Summary: Message 28 in our exposition of 1 Corinthians. This message continues Paul's admonition to live pleasing to God.
Chico Alliance Church
Pastor David Welch
“A Winsome Walk”
When you truly care about someone, you want to find out what pleases them and what makes them sad. Paul prayed that the believers at Colossae be filled with the knowledge of what God really wants. Paul instructed the Ephesian believers to avoid the behaviors of the unbelievers and continually try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. After spending three chapters reviewing the glorious blessings freely lavished on EVERY believer, Paul called for them to respond to God.
Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephes. 4:1-3
For a while now we have been examining the Holy Spirit’s instructions to the believers in Corinth. For most of the book he has addressed issues in the church that were displeasing to God. He exposed the cliques in the first four chapters that were tearing the church apart.
He urged unity by keeping their focus on Christ, the work of the Holy Spirit and teamwork. He exposed immorality in the church in chapter 6 that was ruining the testimony of the church. He urged discipline upon the offending individual. Beginning in chapter six there are ten areas of focus that help us to understand what does and does not please God. Paul taught absolute freedom in Christ on the basis of His sacrifice on the cross. Even though we are free in Christ there are certain characteristics that please God.
TEN CHARACTERISTICS OF A WINSOME WALK
1. Focus on the things that will eternally benefit ourselves and those around us.
2. Avoid those things that will enslave me.
3. Avoid those things outside of God’s design for life. (moral choices)
4. Focus on full devotion to God above everything else.
5. Avoid those things that will adversely affect other people directly or by example.
6. Avoid becoming a stumbling block for the progress of the gospel message.
7. Focus on those things that promote the gospel message.
8. Focus on training and running the race to finish well and win the prize.
9. Avoid things that displease God.
Remember, the only thing that truly pleases God is TRUST.
Without trust it is impossible to please God.
We displease God anytime we fail to trust Him.
Only absolute trust in God brings God pleasure and us peace.
? Don’t be cravers of evil things but trust His provision. vs 6
? Don’t become idolaters but rely on Him alone for life. vs 7
? Don’t act immorally but follow God’s rules for living. vs 8
? Don’t try the Lord but let Him direct our paths. vs 9
? Don’t grumble but realize He has the master plan and promise. vs 10
? Don’t think these things won’t creep into you life but trust God to provide the way to escape devastating doubt.
Only genuine trust pleases God so please God by trusting Him only.
10. Avoid anything that may associate us with demonic forces. 10:14-22
Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. I speak as to wise men; you judge what I say.
Any time we entrust ourselves to anyone or anything over God we commit idolatry which is spiritual adultery. Any time we look to someone or anything for life we commit spiritual adultery. Whenever we doubt God, we choose to trust something or someone else in His place. As we have seen, doubt leads to an attitude toward God and actions that displease Him. Paul summed it up by instructing the Corinthians to always run from, flee, escape, shun idolatry. Take God’s way of escape. Paul presented the foundational reasons to avoid association with evil by appealing both to the Old Testament Passover and the New Testament Communion celebration. He invited them to think about his application.
Why should we flee the things the Israelites practiced?
Why should they stop attending the Gentile temple dinners?
The significance of the Communion celebration
Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ? Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread.
When Israelites shared in the Passover, they identified as covenant people with the blood sacrificed on the altar to atone for their sin. They paused to recognize the Lord’s presence among them and to bless Him for His abundant goodness and mercy and lovingkindness toward them. Christians identify with the blood of Christ shed for us. We pause to recognize God’s presence among us and to bless Him for the ultimate sacrifice of His only Son that we might have life. Identification with the blood of the New Covenant in Christ proclaims a voluntary and grateful association with the one true Christ. The communal sharing of the bread also recognizes that we are bound together as those joined to the body of Christ. Communion is all about a personal and public reminder and declaration and celebration that we are the covenant people of God and united by blood with each other.