiny to slay Goliath and deliver a Kingdom and claim a Princess for his bride.

Widow of Zarephath was just collecting a few sticks when she was met by Elijah, and had her life and that of her family was miraculously preserved, and she became a type of Gods future dealings in grace with the gentiles and the recipient of the Grace of resurrection in her home! She was just out collecting some sticks.

The little Hebrew maid was just serving in her masters home in Assyria when she became the missing link between Naaman the leper and the prophet Elisha.

Ezra the scribe spent his time, very impractically, just studying his Bible, when he was identified by Artaxerxes as the ideal candidate to add content and substance to the newly constructed temple in Jerusalem.

Don’t despise a little Service!

Some are too big to:

Carry some water – What Rebekah did when she stumbled into her destiny as the mother of a nation of Gods chosen people.

Deliver some cheese – That kind of a service is a stepping stone to slaying a giant, delivering a Kingdom and claiming a Princess as a bride!

Pick up a few sticks – That is what you pick up before God reaches into you heart and raises your son from the dead

Serve in the home – The kind of cleaning task that precedes the cleansing of the leper

Nehemiah was just bearing the cup to the King when he was called to
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

Purpose of the Servant

So what’s wrong with a little Service then?
I’ll tell you what, it’s ‘little’
I want big!

The service may be little indeed but notice that all of these ‘little’ services have something in common; they encourage and produce faith in a great God!

To carry a little water? – Genesis 24
“And the man bowed down his head and worshipped the Lord”
That’s quite a result from carrying a little water.

To deliver a few messages (1Samuel 17)

“That all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel” (1 Sam 17:46)
“all this assembly shall know that the Lord safety not with sword and spear for the battle is the Lords” (1 Sam 17:47)

To pick up a few sticks (1 Kings 17)

“And the woman said to Elijah now by this I know that thou art a man of God and the word of the Lord in the mouth is truth. ” (1 Kings 17:24)

To do a little house work: (2 Kings 5:15)
” Behold now I know that there is no God in all the earth but in Israel. ”
Not bad for a little below the minimum wage service in Nathan household (2 Kings 5:2)

All of these small Acts of service have something in common; they all draw out praise and worship to the Lord, they all bring Glory to the Lord.
No praise for a great servant!
That’s what 1 Co 3:5 is about
Maybe sometimes that can be a problem!

Maybe I want to be the greatest water carrier in the whole of history?
Maybe I want someone to say, look at the way that boy picks up the sticks, you’ve never seen a stick picker upper like that stick picker upper!

That’s not what service is about, it’s about pointing others and drawing others to Christ.
Purpose of the servant is not thus to:

Keep the camels happy

Build a big roaring fire with the sticks

Leave his brothers well fed and content

Have the cleanest house in Syria

This all may sound a touch absurd but how easy is it to very off on the purposes of God and get side tracked with issues that don’t really matter?

For Gods work to become dominated by entertaining carnal Christians, maintaining buildings, sustaining service and services?

Easy to miss the point: “by whom ye believed” (3:5)

Faith encountered
Faith encouraged

Provision of the Lord (3:5)

There is a plan
Pieces of the jigsaw for which we are individually fitted
God is in control, giving to each sovereignly and bringing together the plan.

“as the Lord gave” (3:5)
“God gave” (3:6)
“God that giveth” (3:7)

There is a theme here!!
God gave – Just as in Salvation, so in Service, it is of Grace!

Productivity of Service

Let us avoid 2 errors:

The mistake of trying to do everything
The mistake of endeavouring to do nothing

There is diversity in service
It can be just as disastrous to undertake a service we are not fitted for (cf. King Uzziah and his attempt to do priestly service) as it can be to fail to undertake a service we are fitted for!
Gods fits His servants for complementary service
So often the Lord will bring 2 men (or more) together to do His will and accomplish His service:

Moses and Joshua
David and Solomon
Zerubabel and Ezra
Peter and Paul

The Word of God is full of such great partnerships, not by accident but by design.
Could God not have used just 1 man to accomplish His tasks from beginning to end?
Surely with the calibre of men at His disposal that should have been feasible?
Men like:

Moses and Joshua
David and Solomon
Zerubabel and Ezra
Peter and Paul

If all that was done for God’s Glory was achieved by His Spirit; “not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit saith the Lord of hosts.” (Zech 4:6). Then surely the servant becomes an object of Gods Grace rather than a means to assisting the Lord.

Was Moses not sufficiently in touch with God to bring the people into the land : “whom God spoke to face to face”
Was David not close enough to Gods heart? “a man after Gods own heart”
Did Ezra not know his bible well enough?
Did Paul lack understanding of Divine truth?

Why split these tasks?
God certainly in Grace uses the diverse talents and gifts He gives to His distinctive servants.

Moses

Brought up in the palace by Pharaohs daughter (Heb 11:24)
Educated in the wisdom of Egypt (Acts 7:22)
He had access to Pharaoh
He knew how the Egyptian mind worked
He understand their language, learning, culture and protocols
Who better to go in before Pharaoh than one brought up in a royal Egyptian household?
Who better qualified to lead the people out of Egypt than one who had left Egypt himself?

Mind you it would be hard to lead the people of God out of Egypt if you were still living there in heart or in body yourself.

Joshua

Who more suitable to bring the people into the land than one of only 2 faithful men who had already been into the land to spy it out?
The qualification for leadership; “be strong and of good courage” (Josh 1:6); “be thou strong and very courageous” (Josh 1:7) is a qualification already shown by Joshua as one of 2 faithful spies who endeavoured to inspire the people to take the land, (Numbers 14:6-9)

Mind you it would be hard to inspire the people of God to go where we have never been, nor where we do not go ourselves.

God used a man to lead people out of what he had already left himself.
God used a man to lead people into where he had already been himself.
I don’t believe that was a coincidence.

Will we ever Lead anyone out of a world we are not prepared to leave ourselves?
Will will ever Lead anyone into blessings we have never come into ourselves?

Not because of any harsh nor arbitrary rules regarding this imposed by God but simply because leading is that; leading!!!

All of this was too much for one man.

David and Solomon

David laid out the resources for the temple (1 Chronicles 17:4; 22:2-4)
It was given to Solomon to do the building
David with his conquests was ideally placed to gather wealth from subjugated people
Not only was WEALTH needed for this temple but there was a need for someone who understood pi – WISDOM (2 Chronicles 4:2)

Nehemiah and Ezra:

Who better to start the building work at Jerusalem than a man who has Cyrus the emperor as his contact and who has the confidence of the throne? Here is the man who can muster the resources to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

Interestingly a glimpse into the answer to a question recently asked of me and one which the OT is not written to specifically address; ‘what about the gentile / non Jewish nations in the OT days, did God have any dealings with them?’

Yes He did:

Abel
Enoch
Noah
Melchizedek
Jethro
Pharaoh
Balaam
Job
Rahab the Harlot
Ruth the Moabitess
Widow of Zarephath
Nathan the Leper
Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar
Daniel and Belshazzer
Daniel and Darius
Nehemiah and Cyrus
Jonah and Nineveh

Ezra and Zerubabel

Ezra was no Mason nor joiner nor builder
Ezra was a scribe, who had spent his time studying the Word of God:

“Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord to do it and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments. ” (Ezra 7:10)

Ezra knew his bible
Ezra had wisdom (Ezra 7:25)

Zerubabel and Joshua built the temple – CONSTRUCTION
Ezra brought content to the building – CONTENT

Zerubabel and Jeshua built the STRUCTURE of the temple
Ezra brought SUBSTANCE to the temple

When we come to serve let us not feel that we must do it all ourselves

Moses and Joshua
David and Solomon
Zerubabel and Ezra
Peter and Paul

A Bomb in a Basket

Sometimes we might be tempted to look at the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ and at those who preach the Son of God, crucified, buried, rejected and resurrected, and to scratch our head and wonder; ‘Is that it?’

God was about to change the world forever, through the service of a converted persecutor of the church;Saul of Tarsus. In Acts chapter 9 Pauls ministry gets off to an ignoble start as he is bundled into a basket and lowered down a city wall at night! Is this the man that will turn the western world upside down? Where is the power in that? The ‘dynamite’ of God lay not in who Paul was but in what he had found in Jesus Christ! This was a Bomb in a Basket. Taken from :

The Bomb in the Basket

Just added – The Meaning of Life and Other Minor Matters

Just added, a new message preached from 1 Corinthians chapter 2, by J Stewart Gillespie:

‘The Meaning of Life and Other Minor Matters’

The Meaning of Life and Other Minor Matters

Notes:

As we open up the chapter we are presented with an overview of Pauls missionary endeavour at Corinth, a mission so successful that in modern times it would be referred to, perhaps inaccurately as revival.
The whole chapter is in essence a reflection of “when I came to you” (2:1)
Paul reflects on the success of his mission amongst them
This was no ‘boast in the post’
In fact when he reflects on his own contribution to the success of this missionary endeavour; he first focuses on all of the attributes he does not have:

Excellency of speech (2:1)
Wisdom (2:1)
Weakness (2:3)
Fear (2:3)
Much trembling (2:3)

These attributes were not uncommon in the Lords servants:

Excellency of speech (2:1) – Moses could have identified with that (Exodus 4:10)
Wisdom (2:1) – Peter and John could have identified with that (Acts 4:13)
Weakness (2:3) – Samson could have identified with that (Judges 16:20)
Fear (2:3) – Gideon, 3 times could identify with this (Judges 6:27)
Much trembling (2:3) – Ezekiel (12:18) and Daniel (10:11) could identify with this.

Despite coming in his weakness there was no shortage of power.
That power came from God

1. Character of the Preacher
2. Consequences of the Preaching

Demonstration of the Spirit (2:4)
Drawing, revealing, convicting, converting to Christ

Demonstration of Power (2:4)

Signs of the apostles (2 Co12:12)
Exposition of scripture (Acts 18)
Experience of the presence of Christ (1Co14)

3. Content of the Message (2:6ff)

No mere rhetoric
Deep content
Paul had as his content: “we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery” (2:7)

2 possible translations (after Gordon D Fee):

1. “we mysteriously preach the wisdom of God”
2. “we preach the mysterious wisdom of God”

“the mysterious wisdom of God” seems to fit well with the 2nd half of verse 7
They had an interest in that
They were not satisfied with what others were satisfied with:

Beyond Paganism – “eye could see”
Beyond Philosophy – “ear could ear”
Beyond Asceticism – “neither has it entered into the heart of man”

These people were looking for more
Only God could provide it: “mystery wisdom of God”
There are about 14 such mysteries running through the NT, all perhaps best viewed as aspects of one supreme mystery of all things gathered together in Christ and for His Glory (Ephesians 1)
These mysteries are the biblical answer to the question:

Why? – Why am I here?
What? – What is the meaning of life?
The mystery of the wisdom of God:

“Gods predestined and foreordained eternal purpose for His creation in Christ, hidden until the time of fulfilment and revelation, for the Glory of His Son and consequently the blessing of His people.”

This is Gods plan – He is in charge
There is purpose in life and the creation
The purpose given by God results in actions, attitudes and activities with eternal meaning and value – one of the first metaphysical thoughts I ever recall having – looking forward to Christmas and as it rapidly approached realising that it would equally as rapidly recede, leaving actions and experiences as past, done and gone, as transient and potentially as meaningless as the melting snow. God gives eternal and abiding meaning to His creation and His creature.

The mystery wisdom of God gathers together:

1. The Mystery of Israel in Unbelief (Rom 11:25)
2. The Mystery of Gods grace in Christ (Rom 16:25)
3. The Mystery of the Rapture (1 Co 15:51)
4. The Mystery of Gods Will (Eph 1:9)
5. The Mystery of the Jew and Gentile in 1 Body (Eph 3:4-11)
6. The Mystery of the Union of Christ and the Church (Eph 5:32)
7. The Mystery of Christ in you the Hope of Glory (Col 1:26-29)
8. The Mystery of Christ (Col 4:3)
9. The Mystery of the 7 Stars (Rev 1:20)
10. The Mystery of God (Rev 10:7)
11. The Mystery of Iniquity (2 Thess 2:7)
12. The Mystery of the Faith (1 Tim 3:9)
13. The Mystery of Godliness (1 Tim 3:4)
14. The Mystery of Babylon the Great (Rev 17:17)

As a consequence of this appreciation that the meaning and purpose of life and the universe are hidden in the secret counsels of God, Paul will drop a bomb shell, leaving a mushroom cloud so large that the entire Corinthians religious system collapses in the shock wave, namely that attached to knowing God and understanding the purpose and meaning of life there is a condition.

4. Conditions to Knowing God

These 8 verses (2:9-14) destroy the whole of:

Pagan
Philosophical
Ascetic

Religious thinking
That if we look for more than:

Eye can see
Ear can hear
Entered into the heart of man

We are cast completely and utterly on the Grace of God alone!
Such a revelation is:

No one really knows what is going on in the heart and mind of another (2:11) only their Spirit (2:11).

If appearance and reputation and opinion is an unreliable way to assess what is really going on in anothers heart or what another person is truly like then why do we rely on it for something infinitely more important – our understanding of God Himself and His purposes?

Yet people deal in their understanding of God in an unbelievably superficial manner:

What I think about God
What I feel about God
Uncritically accepting popular culture
Embracing angles, myths, legends and fairy stories

verse 12 must have come as something of a bombshell:

“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” (2:12)

That the Spirit of God was given to these believers with a purpose!

“ Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God” (1Co2:12)

The end result of any genuine exercise of the Spirit of God must be to draw us deeper into an enjoyment of Christ.

“freely given” : charizomai: 5483 : from ‘charis’ : grace – to show someone favour, be kind to, to give or bestow a thing willingly.

The gift of tongues fulfilled this purpose in the Acts of the apostles!
This was news for the Corinthians!
This would hit at the heart of many of the Corinthian problems.
Gods Spirit is not present to amuse them nor entertain them nor to make them ‘big’ (1 Co 13:4), but He is for the general profit of all (1 Co 12:7; 14:3).

This would have resolved much of the issue over tongues at Corinth (1Co14) with their many words without profit (1Co14:19) and that we recall is spoken of the genuine gift of tongues.

So then:

The Spirit of God reveals the truth of God (2:10)
The Spirit of God gives the words to communicate that truth (2:13)
The Spirit of God is given to receive that truth (2:12) and empower our understanding

Thus the communication of the truth of the Spirit is by means of Spirit inspired and given words – the spiritual means of communicating spiritual truth (2:13).

a) The Spirit of God reveals the truth of God (2:10) – Sovereign and Spiritual revelation of God – The Source

How can I learn this?
How can I obtain this?
How can I buy this?

cf. Simon the sorcerer (Acts 8:18)
I can’t!
Such an understanding of God must be received by supernatural revelation by the Spirit (2:10).
Pauls religions destroying statement to knowing God:

‘the knowledge of God alone comes from God’

Such a statement requires and deserves some justification, so here it is (2:11)
Who really knows what is going on in my heart and my life but my spirit.
Likewise God.

This is a Gracious ministry of God – dependant on the Grace of God alone – unearned

Because this is Gods revelation of God it is by Grace.
Who can give to God anything in exchange?
It is “freely given” (2:12) : charizoma – from ‘charis’ – grace

b) Received only by those who have His Spirit, Conditional – on moral and spiritual qualifications for reception

The enjoyment then of Divine revelation depends upon our relationship with the Spirit of God
Moral qualifications are required to maintain the enjoyment of that link with the Lord to continue to grow and feed upon Christ.
This is the subject of chapter 3- some have grieved the Spirit and have become hindered in their spiritual growth.

c) The Spirit of God gives the words to communicate that truth (2:13)

Thus the communication of the truth of the Spirit is by means of Spirit inspired and given words – the spiritual means of communicating spiritual truth (2:13).

A Message for Easter

A selection of messages of hope and power for this Easter from our website:

Job Chapter 19 verse 26 – Easter 2013 – and Job had a hope – J Stewart Gillespie – 31032013

A Message for Easter – 1 Corinthians chp 15 – Mark Johnstone (Linwood) – 24042011

Luke Chp24 – An Unexpected Resurrection – J Stewart Gillespie – 04042010

Luke Chp 24 – When Everything Seems to Go Wrong – J Stewart Gillespie – 25032008

1 Corinthians Chapters 7 to 9

Download or listen online to mp3 recordings of messages preached from 1 Corinthians chapters 7 to 9

 

 

1 Corinthians chp 7 vs 1 – Freedom to be Free – J Stewart Gillespie

 

1 Corinthians chp 7 vs 1 to 7 – Whats so bad About Fornication – JS Gillespie – 28102014

 

1 Corinthians chp 7 vs 8 and 9 – To the Unmarried and Widows – JS Gillespie – 02122014

 

notes are available for this message

 

1 Corinthians chp 7 vs 10 to 11 and Matthew chp 19 – Christ on Divorce – JS Gillespie

 

notes are available for this message

 

1 Corinthians chp 7 vs 12 to 16 – Difficult Questions and Divided Homes – JS Gillespie – 16122014

 

notes are available for this message

 

1 Corinthians chp 7 vs 17 to 24 – Service in any Circumstances – JS Gillespie

 

 notes are available for this message

 

1 Corinthians chp 7 vs 25 to 31 – When Time is Short – J Stewart Gillespie – 30122014

 

1 Corinthians chp 7 vs 25 to 40 – Living without Anxiety 3 Golden Rules – JS Gillespie – 13012015

 

Ramming your Liberty down another Mans Throat – 1 Corinthians chp 8 vs 1 to 3 – J Stewart Gillespie

 

notes available for this message:

 

1 Corinthians chp 8 vs 1 to 4 – The Way to an Idols Heart is through His Belly – JS Gillespie – 27012015

 

notes available here for this message

 

1 Corinthians Chapter 8 – Liberty Idolatry Catastrophe – JS Gilespie

 

1 Corinthians Chp 8 – What do You Do When you Don’t Know What to do – J Stewart Gillespie – 01032015

 

 

1 Corinthians chp 8 vs 6 – What do you do When you dont know What to do – JS Gillespie – 17022015

notes available for this message

 

1 Corinthians chp 8 vs 6 to 13 – Healing the Wounded Conscience – JS Gillespie -24022015

notes are available from this message

 

1 Corinthians chp 9 vs 1 to 14 – Staying Focused when There is Little to Encourage – J Stewart Gillespie

 

1 Corinthians chp 9 vs 1 to 7 – Paul and the Night of the Long Knives – JS Gillespie – 17032015

 

1 Corinthians chp 9 vs 7 – Every Silver Lining has a Cloud – JS Gillespie – 24032015

 

1 Corinthians chp 9 vs 16 to 27 – Butterscotch and Sea Salt – JS Gillespie – 28042015

 

1 Corinthians chp 9 vs 16 to 27 – Free to Preach Free Grace Freely – JS Gillespie – 12052015

 

<< 1 Corinthians chapters 1 to 3

<<1 Corinthians chapters 4 to 6

1 Corinthians chapters 7 to 9 

1 Corinthians chapters 10 to 13>>

1 Corinthians chapters 14 to 16 >>

 

1 Corinthians Chapters 14 to 16

mp3 recordings of messages preached from 1 Corinthians chapters 14 to 16

 

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

outline bible notes are available for this message

 

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

 

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


 

1 Corinthians chp 5 vs 3 to 4 – Christ Died for our Sins – John Dunlop – 16052017

 

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

outline notes are available from this message

 

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

 

1 Corinthians chp 15 vs 1 to 5 – Good News worth Believing – JS Gillespie – 18092016

 

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

 outline notes are available from this message

 

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

 

1 Corinthians chp 15 vs 12 to 20 – Why do we need a Resurrected Saviour – JS Gillespie

 

1 Corinthians chp 15 vs 1 to 17 – The Resurrection of Jesus Christ – Why is it so Important – JS Gillespie – 12062016

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

1 Corinthians chp 15 vs 25 – For He Must Reign – Gods Purpose in Human Politics – JS Gillespie – 16082016

outline notes are available from this message

 

1 Corinthians Chp 15 vs 25 – He Must Reign – The Eternal Kingdom of the Son of Man – JS Gillespie – 23082016

outline notes are available here for this message

 

1 Corinthians chp 15 vs 1 to 26 – Destroying the Destroyer – J Stewart Gillespie – 28082016

 

1 Corinthians chp 15 vs 1 to 26 – The Resurrection of Jesus Christ – Who Stole the Doctrine – JS Gillespie – 04092016

 

1 Corinthians chp 15 vs 26 – When Death Dies – J Stewart Gillespie – 30082016

 

1 Corinthians chp 15 vs 29 – Dead Presumed Drowned – J Stewart Gillespie – 20092016

outline notes are available for this message

 

1 Corinthians chp 15 vs 30 to 34 – Dieing Today Living for Ever – Suffering in the light of Eternity – JS Gillespie – 27092016

 

the-king-the-crook-and-the-conman-when-we-know-tomorrow-you-die-j-stewart-gillespie-25092016

 

1 Corinthians chp 15 vs 35 to 39 – Because we all Need a little Encouragement – JS Gillespie – 18102016

 

1 Corinthians chp 15 vs 45 to 48 – First and Last Adam First and Second Man because we all need a Fresh Start – JS Gillespie – 01112016

 

1 Corinthians chp 15 vs 52 – The Last Trump – JS Gillespie – 08112016

 

1 Corinthians chp 15 vs 1 to 5 – Good News worth Believing – JS Gillespie – 18092016

 

Eternal State – 1 Corinthians chp 15 vs 23 to 28 – John Dunlop – 31052016

 

1 Corinthians chp 16 vs 1 to 7 – Gods Playlist for my Life – JS Gillespie – 29112016

 

1 Corinthians chp 16 vs 9 – When Great Doors Open – JS Gillespie – 06122016

 

1-corinthians-chp-16-grace-to-open-doors-love-to-open-hearts-j-stewart-gillespie-24092016

 

1 Corinthians chp 16 – Recognising the Door of Gods Opportunity – JS Gillespie – 09112016

 

1 Corinthians Chp 16 vs 10 to 12 – When Gods Grace is Second Best – J Stewart Gillespie – 13122016

 

1 Corinthians chp 16 – Finally Lets get Focused on Forever – JS Gillespie – 13112016

 

1 Corinthians chp 16 vs 13 to 24 – And Finally Faith Love and Hope – JS Gillespie – 20122016

 
 
 
 

<< 1 Corinthians chapters 1 to 3

<< 1 Corinthians chapters 4 to 6

<<1 Corinthians chapters 7 to 9 

<<1 Corinthians chapters 10 to 13

1 Corinthians chapters 14 to 16 

1 Corinthians Chapters 10 to 13

mp3 recordings of messages preached from 1 Corinthians chapters 10 to 13

 

1 Corinthians chp 10 – Led Fed and Dead – J Stewart Gillespie – 28062015

 

1 Corinthians chp 10 vs 1 to 2 – Led Fed and Dead – JS Gillespie – 19052015

notes available from this message

 

1 Corinthians Chp 10 – Led Fed and Dead – J Stewart Gillespie – 08032015

 

1 Corinthians chp 10 vs 3 to 5 – 1141 Reasons not to Talk to a Rock – JS Gillespie – 26052015

notes available for this message

 

1 Corinthians chp 10 vs 7 to 10 – In the Shadow of Sinai – JS Gillespie – 02062015

notes available for this message

 

1 Corinthians chp 10 verse 13 – Have You Trials and Temptations – J Stewart Gillespie – 30062015

Outline notes available for this message

 

1 Corinthians chp 10 vs 16 – The Cup of Blessing – J Stewart Gillespie – 28072015

 

1 Corinthians chp 10 vs 18 to 33 – Survival Skills for a Christless City – JS Gillespie – 11082015

outline notes available for this message

 

1 Corinthians chp 10 vs 23 – Freedom and How to Handle it – J Stewart Gillespie – 18082015.mp3

outline notes are available for this message

 

1 Corinthians chp 10 vs 23 – Gathering Together and Building Up – J Stewart Gillespie – 25083015

outline notes are available for this message

 

1 Corinthians chp 10 vs 31 – Making a Cheese Baguette to the Glory of God – J Stewart Gillespie – 08092015

outline notes are available for this message

 

1 Corinthians chp 11 vs 1 to 3 – One Body under Christ Indivisible – J Stewart Gillespie – 15092015.mp3

outline notes are available for this message

 

1 Corinthians chp 11 vs 1 to 6 – Headship and Headcoverings – J Stewart Gillespie – 21092015.mp3

outline notes available from this message

 

1 Corinthians chp 11 vs 7 to 16 – Glory Glory Glory – J Stewart Gillespie

outline notes are available for this message

 

1 Corinthians chp 11 vs 17 to 34 – Take Eat this is My Body – J Stewart Gillespie – 27102015.mp3

outline notes are available for this message

 

1 Corinthians chp 11 vs 17 to 34 – This do in Remembrance of me – JS Gillespie – 03112015

 

1 Corinthians chp 12 vs 1 to 11 – Knowing the Presence of God – JS Gillespie – 24112015

outline notes are available for this message
1 Corinthians chp 12 vs 4 to 11 – How to be Sure Really Sure that God Exists – JS Gillespie – 01122015

 

1 Corinthians chp 12 vs 9 – to another faith…- JS Gillespie

outline notes are available for this message

 

1 Corinthians chp 12 vs 9 – To Another the Gifts of Healing – JS Gillespie

outline notes are available form this message

 

The Body of Christ – J Stewart Gillespie

 

1 Corinthians chp 13 vs 1 to 3 – When Love is Absent – J S Gillespie – 19012015

 

1 Corinthians chp 13 vs 4 to 7 – Attributes of Love – When God Moves in the Heart of Man – JS Gillespie – 26012016

 

1 Corinthians chp 13 vs 4 – Love – When God Possesses the Heart of Man – JS Gillespie – 02022016

 

1 Corinthians chp 13 vs 4 – Love does not Vaunt Itself

 

1 Corinthians chp 13 vs 4 to 7 – Two Shoulders One Heart and a Love that Bears all Things – JS Gillespie – 01032016

 

1 Corinthians chp 13 vs 8 to 13 – Preparing for Perfection – JS Gillespie – 22032016

 

1 Corinthians chp 13 vs 11 – When I was a Child – J Stewart Gillespie – 20032016

 
 

Impossible Lives – Unspeakable Sins :
Messages brought by J Stewart Gillespie, at the October 2015 Family Week at Faskally House Pitlochry:

 

1 Corinthians chp 5 – Unspeakable Sins – J Stewart Gillespie – 12102015.mp3

 

1 Corinthians chp 10 vs 1 to 6 – Unbelievable Provision – J Stewart Gillespie – 13102015.mp3

 

1 Corinthians chp 10 vs 6 to 16 – Inexcusable Failure – J Stewart Gillespie – 14102015.mp3

 

1 Corinthians chp 10 vs 23 to 33 – Impossible Decisions – J Stewart Gillespie – 15102015.mp3

 

messages on 1 Corinthians chps 10 to 13 outwith this series:

DeVille Andrew – 1 Corinthians Chp11 Headship + Headcoverings – 16102001

 

DeVille Andrew – 1 Corinthians Chp12 Ye are body of Christ – 30102001

 

William Park – 1Corinthians chapter 13 – Love – 04122001

 

<<1 Corinthians chapters 1 to 3

<<1 Corinthians chapters 4 to 6

<< 1 Corinthians chapters 7 to 9

1 Corinthians chapters 14 to 16 >>