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Final Greetings

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
April 19, 2022 4:00 am

Final Greetings

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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April 19, 2022 4:00 am

You may belong to a small congregation with a few faithful members or a “megachurch” with thousands of weekly attendees—but regardless of the size of your local church, we’re all part of something much bigger. Hear more on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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Whether you're a part of a small church with a hand full congregants or a mega-church with thousand of people attending weekly in either case today on Truth for Life will find out that all of us are a part of something much bigger than we can imagine Alister bag is teaching from chapter 16 of first Corinthians verses 19 through 24. In this letter here. As with all matters, we would expect that since the Holy Spirit is the author of the lesser that it would come to a conclusion in just the way that it does every word is important and in his concluding statements. Paul is addressing these people in Corinth. Folks who have been unruly folks who have been passionate people who have been divided for much of the time I'm just a church that is always been very exciting and now he wraps it up with these concluding greetings.

First of all, greetings from an external point of view. In this case the greetings are threefold. First of all, he extends the greetings of the churches in the province of Asia that made sound of little import to is just on a cursory glance until we realize that until Paul had walked into the province of Asia. There were no churches in Asia total when you go back to acts chapter 19 and verse 10 to discover him there in the heat of the afternoon.

While most people are taking a siesta he had taken the lecture hall of Taranto's and were told by Luke that for two years. He had discussions in the afternoon and people were off work for a few hours so that the result was all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia Herod the word of the Lord. If you go down to verse 26 in the account of the aphesis riot you discover people seeing of this fellow Paul. He has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and practically the whole province of Asia. It is a wonderful thing.

Those who sometime before I lived in paganism had lived in confusion. I lived without God and without hope in the world had been part and parcel of the pluralism of their day with religious interest multiple deities great interest in the afterlife and accompanying great confusion out of that great host of people. The Lord Jesus had redeemed company for himself and these various churches were now sending their greetings to these believers in Corinth and the simple greeting. All of these believers serve to do two things. Number one to broaden their perspective. Paul was keen for them to understand that they were not.

It when it came to church. The Corinthians had a problem with regarding themselves as it they thought there was never a church quite like that that they were the epitome of what church life should be and yet of course they were sadly confused and mistaken in that matter in Paul when he writes to them from the very beginning of his lesser rights to expand their horizons. Verse two of the first chapters of the Church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of the Lord our God. He says I want you to know that you are part of something far bigger than yourselves.

So he broadens their perspective and he deepens their sense of partnership that are churches other than yourselves. He says want you to know that something far bigger is going on. You shouldn't feel alone and you shouldn't ever regard yourselves as aloof to the word for every church. An important reminder. There is a sense in which we ought to be grateful to God for all that he's doing here in this particular church we don't want to taken for granted. We don't want to treated in a cursory fashion but in the end of the day.

We want to remind ourselves forcibly and frequently that we are part of something far bigger than ourselves in relationship to all that God is doing in Cleveland in terms of what God is doing throughout the whole of the United States of America and indeed in relationship to go what God is doing throughout the world. So the greetings come from all the churches. The greetings also comes skipping down to Frazier to from all the brothers you'll notice in verse 20 all the brothers here send you greetings now this clearly I think is a reference to the companions of Paul. All that was able to say is that this sense of warm and significant partnership extended from the lives of those who were involved in ministry with Paul. We don't need to know everybody's name to realize the partnership that we enjoy with them in the gospel. The greetings from the churches. The greetings from all the brothers and then, particularly the greetings of this couple a lovely couple acquittal and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord and so does the church that meets in their house.

Paul go so far as to identify these individuals by name and it's not surprising in acts chapter 18 were introduced to them.

Paul is introduced to them in acts 18 as well turn to that for a moment so that you can set the history clearing your mind. When Paul left Athens. He moved on to Corinth and when he arrived in Corinth, he met this couple a Jew named Tukwila who is a native of Pontus. They recently moved there from Italy. Now we can only but assume that the regarding this is a significant dislocation in their lives in the way that many of us do when the time comes to relocate and so they must've had conversations over dinner in the evening while they going to leave Rome where you think we should go where do you think is possible and they settled in Rome in Corinth after they been in Corinth for a while they perhaps were still saying to themselves. I wonder what in the world were doing here, right up until the day this little Jewish evangelist arrived in town and making known the fact of the people around him that he was able to earn his keep by being a tent maker. Presumably somebody said to them, or the couple that you want to meet our Priscilla and Tukwila. They make tense and they love Jesus.

And so it is that in acts 18 told her. Paul went to see them, and because he was a tent maker as they were an immediate point of contact and he stayed and he actually worked with them and they made their home available to him and for Priscilla and Tukwila their hospitality was matched by their maturity and God had used the wonder of their understanding of the gospel in the lives of not a few people, not least of all polyps whose name is mentioned earlier in Corinthians, and in acts 18 and 24 a policy native of Alexandria, who is well-versed in religious things. Who knew about Jesus who had a baptism of repentance, but it just didn't have a full grasp of the truth was welcomed into the home of Priscilla and Tukwila and there they taught him the word of God cohesively effectively and encouragingly so it was that their hospitality was matched by their maturity. And Paul says Priscilla and Tukwila send you greetings.

Why do you think Priscilla Tukwila come out in the midst of all these general greeting all the churches greet you all the brothers greet you and Priscilla will agree to why why did he think of them because of the dramatic impact that they as a couple had made in his life.

Thank God for the privilege of ministry and for the benefits of such ministry. These external greetings, then, are to be more than matched by the greetings that are going on internally to the end of verse 20 in a sentence he calls the relationship of the believers in Corinth into a proximity to one another. He says greet one another with a holy kiss. Now you see, the case was the common manner in which friends would say hello to one another that was customary.

If you think of it in European terms got the right picture. If you remember, for example, back to the early pictures of Nikita Khrushchev kissing people when he was wearing a big funny hat I wasn't there when you call a mainline smooch. It was more this and this and when you see the friends share the Italians greeting one another kiss on one cheek and the other in actual fact, what you do is you case the air.

If you know how to do it properly it will always tell you case the air in your cheek touches their cheek and you case the air and then you kiss the air or actually you kiss them flat on the four heads twice.

It was the normal customary expression of relationship with one another and so says Paul, I want you to greet one another in the Coleman form which was to kiss and that reflected their culture. What mark them out as different from their culture was not a different way of kissing, namely holy Casey.

What made the common feature. Holy was the fact that namely holy. They were as these describe them in the opening verses of first Corinthians is set apart, sanctified, separated from sin separated to God to one another and therefore these people did the common thing in kissing and it was holy because they themselves were part of the family of God is not a special kind of case it was just the customary greeting, and indeed warm, affectionate handshake, an arm around the shoulder. Give me five may express the exact same sentiment today and are not to be a stiff thing to be in the family of God and honored to be starchy to go to church and honored to be dolling are not to be boarding on how to be arms length and remove their supposed to be a dime. Mention of mutuality amongst the people of God that makes those who are outside the family of God say you know what, that's an incredible place, and unlike contemporary clubs which have to do with having identified a fight and we paid enough money to get in. Or we could jump far and fast enough to be included or that our school level was sufficient to be able to gather into a small group. The family of God has black-and-white and rich and poor and fine and thin. Why is a not so wise and so on, and it is certainly different from anything else in the whole universe, so the businessman walks into this and he says man alive.

There is something going on in their they are greeting one another tangibly and significantly, the issue is not kissing right. The issue is loving the issue is caring and the issue is letting people know that it's it's okay, forget the first Church of Christ Frigidaire. This is not a society. This is not a club. This is not a classroom. This is not a seminar. This is a church and when we come to church and when we do church we are know we've been, and we are to know we've done all right. Thirdly personal personal external greetings internal readings personal readings Linda verse 21 I Paul write this greeting in my own hand. She does that excite you that absolutely jazz is me. I can tell if I had been there when this book got ran out. I do jump right up the front of the church or whatever was being read. I would rather scroll right out of the fella's hand because I want to see how does he write.

I Paul write this greeting in my own and I want to see what is this mean simply refers to the fact that the body of the letter has been written by somebody else, namely a secretary, probably a chocolate sauce than us. If you look up the alley verses of the book is a racist resourcefulness Pam, when you finish it off myself and youth indicates by his own writing his own hand in his own signature. He's brother greetings from over there. He's brother greetings from the brothers he is encourage the greetings from one to another, and now he says this is coming from me to you. If there's any thing that you want. If there's anything I can new, just call on me and I'll send it along with love from me to you is what he said here. This is coming from me to you. The ending of his letter is significant.

How does the end for word summarizes and he ends with a warning. Verse 22. If anyone does not love the Lord to curse me on him is he saying here why we end with such a stirring warning, the answer is no because he hates because he lives, he would not sound out the warning were not for the fact that he cared for them if he hated them. He just let them run aground on the on this. The shores of their Iraqi rebellion. He loves them and so he says if you don't love the Lord.

Of course be on you. This is not a reference to those who are seekers is not a reference to the unbeliever. This is not a reference of the person is agnostic as is. I don't know who Jesus is. I don't really know much about the Bible and the come along and they look at first when in 1622 and he said if you don't love the Lord across me on your sick goodness gracious. No wonder I haven't been going there.

Should the fella said I came in I was writing for my Tyrone and everything, and the chances of you to love the Lord. Of course be on is that when you say no. In Romans chapter 9 Paul says I am prepared to be accursed for the sake of those who don't know Christ in first review chapter 9 he says I make it my aim to win as many as possible. I becoming become Greek to the Greek. I become Jewish to the Jew I become smart, smart and dumb to the dump so that by all means I might wind song.

So what is he saying here. Let me tell you is referring to. He is referring to the issue of religious humbug he is referring to the matter of religious hypocrisy is referring to the characters who were all through con put a form of godliness and denied its power, who said that they had a life in Christ, but their lifestyle never matched it. They were false professors. Indeed, in first Corinthians 12. In verse three he reminds his readers. He says nobody possessed of the spirit of God can see Jesus be cursed to strange thing to even mention unless there were those going around Corinth who were claiming to know Jesus and yet at the same time thought that they could call down curse things on him. Paul says you think you can do that. Let me tell you. Jesus said if you love me you will keep my commandments. The commandments of the Lord Jesus are clear. If you do not keep his commandments to deny the fact of his love. Don't tell me about the fact that you are in Christ and there is no evidence that the ground is his work, the evidence of it is your continuance and he says if anyone does not show the evidence of an obedient life to walking with Christ, then there will be a curse that comes on him so he fires a warning out. There's nothing more pernicious than the kind of people who take advantage of the profession of religion for the sake of their own corrupt desires. He also reminds them that he's waiting, and they are waiting one and 25 verses in the New Testament are about the coming of Jesus. You see the juxtaposition I'm giving you this morning. And remember, we're waiting. He may come at any time you come as a thief in the night. Don't be like the five foolish virgins who had no oil left in their lamps. We like the wise whose lines were trimmed and ready.

The warning sounds out in light of the waiting can I warn you this morning. If you are a false professors give up your false profession and lay hold upon Jesus.

Don't be satisfied with mere attendance of the church. Merely having your name upon our role merely going through this Sunday by Sunday say today what I'm going to do is I'm going to make sure unreservedly that I have a repentant heart before Christ that I cry out to and from nursery and for grace and for faith and for forgiveness.

I want to heed the warning.

I want to be found waiting.

I want to be under the blessing. That's the third word blessing the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you the same way that he began wonderful framework first Corinthians 1 verse three Grace to you.

First Corinthians 1623 grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. There is no other single word in Christian vocabulary that most fully and adequately expresses what God has done and will do for his people in Jesus is grace in the beginning.

Grace in the middle and grace of the end grace that is greater than all my sin I Paul send you this personal greeting warning waiting blessing and loving look at verse 24. Loving my love to you wall in Christ Jesus to all of you all of you the ones that bugged me the ones that have disappointed me. The ones that have encourage me the ones that have blessed me.

The ones that I've tried to reprove and rebuke who were fighting at the communion table. Those who are setting up little parties and dividing the church. He said I want you to know the good the bad and the ugly churches church. I send my love to all of you in Jesus Christ.

The letter ends on a tender note, not with the clashing of a symbol number the great swelling for TC more, but with an almost piccolo like malady speaking of the love of the Lord Jesus's letter is been strong it's been clear the source of his love is Jesus the framework of his love is Jesus. Indeed, the most favorite phrase of Paul and all his writings is here in this last verse, and with it he finishes you would expect them to finish with his favorite phrase in the does in Christ Jesus.

That was the wonder of it for him. If any man or woman be in Christ Jesus. They are a new creation the old is gone, the new has come way out either in Christ or we are not in Christ.

In the same way as we are either married or we are on Mattie. If you do not know whether you are out or you're not then you're in a grave predicament and the same is true spiritually, I send my love. He says to all of you in Christ Jesus.

There's no man in the original there's an Ironman inherent fits. Of course, the earliest manuscripts do not end with men. The end with Jesus so they should, for he is, after all the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last I have labored to preach to you the word of God through the 16 chapters of first Corinthians, with the express purpose that unbelieving people may become committed followers of Jesus Christ I and as I began calling those who do not believe to believe and hearing the call of God upon the lives of those of us who do believe to committed faithful service.

Thanks be to God for his word with the final message in her study of first Corinthians chapter 16, listening to Alister Greg this is true for life.

Alister ended today's message with the call to believe and to serve if you'd like to know more about who Jesus is, what it means to follow him want to encourage you to watch a short video called the story confined to the Truth for story the story of Jesus includes many fascinating people, some of them claim to be saints and proved to be scoundrels. Some were scoundrels who were transformed into saints in the book were recommending to our listers titled saints and scoundrels from the story of Jesus, the author Nancy Guthrie provides an up close look at what shaped and motivated some of these well-known people. Nancy points out that it's one thing to read about people like the Pharisees or their chief priest Caiaphas, for example, which he challenges us to consider how we may actually share some of their attributes.

This is a book that will challenge you to do some self analysis to also be greatly encouraged.

As you learn just how much Jesus forgives our failures and our shortcomings request the book saints and scoundrels. When you give a donation Truth for about Lapine. Thanks for listing tomorrow will hear how Jesus often focuses on fixing things that some of us don't even realize are broken. The Bible teaching of Alister Bragg is furnished by Truth for Life. Learning is for Living

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