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Summary: A study of God’s perspective on the Corinthians and applying this perspective to us today.

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WHAT GOD SAW IN THE CHURCH AT CORINTH

I COR. 3

THE STORY IS TOLD OF A SALESMAN WHO WAS TRAVELING IN THE RURAL MOUNTAINS AND HOLLOWS OF APPALACHIA. HE STOPPED AT A HOME HOPING TO MAKE A SALE, AND BEGAN TO SHOW HIS WARES TO THE OLD MAN OUT PLOWING IN THE FIELD. NOTHING HE HAD SEEMED OF INTEREST TO THE FARMER, AND HE WAS PREPARING TO GO. SUDDENLY THE OLD MAN SAW A SOMETHING OF INTEREST ON THE TRUCK – A MIRROR. HAVING NEVER SEEN ONE BEFORE, HE LOOKED AT WHAT HE THOUGHT WAS A PICTURE FRAME AND SAW WHAT HE THOUGHT WAS A PICTURE OF HIS FATHER!

HE IMMEDIATELY BOUGHT IT, AND TOOK IT TO A SPECIAL PLACE IN THE BARN WHERE HE HID IT. TIMES WERE HARD AND HE DIDN’T WANT HIS WIFE TO KNOW HE HAD SPENT ANY MONEY.

HE BEGAN TO GO BY THE BARN WHENEVER HE COULD TO GET A LOOK AT THE PICTURE OF HIS PA. THIS WENT ON FOR A WHILE, AND HIS WIFE BECAME SUSPICIOUS. FINALLY ONE DAY SHE FOLLOWED HIM AND WATCHED AS HE CAREFULLY REMOVED THE “PICTURE” FROM ITS SPECIAL HIDING PLACE.

WONDERING WHAT HE WAS LOOKING AT, SHE MADE HER PRESENCE KNOWNAND DEMANDED TO SEE FOR HERSELF. HE MOVED OUT OF THE WAY SO SHE COULD LOOK, AND ONCE SHE DID SHE TURNED AROUND, SLAPPED HER HUSBAND, AND SAID, “SO THIS IS THE OLD HAG YOU HAVE BEEN RUNNING AROUND WITH!”

TWENTY ONE TIMES IN THIS EPISTLE PAUL USES THE PHRASE “YE ARE”. IN WRITING THIS EPISTLE, HE SAYS TO THE CHURCH “THIS IS HOW GOD SEES YOU”.

I. YE ARE CARNAL, NOT SPIRITUAL – V. 1

A. YOU ARE BABES, NOT ADULTS

1. HE DID NOT CALL THEM “CHILDREN” BUT BABES

2. HE DID NOT CALL THEM “ADOLESENCE” BUT BABES

3. HE DID NOT CALL THEM “IMMATURE TEENS” BUT BABES!

B. YOU ARE UNABLE TO UNDERSTAND SPIRITUAL CONVERSATION – V. 2 – “COULD NOT SPEAK UNTO YOU AS SPIRITUAL”

1. BABIES CAN HEAR BUT NOT UNDERSTAND MUCH OF WHAT THEY HEAR

2. BABIES CAN SPEAK, BUT THEIR VOCABULARY IS LIMITED – MAMA, DADA, WAH!

C. YOU ARE UNABLE TO TOLERATE MEAT – V. 2

1. STILL ON THE MILK, AND NOT EVEN CHOCOLATE MILK!

2. EATING SOFT CEREAL, AND BABY FOOD! YUCK!

3. NOT ENJOYING THE MEAT, POTATOES, AND ALL THE REALLY GOOD STUFF!

D. YOU ARE UNABLE TO WORK TOGETHER – V. 4-8

1. DIVIDED LOYALTIES

2. NO COOPERATION OR TEAM SPIRIT IN THE WORK

II. YE ARE GOD’S HUSBANDRY – VINEYARD, OR FRUITFUL FIELD – V. 9

A. YOU ARE A PIECE OF GROUND THAT HAS POTENTIAL

1. STONES, BRIARS, AND WEEDS HAVE TO BE REMOVED

2. FALLOW GROUND MUST BE BROKEN UP

3. MUST BE TILLED TO BE USEFUL

4. NUTRIENTS AND FERTILIZER MAY NEED TO BE APPLIED

WE CAN PLANT, WE CAN WATER, BUT GOD HAS TO GIVE THE INCREASE! – V.7

III. YE ARE GOD’S BUILDING – V. 9

A. MUST BE BUILT ON THE RIGHT FOUNDATION

B. MUST BE BUILT WITH THE PROPER BUILDING MATERIALS

C. IT MUST PASS INSPECTION (GOD’S INSPECTION, NOT THE WORLD’S)

IV. YE ARE THE TEMPLE OF GOD – V. 16

A. DWELLING PLACE OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD – V. 16

B. DEFILEMENT LEADS TO DESTRUCTION – V. 16

V. YE ARE CHRIST’S, AND CHRIST IS GOD’S – V. 23

A. YOU ARE UNDER THE LORDSHIP OF CHRIST PERIOD

B. CHRIST IS UNDER THE WILL OF HIS FATHER

ONE OTHER STATEMENT FROM THIS CHAPTER GIVES US ALL GREAT HOPE –

VI. WE ARE LABORERS TOGETHER WITH GOD – V. 9


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