Sermons

Summary: How can we help spiritual experiences produce the fruit and goods for which God sent them? Experiences need to lead to Edification- and this happens by us applying our mind.

Gifts of the Spirit 10: “Out of your mind?”

1 Cor 14:13-17. WBC 31/10/04pm

INTRO

Could have entitled this:

- how to make it last. How to make it bear fruit. How to make it count

Ever wondered how the same move of God, same Spirit… same touch in a service (etc) can produce such different fruit?

- Illustr: the church that has a genuine touch from God- but they just end up somewhat eccentric, closing even

o Or (eg) HTB: blasted- but 1000’s finding faith, growth, 125 staff

- Individual touched by the Spirit- but end up losing faith, leaving husband

o Or (eg) the many we know SO changed

Could give you many examples

Was it not the Spirit? Not the same Spirit?

- yes it was.

- BUT to make this stuff last.. produce the fruit it was sent for it takes more than just the Spirit

o (how radical is that!)

EXPERIENCE?

These guys were into experience. And NOTE- Paul does not knock it!

- he wants them to have them!

Their background was Greek mystery religions

- lots of ecstatic experience. Noise. Phenomena. Excitement etc

- to the detriment of the mind. It was the experience that counted. Had to have it

Actually: it’s not unlike today

- (hear me! I’m not knocking any of this. I want this AND MORE)

- v experiential Christianity

o “you must feel & experience God”

 but don’t note the inconsistency of

• stacks who DON’T feel, as predicted

• later statements ‘don’t trust your feelings’

- the spirit of our age tells you- feelings are fact. Foundational

- so: ‘worship’ becomes ‘singing’ (rather than living, praying, obedience etc).

o you have worshipped God if YOU felt good

o (now- ‘corporate’ worship should be an experience! An encouraging one! But surely it should make God feel good?!)

- and think about it- how many new versions of the Bible are there now? Do people know it? Does it appear in our songs?

o Do people know foundational beliefs.. creed… basic bible stories?

 1 hr Street Bible = excellent! Will be foundational for some!

Our question in life, corporate worship and Bible reading is ‘ what can I get out of it? How will it make me feel?’

Again- let me state- Paul’s and my intent (not putting myself on a par with Paul!) is not t diminish the excitement and experience

- rather to produce fruit and balance

- AND it is true to say we are not about to go off the deep end, here! We need MORE encounters, now less

- An encounter with God will make you feel!

Dr Martin Lloyd Jones “let us realise the profound character of the experience. This is not light and superficial and ordinary; it is not something of which you can say ‘don’t worry about your feelings’. ‘Worry about your feelings?!’ You will have such a depth of feeling that for a moment you may well imagine that you have never ‘felt’ anything in your life before. It is the profoundest experience that a man can ever know”

But encounter, experience, feelings is not the end… whole of it

- Paul says, here, (v 14) – if I only connect spiritually through the experience of tongues: I haven’t received the whole package

Oh! If only we could grasp this! You want the fullness of God, power, don’t you?

- Well- you have to know how to take it beyond spiritual encounter and experience

o How to make it count. Bear fruit. Thousand fold

EDIFICATION

You see- the aim… end…. here is not experience- but experience leading to edification

- to people ( the more the merrier) being built up

And that involves using the mind

You see- so many of our spiritual encounters can be impoverished because they are one dimensional

- something happens in our spirits. We connect

- but fails to lead to – obedience in the body, or transformation of the mind

Of course –it can be the other way around. A BIG failing in some circles is – faith becomes an academic exercise

- = ‘form of religion but denying it’s power’

- = Greek dualism

- = pretty puny as we pretty soon reach the limits of our puny minds in relating to God!

o Realise that ‘to go further I’m going to have to realise I can’t figure EVERYTHING out’

19 For it is written:

"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;

the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."

1CO 1:20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

1CO 3:18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written:

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