Just One Man and God – Standing Firm when I Feel Completely Alone – 2 Corinthians chp 6

Just added, a new message preached by Dr J Stewart Gillespie from 2 Corinthians chapter 6 verses 1 to 3:


2 Corinthians chp 6 vs 1 to 3 – Just One Man and God – Standing Firm when I Feel Completely Alone – JS Gillespie – 29082017


Beyond the Veil – Veiled Glimpses of Christ – Isaac – 2 Corinthians chp 3 vs 16 – – JS Gillespie

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


2 Corinthians chp 3 vs 16 – Beyond the Veil – Veiled Glimpses of Christ – Isaac – JS Gillespie – 04042017


other messages from 2 Corinthians >>

Jesus Greatest Miracle – John chp 3 verse 14 – JS Gillespie

Just added, a new message preached by J Stewart Gillespie from John chapter 3 and Numbers chapter 21:


John chp 3 vs 14 – Jesus Greatest Miracle – JS Gillespie – 19062016


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

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


  • 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.


Better than the Best – 1 Corinthians chapter 5 vs 1 to 7

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


1 Corinthians chater 5 verses 1 to 7 – Better than the Best


Notes from the above message:

1 Corinthians chp 5 vs 1 to 7 : ‘Better than the Best’

We may be left perplexed, shocked, confused and astounded; from chapter 5, that a church like Corinth with all of its privileges:


  • Foundation in apostolic preaching and teaching
  • Expository ministry of Apollos from the OT scriptures
  • Stories of great conversions and testimonies; eg Sosthenes (1 Co1:1) and Crispus (Acts 18)
  • Signs of the apostles (2 Co 12:12)


That such a church could fall so far and so fast
That ought to leave us more than just a little perplexed and confused and shocked
Why should it happen?


1 – Doctrinal Confusion? (cf Romans 6:11)
2 – Moral Compromise (1 Co 6:12ff) – difficult to take a stand where we have at least in part compromised ourselves on something very similar – prostitution
3 – Spiritual corruption (1 Co10:4-9)

All of that was a:

  • Distraction from Christ (1Co10:4)
  • Attack upon Christ (1Co10:9)


Their relationship with the Lord was compromised and that weakened these believers spiritually; their strength was sapped.
How do we get back?
What about recovery?

  1. Discipline (1Co5:5)
  2. Devotion (1Co5:7)


  1.  Repentance (v2)
  2. Judgment (v3)
  3. Destruction of the flesh (v5)

Not as some have suggested the physical flesh or body of the believer through disease or disaster; some have drawn parallels perhaps with:

  • Job
  • Paul in 2 Co 13 – his thorn in the flesh
  • Believers who are sick and who sleep (1 Co11:30)

This is not the physical flesh here but rather the fallen human nature:

  • Sin resides not in the physical but in the inner fallen nature (Mark 7:15; 20-23)
  • Notice the contrast between flesh and spirit (v5) as opposed to body and spirit (5:3)
  • The judgment is with a view to their salvation and ultimate restoration (5:5; 2 Co 2:5ff); something that is difficult to imagine as an outcome if they have been destroyed!!

Discipline is only one half of the Recovery programme, back to Christ in 1 Corinthians chapter 5

To Discipline over sin the apostle adds, exhorts, gives reason for Devotion to Christ.
7 aspects to Christs surpassing greatness are presented to us by the apostle; following the pattern of Leviticus chapter 23; the 7 Feasts of Jehovah:

  1. Passover
  2. Feast of Unleavened Bread
  3. Firstfruits
  4. Pentecost
  5. Trumpets
  6. Atonement
  7. Tabernacles

In 1 Corinthians chapter 5 we are going to come to the first 2 of these feasts:

  1. Passover
  2. Unleavened Bread

In fact all 7 will be referred to / paralleled in 1 & 2 Corinthians; all pointing to the all sufficiency of a Christ who is able to satisfy:

  1. Passover (1 Co5:7)
  2. Unleavened Bread (1 Co5:7-8)
  3. Firstfruits (1 Co 15:20)
  4. Pentecost (1 Co 12:13)
  5. Trumpets (1 Co 15:51ff)
  6. Atonement (2 Co 5:21)
  7. Tabernacles (2 Co 5:1ff)

Just as the 7 Feasts of Jehovah give us the backbone of the OT religious system, so too if you were to come to the NT and were to ask, what does God have for me today?
What is the Big Picture?
What is the Big Purpose?
We find that it all lies in Christ.
He is the Big Picture!!

Appreciating Christ as our passover (1 Co5:7)
What does that, mean?
Exodus chp 12:

  1. The Place / Purpose (12:1)
  2. The Pre-eminence (12:2)
  3. The Prophecies (12:3)
  4. The Pictures of Christ (chp12)


1 – The Place / Purpose (12:1)
What is the passover about?
I want to modify something that has been taught over the years; that the purpose of the passover was to deliver from bondage in Egypt.
That the passover did deliver from:


  • Slavery
  • Suffering
  • Sin

Is eminently true (Exodus 3:7ff); at least it is true of the most of the nation of Israel
Of one man however more could be said.
Illust: Leo Brettell who died aged 93 last week. He had risked being shot and being killed by jumping from a moving train. The train was heading to Auschwitz and in the words of Leo Bretholz; anything was better than Auschwitz.
Leo Brettell decided that the possibility of death was better than the worst of this world; Auschwitz.
The passover delivered not only from the worst of this world – from sin and slavery and suffering but for Moses; the passover delivered from:
The Best of this World
For his story we need to turn to Hebrews chapter 11:
Moses chose Christ above:

  • Sovereignty (11:24)
  • Sin (11:25)
  • Silver (11:26)

Moses found that the Passover lamb not only delivered from the worst of Egypt but that the Passover delivered from the best of Egypt.
Moses knew that Christ was Better than the Best!

2 – The Pre-eminence (12:2)
The nation would start their calender from the passover festival (Ex 12:2)
Interesting to reflect on our own calendar today: date, month and year – the year of the birth of the Passover lamb.