Summary: Deception is the main fighting tactic of the Enemy and we are called to NOT be deceived by his wiles. Paul addresses the Corinthian church and admonishes/challenges them to not be deceived and to not be proud, but that they belong to God!
Date Written: April 03, 2014
Date Preached: April 06, 2014
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Series Title: A Series From 1 Corinthians
Sermon Title: Know What You Have!
(don’t be deceived)
Sermon Text: 1 Cor 3:18-23 [NLT]
18Stop deceiving yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world’s standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise. 19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say, “He traps the wise in the snare of their own cleverness.” 20And again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise; He knows they are worthless.” 21So don’t boast about following a particular human leader. For everything belongs to you— 22whether Paul or Apollos or Peter, or the world, or life and death, or the present and the future. Everything belongs to you, 23and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.
What we have learned so far is that the church in Corinth was under spiritual duress and the Apostle Paul had written this letter to address the issues that were causing the difficulties within the church!
Paul had encouraged them by letting them know how much he loved and cared for them as a fellowship of believers! We also see Paul sharing that he believed God was NOT done with them as a fellowship!
We have learned that they had their issues BUT that Paul understood that they loved the Lord and he believed they wanted to serve God!
Two weeks ago we read and saw how Paul reminded those in the fellowship that their foundation had been laid by him…and that foundation was in Christ only… and that anyone who built upon that foundation must use WORTHY building materials…
I then encouraged you to build wisely upon the foundation of Christ in your lives as you seek to grow in Christ… to use worthy building materials and not to cut corners in building your life in Christ!
This morning as we look at the passage in v18-23 we find Paul concluding this chapter admonishing and warning those within the fellowship in Corinth to KNOW what they have in Christ and to NOT be deceived by the false teaching that was being thrown at them…
Don’t Be Deceived! V18-20
Stop Bragging! V21-22
WHY? You Belong to Christ! V23
Don’t Be Deceived! V18-20
18Stop deceiving yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world’s standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise.
There were many teachers who had come into the fellowship at Corinth and had begun to teach a gospel contrary to the one Paul had brought when he planted the church several years before…
This ‘new’ gospel being preached relied on a human wisdom and human intellect. The message that had come into their midst had caused divisions among the church as many were sectioning themselves off according to who they followed or believed…
This message had caused them to begin relying upon their own wisdom and Paul had told them that human wisdom led to misunderstanding the gospel… and these teacher had led many to discount the Cross and what Christ had accomplished on the Cross.
Paul told them that the message of the Cross was CENTRAL to their redemption and could NOT be ignored…even though the world may see it as foolishness or a stumbling block… the wisdom of God placed Christ on the Cross to die for the sin of humanity… the wisdom of humanity sees this as foolishness… the wisdom of religion sees this as a stumbling block…
These teachers had come into their midst and had begun to teach a gospel based on human wisdom and had convinced many of these believers to place their faith in this human wisdom… and here in v18 Paul decries such a thing… he urges these believers to NOT place their faith and trust in human wisdom!
He uses the phrase, ‘you need to become a fool to be truly wise’ which is Paul merely playing off his revelation that the world believes the message of the Cross is foolishness to them! They are going to think you to be a fool, but you MUST trust in the message of the Cross to be truly wise is what Paul is telling them!
My brothers and sisters I want to call you to this same conclusion… our world today does NOT believe in the message of the Cross or the supremacy of Jesus Christ as Lord!
In today’s society we face militant atheism that seeks to ban and banish all forms of faith and vestiges of God… they come out and call Christians FOOLS for believing in what they deem as foolish myths and legend!
In our society today, for one to proclaim Christ as supreme and the exclusive way to God is seen as bigoted and narrow minded. It is seen as foolish as many would point to the thousands of other religions of the world and the BILLIONS of other people who believe differently from Christians as evidence of our short sightedness and foolishness…