Posts Tagged ‘Listen to The Point’

All Who Desire to Live Godly Will Suffer

January 15th, 2010

crown_of_thorns

The message I preached Sunday (01/10/10) was from 1 Corinthians 4:6-17 where the apostle Paul urges the Corinthians to imitate him (vs. 16), but not before giving an ironic comparison between them and him. I had to ask myself, do I really want the apostles’ adjectives to describe my life? Is it worth it? I also used 2 Cor 11:23-27 where Paul gives his “résumé” of suffering. What does that mean for me? I aspire to be like the leaders in scripture. Sometimes (like even in last week’s message) I will relate to the apostle’s position and example. Not this week. I’ve never been beaten, etc. and do I really even want to???

First of all, it is worth it.

The One with the power to raise Christ from the dead wants to empower you with that power.

He told Paul in the next chapter after the “résumé”, in 12:9

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

And Paul responded with

Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

I am praying for you friends, that

“ the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, (Eph 1:18-20)

And that you

“may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, (Eph 3:18-20)

Second of all, I realized when Paul says, “imitate me” he doesn’t mean go looking for a beating. He tells the Corinthians that he was sending Timothy to “remind you of my ways”. We should aspire to DO the things that the apostles DID. So, we don’t aspire to suffer, but we aspire to have the same eternal mindset, focused on the heavenly rewards. However, knowing that suffering is inevitable frees us from the bondage of the fear of it. When we see that it is inevitable we go through that soul-searching process of asking “IS IT WORTH IT?” Coming to the answer or “Yes, it is” then we are left with our minds set on doing those things which lead to godly lives and eternal rewards.

“Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Tim 3:12)

I didn’t mention earlier, but I believe persecution comes in many forms, not just your standard torture/starving/beating stuff. Any trial is a kind of persecution if you recognize that we are in a spiritual battle.

In each of these passages, the pain is worth it, and the response is a renewed desire for godly living and perseverance. Read them and meditate on them today! 2 Cor 4:7-18; Rom 7:24-25; 2 Tim 4:6-8; 1 Cor 15:54-58

What does 1 Corinthians 1:7 mean “so that you come short in no gift…”?

November 4th, 2009

I recently gave a sermon entitled “Seven Facts about You” (click to listen) from 1 Corinthians 1:1-9.

A question came up after the sermon about verse 7. What does it mean when it says “so that you come short in no gift”?

For verse 7, there are a few possible interpretations. Consider this quote:

“The exact meaning of you are not lacking in any spiritual gift is uncertain. The possibilities are:

(a) there is not one of God’s gifts that you do not have (TEV and REB have this interpretation);

(b) there are none of God’s gifts that you do not have enough of;

(c) there is not one of God’s gifts that you have less of than any other gift (the King James Version [KJV] seems to take this meaning).”

from Ellingworth, P., Hatton, H., & Ellingworth, P. (1995). A handbook on Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. UBS handbook series; Helps for translators. New York: United Bible Societies.

However, I think the best explanation for this verse is that no believer is left without a spiritual gift.

Examine the context. Paul is establishing several facts about the Corinthian believers and any “who call on the name of the Jesus Christ our Lord”. So this must be something that is true for every believer.

We know from experience that not every believer has every gift. We also know logically, if that was true there would be no diversity, and passages like 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12 would lose their meaning. The metaphor of the body with all its different parts would also lose its meaning. This addresses (a).

It is also not true that every believer has their particular gift maxed out. Quite often I see people with a particular gift, but they fall short in it. I suppose you could say that they aren’t really falling short, they just aren’t appropriating the gift’s full potential. You might also say that it applies at the church level, but again, you’d have to admit that it sure doesn’t seem to be true in many churches. This addresses (b).

Lastly, I can personally testify that some gifts are stronger than others in me, so I don’t think (c) is true either.

It IS true, though, that every believer is given one or more spiritual gift(s). No believer comes up lacking by not having a spiritual gift.

Do you know how the Lord has gifted you? How are you giving back to Him?
Please contact me or seek out a friend to help you discover or use a gift for the Lord.

Jesse

For verse 7, there are a few possible interpretations. Consider this quote:

“The exact meaning of you are not lacking in any spiritual gift is uncertain. The possibilities are:

(a) there is not one of God’s gifts that you do not have (TEV and REB have this interpretation);

(b) there are none of God’s gifts that you do not have enough of;

(c) there is not one of God’s gifts that you have less of than any other gift (the King James Version [KJV] seems to take this meaning).”

–Ellingworth, P., Hatton, H., & Ellingworth, P. (1995). A handbook on Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. UBS handbook series; Helps for translators. New York: United Bible Societies.

I, however, think the best explanation for that verse is that no believer is left without a spiritual gift. Consider the context. Paul is establishing several facts about the Corinthian believers and any “who call on the name of the Jesus Christ our Lord”. So this must be something that is true for every believer.

You and I both know that not every believer has every gift. If that was true there would be no diversity and passages like 1 Cor 12 and Romans 12 would lose their meaning. The metaphor of the body with all its different parts would also lose its meaning. This addresses (a).

It is also not true that every believer has their particular gift maxed out. Quite often I see people with a particular gift, but they fall short in it. I suppose you could say that they aren’t really falling short, they just don’t realize it. You might also say that it applies at the church level, but again, you’d have to admit that it sure doesn’t seem to be true in many churches. This addresses (b).

Lastly, I can personally testify that some gifts are stronger that others in me, so I don’t think (c) is true either.

It IS true though that every believer is given one or more spiritual gift. No believer comes up lacking by not having a spiritual gift.

Hope this helps,

Jesse

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