Sermon Series 1 Corinthians Title: How to Stand Firm While Others are Falling Subject: Sanctification Theme Text: 1 Corinthians 10:12 Sharp: Why did Jesus say to the religious leaders of His day, Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV) 21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23 Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!' This should be a warning to all who call themselves Christian that just because you carry the name it does not mean that you are authentic. I am going to talk to you today about Paul’s advice to the Corinthians church about insuring your authenticity. No one who believes in heaven and hell want to be separated from God for all eternity. But would it surprise you to know that just because you do not like the idea of eternal separation does not mean that you are willing to sacrifice whatever it takes to get to heaven. Jesus said what He said because he who knows the hearts of all men knows that there are pretenders to the Kingdom. Just because you can talk with religious language and do all sorts of things in honor of Jesus does not mean that you belong to Jesus. There are fakes in every walk of life; perhaps the most pitiable are those who are Jesus fakes. In most large cities of the world like Seoul you can go to the large city markets and buy knock offs of existing expensive goods like Rolex watches, gold clubs, and certain designer handbags and accessories. But they are cheap imitations, fall apart quickly and can get you into trouble. Around this time of year people are deluged by knock off toys. One of the most popular knock off is something called a chi pod. It is a Chinese knock off of an IPod. It is one thing to buy something you know to be a fake one, but it is quite another to be fooled into buying a fake when you are paying for a real one. The Apostle Paul warns the Corinthian believers about knock off salvation an warns them how they can in a time when according to our Lord many will fall, how they can stand firm. Read: 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 Introduction: In our previous chapter, Paul has just encouraged the Corinthian believers to imitate him in that he ran his race alike he wanted to win the prize. He lived his life as if his salvation depended upon his work. He took the matter of obedience very seriously. Now he illustrates the seriousness in which they must as believers take their salvation by using
Israel as his example. No serious student of the scriptures can come away from the Old Testament without the fact that they believed that their law and membership in Israel protected them from God judgment. Their salvation as individuals hinged upon their membership in God’s covenant community. So it didn’t meter whether or not they obeyed the elements of the covenant. So they were constantly in trouble because they disassociated the personal covenant with the way they lived. All the rites, festivals, and sacrifices were supposed to lead them to God but were never designed to be substitute for God, a relationship. The Corinthian believers were in danger of making the same mistake, and so are we, you and I. The Corinthian believers as are we given things by which we remember our Lord and make statements. It is a grievous error that believes that we can do these things and live any old way we want. Transition: Paul warned them if they stand upon anything else but their relationship with Jesus they will fall. Paul uses the Old Testament example of Israel to warn these believers and thus he warns us to be sure upon which we stand less we fall. How can we stand in days when people who call themselves believers are falling all around us? Paul says: 1. Don’t Stand on Religion, 1 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV) 5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert. Exegesis: In verses 1- 5, Paul brings up the fact that Israel was guided by the cloud by day and pillar of fire by night across the desert. They passed through the seas as a kind of baptism and ate the food that God provided them, they experienced God doing remarkable things yet God judged them. Their experiences and religious experiences did not save them. They were all part of the covenant community but that membership although it gave them advantages they failed to grasp those advantages. What were they? Paul says it this way, Romans 3:1-2 (NIV) 1 What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? 2 Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God. Application: Their membership in the church of Israel did not save them. There are some facets of the Christian religion that seems to say to people you are a real Christian because you belong to the big church. Nonsense! Being baptized, becoming a church member will not save you, partaking of the Lord’s Table will not save you. Doing church and religious things will not save you. Illustration: You do those things, they have value because you are in a relationship with Christ but they do not, will not produce that relationship. What was Paul talking about their bodies were scattered refers to Numbers 25:1-4. Transition: Secondly Paul tells them that these things that happened to Israel serves as an example to us. Paul tells them to: 2. Don’t Set Your hearts on Worldly Things, 1 Corinthians 10:6 (NIV) 6 Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did.
Exegesis: Although they told God they would accept the covenant when Moses was away they worshipped idols and engages in drunken immorality. When they entered the covenant they entered unto a new way of life and living. They could no longer live the way they used to live. They wanted God’s blessings but without God’s laws. Application: We are in danger when we want to be part of the world and live as they do. We want the sexual and cultural mores of the world. Christian who want to live together outside of marriage, who want to have sexual experiences outside God ‘s allowed boundaries, who want to live as if God does not exist and when we get in trouble we can call on Him to pull our grits out of the fire. Illustration: We marry unbelievers and wonder why we are not happy because our mate does not value a relationship with God. We have premarital sex and wonder why we have to raise children and forfeit the life we wanted to live. , we look for mates in all the wrong place sand wonder why we do not have a happy marriage. We live our lives as materialists and wonder why our worship is unfulfilling. You are not going to stand if your heart secretly wants the world and its way. They all get to do it why can’t I? Transition: Another way to stand is to make sure we: 3. Don’t Test God, 1 Corinthians 10:9 (NIV) 9 We should not test the Lord, as some of them did--and were killed by snakes. Exegesis: Now how did they test God? We need to know this so we can understand the example. In Numbers chapter 21 Moses tells us the account of the Israelites who complained about having no food except manna and no water except that water that God provided. So God sent among them these poisonous snakes to judge them. Now how did they test God? They disbelieved the goodness, providence and provision of God by giving them the manna and water as they needed it. They wanted it their way. They wanted to be able to feed themselves and wat4er themselves so as not to depend upon God. They grumbled against God. Application: God has given us His precious promises to take care of us, he provides for us daily. We pray to Him and ask for Him to provide then we complain about how He answers us. We do not get what we want. We want to have independence from Him. Illustration: God gives us shelter but we want mansions. God gives us in His timing but we want it on our time schedule. We grumble because we ask and God gives us something else. Transition: There is one thing in common with all these warnings, and that is that we are in a battle with sin and Satan. Did not Satan say to Eve you will not die. It’s a lie. God provides safety when we stand upon Christ and: 4. Don’t Rest Upon Your Own Strength, 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV) 13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
Exegesis: There is no temptation that we face that God does not provide a way of escape. The Israelites were not bound by their passions and lusts. But their religious rites will not protect them but only a personal commitment to God. Only you personal commitment to Christ will protect you because you belong to Him. If your only connection to Him is religious that will not protect anyone. Application: None of us are tempted beyond the provision of God to resist. God is faithful. God will not shield us from temptation because He uses it to grow us. It is your relationship with Christ that is your way of escape. That is what the Corinthian believers needed to hear and so do we. Conclusion: On what are you standing this day? Do you think that you are strong enough on your own to stand? Beware that kind of pride will ensure your fall. Let’s take these warnings from Israel’s history. Flee from everything that will cause you to stumble rely upon Christ and you will not fall.