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Our God Of Order
John Barnett speaking. I sure hope we make it through this class. Bonnie and I have been filming now for about a year and a half through the pandemic, have had more technical problems today than any other days. We just finished our prayer meeting. Actually, tomorrow we fly to Europe. I think that’s probably why we’re having so many technical difficulties. The Lord showing us that apart from Him, we can do nothing. As you can see, our whole configuration has changed. Nothing in the studio’s working. Don’t even think about anything except what we’re looking at, week 38. Let me remind you where we are. Week 38, we’re on 1 Corinthians 11-14.
This is when we were at the conference with all the missionary doctors, I’ve talked about so many times. On our Saturday off, Bonnie and I drove up and spent the day at Corinth. That’s the temple of Apollo. Remember, that was 500 years old when Paul first saw it when he came to Corinth.
We’re looking, and maybe that’s part of why we’re having troubles, we’re looking at some of the most controversial things in Christianity; Gender roles that God established. God has established gender specific roles for men, for women, in the home, and in the Church. That is a hot issue today. Communion and the purpose of communion. To keep Christ’s Church focused on their redemption. Do you remember what we sing about all throughout Heaven? Revelation 4 & 5 say we’re singing about our redemption. That’s what we portray at communion, our redemption. We’re going to look at the spiritual gifts. Wow, that’s divisive in the Church today. Of course, chapter 14, the God of order. That’s where we’re going.
You see right here, we’re on week 38. The first time I studied through this I wrote, Communion, Chastening, which I didn’t even mention, that’s a huge topic which is coming, and spiritual gifts. For any of you just joining us, you don’t even know it’s different. Usually, we have that picture in picture down in the right corner and a full screen of either my Bible or the slides. We’re on a yearlong survey of the whole Bible. We are in the 38th week, which means nine and a half months into this. All of them are their own playlist on YouTube and you can start anywhere. You can start today and go all the way to the end, and then start back and go around. Some people are just going back, I noticed, starting on zero and really learning the method and going through.
Here’s the method. We write a title. You’ve already seen my titles on the front slide. Then, on that chart we keep track of all the lessons, trues, and doctrines that we find. We use our resources, either MacArthur Study Bible or some online resources. Then, we hit the key area, which is the application through looking for personal prayers to the Lord for Him to change me, which is what sanctification is all about.
Here’s my Bible over here, and I know it’s much smaller, but I’ll still walk through. I’ll actually verbally say what I’m pointing at to help you because the print is so small in this three camera view. Chapter 11 starts with, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” In my notes, I’m going to show you, this is a constant theme of the Apostle Paul. What he’s saying is that he is seeking to follow the Lord and he wants that, to use him, as an example in all the ways he’s following the Lord. Paul was not perfect. We are not perfect. I’m not perfect. You’re not perfect. Paul is now perfect because he’s in Heaven. When we are glorified, when we’re finally in the presence of the Lord, we’re perfected. Here on Earth, we have our flesh to deal with, our fallenness, our sinful behavior at times. What this verse says, see what it says in verse 1, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” I can say the same to you. We’re in a discipleship relationship. If you’ve joined a small group study, which I consider that camera’s just sitting on the other side of the table here. I actually have my tea right here, we’re talking and meeting with our notebook, with our Bibles. I’m encouraging you to imitate the ways that I’ve learned to follow the Lord.
The controversial part starts in verse 3. “I want you to know,” this is 1 Corinthians 11 verse 3, “that the head of every man is Christ, the head of women is man, and the head of Christ is God.” What this is, Jesus is in subordination to the Father in His role as the Son. Is Jesus any less God, than God the Father or God the Holy Spirit? That’s what the Trinity means. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit all are 100% God. Jesus though, in the role of Son, God the Son… do you remember the drawing we had way back when we covered systematic theology in the book of Isaiah, and I showed you the Trinity? Many weeks back, I showed a circle. A triangle for God, a circle.
Here I can draw it right here, I have a drawing pad. This is the Trinity. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Then, this circle is that Jesus Christ is both divine, that’s this part, and human. No drawing really can capture theology because all of a sudden you say, oh, does that mean He’s 85% human… and this 15%? No, we know he’s 100% God and 100% man, but in His role as Son, He is subordinate to the Father. How do I know that? All the way through John over and over Jesus says, I always do the will of my Father, when my Father reveals this, and according to my Father’s will. As Son, He does this.
Father, Son, and then it says, look back at verse 3, “The head of the woman is man. The head of Christ is God.” Here’s the Son and His headship to the Father. Look at this, here’s the Church. The Church is subject to the Son and the Son is subject to the Father. That rolls into, look at this, this is Jesus Christ, this is man, this is woman. The Bible says man and woman, Galatians 3:28 are totally equal. There is no more spiritually higher role for a woman than a man in their relationship to Christ. Within the Church, there’s gender specific roles and that’s what we’re going to be looking at.
That’s why I said it’s very controversial. I’m going to go through the scriptures with you. Keep reading, verse 9. This is Paul’s reasoning. He says, “Nor was man created for the women, but the women for the man.” That’s why creation is so important. Remember Adam said there was found no partner for him? God put him to sleep, took out his rib, from the rib fashioned the woman and brought her to Adam, and he said she is now bone by bone and flesh of the flesh. She is the one who completes you. Woman was made to complete man, if you believe in creation. That’s why Genesis is so important. Everything that God began in Genesis is his operating system, all the way to the book of Revelation.
Keep going, I’m going through chapter 11. Now, we start talking about the Lord’s supper in verse 17. After the first 16 verses are about all this gender specific role, which we’ll cover, this is the Lord’s supper from 17 down to 22. Then, the specific instructions start in verse 23. Paul said, “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you.” He learned this directly from Christ, how that on the night, which our Lord was betrayed, verse 24, he took when he’d given thanks, he broke bread and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” Then we get into, starting in verse 27. The self-examination. Which is the chastening, which we’re going to cover. It’s very interesting what the Bible says.
Then, we get over here to chapter 12. 1 Corinthians chapter 12, spiritual gifts and this unity and diversity in the body. Then, Chapter 13 is the great love chapter. In fact, most Bible scholars say that chapter 13 is the most exquisite Greek writing of all of Paul’s writing, half the New Testament. It’s just amazing. It’s part of the Bible that’s like the sermon on the mount. The sermon on the Mount, Jesus… here, let me erase all my drawings so I could use this as my sketchpad. Did you know, whenever I’m at the small group studies at the restaurants, I’m always flipping over my placement and drawing all over it? Then, I bring my journal. I turn it and draw all over that because it helps put on paper what I’m saying. Basically, when you look at the sermon on the mount (S.O.M.) it’s 85% mono syllabic. What is that? One syllable words, simple words. When you go to 1 Corinthians 13, 85% mono syllabic.
Do you remember why the scriptures described Christ in this way? Do you remember how the Bible says Jesus was? It says the poor received Him gladly, because they understood Him. They said it all the time. They said, nobody talks like this. He talks about the most profound things in language we understand. Mono Syllabic, the simplicity is true genius. Lord’s prayer, sermon on the mount, all of the beatitudes, very simple. 1 Corinthians 13, very simple.
Okay, back over here, so that’s 1 Corinthians 13. Then I wrote here on my Bible, I’ll read it to you since you can’t see it, it’s so small. The fact that Paul had to write this letter shows Christians did and can do all these things. Isn’t that interesting? They were fighting. They were divorcing. They were getting drunk. They were going back to their old ways and committing fornication. They were all mixed up about spiritual gifts. They were fighting at communion, fighting. Paul had to write them and say, that not how Christians behave.
Chapter 14 is finally all of chapter 12’s spiritual gifts that we are going to cover in chapter 14. Paul talks about them; it’s summarized in the last verse. Look in your Bible at verse 40 of chapter 14. Paul says, “Let all things be done decently and in order.” God is a God of order. That’s my Bible.
This is my journal. Again, it’s small, but let me get to our marker. Here are the notes I took plus several other pages that I had to type because this got bigger and bigger. Let me show you, I started typing them and I’m going to go in order. It’s week 38. You need space in your journal to have your page that says we’re covering 1 Corinthians 11 to 14. Here are my titles per chapter. 11, it’s gender based roles, communion, and the consequences of sin. For chapter 12 it’s spiritual gifting in Christ’s body is unique. That’s the emphasis of chapter 12. The uniqueness of what the Lord has written in His word as how He gifts us. In fact, my personal pastor when I was studying, used to always say, we’re spiritual snowflakes. There’s no two of us that are alike. We’re gifted and designed by God to do something no one else can do. That’s a thrill to think about it.
Chapter 13, love is personified in Christ, the only one we are to imitate. Remember Paul said, chapter 11 back here in your Bible in verse 1, imitate me like I’m imitating Christ. Follow me in every way that I’m following Christ. Chapter 13, Christ is the personification of love. His whole life, how He related to people, how He related to His family, how He related to spiritual leaders, how He related to the common people that received Him gladly, how He related to His enemies, all of those personified love. Then chapter 14 right here, spiritual serving in Christ’s body is always orderly. That’s the whole theme of chapter 14.
Here’s my summary. After reading all week long, I have all these little notes and I summarize them into one paragraph. That’s why I like typing. I like the handwriting, so I do all that on the spot. In fact, this morning when I was finishing up, we’re leaving, and one of my favorite things, Because as I grew up my dad was an outfitter and led groups, Christian groups, on trips into the wilderness. He used to always have campfires and read them the Bible around the campfire. All teenage and college age boys. I always put together a wood fire fireplace, campfire, and Bible study. They always go together in my mind. This morning I was having my last, before we fly tomorrow, fire and I went out in the woods. I gathered pine branches, and pine needles, and all that, and got it going. As I was writing down my last little bit I thought, wow, this is a monumental series of chapters. Let me read you the summary.
God had performed an amazing miracle of grace in Corinth. A church was planted in one of the most un-Christian places on Earth. For some of you that might start a stirring. God is not finished with this world. The Earth is dying, but God wants to redeem a whole host, a numberless host of people out of this planet. There are many un-Christian spots on Earth that need you to be a light and evangelist, a church planting Bible teaching servant of the Lord. Imagine a wealthy beach town, which was also a bustling seaport filled with sailors, that was home to the most well-known brothels in the world, overshadowed by a huge temple shrine to demons. That’s Corinth in the 1st century. In fact, the reputation of Corinth had become a noun. It’s interesting. To Corinthianize, meant to freely live in sexual debauchery and drunkenness. Corinthianize is actually a word in the Greek language that describes the way people behaved in Corinth. They took the name of the city Corinth and made it a verb. They Corinthianized. They lived, look at this, in sexual debauchery and drunkenness. That was the very un-Christian place that this miracle took place.
Paul, the one God used to plant that fledgling church was doing long distance discipling. By the way, how big was the church in Corinth? They’ve excavated a vast amount of Corinth and they haven’t found a single residence that could fit more than a hundred people in the open court, the largest room in the house. That means since the church met in the home of believers, probably the church in Corinth was, at the high side, a hundred people.
Did you know, the Apostle Paul spent a year and a half of his life, and an awful lot of time after that, writing and answering questions with only a hundred people. When I was in the ministry, a pastor of a church of only a hundred was looked down on. They had a tiny church. We’re living in America, in the mega church generation. If you’re great, you have big church. Paul was great and he had a little church, he had a hundred people. Think about that. God doesn’t measure greatness in size, but in depth and commitment and fulfillment of His will. Paul who planted that little fledgling church was doing long distance discipling. He was answering questions from the new believers. He was confronting problems he heard about.
In 1 Corinthians 11 to 14, there’s some key questions that are answered by God through Paul, that’s what we’re reading, and some big problems confronted by God’s word through Paul. Paul wrote, this is what the Lord says. He was the instrument, the tool God used. These chapters are so relevant to today’s world, and the state of believers living in some of the most tempting, confusing, discouraging, and uncertain days. I was just reading an analysis of this COVID year and a half we’ve had. It says that the psychiatrist, and psychologist, and those that are in mental health care, do you know what they’re saying? They’re saying the whole world has post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s because there’s stress over fear of dying from the virus and fear of financial loss and fear of what’s going on in the world. The whole fall of Afghanistan and all that we watched on the news. Even the Olympics with hardly any people there. With the shots and the efficacy of the shots and the morbidity of the variants. We’re all learning to be virologists. It’s very confusing and discouraging and uncertain. Most people during this time have turned so much more inwardly to the electronic world. That’s why it’s the most tempting. The constant looking at sexual images online, which is what so much of the internet has devolved to, is causing changes in the brain, and making an addiction. A very tempting world to live in.
As always, God’s word brings clarity so we can see what’s right and what’s wrong, how to get right and how to stay right, conviction that the word of God is the sword of the Spirit. He pierces us with those words. I just got a message. I was telling Bonnie about it. It was about a young man who said, I’ve been watching for months. He said, I finally have bowed and repented. I finally have called on the Lord and said, I believe your word. I believe that you died for me, and I now want your salvation. He sent me a message and he said, I just want you to know that on the other side of that camera, I was sitting, watching through my screen on my device, and I stopped the video, bowed, and called the name of the Lord. He said, I’ve started, I’m in the word, I’m doing this study. He said, now I want to go to Bible school because you’ve talked about it. He said, I want you to help me as I sort through which would be best, going to seminary or to the Masters Bible College out there in Los Angeles, or going to Word of Life Bible Institute. By the way, if I was actually talking to him right now, you know how I would answer? I would say hey, do you want to just study the Bible? Concentrate for one solid year of Bible, then you can go to Word of Life Bible Institute, Schroon Lake, New York or in Hudson, Florida. It’s where I teach. I’d get to meet you. I would actually join with 24 other faculty from all over the country and the world and teach you the Bible. You could go and get a full blown four year education out at the Masters, or there are many Christian colleges. That’s what he said, because God brought conviction and certainty to his life.
Let’s jump in. Chapter 11. I’m going to do these one chapter at a time. We’re looking at gender based roles, communion, and the consequences of sin. I showed you that over here in my Bible already. Let me show you what I wrote in my journal. When I talk about Bible, here. When I talk about journal, it’s what I’m writing by hand as I’m reading the scriptures. Verse 1, basic discipleship is imitation. Paul sets the example for us. He said the Christian life is all about following Christ and then inviting others to follow us, following Jesus. If you haven’t started that, it’s the greatest thrill in your Christian life. You ought to this lesson. Some of you need to decide you’re going to start doing this. You’re going to ask someone else to join you in your journey, through the scriptures. You can do it on your coffee break at work. You can do it at some coffee shop on campus. For me, when I was in high school, I started doing this. I just asked the principal, Tony Waldron was his name, in 1974 when I went to Haslett High School. And I said, Mr. Waldron, actually in the 70’s we were supposed to call him by his first name, Tony, which is very disrespectful to me, but I said, can I use the Latin room? It seems empty most of the time. He said for what? I said, lunchtime Bible Study. He said, do it. He said, we have so much trouble in the lunchroom with them throwing food at each other, I’d love to get a group of you out of there. We ended up having 60, 70, 80, 90, 100 students studying the Bible on our lunch hour. The Lord blessed, and people got saved. They continued. Some of them are still serving the Lord almost 50 years later.
Paul sets the example. This was a regular theme in Paul’s teaching. Look at this, 1 Thessalonians 1:6, “You became followers of us and of the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 4:16. “I urge you, imitate me.” Ephesians 5:1, “Be imitators of God.” Philippians 3:17, “Following my example.” Philippians 4:9, The things you saw in me, do. Basic discipleship is imitation. How did Jesus, now this is Mark 3:14, do you know what that says? Jesus’ plan, it says, “He ordained 12, that they should be with Him.” Watch Him, listen to Him, imitate Him. That’s discipleship.
Number two, from verse 2 to 16. God has gender specific roles. Paul explains our gender specific roles in the Church and in the home. That’s, what’s so important to realize. Christianity is not supposed to dictate the laws of society. We are not trying to Christianize America’s politics, our democracy. We’re not supposed to. We’re supposed to share the Gospel and lead people to Christ one at a time, then disciple them. Then, they will slowly permeate society with the fragrance of Christ. Not passing laws to Christianize America, no. You notice the gender specific roles are for the Church and the home, for the Church and marriage and family; not for the business world, not for the political world, not for the educational world. Paul explains our gender specific roles in the Church, in the home as reflecting the way God operates in the Trinity. Just as Christ’s role as Son is to submit to the Father, even though they are equal, so we should choose to submit to the roles He’s given us.
This is when it’s important to grab your MacArthur Study Bible. I have my marker here because so many of these notes look at this. Do you see the scripture is only this big and from here all the way down in chapter 12 are notes? Same with chapter 11. This is a huge, important, doctrinal section. I clipped a few of them and I’m not going to read all these words. I’m just showing you how important this is. Chapter 11 verses 3-15. There’s no distinction between men and women as far as personal worth, intellect, or spirituality. That’s what Galatians 3:28 says, I already quoted that. For in Christ there is neither male nor female, Jew nor Gentile, bond or free. We’re all one. There’s complete spiritual equality. Not equal gifting, not equal calling, not equal in the plan God has, but equality of our access to Christ, in our receiving Him, and having our worth as eternally reflecting His glory. We’re all snowflakes, we’re all a little different in our gifting, and calling, and what God has planned for us. He explains that right here, you can read that, with six reasons.
Then, he talks about Christ and His headship over the Church, but the Father being over Him. Let me illustrate. In fact, if you take your Bible and I’m going to go to Ephesians. I forget this camera is on all the time now. Look what it says, Ephesians 5:21-6:9. I want to show you something. You probably can’t see these, but I’ll show them to you. Right here you see it’s circled, verse 21 there’s a number 1. 22, number 2. 23, number 3. Chapter 6 verse 1, there’s 4. 5 next to verse 5 of chapter 6. 6 by verse 9. What I’m talking about there is God’s plan for what God wants to go on in the marriages, in the home, and in the church that are of believers. Churches that follow the scripture and Christian homes. Look what it says, “Submitting to one another in the fear of God.” All of us, because there’s no difference between male and female, we’re all supposed to spiritually submit to one another as fellow stones in the temple of God. We’re all equally part of His family, equal access. God doesn’t give His Spirit by measure. We have all of the Holy Spirit. We have all the fullness of God within us through Christ, but He doesn’t have all of us.
To help us grow in sanctification look at this verse, 22. 21 everyone submits, verse 22 gender specific roles start clicking in. “Wives, submit to your own husbands.” Verse 23, “For the husband is the head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the Church; and He is the Savior of the body.” The husband is supposed to submit to His role as being a spiritual leader. Look, here’s God’s plan for husbands. They’re supposed to be spiritual leaders. Wives are supposed to be submitting. The word hypotassō means lineup behind and follow the lead spiritually of their husband.
Children are supposed to follow their parents. See what it says? Number four, right there. When all of us submit to one another, number one. Verse 22, Wives submit. Number three, husbands submit to their role. Number four, children obey their parents. Then, the bond servants. That basically is workers are supposed to obey their bosses. Of course it says, bosses are supposed to obey the Lord and treat their workers right. That’s right here in verse 9. Then, all of us are supposed to put on this armor.
Back to the slide here, God’s plan. Husbands, head of their family, over their wife. The wife and husband over the children. Watch this. Many families though, the wife leads the family, the children with the wife leads the family, and the husband has become this passive, withdrawn, watching TV, or doing his sport, or his hobby, or out with the guys, or whatever he does, playing video games. What are the consequences of not following God’s plan? There’s conflict and stress because women were not designed by God to lead in the Church or lead in the home. They were designed to follow and nurture. The husband is supposed to be like the snowplow up front. He is going through all the hard things, and he is the protector of the family, and he is the lead. The wife is supposed to be right there in the cab following along with him. Like Bonnie does, she is the wisest person, the most godly person, the most spiritual person I know in the whole world, her advice is next to the scriptures. By the way, most of the time, her advice is a scripture because she knows the Bible so well. Next to the Bible, next to the Spirit of God, she’s the most important voice in my life. Spiritual headship and leading does not mean I know everything; you’re going to do it my way. It’s saying, I want to love you like Christ loves the Church. Jesus explains to us his Word and invites us to follow, which is the best way possible. That’s how a husband operates, and we saw that last week. Remember, I already talked about that with Ephesians 5 and marriage when we were going through that last week in chapter 7.
There’s tension and confusion in the children. Why? Let me show you another form of this. God’s model is that God the Father is head over Christ, and Christ submits to Him. We, as husbands and men, submit to Christ and then our wives submit to us as we follow Christ. Our children submit to their parents, as they follow Christ and the word of God. Is that what’s going on? No. In many churches, it’s very confusing. Women are pastors, even though the Bible specifically says they may not be pastors or elders. There is disobedience there. They’re not to lead the home. What does that do? It makes for stress, and conflict, and disobedience.
Look at this, it makes people distrust the Bible. If the very clear teaching of the Bible that women are to keep silent in the Church and are not to be elders and not to be pastors, if that doesn’t mean what it says what else does the Bible not mean what it says? Do you see the confusion? If that clear teaching of God’s word, that’s by the way from cover to cover in God’s word, it’s always the same, if that can’t be believed, then there’s confusion and distrust of the word. Look what happens in most churches, passive males. If the women are going to lead everything, if they’re going to do everything, if they’re going to be up front, let them do it; I’ll just retreat into my electronic world, my gaming world, my hobby, I’ll go hunting, I’ll work out. I’m going to get a jogging group of men going and just let my wife and kids do whatever they want, is that right? No. It’s sin. It’s because God’s model is not being followed in many churches, and they’re paying the consequences. We’re losing a generation of young people that don’t know what’s true.
The next part of chapter 11, and go back here in our Bible to 1 Corinthians chapter 11. Over here is this part I already showed you about the Lord’s supper. This is what I wrote, Communion and Christ return. The purpose of the Lord’s supper, communion is for me to proclaim truths of my redemption. Notice what it says, “For as often,” right here. This cup is the new cup of my covenant. I’m in verse 25. Verse 26, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.” That’s so important. Look at my notes. Communion is for me to proclaim the truth of my redemption by Jesus on the cross, until He comes. I’m supposed to regularly be reminded of what He did for me. I’m supposed to preach the Gospel to myself, proclaimed the truth of His redemption. That’s the Gospel. I’m supposed to remind myself of those truths because He’s coming. Do you see how the Early Church, that we read about, we talk about that 1st century Church so much don’t we, they weren’t perfect, but they sure were focused. What were they focused on? The Gospel and Christ’s return. The truth of redemption. It’s living in a way that constantly reflects His return and my seeking to have Him rule in my life.
Communion has three parts. The backward look in remembrance. We look back at what He did on the cross. The inward look, see what it says over here in verse 28, “let a man examine himself.” The inward look. Right here, “Remembrance of Me,” in verse 24 is the backward look. Then it says, “Until He comes.” That’s the forward or the upward look. Look back at what He did on the cross. Look inside and examine myself. Look up till He comes.
What happens when we don’t do that? That’s the next part, look at verse 27. “Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.” That’s serious. This is what I wrote. As part of communion’s look back at the cross and upward at Christ’s return, the inward look is for our spiritual health. If we do not stay obediently confessing and forsaking sin, Jesus warns us of consequences. What are the consequences? Verse 30, look in your Bible. This is one to mark. “For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord.” What’s that? Spanking.
Look at this, you want to read this, this is important. I went back and looked up all these passages and re-read them. Hebrews 12 says that any Christian who is without chastening is illegitimate, they’re not really a Christian. No matter what they say, no matter how many times they’ve joined the Church, had been baptized. If Jesus Christ is not chastening them when they live in disobedience and unrepentant sin, then they’re not one of His children. In fact, the Old King James, not the New King James, the old one says for they are bastards. When I grew up, that was a swear word. It means illegitimate. It means God is not their Father, they still have the Devil as their father. That’s what Hebrews 12 says. James 5 says, watch out there are sins that lead to death. 1 John 5 says, there is a sin that leads to death. Revelation 2:21-23 says that if they will not repent, first the Lord cast them into a bed of sickness and then they are killed. They die from chastening of the Lord. You say, what are you talking about? I’m saying, God chastens believers.
He won’t allow us to act like unsaved people. If we are born again, the Holy Spirit gets grieved, gets quenched, God starts chasing us. Which means that all of a sudden, everything shuts down, we start feeling lost, we start feeling distant, we start feeling cold, we start feeling hopeless, and useless, and distant from God. What the Lord does is, He sends people into our lives and they say, what’s wrong with you? Why aren’t you coming to church? Why don’t you come to Bible study? Why don’t you want to read your Bible? Why won’t you pray with me? Why won’t you stop pursuing that ungodly relationship, or fornication, or immorality, or your drinking, or drugs, whatever you’re doing. Why are you defiling the temple of the Holy Spirit? They won’t listen. The Bible says, look right there in verse 30, they become weak. There’s this inexplicable weakness in every part of their life. It’s like their wheels fall off of their cart, their wagon, they’re just not going anywhere. Then, they become sick. Again, there’s no reason for this sickness. It just won’t go away. Some sleep, actually it says many sleep in verse 30. There were many believers in the church at Corinth that died because they wouldn’t give up their drunkenness and their sexual immorality. The Lord had to take them home, take them out of here because they belong to Him. They were saved, they were redeemed, but they were living like the Devil. The Lord won’t allow that to happen.
I told you, this is an amazing chapter. Jesus was walking up and down the aisles, He’s looking in our hearts, this is at communion. This is why I always, as a local church pastor, when I led on the first Sunday morning and the third Sunday night of every month the Lord’s table I would say, Jesus is walking up and down these aisles. He’s looking at each of our hearts. Jesus is asking us to take the piercing light of the candle of God’s word, He wants us to look into every crack of our hearts for any trace of uncleansed sin. As we celebrate communion, celebrate it that we’re thankfully forgiven, watchfully repentant, and obediently purged saints.
This is a card that I have, let’s see if it’s taped in this Bible, yup! right here in my Bible. I always show you, right there. See this side? This is what I have taped in my Bible. You can see on this screen right here, the seven divine works of God. Forgiveness, justification, regeneration, reconciliation, adoption, redemption, and sanctification. You can’t read that, so this is what I did. I did a slide for each one.
This is where it says, that as oft… verse 26 of chapter 11, “for as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death.” What do we say? Look at this, we confess the wonder of our forgiveness. In forgiveness, we go from hopelessly offending God and being stained by sin, to the complete peace. That we’re complete and we’re peaceful. Why? Nothing matters more to all who have sinned, and God says all of us have sinned, the moment before you draw your last breath, one thing matters more than anything else, whether you’re dying forgiven or unforgiven. The peace you can have one minute before dying is available on a daily basis.
Look at these scriptures, John 8:11, Romans 8:1. Jesus said, who condemns you? “She said, ‘no one Lord.’ “ Right here I’m reading. “And Jesus said to her, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.’ “ Why? Romans 8:1, because there’s “No condemnation to those who are in Christ.” Do you know what forgiveness means? Jesus will never condemn me for my sins. We should celebrate. See what it says in verse 26? Proclaim until He comes, what the Lord’s death did for us. What does the Gospel say? We’re forgiven. Celebrate forgiveness in Jesus Christ by confessing. That word means in Greek, agreeing with God, that forgiveness is in Christ. We do this by saying aloud. Thank you Jesus, for forgiving me.
Do you know, I have people do in my studies that I say, let’s say that out loud… okay? You’re in my study, let’s say it together. You do it to, you who are watching. 1, 2, 3. Thank you Jesus, for forgiving me.
Confess the wonder of our redemption. In redemption, God liberated us from the slavery to sin. He broke sins chains that long enslaved us. He frees us to focus our lives on what matters. See what 1 Corinthians 6 says? “You were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit.” Christ bought me at a price. I belonged to God. Do you know how we celebrate that? You can say it with me, right at the bottom. Thank you Jesus, for redeeming me. Why say it out loud? Because then we’re not only reading it with our eyes and saying it with our voice, but we’re hearing it with our ears. We’re maximizing its impact. We’re proclaiming like verse 26 says, the truth of the Gospel.
We do the same thing with justification. By the way, that card is on our website, go to discoverthebook.org. You can find that. It’s called the confessing saints card. You can find it under resources. You can find it also on our Facebook page, it’s posted down in the photo section. I took a picture of the card. In fact, all of the things I referred to from Titus 2 and Ephesians 5 last week, and all of those different resources I use and I have taped in my Bible, are posted online for free. You can just copy those off and you can read all about justification. Say thank you Jesus, for justifying me.
Regeneration. Thank you Jesus, for regenerating me. Reconciliation, that means God’s ended His war against us. We were God’s enemies; He was at war against us. Thank you Jesus, for reconciling me. I’m accepted in Jesus Christ.
The wonder of our adoption. God took me from being a stranger outside of His presence to being His son or daughter and His family. That’s what John 1:12 says. Thank you Jesus, for adopting me. You should say that too. Confess the wonder is sanctification. In sanctification God has come into me, He’s taken over my wasted life. He’s made me new. He’s entered my empty life, He’s filled me. He makes me holy and full of His purpose. I am Christ temple. Celebrate that by saying, thank you Jesus, for sanctifying me.
Why do we do this? Because Satan is an accuser. He wants us to only remember all the many times we fall. He delights if he can neutralize us for days and weeks, or even months. You don’t have to be feeling horrible and distant from God, no matter how many steps you’ve taken away from Him, it’s one step back. Repentance brings you right back before Him. Resist Satan. As you believe the truth, speak the truth, preach the Gospel to yourself. God says, whenever we fall down, just turn back to Him. Repent, confess our sin, immediately believe what God has promised. Believe that you’re forgiven, and redeemed, and justified. We’re regenerated. We’re reconciled. We’re adopted. We’re sanctified. That makes us precious in His sight, special in His plan. That’s why I have that taped right here in the front of my Bible. It’s like that song says, “When Satan tempts me to despair, and tells me of the guilt within, upward I look and see Him there.” I confess that He has forgiven me and redeem me. I thank Him for it and justify it. Go back and say aloud those seven foundational truths of our salvation, and you’ll feel His secure arms around you as you do.
I did an application prayer for each one of these Lord, I want to follow You, imitate You by the power of Your Spirit, that was in verse 1 of chapter 11, help as many others as You give me to follow You. Give me the strength to submit to the roles You have given me in life as a man, a husband, a father, and Your servant. Keep me looking up for Your return, like at communion. Looking back at Your sacrifice, so that when I look within I’ll keep confessing and forsaking the sins that You have said so easily beset me. For Christ’s sake, Amen.
Now we’re on chapter 12. I’m going to go faster. Spiritual gifting in Christ’s body. Every one of us are unique. The first three verses are about true worship. The next section is on spiritual gifts. By the way, right here in your MacArthur Study Bible, a whole page with cross-references on all the spiritual gifts lists, what they mean, what they are, how they operate. In fact, one of the best descriptions… do you remember another tool that I talk about that you need in the Facebook page, all the instructions of how to do this, Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology. I believe his description of the gifts are one of the most powerful, profound expressions of what God wants to do. You need to understand these gifts. We might not fully agree with him, he is not a fully cessationist just like I am. I’m going to explain that to you, but he is a godly man who has an insight into God’s word. Then, unity and diversity. We are one body with many different parts. Paul says the Lord revealed to him that some of us are spiritual noses, some of us are spiritual eyes, some of us are spiritual ears, some of us are spiritual mouths. The nose is not supposed to say, I wish I was an ear. The ear is not supposed to say, why am I not a mouth? God gifted us for a purpose. We’re all part of the body and Christ is the head. That’s an amazing truth we’re going to study this week.
Spiritual interdependence is the last part of chapter 12. God designed us so we need each other for fellowship. That’s why you need to find someone else and start sharing these truths and have mutual accountability, another believer to build into and follow them as they’re following Christ. Have them follow you as you’re following Christ. Encourage one another.
In this chapter here’s the next prayer. Lord, I want to be filled and empowered by Your Spirit to worship You in spirit and truth. Thank you for making me a part of Your body with a giftedness and calling to do what no one else can do, so that You’re glorified. Help me to promote unity among other members of Your body and stir others as they stir me to await Your coming. That’s what right here, Hebrews 10:24-25 talks about. To serve you to the end. For Christ’s sake, Amen.
Halfway through, now we’re in chapter 13, love personified in Christ, the one we are to imitate. The first three verses are on the supremacy of love. Love never fails. It’s inexhaustible, it’s eternal, but all others fail. See what it says in verse 8, over here? “Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish way. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come,” that’s Cessationism that when we have the complete revelation of God, the special revelation, the sign gifts end, but what never ends? Love, and it’s perfect. Perfect love looks like this, and that’s those love suffers long and is kind.
From your study Bible, a huge section. It talks about the difference between that it’s the gift of languages, not this ecstatic talking. What does tongues of angels mean? Even what was going on in Corinth, all this. They were speaking in tongues in Corinth, just like Eskimos speak in tongues. So do the Whirling Dervishes and a lot of other groups in all over the world, they speak in these ecstatic utterances. That’s not the gift of tongues. The gift of tongues was actual languages. When you spoke in a language you’d never learned that person over there heard you perfectly communicating God’s truth. You can read about that.
How do we start with this chapter 13? Look at verse 5. Love “does not behave rudely.” It “does not seek its own.” It’s “not provoked,” “thinks no evil.” How do you start doing all that? How do we take this truth, these facts, and do something tangible in our lives? In that Christian classic, The Discipline of Grace, that’s one of those Navigator books that I love. Jerry Bridges encourages us to put 1 Corinthians into personal action. That’s what I’m telling you. We need to do in our lessons, in our journals. This is how he does it. It’s like he’s sharing his journal. “I will not rejoice in sin because I love you and know our holy God is offended.” “I will take pleasure in truth, because I love you and I want your life to reflect God.” “I will bear all things because I love you and don’t want to parade your sin.” “I will believe all things because I love you and believe the best about you.” “I will hope.” See how he made all of those into action statements. Right over here in chapter 13, verses 4, 5, 6, 7, & 8 he makes them into these action statements.
Here’s my chapter 13 application prayer. Lord, I want Your love to overflow my life. When I let You live in and through me kindness, and gentleness, and patience flow. It’s Your personality, the Holy Spirit wants to transplant in me and bear fruit. That’s the fruit of the Spirit and I’m inviting God to bear His fruit in me. That’s what I want. That’s what I seek. That’s what I surrender to. That’s what I want those who are close to me to look for in my life, and pray for in my life, and point out when it’s lacking in my life. For Christ’s sake I pray, Amen.
Do you have anybody in your life that’s looking for the fruit of the Spirit in you? If there is someone that you think is godly and is following the Lord, knows the Lord, and is the most godly Christian you know, you ought to marry them. That’s what I did. I found someone that actually walked with the Lord and actually loved the Lord more than anybody else I’d ever seen. I spent time with them, and read and prayed, and walked through life, and it was Bonnie, my wonderful wife. You need someone in your life.
Chapter 14, spiritual serving in Christ’s body is orderly. The first five verses pursue edification. The next section, the key is to be understandable. Remember the simplicity? That’s what He says. He said rather than 10,000, not comprehensible words and tongues, speak a few words that people understand. That’s what God wants. He wants people built up in truth. What were tongues for, by the way? Look at chapter 14, verse 20 in your Bible. “Brethren, do not be children […] however, in malice be babes.” “In the law is written: with men of other tongues and other lips I will speak to this people; and yet, for all that, they will not hear Me.” “Therefore,” look at verse 22, 1 Corinthians 14:22, “tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but for unbelievers.” Did you catch that? Tongues are assigned for Israel, a temporary sign. Yet in modern Christendom, most tongues speaking is unintelligible, they are not languages. They are unintelligible speech, in the church. Yet, tongues were designed to be assigned to Israel, to provoke them to jealousy, and bring them to Christ. Very interesting.
Look at this, God is orderly, and Paul lays down these truths. Here, I’ll show you the truths he lays down. He said this, “If anyone speaks in a tongue”, look at verse 27, “let them be two or at the most three.” I wrote in my Bible two or three, right there. “Each in turn,” so not everybody at once. One at a time, two or at the most three total speaking in tongues. “And let one interpret.” Those are the rules. “But if there’s no interpreter,” no tongues speaking. Does that sound like anything in any church you’ve ever experienced? Most churches today are like Corinth, they’re doing it wrong and they’re confused. They don’t even know what tongues are. They don’t know it’s an unlearned language where you preach the Gospel, and that it was assigned for Israel, and that it was for a temporary confirmation of the beginning of the Church. Keep going, there’s more. “And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.” It’s controlled, it’s not that there’s some groups of Christians where the people are uncontrolled, they run around, some of them fall and they roll around. No. That’s not of God.
Ooh, look at verse 34. That was verse 32. Look at verse 34. “Let your women keep silent in the churches for they are not permitted to speak.” Did you catch that?
Women do not speak in tongues in Church. If there’s no interpreter, no one speaks in tongues. No more than two or three. They do it one by one and they let the interpretation come from a verified, spiritually gifted, interpreter. Do you see all this orderliness God has? “Therefore, brethren, desire,” verse 39, “earnestly to prophesy and don’t forbid to speak with tongues. Let all things be done decently and in order.” God is orderly and His plan for use of tongues in the church there must be obedience.
Here’s a whole section on this about tongue and tongues and the difference you need to know. This is in your MacArthur Study Bible. You ought to really read this. This is a hot issue, important. You should read that. What is confusion? What’s going on? This is just pictures of my MacArthur Study Bible for you to see what I’ve been reading. What does it mean? Women keep silent. What’s God’s plan? Are they inferior?
Here’s a summary. Why do I personally believe sign gifts have ceased, as in healers and tongues speaking. Someone that says I have the gift of healing and they go out and heal people. People say, I have the gift of tongues and they just start doing these utterances. Why do I believe that ceased for this time? These reasons, because that’s what the New Testament records. Look at this, you could spend time doing this. Other than Acts 2, Acts 10, Acts 19, and the correction we’re reading about in 1 Corinthians by Paul, which is in the time period of Acts 20, does anyone else ever talk about tongues speaking in any church, anywhere in the Bible? No. Tongues is confined to a period between Acts 2 and Acts 20. In fact, look at this. The last miraculous healing is Acts 28. That’s about AD 58. From Acts 28 through the end of Revelation, the time period it was written, there are no signs, wonders, recorded miracles, or tongues speaking. You know what people say? That’s an argument from silence. Yes, but that’s the historic record of the Holy Spirit of God, writing down everything we need for life and godliness. Tongues speaking is only in this little section in the history of the Church from about AD 30 to about AD 60, nothing else.
Paul doesn’t even heal people. After Acts 28, he leaves people. He said, I left Trophimus behind sick in Miletus. Why didn’t he heal him? Because the gift of healing was a sign gift. Does God still heal? Yes, all the time. Are there healers that can go out and touch and heal anybody, they want to? No. That’s what the Bible says.
That’s number one. Number two, because of their purpose. Tongues were for Israel. It actually says that right there in 21, 22… I showed you because number three, it appears, from the record in the Bible and the book of Acts that tongues were a sign gift and that the permanent edifying gifts are still with us. You can read about that, remember, in the footnotes. There’s so much about this. It’s a long study because Paul points fourthly, to cessation. Remember what I read to you? “There are tongues, they will cease,” and because of history. If you look at Church history, other than the mountainous and other fringe group, there’s not a pattern of the early church speaking in tongues and languages, and no major Church history figure taught, advocated, practiced tongue speaking until modern times.
Application prayer. Lord it is so clear You want Your church to grow, to be strong and fruitful. Help me to use the gifts You give to build up the whole Church for Your glory. Help me to understand Your words so I can clearly communicate it in an understandable way. Use me for the strengthening of Your Church like Paul wanted to do. You are orderly, help me to do all things “decently and in order” so that You can do great things through Your Church. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
As always, two final challenges. I think I said it more this time than anywhere else. Find someone to share these truths with. Number two, pray for us. Tomorrow, we leave and we’re gone 70 days. We’re covering, crossing six international borders. I’m teaching 86 class hours of lessons. Pray for our technical difficulties. We’re taking the mobile studio with us as we travel. We’re going to be teaching in mission areas that they allow us to teach in. We’re going to be recording those. Pray for us as we go.
Next week, Lord willing when we come back, we’re going to study the most fascinating chapter in the Bible. 1 Corinthians 15 is the longest treatment on resurrection in the whole Bible. It’s like the entire mind of God about what resurrection is all about. He talks about terrestrial, earthly bodies and celestial bodies. He starts giving us little insights through Paul of what’s happening when our bodies start failing and death comes. Jesus comes to take us home or were taken in the group Rapture into His presence. What kind of body we’re going to get. That’s next week, spend this week tracking down, using your study Bible, and all the notes, and everything I’ve given you, to steer you in the right direction. Let’s do 1 Corinthians 11-14. Lord willing, we’ll see you back next week.
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