Summary: This sermon deals with the difficulties of having to walk by faith.
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:1 – 12
Title: “Living On The Now Side”
Introduction: To understand the 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians we need to know some things about the city of Corinth.
Corinth was the most important city of all Greece in Paul’s day. Its wealth was fabulous. Men spent their days in tournaments and speeches. Luxury, dissipation, and public immorality were rampant among this great industrial and seafaring population.
But nestled within the thriving city with all its wealth and religious perversions was a large colony of Jewish people. These people had kept a strong moral standard and held to their belief in God.
Because of all bad influence of the city and its inhabitants some of the people of God had been drawn into the sin of the Corinthians.
Do you ever find yourself becoming overwhelmed by the environment in which we live? Do you ever wonder why doesn’t God do something about all of this sin and perversion that is going on all around us?
Do you find yourself feeling like you are not making any positive difference as a Christian in this world? If so, you are probably in need of this message.
Let me list some things the Apostle Paul said in:
(1 Corinthians 15:19):“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.”
(Phil 1:21) “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
(Phil. 1:23) “I’m torn between two desires: Sometimes I want to live, and sometimes I long to go and be with Christ. That would be far better for me,”
(2 Cor. 12:15) “And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.”
Why would Paul say such a thing?
(Phil 1:24-26) “but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me.”
I. A CLOUDY MIRROR.
a. Paul compared our daily walk with the Lord as looking at a “Reflection” that one would see from looking into a mirror that wasn’t “Clear.” (“a glass darkly)
b. When Paul made this statement, “And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.” – I believe he was feeling some of the same feelings you and I are experiencing today.
c. Let’s face it, sometimes things just don’t make sense as far as we can see!
d. Have you ever experienced a stretch of time when it seemed like God just didn’t really care?
e. Sometimes we just can’t UNDERSTAND why.
II. SELF-IMPOSED LIMITATIONS.
a. We have a “Choice” as to whether we stay where we are or go on to greater things in our walk with the Lord.
b. In Revelation 3:7-8 Jesus spoke to the church in Philadelphia, “I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee “an op-en door”, and no man can shu-t it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.”
c. I have mentioned this quite a bit lately, Jesus gave us the “Keys” to the kingdom of God, but the “Responsibility” is completely up to you and I as to whether or not we “use” the “Keys.”
d. Everyone has “Limitations” upon their lives.
Some are “Self-imposed.”
Others have been “Imposed” by our “Genetic Makeup.”
Still others have been placed upon us by “Parental Upbringing.”
And then there are some “Limitations” whichare imposed upon us by “God.” (Job 14:5) “Man’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.”
e. Some Christians have LIMITED themselves because of “Misinterpreting” the things of God. (Example)
Story of an Indian lying in the middle of the road with his ear pressed to the ground.
* The Indian was mumbling these words: "Truck, Chevy truck, Chevy pick up truck, Large tires,
Man driving, German shepherd in front seat, Loaded with firewood, Cal. license plate UBH123."
* "Wow, this is unbelievable! You can tell all that by listening to the ground?
* The Indian said, "No, truck ran over me thirty minutes ago."
III. THE NOW GENERATION. (The “Bomb” & “Pepsi”)
a. Paul made the statement, “For” now” we see through a glass, darkly; . . . ”
b. We know from Paul’s writings that there is coming a “Time” when we will know everything we desire to know, but that is in “Heaven.” – What do we do “Until” we get to heaven?