Sunnyside First Baptist Church
1Corinthians 4 - Live life through the lens of the Gospel.
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  • We are responsible to Armor up and carry on... 1 Corinthians 4

    The consensus is at Chapter 4 Paul is talking with a different group of people or maybe a different time to the same group.
    He has seen what spiritual condition the Corinthian church in..

    They have lost their spiritual compass...

    They are no longer “Spiritual” but worldly.
    They need to return to milk, meat is to much...
    Gold, silver other precious metals will be burned up one day leaving only the spiritual.
    Leave it all… Leave it all
    1 Corinthians 3:21–22 NIV84
    21 So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours,
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    But with that comes some great responsibility...
    Turn if you would to our passage for today
    1 Corinthians 4:1 ESV
    1 This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.
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    That’s just not pastors, teachers, bible study leaders. We all are servants of Christ and we all have seen the mysteries of God take place.
    What’s that mystery… That mystery is simple. It’s the Gospel.
    John 3:16 NIV84
    16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
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    Question For Today… Is our armour strong enough to withstand the battle ragging around us?
    Let’s look at the armour passages and see if we are all ready to go..
    Eph 6.13-20
    Return to 1Corinthians 4
    1 Corinthians 4:1–2 ESV
    1 This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.
    PRINCIPLE #1 - Stewards of God must be “found faithful” to the Gospel
    There is fair amount of discussion around this who are the stewards.
    This is anyone who is a slave or servant or STEWARD of God.
    If you are here today a follower of the Jesus your are a benefactor of Christs’ work on the cross.
    You are wearing the armor… it’s not fitted. It’s still loose. Arrows can and do get in. They rock our spiritual world. They rock our physical and emotional world.
    But…you have heard and responded to the Gospel.
    The principal is true to the core of our being. We must prove to be, or be found faithful to the Gospel.
    1 Corinthians 4:3–4 ESV
    3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4 For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me.
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    Thankfully… it is only the Lord who judges. We have no measure except by his judgement.
    Will you be found faithful to the GOSPEL in the Last Days?
    There is way to be found faithful… It’s a two part faithfulness.
    First part… Have you FULLY and COMPLETELY accepted the Gospel.
    John 3:16 NIV84
    16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
    -----------------
    Yup Jeff, I’ve got that part. I believe, I know that I have eternal life.
    My armor is “on” it fitted… 99% of the devils arrows just bounce off.
    Then comes V.17. Not one we look at that much
    And its the second part of the of being found faithful
    John 3:17 NIV84
    17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
    God’s purpose in sending His son… was not to condemn. But to contend with the one who is already condemned.
    It is our single focus to steal from the hands of satan… your father, mother, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, your neighbors.
    How do we do that… By following the example of Jesus. To not condemn but to SAVE to world through Him, Through Jesus.
    We ALL have an opportunity the Grace and Mercy of God that is found in a relationship with His Son, Jesus.
    1 Corinthians 4:5 ESV
    5 Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.
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    I’m going back to the ESV here… It provides a great deal of clarity.
    Do not judge each other...
    The Lord judge the things of darkness
    He knows and will disclose our purposes.
    Finally… “each one will receive his commendation from God.”
    4.6
    1 Corinthians 4:6 ESV
    6 I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another.
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    We have “puffy” Christians in our world...
    Turn on the TV on Sunday mornings and there are some
    Live in a community that is racially, ethnically and economically divided… with one brand of Christianity who might just be a bit to big for their britches.
    Anyone who thinks they are a special, unique, exclusive hearer and interpreter of God’s word that is in error and does not follow the orthodox faith… Is PUFFED up!!!
    V.7
    1 Corinthians 4:7 NIV84
    7 For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?
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    Beginning here in V.7 Paul is on the warpath… He asks rhetorically. Who? What? and Why?
    “Who” - Makes you different from anyone else?
    “What” - Do you have that you did not receive?
    “Why” - Why do you boast as though you did not [receive it?]
    What makes you group of Christians in Corinth any better or any worse..?
    What makes you group of Christians in Sunnyside any better or worse..?
    What makes you Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian any better than the rest.
    DON’T BE STUCK ON YOURSELVES…
    BE STUCK BY AND STUCK ON THE GOSPEL.
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    1 Corinthians 4:8–9 NLT
    8 You think you already have everything you need. You think you are already rich. You have begun to reign in God’s kingdom without us! I wish you really were reigning already, for then we would be reigning with you. 9 Instead, I sometimes think God has put us apostles on display, like prisoners of war at the end of a victor’s parade, condemned to die. We have become a spectacle to the entire world—to people and angels alike.
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    The Corinthian believers were positively self-assured that they and only had a special place in God’s Kingdom.
    You see Paul had been to Corinth three times and brought other evangelists with him and made others along the way.
    This “Christian Thing” is something special and “we” in Corinth got the special treatment.
    What… Were they to $%*)*D to understand that Paul came back three times because they kept getting it WRONG! HELLO!
    This idea of “spectacle” is interesting… Think about in the sense of theater, a production, a fast-paced menu driven Christian experience, with mirrors, dry ice, lights.
    PRINCIPLE #2 - Don’t become “THEATER” to the entire world. Remain focused on The Gospel
    Our place in the world is like a fish bowl, like a never ending battle, where we say something or do something that tarnishes the name of Christ. Soon it is on display for the world to see.
    If we, the Christian world, would remain ready for battle as the Ephesian passage tells us… we, collectively would not get in near the trouble that we do.
    Because...
    we and others around us are left to pick up the pieces, make one more excuse for a television preacher, try to explain that following Jesus does not automatically mean you will be rich and famous.
    We are left explaining that God is a God of Grace and Mercy and any and all sin can be brought to him as humble confession and we will be forgiven.
    Here is my advice… you didn’t ask for it but I’ve currently got your attention.
    Keep your eyes on the prize
    Don’t become weary in the race
    And bring as many people with you as you can.
    V.10
    1 Corinthians 4:10 NIV84
    10 We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored!
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    Paul is taunting them...
    “but you are so wise is Christ..!”
    “but you are strong!”
    “You are honored but we are looked down on”
    YOU CORINTHIANS… YOU HAVE IT MADE!!
    1 Corinthians 4:11–13 NIV84
    11 To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. 12 We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; 13 when we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world.
    PRINCIPLE #3 - The REALITY of the Christian life is much different from the outside than the inside.
    Each of us has our own stories about looking out and seeing what we left behind when we chose to follow Jesus.
    ALL of us were bare without ANY ARMOUR AT ALL… without any way to contend with the arrows of the devil, arrows of the world, with self-inflicted arrows.
    Our new Christian life needed to be protected as it was being attacked…
    Those of you that have followed Jesus your whole life and don’t have much of a past can get this gnawing feeling that you are “missing” something by being a follower of Christ.
    Listen to these two verses from the message. Peterson says it very well here
    1 Corinthians 4:14–15 The Message
    14 I’m not writing all this as a neighborhood scold just to make you feel rotten. I’m writing as a father to you, my children. I love you and want you to grow up well, not spoiled. 15 There are a lot of people around who can’t wait to tell you what you’ve done wrong, but there aren’t many fathers willing to take the time and effort to help you grow up. It was as Jesus helped me proclaim God’s Message to you that I became your father.
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    Paul is strengthening his warning here.
    I not trying to humiliate you… I love you my dear children, but you are on the wrong path.
    Your life is full of leaders, guides, mentors, friends, fishing and golf buddies… People who are most willing to give advice when asked and and when not.
    But you have only one “spiritual father.” For I became that person when I preached the Good News, The Gospel to you! is what Paul says
    Let’s return to our question for the day
    Question For Today… Is our armour strong enough to withstand the battle ragging around us?
    Yes, it is strong enough… Yes, we must use… How do we even know what it is… We need to guide, we need a person, we need a friend, we need a mentor. WE NEED JESUS!
    In Him, Through Him, With Him we need a relationship with Him to help with our armor. We NEED JESUS!
      • 1 Corinthians 4NIV

      • 1 Corinthians 3:21–22NIV

      • 1 Corinthians 4:1NIV

      • John 3:16NIV

      • 1 Corinthians 4:1–2NIV

      • 1 Corinthians 4:3–4NIV

      • John 3:16NIV

      • John 3:17NIV

      • 1 Corinthians 4:5NIV

      • 1 Corinthians 4:6NIV

      • 1 Corinthians 4:7NIV

      • 1 Corinthians 4:8–9NIV

      • 1 Corinthians 4:10NIV

      • 1 Corinthians 4:11–13NIV

      • 1 Corinthians 4:14–15NIV

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