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The Church Divided

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
August 29, 2021 6:00 am

The Church Divided

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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August 29, 2021 6:00 am

In this message, Pastor J.D. kicks off our series in the book of 1 Corinthians, showing how the gospel cuts through the noise and chaos of our lives. First up—the issue of divisions in the church. We may assume that church factions are a new phenomenon. But one glance at the church in Corinth reveals that dysfunction, division, and doctrinal chaos are as old as the church itself. And yet, in the midst of all this conflict, all this division, all this noise, the gospel provides a voice of clarity and a place of calm.


Good morning Summit family. We are beginning a new series today, not on horror movies in the Bible in case you're curious, but on the book of first Corinthians, so my wanting a moment compose yourself Ray asked God to relieve your fears and open your Bible to the book of first Corinthians were to be in chapter 1, of course chapter 1 verse greenish upper one of all our four kids. It was our third child, Mariah, who was born the quickest by far.

She came lightning fast as in we did not really well. We just barely made it to the hospital in time before she come into the world. The doctor called and precipitous labor or preposterous labor or something like that. I can't remember but all I know is it will case it was. It was harrowing, as in light when Veronica woke up about 415 that morning and she said hey we need to go to the hospital. Having done this to Tom before I was like right now we start the timing of the contractions and you know can work our way and be there. She was like no there's no time just we have to go now and so were underway there, and I remember it was about that one about 5 AM and I will try to convince her to let me pull into a Starbucks because you know this can be a long morning for me and I wanted to have some energy in and she said vetoed that thankfully how we barely got in the hospital. Y'all mean just this little he walked in and they took well she will gotta gutter in NC that that the people emergency room took one look at her and the whole place is when and that they could tell it was time and they got in the chair and they're going to go run up to the room and doctors are yelling and nurses are common in their selling things about her get into the right position and not hyperventilating.

Remember, people yelling about that and I just push push Pandemonium and you would like a look at Veronica's face and tell that she was panicky at me because it was it would never happen like this with us before and as always pandemonium going on around us. On one about a midwife in their liens down very calmly but very forcefully got right in her face and said, sweetheart, if you will push two times if you will push two times this baby will be in the world. And sure enough I saw Veronica how to register it. She caught and closed her eyes. She pushed twice in Mariah Lane was born into the world, now I asked when Veronica Nasser permission to tell the story. I asked if I could tell it where I was the one who leaned down and actually gave that word of counsel and she said just tell it like it happened and I saw what was I doing at that moment she said you were part of the chaos you were part of the pandemonium time so Paul's first letter to the Corinthians is like a calm, clear voice that speaks to us in the midst of chaos things in the church in Corinth, you are going to see are in absolute turmoil and Paul is going to set up the gospel like a lighthouse that is going to guide them through the troubled waters of whatever issue that they're dealing with. For Paul, the gospel is the clear, calm voice that cuts through the noise limits a little bit about the church in Corinth before we start, that'll help it make a little bit of sense. Corinth was one of the most upcoming cities in the Roman Empire and Paul had planted the church in Corinth, on his first missionary journey. It was a city full of young people because of its location. It had a great port. It was an economic powerhouse. It was a place that a lot of people came from vacation. Young upwardly mobile people from all over the Roman Empire came to move in their Apple had announced they were buildings of the mirror Amazon had announced their billionaires and the most famous basketball programs in the world had established their headquarters there. It was a cosmopolitan it was young it was very diverse and some great architecture you can still see if you're able to ever go travel some of the ruins today and I had all scores and scores of temples to the Greek and the Roman gods.

Paul lived in the city for about a year and 1/2 and he led a lot of these young Corinthians to Christ all he loved this church. The EEE felt close to them.

He felt connected to them. They represented some of his very best work, but after Paul left, Paul started said to get reports that they weren't doing very well scrolling through their Instagram feeds. He saw some things are really concerned him by, primarily in five different areas. First, there were a lot of divisions among the body faction strives to see that today also deal with that problem in chapters 1 through four. Second, they had sex and romance. So we say confusion how to put it mildly. I guess that's what you would expect in a city full of young people, but sexual sin was happening in the church and a lot of people in church light where Emma was a big deal, right me ever. It's sort of time how things are in Corinth and had two consenting adults so man I don't see what the big deal is with it and were okay with it so chapters 5 through seven, Paul's gonna dish out a lot of hard truth about sex and marriage and singleness, and divorce. Third, there was a lot of acrimony over differences of conviction on what Christians were and were not allowed to do a lot of these new believers come out of the Jewish context and they thought you know God is a change in holiness and holiness and really ought to pay attention to the Old Testament law.

But then there's a lot of other Christians that there were like eight. We are free from the law and we don't really need to go back in anything Jewish and so arms embrace my freedom in Christ, and so on. Those lot questions about stuff like that that there was questions about whether or not they could eat things they had been offered to idols whether not they should go places where there was idol worship, and I know that doesn't seem like a super relevant question to us anymore, but in dealing with this Paul is gonna lay out a lot of biblical principles that show us how we can deal with differences of conviction in our church today. Things like how we approach politics are differences that we have been the best way to educate our children home school public school private school whether we drink alcohol.

Whether or not we get vaccinated or how often we were massed on this could be in chapters 9 and 10 for their church services were chaotic.

They were catenary group there that was like we are really in touch with the spirit and get having words that the Holy Spirit was put on their harden and they're getting up and disrupting the church service and they were like hey you don't you don't listen to what spirits doing the church you are quenching the Spirit and everybody there wanted to follow the spirit. But it just felt like chaos and that is questions about Tom's people praying out loud and in tongues. In saying this is from the Holy Spirit, and so chapters 11 to 14 Paul's gonna give us some guidelines about what it looks like to be a spirit filled church and and and and what a mature version of that looks like that there were some who were saying that the resurrection of Jesus, and a lot of his miracles. In fact, it is not that important.

More importantly set was what Jesus taught and how he lived that that the justice things that he was about in the moral principles he laid out in chapter 15 Paul is going to explain to them why the resurrection and actual physical bodily resurrection is everything to the Christian. In discussing everyone of these problems written notice that Paul defines or football follows a pattern and that pattern is heaped defines the problem and then he leaves the Corinthians to evaluate the problem.

In light of the gospel for the court cutting through the noise you say it may move all this and just look at the gospel and that'll guide you through if you want to get your mind by the way around the apostle Paul's entire teaching strategy and whatever book of his that you read if this you take whatever is broken in your spiritual life and you apply the gospel to because faith in the gospel is the cure. Regardless of the segments. By the way, there is a lifetime of theology in that one sentence. You take what ever is broken in your spiritual life. Whatever it is and you apply the gospel to it because faith in the gospel is the cure. Regardless of the sickness gospel gospel truth that all of us stand condemned hopelessly before God, but God in his grace came to earth to do for us what we could do for ourselves by living the life we were supposed to live in time to death who were condemned to die and and offers us new eternal life. Forgiveness of sins justification the offers that is a free gift.

We will receive by faith from the rest of our lives and thankful worship response to what he is done for us. That's going to be his through line within a walk through each of those five sections of Paul's letter spending 2 to 3 weeks on each of them because honestly I feel like Paul could've written this letter to our church right here in Raleigh-Durham and I write do we sometimes have divisions in the search.

You're like a summit member seem to agree on everything. Well clearly you have not been a part of a small group or you will pay no attention to social media, and I don't just mean JV disagreements like Jordan over Lebron or Chick-fil-A or Popeyes or Myers-Briggs or any grammar, whether or not the six oils cancel real medicine or not, whether the toilet paper should unroll from the top or the bottom, those things we've gotten numbers that disagree on some really important matters and then enter conference and pretty wildly different backgrounds which is why they approach these questions differently. Is it possible for Christians like not actually be united is not just a pipe dream y'all is that kind of thing like yeah that's sentimental and younger with what we would like that.

But when you actually get down to it, it just won't work until everybody has conformed to one way of thinking is that how it is about sexual sin, sexual confusion is that present in our church and do we have questions about singleness and divorce. Some of us have questions about what it looks like respond to the Holy Spirit in the church service and how to follow him. We got people who question Christianity's miraculous claims.

I would say a hearty yes to all of those things. Now I know when I say that some of you look at that list you like man divisions and gossip in sexual sin and charismatic chaos court sound like a pretty jacked up church and to be honest with you, how much of cancer several want to be a part of and now you tell me that that that that that the church at Corinth reminds you of this church yet. We don't want you either you Pharisee. Okay, so no, just kidding. We do want you but listen here. Won't you see any church actually reaching people has these kinds of problems because when you reach lost sheep. They come in smelling like sheep right really see poop everywhere. Sometimes you step and it smells bad which all I will take those problems all day long if it means were actually reaching people.

Tim Keller says that there are two kinds of problems of churches that the first he calls living problems living problems of the church is reaching unchurched people will bring any and all their unchurched issues because a church like this reaches across political lines. They got away through messy political discussions and because people come from different cultural backgrounds. They got away through uncomfortable cultural clashes and because they reach across financial boundaries are not always agreed on, on the right way for the rich and the poor to relate together in one body and the people who bring you don't always know how to talk or behave in Christian ways.

And you experience this. I remember early on here all night and I was parted this basketball ministry and and I by God's grace to lead through for the guys to Christ on this basketball day and asked one of them know what the best players. There was her first Easter service, men would you give just be awesome to give your testimony. We went over his testimony, not body, had it down everything superpowerful we get some merit to share this testimony at the bar before but I'm they all had nicknames for each other how his name was Eric and you jump so high I will gotta call flask as he was so quickly would drama Geico money because he never missed a three-pointer I was accounted nicknames. They called me know. Don't shoot that is not a joke. I wish it were theirs ago your new don't shoot some AEDs talking about how I'd come in and started to get to know these guys the segment for Saul got Pastor coming out to play on our team and he said he set out to stick my head and I said no, no, no, not him peace and he hears ways that heat SU CKS announcement horrible customer but just your Phuket is likely that he and I just like this my first Easter service all grandmas are there. Everybody's unit dressed up in their Sunday best and he just said and I'm like, how did I not go over don't say things like that in the pulpit and in him and then I had this even worse, thought of like what else is he about to say because I heard this guy talk on the basketball court, you know, people don't always want to talk right.

I remember being part of a prayer circle one time or prayer thing. I'm praying with a guy and he in the middle of our prayer circle drops the F bomb to God.

Like with no kind of like the inhibition that it wasn't appropriate pieces like this is so blanket hard Lord and I'm like look at sincere, but met bro you got a not say that in prayer. Okay, I'm not at fault but that's okay I'll take those problems all day long if he keeps me away from the second kind of problem which are dying problems church with a dying problem because in a church like that or by something political party, so there's no fights, thereby from the same ethnicity so there's no classes are made from the same income level so they'll agree about money. Everybody is from the church backgrounds and it would say what not to say they think the same to look the same back the same thing about exactly same of folks.

That's not a church that is a quickly dying Christian country club. So the question is what kind of church you want to be a part of you want to be a church with living problems or dying problems is given to Barbara Churchill problems I'll take living problems all day long you with me say men they manage agree that rights today.

Today were you jump right into the first problem and that is the problem of divisions. Look at verse 10 chapter 1 Paul says now I urge you, brothers and sisters in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and what you say that there be no divisions among you by the this is like Paul's thesis statement for the next four chapters. Maybe for the entire book. Notice that any invokes the name of the Lord. Paul always spoke with the authority of an apostle, but now he is actually even raising that a level higher on bringing God's name into this. This is as weighty and important an issue as I'm going to deal with this is this is top level top showstopper, Paul. This gets to the core of who we are.

Let there be no divisions, no factions, no tribalism, no sense of varsity or JV squads in the church. What kind of divisions were were there exactly in this Caribbean church will some of them. I explained you are theological in nature. So the questions about whether they could eat meat offered to idols what to do. The Old Testament laws and that kind of stuff right some of divisions were theological. Some of the divisions, however, were purely personality driven.

But look at verse 11. Print is been reported to me about you, my brothers and sisters.

There is rivalry among you one of you says I belong to Paul and another I belong to Apollo's I belong to Cephas, which was another name for Peter or I belong to Christ summerlike a I'm a Paul guy you know Paul is such a good theologian man.

His testimony is amazing. His letters are awesome. I'm trying to memorize some of these letters I just love Paul team Paul others like yeah will you know Paul is great with the theology.

Everything but Paul is bowl read by the way Paul himself admitted that in second Corinthians. He said I'm mighty in my writing and I'm weak in my speaking with Smith that he was born you heard the one about the ushers seating people in church and he and the little lady asked be set in the front row and guess is that all men you want to do that.

Our pastor is so boring, like he does, he will put you to sleep guaranteed and on the front row. Everybody will see that he'll see that you be really embarrassed and also on the front row slowly turn the usher said demand you know who I am. He said no ma'am. She said I'm the pastor's mother and the ushers that you know who I am, ma'am.

She said no.

He said thank God turned around and walked away. No event.

Paul's preaching Paul had a preaching style that only a mother could love right so these people were like I'm not a Paul guy because Paul didn't reach a lot of people just want to come here and I'm in Apollo sky Apollo's.

You see, was this guy who showed up in Corinth right after Paul, ask 18 that you can read this whole story.

There and pop loose was a guy who they say was just eloquent with many preach pain on the walls. Now he is a little weak in his theology, though his rib once allowing the other apostles are church leaders and taking sides. A minion really say that exactly rider that's not exactly hundred percent that the right way but man could he preach and so after Paul planted this little small church Apollo's came in and blew the thing up and he just it grew and people love them some preaching of Apollo's and out yet, these factions summerlike on team Paul theology is my jam, and others like no not team Apollo's design into growth in reaching people because that's what Jesus wants.

He wants the ring in the law seat in 19 Paul's like when you state the impulse I will you state right.

Apollo says we theology gabba Paul is boring. What good is your theology if I'm bored out of what kind of support he fell out of a window in one Paul sermons and died. What good is his great theology up before dying in the middle of church things were getting pretty heated wills.

Another group that felt this way about Peter and then must pay for. There was a group that was like I belong to Christ right because in every church in every church you got the Jesus you guy right.

I'm not in your theology books are your favorite preachers just me and my Bible. By the way commentators say this might have been the most arrogant group of all of them because they assume that only need the church. There's like me and Jesus were we are fine right so there's your different personality driven factions to receive the same kinds of divisions at work today.

Yeah, you always in every church you've always got Bible knowledge guy. He's I just give me John Calvin or John Calvin John Piper John MacArthur the first, second, third John of American Christianity right us to be more. Those guys are always complaining that there's not enough meat in the sermon, and by the way, all in the spiritual feeding.

I hope that is is obvious to you but sometimes is group I'm telling you is really self-centered. It's all like all they want from churches for it to be a classroom that puffs up their head with theological knowledge, but you start to sense that there is pride and self-centeredness at work. I don't care about reaching people in the not really that much of the spiritual growth. They just like to learn they just like to learn because it makes them feel like they are our superior what's ironic to me about this group is that they masquerade a spiritually mature and not talk that way you don't remind me of snow is going through this mistaken when my kids were like toddlers and they would be in a high chair with the bid and it was time to eat and I wasn't giving them food that they liked in the way that they like it they just started to bang on the thing I feed me.

Me and every once in a while they would just show their disgust by picking up like this. Flipping it over on the floor.

This beautiful next to me like the email I get from somebody's members alike and using of Greek era stances and have of Old Testament cross-references of the sermon. If I got a spiritually fed right again.

I'm into deep preaching, but for some, it's not about spiritual maturity of something else other people I know on the experience guy, many of if I don't get goosebumps in church and it sunk at the altar is not there will people we clean after it's over about writer worship was a spiritual service and others like and Rhonda take care of the body guy church ought to be about discipleship. Who cares how big it is. We just got to do life together small groups last at least four hours and everyone should know every detail of everybody else's business otherwise is not a church summerlike on missions and evangelism about church a success is measured entirely by how much money I meet people you are sending out others like that on the social justice got I'm all about love in our community that what Jesus would be like still authors alike give me diversity, or give me death.

Knowing that care about the church is that it looks like a rainbow on stage. Now there's truth in all these things in a gospel. Loving church pursues all of them Summit is trying to pursue all those things only further say there's nothing wrong with being particularly attracted to one of those haven't even a proclivity toward one of those that might be an evidence of your own spiritual gifting and how you're supposed to contribute what is wrong is when those preferences are accompanied by a spirit of division self-righteousness and separation to Paul then gives for correctives to the spirit of divisiveness for them. They cannot write these down one just for you to understand unity understand unity whatever's can be united with the same understanding in the same conviction united how this report.

How are you to be united by magically starting to agree on everything Paul did not like the book of first Corinthians to settle all the arguments he didn't come into this theological in a pixie second and Entrada wave your magic Holy Spirit dust and thereby incite a basal think the same thing about politics now seek the same thing about these convictions. No pulses be of the same understanding and conviction about the gospel is what he needs be of the same understanding about the importance of the gospel over the secondary things and the same conviction about the primacy of the gospel. A lot of people call for unity in the church, but they don't really seem to know what it is only some biblical unity. Write this down for Paul unity was not uniformity where everybody in the church agrees on everything that is not the biblical vision of the church.

The New Testament church is a church where Jesus is so large that it makes disagreement on secondary things much less important because ready for some Frank talk. What was most disappointing for me. In 2020 was for how so many church people. They seem willing to walk away from their church over a relatively small disagreement at least small and light of the gospel or in light of eternity. Well, you did not say enough about this particular culture issues. Lumley will you actually said way too much on this particular culture issue. So I'm leaving.

I don't agree with how you approach vaccines. I don't agree with what you're doing with masks no.

I taught the people that had been at the church for 10, 15 years I married their children that we had walk through some of the most painful chapters together as we buried the sum loved one in their life.

And I might now you are leaving because you disagree with what were doing with mask we Christians we say we hate cancel culture. It is amazing to me how so many of us canceled our church over disagreement on something that was relatively small against small least in light of the gospel for Paul unity was not uniformity for Paul unity was also not relativism. Relativism is reasoning on what is right about everything that's ridiculous such as not true there right and wrong approaches to many things on 70 secondary things.

There is a more biblical mature way to approach things right. The question is the importance that were giving these things in our fellowship.

Do we have the same conviction about the gospel in the same understanding of its importance in Paul as I look there some things out.

You don't think you're totally right about worth coming from a different perspective and I hope over time that you will see it the same but you know what I like and what that divide us, because the gospel is more important.

Similarly, unity is not abandoning the faith. There are some Christians who think the only way we can be unified is by refusing to take a clear stand on anything mature to see this throughout Paul's letter to the Corinthians.

He soon identified a number of beliefs and say no.

We gotta agree on this because we don't agree on this, then we have no identity as God's people. Things like the person and work of Christ, the nature of saving faith. The inerrancy of the Bible, God's design for gender and sexuality. I was once part of global meeting of Christian leaders. They wanted to issue a joint statement on Christian witness and so they produced a five page document called Christians in evangelism in the 21st century. We are also stratified so I spent an hour Surinder that the it was a five page document that was filled essentially with progressive talking points put progressive political talking point, but not a single line in the entire thing about the necessity of trusting in Jesus for salvation. So when the little discussion time I got to Mike and I was like a you know I'm just curious. This five-page statement on evangelism that that have anything about evangelism and MMM and one of the that the spokes he was at what we want this to be theologically divisive and so I'm like in our joint statement on evangelism. We can't even unify around the gospel itself. That's not unity. Needless to say I didn't sign the statement and ordered a bunch other people that we would would would get the ministry with unity is not abandoning if they finally unity is not sentimentality where you paper over divisions never talk about Amanda smile for the camera would have told you seem to be a lot of churches want diversity is a snapshot of the stage, because that looks good but these people never actually new life together and those by the way, were outside the majority the majority never seem to find themselves in positions of influence your multicolored but you're not actually multiethnic. That's not Paul's vision of unity. Paul's vision of unity as real people from different backgrounds and different perspectives and preferences find a larger uniting hope in Jesus. Unity is having the same understanding and conviction about the gospel and understanding of its importance in the spiritual life of the believer and in the mission of the church and then attempting to think through everything else in light of that which we bought a corrected number two pulses at the understand unity. Gotta embrace grace. You gotta really embrace grace is of the main points only read several verses unity in verse 13 is Christ divided was Paul crucified for you. Were you baptized in Paul's name I think about about because none of you except Christmas and Gaia so that none of you to say your back. Does my name.

I did in fact baptized households definitely on that call Anyone else let me digress for just a minute because I love verse we know that Paul dictated his letter to ascribe that does interview several Christmas together to baptize them and I think one of the cunning Stefan is maybe him in his house. I did in fact baptized him.

But, you know, like it kinda hazy at this point I don't really remember that much and describes his dutifully writing all down and it's becoming instant-Scripture okay was told that I didn't. That was in a major thing for me there is baptizing people so when I do my neighbor. 17. Christ did not send me to baptize Christ me to preach the gospel, not eloquent wisdom so that the cross of Christ will not be emptied of its affect you likable, maybe a little eloquent with someone else so people don't fall asleep in your sermons and die. That would be amazing but gumballs like that's not it's never been supposed to be about winning people in my personality for the power my eloquence. The power is in the gospel it's not in my persona. Verse 20. So where's the one who is wise, but let's very practical question for them as either reading or hearing that she's I look around and around will where it wears on his wife where all the Greek philosophers where all the PhD's were are they where's the debater of this age, percents in God's wisdom, the world did not know God through wisdom, God was pleased to save those who believe the foolishness of what is preaching when the philosophers debated out right.

Verse 20 of the Jews asked for signs of the Greek seek for wisdom, but we preach neither of those things we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Greeks to the Gentiles.

Yet, to those who call those whom the Holy Spirit is working in Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God because God's foolishness is wiser than all that Athenian wisdom and God's weakness is stronger than all that human Jerusalem strength what Paul does is here as he identifies a bunch of things that don't bring salvation.

Is this what deadening salvation. Jesus didn't save the world. He says the philosophical wisdom the Greeks over in Athens in the Jewish philosophers in Jerusalem.

They're not the one to figure this out. God did not save the world. The philosophical wisdom while the eggheads were were pondering life in Athens and Jerusalem. Salvation appeared on a hillside to a bunch of poorly educated shepherds and one of the poorest parts of Israel. Jesus sees in the same ways that you can save the world to earthly success. That's what the Jews wanted earthly signs of success that validated the Messiah, so they wanted the Messiah to to be rich and successful in command of successful military problem was she's never got rich. He never commanded an army never really been had a large following. At his death that were like 100 people who were loyal to him and not even that loyal because all of them scattered when he went when he went to be crucified. That's not a success. You just didn't have a lot earthly signs. Most of his followers not living the best life now. There was no gun. A big white man that just validates that that's you all the signs of how successful Jesus didn't save the world through modeling obedience to the law and that the ones who obeyed the law. The best the Pharisees and Sadducees. They were the ones who led an rejection of Jesus. Instead, it was fishermen and carpenters and moral misfits, prostitutes and tax collectors. They were the first ones to recognize and believe in Jesus bosses look around the senior church. You see those people. Jesus didn't save the world and the importation of biblical wisdom listen close to the best things that I want you to put that the misunderstanding teaching is important. What I do every single week and try to give you biblical wisdom, its value on the gospel. Hear me, it was not Jesus's wisdom that saved us. It was what Jesus did that saved us think about what is Jesus's most famous teaching the sermon on the Mount, did you note Sue of the Gospels don't even record the sermon on the Mount. I do not know of a single parable that is told in all four Gospels. Not one, not one single teaching of Jesus spans all for only two of the Gospels tell us about Jesus's birth.

Only two of them tell us about his temptation. John's Gospel didn't even mention the Last Supper or the first version of communion of the Eucharist or whatever you call it, neither Matthew nor John mentions his ascension. However, all four Gospels old and record Jesus as the trail is arrest his trial, Peter's denial, the people's choice of Barabbas. The inscription on the cross, the crucifixion and the resurrection.

So what is that show you about what the gospel writer see as essential. It's faith in his work, not knowledge of his teaching that saves you. Now that is amazing. That is, aminos of the things are unimportant, just that God did not send save us by sending us down the teacher to educate us for a politician to reform us for military King to protest us for a life coach in order to help us make our lives work.

He sent down a substitute to die for us a substitute who would live the life we were supposed to live and die the death and were condemned to die. And now he saves us to the foolishness of preaching win-win pulses, foolishness of preaching is a mean and I'm up here a little beyond overpowering with you only thought about this imposes a pretty neat. It's a simple I'm not trying to fill your head with a bunch of wisdom.

I'm trying to put before you a Jesus that you can trust in depend on and love. It's very simple what I'm doing. I'm not trying to fill your head with knowledge.

I'm trying to show you a person that you can commit your whole life to and you can just love to now verse 23 Paul says we preach Christ crucified because Christ is the power of God in Christ is the wisdom of God.

You're not to be saved by obtaining enough wisdom or power or righteousness.

Christ has all of those things, imperfection, and when you receive him.

You get the fullness of all of them in him.

So again, my goal in preaching is not the fill your heads with enough knowledge that you will be acceptable to God.

My goal is not to give you so much practical wisdom that you can have no more problems in life because you get a perfect marriage and perfect family are perfect singleness, or whatever. My goal for you is for you to see the beauty and the sufficiency of Jesus Christ in all of those things so that you will trust and love him is not sophisticated but worldly standards.

It is rather foolish.

Christ did it all.

Trust him as my only real message is or what to do with with unity to pay attention when you embrace that message of grace and I mean really embrace it. The spirit of divisiveness leaves you see behind divisiveness always lurks a spirit of pride and self justification. You are attracted to certain things that they make you feel superior to others having more Bible knowledge than others, makes me feel righteous. So I take pride in being part of a church that excels in Bible knowledge because it sets me apart from other people and makes me better than them being successful in ministry makes me feel more righteous than other people.

So I want to be a part of a church number that I can attach myself to a church a grows because that's my justification being the most zealous for social justice makes me feel righteous like, thereby the world like me would having problems. That's one thing that got me through my church because I want to be identified is that we are not saved by any of those things we are saved by Christ and Christ alone at the end of the day all my wisdom and all my Bible knowledge and all my success on my virtue and social justice. They are all filthy rags or use Paul's words, Constable which we translate as Don but commentators say is a really polite translation that if it were the real translation and there you would be able to read that verse to your kids. This is all my righteousness all my wisdom on my success. All those things you just dong what I have is him and in him.

I've got all the power of God.

All the wisdom of God.

All the righteousness of God that is been gifted to me. In the end.

And when you embrace that your pride crumbles in the spirit of divisiveness just leaves you, Nathan Coles, who was a Connecticut farmer in the 1730s tells a story listening to the great evangelist George Whitfield. Preach your salary recorded his conversion of I love this. This is the preaching us on the great awakening. My hearing with Phil preach gave me a heart wound and by God's blessing. My old foundation was broken up and I saw that my righteousness could not save me another words tingle point where I realize that all the things I pride myself in all the things that set me apart from others, are all useless to God's foundation was not a sin. It's not people sin that usually send them to hell. It's their self-righteousness. Self-righteousness keeps far more people from Jesus then than sin ever has.

So what happens is when you are really confronted with the gospel.

That whole foundation is broken out in the spirit of divisiveness. It just leaves you all the gospel, the true gospel cuts against the grain of your heart in a way that you will never quite get over the side of eternity you want to be able to earn your way to God. You want to come up with something about you that set you apart and makes you worthy's of the uterus are not just a charity case. But when you come to that place reset.

I got no power, no wisdom, no righteousness and no way to actually get those things enough of them at least to be set apart.

At that point. In desperation, you will embrace Christ to his all those things and that will cut off the source of pride like cut off oxygen from your body and it will die in a matter of moments, you might still have different perspectives and different proclivities in different you know, per preferences, but they won't be accompanied by that smug sense of defensiveness and divisiveness which leads me to number three, Paul says you got in large Christ. Yet in large Christ. Verse 13, Paul says is Christ divided was Paul crucified for you overseas asking who is your salvation, who's actually your salvation.

It's all about Jesus and why is Paul or Paulos or Peter.

Why do I want to get brought up.

He's not saying that when you become a Christian, you lose all your preferences are different service of perspective is no way interesting and become less important. And when you start dividing over them. Don't listen to me, that is a sure sign that secondary things are too large in your heart and identity crisis are small.

I'm not saying that when you when you get saved, that we really love Jesus that all the things the way they don't understand that they start become less important a lot less defining because Jesus becomes a big Navy comes a small house of going to local college vessel games with the whole crowd is cheering for the same thing right. I think you select any fans in the other things is not part of the experience with the Cameron crazies you like it just offered it and you like it you know happening that were offer forever for the Tar Heels ego and the antistate terrain and were all you know Megan will pack sign sounds and the other the Eagles overlook on a central joint US approval couple for whoever invites me. That's level IV okay, I'm on their team and in that moment.

What I love is a look around the room and you'll see like people that you know and a lot of other spheres of life.

Don't agree on some things, but for that magical hour and 1/2. They're all united. They're all united around supplement is so big to them that they forget about their other disagreements and when their team wins, you know what you are are are are crying and hugging and high-fiving random strangers in the ground because you're just so united in your love for this one thing, there is an aspect of that. That ought to be true in the church. Y'all were just so overwhelmed by Jesus that the other differences seem less relevant and we come to church our commonality in him outweighs any secondary perspective or preference.

Like I said one of the most disappointing things to me about the last 18 months was it became crystal clear to me that a lot of Christians only new incoming long-term ones for a lot of them their politics or their cultural perspective was so big and there. Jesus was so small and I was shown by how quickly they canceled their church membership over some small thing that became in their heart so much larger than Christ. Number four is Paul's last thing is is you wean yourself off a celebrity you wean yourself off a celebrity with last part of verse 13 draw these verses, Paul keeps and what significance of these earthly leaders after your spiritual maturity in your identity are you baptizing them up, all without mentioning your baptism or Paulos or Peter are you actually dependent on one of us for your salvation Celebrities always been a part of the Christian church, larger-than-life leaders that have a big impact in your spiritual growth. People that God gifts with talents and gifts. That's not accidental.

God did it. It burned intentionally you see that here in the book of Corinthians. But in our social media age celebrities taken on new levels. Here's the thing for a lot of people asserted, see associating yourself with some celebrity gives you a sense of identity. I'm set apart some associate with that person. I'm wanting so-and-so I like their posts and not follow them and I'm on this person's theme and pulses, you should not be set apart by anyone in your heart, except for Jesus all the righteousness all the specialness all the power that you need. It's all in him.

Sure, there are certain earthly leaders that might be helpful to you on earth and you might even gravitate toward them but you're not depending on the just tools temporary tools in Jesus is an I love the first verse of Psalm 23 the Lord is my shepherd, Hoosier Shepherd Miller 70s pastor who is your pastor who is your actual spiritual Shepherd. The Lord is my shepherd. Therefore, I will never lack anything goes.

Paul was Peter who was JD.

None of these none of us are actually your shepherd where just tools temporary ones in your masters him ultimately it's him because of that you will never lack natural, down-to-earth question. I if I died tomorrow not had a heart attack tonight when around tomorrow, would you leave this church would you stay if you if your answers like Megan I'm not making turns and honest heart answer. If you think I probably stay good for you your allegiances to this body your allegiances to this mission, but if you're like well I'm pretty sure I leave within your allegiances to me and that's a huge problem. Who was JD who was Paul treating the church like a restaurant where your favorite chef happens to be serving you're not treating her like the family of Jesus that you belong to a movement you're committed to Jesus is your shepherd and the Holy Spirit is in you is pastor JD who is anybody. It's him that you belong to. I get that maybe you came to this church because my preaching connect with you are workable, engaged you are your kids order to administer that's fine as a reason to come and send it over time you develop family bonds bonds are stronger than preaching preference worship style bonds that go beyond me bonds that can whether disagreement in the body. Some of you left because you have those bonds the church.

These become family.

You leave the church I feel like family. I months and is never time to leave it there is understatement should be like flipping TV channels Hoosier board with the one that you're watching right now, or because you choose a new restaurant is it's gotta some new appetizers you want to try.

If you leave the church, is a fillet walk away from a family not engage the mission here only a spectator comes because you like my style of preaching or enjoy our kind of worship.

It's time to start their but Anisa very quickly translate into engaging the family living out the mission now. Interestingly, every once in a while will do a church survey here. We just gonna come we as people thought it survey and we can help to see whether connected. For those that indicate that they are spiritually growing the most number one characteristic to have in common is the way I thought if your small group like smokers are awesome smokers are awesome. That's how they say don't quiet time every day that the essential right now me it is what that's how they say the number one reason every single time that people's indicated you run it you the computer. The number one correlator that determines if you're spiritually growing at her church is if you volunteer your lot at seven yeah I know it's a progeny to one-act say is what you pastor Joby always says, which is there's just something about helping somebody else with their relationship with Jesus and helped you out with yours we do is recognize that the moment you start volunteering to give them back.

That's when you really begin to grow, that your Negro campus pastors will tell you more about how you can do that today. Finally summit let's were it resolved that at this church were to make the gospel. The one thing that we unite around it to be the thing that is so large in our hearts that all the other differences yet. Are there double talk about that just is not that significant economic, visual, personal gain, less of a game-winning of years ago a letter from a young lady in her church that included a picture of her being baptized I-9 when they're in the days you baptizing me what she wanted and tell me her story when she first came to our church is not Christian at all for running from the West Coast in the universities, their communities, and grads were given she was a very far left in every possible way members and friends that invited her to come to some, and she's in the first interaction Avenue was on social media. She said something really snarky in response to pro-life queen that I had what I actually responded to her on social media which I never, never, never knew, but for some reason I did in that moment I engage with a little bit. We went back and forth and I didn't have any idea she went to her church is that I was interacting with somebody ran in a letter she told me she said there were so many things I didn't like about you, but I kept coming to the church and eventually I was overwhelmed by the truth of the gospel and I got same as now for the first several months, not been growing by leaps and bounds said even though it was clear they were pro-life. You believe in gay marriage is not supported in the Bible, you still in the line this church with a political party you had. I would never have been able to bring myself to go because you didn't. I heard the gospel and I got saved and now I feel like I'm relearning everything. I just want to thank you for not putting politics as an obstacle in my path to believing in the gospel some and I have a lot of perspectives.

I have a lot of references that are important to me. None of them are as important to me. So the person is so let me be very clear, never backing down from reentering. Gotta be unapologetic in our stands for the sanctity of widening the marriage God's design for gender, other unpopular things that makes people mad and makes him want to go to another church than finder good afternoon and we just want to be in church, where Christ is so large he is. So a lot of these other things like I had is not as important as that we come together when in our unity in him is so much bigger than a lack of uniformity and some other things the church will be part of concerts on them for getting much value heads value had seven campuses in their home value heads on just to take a moment and said there on the Holy Spirit. Cultivate this in your heart as you never seen Jesus and for the stars is known him, told him I'm telling you something about that someone no more than the end of the service. Every service seeing Nasser printing members down from would love to talk about that. I generally hang there for moment in an organization, all of our campuses and the weakness to make Jesus being an expression of


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