Ramming Your Liberty down Another Mans Throat

Just added to our series on 1 Corinthians; a new message preached from 1 Corinthians chapter 8 verses 1 to 3:

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

 

notes available for this message:

 

now as touching” (v1)

Another question answered by the apostle Paul

That this question arises at all highlights the fact that all is not well at Corinth

It is doubtful that the need ought ever to have arisen to ask this question about meat sacrificed to idols.

  • The sensitive conscience wouldn’t have eaten food sacrificed to idols – no problem
  • The spiritually minded wouldn’t have offended them by eating it – no problem
  • But there was a problem!

If the situation was as those ‘in the know’ (8:1-2) concluded; namely a problem between those who are spiritually mature and who know better – namely us, and those who are not spiritually mature and who do not know what we know; namely those of a ‘weak conscience’ then the conflict ought to have been easily and quickly resolved by someone of spiritual maturity and understanding, if indeed that was where they were.

If the spiritually enlightened could really see that there was nothing (v4) in the idol and nothing in the meat and if those spiritually strong were really able to discern ‘weakness’ rather than difference of perspective (v7) in others, they as the spiritually mature ought to have been able to demonstrate how spiritually mature people deal with issues of no eternal consequence –

  • Sensitively – With insight into the immaturity of the brother they are dealing with
  • Sacrificially – With a willingness to sacrifice meat of no consequence for the spiritual prosperity of their brother
  • Spiritually – esteeming the conscience of their brother, way above the food for their belly

Instead it became a:

  • Stumbling block (8:9)

The spiritual elite lacked sensitivity, spirituality and a sacrificial spirit – they were not as spiritual as they thought they were!

The question seems to have been asked of Paul:

‘well Paul, you and I both know that these things offered to idols are nothing. ‘

‘we have been convicted and convinced of the truth that Jesus Christ is Lord; that there is but one God. ‘

We have heard how the true and living God speaks through His Word

‘ So we know, you and I Paul that these idols are fake’

To this seems on the surface to initially agree (v1)

But then he puts a major caveat on it all:

knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. ‘

And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.” (8:2)

The approach condemned in verse 2 is not knowledge or wisdom or understanding per se; after all we are exhorted in many places in the Word of God to seek after knowledge and understanding:

Pro_2:2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;

Pro_2:6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

Pro_2:11 Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:

Pro_3:13 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.

Pro_4:1 Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.

Pro_4:5 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.

Pro_4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

Pro_5:1 My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding:

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2Pe 1:5-8)

The attitude condemned in 8:2 is not knowledge

It is not the ATTAINMENT of knowledge that is the problem

It is the ATTITUDE of knowing that is the problem

That confidence not in the knowledge but in myself because I know.

It is the effect that knowledge can have on the unspiritual mind – puffing us up (8:1-2)

It is an attitude which so often manifests itself as the arrogant; ‘there is only one handle on this problem and I’ve got it’

There are 2 ways you can see this; my way, the right way or your way; the wrong way.

Or as one liberally minded brother put it:

  • you serve the Lord in your way
  • I’ll serve the Lord in His

It is not the ATTAINMENT of knowledge that is the problem

It is the ATTITUDE of knowing that is the problem

To consider that in what we know there is no gainsaying, no possibility of growth, nor of development, to close our minds to any other aspect of the truth.

This is the distinction between:

  • the blind man of John chapter 9
  • the Jews of John chapter 9

The blind man can’t answer all of their questions (John 9:25); “I know not

here was a baffling problem; Jesus Christ was surely a real live human being,

Was Jesus Christ not made of the same stuff as the rest of humanity is, descended from Adam?

If He was a person then surely He must have had His faults like all men?

Did the Jews not appear to name one; an infarction of the Jewish legal code (Jo 9:16)?

The blind man would hardly have known anything of the virgin birth; the Deity of Christ, the impeccability of Christ, nor of the Lordship of the Creator over the Sabbath rest.

There were answers to the accusations of the Jews but they would not be known to the blind man!

It is not that he is ignorant and foolish either.

The contrast in John 9 is not between; we the Pharisees who know and understand and you the blind man who is illiterate, ignorant and lacking in understanding! This is not a contrast between the:

  • ignorant and the enlightened

But rather it is a contrast between the:

  • humble and the arrogant

The blind man does understand and know what happened to him; “whereas I was blind and now I see” (John 9:25); yet his knowledge is incomplete (9:35-36); but so was the knowledge of the Pharisees – incomplete; in fact how embarrassing; there they were; having spent their life studying for an honours degrees in gnat straining and a PhD in hypocrisy and along comes a blind, illiterate beggar and pops them a question they don’t have a clue about (9:30-34) “and dost thou teach us?” Well actually he does. That didn’t go down well at all, did it?

What really distinguishes these 2 men is not their ATTAINMENT of knowledge but rather their ATTITUDE to knowledge

Or

Their ATTITUDE to what they don’t know:

  • The blind man – marked by humility towards the unknown and certainty towards the known (John 9:25,27)
  • The Pharisees – marked by puffed up self confidence and arrogance (John 9:30,34)

The blind man is willing to acknowledge that whilst he is certain of what he knows (9:24,30) he will not be dogmatic about what he does not know.

He is happy to trust God where he cannot trace God.

The Pharisees on the other hand are not only adamant about what they do know but are equally emphatic about what they don’t know, because they have such confidence in their own opinions.

The Pharisees had deified their own knowledge as absolute!

They had turned their knowledge into an idol.

They ‘knew that they knew’ and that precluded the possibility that there was something which they did not know.

With this came pride, arrogance and intolerance.

They refuse to be taught (Jo 9:34); “dost thou teach us?”

he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know” (8:2)

Not WHAT we know but HOW we know.

Knowledge of God and of the ways and mind of God must be guided by love for God.

But if any man love God, the same is known of him.” (v3)

The love of God is an acknowledgment of trust in the absolute

The love of God is acquiescing my will / knowledge / understanding to His

I am not absolute; He is!

Here is a man who acquiesces to God

Here is a man who does not claim Lordship over his own life

Here is a man who does not deify self

Here is a man who acquiesces to God

This is the distinction between:

  • Job: “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.”(Job 13:15)
  • Jobs comforters who it all worked out in their own heads as to who was at fault here; namely Job

Verse 3 is usually taken to mean that:

‘ if a man loves God that man is known by God’

This of course is very true:

  1. Loving God as the evidence of God knowing us; that the evidence that God knows a man, or that God has saved a man should be and will be seen in the fact that that man loves God. The man who God ‘knows’ with that special meaning of ‘knowledge’; that meaning of intimate or saving relationship:
  • O righteous Father, — the world hath not known thee:but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.” (John 17:25)
  • But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?” (Galatians 4:9)

The man who God knows in a saving sense, will have had a work of transformation in his life, he will have been indwelt by the Spirit of God and the very first fruit, if not the only fruit of the Spirit that will be seen in his life will be that of “love” (Galatians 5:22)

1 John 4:7,19

And

  1. Loving God is the consequence of God knowing us. Unless God knows a man, in the sense of saving a man, such a man cannot love God, by nature; ‘there is none that seek after God,’ (Romans 3:11) and it is God who takes the initiative amongst those, ‘who are dead in trespasses and sins’ to quicken us (Ephesians 2:1). “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1Jn 4:10)

The problem with the standard view here is that verses 1 and 2 are not about God knowing us but about us knowing God as we ought.

Verses 1 and 2 are not really about how God knows but rather they are about how I know.

And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.” (verse 2)

There is another way to understand this verse however.

The second half of the verse literally reads:

he is known of him‘ (JND Translation)

This could mean as CK Barrett notes that it is not that:

‘God has been known by him’

But rather

‘God is known by this man. ‘ (CK Barrett p190; Blacks NT Commentary)

In other words:

‘The man who loves God, that man knows God. ‘

Not simply that knowledge makes us love God; that loving God is a consequence of knowing God; which is true enough, but something altogether more profound than that.

Verse 3 starts with’ love’ and not with knowledge

It is not the thought that the knowledge of God makes us love God but rather that the love for God allows us to know Him.

Loving God is a condition for knowing Him, for making any spiritual progress.

This is no new truth!

And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” (Luk 9:23-24)

He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” (Mat 10:37-39)

That is that the knowledge of God flows from the love of God

True knowledge has its origin in love!

Truth is a product of love!

We understand this truth well, maybe so well we are apt to forget it; that was it not for the love of God there would be no knowledge of God!

John3:16 – It is because God So loved this world that the act of revelation and thus redemption came.

Had God not loved we would know nothing of Him.

His love motivated the giving of His Son

By this giving comes salvation (John 3:16) and the revelation of God

No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.’ (John 1:18)

Illust: At the head of the Afton, there is a great reservoir, from which we all benefit for cooking and drinking and cleaning, but that reservoir is a long way from your kitchen sink, so that watery resource flows through conduits, pipes right to your home.

The knowledge of God, that great reservoir flows likewise through pipes, pipes of Divine Love.

Gods love is Gods means of bringing His knowledge to us.

Of course by implication, any revelation which claims to be of God or from God would need to be consistent with this truth.

If what is claimed as being the teaching of Gods Word is:

  • Harsh
  • Cold
  • Cruel
  • Divisive

Or if that revelation of truth cuts us in half like an icy blast from the North Pole, we can be pretty sure that it does not arise from the warm currents of the love of God.

It is immediately spurious, as was the claimed revelation here in 1 Corinthians chapter 8.

Of course 1 Co 8:3 doesn’t quite say that, what 1 Corinthians 8:3 says is; ‘if any man loves God, that man knows God,’ in other words, a revelation of the knowledge of God, given in love can only be received in love.

In other words to know God, I must first love God.

Or

God will only reveal Himself to those who love Him

  1. God refuses to reveal Himself to anyone who does not love Him!

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” (Matthew 7:6)

  1. Anyone who does not love Him cannot receive the revelation of Him:

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. ” (1 Corinthians 2:14)

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to himIf a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” (Joh 14:21-23)

For God to reveal Himself to a Soul who does not love Him would merely increase their hatred for Him and increase their condemnation, such a revelation would simply be a revelation of Gods Judgment!

  • Consider the revelation of Christ in the Gospels; the more the High Priest knows of Christ The more he hates Christ.
  • Consider the reaction of the Sanhedrin to Stephen testimony (Acts 7:54ff; 7:57ff).
  • Consider Pharaoh in Romans chp 9
  • Consider Nebachudnezzar in Daniel 3:14ff

The solution to the problem of 1 Corinthians chp 8 comes from an unexpected source – CONSCIENCE!

Is conscience not subjective?

Is conscience not inferior to absolute truth?

Is conscience not the consequence of the fall?

Is conscience not the moral immune system – sensitive to the presence of foreign spiritual material?

What do we do when conscience says no but personal knowledge says yes?

When conscience tells us, “God would not approve”, but knowledge says’ “it’s ok!”?

Do we move towards knowledge even when it causes offense to conscience, to a sense that God would not be pleased?

Where do we go?

What is the priority?

  • Our liberty?
  • Our sense of pleasing God?

That pursuit of knowledge even in the face of the sense that this is not what God would be please with, for me (v7) or for others (v11), deifies and idolises what I know:

‘I know that I know”

A knowledge that quashes conscience and brings violence to our trust in and pleasing of God is a knowledge that hinders and that does not help.

Irrespective as to wither conscience is right or wrong in its deduction, what is absolutely true is the reality that I am faced with a choice; to do that which I ‘feel’ is wrong but ‘think’ is ok.

To go where I sense that God will be displeased but where perhaps I personally wish to go!

When faced with the choice which way do I go?

The direction tells me everything I need to know about the true desires and priority of my heart.

When God gets Lost in the Crowd – Luke chapter 2

Just added, a new message preached by J Stewart Gillespie from Luke chapter 2 verses 41 to 52:

 

When God gets Lost in the Crowd – Luke chp 2 vs 41 to 52 – JS Gillespie

Living without Anxiety 3 Golden Rules

Just added to our studies in 1 Corinthians; a new message preached by J Stewart Gillespie:

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

A New Self for A New Year – Robert Gray

Just added; a recording of this evenings Gospel message, preached by Mr Robert Gray:

A New Self for a New Year – Robert Gray – 04012015

 

Outline notes available for this message:

 

2 Corinthians chp 4 vs 3 to 6, 5:14-21, 6:1-2
Vs 17 ‘therefore if any man be in Christ he is a new creature’
We still have the same Gospel message in 2015
The message doesn’t change
2014 saw the commemoration of the first world war
It was meant to be the war to end all wars
Yet today the world remains full of war
Men and women gave their life for freedom
2014 was the 10th anniversary of the tsunami
2014 was the year of the commonwealth games
2014 has gone into eternity
Will we have another year ?
What will 2015 hold for us ?
This is the heart cry of God : ‘be ye reconciled to God’
What do you think of Christ?
We present to you the Lord Jesus Christ Gods Son
This is Gods way of salvation

‘if any man be in Christ he is a new creation ‘
1 Corinthians chp 15:20-22
If any man be in Christ they a new creation
All die in Adam
So in Christ shall all be made alive
Sin brings death, disease and separation from God
As in Adam all die – 1 Corinthians chp 15 vs 22
The bible teaches that sin is both the cause of spiritual and physical death
Are you in Adam or are you in Christ?
As in Adam we all die
What we need is someone who cares and who can give life
This we have in Christ
We need life and only Christ can give life (1 Corinthians chp 15 vs 22)
Christ came to rescue us and Christ came to give life
Have you had your sins forgiven?
Are you in Christ?
There is life in Christ, what a message!

Christ knew that all men die, He understood our need.

 

Questions :

  1. Are you in Christ?
  2. Would you like to be changed tonight?

Afraid you couldn’t keep it?

He gives the help.

  1. When did you move to being in Christ? Was there a time in your life whenever when you changed from being in Adam to be in Christ?
  2. Are you a new creation?
  3. Has Christ moved in?
  4. Has the old gone in your life? The old things you used to listen to and the old things you used to do, are they gone?
  5. Is Jesus Christ real to you? A new creation will want to tell others about Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ has changed the course of time and eternity

God has made Jesus Christ to be sin for us

2 Corinthians chapter 5 vs 21

Christ is able to change your life right here and now

Jesus brings life

Jesus brings hope

The old things go and everything is made new

 

Ayr Conference 2015 – A People Belonging to Gods Heaven – Alistair Sinclair

Just added to the site, the first message from this years annual Christian Conference held in Riverside Evangelical Church Ayr;

A People Belonging to Gods Heaven – Philippians chp 3 – Alistair Sinclair

 

Outline notes from this message:

 

Philippians chp 3

Written in his own home; Paul was a Prisoner in his own home

Gods ways are not our ways, but from this adversity there came:

  1. Opportunity for Paul preaching to the guards
  2. Some stirred up to preach
  3. Others stirred to add to Pauls affliction by preaching contentiously

 

3 individuals mentioned in the letter who are copies of Christ :

  1. Paul
  2. Timothy
  3. Epaphroditus

 

The flesh manifested was manifested by those who :

1 Pushed for circumcision

2 God is their belly

Both errors caused by the vile bodies

“in me that is in my flesh dwells no good things ”

Paul wrote epistles to 7 geographical locations:

  1. Rome
  2. Corinth
  3. Galatia
  4. Ephesus
  5. Philippi
  6. Colosse
  7. Thessalonica

Paul writes 7 epistles to 7 geographical locations

  1. Romans – fundamental truth
  2. Ephesians – family truth
  3. 1 Thessalonians – future truth

After these truths they are then challenged in the nex 2 epistles

No church epistle after 1 thessalonians – the church is taken home

They were trying to substitute orthodoxy for obedience at Philippi; a common problem

Verse 7 Pauls balance sheet, added them up and reckons them as dung

Verse 9 – found in Him, you’ll never meet a Muslim who will say I am in Muhammed, or a Buddhist that will say I am in Buddha but the Christian is in Christ

Verse 10 if by any means – strong phrase

Physical Resurrection is guaranteed to all believers cf. 1 Corinthians chp 15; ‘we shall all be changed’

Paul hadn’t made it yet!

Paul is a work in progress

V10 – being conformed

Only used 2 times in Philippians chp 3 and once in Romans chp 8, ‘that we might be conformed to the image of His Son – in the new Testament

So important  what we fill our minds with

Verse 15 —single minded and same minded

Verse 17 – get focused on Godly men and women

V19 – the flesh is the problem

V18 to 21 note 4 contrasts:

1 – End is destruction

We look for the saviour

2 – God is their belly

Change our vile body

3 – Whose Glory is in their shame

Like unto his glorious body

4 – Who mind earthly things

Your citizenship is in heaven

 

We ought to be a bit of heaven here on earth

Ayr Conference 2015 – The Saviour Who Entered in to Gods Heaven – Ian Grant

Just added to the site, Ian Grants message from this years annual Christian Conference held in Riverside Evangelical Church Ayr;

 

The Saviour Who Entered Gods Heaven – Hebrews Chapter 9

 

Outline notes from this message:

 

Hebrews was written to Jewish believers

Written to people who suffered for their faith 10:32ff

These were believers in danger of going back to Judaism

The letter written to

1 Strengthen their faith in Christ 10:33, chp 11

2 To show that what they have in Christ is vastly superior to what they had before

 

What we have in Christ is vastly superior to what we had before

Hebrew speaks about the better things

Better hope. Covenant, substance, country, blood, hope

Epistle of better things

Not written about us but written for us

Fundamental truths of ; Faith, Death of Christ, Divine chastening are all spoken of in this letter

No major church truth in Hebrews

Hebrews outline :

Chp 1 to 10 – the supremacy of Christ

Supremacy of Christ in Person

Writer compares  Christ with

Chp 1 and 2 over angels

Chp 3 – Moses

Chp 4 – Joshua

Chp 5 – Aaron

 

Chp 7 supremacy of Christ in his priesthood

Chp 8 Supremacy of Christ in his provision

Chp 10 supremacy of Christ in his passion

 

Chp 10 + 11 – stewardship

Chp 12 + 13 – standards of Christian living

 

Chapter 9

Worship is connected to service

Worship is the secret of service

Service is the expression of worship

List of the furniture in the tabernacle

No mention of the altar of incense

Lampstand is mentioned

Altar of incense is not mentioned

Table is mentioned

No mention of altar of incense

In this new relationship, the worship of God has been taken into the sanctuary

We are within the vail

No need for the altar of incense

Limitations of the old sanctuary :

Verse 7: limitations of access, one man once per year

We have unrestricted access to the presence of God

Not about familiarity

Limitations for the priest – verse 7

The priest had to offer something for himself and then for the people

Priest offered for himself and then the people

Limitation in the atonement (verse 13)

Limitation as to the duration of what was done – for the time present

Liberty of access – verse 12

Christ has entered once for all, Christ lives in the Holy place, the High Priest of old visited the Holy Place

Christ has gone to Heaven to stay in the Holy Place

Verses 13 – His blood is different

Blessings of Duration – eternal redemption

Note that there are 3 appearings in Hebrews chapter 9:

1st Appearing

Lev 16 verse 14

Heb 9 Verse 24

 

2nd Appearing:

Lev 16 verses 5 to 8

Hebrews 9 vs 26

 

3rd Appearing :

Heb 9:28

Lev 16 waiting for the High Priest to come out of the Sanctuary

 

Ayr Conference 2015 – A Heaven Belonging to Gods People – Stephen Grant

Just added to the site, Stephen Grants message from this years annual Christian Conference held in Riverside Evangelical Church Ayr;

 

A Heaven Belonging to Gods People – Revelation chp 21 – Stephen Grant

 

Outline notes from this message:

 

Stephen Grant

Revelation chp 21 vs 1 to 27

Where will you spend eternity?

Chapter 21 of Revelation answers this question

Here is a detailed description of our eternal home

Verse 1 – ‘and I saw’ – marks a division in Revelation

This is beyond the great White throne judgement

This is the eternal state

Isaiah 66:26 – New heaven and new earth

Matthew 19:28 – old earth, regenerate

Followed by a New Heaven and New Earth not simply a regenerate old heaven and old earth

‘no more sea’ – water based environment is gone

No more evaporation, distillation and condensation

Different environment, not water based

Verse 2 – Jerusalem – 3 Jerusalems in the Bible

  1. Historical Jerusalem
  2. Jerusalem of the millennial reign
  3. The eternal city of the New Jerusalem (Revelation chp 21)

 

Jerusalem married to God, brings together regenerate Old and New Testament saints

Explains the Old Testament symbolism of the nation of Israel as the bride of Jehovah

This is the Fathers House

This is Gods presence like no other time

With no sin present; Gods tabernacle is with men

Verse 4 – no more tears in heaven

Verse 6 – It is done, cf the words of Christ on the Cross ; ‘It is finished’ here is the accomplished reality and consequences of this

The Appearance of the New Jerusalem; Encompasses the redeemed from the Old and New Testaments

Thus the names of the old Testament redeemed appear on it (verse 12)

The Glory of God emanates from this place

1500 miles cubed

Jasper – crystal clear diamond

Has walls – therefore has limits

Has gates – therefore can go in and out of it

Verse 15 – God measures what belongs to Himself

City lies four square

Cube shaped

1500 miles cubed

The holy places of the tabernacle and temple were cubic

216 feet thick

Walls like diamond

Walls 1500 miles high

Radiates out the Glory of God

Verse 22 – ‘And I saw no temple therein’

No temple because there is no sin

God no longer needs to distance Himself from man

Verse 24 – Will God structure His people into Nations and Kings in eternity

 

 

1 Corinthians chp 7 vs 25 to 31 – When Time is Short

Just added to our series on 1 Corinthians, a new message preached by J Stewart Gillespie:

 

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

My Story – Billy McClounie

Just added; Billy McClounie from New Cumnock tells his own story of how through bereavement and the bitter disappointments of life, God brought him on a journey which led him to to saving faith in Jesus Christ

 

My Story – Billy McClounie