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Summary: Self-Deception is rooted in our thinking, and visible in our activities. Or, if we look at it in reverse – what we do, or how we act is in reality a product of our belief system – ie: what we believe. So, if our believing is wrong then our acting will b

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AVOIDING SELF-DECEPTION

1 Corinthians 3:18-23

INTRODUCTION: Just recently, our area has been exposed to an unusual sight – a beluga whale. He has been meandering up and down the river, between Burlington and Trenton. Lots of people have gone to the river’s edge in hopes of catching a glimpse of the white whale. And several have questioned why would the whale be here. I would think that just about everyone is convinced that having a whale in the river is an unusual thing.

Well, this portion of Scripture is one of those unusual things. It does not naturally fit with either the context before it, or the context after it. IT is one of Paul’s digressions, one of those – “Oh, yeah, before I forget” passages. Too important to leave out, but an epiphany in the flow of the letter.

And to tell you the truth, I have had a hard time dealing with this passage, and not only me – several commentators and biblical scholars have also struggled with these 7 verses. Paul definitely considered them important enough to include, and important enough for us to consider!

TRANSITION: Self-Deception is rooted in our thinking, and visible in our activities. Or, if we look at it in reverse – what we do, or how we act is in reality a product of our belief system – ie: what we believe. So, if our believing is wrong then our acting will be wrong. If we have been deceived and are thinking wrong as a result of that deception , then we need to adjust, re-set, and refocus areas of our thinking that have been subjected to deception. Replacing them with truth, and ultimately seeing the conformation in our actions!

I Self-Deceptive Wisdom

A What We Have At Our Disposal – (A look at the Corinthian Church)

1 The Corinthian church had tremendous access to the Scriptures

a Availability of the Bible.

b Apostolic teaching and writing

2 The Corinthian church had freedom of worship

a Did not have to worship in secret

b Did not have to worship underground

c Had no fear of persecution

3 The Corinthian church had a pedigree of preachers

a Paul had founded the church

b Apollos had continued the ministry in the church

c Peter and his teaching had been referenced

4 The Corinthian church was highly gifted

1 Cor. 1:7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.

B What We Choose To Use – (What the Corinthian church chose to do)

1 The Corinthian church developed their own “wisdom”

a Disregarded God’s Word

1 Cor. 3:1-2 Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly--mere infants in Christ. 2I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.

1) Should have been ready for heavier stuff

2) Instead, were still involved in the basics

3) At issue here is the level of the Corinthian believer regarding his relationship to the Word of God

2 The Corinthian church put man’s wisdom ahead of God’s

a Looked at man’s wisdom and thought it wise

1 Cor. 4:6 Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, "Do not go beyond what is written." Then you will not take pride in one man over against another.


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