1 Corinthians Chapters 1 to 3

mp3 recordings from our series of messages on 1 Corinthians chapters 1 to 3

 

1 Corinthians chp 1 vs 1 – Welcome to Corinth – JS Gillespie – 28012014

 

1 Corinthians chp 1 vs 1 to 2 – Problems Problems Problems – JS Gillespie – 04022014

 

1 Corinthians chapter 1 verses 3 to 4 – The Grace to Get the Grace that’s Given – J Stewart Gillespie (04/03/2014)

 

1 Corinthians chp 1 – The Place The Problems and Power of Gospel – JS Gillespie – 19022014

 

1 Corinthians chp 1 vs 10 to 17 – Divided we Fall – J Stewart Gillespie – 11032014.mp3

 

1 Corinthians chp 1 vs 18 to 31 – The Power of the Cross – JS Gillespie – 25022014.mp

 

1 Corinthians chapter 1 verses 18 to 24 – Preaching the God we Know – JS Gillespie-30032014.mp3

 

1 Corinthians chapter 2 – The Secret of Wisdom – JS Gillespie – 26012014.mp3

 

1 Corinthians chapter 2 vs 1 to 9 – When I Came to You – JS Gillespie – 01042014.mp3

 

1 Corinthians chapter 2 – Gloriously Discontent – J Stewart Gillespie – 25032014.mp3

 

1 Corinthians chapter 2 – The Meaning of Life and Other Minor Matters

 

1 Corinthians chp 3 – Feeding On Christ – JS Gillespie – 01032014.mp3

 

1 Corinthians Chp 3 vs 1 to 3 – The Sin of Schism

 

1 Corinthians chapter 3 – Beyond Personalities – JS Gillespie – 30032014.mp3

 

1 Corinthians chp 3 – Fighting and Fellowship – J Stewart Gillespie – 13042014.mp3

 

1 Corinthians chapter 3 vs 4 to 9 – But a Servant – When a Dream becomes a Vision

 

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

notes available here for this message

 

1 Corinthians chapter 3 – Gold Silver and Precious Stones

 

1 Corinthians chp 3 vs 16 – Meeting God in His Temple

notes available from this message

 

1 Corinthians chp 3 – We Have The Mind of Christ

 

Stewart Don – 1 Corinthians Chp 3 – 15012008

 

1 Corinthians chapters 4 to 6 >>

1 Corinthians chapters 7 to 9 >>

1 Corinthians chapters 10 to 13 >>

1 Corinthians chapters 14 to 16 >>

What’s So Wonderful about Jesus? – Luke chapter 9

Just added a new message preached from Luke’s Gospel by Dr J Stewart Gillespie:

 

Whats so Wonderful about Jesus – Luke chp 9 – J Stewart Gillespie – 21062015

Finding Christ when we need Him Most – Luke chapter 8 verses 40 to 56

Just added, a new message preached by Dr J Stewart Gillespie from Lukes Gospel:

 

Luke chp 8 vs 40 to 56 – Finding Christ when we need Him Most – J Stewart Gillespie -07062015

 

In the Shadow of Sinai – 1 Corinthians chapter 10 verses 7 to 10

Just added to our 1 Corinthians section; a new message preached from 1 Corinthians chapter 10:

 

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

 

outline notes available from this message:

 

In the shadow of Sinai in Sight of the Promised Land

We noted that parallels were drawn between:

  1. Israel
  2. Corinthians
  3. Ultimately ourselves

Parallels with:

  1. Assumptions made – run the old life and the new life together
  2. Blessings enjoyed
  • Led – under the cloud
  • Fed – manna and spiritual meat and the water and spiritual drink

The source of that sustenance is Christ

Natural provision but by supernatural means

Sometimes it is easy to identify supernatural provision by supernatural means but this is natural provision by supernatural means

  • Dead – through the sea

This turned out to be the largest baptismal tank in history.

  1. Confusion between external and the internal
  2. Deception

Here was a 4 fold deception

People once led by God were deceived over the most fundamental / basic of moral and spiritual issues:

  • Idols
  • Sexual morality

We have seen it in our own day – churches divided, not over subtleties of doctrine but professing Christians utterly adrift, rudderless on an ocean of confusion over the most basic of human relationships which God has ordered and imprinted in the biology, physiology and anatomy of the human frame and with that confusion a pride, that our day and age is so much more enlightened than that of our forefathers, not because we have reached the goals set out by them but because we have confounded ourself into a state of disbelief; there is no destination to reach, nowhere to go, no standards to uphold, no absolutes, no judge and no goal, and so just enjoy the drift!

4 fold deception:

  1. 10:7 – Losing the Cloud – End of being Led
  2. 10:8 – Losing Purity – End of being Dead
  3. 10:9 – Losing the Manna – End of Being Fed
  4. 10:10 – Denying our Identity
  1. 10:7 – Losing the Cloud – End of being Led

1 Corinthians 10: refers back to Exodus 32:1ff

Within sight of Sinai!!

Saddest of settings

Moses up the mountain

Deceived by an idol

Production of the golden calf – Baal worship

First introduction of the nation to idolatry

When we speak about idolatry what do we mean?

In Exodus 32 it is not a vague / general phenomenon but really quite focused and specific

Arguably it is the first time idolatry features in the nations history.

Idolatry has a specific goal – not just the general presence of idols in the nation.

Idolatry is not simply the verbal ascription of praise to idols.

Idolatry is not just the presence of ceremonies around idols.

In Exodus 32 idolatry is not simply a general social or religious phenomenon

  • Idolatry is focused

  • Idolatry is specific

  • Idolatry is directed

Idolatry is not the A Bomb of Hiroshima / Nagasaki which indiscriminately destroys everything in the vicinity but rather it is more akin to the the dam buster bomb of Sir Barnes Wallis:

  • operation chastise

  • 16th to 17th May 1943

  • Rohr valley

  • Destroyed hydroelectric power stations, factories and mines

  • 1600 people drowned

Idolatry had a very specific target

A target which when hit would adversely affect the well being of the peopl of God with global consequences

This was a blow to the nation and a disaster for Israel.

  • Exodus 32:1 : ‘make us gods which shall go before us’

  • Exodus 32:1 : ‘Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt’

  • Exodus 32:4 : ‘These be thy gods O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt’

  • Exodus 32:8 : ‘These be thy gods O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt’

It was not Moses nor the golden calf which had brought them up out of Egypt:

And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud” (Exodus 13:21)

This is a specific attack on the cloud and on Divine guidance.

This is the end of being led

Knock out their guidance and everything else follows; they are left lost, wandering, dazed and aimless in the wilderness; doomed for an eternity of being lost in the wilderness.

Idolatry exists when we take our guidance from a source other than the Lord!

  1. 10:8 – Losing Purity – End of being Dead

A reference here to Numbers 25

An attack on their sanctification

Numbers 25 forms a backdrop to 1 Corinthians chps 5 to 10:

  • Numbers 25:1 – Moral Compromise

  • Numbers 25:2 – Meat offered to idols

  • Numbers 25:2,3 – Idols temple / worship

  • Numbers 25:9 – Death and judgement

Notice the geographical setting here in Numbers 25 – Shittim (25:1)

This is the place where Joshua in Joshua chp 3 will prepare to pass over the Jordan and into the promised land.

In Numbers 25 they are in sight of the promised land

Maybe they feel they are getting nowhere slowly, wandering and that a bit aimlessly, maybe losing heart and perhaps vulnerable in a state of despair??

Ironically they don’t know just how close they are to Gods blessings for them.

So close, they could have spat on it, and they did.

They messed up big time!

How close have we been at times to Gods blessings, only to deny ourselves through sin and failure and unfaithfulness, inches from the promised land??

If Exodus 32 is on shadow of Sinai then Numbers 25 is in sight of the promised land

So close to the goal and yet at the last moment distracted and failed.

Here on the banks of the Jordan is a denial of their Red Sea Baptism.

The failure is moral – a denial of their baptism – dead to sin (Romans 6:1-4)

Numbers 25:1 – what society calls progress God calls prostitution

  1. 10:9 – Losing the Manna – End of Being Fed

Numbers 21:4ff

An end of being fed?

Numbers 21:5our soul loatheth this light bread

It wasn’t as they initially claimed (that they had no bread, Num 21:5) but rather they didn’t much care for the bread they did have!

When they stopped feeding on Christ, Satan started to feed on them.

We can easily become distracted from feeding on Christ

  1. 10:10 – Denying our Identity

1141 Reasons not to Talk to a Rock – 1 Corinthians chapter 10 vs 3 to 5

 

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

 

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

 

Outline notes available for this message:

 

Last time we noted that whilst 1 Corinthians chp 10 seemed to have little immediate relevance to us / maybe to be out of place.

What does this have to do with Corinth?

We don’t need to Wonder for too long the purpose of recounting this events – we are told in 1Co 10:6; “these things were our examples..” : ‘tupos‘ : type, something caused by strokes or blows

It has its significance in a parallel / parable between the nation of Israel and the Corinthians:

  • Assumptions
  • Blessings
  • Confusion
  • Deception

Points of parallel:

 

  1. Assumptions that they made – that you could have the best of both worlds. That you could run both the old and the new life together. Paul does not refute this idea / premise with any great theological argument; but simply with the fact that this approach has been tried and failed back in the days of Israel! They did not end up with the best of both worlds they ended up with neither!
  2. Blessings they enjoyed: Led, Fed and Dead.
  3. Confusion of external blessing and internal reality

The distinction between what is given to me and what I am.

They reasoned that because they were:

  • Baptised
  • Breaking bread
  • Enjoying God speak

That all was well, that they had the Christian thing in the bag, done and dusted.

  1. Deceptions that robbed them

A 4 fold deception

It may just have seemed a bit of fun to them, a victimless crime but each deception would rob them of each of their blessings in Christ:

  • v7 – of being Led by Christ
  • v8 – of being Dead to Sin
  • v9 – of being Fed from heaven
  • v10 – of being identified with Moses

3 features of those ancient Israelites:

  1. Led (verse 1)
  2. Fed (verses 3 to 4)
  3. Dead – Baptised

They took great comfort and solace in being part of a church where something was happening.

They drew great reassurance from their blessings of:

  • Baptism
  • Communion
  • Ministry
  • Word from the Lord

Like Israel however in Exodus and Numbers they thought that they could live / lead a double life.

They though that they could have the best of both worlds.

They thought that they could:

  • Run with the hares and hunt with the hounds
  • Best of both worlds
  • Take refuge in the blessings of the Spirit (10:1-5) but all the time pursue the lusts of the flesh (10:6)

They seemed to have placed great weight on the fact that they were:

  • Baptised (10:2)
  • Broke bread / took communion (10:3-5; 10:16ff)

Yet they continued in the old life and pursued the old lusts

Did that not get them the best of both worlds?

No it short changed them for both

They hadn’t gained both

They lost both!

 

The blessings they enjoyed:

  1. Led:

under the cloud” (v1)

Under the cloud – that surely is a bad place to be?

  1. It was for the old world that perished under the flood – clouds of Destruction / judgement
  2. It was the Egyptian army pursuing the people of Israel (Ex 14:20-25) – clouds of Death / Darkness
  3. It was at Sinai (Exodus 24:15,16; Deut 4:11) – clouds of Dread.

Yet for the believer the cloud is:

  1. The Place of Gods Promises (Gen 9:13,14,16) – the first mention of the cloud in the scriptures, and in it is a rainbow of Divine promises
  2. The Place of Gods Provision in Guidance (Exodus 13:21; 14:19-24; Ex 40:36-37; Ps 78:14; Ps 99:7) – God goes before them in the cloud by day
  3. The Place of Gods Presence (Exodus 16:10; 19:9; 24:16; 33:9; 34:5; 40:34,35; Lev 16:2; Num 11:25; Deut 31:15; 1 Kings 8:11; Neh 9:12) – In the cloud the, “Glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud”

The people of Israel are in a sense “under the cloud

It is so often “under the cloud” that we find the PRESENCE of the Lord!

  • Elijahs experience in the cave
  • Mary and Marthas experience at the grave
  • The 2 on the road to Emmaus
  • Pauls experience in prison (2 Tim 4:16-17)

Well they were under the cloud!

But this was a good place to be; God was there.

 

  1. Fed

spiritual meat

In what sense was the food ‘spiritual’?

Was it not in essence physical?

Did it not get eaten and digested and did it not satisfy their hunger? (Deut 8:16).

The manna was physical in nature / in substance

But then bread does not by nature fall from the sky!

The manna was spiritual in source / origin (Psalm 78:23-25).

The spiritual character of the manns is seen in its origin

Maybe we can accept that God can provide:

  • Spiritual supplies by spiritual means
  • Extraordinary substance by extraordinary means

eg:

  • Mount Carmel and fire from heaven
  • The plagues of Egypt
  • The miracles of the Lord

All supernatural provision by supernatural means

But in the manna and the water consider the possibility of:

  • Ordinary provision by extraordinary means

What could be more common or ordinary than water and bread?

Yet the supply was supernatural!

Let us not be afraid to look for this in our own life.

  • 1 Kings 17:12 – just a handful of meal but provided by extraordinary means.
  • Peter and the fish (Matthew 17:27) – just a coin but provided by extraordinary means.

Just because something is ordinary in substance doesn’t mean that it is not extraordinary in its source.

Look for those extraordinary supplies!

And that rock was Christ

In what sense was the Rock Christ?

Surely the rock was a physical rock from which the water flowed (Ex 17:6; Num 20:8)?

Consider that in Numbers 20:8 Moses is invited to; “speak ye unto the rock

speak”: ‘dabar’: occurs 1142 times in the OT

A recurrent pattern is evident in its use; a few examples:

Exo_40:1 And the LORDH3068 spakeH1696 untoH413 Moses,H4872 saying,H559

Lev_1:1 And the LORDH3068 calledH7121 untoH413 Moses,H4872 and spakeH1696 untoH413 him out of the tabernacleH4480 H168 of the congregation,H4150 saying,H559

Lev_1:2 SpeakH1696 untoH413 the childrenH1121 of Israel,H3478

Lev_4:1 And the LORDH3068 spakeH1696 untoH413 Moses,H4872 saying,H559

Lev_4:2 SpeakH1696 untoH413 the childrenH1121 of Israel,H3478 saying,H559

Lev_5:14 And the LORDH3068 spakeH1696 untoH413 Moses,H4872 saying,H559

Lev_6:1 And the LORDH3068 spakeH1696 untoH413 Moses,H4872 saying,H559

Lev_6:8 And the LORDH3068 spakeH1696 untoH413 Moses,H4872 saying,H559

Lev_6:19 And the LORDH3068 spakeH1696 untoH413 Moses,H4872 saying,H559

Lev_6:24 And the LORDH3068 spakeH1696 untoH413 Moses,H4872 saying,H559

Lev_6:25 SpeakH1696 untoH413 AaronH175 and toH413 his sons,H1121 saying,H559 ThisH2063 is the lawH8451 of the sin offering:H2403

Lev_7:22 And the LORDH3068 spakeH1696 untoH413 Moses,H4872 saying,H559

Lev_7:23 SpeakH1696 untoH413 the childrenH1121 of Israel,H3478 saying,H559 Ye shall eatH398 no mannerH3808 H3605 of fat,H2459 of ox,H7794 or of sheep,H3775 or of goat.H5795

Lev_7:28 And the LORDH3068 spakeH1696 untoH413 Moses,H4872 saying,H559

Lev_7:29 SpeakH1696 untoH413 the childrenH1121 of Israel,H3478 saying,H559 He that offerethH7126 (H853) the sacrificeH2077 of his peace offeringsH8002 unto the LORDH3068 shall bringH935 (H853) his oblationH7133 unto the LORDH3068 of the sacrificeH4480 H2077 of his peace offerings.H8002

Lev_8:1 And the LORDH3068 spakeH1696 untoH413 Moses,H4872 saying,H559

Lev_9:3 And untoH413 the childrenH1121 of IsraelH3478 thou shalt speak,H1696 saying,H559 TakeH3947 ye a kidH8163 of the goatsH5795 for a sin offering;H2403 and a calfH5695 and a lamb,H3532 both of the firstH1121 year,H8141 without blemish,H8549 for a burnt offering;H5930

Lev_10:8 And the LORDH3068 spakeH1696 untoH413 Aaron,H175 saying,H559

Lev_10:11 And that ye may teachH3384 (H853) the childrenH1121 of IsraelH3478 (H853) allH3605 the statutesH2706 whichH834 the LORDH3068 hath spokenH1696 untoH413 them by the handH3027 of Moses.H4872

Lev_10:12 And MosesH4872 spakeH1696 untoH413 Aaron,H175 and untoH413 EleazarH499 and untoH413 Ithamar,H385 his sonsH1121

Lev_10:19 And AaronH175 saidH1696 untoH413 Moses,H4872

Lev_11:1 And the LORDH3068 spakeH1696 untoH413 MosesH4872 and toH413 Aaron,H175 sayingH559 untoH413 them,

Lev_11:2 SpeakH1696 untoH413 the childrenH1121 of Israel,H3478 saying,H559 TheseH2063 are the beastsH2416 whichH834 ye shall eatH398 among allH4480 H3605 the beastsH929 thatH834 are onH5921 the earth.H776

Lev_12:1 And the LORDH3068 spakeH1696 untoH413 Moses,H4872 saying,H559

Lev_12:2 SpeakH1696 untoH413 the childrenH1121 of Israel,H3478 saying,H559

Lev_13:1 And the LORDH3068 spakeH1696 untoH413 MosesH4872 and Aaron,H175 saying,H559

Lev_14:1 And the LORDH3068 spakeH1696 untoH413 Moses,H4872 saying,H559

Lev_14:33 And the LORDH3068 spakeH1696 untoH413 MosesH4872 and untoH413 Aaron,H175 saying,H559

Lev_15:1 And the LORDH3068 spakeH1696 untoH413 MosesH4872 and toH413 Aaron,H175 saying,H559

Lev_15:2 SpeakH1696 untoH413 the childrenH1121 of Israel,H3478 and sayH559 untoH413 them,

Lev_16:1 And the LORDH3068 spakeH1696 untoH413 MosesH4872 afterH310 the deathH4194 of the twoH8147 sonsH1121 of Aaron,H175 when they offeredH7126 beforeH6440 the LORD,H3068 and died;H4191

 

This Hebrew word ‘dabar‘ on 1141 out of 1142 occasions is always used of speaking to a person; of man speaking to man, of God speaking to man, of man speaking to God.

The only possible exception is here in Numbers 20:8.

I do not think that Numbers 20:8 is such an exception!

Moses and the people of God recognised 2 Rocks:

  • Physical rock – Numbers 20:8
  • Spiritual Rock – Deut 32:4, 15, 18, 33

At times these 2 rocks become close to being intertwinned:
Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed; can he give bread also? can he provide flesh for his people?”

(Psa 78:20)

And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer.” (Psa 78:35)

So what is 1 Co 10:4 saying?

Not so much that the physical rock but the spiritual Rock is Christ!

He is the God of the nation in the OT!

We have touched upon this issue in the past, whilst looking at Romans chapter 4; ‘how did people get saved B.C?’

We saw that they were saved just the same way they were saved AD!

In Romans chapter 4:

  1. Continuity of the argument of Romans 4 requires it.
  • Abraham – positive justification
  • David – negative justification

Abraham described as the, ‘father of all them that believe’ (Romans 4:11)

That continuity / connection would be fatally traumatised if David and Abraham believed in someone / something else from us.

The argument would break down and I would have no more connection with Abraham or David than with a Buddhist.

  1. Cleansing of Davids sin demands it

Davids atonement / propitiation requires it (Romans 4:6-8)

I know of only 1 biblical means by which God can be both, ‘just and the justifier,’ of the sinner, and that is through Christ (Rom 3:26).

David was living in the benefit / expectation of this.

  1. Covenant promise to Abraham expects it (Romans 4:13ff)

The promises made to a justified Abraham would ultimately be fulfilled in Christ.

Salvation / justification by faith came by faith in a person – faith in Christ.

Christ is the source of SALVATION in the Old and New Testaments.

We found Him in the OT:

  • Shadrach, Meshach and Abednigo in the fiery furnace with one like the Son of God
  • Abraham rejoiced to see my day and was glad” (John 8:56)
  • Elijah and Moses on Mount of Transfiguration
  • Job 19:25
  • Zech 12:10
  • Psalm 110 – Christ pre-eminence and Christs pre-existence as Davids Lord

Christ is not only the:

  • SOURCE of Salvation

but as the Rock:

  • SUSTAINER of Salvation

Why present this truth to the Cornthians, that Christ is the Rock that followed the Israelites in the wilderness?

that Rock was Christ” becomes the high point / pinnacle of this section!

It is downhill after this!

In other words the crescendo is built up from:

  • Led
  • Fed
  • Dead

To: Christ the Rock

We are saved and sanctified and separated in order that we might draw from Christ!

Saved to enjoy Christ.

Saved for relationship and resemblance.

They were not living in the enjoyment of this – see 1 Corinthians chps 5,6 & 8.

Instead of the badges and externals of Christian experience here is the point/purpose/expectation of Christian experience.

Not only the expectation of Christian experience but herein lies the explanation of what went wrong; ie. They were not drawing from Christ, they were not satisfied with Christ; they were instead, ‘lusting after evil things,’ (v6).

All of their failures were in essence a displacement of Christ.

Led, Fed and Dead – 1 Corinthians chp 10

 

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

 

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

 

Outline notes from this message:

 

3 features of those ancient Israelites are presented in the opening verses of chapter 10:

  1. Led (10:1)
  2. Fed (10:3-4)
  3. Dead (10:2)

How does this fit into 1 Corinthians?

On the surface it is a chapter about the Israelites, that ancient people of the books of Moses, in particular of their experience in the books of Exodus and Numbers.

What does this have to do with Corinth?

We don’t need to Wonder for too long the purpose of recounting this events – we are told in 1Co 10:6; “these things were our examples..” : ‘tupos‘ : type, something caused by strokes or blows

The purpose of that type is given; “we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted.”

It is a type of spiritual failure.

But not only that, not only the WHAT of spiritual failure; “we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted” and the 4 X failure in verses 7 to 10

But also:

The WHY of spiritual failure; why their failure was so great and so significant.

What is an evil thing?

Anything contrary to Christ.

What are the connections between the experiences of the Corinthians and the Israelites?

For a parallel / parable to be drawn there must be points of similarity / connections that can be made.

In both circumstances there was:

  • The enjoyment of collective / communal blessing

but:

  • The experience of individual rejection and failure

The apostle will draw a contrast between the:

  • all” – verses 1,2,3 & 4
  • many” – verse 5

Both Israel and the Corinthians took refuge in the experience and blessing of communal experiences and activities.

Collectively they were:

 

  1. Led (verse 1)
  2. Fed (verses 3 to 4)
  3. Dead – Baptised

They took great comfort and solace in being part of a church where something was happening.

They drew great reassurance from their blessings of:

  • Baptism
  • Communion
  • Ministry
  • Word from the Lord

Like Israel however in Exodus and Numbers they thought that they could live / lead a double life.

They though that they could have the best of both worlds.

They thought that they could:

  • Run with the hares and hunt with the hounds
  • Best of both worlds
  • Take refuge in the blessings of the Spirit (10:1-5) but all the time pursue the lusts of the flesh (10:6)

They seemed to have placed great weight on the fact that they were:

  • Baptised (10:2)
  • Broke bread / took communion (10:3-5; 10:16ff)

Yet they continued in the old life and pursued the old lusts

Did that not get them the best of both worlds?

No it short changed them for both

They hadn’t gained both

They lost both!

Points of parallel:

  1. Assumptions that they made – that you could have the best of both worlds.
  2. Blessings they enjoyed: Led, Fed and Dead.
  3. Confusion of external blessing and internal reality

The distinction between what is given to me and what I am.

They reasoned that because they were:

  • Baptised
  • Breaking bread
  • Enjoying God speak

That all was well, that they had the Christian thing in the bag, done and dusted.

  1. Deceptions that robbed them

A 4 fold deception

It may just have seemed a bit of fun to them, a victimless crime but each deception would rob them of each of their blessings in Christ:

  • v7 – of being Led by Christ
  • v8 – of being Dead to Sin
  • v9 – of being Fed from heaven
  • v10 – of being identified with Moses

The blessings they enjoyed:

  1. Led
  2. Fed
  3. Dead

They were:

  1. Led:

under the cloud” (v1)

Under the cloud – that surely is a bad place to be?

  1. It was for the old world that perished under the flood – clouds of Destruction / judgement
  2. It was the Egyptian army pursuing the people of Israel (Ex 14:20-25) – clouds of Death
  3. It was at Sinai (Exodus 24:15,16; Deut 4:11) – clouds of Dread.

Yet for the believer the cloud is:

  1. The Place of Gods Promises (Gen 9:13,14,16) – the first mention of the cloud in the scriptures, and in it is a rainbow of Divine promises
  2. The Place of Gods Provision in Guidance (Exodus 13:21; 14:19-24; Ex 40:36-37; Ps 78:14; Ps 99:7) – God goes before them in the cloud by day
  3. The Place of Gods Presence (Exodus 16:10; 19:9; 24:16; 33:9; 34:5; 40:34,35; Lev 16:2; Num 11:25; Deut 31:15; 1 Kings 8:11; Neh 9:12) – In the cloud the, “Glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud”

The people of Israel are in a sense “under the cloud”

It is so often “under the cloud” that we find the PRESENCE of the Lord!

  • Jonathan Aitken 1999 – 18 months for perjury, yet in those experiences he wrote:

Pride and Perjury an Autobiography

Psalms for People under Pressure

Prayers for People under Pressure

  • Elijahs experience in the cave
  • Mary and Marthas experience at the grave
  • Disciples experience in the boat?
  • Pauls experience in prison (2 Tim 4:16-17)

Well they were under the cloud!

But this was a good place to be; God was there.

  1. Fed
  2. Dead

all baptised through the sea

At first sight it appeared to the nation of Israel that the Red Sea would be the very means of the death of the people of God

They could only sea a watery “grave” looming ahead; “And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?(Exo 14:11)

The Red Sea of course was a picture of death:

  • Potentially the death of the nation of Israel
  • Actually the death of the Egyptians
  • Spiritually a division / separation from the old life

What they feared as the means of their DEATH

Actually became the means of their DELIVERANCE

What they feared would DESTROY them actually DELIVERED them!

The waters of the Red Sea provided the very medium of their baptism

As they looked in dread at the Red Sea and saw themselves trapped, what they actually were looking at was the largest baptismal tank in history.

This is not simply teaching that God would see them through their problems / Red Sea but this is to say that God would use those problems and trials and adversities as part of His purpose for their good.

This was not the first and would not be the last time that God would so operate:

  • Jacobs flight from Esau (Genesis 27:41ff) – would be Gods means for bringing Jacob into contact with Rachael and Leah and thus founding the nation of Israel, not just that God would be with Jacob (Gen 28:15ff).
  • Josephs slavery in Egypt – not just that the Lord was with him in his trial, not even that God would deliver him from prison, but way bigger than that; the Lord would use that trial to save the nation of Israel from starvation and death!
  • Daniel in the lions den, not just that God would preserve Daniel in the Den but God would prosper Daniel by the Den; removing all opposition and ultimately promoting His Glory through all nations; Daniel 6:25ff.
  • That God would not simply preserve His people in persecution (Acts 8:1ff) but that by their scattering He would propser His people in that persecution (Acts 8:4ff).

We cannot reliably predict outcome from circumstances.

We are a rubbish judge of circumstances.

 

Free to Preach Free Grace Freely – 1 Corinthians chp 9

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

 

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

Great Changes for Hopeless Cases (Luke chp 7 vs 1 to 10)

 

Just added, a new message preached by Dr J Stewart Gillespie from Luke chapter 7:

 

Luke chp 7 vs 1 to 10 – Great Changes for Hopeless Cases – J Stewart Gillespie – 03052015

1 Corinthians chp 9 – Butterscotch and Sea Salt

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

 

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

 

Outline notes from the above message:

 

 

Paul has been dealing with the Problems at Corinth:

  1. Moral Problems (chp 5)
  2. Material Problems (chp 6)
  3. Marital Problems (chp 7)
  4. Meat offered to Idols Problems (chp 8 to 10)
  5. Meeting Problems (chp 11 to 14)
  6. Miracle of Resurrection Problems (chp 15)
  7. Money Problems (chp 16)

But here in chapter 9 it seems as though:

The problems at Corinth are dealing with the apostle Paul!

There is something discordant / incongruent / disconsonant about this.

This chapter delivers a very personal attack on the Apostle Paul

This may make 1 Corinthians 9 seem a little less relevant to us

Is it not about personal problems between Paul and the Corinthians?

Nothing much to do with me then?

From it emerges a number of very important issues

A strange section in which Paul defends his rights to do what he doesn’t do!

Most of us have enough on our plates defending what we do!

Paul spends his time defending his right to do what he chooses not to do!

Just because I could do it, doesn’t mean I should do it!

Liberty doesn’t necessarily mean license.

Why spend time defending what I could do but don’t do?

Paul is a spiritual man seen through the lenses of unspiritual men; and they can’t make sense of him!

The unspiritual are trying to view the spiritual with no success!

Paul is a spiritual man being viewed through the eyes of a carnal man

To do what he does a carnal man would have to have a hidden agenda

Carnal believers will live their lives for:

  • Profit (1 Corinthians 6)
  • Pleasure (1 Corinthians 5, 6, 8,10)
  • Promotion of Self (1 Corinthians 3)

So long as ‘love’ (1 Co13) is absent from their understanding and experience they are condemned to attempt to understand the apostle Paul in terms of the flesh and of self.

Lemington: “Here lies a miser who lived for himself and cared for nothing but gathering wealth; now where he is or how he fares nobody knows and nobody cares.”

St Pauls Cathedral: “Sacred to the memory of General Charles George Gordon, who at all times and everywhere gave his strength to the weak, his substance to the poor, his sympathy to the suffering and his heart to God.

So what is Paul really after?

He must be out to exploit them / to gain something from them

Paul takes time to point out, that what he could legitimately claim from them:

  • material support (9:4)
  • financial support (9:6)

He did not do it!

He had opportunity to exploit them but refused to do so

nevertheless we have not used this power” (9:12)

But I have used none of these things” (9:15)

From verses 8 to 14 the apostle establishes his right to be supported:

  • Law of Moses (v9)
  • Law of nature (v10)
  • Law of Sowing and Reaping (v11)
  • Law of the temple and altar (v13)
  • Law of the Lord (v14)

Having established pretty thoroughly his right to use their support and expect their support, Paul doesn’t use their support!!

Why bother establishing his right to a support that he does not take?

Paul takes time to establish his right to financial support, to taking a wife and to material support in order to show what he was prepared to sacrifice in order to bring the gospel to the Corinthians.

This section is one of motives.

Paul first establishes what did not motivate him in the bringing of the gospel to Corinth, before he then explains what did drive him to bring the gospel to Corinth.

This section is in essence an answer to the question:

what is my reward then?” (9:18)

Were the Corinthians inferring a hidden agenda (9:18)?

Does Paul establish his right to expect something from them in order to show his sincerity in taking nothing from them?

This seems to have been the question asked by his critics; what is in it for Paul?

To many at Corinth, Pauls motives must have been inscrutable:

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1Co 2:14)

This seems to have been the problem at Corinth, that the carnal mindset (cf. 1Co3:1-3) could not understand the spiritual agenda of the apostle Paul.

They thought that he thought the way they thought!

There ought to be something in the life of the believer that is totally incomprehensible to the unbelieving mind set!

Paul never sought to exploit his position, nor gain from his place, even when he could legitimately have done so.

Paul lives according to a value system they find incomprehensible.

9:1-15 is thus:

  • Paul Examined
  • Paul as an Example of the self sacrificial ministry he has just been exhorting in his approach to dealing with problems in chapter 6, 7, 8 – bearing others wrongs rather than demanding our rights.

Discouragement and Determination (9:7)

The secrets of Pauls motivation

Three pictures of Christian Work which perhaps give us insight into the stamina of Paul in the face of much profound and personal discouragement:

  • Fight: ‘who goeth a warfare any time…’

we thought of:

  • Adversary
  • Armour
  • Attack
  • Field: ‘who planteth a vineyard…’
  • Flock: ‘who feedeth a flock…’
  1. His Mission (9:16-23)

Why did Paul preach?

Maybe the answer seems to obvious to even bother asking the question?

That he might see men saved?

Paul certainly did want to see men saved and yet behind that there lay a more visceral motive still!

 

 

Here is the true motive which lay behind Pauls desire to preach the gospel.

He had to!

‘huv tae’

necessity is laid upon me; yea woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel” (9:16)

Paul preached:

  • not because of a PLAN
  • not because of a PATTERN
  • but because of a PASSION

Paul preached:

  • Like Noah built – knowing for sure that the rain was coming, that Gods verdict had been passed, that global destruction was imminent and this was mans only hope!
  • As Moses led through the Red Sea with Pharoahs armies pressing down upon him
  • With the intensity of Daniels prayers – not out of liturgy nor routine – but with the reality of being surrounded by the instruments of Satanic attack
  • With the passion of Samsons push, as he pushed upon those pillars as though it were the very last thing that ever he did, and it was, the very last thing that ever he did!
  • With the same desperation that Peter grasped the hand of the Lord as he felt the waters give way from beneath his feet and he sunk down!

Paul preached not out of some mechanically executed long term plan but out of a deep burning passion and necessity to preach.

woe is me if I preach not the gospel

Here is the psychology of Christian service

By which I mean; “woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel” (v16)

At the heart of Paul lies an insatiable passion to preach, an instinct to evangelise, an appetite to advance in the Gospel.

Paul does not preach first and foremost to:

  • Fulfil a Plan

But rather to

  • Satisfy a passion

 

There is something implanted within the believer that even when we are not entirely convinced about the feasibility or the productivity of the mission, nonetheless we have to tell others about Christ.

Evangelism wasn’t so much a:

  • Personal Plan

but rather a:

  • Personal Passion

Even when he is kicked in the teeth, he presses on (2 Co 11:23ff).

Even when everything seems to be adverse to him, he presses on.

This is no cold, calculating method

This is not evangelism by STRATEGY

This is evangelism by SPIRIT

This evangelism does not arise from a CONFERENCE on church growth but from a burning unquenchable CONVICTION.

Thus the grief if he does not preach; “woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel” (9:16)

A Christian not only sees men and women who have no desire to know God by His Son Jesus Christ as a great grief and sorrow but the Christian is a person who perhaps even more keenly harbours the horror that there just maybe those who would have desired to know God by His Son, had I told them about Him and yet by my failure they had no opportunity to hear!

woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel

This is the kind of mindset of the apostle Paul; “Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.” (Act 20:26-27)

To preach not according to a system but according to the Spirit of God

Paul may not have seen ‘all men’ saved, and yet he takes solace from this that he has not failed to declare the counsel of God to them.

The task given to him to do has been successfully completed.

This is a great relief, a great joy, a great satisfaction in discharging the responsibility which God has given to us; cf. “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:” (2Ti 4:7)

One of the frequent questions we get asked; ‘how do I know if I am truly saved?’

Consider 1 John:

  1. Light

Our relationship to the light

1 John 1:5-10; 2:3; 3:6-8

As born again believers:

  • we hate sin
  • we desire the light
  • we feed the burden of sin and disobedience
  • we desire fellowship with the light
  • we love the truth
  1. Love
  • We love the Lord
  • We love the Lords people
  • 1 John 2:9-11; 3:14; 4:7
  1. Life

Our relationship with God through life in the Spirit

1 John 5:10-12

‘dispensation of the gospel’ (v17)

Dispensation: oikonomia: 3622: to be a manager of a household

the administration or dispensation of the fullness of times” (Eph 1:10), the object of oikonomia, dispensation is the relative phrase “which He hath purposed.” It is the Divine purpose which is said to be administered.”

Irrespective of what may be thrown at us we are administrators of the Divine purpose:

  • Eliezer
  • Joseph

that I may make the gospel of Christ without charge”

cf. Joseph in Gen 42:25 – Jospeh would profit corn to his brothers and give them back their money too.

Here is Grace.

A dispensation of Grace

v18 – Pauls reard is that he is able to preach the gospel freely and without charge.

  1. His Mindset (9:24-27)

Paul is an ‘administrator’ (1 Co9:17) of the gospel.

It is his delight like:

  • Joseph – the administrator of Pharoah
  • Eliezer – the administrator of Abraham
  • Naaman the Leper – the captain of the guard of the king of Assyria

To take of the glories of his master and display these glories

If God is the master and if Gods riches are His grace, then the more of Gods grace that is seen, the more of Hs Glory that is displayed

Thus when Paul preaches the gospel without charge (v18) he delivers Gods Grace by Gracious means.

Paul is empowered by Gods Grace to present free salvation freely

Paul has the dispensation of the gospel committed unto me (9:17)

From Zodhiates:

Ephesians 1:10 the object of ‘oikonomia’, dispensation is the relative phrase, ‘which He hath purposed’ (Eph 1:9). It is the Divine purpose which is said to be administered.”

Paul is an administrator then of the Divine purpose

He is the administrative means of extending Gods Grace to a lost world (Eph 1:6,7ff)

What would be better than bringing administering that grace by gracious means, than piping that fresh spring water of Divine grace through clean pipes?