Thy Kingdom Come

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

1 Corinthians chapter 4 verse 8: ‘Thy Kingdom Come’

1 Corinthians chp 4 vs 8 – Thy Kingdom Come – J Stewart Gillespie – 01072014.mp3

Preaching Notes

    :

    Reminded of Derek Binghams introduction to Daniel when he observed that God does not give prophesy simply to satisfy our intellectual curiosity about the future, but with prophetic revelation God has moral and spiritual goals in mind.

    1 John 3:1ff : ‘and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in Him purifiers himself even as he is pure’

    2 Peter 3:11 – Edward Blum, ‘Peter makes the impending disintegration of the universe the ground for a personal challenge to his readers.’

    Christ is coming back
    Gods wrath is about to be poured out on a Christ rejecting world
    The heaven and earth will be dissolved
    A new heaven and earth are to be ushered in
    So what does all of this mean?
    Be careful what you are watching on the Tele
    Be wary of what you are browsing on the Internet

    This truth seems to come to the fore here in 1 Corinthians chapter 4, in a negative sense, namely a wrong understanding of future events results in wrong behaviour.
    The Corinthians appear to be suffering from a wrong view of the kingdom.

    1. Problem of the Kingdom (4:6)
    2. Proof of the Kingdom (4:7-14)
    3. Power of the Kingdom (4:15-21)

    1. Problem of the Kingdom

    Problems seem to have arisen due to a wrong appreciation of the Kingdom of God.
    That now is the time to reign and rule; ‘now ye are full, now ye are rich’ (4:8)
    How did this problem arise?
    We will discover in chapter 15 that they also have a wrong view of the Resurrection, that there are some among them who deny the resurrection.
    It may well be that these 2 issues are not disconnected.
    The OT spoke very clearly of a coming Kingdom when Messiah will reign physically and visibly upon the earth with His administrative centre at Jerusalem

    Psalm 2:1ff, 6
    Psalm 45
    Isaiah 9:6ff
    Isaiah 11
    Isaiah 32:1
    Jeremiah 23:5ff

    With Christ we have Messiah, God’s anointed one; We recall from our studies in Hebrews for example that Christ is; ‘King of Righteousness’ and ‘King of Peace’ (Heb 7:1-2, 15-23).
    So if we have the King, do we not then have the Kingdom.
    Again in Hebrews chp 1:8
    Rev 19:16 “King of Kings and Lord of Lords”

    The Lord and the apostles certainly speak of the spiritual or mystery aspect to the presence of His Kingdom on earth; that is that:

    all who are saved enter into this Kingdom (John 3:5)
    The Kingdom of God is ‘within you’ (Luke 17:21)
    “The Kingdom of God is not meat and drink but righteousness, and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Rom 14:17)

    So all who bow to the rule of Christ in their lives are part of His spiritual Kingdom.

    This is however a most unsatisfactory fulfilment of those literal OT prophecies and hardly does justice to Christs titles of “King of Kings” and “Lord of Lords” ; that His Kingdom reigns over a world which is on the most part in a state of outward rebellion.
    So there will be a future, literal outward Kingdom which will fulfil those OT prophecies and NT expectations.
    When will that be?
    Does the present age of Church testimony and world rebellion just merge imperceptibly with the future Kingdom or is there a specific event or set of events which divide this present time from the future Kingdom?
    If you were to ask me for those specific events which trigger the beginning of that transition I would identify 3 concurrent events:

    1 – The return of Christ
    2 – The Resurrection of the dead in Christ
    3 – The removal, by rapture of the believers form the world.

    It is these 3 events which pave the way for the pouring out of Gods wrath on a world which rejects His Son, His Spirit and His Gospel.
    These 3 events separate this present time from the future day of tribulation and wrath which paves the way for the binding of Satan for 1000 years and the establishment of Gods Kingdom under Christ.
    What is interesting is that when you come to 1 Corinthians we find that there is a group of believers who deny this resurrection (1 Co15:12ff).
    More than this in 1 Co 15:23ff Paul makes the connection between:

    1 – The Resurrection of believers (15:18-23)
    2 – The Return of Christ (15:23)
    3 – The Rule of the Kingdom (15:24ff)

    These believers then in denying the physical bodily resurrection of believers not only undermine the fundamentals of the Gospel (1Co15:17ff) but it also fundamentally alters their view of the Kingdom; for them there is no transition the present merges imperceptibly into the future.
    This all may sound a bit complicated, a bit tenuous, but in fact it has been a not infrequent teaching over the years; so much so, it even has a name: ‘post millenialism’.

    They had:

    Satisfaction : “full” : ‘korenmoi’ : to have enough (4:8)
    Prosperity: “rich” : ‘plouteo’ : to be rich (4:8)
    Authority: “reign as kings” : ‘basileuo’ : to reign, rule, be king (4:8)

    They were as a consequence accustomed to:

    Fighting for their rights (6:1ff)
    Self confidence in their new found knowledge (8:1ff)
    Standing on a few toes / breaking a few eggs to get what they wanted (8:11ff)
    Playing a prominent part in Corinthian society (8:10; 10:19-21)
    Awareness of place, position and status (1 Co 11:21ff)
    Using their gifts and abilities to claim position and place (1 Co12:15-18)
    Used to being heard and making their views known (14:26-32)

    They were reigning as Kings in their own Kingdom!
    This was a gospel for winners!
    This was a gospel with prosperity!
    But this was not the Kingdom of God (4:20)
    So long as I am doing alright
    So long as my fellowship is doing alright then all is ok!
    Proof of the Kingdom

    But here is a different view of being a king (4:9ff) – A King in Gods Kingdom.

    compare Matthew chp 5 and 1 Corinthians chapter 4:

Service Stewardship and Secret Sins

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

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

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

Service Stewardship and Secret Sins

Meeting God in His Temple – 1 Corinthians Chapter 3 verse 16

Just added, a new message preached from 1 Corinthians chapter 3 verse 16:

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

Notes from this message:

1. Picture of a Building (v9)

The Builders (v9)
The Building (v9, 16)
The Building Materials (v12)

2. Place in the Building Programme (v9)

“we are labourers together with God”
Just labourers! Ours is not the role of the ‘architect’ (v10); ours is just to obey the simple instructions to perform the labour’s.
We don’t have the overall plan or drawings, just to obey and to act in faith.

3. Person on whom the Building is founded (v11)

This building must be built consistent with the foundations therefore:

Jesus Christ is “the truth” (John 14:6) – Therefore there is no room for error nor lies; “44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own:for he is a liar, and the father of it. ” (John 8:44)

“God is Spirit” – all that is founded on Christ must be spiritual, materialism has no place (cf. 1 Corinthians chp 6).

“Holy, harmless, undefiled” – no room for sin on this foundation (cf. 1 Corinthians chps 5 to 10)!

4. Principles of Building

‘Gold’ – Righteousness
‘Silver’ – Redemption
‘Precious Stones’ – Wisdom

With so much care and concern going into this building, what is the purpose of it?

5. Purpose of the Building (v16)

Is it self evident?
Sometimes the more self evident the question the more surprising the answer!
Not going to Dwell on what the temple is not, but by considering what it is we may well be lead to acknowledge what it is not:

It is not:
A social organisation
A welfare organisation
A political organisation
An entertainment

I mention briefly what it is not because sometimes the church, the temple becomes modified in order to focus it’s vision / purpose on what it is not.

5. The Purpose of the Building:

The Pattern of the Tabernacle
The Paradox of the Temple
Present Reality of the Church
Purpose fulfilled in Revelation

Pattern of the Tabernacle

“let them make me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them” (Exodus 29:45-46)

Paradox of the Temple

“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee how much less this house that I have built? ” (1 Kings 8:27)

Present and Personal Reality in the Church

” where 2 or 3 are gathered together in my name there am I in the midst of them” (Matt 18:20)
“I will declare thy name unto my brother in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee” (Heb 2:12)
“God is in you of a truth” (1 Co14:25)

Purpose Fulfilled in Revelation
Revelation 21:1-4
The Temple of God is primarily for God to Dwell (3:16)
A truth it would seem easily forgotten (3:16) : “know ye not”
It ought not to have been forgotten
It was the big lesson
How easily we forget
The Temple was for the Presence of God and not for the profit of men; “a house of merchandise”
The Sabbath was for Man and not man for the Sabbath
God looks not on the outward appearance but God looks on the heart.
They had forgotten that they were the temple of God.

If God is present amongst us what should we find?
How about: God?
Evidence of the presence of God?
There is little point in claiming where 2 or 3 are gathered together in my name here am I in the midst of them, if there isn’t the slightest evidence of it!
What evidence ought I to be able to see?

1. God reflected in His people
2. God revealed in His Word
3. God realised in prayer

We ought to be touched by and able to see the reality of those symbols:

Gold – Righteousness – seen practically amongst His people. More than just an outward form of Righteousness, more than just a ticking of the box righteousness, more than the righteousness of the Pharisee (Matthew chapter 23), none of the sin of chapters 5 to 10!

Silver – People transformed by Redemption – Reflection of Christ; “if any man be in Christ he is a new creation. ‘ Ought to be the evidence of a people who have left Egypt, sin and slavery behind and who have a higher agenda, a people heading to the promised land, people with vision and with Glory, people saved and redeemed and in dwelt by the Spirit of God and marked by the fruit of Gods Spirit. There ought to be the tangible evidence of people in dwelt by the Spirit of God: Galatians 5:22 22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance:against such there is no law.” A tangible sense of this is possible.

Precious Stones – a different way of thinking? There ought to be evidence of the wisdom of Christ in our thinking, and of the mind of Christ in us (1 Corinthians 2:16). There ought to be evidence of a people living with an eye on eternity (3:13ff). Living and labouring not just for the here and now but for the future and forever.

God Revealed in His Word

If the temple existed primarily for the presence of God, then the practical benefit of that presence for God’s people lay in the provision of God for His people which flowed from that presence.
The temple and tabernacle contained the symbols of that provision:

Lamp – to give light for the way
Loaf – to sustain and feed His people
Priest – with his intercessor ministry for the people, who would bear the care of Gods people on his breastplate of judgment and carry their names on his shoulder.

The temple was a place where as a consequence of Gods presence with them, the needs of Gods people were met. This was not the primary purpose of course of the temple or the tabernacle but it was an inevitable consequence of having Gods presence amongst them. The primary purpose in bringing Gods people out of Egypt was not that God might give them bread from heaven but that they might ‘worship Me.’
It would be very strange if the NT temple for the Living God had less of a provision for God’s people than the OT tent!

Wherever we find the presence of God in the OT, His Presence has a purpose, He is present to:

Receive Worship
Reveal Himself

Bethel – Genesis 28:11ff – The House of God; God is present and God reveals His purpose and communicates to Jacob, on this occasion by means of a dream (Gen 28:12); and with a predictive word of prophecy (28:13-15).

Mount Since – Exodus 4:27 – The Mountain of God (Ex 19:3ff,9,19;20:1ff) – God speaks.

Tabernacle (Ex40:34ff) – God spoke; “The Lord called unto Moses and spoke unto him out of the tabernacle of the congregation saying…” (Lev 1:1). God speaks from this tabernacle at times with devastating consequences (Number 16:20ff) – Korah, Dathan and Abiram. God revealed His mind from the tabernacle (Number 27:21).

Temple – 1 Kings 9:1ff – The Lord appears to Solomon the second time and “The Lord said unto him…”

So too then the expectation for God to Speak and to reveal Himself to His people in this new spiritual Temple at Corinth. Not just to keep alive and to repeat what we believe to be true but to have real living communication from God Himself (1 Co 14:23-25).

Reality of Prayer

The dominant theme in the dedication of the temple of Solomon: 1 Kings 8:29-30, 33, 35, 42, 44-45, 48-49; 8:54.

Baptism of Peter and Tom Gray

Like many great conversions of the bible, the conversion of the Ethiopian Eunuch of Acts chapter 8 gets off to a shaky start. Despite searching for God in the right place; in the Spirit given prophecies of the Old Testament, he struggles to understand the big, bold vision of Isaiah of a God given human sacrifice for a lost world (Isaiah chapter 53). How can he understand such a revolutionary concept unless someone should come along side and teach him (Acts 8:31)? God has promised for all who feel discouraged by the daunting task of finding God in such a mixed up world of many religions, that if we seek Him with our whole heart we shall find Him. Philip draws alongside and shows him that the God he is looking for is the Person of Jesus Christ! God is no mere feeling, nor an impersonal force and certainly no religiously minded fable. God is a real person, revealed and encountered in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ makes God knowable. Jesus Christ makes God serious. Jesus Christ gives God opinions. He is not the God who merely rubber stamps my faults and failures to receive me into heaven with a blind eye to my sin. In Jesus Christ God was spat on, whipped, beaten and tortured for sin. In Jesus Christ God takes sin and salvation seriously and personally. Without Him there is no salvation, with Him I am faced with the seriousness of my sin and my guilt before an angry God, a guilt of such depth and severity that it demanded the crucifixion of His Son, but with Jesus Christ I have on offer Gods free salvation by grace through faith.

The Ethiopian grabbed his opportunity, rested in Gods salvation, received Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour and plunged into the waters of baptism, leaving the old life behind and going on in the strength and the joy of the Lord.

Baptism of Peter and Tom Gray – Robert Gray

Baptism Peter Gray – Testimony

Baptism of Peter and Tom Gray – Seeking God Finding Christ – J Stewart Gillespie – 30052014