Making a Cheese Baguette to the Glory of God – 1 Corinthians chapter 10

Just added, a new message preached by J Stewart Gillespie from 1 Corinthians chapter 10 verse 31:

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

 

Outline notes are available from this message:

 

This section addresses the great issue of Christian Liberty
Liberty standing in distinction to legality (10:23)
The believer does not live his life according to rules
The believer lives by Gods Spirit (Roms 8:1ff), in conformity to Gods Word (Psalm 119:105)
What is legality?
Adding rules where there are none?
No:
Living by rules rather than the Spirit!

 

The believer has liberty.
By liberty we do not mean freedom to slavery:

To Sin
To Self
To Satan

cf Romans 6:12ff

Freedom – to be Free – means nothing if you are but free in a prison!
The communist regimes of Lenin and Stalin claimed to have set millions free from oppression but it was a hollow freedom in a political prison!

Biblical freedom is not freedom in the prison of sin / slavery.
Freedom is freedom to live as God made you to live – for His Glory!
When men end up under a dictatorship of their own lusts today, that is not freedom!

4 Tests of Freedom:

1. Does it build me up? (v23)
2. Does it bless others? (v24)
3. Does it bring Glory to God (v31)?
4. Does it bring others to Gods Glory? (v33)

1. Does it build me up? (v23)

That Christian behaviour is not constrained by law is not to say that Christian behaviour is not constrained!

‘expediency’ : sumphero: ‘sun’ – together and ‘pheo’ – to bring – to bring it together

‘edification’ : oikodomeo: to build, construct

bring it together
build it up

1. ‘expedient’ – is a horizontal word
2. ‘edify’ – is a vertical word

that whilst:

1. Expedient – has to do with gathering together
2. Edify – has to do with building up

The order is significant
The distinction is real
They are distinct but complementary

We can discern them going hand in hand right the way through the Word of God:

First the gathering together and then
The building up

David brought together all that was needed for the temple (1 Chron 22:14)
Solomon would build the temple from that provision (1 Chron 22:6ff)

The Israelites would bring all the raw materials for the tabernacle (Exodus 25:1ff; 35:29)
Bezaleel would then build it (Exodus 35:30ff)

A little lad would bring of his 5 loaves and 2 fishes
The great miracle of feeding would be performed by the Lord

Whilst it goes beyond the context of 1 Corinthians chp 10; in the Christian life, individually, personally, we can see this pattern being worked out:

First – you gather together
Then – you build up

If we are going to build up we must first gather together
On a personal / individual way if we are going to build up one another, if we are going to build up the church, if we are going to preach the gospel, teach the younger ones, do a work for the Lord, there must first be a gathering together!
If there is no gathering together in time, prayer, study, then there will be no building up.
1 Corinthians 10:23 does not really have personal preparation as the context, although we can see this as a pattern and as an application.
The context in 1 Corinthians chp 10 was that of friction in the church, the bringing together then of verse 23 has an eye on that which would bring together the body of Christ (cf chp 1, 3 &12) rather than that which would cause schism and friction!
Their behaviour was splitting and fissuring the people of God apart (chps 1,3,8,10).
Here is a practical and sobering thought for these Corinthians:

personal vertical growth
is founded upon
collective horizontal growth

we first:
gather together
and then we
build up

In despising one another with schism (chp 3) and trampling over one anothers conscience (chp 8 + 10) and envying one another (1 Co 12)

In causing all of that schism and disruption we destroy the very best environment for our own spiritual growth and prosperity.
We are part of the body of Christ; “and wither one member suffer all the members suffer with it.” (1 Co 12:26).
In despising one another, they destroy their own spiritual growth.

2. Does it bless others? (v24)

In great works of God, down through the generations there has been a selflessness in what has been done for God:

Moses leading the people of God through the wilderness for 40 years to a promised land which for much of that time he knew he would never see.
Joseph blesses his brothers with corn, food for the journey and their money back by Grace
David setting aside provisions for a temple he would never see built
In the self sacrificial service of Paul and Timothy (Phil 2:19-21)
Christ on the cross overshadowing it all; for the ultimate selflessness producing the ultimate riches, we need to look beyond all of that:

“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” (2Co 8:9)

So 1 Co 10:24 is really simply a matter of discipleship and nothing more

In order to bless others I show respect for their conscience and their scruples (v28) and this forgo the exercise of this liberty (v28)

Each of the scenarios is examined:

1. Impersonal business transaction (v25) – purchased
2. Social setting with the unbeliever (v27) – provided
3. Social setting with a sensitive believer v28)

I ought to cause no offence to the unbeliever (v25-27) – I don’t subject the food I purchase nor the food I am provided with as a guest to a period of critical analyses.

Here is a very unusual reason for acting in this way; “for why is my liberty judged of another mans conscience” (v29)
What does this mean?
This answers one of the perennial problems facing us in the exercise of our liberty; ‘the psychology of Christian freedom.’
We have come across it over the years; there is a brother who enjoys a particular freedom, there is an objection raised, some friction arises over that liberty and so, the barriers go up; lines are drawn:

well there is no verse of scripture against it
no mention in the Bible about it
nothing wrong with it
doesn’t do me any harm
none of your business

But what really irks and piques the brothers pride:

who are you to take away my liberty?

Its a kind of righteous indignation drawn from the wells of conscience and the souls sense of fairness and righteousness; you are taking something from me, you are stealing something from me and its not fare.
Now here is the biblical answer to this, here is the biblical solution to this; to prevent not only our freedom being robbed but maybe even more importantly to prevent the friction and fall out that comes from the feeling that our freedom has been robbed.
We are going to:

Preserve Christian liberty by protecting Christian Liberty

We are going to prevent liberty from degenerating into:

Strife (v29)
Slander (v30)
Stumbling block (v32)

3. Does it bring Glory to God (v31)?

God has the habit of pulling out remarkable objects from the most unlikely of places:

God puts His treasure in sacks of corn (Gen 42:25ff)
Samuel finds Israels King out looking after the sheep
David finds the secret weapon of mass destruction, lieing unassumingly by the side of a brook – just a stone!
Elijah would find salvation in the home of a poverty striken widow woman!
God places His treasure in earthen vessels (2 Co 4:7)
God puts His lamp and His power in the pitchers of Gideon (Judges 7:20)
In the midst of suffering and despair, it is in Job that we shall read; “I know that my Redeemer liveth and that He shall stand on the later day upon the earth.”
Israel would find that something good could indeed come out of Nazareth
Peter would find a piece of money in a fishes mouth (Matt 17:27)
The Ethiopian eunuch, Ebed-melech, would find Jeremiah the prophet down a well (Jeremiah 38:6)
The Lord would go one better than all of that, that Lord isn’t going to be outdone by that; if Peter can pull a coin out of a fishes mouth and Ebed-melech can pull a prophet out of a well, then God is able to pull a prophet out of a fishes mouth – praise the Lord for that!

And so here in 1 Corinthians, don’t miss it!
Against the background of:

Moral failure (chp 5)
Material failure (chp 6)
marital problems (chp 7)
Ecclesiastical error (chps 10 to 14)
Doctrinal error (chp 15)

Arises one of the deepest and most helpful nuggets of Divine truth for practical Christian living: “whatsoever you do, do all to the Glory of God.”

Here is the powerful:

life changing
world shaping
destiny making
salvation bringing

principle:

by which Christ lived (John 17:4) – To Glorify God
In which the Father delighted (Heb 5:5)
by which the Spirit operated (John 16:14)

Here is a principle to:

Live by (Rom 15:6; 1 Co 6:20)
Die for (John 21:19)
Suffer for (1 Peter 4:10)

Could there be a more:

Inclusive verse of scripture; “whatsoever ye do…”
Practical verse of scripture; “eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do..”
Uplifting verse of scripture; “do all to the Glory of God..”

This means that it must be possible in our life to do what we legitimately do to the Glory of God
This makes the division between the secular and the spiritual, purely arbitrary and misleading.
This is important, so that as believers we don’t have that perspective on our life that we live our life in 2 parts:

1. The useful and productive and meaningful – the spiritual part
2. The useless and unproductive and meaningless – the secular part

If we develop that view we become like the ungodly who go to work out of necessity, dividing their lives into what they have to do and what they want to do.

Some have accomplished great and mighty deeds for Gods Glory!

Built an ark for the salvation of the world
Led a nation to the promised land
Established a Kingdom
Built a temple

You say I can see that as the Glory of God fills that tabernacle (Exodus 40:34) – there were no atheists there that day – that Moses has done something for Gods Glory.

I can see that as the Glory of God fills the temple – there were no atheists there that day – that (2 Chron 5:14) Solomon has done something great for Gods glory.

I can see that as the proclamation of Daniels God is made to the whole world (Daniel 6:25ff) – there were no atheists there that day – that Daniel has done something for the Glory of God in passing through the lions den!

But here in 1 Co 10:31 – the pursuit of the Glory of God is possible not only in the:

Extraordinary
but in the:
Ordinary

Not only in the ordinary, but in the utterly mundane:

“ye eat or drink…”

Is that possible? To eat and drink to the Glory of God?
Consider 1 Samuel 17:17ff:
David instructed by Jesse to carry:

ephah of parched corn
10 loaves
10 cheeses

I’ve often thought of the significance of that apparently inconsequential detail, when reading the great events of 1 Samuel 17.
Why is it there?
What does it mean?
Is it a type?
Bread and cheese? A cheese sandwich?
An illustration maybe of ‘blessed are the piece makers?’
Is it inconsequential?
Actually no!
The consequence of taking a piece to his brothers is the rest of 1 Samuel 17!
The defeat of Goliath and ultimately the claiming of the throne of Israel was a side of effect of running an errand to carry bread and cheese to his brothers!
Even more than this!
As you move through 1 Samuel 17 you find that so much of the ordinary and every day details of the life of David has fed into this great victory of 1 Samuel 17.
It is in the ordinary events of life that David:

1. Enjoys Gods Guidance: It is by the authoritative direction of his father (1Sam 17:17) in a mundane matter of life that permits David to be in the right place, at the right time! Maybe it is an argument from silence, but there seems to have been no prayerful soul searching about wither or not he ought to go to the valley of Elah and face Goliath. I’m not suggesting that we ought not to seek the mind of God in facing Goliath! What I am saying is this, that Davids destiny comes at the end of his delivery job in bringing bread and cheese to his brothers. God takes him, lifts him, moves him by the irresistible demands of ordinary necessity to place him where he wants him!
That path which would transform David from shepherd to soldier and sovereign and psalmist would be introduced simply as; ‘go and deliver this cheese.’ The point of it is this, many of us may well have been quite happy to go on an errand which was introduced to us as, ‘go and get crowned king,’ or ‘go and be the greatest poet in the bible,’ or ‘go and write messianic prophecies that will endure for eternity,’ but many of us may not be just quite as happy with, ‘go and deliver some cheese.’ This simple secular task and pursuit was the means by which God would guide David into His purposes for him.
The mundane can be the bread and butter of Divine guidance!

I’m not always:

Sensitive enough to the mind / will of God
Obedient enough to the mind / will of God
Listening enough to the mind / will of God
Willing enough to obey the mind / will of God

and so therefore at times God uses secular means to life and place His people, where and when He wants them; cf. The persecution and scattering in the early days of the Acts.

 

2. Experiences Gods Grace: David had experienced the Grace of God in the ordinary shepherding experiences of life (1 Sam17:34ff) leading to expectation of further grace and help from his God (1Sam17:37ff). Before the athlete goes out to run the race in public, there will be a lot of training done in private, in ordinary and mundane places.

 

3. Expresses Gods Glory (1 Sam 17:46ff)

It is in the ordinary, mundane things of life, that it is possible to honour God and live for His glory!
Literally to eat and drink to the Glory of God!
The point is this:
If Jesse had said; ‘I want someone to volunteer to do a great work for God, to deliver his people, claim the throne, marry a princess and establish a kingdom,’ he may have had a volunteer or two stepping forward!
What was actually said was something nearer akin to; ‘I need someone to deliver some bread and cheese.’
If the Lord said to you…
Yet it is delivering that bread and cheese that ushers in one of the most glorious periods of OT history (1 Sam 17:46ff).
Sometimes you see it is easier to get volunteers to take a conference, or lead a work, than it is to cut the grass or hoover the carpets!

What can be done to the Glory of God?

Build a tabernacle (Ex 29:43; 40:34,35)
Build a temple (1 Kings 8:17-18,20; 2 Chron 7:1)
Build a Kingdom

Yes you can do big things for Gods Glory
You can also:

Raise a son for Gods Glory – Hannah
You can mourn to Gods Glory – Mary and Martha – (John 11:4)
You can obey Gods Word to Gods Glory (Acts 13:48)
The most common means in the Gospel in which men glorified God was to be what God had made them to be by His power:

Speak by His Power – Matthew 15:31
Walk by His Power – Matthew 15:31
Talk by His Power – Matthew 15:31

To live every part of the ordinary life by His Power!
To be what God made us to be (Psalm 19:19); “the heavens declare the Glory of God”
To be what God meant me to be
To think what God meant me to think
To do what God fitted me to do
To reach the potential God made me to reach
To speak the words God gave me to speak
To live the life God fits me to live
To love the way God intends me to love
To climb those mountains God gave me to climb
To serve with the fervency God Gave me to serve
To sing words God delights me to sing
To be where God wants me to be

That brings Glory to God

The Sheep, The Shepherd and the Sinner on His Shoulder – Luke chapter 15

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

 

Luke chp 15 vs 1 to 7 – The Sheep The Shepherd and the Sinner on His Shoulders – J Stewart Gillespie – 06092015

 

 

Gathering Together and Building up

 

Just added – a new message preached by J Stewart Gillespie, at Bridgend Gospel Hall, New Cumnock, from 1 Corinthians chapter 10 verse 23:

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

 

Outline notes available from this message:

 

1 Corinthians chapter 10 approaches this issue of freedom and guidance in the decisions we make by asking 4 key questions in the exercise of freedom:

  1. Does it build me up? (v23)
  2. Does it bless others? (v24)
  3. Does it bring Glory to God (v31)?
  4. Does it bring others to Gods Glory? (v33)

 

  1. Does it build me up? (v23)

all things are lawful” – Christian behaviour is not founded on the principle of law

Restricting Christian behaviour cannot be done on the basis of law

That Christian behaviour is not constrained by law is not to say that Christian behaviour is not constrained!

expediency‘ : sumpheo: ‘sun’ – together and ‘pheo’ – to bring – to bring it together

edification‘ : oikodomeo: to build, construct

  • bring it together
  • build it up

 

You might think, well that is all very well, Christian behaviour not dictated by law, but surely in reality there are rules, surely it makes sense, surely its easier if there is a kind of agreed code of conduct:

  • places you don’t go
  • things you don’t do
  • jobs you can’t do

Lets just stick to some basic laws!

The greatest building projects in the Word of God have been accomplished, not by law but by Grace:

  • The law did not build the tabernacle – many details given in the law and yet many details absent! What does a cherubim look like? How were the colours arranged in the curtain; blue, purple, scarlet and fine twinned linen? What were the dimensions of the lampstand? Consider Exodus 25:31-40 – the lampstand – notice anything important missng? How big was it? I mean how can you build it if you don’t know how big it is? Illust: Not that long ago, needed a new back door, had some work men out, first thing they wanted to know – what size was it? No point in saying, well all I need is a back door! The cynic, skeptic and unbelieving mind would rejoice in this, there is plenty for us all to rejoice in, in the Word of God! Here is a tabernacle they could never build because the basic detail ain’t in the rule book! The tabernacle wasn’t built purely according to the rule book. Let me show you how the tabernacle was built. For this Bezaleel must be filled with the Spirit of God (Exodus 31:2)
  • The law did not build Davids Kingdom – The Spirit did (1 Sam 16:13; Ps 51:11)
  • The law didn’t build Zerubabels temple – The Spirit did (Zech 4:6)
  • The law did not build Christs church – The Spirit did (Acts 1:5, 7-8; 2:1-4, 38, 41, 47)

 

A second word is used here:

expediency‘ : sumpheo: ‘sun’ – together and ‘pheo’ – to bring – to bring it together

I was asked a very good question; ‘what’s the difference between ‘expedient’ and ‘edify’?’

  1. ‘expedient’ – is a horizontal word
  2. ‘edify’ – is a vertical word

that whilst:

  1. Expedient – has to do with gathering together
  2. Edify – has to do with building up

The order is significant

The distinction is real

They are distinct but complementary

We can discern them going hand in hand right the way through the Word of God:

First the gathering together and then

The building up

 

 

David brought together all that was needed for the temple (1 Chron 22:14)

Solomon would build the temple from that provision (1 Chron 22:6ff)

 

The Israelites would bring all the raw materials for the tabernacle (Exodus 25:1ff; 35:29)

Bezaleel would then build it (Exodus 35:30ff)

 

A little lad would bring of his 5 loaves and 2 fishes

The great miracle of feeding would be performed by the Lord

in this miracle there was in a sense a double gathering together and building up:

John 6:13they gathered them together and filled 12 bushels with the fragments of 5 barley loaves…”

and a second building up:

12 baskets – one for each disciple (Luke 9:17)

 

Whilst it goes beyond the context of 1 Corinthians chp 10; in the Christian life, individually, personally, we can see this pattern being worked out:

First – you gather together

Then – you build up

If we are going to build up we must first gather together

On a personal / individual way if we are going to build up one another, if we are going to build up the church, if we are going to preach the gospel, teach the younger ones, do a work for the Lord, there must first be a gathering together!

If there is no gathering together in time, prayer, study, then there will be no building up.

1 Corinthians 10:23 does not really have personal preparation as the context, although we can see this as a pattern and as an application.

The context in 1 Corinthians chp 10 was that of friction in the church, the bringing together then of verse 23 has an eye on that which would bring together the body of Christ (cf chp 1, 3 &12) rather than that which would cause schism and friction!

Their behaviour was splitting and fissuring the people of God apart (chps 1,3,8,10).

Here is a practical and sobering thought for these Corinthians:

personal vertical growth

is founded upon

collective horizontal growth

we first:

gather together

and then we

build up

In despising one another with schism (chp 3) and trampling over one anothers conscience (chp 8 + 10) and envying one another (1 Co 12)

In causing all of that schism and disruption we destroy the very best environment for our own spiritual growth and prosperity.

We are part of the body of Christ; “and wither one member suffer all the members suffer with it.” (1 Co 12:26).

In despising one another, they destroy their own spiritual growth.

 

 

Freedom and How to Handle it – 1 Corinthians chapter 10 – J Stewart Gillespie

 

Just added, a new message preached by Dr J Stewart Gillespie, from 1 Corinthians chapter 10 verse 23:

 

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

 

Outlines notes available from this message:

 

In verses 16 to 23 we thought of survival tools in a Christless City

Not:

  1. Isolation – Hide
  2. Assimilation / compromise
  3. Legislation – rules (Gal 3:1ff; 4:9ff)

but:

  1. Spirit led and fed sanctification

Survival skills which would have prevented the tragedy of the Galatians :

Gal 3:1 “O foolish Galatians who hath bewitched you?

Gal 5:7 “Ye did run well who did hinder you?”

Survival skills in a Christ less city:

  1. Fellowship

    Seeking fellowship with the Lord and with His people

    We dwelt on the dangers that lurked, overtly and perhaps more commonly covertly.

    The World may be absent of Christ but it is not neutral on Christ

    We saw Satan active in all sorts of unexpected / hidden places:

  • Against Peter; “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:(Luk 22:31) – inspiring the Damsel to point out Peter?
  • In Judas Iscariot; “Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.”(Luk 22:3)
  • In the persecution of Rev 2:13
  • Behind the King of Tyre (Ezek 28:12)
  • Behind the King of Persia (Dan 10:11-14)
  • Behind the King of Babylon (Isa 14:4ff)
  • In every day trials and temptations (1Peter 5:8)
  • In personal opposition to the gospel (John 8:44)
  • Behind human political systems and Kingdoms (Matt 4:8ff)
  1. Feeding

We thought previously of the manna from heaven and the water from the rock

  1. Fear of God (10:22)

Aristadas de Sous Mendes – issued > 20,000 Portuguese visas to refugees in the Bordeaux in 1940; better to stand with God against men, than with men against God.

  1. Freedom

It would have been easy for Paul in a sense to back away from Freedom and to see that well:

  • There are some places Christians can’t go
  • There are some jobs Christians can’t do
  • There are some activities Christians can’t participate in

Paul doesn’t take the:

  • ‘can’t do’
  • ‘can’t go’
  • ‘can’t participate’
  • ‘thou shalt not’

approach

Paul doesn’t deal with the issues of Christian liberty by denying it and issuing a rule book instead

Even where liberty is being abused the apostle does not deny liberty

The Corinthians remain in possession of the, ‘freedom to be foolish’

How do we decide what to do?

So many opportunities in the Christian life, so many possibilities and so easy to fritter away our lives:

‘busy doing nothing, working the whole day through, trying to find lots of things not to do!’

How do we decide how to use our liberty?

 

Do we really need to wait on a specific word from the Lord every time we cross the road?

The Lord has regenerated us as sons of God, He does not remote control us as robots!

  • Which way now?
  • Which way now?
  • Which way now?

1 Corinthians chapter 10 approaches this issue of freedom and guidance in the decisions we make by asking 4 key questions in the exercise of freedom:

  1. Does it build me up? (v23)
  2. Does it bless others? (v24)
  3. Does it bring Glory to God (v31)?
  4. Does it bring others to Gods Glory? (v33)

 

  1. Does it build me up? (v23)

all things are lawful” – Christian behaviour is not founded on the principle of law

Restricting Christian behaviour cannot be done on the basis of law

This is not to say that Christian behaviour is not constrained by other considerations; “the love of Christ constraineth us” (2 Co 5:14), but not by law!

That Christian behaviour is not constrained by law is not to say that Christian behaviour is not constrained!

expediency‘ : sumpheo: ‘sun’ – together and ‘pheo’ – to bring – to bring it together

edification‘ : oikodomeo: to build, construct

  • bring it together
  • build it up

 

You might think, well that is all very well, Christian behaviour not dictated by law, but surely in reality there are rules, surely it makes sense, surely its easier if there is a kind of agreed code of conduct:

  • places you don’t go
  • things you don’t do
  • jobs you can’t do

Lets just stick to some basic laws!

The greatest building projects in the Word of God have been accomplished, not by law but by Grace:

  • The law did not build the tabernacle – many details given in the law and yet many details absent! What does a cherubim look like? How were the colours arranged in the curtain; blue, purple, scarlet and fine twinned linen? What were the dimensions of the lampstand? Consider Exodus 25:31-40 – the lampstand – notice anything important missng? How big was it? I mean how can you build it if you don’t know how big it is? Illust: Not that long ago, needed a new back door, had some work men out, first thing they wanted to know – what size was it? No point in saying, well all I need is a back door! The cynic, skeptic and unbelieving mind would rejoice in this, there is plenty for us all to rejoice in, in the Word of God! Here is a tabernacle they could never build because the basic detail ain’t in the rule book! The tabernacle wasn’t built purely according to the rule book. Let me show you how the tabernacle was built. For this Bezaleel must be filled with the Spirit of God (Exodus 31:2)
  • The law did not build Davids Kingdom – The Spirit did (1 Sam 16:13; Ps 51:11)
  • The law didn’t build Zerubabels temple – The Spirit did (Zech 4:6)
  • The law did not build Christs church – The Spirit did (Acts 1:5, 7-8; 2:1-4, 38, 41, 47)

 

 

Our Father which art in Heaven – Luke chapter 11

 

Just added, a new message preached by Dr J Stewart Gillespie from Luke chapter 11:

Luke chp 11 – Our Father which Art in Heaven – J Stewart Gillespie – 02082015

 

 

The Parable of the Good Samaritan – Luke chapter 10

 

Luke Chp 10 vs 17 to 37 – The Parable of the Good Samaritan – JS Gillespie – 26072015

 

The story of the Good Samaritan is no parable of how to live a good life, nor is it an encrypted illustration of Jesus saving stoop for the sinner. It is the targeted answer of the Lord Jesus to the question; ‘who is my neighbour?’ The answer the Lord gives hits home the truth to this self righteous lawyer that his neighbour is just the kind of person who he wouldn’t and couldn’t help! Something was missing from the life of the man who thought he could keep the laws of God to earn a right to heaven, just as surely as it was missing from the experience of the priest and the Levite in the parable. These men lacked love, the kind of love that can only come when Christ first does a work in our heart. Salvation does not begin with us doing something for God but rather it begins when we rest in faith, believe and receive all that God has done for us in the sacrifice of His Son for our sin at Calvary. This man lacked love. This man lacked Christ. This man lacked Gods salvation in Christ.

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

 

Just added, a new message preached from 1 Corinthians chapter 10, by Dr J Stewart Gillespie:

 

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

 

Outline notes available for this message:

 

One of my favourite hymns and one of the first I learned on the accordion:

“Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.”

Over the years, Christians have sought solace, and rightly so of course in every trial and temptation in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.
There is no question that this right and proper; we have seen that throughout our studies in Hebrews; especially in the picture of Christ as our Great High Priest, such as Hebrews 4:14-16.
This verse here in 1 Co 10:13 has also been used for comfort and solace of a slightly different sort, not so much:

In a Person – where our solace and faith ought to lie
but
In a Provision – which it has been considered this verse offers

Typical of this view:

‘God is wise as well as faithful, and will make our burdens according to our strength. He knows what we can bear. He will make a way to escape: He will deliver either from the trial itself or at least the mischief of it.’ (Matthew Henry)

‘You have been put to no test but such as is common to man: and God is true, who will not let any test come on you which you are not able to undergo but He will make with the test a way out of it, so that you may be able to go through it.’ (Bible in Basic English)

Over the years this verse has been understood as a blanket guarantee that in every trial and test of life God will make a way of escape, a way out from that trial / tribulation.

There are at least 6 problems with this view:

i. Context – is not the general trials and problems of the Christian life

ii. Common temptation (v13) – these temptations are not even unique to Christians
– they are found in every life – believer and unbeliever alike.

iii. Conflict within the verse – the view that this verse speaks about a Divine provision to exit the trials and testings of the Christian life when they get too much, either must deny the reality that God ordains and orders our trials and testings (Job 23:10; Psalm 66:10; Jer 12:3; Zech 13:9; Heb 11:7) or must suppose that somehow God mistakingly over tests believers and so He has to fit a kind of safety release valve or fire exit to His trials because sometimes He misjudges and goes over the score.

iv. Contrary to every day experience and Biblical experience – there was no way of escape for Isaiah, sawn in half with a wooden sword, nor for Zecharias the son of Berechias, slain between the temple and the altar, nor for Stephen, nor for Christ.

v. Contradiction in the verse – “a way of escape that ye may be able to bear it”

vi. Conclusion (10:14) doesn’t fit with a way of escape from trials at all

 

What is the ‘temptation’ in verse 13?

i. Context – the temptations of 10:7-10 leading to the conclusion of verse 11; ‘now all these…’ and verse 12 ‘wherefore let him that thinketh…’

The context lies in the experiences and failures of Israel in temptation to sin in verses 7 to 10, these experiences were reflective not so much of Divine testing but of human failure in the face of temptation by the flesh (10:8); by Satan (10:7) and by the world (10:8).
James 1:14 “But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed”

in 1 Co 10:7 – The Temptation was to idolatry
in 1 Co 10:8 – The Temptation was to sexual immorality
in 1 Co 10:9 – The Temptation was to discontentment / dissatisfaction
in 1 Co 10:10 – The Temptation was to murmuring / discontentment

The context is that of temptation rather than testing
These 4 episodes of temptation are within the broader setting of 40 years of testing in the wilderness (Deut 8:1ff)

During those 40 years we have 2 overarching experiences:

1. Trial / testing

ordained by God for our blessing
testing with the possibility of failure

2. Temptation

permitted by God
temptation with the purpose of failure

Within the setting of the trial:

Satan (1 Co10:7) – behind the worship of the golden calf
Flesh (1 Co 10:8,9) and its desires
World (1 Co10:8) – Moab

Provide the temptations as opportunities for a way out of the trial.
Take Job as an example; a book of trial and testing which is Divinely ordered and ordained
Trial clearly ordered and ordained of God , initiated by God (Job 1:8); “hast thou considered my servant Job?”
Yet in the midst of the trial; the flesh with Jobs wife provides an opportunity to opt out; “curse God and die” (Job 2:9)
This is a trial ultimately for Jobs blessing (Job 42:10ff)

Temptation is the natural / carnal way out of the trial
cf. Peter in John 18:17; “art not thou also one of this mans disciples?”
A potentially dangerous situation, but the flesh has a way out of the trial:
“He saith I am not” (John 18:15)

God provides the trial and we provide the temptation
cf. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednigo – all they had to do was bow down to the idol and all of their troubles would be over!
The pressure was open to just compromise, a little, fingers crossed, but they didn’t.
Consider David in his trial fleeing from Saul:
1 Sam 24:1ff; 24:10ff
1 Sam 26:1ff; 26:8ff

 

In verse 13 then we have Gods way of escape rather than mans way of escape in trial!

ii. Common nature of the trial (10:13); ‘there hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man,’ – the trials here are not peculiar to the chastening experiences of the Christian life but to all people.

This is not the testings of;

“he whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.”

If this testing is ‘common’ to man it is not the trial of the Christian life

We love to think that our trials, our tests, our temptations are so unique that they excuse all of our failures!

iii. Control over the trial; ‘God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able,’ – ie God is seen as a third party in this temptation, controlling and limiting it rather than as the cause of it. It would seem that God is on our side against the temptation! This temptation happens by Divine permission; ‘permit you to be tempted’

iv. Contrary to every day experience?

Why was there no way of escape for:

Isaiah – sawn in half with a wooden sword
Zechariahs the son of Berechias – slain between the altar and the temple
Stephen – stoned to death?
For the Christian who faces cancer? A way of escape?
The child who loses a parent in bereavement?

So don’t tell me that in every trial and test of the Christian life that there is a way of escape, because frankly I just don’t believe it.
What this is a guarantee for is something completely different; that in the temptations which the Lord permits, but which are initiated by:

The World
The Flesh
The Devil

There is guaranteed in those temptations to sin, a way out, so that for the believer obedience and righteousness and holiness is always a possibility.
There is always in the Christian life:

a right answer
the opportunity to do what is right

It is never the case that a Christian can say I failed in that temptation because I had no option, I was forced to, compelled to, I had to sin.
There is always the option to do what is right and pleasing to God.

Joseph – “And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within. And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.” (Gen 39:11-12) – so don’t tell me you have to commit fornication – you don’t.

v. Contradiction (10:13) ‘way to escape that ye may be able to bear it’

How can our ‘escape’ permit us to ‘bear’ it?
Surely we either ‘bear’ it or ‘escape’ from it?
This makes sense if we:

escape the temptation
bear with the trial

vi. Conclusion (10:14) – ‘wherefore my dearly beloved flee from idolatry.’

The temptation is to idolatry

vii. Challenge (10:15-22)

What is the connection between verse 16 and the preceeding?
Is it simply that?

The Corinthians are indulging in idolatry (v14)
They are assured that there is a way out of that temptation to idolatry (v13)
They must leave idol worship (v14,21) because it is incompatible with their communion with Christ (v16)?

Yet why take the extensive detour through the communion / breaking of bread to make the simple point which the Lord Himself makes in so few words; “no man can serve two masters.”
Was it because the Corinthians laid great weight on their own participation in the Lords supper, whilst continuing to live the old life at Corinth?
That very communion service would condemn their behaviour.
Yet perhaps there is even more to it than that!

 

1. The true significance of Communion (v16)
2. The true significance of Fellowship (v17)
3. The true significance of idol Worship (v18-20)

 

1. The true significance of Communion (v16)

A verse often quoted out with its immediate context, yet it most certainly does have a context to gain the full meaning we must grasp the context.

That communion indicates and reminds us not only of the sacrifice of Christ on our behalf but of our fellowship / connection with Him. There is a ‘communion’ of the ‘blood’ and a ‘communion’ of the ‘body’ of Christ. A reminder of our vital living fellowship with the Saviour because of this sacrifice.
As a consequence of this fellowship certain behaviours, practices, experiences are incompatible with the Christian life, because and let us get this, because they are incompatible with Christ!
Communion is also indicative of Gods cure for our problem! If temptation in the wilderness (1 Co 10:7-11) arose when they denied the provision of God, when they abandoned being led (10:7) in favour of being led by the golden calf – in effect the Devil, when the denied their consecration – their death in baptism (10:8) in favour of the lusts of the flesh, and when they became disparaging of the manna which the Lord had provided to feed them (1 Co 10:9) desiring the food of Egypt and the world, they crossed a line and moved away from fellowship with the Lord into the sphere of the world, the flesh and the Devil!
It is the truth of the Lords Supper, of communion, not only that Christ has offered a once and for all sacrifice for sin forever, but that He, by His work perpetually sustains me. Christs work is finished, His salvation continues. He saves forever.

 

Are you walking daily by the Saviours side?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Do you rest each moment in the Crucified?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

 

O Cross, that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from Thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.