Discovering who I am Discovering who God is – John chapter 1 verse 14

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


Discovering who I am Discovering who God is – John chp 1 vs 14 – JS Gillespie – 30092018


Jesus – Captivated by the Glory – 2 Corinthians chp 12 vs 1 to 2 – JS Gillespie

Just added to our series on 2 Corinthians, a new message preached by J Stewart Gillespie:


2 Corinthians chp 12 vs 1 to 2 – Jesus – Captivated by the Glory – JS Gillespie – 12062018


2 Corinthians chp 4 vs 6 – Desire by Design – Satisfied with the Glory of Christ – JS Gillespie

Just added, a new message in our series on 2 Corinthians:


2 Corinthians 4 vs 6 – Desire by Design – Satisfied with the Glory of Christ – JS Gillespie – 09052017

  series on 2 Corinthians

‘The Beating Heart of Christianity’ – 2 Corinthians chp 4 vs 6 – JS Gillespie

Just added, to our series on 2 Corinthians, a new message preached by Dr J Stewart Gillespie:


2 Corinthians chp 4 vs 6 – The Beating Heart of Christianity – JS Gillespie – 02052017


more messages on 2 Corinthians

Terminal Ordinariness and the Mystery of the Cherubim of Glory – 2 Corinthians chp 3 vs 6 to 18

Just added, to our series on 2 Corinthians, a new message preached by J Stewart Gillespie:


2 Corinthians chp 3 vs 6 to 18 – Terminal Ordinariness and the Mystery of the Cherubim of Glory – JS Gillespie – 28032017


more messages from 2 Corinthians >>

Finding Christ in Life’s Dead Ends

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


Finding Christ in Lifes Dead Ends – John chp 11 – JS Gillespie – 04122016


Grace the Unexpected Glory – John Chapter 1 verses 14 to 18

Just added, a new message preached from Johns Gospel:

John chp 1 vs 14 to 18 – Grace the Unexpected Glory – J Stewart Gillespie – 01052016

1 Corinthians chapter 11 verses 7 to 16 – Glory Glory Glory

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


1 Corinthians chp 11 vs 7 to 16 – Glory Glory Glory – J Stewart Gillespie


Outline notes are available for this message:

We have previously noted that in 1 Corinthians chapter 11 Paul continues his concern for the unity of the church at Corinth, a concern running through chapters 1,3,6,8-10

Far from the headship truth of 1 Corinthians chp 11 being a separate issue, it is part and parcel of Paul’s desire to keep the assembly together.

What could be more unifying than appreciating that we are all under the one head?

A nation will will unite under one leader, one flag, one anthem and one monarch.

The church as a body will unite under one head : Christ

In verse 3 we saw :

  1. The system of headship
  2. The source of headship
  3. The structure of headship

From woman to man to Christ

In verse 4 we noted the symbol of that headship: that the physical head is the symbol of the spiritual head

It is important to be consistent and coherent in our interpretation of the section.

Verse 4: since Christ is mans spiritual head then in acknowledgement of this man leaves his physical head uncovered

Verse 5: when it comes to the woman in verse 5, man is her spiritual head and therefore the covering of her physical head symbolises the covering of mans headship. If the woman was to leave her head uncovered she would really be saying, I am under the headship and authority of man. It is important to see this, because over the years it has been common to suggest that a womans head covering represents the symbol of mans headship over the woman. It is clear from verse 4 that it is the uncovering of the physical head which declares spiritual headship and not covering it.

If we wish to declare and display the symbol of mans headship that would be symbolised by a woman with an uncovered head.

The uncovered head of the woman in the church is really thus saying : ‘I’ve wandered into this gathering of Gods people in exactly the same way as I wander the streets of this village, in exactly the same way I order my life at work and at home, as a woman in a mans world and under the headship of man ,and I expect to go no higher and no further.

But when the woman covers her head in the assembly she recognises a higher headship than that purely present within creation, she recognises a headship over creation, a headship with which she is now directly connected by redemption. In Christ she has been brought into something higher, something better, something altogether more glorious.

The symbol of the covered head declares that on an equal basis :

I approach the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:14-16)

I have the hope of eternal life (Hebrews 10:19ff)

I find grace to help

I have a place prepared in heaven (John 14)

I have the prospect of being filled with the Holy Spirit

I have the standing of sonship before God

These blessings are mine, mine, mine

That is the simple testimony of that little head covering.

Does that mean that the function of the men and women in the assembly is the same?

The answer lies in the question.

So long as there are men and women there are distinctions

We do not cease to be men and women.

We have been brought into the same; blessings, prospects, hope, salvation and joy, all because of Christ, we are not yet at Matthew 22:30

Headship specifies the authority under which we operate, it does not specify the nature of that operation: 1 Corinthians 12:5-6

Every believer has the same :

  • Hope of eternal life
  • Guarantee of a home in heaven
  • Prospect of being filled by the Holy Spirit
  • Access to the throne of grace
  • Standing of sonship

But quite clearly not every believer will express those privileges or exercise those liberties in exactly the same way (1 Corinthians 12:4-5)

In verses 7-16 we are going to see the reasons behind the system, structure and source of headship and this symbol of of head coverings

What is it all about?

Verses 7 – 10 give us the reason for head coverings based on headship structure

V7 ‘for a man… ‘

V10 ‘for this cause… ‘

Down through this section we can discern at least 6 reasons, distinct reasons for the practice of headship :

  1. Mans relationship with God (v7)
  2. Womans relationship with man (v7-9)
  3. Angels (v10)
  4. Common sense of decorum (v13)
  5. Natural president (v14)
  6. Practice of the churches (v16)

6 reasons are maybe a bit too many to remember but perhaps I can remember 3 reasons, especially if they are all the same.

  1. Glory of God (v7)
  2. Glory of man (v7)
  3. Glory of the woman (v15)


  1. Glory of God

Mans purpose is the glory of God

Revelation 4:11; 5:12

So man ought to operate under the headship of Christ for His Glory

When a man preaches

When a man teaches

When a man serves

When a man prays

When a man praises

It all ought to be done for the Glory of God

When a man gives of his time, treasure and his talent

When a man serves then he must do it with all of his might for a greater Glory, the Glory of God.

Surely every Christian must sense the tragedy as we glimpse the empty purposeless lives of men and women satisfied with their time and talents being robbed, setting their hearts on nothing more than :

Accumulating wealth

Pursuing a hobby

Scoring a goal

Potting a ball

Building a business

Topping up a sun tan

In all of that missing the purpose for which they were created ; to live for the glory of God

This often lies at the root of problems which arise over head coverings, a failure amongst the men in stepping up to the mark to live for the glory of God.

If our collective experience is the enjoyment of the Glory of God, we will be satisfied with this and not looking for something else less than the Glory of God.

If we are not enjoying the Glory of God, then a lesser Glory will do

Humanity beats with a pulse that flows from the heart of God, if any feature of humanity guarantees our ultimate victory, it is this, that people need Christ, for man was made in His Image.

  1. Glory of man

The glory of man is to be covered

  1. Glory of woman

Womans glory – her hair is likewise covered in the sight of God

All might be for His Glory

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

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

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


Outline notes are available from this message:


This section addresses the great issue of Christian Liberty
Liberty standing in distinction to legality (10:23)
The believer does not live his life according to rules
The believer lives by Gods Spirit (Roms 8:1ff), in conformity to Gods Word (Psalm 119:105)
What is legality?
Adding rules where there are none?
Living by rules rather than the Spirit!


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

To Sin
To Self
To Satan

cf Romans 6:12ff

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

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

4 Tests of Freedom:

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

1. Does it build me up? (v23)

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

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

‘edification’ : oikodomeo: to build, construct

bring it together
build it up

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

that whilst:

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

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

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

First the gathering together and then
The building up

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

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

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

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

First – you gather together
Then – you build up

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

personal vertical growth
is founded upon
collective horizontal growth

we first:
gather together
and then we
build up

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

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

2. Does it bless others? (v24)

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

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

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

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

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

Each of the scenarios is examined:

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

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

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

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

But what really irks and piques the brothers pride:

who are you to take away my liberty?

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

Preserve Christian liberty by protecting Christian Liberty

We are going to prevent liberty from degenerating into:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is the powerful:

life changing
world shaping
destiny making
salvation bringing


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

Here is a principle to:

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

Could there be a more:

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

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

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

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

Some have accomplished great and mighty deeds for Gods Glory!

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

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

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

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

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

but in the:

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

“ye eat or drink…”

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

ephah of parched corn
10 loaves
10 cheeses

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

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

I’m not always:

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

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


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


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

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

What can be done to the Glory of God?

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

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

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

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

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

That brings Glory to God