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1 Corinthians 1:1-20 - Part C

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July 22, 2022 6:00 am

1 Corinthians 1:1-20 - Part C

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July 22, 2022 6:00 am

When you look at the state of the church today, you can easily see division. In this message, Skip shares important biblical insight that can help unite you with your brothers and sisters in Christ.

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When you mix grace and works you rob the power of the cross. The cross says all you have to do is believe. Period.

End of story. And because you've been saved, now you get baptized as an expression of that. Otherwise, the cross of Christ is made of no effect. There's a number of books that will help you get the most out of your Bible study times. Guinness World Records has again confirmed that the Bible is the best-selling book of all time.

Research puts the number at up to 7 billion, and portions of Scripture have been translated into nearly 3,500 different languages. But there's a big difference between having access to God's Word and allowing it to change your life. Listen to this about Practical Bible Study from Skip Heitzig. We want to increase the effectiveness of your personal Bible study with Skip Heitzig's book, How to Study the Bible and Enjoy It. This practical guide is our way of thanking you when you give $25 or more to help keep this Bible teaching ministry on the air. Get your copy today and take the mystery out of studying Scripture.

Call 800-922-1888 or give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer. Now, we're in 1 Corinthians chapter 1 as Skip Heitzig gets into today's message. Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. He's declared us righteous. He's declared us as having the same righteousness as His Son Jesus because we believe in His finished work. Doesn't mean you are perfect or righteous or blameless or faultless, but He already declares you as such and one day will present you as such.

So, it's a pretty good deal and that's why we have peace with God. Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God. Think if my peace depended upon my performance. Well, some days I'd be very peaceful and some days I would not be very peaceful because some days my performance is good, some days my performance really stinks.

And so, I'd have peace one day and then I'd have anxiety the next day because I'm always looking at my performance. But because I'm justified, declared righteous by faith, I have peace with God every day through our Lord Jesus Christ because now I understand how God sees me, how God reckons me, and how one day He will receive me and I'll be presented as faultless before His presence with exceeding joy. The psalmist, I read it earlier this morning, Psalm 130, oh Lord, if you should mark iniquities, who could stand? If God kept a record and checked it, who would stand? We would be miserable, but we are justified.

So, because of that, one day you'll be blameless. God is faithful by whom you are called into the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord. So, that is the introductory remarks of the epistle of the letter.

Now he gets down to business. And he addresses the real issue that this person, Chloe, has written about and that is the tearing apart of the church, the breaking up into different factions groups because he says in verse 10, Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. The word divisions, schismata, speaks of the tearing of a garment, the fragmenting of something that was once a cohesive unit, being torn into little pieces. And it's not just that there were disagreements, that's never a problem. It's healthy to have disagreeing points of view over certain things. The problem wasn't disagreement, it was dissension. They were splitting up and being opposed to each other, as we will find out. For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe's household, that there are contentions among you. On one hand, I think, Oh, Paul, you shouldn't have mentioned Chloe because you kind of threw her under the bus. Now everybody's going to go, Oh, you're the one that ratted on us to Paul.

But Paul had to give a source. And probably this person Chloe, and by the way, scholars are divided whether this Chloe is a feminine name or a masculine name. We don't know, it's just a person named Chloe.

We'll call it, we'll identify her as a she, just because that's how our minds probably will deal better with that. It has been declared by those in Chloe's household that there are contentions among you. Now I say this, each of you says, I'm of Paul, or I'm of Apollos, or I'm of Cephas, or I'm of Christ. Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you?

Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? When Jesus, before his suffering, prayed for his followers, after praying for his immediate followers, he prayed at the end of his little prayer in John 17. Lord, I don't just pray for these alone, but for all those who will believe in me through their name, that they may be one as we are one, I in you and you in me, that they may be one in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. He prayed for our unity. Now unity doesn't mean uniformity, doesn't mean we will agree on everything alike, but it does mean we will agree on what's most important. So there are essentials of our faith that we must all agree on. And when we agree, that marks us as true believers. We believe in one God. We believe that there is a triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is the essential Bible doctrine. We believe that God sent his Son into the world to die on a cross, that he died physically as being God in human flesh, and that he resurrected bodily, that he's coming again. We believe a number of things that we would call essentials. But then there are other things that are really not essential, and we can have vigorous debates about them, and we can have disagreements.

But though you disagree, it's different from dissension. I have a very particular eschatology. I'm very convinced in my eschatology. I'm very convinced in my theological stand on a number of issues. But I've discovered that in the church there's latitude in that not everybody agrees with my position eschatologically. And I give them the freedom to be wrong.

Just as they give me the freedom to be wrong in their view, right? And that's okay. I think it was Augustine. At least he is attributed as the one who said this. He said, in essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty.

But in all things, charity. So I believe that the more spiritual you become, the less denominational you become, the less you need to put up a wall. Some people say, well, I'm a Baptist. Good, I'm glad you are. Well, I'm a Methodist, or I'm an Episcopal.

Great. But if that's your first identity, I think it's problematic. Your first identity is, I'm a Christian. I'm in Christ. And as long as we hold to the essentials, that's what binds us together and marks us as believers. The other things, let's talk about them. Let's wrangle about them. But let's agree to disagree agreeably.

Let's be loving about it in all things charity. Well, there seemed like in Corinth it was getting beyond just disagreement stage, because you have now four groups that are represented. Verse 12, some say, I'm of Paul. Now, to me it makes sense that somebody would say, I'm of Paul. Paul started the church. Paul had a religious background. He was a Pharisee, but he discovered the grace of God. He preached the grace of God. It was a wonderful message that included not just Jew, but Gentile.

Very natural for somebody to go, man, that's liberating. I believe in that guy and what he has said. Others were saying, well, Paul was okay, but there's somebody that's been around here and has spoken here to our congregation, and he's just really articulate. His name is Apollos. And the book of Acts describes him as being quite a scholar, very scholastic, probably advanced in learning, advanced in rhetoric, so he could really tell a story and really get a crowd and really do a great job.

So they just liked Apollos, maybe because he had a Greek background. Then there were others that said, I'm of Peter or Cephas. That's the apostle Peter. Now, there's no record of Peter ever coming to Corinth, though he may have, but it could be that they just say, you know, we relate to Peter. He was one of the original 12. Paul, you weren't. He's a fisherman, so he's not a rabbi like you or Paul or like Apollos.

He's a blue-collar guy. We relate to this working-class guy. But then there was this fourth group that was the worst of all of them. They were so snobbish, they looked down, and, oh, we don't need to follow human leaders. We're just of Christ.

Now, it sounds good, like, well, yeah, why wouldn't you? But the fact that he's marking them and lumping them in the same kind of category as being divisive shows that the way they were marking the difference was not healthy. You know, they were so non-denominational, they elevated their non-denominationalism.

You can do that. Oh, I'm not into the denominations, man. I go to Calvary. Or I go to this independent church.

Okay, whatever. You're a Christian, right? You're in Christ. Just a word about human leaders.

When God uses a human leader, and by the way, what they did then, we do today. People do it all the time. People send me things that a radio teacher has said or somebody on the Internet has said, you've got to listen to this. You've got to listen to that guy.

Listen to this. And people are attracted to certain styles and methods of teaching. Nothing wrong with that unless it becomes too exclusive. And there's always a danger when you are a man or woman of God and you are used mightily by God. People start elevating you and looking to you and they put you on a pedestal. And you have to be the one to know that people have a tendency to do that and you yourself need to jump off the pedestal. Don't allow the pedestal to be under you. Get off of it. Be normal.

Because really there's nothing special about you no matter who you are. Right? The cross is what levels everybody. Level ground. But you remember in the book of Acts chapter 2 when there was a man who sat at the gate beautiful who had a problem and Peter and John walked by and said, so silver and gold have I none, but such as I have I give to you in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Rise and walk and lifted him up and the man was healed. And so all of the crowd that saw it looked intently at Peter and John. And Peter and John could have said, this is the perfect opportunity to take an offering. People are amazed at this. Their heart strings are touched.

They'll give. But I love their response. He said, men of Israel, why do you look intently at us as though we through our own power or godliness made this man walk? We didn't do this.

We're just instruments. He did this. It happens again in Acts chapter 14 when they're in a region and a man gets healed and the pagans say, the gods have come down to us. And they want to worship Paul and Barnabas.

And they wouldn't let them do it. So it is a danger whether you're Paul or Apollos or Cephas. You need to point to Christ and say, look, I love how Paul says in verse 13, is Christ divided? In other words, can you take Jesus, literally, can you take Jesus and cut him into pieces and distribute those pieces?

No, you can't. Was Paul crucified for you? Now Paul's writing the letter.

No, he wasn't. Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? Now this to me is fascinating and I'm looking at the time. We won't be able to probably make it through the whole chapter. Man, I thank God, verse 14, that I baptize none of you except Crispus. That's that first arche sina Gogos, the head of the synagogue who came to faith.

Except for Crispus and Gaius. Lest anyone should say I baptize in my own name. Yes, I also baptize the household of Stephanus. Besides, I do not know whether I baptize anyone else, any other. Four, Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel.

Not with the wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. Notice how Paul makes a difference, draws a contrast between baptism and preaching the gospel. Christ didn't send me to baptize. He sent me to preach the gospel.

Now I want you to hear this. He's not snubbing baptism at all. Nor is he saying that baptism is not a part of declaring the gospel. But he is putting baptism in its proper place. There are some people who believe in a doctrine, theologians call baptismal regeneration. Baptismal regeneration.

You know how I was raised, right? They believed in baptismal regeneration. You better get that baby baptized. You don't get that baby baptized. That baby is going to live forever in limbo. Not in the Bible. Not in the Bible. No limbo in the Bible.

Somebody find limbo and show it to me later on, I'd be happy to change my view. But you baptize that baby because that baby gets saved when they get baptized. And there are not just the Catholics, there are other churches that believe in baptismal regeneration. Now if baptismal regeneration is true, if a person gets saved when they're baptized, then Paul, the apostle, is wrong.

He is misleading. When he says, Christ didn't send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel. If baptismal regeneration is true, then we would have to say, Paul, he did send you to baptize because baptism and salvation are on equal levels. Now if Paul believed in baptismal regeneration, know that he would have had to travel with a tank everywhere he went.

Unless he was by the Mediterranean Sea. If he was inland anywhere, he'd have to bring some tank of water or find some local lake or something, and you'd always see him baptizing everyone. Because yeah, I didn't even remember how many people I baptized. I mean, other people baptized people. Christ didn't send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel. So people say, do I have to be baptized to be saved? Here's how I answer that. You have to be saved to be baptized.

That's how it works. Do I have to be baptized to be saved? No, you have to be saved to be baptized.

In the book of Acts, there was an Ethiopian eunuch who was reading Isaiah, and he got led to Christ, and he saw water, and he said to Philip, hey, there's some water right there. What hinders me from being baptized? Philip said, if you believe with all your heart, you may. That was the prerequisite to baptism.

You have to believe. And if you believe, you are saved. And if you are saved, then you can get baptized. Remember what Jesus said in Mark chapter 16?

Go into all the world, make disciples of all the nations, and baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Whoever believes and is baptized shall be saved. And often that is quoted by those who want to show me baptismal regeneration.

But they leave out the last part of the verse. Jesus said, whoever believes and is baptized shall be saved. Whoever does not believe shall be condemned. He didn't say, whoever does not believe and is not baptized. It's the faith that saves or the lack of faith that condemns.

Now, usually when I bring this up, and I wanted to go through this because there's a lot of questions on it and I'm looking at the time, so this is probably where we're going to end. But usually people want to bring up a text in Acts chapter 2 when they say, oh, no, you must be baptized in order to be saved. And they usually quote Acts 2, 37 and 38.

I'm just going to read it to you. So this is Peter in Jerusalem, Acts 2, verse 37 and 38. When they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said to them, repent, now watch this, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.

And they'll go, there it is, right there. You are baptized for the remission of sins. Now, when they say that to you, what they are equating is the word for, be baptized for the remission of sins. They're thinking the word for must mean in order that, in order that.

So be baptized in order that your sins might be remitted. The problem with that is the word for is translated from the Greek word in the Greek text, ice. That would be in Greek spelling epsilon, yoda, sigma, ice. For, ice. And that word ice, translated for, often means because of, not in order that.

You follow me? So here's an example in English. If I say the soldier was decorated for bravery, I don't mean that the soldier was decorated in order that he would become brave. It's like, I got a medal, I'm going to be brave now. No, he got a medal because he was brave, as an expression that celebrated his bravery. If we say the criminal was punished for his crime, he's not punished in order that he might go out and commit a crime.

He was punished for a crime, meaning because of a crime. So when he says, repent and be baptized for the remission of sins, it's not in order that your sins would be forgiven, but because your sins have been forgiven, as an expression that they have. You follow? So I wanted to clear that up and kind of make it ironclad, lest somebody want to say, oh, you don't believe in baptism the way I do. I'm of Paul, I'm of Apollos, I'm of Cephas.

Whatever. Christ didn't send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with the wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ be made of no effect. You see, the cross of Christ would be made of no effect if you tell people you have to believe, that's faith, and you have to do something in order to be saved. Be saved, that's a work, getting baptized. Now you are mixing grace and works, and when you mix grace and works, you rob the power of the cross. The cross says all you have to do is believe, period, end of story.

And because you've been saved, now you get baptized, as an expression of that. Otherwise, the cross of Christ is made of no effect, for the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to those of us who are being saved, it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age?

Has God not made foolish the wisdom of this world? And we'll continue and follow this section up and finish this up next week. But as we close, let me just give a little P.S., a little addendum to that whole little baptism thing that I just talked to you about. You're not saved by baptism, but it is important.

It is an expression of an inward change. And I always get leery when somebody says, oh yeah, I've been saved for 30 years, but I've just never been baptized. What? That's weird. That's just weird.

The New Testament norm and throughout church history is that baptism almost immediately followed salvation. It was an expression. And it's seen that way in so many countries around the world.

We just in the West have become a little too lax about it. I think that you want to display to the world that that change has occurred. It's something you should want to celebrate. That's Skip Heitzig with a message from his series, Expound First Corinthians. Now, here's Skip to tell you about how you can keep encouraging messages like this coming your way as you help connect others to God's Word. The early church made evangelism a priority, and it's something we take seriously. Our heart is to see broken lives healed and lost souls saved.

That's why we share the good news of Jesus through these Bible teachings. Did you know you can be a partner in sharing the Gospel today? Here's how you can give to see lives transformed. Call 800-922-1888 to give today.

800-922-1888. Or visit connectwithskip.com slash donate. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate. Your generosity helps keep this biblical encouragement coming your way and help change many lives around the globe. Now, before we go, did you know you can watch Skip's messages from the comfort of your home with your Roku device or Apple TV? Just search for the Skip Heitzig channel and watch thousands of powerful Bible teachings and live services.

Find more information on the broadcast page at connectwithskip.com. Join us next Monday as Skip Heitzig shares how the Gospel transforms a life and why this can give you hope. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the cross and cast all burdens on His Word. Make a connection, connection. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-20 20:02:58 / 2023-03-20 20:12:40 / 10

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