Faithful In Your Freedom | Messy Church, Part 12


1 Corinthians 8:1-3

Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This“knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. 2 If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. 3 But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.

Should we eat meat that has been sacrifice to idols?

You can be right in your beliefs, but wrong in your approach.

3 filters to help us be faithful in the grey areas of life (Christian liberty)

1. Look to God as your authority

1 Corinthians 8:4-5

Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,”and that “there is no God but one.” 5 For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords

Psalm 96:3-5

Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!4 For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods.5 For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the Lord made the heavens.

Numbers 33:4

while the Egyptians were burying all their firstborn, whom the Lord had struck down among them. On their gods also the Lord executed judgments.

1 Corinthians 8:6

yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

2. Listen to your conscious as a guide

1 Corinthians 8:7-8

However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. 8 Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do.

Conscious – an internal compass giving direction for what is personally right or wrong.

Our conscience needs to be informed and shaped by scripture.


“Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason – I do not accept the authority of the popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other – my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen.”Martin Luther

Romans 14:5

One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Eachone should be fully convinced in his own mind.

Romans 14:19

So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

3. Take the community of believers into consideration

1 Corinthians 8:9-10

But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will he not been enouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols?

Knowledge

Freedom

Rights

Their Knowledge

Their Freedom

Their Rights

1 Corinthians 8:11a

And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed….

1 Corinthians 8:11

And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died.

1 Corinthians 8:12-13

Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble,I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.

If Christ sacrificed for me, how can I not sacrifice for others?

My knowledge

My rights

My freedom

1 Timothy 1:3-5

As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, 4 nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. 5 The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

The question is NOT how can I exercise my rights BUT how can I serve others in my freedom?

Galatians 5:13

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

1 Corinthians 8:13

Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.

What does Scripture say?

What does my conscience say?

How does this impact the community?

Alcohol

Voting

Weddings

Employment

Education

Tattoos

A Divided Heart | Messy Church, Part 11

 

Divided hearts focus on the details of circumstances -> Anxious about the details (pleasures, comfort, and physical needs) -> Discontent in our circumstances->

To fully address our circumstances, we need to do these 2 things:

1) Address Our Circumstances

Be real about the struggle

Circumcised, Uncircumcised – Neither one matters, focus on serving God. 

Bondservant/SlaveFocus on serving God, if you can become free that’s great, focus on serving God.

Married – stay married, now focus on serving God.

Divorced – and your situation is this stay single, if your situation is this get married if you want, stay single if you can, now focus on serving God but it will be easier if you’re single.

Single – get married if you want, stay single if you can, now focusing on serving God but it will be easier if you’re single. 

Widowed – get married if you want, stay single if you can, now focusing on serving God but it will be easier if you’re single.

Betrothed/Engaged – get married if you want, stay single if you can, now focusing on serving God but it will be easier if you’re single.

We may be struggling with the same circumstances, we may not but we need to do the same thing that Paul did and be real about naming the circumstances in our life that we are or can be focused on instead of focusing on serving God in them.

Work – My Co-Workers, Leave a space here, Focus on Serving God

Be real about who’s in control of your circumstances.

“Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him and to which God has called him.”

Proverbs 16.9 “a person’s heart plans his way, but the Lord determines his steps.”

The reason why we don’t have full control of our circumstances is because God has a purpose and a plan for us.

 

2) Address Our Calling

 

35 “I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.”

Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

To address our calling, we need to make our relationship with God our #1 priority and we focus on serving Him and not our circumstances. 

Example: Work – My Co-Workers, love my enemies, now Focus on Serving God

After we have properly addressed our circumstances and our calling, we will be able to Realign Our Focus

We will be able focus on serving God in our circumstance, trusting Him with the details, allowing us to be content in our circumstances. This is the key to an undivided heart.

Undivided Heart is Focused on serving God -> Trust Him with the details -> Content in our circumstances.

Let’s Pray.

 

The Resurrection of Christ | Messy Church, Part 10


How do you really know if the thing most important to you is worthy of being in the place ofmost importance?

1. The Importance of the Gospel

1 Corinthians 15:1-3

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received:

Gospel – “good news

we receive

we stand on

we are saved by

“…if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain”.

The Gospel is not a phase you go through but an event in history that you are being saved by!

1 Corinthians 15:3-4

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,

Christ died for our sins”

“He was buried”

“He was raised on the third day”

“In accordance with the Scriptures”

John 5:39-40

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.

Luke 24:27

And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

The Gospel according to Paul…

Jesus died

Was buried

Rose again

According to the Scriptures

So that we could be forgiven of our sins

2. The Witnesses of the Gospel

1 Corinthians 15:5-8

and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

Peter – denied Jesus

James – doubted Jesus

Paul – damaged the church

500 witnesses at one time

3. The Power of the Gospel

1 Corinthians 15:9-10

For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.

The Gospel changes us

The Gospel empowers us

Acts 9:13-14

But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.

Acts 9:26

“And when he had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples. And they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple.

1 Corinthians 15:10

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.

4. The Response to the Gospel

1 Corinthians 15:11

Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

Romans 10:14-15

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”

Application

Refocus your life around the Gospel

Recommit your life to the Gospel

Respond to the call of the Gospel

What Is Marriage All About? | Messy Church, Part 9

 

You like

You love

You get engaged

You marry

You die

“The state of being united as spouses in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law.”Webster’s Dictionary

Paul has a different view on marriage in 1 Corinthians 7

1. Marriage is good and so is sex (within marriage)

1 Corinthians 7:1-4

Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.

2. Marriage is important but it is not everything

1 Corinthians 7:6-9

Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. 7 I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. 8 To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am. 9 But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

Marriage & Singleness:

Good

Gifts

Marriage is a sign of the promise of Christ.

Singleness is a sign of the sufficiency of Christ.

People have a tendency to idealize and idolize marriage.

When you idealize marriage, you can just as easily make an idol out of marriage.

3. Marriage was designed to be permanent

1 Corinthians 7:10-14

To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband 11 (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife. 12 To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. 13 If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

Matthew 19:4–8

He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and holdfast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh.What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” 7 They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” 8 He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.

Divorce is not a command, it is a concession.

1. Adultery (Matt. 19:9)

2. Abandonment (1 Cor. 7:15-16)

1 Corinthians 7:15-16

But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. 16 For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

Marriage is meant for life

Divorce should not be an option

There are 2 exceptions

What does the Bible say about remarriage?

1 Cor. 7:11, 1 Cor. 7:15, Matt. 5:32, Matt. 19:9

The story of Hosea and Gomer::

 

 

Messy Church, pt 8 – “God’s Design for Sex”


“There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any
created thing but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.”Blaise Pascal

Love / Sexual pleasure

Identity, Value, and Happiness

“We are witnessing a massive social experiment that will, in the end, increase the very unhappiness it is attempting to remedy.”Juli Slattery

1. What does my view of sexuality have to do with God and His Kingdom?

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

What was true of you then is NOT true of you now;

What is true of you now was NOT true of you then.

These are people God loves!

“such were some of you.”

1 Corinthians 10:13

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

“But you were washed.

Matthew 5:8

Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

2. What is my body meant for?

1 Corinthians 6:12-14

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. 13 “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything” 13 “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food

Whenever we try to fulfill spiritual desires with physical gratification, the result will always be the same—emptiness!

3. What exactly is sex?

1 Corinthians 6:15-16

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members ofChrist and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.”

Genesis 2:24

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

Sex was given for husband and wife:

1. To multiply and fill the earth (Gen. 1:28)

2. So we wouldn’t burn with passion (1 Cor. 7:8-9)

1 Corinthians 7:8-9

To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am. 9 But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

4. How can you be made whole?

1 Corinthians 6:17-18

But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.

“If you’re head is made of butter stay away from the fire.” – Martin Luther

“If I can just find that right person, then I will be fulfilled.”

“Once I get married then I will be happy, and my problems with lust will go away.”

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Disputable Matters | Messy Church, Part 7

Examples of Christians publicly airing grievances/filing lawsuits against fellow believers:

Defamation

Discrimination

Divorce

Sexual Abuse Allegations

Church Elections

Breach of Contract and Conspiracy

Most of us when wronged, insist on making things right...

or getting even

The willingness to suffer wrong

1 Corinthians 6:1-8

When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? 2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world?And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! 4 So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church?5 I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, 6 but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? 7 To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? 8 But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers!

These believers were taking private matters into the public court.

The result:

Division in the church

Bad reputation in the community

Negative witness in the world

1 Corinthians 6:1

When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints?

We should never handle publicly what should be dealt with in the family.

1 Corinthians 6:2

Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you,are you incompetent to try trivial cases?

1 Corinthians 5:12

For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?

If saints are called to judge the world, why would we ever want the world to judge our issues?

1 Corinthians 6:7

To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you.

1 Corinthians 6:7-8

To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong?8 But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers!

Be willing to suffer wrong

Would you rather be wronged and resemble Jesus or get your own way?

We want to defend ourselves publicly…

as if we don’t trust God!

So consumed with obtaining more stuff

So concerned about defending our stuff

We miss the bigger picture

1 Corinthians 6:3

Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life!

Judgment / Restoration

First, remove what needs to go

Then, make right what remains

1 Corinthians 6:5

I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers,

1 Corinthians 6:11

And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified int he name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

What are some wise ways to settle the dispute?

1. Never gossip, or vent

2. Settle disputes with gentleness and love

3. Be courageous

4. Be patient

 

How To Deal With Sin In The Church | Messy Church, Part 6


Who are we to judge?

“I’m a brother/sister in Christ”

“I have the truth of Scripture and I love you enough to tell you the hard stuff.”

How do we deal with sin in the church?

Corinth was known for sexuality

Temples were dedicated to Aphrodite

Prostitutes roamed the streets

1. The Problem

1 Corinthians 5:1-2a

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. 2 And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn?


“Turning from sin and trusting in the good news that Jesus saves sinners aren’t merely a one-time experience but the daily substance of what Christianity is all about. The gospel is for every day and every moment. Repentance is to be the Christian’s ongoing posture that recognizes sin for what it is and seeks forgiveness, reconciliation, and growth.” – From Desiring God

“When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said ‘Repent,’ he intended that the entire life of believers should be repentance.”Martin Luther

2. The Solution

1 Corinthians 5:2b-5

Let him who has done this be removed from among you. 3 For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. 4 When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.

“Let him who has done this be removed among you” (1 Cor. 5:2b)

There is a big difference between struggling with sin and celebrating sin.

Repent or Remove

1 Corinthians 5:5

you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.

“Be killing sin or it will be killing you!”John Owen

Are you celebrating or struggling?

Are you unrepentant or repentant?

Psalm 51

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me…7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.8 Let me hear joy and gladness; l et the bones that you have broken rejoice.9 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.11 Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.

What sin do I need to bring to light and repent of?

Matthew 18:15-20

Tell them their sin, hope they listen/repent

.If they don’t listen, take 2-3 others with you

If they don’t listen, tell it to the church

If they don’t listen, treat them as a tax collector

4 principles from Matthew 18/1 Cor. 5:

1. Context: family

2. Process: gradual

3. Motivation: love

4. Goal: restoration

1 Corinthians 5 is the end of the process in Matthew 18, not the beginning.

“removal”

3. The Warning

1 Corinthians 5:6-8

Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?7 Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. ForChrist, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Passover:

– God’s people were enslaved

– God heard their cry and brought judgment

– Paint the blood of a lamb on the doorposts

– The angel of death would then pass over

– Reminder how serious sin was

– The innocent had to die in place of the guilty

1 Corinthians 5:7

Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. ForChrist, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.

Paul’s primary concern is not one man’s sin but the overall health of the church.

4. The Application

1 Corinthians 5:9-13

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

Application: 

1. You should associate with non-Christians and not expect someone who has no relationship with Jesus to act like Jesus.

2. Purge the evil among you!

1 John 1:9

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

3. Pray for, and pursue those, who are wandering from Christ.

Galatians 6:1

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.

Warnings And Wisdom | Messy Church, Part 5


“If you do this/that you are going to hurt yourself

1 Corinthians 4:14

I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children.

5 Warnings/Wisdom from Paul:

1. Be careful how you define success

1 Corinthians 4:1-2

This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.2 Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.

1 Corinthians 4:3

But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court.

2 Corinthians 10:10

For they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account.”

1 Corinthians 4:4-5

For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. 5 Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.

How do we define success?

Servant

Steward

Faithful

2. Arrogance and pride cause division in the church

1 Corinthians 4:6

I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another.

puffed up – inflated

An exaggerated view of self at the expense of others

How do you know you have pride?

You’re right 99% of the time

You give yourself the benefit of the doubt

You always want your way

Others’ way of doing things is weird

Pride reduces our capacity to learn from others.

Pride also undermines our ability to trust others.

1 Corinthians 4:7

For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then youreceived it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?

James 1:17

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights,

3. The world’s wisdom is NOT that smart

1 Corinthians 4:8-10

Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! And would that you did reign, so that we might share the rule with you! 9 For I think thatGod has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. 10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute.

You can have all the money in the world…but still lose your soul.

You can have all the knowledge in the world…but still be lost.

You have all the power in the world…but not be able to change yourself.

You can be known by many in the world…but have no one who really knows you.

What is the wisdom of the world today?

Philippians 4:12-13

I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

1 Corinthians 4:11-13

11 To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless,12 and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; 13 when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things.

4. Be aware of who is influencing you

1 Corinthians 4:14-15

I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children.15 For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

What you need is a father/family NOT another babysitter.

Romans 16:13

Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord; also his mother, who has been a mother to me as well.

Mark 3:34

And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers!

John 19:26-27

When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!“ 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!”And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

1 Timothy 5:1-2

Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.

1 Corinthians 4:16-17

I urge you, then, be imitators of me. 17 That is why I sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church.

Imitate me only as much as I imitate Christ

5. Don’t mistake mere talk with the power of God

1 Corinthians 4:18-21

Some are arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power. 20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power. 21 What do you wish? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love in a spirit of gentleness?“

“For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.” (1 Cor. 4:20)

Romans 1:16

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

You can’t reason your way to God, you need to come to Jesus!

Time To Grow Up | Messy Church, Part 4


Expectations change as a person gets older.

1 Corinthians 3:1-4

But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, 3 for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? 4 For when one says, “I followPaul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human?

“people of the flesh”

infants”

They knew Christ but they were not growing in Christ.

How do we grow in Christ?

Baby (new believer)

Toddler (learning to walk)

Teenager (immature, cranky, full of passion)

Adult (taking responsibility)

Father/mother (reproduce yourself, responsible for others)

God wants you to grow and move to maturity.

Do you want to grow?

1. We grow together

1 Corinthians 3:4-7

For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human? 5 What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as theLord assigned to each. 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.

God gives the growth,

through people.

1 Corinthians 3:5

What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each.

Someone sowed

Someone planted

Someone watered


If it took teamwork to bring you to Christ, then why would you want to be the cause of divisions on a team that is trying to lead others to Christ?

2. We grow over time

1 Corinthians 3:6-9

I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 8 He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. 9 For we are God’s fellow workers.You are God’s field.

.We need to focus more on the process than the product.

1 Corinthians 3:10-11

According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Psalm 127:1

“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.”

You can either build in vain or build on Jesus.

1 Corinthians 3:12-15

Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up ,he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

What am I building with?

“Only one life shall soon be past, only what’s built for Christ shall last.”C.T. Studd

3. We grow with humility

1 Corinthians 3:16-17

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you.”

God on the inside!

You are that temple

1 Corinthians 3:18-23

Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” 20 and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” 21 So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.

It’s time to grow up…

Be honest about where you’re at

Commit to moving forward

It’s time to grow up…

Continue forward through different stages of being a Christian

When you think about suffering, what comes to mind? Do you envision bedraggled children with distended stomachs, a hospital patient hooked up to life-sustaining medical equipment, or a courageous veteran dealing with the aftermath of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Adversity seems to be a common denominator to human existence, but what does the Bible have to say about suffering?

Jesus spoke to His disciples about suffering. One of the most well-known verses reads, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24 ESV). The Greek word for cross in this verse is staurós. It refers to the crossbeam which the lowest criminals carried as they trudged toward their execution. The cross symbolized degradation and indescribable pain as well as sacrifice.

While the invitation to eternal life is free, it comes at a price–certain suffering.

x