First Church of Corinth
Fred R. Coulter

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With all that's going on in the Churches of God today, it is just amazing how so many things are coming at us that it's awfully hard to know from day-to-day, and in some cases hour-to-hour, what's going to happen. I think what we need to do is back off from some of the personalities and ask: What is God doing? God is the One Who is doing it!

I know that it struck in my mind when I gave a sermon about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, how that the soldiers were casting lots over Jesus' garments. I thought to myself, those soldiers didn't know that God was making them do that. They probably had their own thoughts and they didn't have a clue that God was making them do that.

Like with this latest thing in Worldwide that's happened with David Covington writing and saying that 'the show is over here,' we need to back off and ask:

  • Why did God inspire that to be done?
  • What is God doing with this, with the different things that are taking place?

I thought what we might do is take a survey, since I jokingly said—when asked what church era are we in?—the First Church at Corinth.

Let's take a survey of 1st and 2nd Corinthians. This is not going to be an in-depth study, but this is going to be just a survey to try and identify some of the things that Paul went through, because there's nothing new under the sun. What has happened in the past will happen in the future. What we're really doing is going through a repeat cycle; and I think it's much like what the Church went through in the first century, and it's all being repeated again for us; in a little different way, but the same principles are involved.

This is how it is in many of the Churches of God today. I could not believe it in one of the meetings that I had; very similar to what we're going to read here:

1-Corinthians 14:23: "Therefore, if the whole Church is assembled together in one place, and all are speaking in unknown languages, and unlearned persons or unbelievers come in, will they not say that you have lost your minds?" That's exactly what's happening. People look around at the Churches of God today and say, 'You're all nuts!' Even someone put online, 'When are we all going to believe the same thing?'

Verse 24: "But if all prophesy… [inspired speaking; not that you're a prophet foretelling the future] …and an un-believer or unlearned person comes in, he is convicted by all, and he is discerned by all. And in this way the secrets of his heart are exposed… [in other words preaching a message of repentance] …and so, bowing down on his face, he will worship God, declaring that God is indeed among you" (vs 24-25).

That's what needs to be. Is God in us in truth? or How much pretense is there? Paul is really showing that there's an awful lot of pretense in what you're doing.

Verse 26: "What is it then, brethren? When you assemble together, each of you has a psalm, has a doctrine, has a language, has a revelation, or has an interpretation…." Today we get all of these things though the mail, papers that are written, the Internet. I have things sent to me from all around the world about all kinds of different doctrines, and it's just like this.

"…Let all things be done for edification" (v 26). What he's saying is there's no purpose in any of this unless it's to uplift and up-build and teach with the Word of God.

Verse 27: "If anyone speaks in a foreign language, let it be by two, or three at the most…" Pentecostals all get up and stamp their feet and clap their hands, throw them up in the air and fall backward and roll on the floor—mass confusion. That's why Paul says that 'God is not the author of confusion.'

Most people don't know it, but the Greeks actually believe in the speaking in tongues with the pagan gods, which was demon possession. So, it was quite a common thing. You go back and read in Acts 16 how this one woman who had a spirit of divination and she would speak in oracle. Paul is trying bring some sense to it.

Verse 28: "But if there is no interpreter, let him be silent in the Church…" If there is someone to tell the Church what this is, in a foreign language, then don't stand up there and keep speaking in tongues. That's what he's talking about.

"…and let him speak within himself and to God. And let the prophets speak, two or three in succession; and let the others discern [judge]" (vs 28-29). In other words have it done decently and in order.

Verse 30: "But if anything be revealed to another who is sitting by, let the first one be silent." Don't stand up in the middle of church and say, 'I've got a revelation.'

Verse 31: "For your prophets can all prophesy one by one… [I'm sure that when they had a study like we're doing here and that's what we did before. Everyone of us talked about this and that before we began, one by one] …so that everyone may learn and may be encouraged." That's the whole purpose in it. If there's anything we need to do today is to learn to be comforted.

Verse 32: "And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all the Churches of the saints" (vs 32-33).

1-Corinthians 15:12—here is one of the problems they had: "But if Christ is being preached that He rose from the dead, how is it that some among you are saying that there is no resurrection of the dead?" That's astonishing—isn't it? Right in the congregation of God that someone would say there is no resurrection of the dead.

If you think that's bad, v 34: "Awake to righteousness, and do not sin… [That ought to be the motto of the Church today; everybody wake up out of their sleep and sin not.] …for some of you do not have the knowledge of God…. [In the Church of God! This always a hard one for me to understand, but I've seen it, that in the Church of God there are people do not have the knowledge of God. In modern phraseology: that blows my mind!]…I say this to your shame."

Let's see another problem that Paul had. These problems are extant today. 2-Corinthians 2:17: "For we are not like the many… [bombarded one after another] …who for their own profit are corrupting the Word of God…" They were actually changing it, corrupting it.

There is an author who actually took the Scriptures in one column and then took all the Gnostic writings and put them in another column and showed how that they were counterfeiting the Scriptures. Just like we have today with these New Age versions.

2-Thessalonians 2:2: "That you not be quickly shaken in mind, nor be troubled—neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by epistle, as if from us…" There were actually forgeries of Paul's epistles.

Since we see the pattern that happened back in the first century is being repeated, if we can understand what they did then, then we can be prepared for what they are doing now and be ready.

2-Corinthians 2:17: "…corrupting the Word of God; but we speak with sincerity, as from God, and before God, and in Christ." That's what everyone who is teaching needs to do—right there, there it is, very clear, very plain!

I want to emphasize it because it is happening more and more. Everyone has a doctrine, everyone has an interpretation, everyone has something that they think that they know.

2-Corinthians 4:1: "Therefore, having this ministry, according as we have received mercy, we are not fainthearted. For we have personally renounced the hidden things of dishonest gain, not walking in cunning craftiness… [having your own agenda] …nor handling the Word of God deceitfully…" (vs 1-2). How can a person handle the Word of God deceitfully? By not letting the Scriptures interpret the Scriptures! We're told in Isa. 28 that it is 'precept upon precept; line upon line; here a little, there a little.' That has even been twisted and distorted out of all context to show that that doesn't mean what it means.

The lies and deceit that is happening with the Word of God is something. The Word of God is the Truth of God. But you take the Word of God and you improperly put it together, what do you have? A false doctrine that looks true, because it came out of the Bible! This is how they're able to get all these things down. I tell you that it's very important that we know the Scriptures of God, really truly.

"…but by manifestation of the Truth, we are commending ourselves to every man's conscience before God. But if our Gospel is hidden, it is hidden to those who are perishing; in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe, lest the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, Who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we do not preach our own selves…" (vs 2-5).

If there's any one thing that I can say to anyone who is going to teach: don't teach yourself, don't preach yourself. Preach Christ! Preach the Word of God honestly, rightly dividing the Word of God. If you're not, you're just creating another First Church at Corinth. "…but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake" (v 5).

2-Corinthians 10—this is where we get a very profound Scriptural Truth: You cannot solve spiritual problems with physical means! or physical solutions! If there is a spiritual problem in a church, you can't correct it by restructuring. You can restructure all you want, but unless you repent first it isn't going to do any good.

Here is the problems that they had, 2-Corinthians 10:1: "Now, I Paul am personally exhorting you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ. On the one hand, when present with you I am base; but on the other hand, when absent I am bold toward you. But I am beseeching you so that, when I am present, I may not have to be bold with the confidence with which I intend to show boldness toward some, who think that we are walking according to the flesh" (vs 1-2). That's how they were walking; doing everything by carnal means.

Verse 3: "For although we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the overthrowing of strongholds, casting down vain imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought into the obedience of Christ" (vs 3-5). That is a summary of how we need to grow and overcome.

I think that if there's any time that we really need to know the Scriptures and think with the Scriptures and live by the Scriptures, now is the time!

Verse 12: "But we dare not join ranks with or compare ourselves with those who are commending themselves; for those who measure themselves by themselves, and compare themselves with themselves, have no understanding"—are not wise. That is exactly what has happened everywhere in the Church. It's just tearing down the brethren. It's just tearing everything apart.

We do need to make judgments to understand what is right. We do need to make those, that is absolutely true. But where there are just 'glorying in men' and commending one another and 'how good you are' and 'how wonderful you are' and 'how smart you are,' and all this sort of thing, it just tears down the whole church. Then they rise up to the level of the top of their boots, and that's it! They can't pull themselves up by their bootstraps.

Paul lays the groundwork, and this is really quite a tremendous epistle—1-Corinthians. I remember when I started to do the series in 1-Corinthians and got up to chapter six and quit, because it didn't apply to anyone I was speaking to at the time. I didn't want to do something that would kind of beat the brethren over the head.

Now I see it's all out there, every bit of it right now. Even had one minister said, 'I can't even understand why 1-Corinthians is in the Bible, none of our churches are like that.' Give it time; look where they are!

1-Corinthians 1—Paul lays the groundwork here:

  • v 1—He reminds them that's he's the apostle,
  • v 2—send it the Church who are called saints

Verse 3: "Grace and peace be to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always concerning you, for the grace of God that has been given to you in Christ Jesus; and that you have been spiritually enriched in Him in everything…" (vs 3-5). Notice how immediately he starts pointing to Christ! He's beginning to give the solution to all the problems that we're going to cover.

"…spiritually enriched in Him in everything, in all discourse and knowledge, according as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you; so that you do not lack even one spiritual gift while you are awaiting the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ Who will also strengthen you to the end that you may be unimpeachable in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ…. [He gives all of this hope right at the beginning.] …God is faithful, by Whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord. (vs 5-9). From there on he has to start dealing with the problems.

Verse 10: "Now I exhort you, brethren…" He's pleading with them; that's what it needs to be. You can't come in with all the Gatling guns loaded and start mowing everybody down. That doesn't work.

"…by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing…" (v 10). How are we all going to speak the same thing when we are all divided? Why are we divided? We are today; the Church of God is scattered, divided, opinionated, indoctrinated. Why? Because they're not applying themselves to the Word of God to really know the Truth! Think of it, brethren, we've got the whole Bible! What a time in history that we can have the whole Bible. We can know the Word of God. Never before has there been a time like this with the education, with the number of Bibles, with all the study aides and everything that we have.

I think it's interesting that at the same time we have the whole Bible to know the Truth, Satan is coming on with his New Age versions, he's coming on to destroy and subvert the Bible. But I also think that as these false versions come out that God is also going to reveal more and more Truth from His Word that we can fight all of it with the whole Truth of God. It's going to happen!

That's the whole thing. Unity is only going to come with the Spirit of God. Unity is only going to come with the Truth of God; that we understand it the way that God wants us to understand it. When we get rid of all of our own private interpretations.

Peter says that the Bible is of 'no private interpretation.' I'm sure that he meant the Old and the New Testaments, because he was in on canonizing the New Testament. God didn't leave it to the Catholics in 300A.D. to canonize the Bible. It was done by Paul, Peter and John, and when John died the Scriptures were complete.

Paul is beseeching "…that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you…" (v 10). How are we going to take this diverse group of people and help them understand the Truth of God? It would be easier in a small congregation if it were just one congregation. But where you have so many congregations and so many Churches of God scattered out all over the world, it becomes very difficult, because there are different levels of understanding. There are different degrees of dedication. There are different degrees of faith and belief. Everyone needs to be pointed to Christ just like Paul starts out here. That's where it is.

  • Instead of seeking the reorganization, seek Christ!
  • Instead of seeking how to have a Church, seek how to love God and each other!

Then all of those other things will come as God wants it, but we must all be in unity with God the Father and Jesus Christ, because that's where the unity begins. That's what Paul is telling us here.

"…rather, that you be knit together in the same mind and in the same judgment" (v 10). What kind of mind are we to have.

This is how we can have the unity, Philippians 2—quite an interesting epistle, because there is no correction at all, except at the end: 'I beseech you—two people he names—to get along.' That's all there is.

Here's how we have the same mind, Philippians 2:5: "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." That's the mind we need to have; Christ in us the hope of glory' (Col. 1:27). Notice that He didn't exalt Himself. He gave up being God. So, lest any of us think we have given up an awful lot, what have we given up compared to what Christ had given up? Nothing!

We need to think about that because there are going to be some tough times ahead. What are we going to do with the tough times ahead when all the physical things are gone if you don't have Christ in you and have the mind of Christ? It's going to be very devastating to you.

Then it tells what he did. Let's see how we can be of the same mind, be of the same judgment, which means we are to judge. How are we to judge? We're to 'judge righteous judgment' by the Word of God, by Christ in us!

Colossians 3:14—Paul always ends up with this solution concerning the love of God: "And above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts…" (vs 14-15). Christ is going to rule in our heart. It's very important, because the heart has to do with not only the thought but also the emotion. It has to be the very core of your being.

"…to which you were called into one body, and be thankful. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly…" (vs 15-16). That's where we're to be rich. Tie that in with what God said to the Laodiceans: 'You say that you are rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing.' Obviously, they didn't have Christ in them.

"…in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And in everything—whatever you do in word or in deed—do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him" (vs 16-17). That's how we can achieve this being perfectly joined together in the same mind and the same judgment.

Then Paul begins to unleach, 1-Corinthians 1:11: "…that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, since everyone among you says, 'I am of Paul'; or, 'I am of Apollos'; or, 'I am of Cephas'; or 'I am of Christ.' Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized into the name of Paul? I thank God that I did not baptize any of you, except Crispus and Gaius, lest someone should say that I baptized new converts into my own name" (vs 11-15).

Just to show you how things are, I was talking to a woman on the phone and she said, 'Are you an alcoholic? I heard you were an alcoholic.' No! I'm not an alcoholic! I've drunk sometimes beyond moderation, but I'm not an alcoholic, and I don't drink very much at all!

It's the same thing here. Everybody is comparing and divided. Then Paul said, v 17: "For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the Gospel…" Then he goes through and shows about preaching Christ, the foolishness of God is greater than the wisdom of God and catches the wise—Greek 'sophian' plural of 'sophos' from which we get the word philosophy. Tie that in with Col. 2 where he says, 'Don't let any man spoil you with philosophy or vain deceit.'

Verse 23: "But we proclaim Christ crucified…. [which should be preached] …To the Jews it is a cause of offense, and to the Greeks it is foolishness; but to those who are called—both Jews and Greeks—Christ is God's power and God's wisdom" (vs 23-24). That tells us where we need to get our understanding.

Verse 25: "Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For you see your calling, brethren, that there are not many who are wise according to the flesh, not many who are powerful, not many who are highborn among you. Rather, God has chosen the foolish things of the world, so that He might put to shame those who are wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world so that He might put to shame the strong things. And the lowborn of the world, and the despised has God chosen—even the things that are counted as nothing—in order that He might bring to nothing the things that are" (vs 25-28).

That's where it all is, brethren. In the world, what are we? Nothing! They were all glorying in the flesh, saying how good they were, how much then understood and all of this. Paul said, 'No, that's part of the problem you have.'

Verse 30: "But you are of Him in Christ Jesus, Who was made to us wisdom from God—even righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption; so that, as it is written, 'The one who glories, let him glory in the Lord'" (vs 30-31). Paul says, 'I am only going to preach Christ.'

This is going to be a quick survey so that we can touch on all the difficulties that were there that we see in the Church today, so that we know that it has been experienced in the past. Here is why the problems come:

  • they don't rely on God
  • they try it with their own ideas

1-Corinthians 2:9: "But according as it is written, 'The eye has not seen, nor the ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.'"

What he's leading up to is to show that all of these interpretations and prophecies that people come up with that are not from God, that are not from Christ, are not based on love. That's what he's leading up to when we get to the end of the book. It's for them that love God!

If there's any one thing, if there's a message from God today in all that's going on, God wants to know, 'Do you love Me? Do you love Me with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul, with all your being?' That's what God wants to know! There's nothing more important in the world than that. That's what God wants us to seek.

  • seek His love
  • seek His understanding

There will come a time that it will seem like that you have entered into your second calling. What do I mean by that? There will come a time when you, through prayer and yielding to God and asking for His love, that God is going to grant you His Spirit and convict you in heart and mind very deeply, very emotionally, and you know that you have a new level of relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ! That's what I call the second calling. I gave a whole sermon on that concerning the love of God.

It will happen when you are praying, studying, and God with His Spirit opens your mind to understand the greatness of His being, and the tremendous love that He has for you—for you individually!

God has the power and capacity to perfectly love everyone in the whole world. But He has chosen you to perfectly love you—every one of us! This is the solution to the whole problem that the Church is in today; rather than striving to find out, to understand this prophecy that it says here that God will reveal them to us if we love Him. Rather than striving to manipulate and do things, we all need to humble ourselves and come to Christ. We all need to know that we don't have anything we didn't receive.

Verse 10: "But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit..." This is what is important: God's Spirit gives us the understanding! It is the Spirit of Truth that will call to remembrance all things that Jesus taught, and will lead us into all things that we need to understand in the future. It isn't going to come by

  • striving
  • running
  • mental intellect

It's going to come by the love of God; no other way! That's what Paul is saying here. The natural man cannot understand that.

1-Corinthians 3:1—this is what I find almost wherever I travel. It's amazing! "And, I, brethren, was not able to speak to you as to those who are spiritual, but as to those who are carnal—even as to babes in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, and not meat…" (vs 1-2). Some people are satisfied with just the milk—skimmed milk at that—and very small portions of it, spiritually speaking. Unfortunately, they become the first casualties.

"…for you were not yet able to receive spiritual meat; and neither are you able now, for you are still carnal. For since envy and contention and divisions are among you, are you not carnal? And are you not walking according to human ways?" (vs 2-3). Brethren, that's what's wrong with the Church today, wherever you go.

  • Do you find carnal-mindedness in the ministry?
  • Do you find carnal-mindedness in the brethren?
  • Do you find carnal-mindedness in the where they're trying human solutions to try and work things out?
  • Yes!
  • What does that lead to?
    • Strife!
    • Division!
    • Envying!

Then you start following a man!

Verse 4: "When someone says, 'I am of Paul,' and another one says, 'I am of Apollos,' are you not carnal?…. [then he makes it clear]: …Who then is Paul? And who is Apollos?…." (vs 4-5). Anyone who wants to be a teacher:

  • Who are you?
  • What are you?
  • Did God put you there?
  • Are you really a teacher?
  • Should you be?

If you are, here's the only attitude that we can have, v 6: "I planted and Apollos watered, but God gave the increase." God is doing the work in each one. The Work of God is not an organization on television. That may be part of a work of God, but the true work of God is the maturing of Christ in each one of us, which is the most important thing to be done right now!

That is the greatest and most important work that Christ is doing. God has called us with the greatest calling that has ever been; to rule and reign with Christ:

  • He wants us to learn
  • He wants us to know
  • He wants us to grow

Verse 7: Therefore, neither is he who plants anything… [no big deal; it doesn't mean that he should be run over with a bulldozer either] …nor he who waters; for it is God Who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, but each shall receive his own reward according to his own labor" (vs 7-8). This is talking about those who labor in the vineyard of Christ. If you're a teacher, you are responsible for those you are teaching.

  • How are you teaching them?
  • Are you teaching them the love of God?
  • Are you merchandizing them?
  • Are you causing fear and intimidation?
  • Are you ruling with authority?
  • Are you teaching in love?
  • Do you know the Scriptures?

All of those things are very important! I say this because there are some people out there now that say that everybody is a teacher; there's no such thing as ordination; there's no such thing as laying on of hands; it's only voting. They say that whomever is a teacher can be a teacher.

It's important. They will listen, but you have to give them the Truth of God. We have to be careful how we are building.

Verse 9: "For we are God's fellow workers; and you are God's husbandry…" Most important thing to know: everyone that God calls is His, belongs to God the Father and Jesus Christ!And the purpose of the teacher, who is called to teach, is to teach them that we all grow to the fullness of Christ. They are not, as some ministers would say, 'my people.' No, they are not! They belong to God!

Look what happens when people take that carnal approach: 'these are my people. I preached and I called them; they came because of what I taught.' NO! God called them! God taught them repentance! Who leads people to repentance? God does! With His Spirit He convicts them; that's what it is. If we understand that, then we can all love each other. We can all serve God. God is doing the work.

Verse 10: "As a wise architect, according to the grace of God that was given to me, I have laid the foundation, and another is building upon it. But let each one take heed how he builds upon it." This is what we see today.

Verse 12: "Now, if anyone builds upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay or stubble. the work of each one shall be manifested; for the day of trial will declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall prove what kind of work each one's is. If the work that anyone has built endures, he shall receive a reward" (vs 12-14).

That's what we need to strive for: gold, silver and precious stone; not the wood, hay or stubble. Stubble is the worst. Stubble can even self-ignite if it's hot enough. When it ignites it's POOF! There's nothing but powder, nothing left! We're all going through trials. I don't know of a single person who is not going through a trial—do you? It is a fiery trial!

Here's the important thing, v 16: "Don't you understand that you are God's temple, and that the Spirit of God is dwelling in you?" In other words he's telling them what we would say today: quit playing church! God's Spirit is in you!

Verse 17: "If anyone defiles the temple of God, God shall destroy him because the temple of God is Holy, which temple you are. Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks himself to be wise in this world, let him become a fool… [in Christ] …so that he may be wise in God's sight. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God…" (vs 17-19).

That's what I said of this latest solution that Covington brought out, it is a tremendous exposure of what is going on in Worldwide, that is true, but it's still 'the wisdom of this world' to restructure in a carnal way. It's a first step, but there needs to be the repentance!

"…for it is written, 'He entraps the wise in their own craftiness'" (v 19). Isn't that true? Every scheme! Every device! Comes back and gets them just as sure as the sun rises and sets. God is merciful; He doesn't come and do it with a blaze of fire. He does give everyone space of repentance. He gives them time and forbearance. That's why it's important if we see someone that we can help we are direct with them. We don't attack them. We don't attack their person. We be direct to them. You might look at some of the brethren that you know and just ask them:

  • Have you found Christ?
  • Do you know God?
  • What are you doing these days?
  • Are you griping and complaining?

or

  • Are you turning to God?

That's what he's saying here.

Verse 20: "And again, 'The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.' Therefore, do not let anyone boast in men; for all things are yours, whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come—all are yours; and you are Christ's, and Christ is God's" (vs 20-23).

So, there's the whole summary of everything, right there. That's what we need to do, brethren. That's what we are trying to do with what we do in the Christian Biblical Church of God; and it's everybody involved. All the brethren are helping others.

That's why we send a 'Care Package.' We are saying God loves you. We love you. This is important. Help other brethren. This is what you need to learn. They need to understand the love of God more than ever before. {note sermon series: Love of God}

1-Corinthians 4:7: For what makes you superior to others? And what do you have that you did not receive?…." That is something to really think on, put away in the back of your mind and let it always be there, and let Christ rule your mind with this. There isn't one single thing that you have in this whole world—physical or spiritual—that God did not give you!

Why should we get all uppity-uppity and all this sort of thing. We don't need to. That doesn't mean that we back down in the face of difficulties and problems. No! We stand up and take care of them. The full authority of Scripture is there to do it. But we don't say how great we are. We don't say, 'Oh my, look at this, that or the other thing,' because whatever we have we have received. The only way that we can continue to receive anything from God is to understand that He alone is going to give it.

  • He alone is going to give us understanding of His Word!
  • He alone is going to give us understanding of the events that are in the future!
  • He alone is going to watch over us and protect us!
  • He alone can give the strength in the face of whatever difficulty that there is!

Even the trials that we have come from God—every one of them! There's nothing that we have that we haven't received

"…But if you also received it… [which is a stupid question] …why are you boasting as if you did not receive it? (v 7)). In other words, you yourself as an individual, inherently have all this on your own. Never happen! Not so!

If you truly love God then you'll understand that. You'll love each other and help each other. That's what God wants!

(go to the next track)

In the face of all the great wickedness that was going on there, isn't it something that people that brag in their sins? Now they're bragging about that they ate unleavened bread during the Days of Unleavened Bread and 'God didn't strike me dead.' Maybe God is merciful! 'I went to church on Sunday with all these Presbyterians down there and had a wonderful time, and God didn't strike me dead.' God is merciful! But don't tempt God!'Why, I've committed adultery for 40 years and I'm still preaching the Gospel.' You've tempted God too far!

1-Corinthians 5:6: "…Don't you know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore, purge out the old leaven, so that you may become a new lump, even as you are unleavened…. [It's all based on the sacrifice of Christ is what he's saying.] …For Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us. For this reason, let us keep the Feast…" (vs 6-8). We won't go into that except for that it is the congregation that makes the decision collectively, altogether. When there is a grievous sin within any fellowship or congregation, the brethren who were there are to make the decision collectively, together, to put that person aside. It is not a unilateral thing done by a minister, which can become a political thing. Everyone together; that's how Matt. 18 works.

1-Corinthians 6—here we have going to court and all this sort of thing, hardly able to make any judgment, so Paul kind of chides them and says, 'Look, can't you even put those who are least esteemed in the Church and let them make the judgment?

You know what I've found, brethren? When the brethren are all taken in together—whenever we do anything it's a congregational thing; we sit down and we talk about it—and everybody has input. It's not a matter of voting, it's a matter that if we do it that way then God's Spirit gives us the understanding and then we all agree. If we don't all agree, then we just put it aside, because God hasn't given us the understanding what we need to do. That's how it should work. And it works wonderfully.

At the Feast of Tabernacles in 1993 we had about 120 there for a Bible study, just an open Bible study, and we started talking about how God looks at the Protestants and Sunday-keeping. Everybody had some input based on Scripture. I was amazed! I said, 'Brethren, if I ever had a problem to bring up and there needed to be a judgment made, this is exactly how it should be done, and I have full confidence that you could make the right judgment.' They would! That's why it's important that we understand the Word of God.

Here in Corinth they were going to court. Does that sound like something we've been through in the Church today? Yes!

Then Paul says, because they were so bad, 1-Corinthians 6:9: "Don't you know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor abusers of themselves as women, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the Kingdom of God. And such were some of you; but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God" (vs 9-11).

Then he gives the admonition, v 15: "Don't you know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot?…." Think of that spiritually; apply that spiritually with what has happened in the Church today; where the Churches of God, especially one prominent one we know of, has run out there and have taken of the cup of mother Babylon and said, 'My isn't that nice.'

Paul says, "…MAY IT NEVER BE!" (v 15). This applies physically and spiritually!

Verse 18: "Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man may commit is outside the body, but the one who commits sexual immorality is sinning against his own body." Now there are dozens of venereal diseases and things out there. It's bad news!

What they've done in San Francisco is that they have so many men seeking prostitutes that they set up this to entrap them: they bring them in and say it's going to be a thousand dollar fine or you can get off the hook for $500 and attend a class, and you'll have nothing on your record for soliciting to get a prostitute. So, they take the class. What they do, they have these old, hardened prostitutes come up there and tell them about the drugs, about the brutality of it, show them the needle marks in their arms. They have big slides of pictures of various genitalia—male and female—all covered with disease and rotting away. You know what they found, not one re-arrest!

Paul is saying the same thing here. The only defense against it is to run away. Then he says, v 19: "WHAT! Don't you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, which you have within you from God, and you are not your own?…. [you belong to Christ; none of us are our own] …For you were bought with a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" (vs 19-20). That's the total love and dedication that God wants us to have.

If you want to know about divorce and remarriage, I cover all of 1-Cor. 7 in the sermon series: Divorce and Remarriage.

1-Corinthians 8:1—there are a couple of things here very important for us to understand today. "Now, concerning things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies." That where a lot of the teachers, especially the 'under-archy' teachers who put themselves up and say, 'Well, I've been deceived by these ministers, and I've run into so many rotten ministers, and I know more than they do, so I'm going to teach.'

If you do, understand what God says to you. "…Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies." You better do it with the love of God. Maybe God will overlook you putting yourself up to be a teacher; maybe He will help you in what you are teaching if you seek Him. But don't be presumptuous as Deut. 18 says, 'If you presume to speak a word that God has not said for you to speak, know that you are in trouble with God!
I read that and I hear and fear. That has just been sitting on my mind like a big weight for about the past month, because I go out and see everybody is every which way but loose, and everything that's going on in the Church of God just kind like the rustling of leaves with the wind blowing—there goes the Church of God! "…Knowledge puffs up…" and you'd better be sure that it's right.

  • knowledge puffs up with sacred names
  • knowledge puffs up with usurping the thing with the calendar
  • knowledge puffs up if you're able to teach

Here is the thing, v 2: "But if anyone thinks that he knows anything… [let's apply this to ourselves] …he knows nothing yet to the degree thathe ought to know." Can we really truly say that we know everything there is to know? We haven't even gotten started! The Word of God is inspired by the mind of God! There is so much in here, I myself just kind of feel a desperation that there is so much here to learn and there's not the time to really learn it in the way that we need. We need to keep that in mind.

Verse 3: "But if anyone loves God… [there's hope; notice how many times it comes back to the love of God] …he is known by Him." That's what we want to know. We want to know that God loves us.

1-Corinthians 9 has been covered in the sermon Christian Financial Responsibility.

This is just a survey because I want to convey to you what I've learned and feel and what you've learned and what you've conveyed to me about what's happening the Churches of God so that we can make some sense out of it; so that we can help the brethren that we know that are kind of out there like these dry leaves being blown back and forth.

1-Corinthians 10 talks about how the children of Israel were baptized unto Moses and did drink of that same spiritual Rock, which was Christ.

1-Corinthians 10:5: "But with many of them God was not pleased…" Could that be part of the problem in the Church today? That God is not well pleased?

  • Is He well pleased when we see all of this stupidity going on?
  • Is God pleased when there are five days of Passover?
  • Is God pleased when different ones are twisting and turning the Scriptures?
  • Is God pleased when everyone is out seeking his own?
  • Is God pleased when the brethren are being merchandized?

NO!

"…for their dead bodies were strewn in the wilderness. Now, these things became examples for us, so that we might not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, 'The people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.' Neither should we commit sexual immorality, as some of them committed, and twenty-three thousand were destroyed in one day. Neither should we tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted Him, and were killed by serpents" (vs 6-9). How can we tempt Christ?

  • By standing up and saying His Word doesn't apply!
  • That we can now learn from all of the institutions of the world what the Word of God says!
  • Going out and sinning!

That's tempting Christ!

Verse 10: "Neither should we complain against God, as some of them also complained, and were killed by the destroyer. Now, all these things happened to them as examples, and were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages are coming. Therefore, let the one who thinks he stands take heed, lest he fall" (vs 10-12).

Let's think on that Scripture! That's very important today—isn't it? Yes! That's why there are so many divisions and things in the Church, because a lot of people think they are standing, or they think they have this new doctrine—whatever it may be. The fall is coming! God is putting everybody on a very short leash nowadays; it's not going to last. Those days are over. Kidding around and living in sin in the name of God is over! God is not going to tolerate it or be in forbearance anymore with it.

There is hope, v 13: No temptation has come upon you except what is common to mankind…." All the problems in the Church of God today are common, that have happened in the Church. Every trial you are going through, and I've gone through a lot of trials so I know what I'm talking about. God provides a way to escape! If we complain, if we gripe, if we go to God like Job did and be very bitter and talk back to God, He is not going to provide that way of escape very quickly.

"…For God, Who is faithful, will not permit you to be tempted beyond what you are able to bear…" (v 13). If you have a trial that's really difficult, you go to God and ask for the strength; ask Him to help you understand it. There have been problems that I've just had to go to God and say, 'God, I don't know; I just don't have a clue; I don't understand what to do; I don't understand how to solve it.' I can't solve it! Everything I try and do falls flat on its face.

When you come to that point that's exactly where God wants you to be, because then you can begin trusting in Him. Then you really pray about it and your prayers have some meaning to it. Then God begins to work out the solution step-by-step. When that happens it increases your faith and increases your confidence in God all that much more.

This is true, claim this promise, "…but with the temptation, He will make a way of escape, so that you may be able to bear it" (v 13).

Verse 20: "But that which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to God; and I do not wish you to have fellowship with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord, and the table of demons" (vs 20-21). If you do that you provoke God!

1-Corinthians 11—I just might say this concerning hair length for women, and I know some are going to get upset. But everywhere I go, even in the Church, but more so in the airports when I'm just walking around minding my own business, I see all these women with these Babylonian haircuts—that's what I call them—where they're all just really short. There's one nice thing about hair it will grow!

Then I look around and see all these men with long hair, too. I cannot understand why all of these male musicians must have long furry great heads of hair that look unreal. Not all of them, but a good number of them.

Read what it says: 'It's is not good that a woman have short hair.' If it's so short that you can't tell whether it's long or short, then it's too short. Same way with a man, if it's so long that you can't tell whether it's long or short, it's too long.

1-Corinthians 11:31—this is what is important. This has been a great mistake, which the Church has taken upon itself to do: "Now, if we would examine ourselves…" Everyone has to be responsible for him or her self to make the judgment. We can preach the Word of God and say, 'Here it is,' but you have to make the judgment what you're going to do.

"Now, if we would examine ourselves we would not be judged' (v 31). In other words, if you take the Word of God and let the Word of God judge you, and you judge yourself and say, 'That applies to me, I'm going to repent and change,' then God doesn't have to judge us. That's what it means.

Verse 32: "But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, so that we will not be condemned with the world." Important principle to learn! I don't want to be judged of God, and I don't want to be condemned of the world. I know you don't either, so we need to take the Word of God and understand it that way.

1-Corinthians 12 talks about differences of administrations, but it's the same Spirit that is working.

1-Corinthians 12:4: "Now there are differences of gifts, but the same Spirit." What is a gift? Something that is given! I mean, that's real simple! Who determines the gift? God does, because He gives it! This is the problem with the under-archy and all the self-appointed teachers; 'well, I have a gift.' How do you know? If you do, that's fine! I'm not trying to judge anyone, but be careful what you do.

Verse 5: "There are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are differences of operations…" (vs 5-6). That's what we have today with the different Churches of God—there are differences of operations.

"…but it is the same God Who is working all things in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the benefit of all" (vs 6-7). Why does God give these different gifts? That's to profit the church as a whole! So, let's look out for the broadness of the Church of God beyond where we may be today.

Verse 8: "For to one, a word of wisdom is given by the Spirit; and to another, a word of knowledge according to the same Spirit." These are all gifts that can be and should be in those who are the teachers, and can be in those who are also what we call 'the brethren.'

But then he says a little later on, 'Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers?' No! I don't know of anyone who has all of the gifts; they just don't: knowledge, faith, healings.

God has given some good healings to us recently, and they happen. I tell you what, the most difficult anointings are those that are impossible. The woman in Salt Lake with breast cancer and her breast was as black as coal. God healed her. When I anointed her I just felt completely so inadequate. The end of the earth kind of thing. What am I going to do? She's on her deathbed. You could smell the death; you could smell the cancer. She was all emaciated, wracking in pain and saying, 'Would you anoint me? God can heal me.'

What are you going to do? We had the whole church pray and fast and I came up and anointed her. When I did I just laid hands on her and said, 'God, You know. If it's Your will to heal her, heal her. And if not, then take her quickly and end the suffering.' In ten days she was completely healed.

We had a woman back in Virginia who had incurable liver cancer. They said they could not even operate. She called and asked for an anointed cloth and you know that it all has to be what God can do. There are certain things we can do, so I sent her the book Cure For All Cancers, which I recommend to anyone who has that to get it. It has a lot to do with parasites, and it shows you how to take care of your body.

I sent her the book and anointed cloth, and three months later she went back to the doctor and had another checkup and the doctor was astonished! There's only just scar tissue left, the cancer was completely gone. God can heal! And at the same time, there are certain things we can do, so don't give up on God and healing.

Look what happened to the Church when they said, 'We're not healed by His stripes, you all go to the doctor.' Remember what happened? BAM! God's judgment came just like that! They started dropping dead; God's judgment upon them!

I had another man who had prostrate cancer and went into the doctor and he said the blood levels show that 'you have cancer on the scale of 2.85.' Which means that a complete prostrate operation, removal of the lymph glands and a catheter to take care of the urination. He called for an anointed cloth and I sent it to him and sent him the book Cure For All Cancers and two months later he went back and the count is down from 2.85 to .65.

There combined, if we operate with the Spirit of God and do the things that we know we can do—which are perfectly in keeping with bringing our bodies back into balance:

  • God will bless us!
  • God will be with us!
  • God will heal!

If it's His will not to heal you, then you die in the faith. That's the whole purpose of life—is it not? We need to face the reality of that. Not all have healings; not all have miracles and discerning of spirits, different kinds of languages and interpretations. Today, most people know English, so that's why we don't have a lot of 'tongues.' But when it's necessary, God will give it. But we're not going to go out there and generate it by beating drums and blowing on saxophones and knocking people over backwards. It won't happen.

Verse 13: "For indeed, by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body…" Always remember that Christ is the Head. We can all do what God wants us to do in the way the He provided.

Verse 27: "Now you are the body of Christ, and you are all individual members. And God Himself has placed certain ones in the Church: first, apostles… [this is not in order of hierarchy but by order of chronology—some, not all] …secondly, prophets; thirdly, teachers; then miracles; then gifts of healings; helps…" (vs 27-28).

Notice where 'church government' is; way down there. It's not the first important thing. If Christ cannot rule in your heart, then no church government is going to make it.

"…governments; various languages. Are all apostles?…. [No!] …Are all prophets?…. [No!] …Are all teachers?…. [No!] …Do all perform miracles?…. [No!] …Do all have gifts of healing?…. [No!] …Do all speak in different languages?…. [No!] …Do all interpret?" (vs 28-30). No! That's why he asks all of these questions.

I'm convinced of this: the more that we strive to love God and understand, the more that God will make those gifts available to do the things that God wants. I'm firmly convinced that's how God is going to open the door to do things: to preach the Gospel publicly again. Television is going to be controlled. Radio is going to be controlled. We still have a certain freedom of press.

When there are miracles and healings you don't need to spend any money for advertising. It will be just like Christ when He was out there, they came from everywhere! But I don't think we're ready for that, yet. It isn't going to happen if we go to God and demand it. He's going to give it because we love Him and because we want to do what God wants us to do—that's how it's going to be! The whole thing comes down to 1-Cor. 13, which I will leave to the end.

Verse 31: "But earnestly desire the more edifying gifts… [It's okay to desire it, but don't put yourself forward to take it.] …and yet, I show you a way far surpassing all these." A better way than being some big mucky-muck; a better way than healing; a better way than miracles; a better way than all of these things that people look to; that which people can see how much you love God.

1-Corinthians 13:1—notice, Paul is talking to himself here: "If I speak with the tongues of men…" He's saying 'I'; he's not saying 'you.' Most of the time ministers will say, you. You, brethren, are the problem.' When it should be, 'You ministers are the problem' most of the time.

Paul is saying here, "If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal" (v 1). Just so much noise! Have you been where there is nothing by noise and vain jangling?

1-John 4—this is important for us to understand in relationship to this. Sometimes you read some Scriptures and have you ever had it where it just lays you low, and then all of a sudden God says to you, 'You apply it to you.' It hit me this way.

1-John 4:16: "And we have known and have believed the love that God has toward us. God is love, and the one who dwells in love is dwelling in God, and God in him. By this spiritual indwelling, the love of God is perfected within us…" (vs 16-17). Can we understand how far we have to go to have our love made perfect—perfect love? I tell you, we're not going to endure the days ahead unless we grow in it and have that love perfected in it.

"…so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment because even as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in the love of God; rather, perfect love casts out fear…" (vs 17-18). That's powerfully important for us to understand. I don't think any of can say we've arrived at that point. But I think we can say, with God's help and with God's love, that hopefully we are growing to that and have the love of God perfected in us.

"…because fear has torment…." (v 18). Everyone of us who is in the Church of God—minister, elder, brethren, it doesn't matter—all the troubles that we are going through now there is torment, there is fear, there is emotional upset. All of these things just come crushing right down on you—right? Yes! I've experienced it! You've experienced it! Everyone of us has experienced it!

"…And the one who fears has not been made perfect in the love of God. We love Him because He loved us first" (vs 18-19). That's where to start! Get on your knees and say, 'Oh, God, I know You love me, help me to love You.' And here's the test; here's what cuts you to the quick:

Verse 20: "If anyone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar. For if he does not love his brother whom he has seen, how is he able to love God Whom he has not seen?" There it is!

I never will forget the wonderful baptism that we had. The man whom we baptized prayed and said, 'God, may there be love within the four walls of my house.' That really hit like a ton of bricks. One of the greatest problems we have today is a loving husband and wife, loving our children and loving each other—those whom we can see.

What I want every one of us to do—and I'm pointing the finger toward me, too—name those people that you really need to love. Sometimes they don't respond back. You can't be responsible for what they do or do not do. What you do is ask God to put it in their mind that they will respond back the best way possible. If they don't then you've done your part.

Now, let's apply that to 1-Corinthians 13—Paul is talking to those who are teachers; he just finished in chapter 12 talking about the teaching. Then he says, 'If I don't have love it doesn't make any difference what I speak' (v 1).

Verse 2: "If I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing." That's saying a lot—isn't it? It's profound! This is what the Church of God needs to do—every one of us individually. If we do it individually then it will happen collectively. It's not going to happen together unless we do it individually.

Verse 3: "And if I give away all my goods, and if I deliver up my body that I may be burned, but do not have love, I have gained nothing. Love is patient and is kind…" (vs 3-4). It's difficult, when there are difficult problems, to be kind? Sometimes kindness is correction! Sometimes kindness is saying, 'Check with the Word of God and see what you're doing.'

"…love envies not, does not brag about itself, is not puffed up. Love does not behave disgracefully, does not seek its own things…" (vs 4-5). No secret agendas. That's one of the biggest problems. People today want to be satisfied; everyone is seeking his or her own, rather than seeking what God wants.

"…is not easily provoked…" (v 5). I tell you, if you have a temper think on that. That one gouged me many times; still does.

"…thinks no evil…" (v 5). We're to be 'wise as serpents and harmless as doves.' But this means that you are not motivated by evil—that's what it's talking about. You're not motivated by evil thoughts. That doesn't mean that you can't see something that is evil and say that it's evil; know that it's evil. That means that you are not motivated by evil thoughts.

Verse 6: "Does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the Truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things…. [that will see you through everything] …Love never fails…." (vs 6-8). The love of God never fails!

"…But whether there be prophecies, they shall cease…" (v 8). This has nothing to do with God's prophecies. Jesus said that 'heaven and earth will pass away, but My words shall not.' This means human prophecies: everyone has a psalm, everyone has a prophecy, everyone has an interpretation.

Have we seen human prophecies fail? We could line them up by the page full. Yes, they will. What has happened with every one of these things? They were given with no love! Given in fear, intimidation, and hellfire and brimstone. It's okay to preach with hellfire and brimstone, but if you don't hold out the love of God what have you accomplished? You have instilled fear, not love! You intimidated, rather than repentance! The whole key is to bring to repentance.

"…whether there be languages, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; but when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part shall be set aside. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I reasoned as a child; but when I became a man, I set aside the things of a child" (vs 8-11).

If I could appeal to anybody anywhere, please put away childish and foolish things in the Church of God. Grow up in Christ! Then you will have the unity of Christ and the love of God!

Verse 12: "For now we see through a glass darkly, but then we shall see face-to-face; now I know in part, but then I shall know exactly as I have been known." I wrote that in a letter and I had been thinking what it would be like

  • to know God
  • to see Him as He is
  • to look Him right in the eyes
  • to thank Him for everything that He has done
  • to tell Him directly—face-to-face—'I love You.'

and

  • to have Him tell you, 'I love you.'

That is going to be a profound thing, brethren! That's what we need to focus on. All this other stuff is just going to have to go by the wayside. We have to work our way through it, but I think that you know by reaching out and letting them know that this is what they need to focus on. If they have problems, put it in Christ's hands. If you have difficulties, put it in Christ's hands. Pray for each other, love each other, help each other! That's what He wants so that we can be known as we are now known.

Verse 13: "And now, these three remain: faith, hope and love; but the greatest of these is love."

1-Corinthians 14:1: "Pursue love…" That's what it means in the Greek. That's what to pursue. All these other things don't matter. That's what so important.

Here's how it's going to come; it's going to be with God's Spirit. That's how unity will be. When we all ask God to grant us His Spirit—that we can love Him and love each other—there's unity. God gives us the same mind to think as Christ does. We get along. I don't—and I'm not going to, brethren—go around and correct a lot of people. I'm just not going to do it.

If things need to be handled rather strongly in certain areas with certain individuals, fine; then whatever needs to be, needs to be. But on the other hand, if we can do like Paul and appeal that you love God, that you set aside your carnality, that you look to Christ and be filled with His Spirit, then all these things will start dropping by the wayside. All of this carnality will start dropping off like so many scales. And we can grow truly in the love of God.

Here's why God has the Church, Ephesians 4:11—you've heard this before, but I tell you never have really needed to know this before: "And He [Christ] gave some asapostles…" I don't know who is an apostle today; the last thing any ought to do who are teachers—I prefer to be called a teacher and minister—I don't think we should assume to be prophets or apostles. Evangelist is a function. If you are evangelizing, you're functioning as that. Same way with pastors and teaching.

Verse 12—here's the whole thing: "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ." That is to teach it and exhort it in love. If you do that, and every one of us go to God and say, 'God, help me to understand You and Your love; help me to grow and overcome' you just don't need to be beaten over the head every week with sermons of correction. It's just not necessary. Let's grow in love. That's what he's talking about here.

Verse 13: "Until we all… [every one of us] …come into the unity of the faith…" It's not something that's going to be done by command. It's not something that's going to be done by organization. But as we grow in the love of God.

"…and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (v 13). That's quite a goal! That's where God wants us to go! That's what He wants us to do! He doesn't want to hold back from anyone! He wants us all to grow to that, to "…the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." I think on that Scripture and it just blows my mind to try and contemplate what that means—the fullness of Christ. Do we even grasp it? Let's pray that we will more and more in the future.
Verse 14: "So that we no longer be children, tossed and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the sleight of men in cunning craftiness, with a view to the systematizing of the error [to deceive]." Boy. have we not lived through that! That's why we need to know the Scriptures.

Verse 15: "But holding the Truth in love, may in all things grow up into Him Who is the Head, even Christ." That's the whole purpose of where we need to aim, and all these problems that the Church is going through—like the First Church at Corinth—is very distressing. You can't go out there and command it to go away, because it's not. God is out there revealing all of this so that we can all be correcting ourselves with the Word of God and looking to God the Father and Jesus Christ to love, grow and overcome. Let's see if we can strive for that.

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version by Fred R. Coulter

Scriptural References:

    • 1 Corinthians 14:23-33
    • 1 Corinthians 15:12, 34
    • 2 Corinthians 2:17
    • 2 Thessalonians 2:2
    • 2 Corinthians 2:17
    • 2 Corinthians 4:1-5
    • 2 Corinthians 10:1-5, 12
    • 1 Corinthians 1:3-10
    • Philippians 2:5
    • Colossians 3:14-17
    • 1 Corinthians 1:11-15, 17, 23-28, 30-31
    • 1 Corinthians 2:9-10
    • 1 Corinthians 3:3-10, 12-14, 16-23
    • 1 Corinthians 4:7
    • 1 Corinthians 5:6-8
    • 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 15, 18-20
    • 1 Corinthians 8:1-3
    • 1 Corinthians 10:5-13, 20-21
    • 1 Corinthians 11:31-32
    • 1 Corinthians 12:4-8, 13, 27-31
    • 1 Corinthians 13:1
    • 1 John 4:16-20
    • 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
    • 1 Corinthians 14:1
    • Ephesians 4:11-15

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Isaiah 28
  • Acts 16
  • 1 Corinthians 1:1-2
  • Colossians 1:27; 2
  • Matthew 18
  • 1 Corinthians 7
  • Deuteronomy 18
  • 1 Corinthians 9

Also referenced:

Sermon Series:

  • Love of God
  • Divorce and Remarriage

Sermons: Christian Financial Responsibility

Book: Cure All Cancers by Hulda Regher, Ph.D (amazon.com)

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 4/22/13

BOOKS