Sermons

Summary: We need to have the correct perspective.

HEAVENLY MINDED AND EARTHLY GOOD

I Corinthians 3:18-23

S: Perspective

Th: Live the Difference

Pr: WE NEED TO HAVE THE CORRECT PERSPECTIVE.

?: Where?

KW: Areas of concern

TS: We will discover in our study of I Corinthians 3:18-23 that we should have four areas of concern in order to have the correct perspective.

The _____ area of concern is…

I. OURSELVES

II. OUR LEADERS

III. OUR SITUATION

IV. OUR GOD

Version: ESV

RMBC 15 February 04 AM

INTRODUCTION:

Have you ever noticed that some people have a hard time with perspective?

For example…

ILL Notebook: Heaven (pavement)

There once was a rich man who was near death. He was very grieved because he had worked so hard for his money and he wanted to be able to take it with him to heaven. So he began to pray that he might be able to take some of his wealth with him.

An angel heard his plea and appeared to him, "Sorry, but you can’t take your wealth with you."

The man implored the angel to speak to God to see if He might bend the rules.

The man continues to pray that his wealth could follow him. Then the angel reappeared and informs the man that God has decided to allow him to take one suitcase with him. Overjoyed, the man gathered his largest suitcase and filled it with pure gold bars and placed it beside his bed.

Soon afterward the man died and showed up at the Gates of Heaven to greet St. Peter. Seeing the suitcase Peter said, "Hold on, you can’t bring that in here!"

But the man explained to him that he has permission and asked him to verify his story with the Lord. Sure enough, Peter checked and came back saying, "You’re right. You are allowed one carry-on bag, but I’m supposed to check its contents before letting it through."

Peter opens the suitcase to inspect the worldly items that the man found too precious to leave behind and exclaims, "You brought pavement?!!!"

Well, that’s a good example of how easy it is to lose perspective.

What we think is valuable turns out to be much different than we think.

TRANSITION:

We have been studying the first letter Paul wrote to the Corinthians, and it is here…

1. We are encouraged to “live the difference” the Spirit makes in us (I Corinthians 3:16-17).

Last week, the passage we studied ended like this…

(16) Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? (17) If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

We live with this amazing truth…the Spirit lives in us!

He has placed His very dwelling among us.

He resides here…in each of our hearts, individually and collectively.

And because that is so…it makes a difference.

We have a new perspective on life.

We think differently.

We see God at work in a way that we never saw or expected before.

But not everybody gets it, even as Christians.

Certainly the Corinthians proved that.

They thought that they had become superior to others as they investigated what they considered to be new mysteries and new truths.

And because of this, they became ineffective in their ministry.

You see…

2. Have you ever heard the phrase “heavenly-minded, but no earthly-good”?

Many of us have used that phrase from time to time.

We have used it when someone seems to have gotten what we call “over-religious” and they seem to have lost contact with the reality of what is going on here.

And I think this does happen…

3. We can consider ourselves so spiritual that we actually mess up life on earth.

I believe this is what happened at Corinth.

You know, Paul was excited about this church.

He loved these people.

He was their spiritual father as he was the one that had planted this church.

And it was a dynamic and gifted spiritual community.

But, it was the opinion of certain elements within this community that they had reached a level of superior spiritual insight.

And as a result, their capacity to impact Corinth was greatly weakened.

Their ability to minister to one another was injured.

Their effectiveness was undermined by their own jealousy, ambition and arrogance.

So what Paul is forced to do is make them confront the severity of their problems.

They were not in as good of shape spiritually as they had thought.

They needed to get better perspective.

And it is a lesson for us as well, for…

4. WE NEED TO HAVE THE CORRECT PERSPECTIVE.

But where does this need to happen in our lives?

Well…

5. We will discover in our study of I Corinthians 3:18-23 that there are four areas of concern we need to have the correct perspective.

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