JUSTIFIED FOOLS For CHRIST-IV—1Corinthians 4:1-21
A husband & wife are on the 9th green when suddenly she collapses from a heart attack.
"Help me dear," she groans to her husband.
The husband calls 911 on his cell phone, talks for a few minutes, picks up his putter, & lines up his putt.
His wife raises her head off the green & stares at him.
"I'm dying here & you're putting."
"Don't worry dear," says the husband calmly, "they found a doctor on the second hole & he's coming to help you."
"Well, how long will it take for him to get here?" she asks feebly.
"No time at all," says her husband. "Everybody's already agreed to let him play through."
*That husband was a ‘fool for golf’!
‘Fools for Christ’ are such because they know from experience with certainty, that there really is nothing worthwhile outside of Christ!
Paul admonished the Corinthian Church regarding his apostolic ministry.
The church must regard apostolic authority rightly...as those who are fools for Christ!
How/When are Fools for Christ Justified?
11 justifiers regarding Fools for Christ.
We discovered last time that
Fools for Christ are justified thru their...
5—Fools for Christ are justified thru their...
RECEPTION(:7-8) “Without us”
:7—“For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?
It is possible to view ourselves(our church(es)) as superior but in reality no one should.
One group(local church) should not look at themselves as if they were appreciably “different” from any other church. It cannot be assumed or rightly defended that a particular church’s actively choosing one true apostle’s teaching above that of another, makes the choosing church different(more godly/holy/fit, etc.) than any other.
True Christians possess(have) nothing that they do not “receive” thru others(shared faith), plus & more importantly, they possess(have) nothing that they do not “receive” from the Lord Himself(thru Christ & His apostolic ministry)! Every church receives everything they are from the Lord.
Therefore, logic dictates that there should be no “boasting” on the part of any group(church) above another.
Boasting exposes an underlying belief that we have a giftedness & marketability which others do not have. But rather than share it to the advantage of the church(universal), it is instead closed off to others & bragged about. It may also imply that we have provided for ourselves apart from God’s provision & other’s faith.
“All self-conceit rests on the notion of superiority of gifts & graces as if they were self-bestowed or self-acquired.”.....“Pride of intellect, of blood, of race, of country, of religion, is thus shut out.”—RWP
“Makes...Differ/Regards...Superior”—diakrinw—1) To separate, make a distinction, discriminate, to prefer; 2) To learn by discrimination, to try, decide—2a) To determine, give judgment, decide a dispute; 3) to withdraw from one, desert; 4) To separate one's self in a hostile spirit, to oppose, strive with dispute, contend; 5) To be at variance with one's self, hesitate, doubt. Strong—to separate thoroughly, i.e. (literally & reflexively) to withdraw from, or by implication--Oppose; figuratively--To discriminate(by implication--Decide), or reflexively--Hesitate.
“Have”3X(See :15)—ecw—1) To have, i.e. To hold; 2) To have i.e. own, possess; 3) To hold one's self or find one's self so & so, to be in such or such a condition[ 4) To hold one's self to a thing, to lay hold of a thing, to adhere or cling to. Strong—including an alternate form scew; (used in certain tenses only); a primary verb; To hold (used in very various applications, literally or figuratively, direct or remote; such as possessions; ability, continuity, relation, or condition).
“Now if you did Indeed/Now if/But if Also”—ei de kai——ei—Conjunction—1) If, whether. Strong—a primary particle of conditionality; If, whether, that, etc..—&—de—Conjunction—1) But, moreover, &, etc. Strong—a primary particle (adversative or continuative); But, &, etc.—&—kai—Conjunction—1) And, also, even, indeed, but. Strong—apparently, a primary particle, having a copulative & sometimes also a cumulative force; And, also, even, so then, too, etc.; often used in connection(or composition) with other particles or small words.
“Receive”3X—lambanw—1) To take; 2) To receive (what is given), to gain, get, obtain, to get back. Strong—To take(in very many applications, literally & figuratively [properly objective or active, to get hold of; whereas decomai is rather subjective or passive, to have offered to one; while aireomai is more violent, to seize or remove]).
“Boast”—kaucaomai—1) To glory (whether with reason or without); 2) To glory on account of a thing; 3) To glory in a thing. Strong—To vaunt(in a good or a bad sense).
:8—“You are already full! You are already rich! You have reigned as kings without us--& indeed I could wish you did reign, that we also might reign with you!”
Paul’s sarcasm is obvious!
We can become convinced that we are “already filled”, “already rich”, “already kings.” They are imagining the message of God thru the apostles(those specifically sent from God) is exclusively for themselves(the Corinthians) & no other! Paul observes that they think themselves as having ‘arrived!’
Paul sarcastically declares them ‘God,’ having “wished” that they did indeed already “reign” so they could both “reign” together. The lack of unity & togetherness is apparent, as is Paul’s ire.
This tells us that the truly blood-bought Christian cannot reach the pinnacle of fulfillment in this life. In fact, they certainly cannot reach a state of ‘arrival’ at all, i.e., where they have no further need of God’s instruction or presence or of their need for the Church in their lives!
The body of Christ is being built into a temple within which God lives(3:16-18), & thus not so the Church itself can become king!
Php. 3:3-14—“For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, & have no confidence in the flesh, though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, & count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ & be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him & the power of His resurrection, & the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind & reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Those who are officially recognized church members, yet uninvolved in the church break our hearts. These must, to some degree, suppose they have arrived/apprehended the pinnacle, & that, apart from the body. These ‘get nothing out of church.’...I’ve heard this a hundred times if I’ve heard it once... And I’ve heard the excuse worded otherwise even more times! It is never enough to merely attend, there must also be a vested commitment to one another in Christ. Only then is the individual, & thus God’s church, healthy.
This does not mean that we do not determine & hold to right doctrine, because we should(Mat. 7:15-20; Rev. 2:2-3, 9, 13, 19, 24-25; 3:1-2); but that we also do not view ourselves as privileged above & beyond our true brothers & sisters bought by the blood of Jesus!
Mat. 7:15-20—“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down & thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”
Rev. 2:2-3, 9, 13, 19, 24-25; 3:1-2—“I know your works, your labor, your patience, & that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles & are not, & have found them liars; & you have persevered & have patience, & have labored for My name’s sake & have not become weary.”.....“I know your works, tribulation, & poverty(but you are rich); & I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews & are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.”.....“I know your works, & where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, & did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.”.....“I know your works, love, service, faith, & your patience; & as for your works, the last are more than the first.”.....“Now to you I say, & to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden. But hold fast what you have till I come.”.....“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God & the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Be watchful, & strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God.”
“Already/Now”2X—hdh—Adverb—1) Now, already. “Now(already)”, with a suggested reference to some other time or to some expectation; in distinction from arti & nun. Strong—Even now.
“Full/Filled/Have all you want[need]”—korennumi—1) To satiate, sate, satisfy. Strong—a primary verb; To cram, i.e. Glut or sate. Used 2X.
Acts 27:38—“So when they had eaten enough[korennumi], they lightened the ship & threw out the wheat into the sea.”
“Rich/Enriched”—ploutew—1) To be rich, to have abundance; 2) metaph.--To be richly supplied. Strong—To be(or become) wealthy (literally or figuratively). Used 12X.
“Reigned as kings/Become kings”2X—basileuw—1) To be king, to exercise kingly power, to reign—1a) Of the governor of a province, 1b) Of the rule of the Messiah, 1c) Of the reign of Christians in the millennium; 2) metaph.--To exercise the highest influence, to control. Strong—To rule(literally or figuratively).
“Without”—cwriv—Adverb—1) Separate, apart—1a) Without any, 1b) Besides. Strong—At a space, i.e. Separately or apart from (often as preposition).
“Indeed”—ge—Particle—1) Indeed, truly, at least; 2) Even; 3) If indeed, seeing that. Strong—a primary particle of emphasis or qualification (often used with other particles prefixed). Used 9X.
“Could wish/Would/Wish”—ofelon—Particle—1) Would that, where one wishes that a thing had happened which has not happened or a thing be done which probably will not be done. Strong—first person singular of a past tense of ofeilw[To owe(pecuniarily); figuratively--To be under obligation(ought, must, should); morally--To fail in duty]; I ought(wish), i.e. interjection--Oh that!. Used 4X.
“Reign together with/Be kings with”—sumbasileuw—1) To reign together; 2) metaph.--To possess supreme honor, liberty, blessedness, with one in the kingdom of God. Strong—from sun & basileuw; To be co-regent(figurative). Used 2X.
**Php. 2:1-6—“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection & mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,”
**1Cor. 12:3-13—“Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, & no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one & the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. For as the body is one & has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free--& have all been made to drink into one Spirit.”
1Tim. 1:15—“This is a faithful saying & worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.”
Each of us must declare from his heart this same refrain, ‘Jesus came to save me—the chief of sinners!’
Jn. 19:10-11—“Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, & power to release You?” Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.”
Jn. 3:25-30—“Then there arose a dispute between some of John’s disciples & the Jews about purification. And they came to John & said to him, “Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified--behold, He is baptizing, & all are coming to Him!” John answered & said, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. “You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent before Him.’ “He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands & hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
Titus 2:11-3:8—“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness & worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, & godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope & glorious appearing of our great God & Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed & purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. Speak these things, exhort, & rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you. Remind them to be subject to rulers & authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts & pleasures, living in malice & envy, hateful & hating one another. But when the kindness & the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration & renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, & these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good & profitable to men.”
And our lives are not measured by “good works”—their number or their purity—they are measured by our obedience to Christ & therefore cannot supply bragging rights.
Jn. 1:12-13—“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Sitting at a stoplight in your older, used but ‘paid-for’ truck/A young whipper-snapper’ pulls up alongside & you hear him on the phone bragging on his great gas mileage/He looks at your truck & tells the person on the phone that he is sitting next to a ‘gas-guzzler’—But he doesn’t consider that he is saddled with a monthly debt for 6 yrs. which will easily cut into his supposed gas-mileage!/RECEPTION
?Are You a Justified Fool for Christ thru your RECEPTION?...
...OR...Are You just a Fool?
?Are You a Fool for Christ?
“Don't worry dear, they found a doctor on the second hole & he's coming to help you....Everybody’s already agreed to let him play through.”
Fools for Christ are justified thru their...
5. RECEPTION(:7-8) “Without us”
Presented 07/26/2015am to:
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