Luke chapter 1 verses 1 to 25 – When Doubts Set in

Just added a new message preached by  Dr J Stewart Gillespie from the Gospel according to Luke:

 

Luke chp 1 vs 1 to 25 – When Doubts Set in – JS Gillespie – 02112014

Bad – 1 Corinthians Chapter 7

Just added a new message from 1 Corinthians chapter 7 verses 1 to 7:

 

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

 

Notes from this message:

 

In response to the Corinthians questions about marriage; Paul appears to agree with their suggestion that ‘it is good for a man to touch a woman,’ but only good for those so gifted and not everyone is (7:7).
Sometimes we don’t see gift as gift!
Some people are naturally fitted for a particular life of service:

  • Jacob – the father of 12 boys; you need your wits about you for that job, you would need eyes in the back of your internet router; Jacob the schemer; the wheeler and dealer. Jacob could spot a made up story when he heard one; how a wild beast had ripped his youngest son to shreds, devoured him whole without leaving so much as a finger nail, having carefully first removed only his outer coat of many colours!! – Jacob was suspicious.
  • Moses 40 years with the grumbling nation of Israel in the wilderness, you would need a lot of patience! Moses is peculiarly fitted for the task as the meekest man in all the earth; “Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.” (Num 12:3)
  • Samson and his strength
  • David – “the sweet psalmist of Israel,” (2Sa 23:1), a man of deep emotions and reflection is also a man after Gods own heart; nothing superficial about him.
  • Paul – the Theologian and thinker, taught by Gamaliel, a Pharisee, a man peculiarly suited to expounding the Word of God.

Each individual is a unique mixture of grace, gifts and abilities.

‘To avoid fornication’ (7:2)

What’s so bad about fornication?
Does the media of our day, the stars of the day, the films of the day, the celebrities of the day not attempt to normalise / glorify these extramarital relationships?

Notice how prevalent a sin fornication is in the bible; how often it is recorded:

  • Judah and Tamar
  • Dinah and Shechem (Gen 34)
  • Reuben and Bilhah (Gen 35:22)
  • Lot and his 2 daughters
  • Israel in the wilderness
  • Samson and the Harlot from Gaza
  • Samson and Delilah
  • David and Bathsheba
  • Absalom and Davids concubines
  • Tamar and Amnon

 

If we include the polygamies there are even more cases of fornication.
A sin affecting not only the ungodly Canaanites but equally the great and the good: Judah, Lot, David, Samson and not just the carnal Absalom, Amnon and Herod.
It was frequently through fornication / sexual immorality that the great and the good blotted an otherwise unsullied copy book.
What’s so bad about fornication?

1. Frequent / common problem affecting both the great and the good and the godless alike.

2. It is a problem with spiritual consequences:

  • 1 Corinthians chp 6:15ff : the physical affects the spiritual
  • David Psalm 51:1-12,17
  • Solomon (1 Kings 11:4) – cuts across the spiritual strata and the generations; ‘It came to pass when Solomon was old…” (1 kings 11:4)

3. It is the corruption of Gods creatorial order

‘let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.’ (1 Co 7:2)
One man and one woman – the original creatorial order and pattern
‘for this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife and these twain shall be one flesh.’ (Gen 2:24) – word spoken by Adam? From Matthew 19:5 it becomes clear that these are actually words spoken by God and quoted by Christ. Whilst it might appear from the text of Genesis 2:23-24 that Genesis 2:24 are the words of Adam, according to Matthew 19:5; the are in all probability the Words of God Himself, drawing a conclusion from from the creatorial work of Genesis 2. In other words, because of what I have done with Adam and Eve this is henceforth how the whole of human society will be organised and arranged. Marital relationships are a reflection / consequence of Gods creatorial work. Genesis 2:24 is a reliable commentary to read on the Word of God; it is Gods commentary on His own work! All subsequent marital relationships, the structure of society would be patterned after Gods creatorial work.
Marriage is one of the few remnants of Eden. No wonder it is under such attack.

It is important to see that the Divine ordinance of marriage in Genesis 2:24 for all subsequent humanity is patterned on the creatorial order of God in Genesis 2:23-24. This is important for our understanding of 1 Corinthians chp 7. Some will suggest that there is a difference in the ministry of chp 7 depending upon wither or not a marriage or divorce was pre conversion or post conversion. It is quite clear that the nature of marriage / validity of marriage is not altered by conversion. It is quite clear that marriage is a creatorial ordinance and as such is not materially altered by conversion; any more than your chronological age is altered by conversion or your health status is altered by conversion.

A conjugal ordinance rests on a creatorial order.

 

4. It is an attack on Gods character

To understand this you must appreciate what is so special about the creatorial order.
Man looks at creation and considers; wow isn’t that nice:

Fruit for me to eat
Water for me to drink
Flowers for me to see
Beaches for me to go on holiday to.

Well here is a shocker, creation is not all about me!
Creation is all about God.
From our studies in Romans chp 1:18-23 we are aware that creation is and was Gods first means of communication to mankind.
Of significance in Creation Gods character is revealed: His eternal power (Rom 1:20) and Godhead (1:20) and His Glory (1:23).
Creation is Gods first means of revealing His character.
You will have noticed, as you read through Genesis chapter 1 how the character of God, is subsequently progressively revealed in the Word of God and finally and fully revealed in Christ. The seed plot is here in Genesis chapter 1:

‘let there be light’ – a reflection of the nature and character of God; ‘I Am the light of the world’ – Gods creation is infused with light because of His Character. Life can exist deep in the Marianna Trench, 10km deep, in total darkness, at 1000 atmospheres of pressure, but this is not good enough for the God who is Light!

‘God saw that it was good,’ (1:4,10,12,18) – Gods creation is a reflection of Himself – Good.

‘Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed and fruit tree yielding fruit.’ God is the source of all fruitfulness; ‘I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; because apart from Me you can do nothing.’ (Joh 15:5)

‘Let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and for years’ (Gen 1:14) – God is a God of order; ‘declaring the end from the beginning,’ and ‘To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:’ (Ecc 3:1)

‘Let the waters bring forth abundantly, the moving creature that ahth life,’ – He is the God of Living waters; ‘He that believeth in me as the scriptures have said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.’

‘let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle and creeping thing and beast…’ (Gen 1:24) God gives life. ‘In him is life and that life was the light of men.’

‘let them have dominion…’ (1:26) – God is a God of order; ‘The most High God ruleth in the Kingdoms of men and giveth them to whomsoever He choseth.’

So too in marriage – a creatorial order; Gods character is seen; God is faithful; ‘yet He abideth faithful’ (2 Tim 2:13); God is reliable; ‘I change not.’

God is a God of union and communion; Christ and the Church (Eph 5).

God likes what He is. God is what He likes. There is no sin in Him.

God hates what He is not – Sin
v2 “let every man have his own wife and let every woman have her own husband” – By implication if I am going to hold to this and respect this I am going to also reject ‘divorce and remarriage’ – no adultery; this is my wife, this is your life.

 

V3 “due benevolence” – favour, goodwill, notice there is an equality of favour and a difference of function.
In NT times marital rights were very much skewed in favour of the man, with Roman and Jewish men able to have multiple wives. Jewish laws on adultery differed for the man and the woman. A woman who had a relationship out with her marriage was guilty of adultery. A married man was only guilty of adultery if he had a relationship with a married woman. This perhaps answers the question often posed from John chapter 8 – what about the man taken in the act of adultery? He may not have been guilty of adultery!
Biblical recognition to the sexual needs of both husband and wife.
V5 ‘That Satan tempt you not for your incontinence’

think of those times in the Word of God when men failed, when women failed too.
Those episodes were not totally unpredictable:

Judah and Tamar (Gen 38:12ff)

Judah left widowed – unmet sexual needs
Tamar left without husband – unmet needs
This fall does not occur in a vacuum but in a setting in which Judah and Tamar are open to temptation, to some extent the scenario is predictable.
If predictable then it is preventable.

David and Bathsheba

Occurs when Bathshebas husband is away from home

Samson (Judges 14ff)

Consider Samson, the character perhaps more than any other in the OT we might associate with sexual immorality and fornication.

Samson had a series of illicit relationships; Judges 16 – Harlot from Gaza and Delilah

It was ultimately that final relationship with Delilah which would destroy him.

We have drawn many a lesson from Samson over the years – a story replete with lessons and teachings for us today – lessons on the attack of Satan, on the restoring Grace of God, lessons on final recovery, lessons on the slippery slope of compromise – Samson is drawn deeper and deeper into the trap of Judges 16; physical, emotional and ultimately spiritual.

Consider the background to Samsons downfall – his first relationship; his first marriage, whilst it was to a Philistine woman, which would ultimately be its undoing, yet in other respects every ting was done properly and above board:
i. Judges 14:1 ‘and saw a woman’
ii. Judges 14:2 – goes to his father and mother
iii. Judges 14:7 – Talked with the woman
iv. Judges 14:10 – marriage ceremony
v. Judges 14:15 – legitimate marriage ‘husband’

After the marriage and riddle – Samson leaves (Judges 14:19), but naively – maybe child like returns for his wife (15:1-2) whom he fully expects to be waiting for him!

He even respects his father in laws instruction (Judges 15:1)

His wife, having been taken by another is now burned to death by the Philistines

It is against this backdrop that we can / ought to appreciate the failings of Samson:
A broken marriage
A wife taken by another
An adulterous wife
Ending in the violent and cruel death of his wife
Yet Samson did seem to love her:
‘she pleaseth me well’ (14:3)
‘she pleased Samson well’ (14:7)
Returned for her in Judges 15:1
Samson was the big man with the soft heart, a broken heart
Note how his final downfall unfolds – with words re-echoeing of his first love; Judges 14:16; 16:15

 

“lest Satan tempt you for your incontinence”
Samson failed in the testing and tempting
Yet the temptation did not occur in a vacuum

Freedom to Be Free – 1 Corinthians Chapter 7 verse 1

Just added to our series of messages from 1 Corinthians, a new message preached by J Stewart Gillespie from 1 Corinthians chapter 7 verse 1:

 

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

One Body, One Flesh, One Spirit – 1 Corinthians Chapter 6 verses 16 to 17

Just added, a new message preached by J Stewart Gillespie from 1 Corinthians chapter 6:

1 Corinthians chp 6 vs 16 and 17 – One Body One Flesh One Spirit – JS Gillespie – 07102014

 

Notes from this weeks message:

 

3 sections in 1 Corinthians:

3 Reasons for Righteousness:

  1. Fellowship with one another (6:1-8)
  2. Citizenship in the Kingdom (6:9-11)
  3. Relationship with God (6:12-20)

In verse 13 Paul uses the false slogan of the Corinthians to:

  1. Dispel error
  2. Deduce the truth

 

  1. Dispel error

The error that we can deduce purpose by knowing function

We don’t start with function and work out purpose

We must start with purpose – with the Lordship of Christ and from this bring all function into subjection to Him.

Under control of that purpose we see that man wwas created (Gen 1:26) for:

  • Relationship with God
  • Resemblance to God

This is confirmed and completed in Christ in Romans 8 and 1 John 3

 

  1. Deduce the truth

If it is true that:

  • meats are for the belly

and thus:

  • belly is for meats

Thus if we apply the same reasoning to the body we see that the:

  • Body is for the Lord

then it must also be true to say that:

  • Lord is for the body

In which case the body must be in a fit state for Christ, by His Spirit to reside in us.

Herein lies the reality of our:

  • Fellowship with God
  • Usefulness to the Lord

So this 3rd section of 1 Corinthians chapter 6 deals with our:

  • Relationship with God

all other relationships are to be understood in terms of their impact on this the greatest relationship of all:

  1. Relationships that Hinder
  2. Relationships that Help

 

  1. Relationships that Hinder

v15 – ‘members of an harlot’

This takes us into a very interesting and important area; into the truth that what we do physically impacts upon what we are spiritually.

Over the years there has been great debate over the nature of man.

Debate has raged over the years as to wither or not man is:

  • Bipartite
  • Tripartite

Man certainly at the very least has:

  • Body
  • Spirit

That much is clearly seen in Genesis 2:7:

  • Physical part from the earth: ‘of the dust of ground’
  • Spiritual from God: ‘breathed into his nostrils’

Yet man is surely not fully explained simply by:

  • a part from the ground
  • a part from God

There was in Adam something distinctively Adam; distinctive from the purely physical or even biological, and distinctive from the breath of God

There was in Adam a 3rd and distinctive identity, something so distinctive from the creator that in Genesis chapter 3 it would demonstrate with catastrophic consequences, its utter distinctiveness from God by rebelling against the creator.

2:7 “and man became a living soul”

There was a part of Adam that cried; “I am Adam” – and that part rebelled; to that we append the name: “soul” (2:7)

It is tempting to jump to the conclusion that it is the soul which connects / hard wires the ‘body’ to the ‘spirit’ – this may be the case; although not explicitly stated in the text of Genesis chapter 2.

The important point to note however is that man does not consist of 2 independent components:

  • Body
  • Spirit

But of 2 interdependent parts:

  • Body
  • Spirit

Some over the years have either doctrinally attempted to insist on breaking the connection between the two: Eastern mystic religions, Gnosticism, Christian Scientists and some over the years have practically treated the 2 as independent from one another: a Monday to Saturday life and a Sunday Christianity; a public life and a private life, a secular life and a spiritual life.

The two are intertwinned and interconnected.

The spiritual impacts on the physical; we recognise this even in our figures of speech:

  • ‘face tripping him’
  • ‘wind always in his face’

That we can see a discouraged, depressed, downcast or negative spirit in a persons very facial features.

Not only by common observation is this the case but with biblical endorsement too the spiritual impacts on the physical:

  • Nehemiah 2:2
  • Proverbs 15:13

But does the physical impact upon the spiritual?

  • Ecclesiastes 7:3

Or more pertinently, consider Davids sin with Bathsheba – the physical sin impacted heavily upon his spiritual condition cf. Psalm 51:4,7,10; “create in me a clean heart O God and renew a right spirit within me.”

cf. Romans 5:1ff; Hebrews 12:11ff

The physical impacts on the spiritually

I cannot do as I please, watch what I please, touch what I please and go where I please and remain spiritually impervious to it!

The physical impacts on the spiritual, cf. Samson in Judges chapetr 16:

  • Set in Delilahs chamber – Judges 16:9,12 – a place of physcical compromise
  • Ongoing war of attrition against Samson
  • The ruth slips out by Judges 16:13

There was a progressive:

  • Physical (Judges 16:9,12)
  • Emotionsl (Judges 16:15,16)
  • Spiritual (Judges 16:20)

Entanglement between Samson and Delilah

The down fall is complete; though in grace Samson is not complete.

  1. Relationships that Hinder
  2. Relationships that Help
  • One Body – The Problem – Physical
  • One Flesh – The Provision – Organic
  • One Spirit – The Purpose – Spiritual

Preaching Praying Praising

Just added, a new message from J Stewart Gillespie from Acts chapter 16:

 

Acts chp 16 – Preaching Praying and Praising – J Stewart Gillespie

Are You Sure You’re Happy? – 1 Corinthians chapter 6

 

A number of years ago, during a trip to the north west tip of Zambia, close to the Angolian border, a missionary friend related to me the real life tragedy that has become for me something of parable of human happiness. Diamond smuggling  across the Angolian border is a high risk activity but a highly profitable one. A local villager grasped the opportunity of a lifetime to swap his meagre but sufficient possessions and live stock for a bag of such contraband and arrived at the house of the missionary hoping to cash in some of his new found wealth for hard  US dollars. The bag was placed on the kitchen table, with delight the grinning millionaire poured out its polished coloured contents over the table. A sack full of childrens glass marbles, as foreign a commodity to the impoverished Zambian as uncut diamonds bounced onto the floor. In seconds happiness was turned to gut wrenching disappointment.

1 Corinthians chapter 6 adds to the already frustrating and at times fruitless human pursuit of happiness the realisation that many who think they have found it, are just about to lose their marbles. A claim to happiness may represent the joy of finding peace with God through His Son Jesus Christ. ‘I am happy,’ may mean, ‘I have cracked it,’ it may mean ‘ I have life and I have life in all of its fullness,’ ‘I am happy,’ may mean that I have had the barrier between me and God removed and know who He is; He is Jesus Christ and I am living in the real joy of His presence and power. Alternatively, as was the case for some at Corinth; ‘I am happy’ may simply mean I have totally missed the purpose of life, I live in ignorance of God, and I have shut myself off into a self contained and self fulfilled cocoon of satisfied natural desires and needs; my stomach is full, my sexual desires are satisfied, my financial needs are catered for and in this bubble of a God denying delusion, I am content and happy. Happy that is until God Himself opens the sack and pours out before His judgment seat; glass marbles and a lost life.

 

Just added; a new message preached from 1 Corinthians chapter 6 by J Stewart Gillespie:

1 Corinthians chp 6 vs 12 to 20 – Are You Sure Youre Happy – JS Gillespie – 30092014

A Holiness too Big for Heaven – 1 Corinthians chapter 6

Just added to our teaching section on 1 Corinthians:

 

1 Corinthians chp 6 vs 9 to 20 – A Holiness too Big for Heaven – JS Gillespie – 23092014.mp3

 

 

Robert Burns:’ A Man’s a Man For A That’

“A prince can make a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, and a that,
But an honest man’s above his might.
Good faith, he mustn’t fault that!
For all that and a that,
Their dignities and a that.
The pith of sense and pride of worth
Are higher rank than a that.”

Righteousness and justice are well recognised and valued attributes, but why is personal righteousness important?
The God given answer to this question diverges significantly from the simple and pragmatic thinking of of the poet.
For people and societies fairness and justice is important mainly because of our:

Relationships with one another

If I am going to buy a pound of mince , I want to know that when I part with my money I do actually get a pound of mince and that I don’t get diddled and sold 3/4 pound of mince. If I buy medicines from the chemist I need to know that if the box says it contains penicillin, it does actually contain penicillin and not just talcum powder. If I immunise my children with vaccine to protect them from measles, I need to have confidence that this is what I have in fact been sold, this is what the laboratory has put in the vial; it is indeed measles vaccine. If I have the misfortune to end up in court I want to have confidence that my case will be dealt with fairly. All of these expectations depend upon the righteousness or moral integrity of others.This also is a concern in scripture of course: Lev 19:35-37; Deut 25:13-16; Prov 16:11; Prov 20:10; Prov 20:23; Micah 6:11.

In essence this is a concern of the first 8 verses of 1 Corinthians chapter 6, however 1 Corinthians chapter 6 goes beyond that to:

1. Relationship with one Another (6:1-8)

2. Citizenship in the Kingdom (6:9-11)

3. Fellowship with God (6:12-20)