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Spirituality And Spiritual Gifts

1 Corinthians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  43:54
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OCTOBER 5, 2022 STUDY NOTES SERMON SERIES: “SPIRITUALITY AND SPIRITUAL GIFTS” SCRIPTURE: 1 CORINTHIANS 3:1-6 BIBLE TEACHER: CLIFTON JONES INTRODUCTION (REVIEW OF CHAPTER TWO) Paul came to the city of Corinth to preach Christ crucified, 1Co 2:2 For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. The way he lived and the way he preached was to turn their attention toward Jesus It was not the charisma of even a man like Paul that changed their lives It was the truth of the message that Paul preached and the power of the Holy Spirit when he did They were convinced the gospel Paul preached was the power of God unto salvation (Rom 1:16) Now that they were saved and the Holy Spirit dwelt within them, Paul had a message for them It was a message of wisdom, 1Co 2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: This wisdom concerned the things God had prepared for them even before creation, 1Co 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Things which are prepared for those who love God, 1Co 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. And revealed to us now through the Holy Spirit, 1Co 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. All believers have received the Spirt so that we can know what God has prepared for us, 1Co 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. (1 Corinthians 2:9) The Spirit brings together the spiritual things of God and our spiritual life, 1Co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. The spiritual things God has prepared for us can only be taught to those who are spiritual They can only be received into the life of “Spirituality” “Spirituality” refers to those who are spiritually perfect or spiritually mature, 1Co 2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: “Perfect” does not refer to someone who is sinless, but one who is filled with the Spirit Referring to the Christian who is growing spiritually and living a faithful Christian life Paul said that it is impossible for those who are lost, the natural man, to be spiritual It is impossible for those who are lost to receive the things of the Holy Spirit, 1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. The natural man is lost and does not have a spiritual life, the Holy Spirit is not within him There is no “Spirituality” within him to receive the things that God has prepared for His children There are three types of people that Paul refers to in 1 Corinthians 2 & 3 The “natural” man is lost and without Christ in his life and cannot be taught “Spirituality” The “carnal” man is saved but living like he is lost and cannot be taught “Spirituality” The “spiritual” man is saved and living a Spirit-filled life and can be taught “Spirituality” Because some Christians were living a carnal life, Paul said, “I could not speak unto you as unto spiritual” THEY WERE CARNAL--1Co 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but Page 1 of 6 as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. Paul was speaking to those who were saved, he called them “brethren” But he could not speak to them concerning the wisdom that he referred to in, 1Co 2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: Those identified as “perfect” in 1 Cor. 2:6, are the same ones Paul identifies as “spiritual” “I could not speak unto you as unto spiritual,” “Spirituality” is what he wanted to speak He was saying I wanted to tell you more about the things that God has prepared for you, 1Co 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. The things of God which the Holy Spirit would reveal to them, 1Co 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. The things of God’s Wisdom that can only be revealed to those who are “Spiritual” But Paul said, “I could not speak unto you as unto spiritual” They were “brethren,” so “unto spiritual” refers to more than the fact of salvation “Spiritual” refers to Christians who are filled with the Spirit and controlled by the Spirit They are Christians who are following the leadership and guidance of the Holy Spirit Christians who have a sincere desire to learn and live in obedience to the Word of God The emphasis of “Spirituality” is not the sins that a Christian has quit committing “Spirituality” is evaluated by your commitment to be faithful in your service to God Therefore, “Spirituality” is not what you have quit doing, but what you are now doing “Spirituality” is a Christ-like life manifesting the “Fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-23) Look at the context of Galatians 5:22-23: Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. (That is “Spirituality,” victory over the sinful flesh) Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Spirituality is our choice, let us) Paul is telling us that Christians must continually study and learn the Word of God Regardless of how far advanced you are in your Christian life there is more to learn We all need to learn more, we all need to be taught, we all need to grow spiritually When you quit learning, when you quit growing spiritually, you are then “carnal” Paul speaks to those who are saved, but he speaks “as unto carnal” They are not spiritual, they are unspiritual, saved but living as though they were lost The Holy Spirit indwells them but does not control them, they are not Spirit-filled (Eph 5:18) They are controlled by the “Old nature” which is known as the flesh, Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. They do not have the victory over Satan and sin, Rom 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. Their mind is worldly instead of Godly, but their problem is not mental, it is spiritual Those who are “carnal” are not mentally handicapped, they are spiritually handicapped They are “spiritually immature,” Paul reveals them as baby Christians or spiritual infants Paul speaks to them “as unto babes in Christ” “Babes in Christ” can refer to a new Christian according to Peter, 1Pe 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: It is natural for a baby to act like a baby, you expect babies to be babies Childlike characteristics are normal for an infant, but infants must grow and mature Babies need special attention, special care, and parental guidance, they need adult support We must understand that it is natural for a newborn Christian to act like a spiritual infant But Paul was not referring to a Christian who had just been saved They were Christians who had already been given special attention and guidance But they had not grown spiritually, they were acting like a spoiled spiritual child Page 2 of 6 To learn God’s will and then refuse to obey God is spiritually childish or carnal To learn God’s will and then obey God is “Spirituality” Paul now begins to explain their childish characteristics THEIR SPIRITUAL FOOD--1Co 3:2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. Milk is the proper diet for a baby, they will let you know when they want it You feed a baby milk so that they can grow up and eat solid food As the baby grows and becomes stronger, they begin to eat solid food Paul said, I have already fed you the spiritual milk, you should be growing spiritually They should have already been experiencing “Spirituality,” but they were spiritual infants They were experiencing a prolonged babyhood state and were still in the spiritual nursery They were not maturing because they refused to allow the Spirit to nourish them The “meat” is in-contrast to the “milk” and represents “solid spiritual food” That which is known only through the wisdom of God and revealed by the Holy Spirit Milk or spiritual meat can be fed to those who are “growing” or “maturing spiritually” But those who are “carnal” are not able to be fed “solid spiritual food” Which Paul explained, “For hitherto ye were not able to bear it” Prior to this point in their spiritual life they were not ready for solid spiritual food Regardless of what spiritual state you are in, God has a “Word” for you At the time of the new birth Christians are on a milk diet and unable to digest spiritual meat Christians begin their spiritual life on a spiritual milk diet The spiritual diet is limited until spiritual growth begins to take place The problem was not that in the past they had been on a milk diet, Paul now states the problem “Neither yet now are ye able,” they had been on milk long enough to have grown spiritually They were not ready for a solid spiritual meal, they were still spiritually disabled They were not spiritually strong enough for what Paul called the “wisdom of God” Paul could not speak that which he called “spiritual” because they were not yet “spiritual” They had not been obedient to what they had previously learned (Hebrews 2:3) They had not taken advantage of their previous opportunities to serve God Paul speaks strongly when he says, “neither yet now are you able,” that was their problem Verse 3 not only identifies their problem it also explains to us what a milk diet should do for us CARNAL CHARACTERISTICS--1Co 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? Paul said, even after a period of being fed “spiritual milk” “you are yet carnal” A spiritual milk diet should keep a Christian from becoming spiritually “carnal” Young Christians must faithfully read and study the Bible, daily digest the Word of God You don’t grow physically strong because you look at a plate of food on the kitchen table You can’t look at a plate of food and say, I know that’s good for me and become strong You don’t grow spiritually strong because you have a Bible on the table at home Read the Bible and the Holy Spirit will begin to nourish your spiritual life You will begin to learn the truths of the Christian life and experience the power over sin Without the Word of God within you, you will remain under the influence of Satan Your mind will be on earthly things, and you will yield to those old fleshly desires Spiritual milk will teach you that your new life is “In-Christ” And “In-Christ” you can defeat Satan and turn from sin, you are free to live righteous But Paul says that even though they had been taught the truths of spiritual milk They were not growing spiritually they were still living like those who are lost Paul’s concern was not just their life away from church, but their life within the church Page 3 of 6 “For whereas there is among you envying,” when they gathered-together Paul now presents the evidence against them, the proof that they were “carnal” Their behavior was a witness to the truth of their spiritual state They were acting like spiritual children because they were “carnal” “Envy” can be a good thing or a bad thing Zeal or an earnest desire for-that which is good is a good thing (Romans 12:11) Paul uses the word “envy” to show their “jealously” which was a bad thing Jealously is a selfish desire because self is first in a person’s life James speaks of jealously in the heart, Jas 3:14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. Jealously lies against the truth, the truth is the wisdom of God from above, Jas 3:15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. The carnal life is earthly, sensual, devilish, and leads to “every evil work,” Jas 3:16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. The carnal Corinthian’s were jealous over those who were living spiritual before them They had a desire for the heavenly wisdom that they could see in the lives of the spiritual But they were not willing to go through God’s plan of spirituality in-order to receive it Churchgoers today want a push button spirituality, a one-time spiritual experience They want to walk down a church isle emotionally excited and go away spiritually mature Paul said there was also “strife” among them, jealously leads to “strife” “Strife” was a problem in the Corinthian church, 1Co 1:11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. (“contentions” is the same word translated “strife”) They were squabbling, quarreling, arguing, bickering, and disputing against one another Many churches today are filled with fusing and fighting, and Satan loves it It happens because there are too many carnal Christians in the church “Spirituality” will unite Christians in their ministry, “strife” will lead to division “Division” was a problem in the Corinthian church because of carnal Christians Christians who were jealous and filled with strife caused “division” within the church Too many churches today have the problem of “division” There are too many church splits today because of carnal Christians Be careful of those who want to whisper in your ear and tell you about someone in church Division begins when one jealous person goes to another complaining, and then another Paul had instructed the church at Corinth, “no divisions among you,” 1Co 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. (Spirituality) The answer to the problem of division is “Spirituality” and “care for one another,” 1Co 12:25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. Church members need to grow up spiritually and quit acting like spiritual babies Paul stated the problem within many churches today, “are ye not carnal” (Too many today) Because they were “carnal” there was envy, strife, and division in the church Many people today go to church on Sunday, which Christians should do And then they leave church to live Monday like those who are without Christ live Paul identified them as those who “walk as men,” and not of the Lord (Colossians 1:10) It is easy to identify a Christian who is living like a spiritual adult, they present a strong witness Satan uses the carnal Christian who is living like they are lost to confuse the truth of salvation Many say that they are a Christian, but their daily conduct is like a lost person (Contradictory) Page 4 of 6 Carnal Christians do not attract lost people to Christ, they confuse them They turn them away from Christ and the Church Many people are tired of the worldly life that they are living, they want to see a different life They want to see a life that has been changed, they want to go to a church with spiritual people People need a church that encourages you to read and study the Bible A church that teaches you how to grow and mature as a Christian A church that encourages you to live a daily Christian life People need a church family that is spiritual and not carnal A church that can feed those who need “spiritual milk,” or those ready for “spiritual meat” A church with people who are excited about being a Christian and not spiritually cold A church experiencing the peace of God and not fusing and fighting (Philippians 4:7) A church united in the Holy Spirit and not divided by Satan Prairie Grove Baptist Church: We must study God’s Word and learn to be “Spiritual” We must be filled with the Spirit and live “Spiritually Mature” lives We must not be carnal and “walk as men” In 1 Corinthians Paul reveals what he has identified as “Spirituality” I believe in Ephesians he reveals the same spiritual state and identifies it as “Heavenly Places” Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (Spirituality has been provided for us) His power is the power of “Spirituality,” Eph 1:19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, “Spirituality” is the power of Christ working in us “To us who believe,” literally reads, “the believing ones,” the ones who are continually believing Genuine believers who are living a genuine Christian life, a life identified as “Spirituality” The evidence of the Heavenly power of Christ is His present position at the right hand of God Eph 1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, The evidence of the power of Christ upon earth is the power of the Christian living a spiritual life “Spirituality” is dwelling in the right place, living our daily life “in Christ Jesus,” Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus Spirituality will not be experienced while separated from other believers, be faithful to church Spirituality will not be experienced living in worldly places instead of heavenly places, Eph 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, The greatest need of the church today is to learn the “manifold wisdom of God,” (Spirituality) A CARNAL CHURCH--1Co 3:4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Paul begins with “For while one saith,” which introduces his evidence of their carnal state One says, “I am of Paul,” attaching themselves to the man Paul more than Christ “And another, I am of Apollos,” same spiritual problem but a different man Favoritism leads to factions, factions lead to division, division leads to church splits All-of the above are a result of a carnal spirit, “are ye not carnal? Their mind is set upon man and not God, their thinking is earthly and not heavenly, Col 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. A GIFTED CHURCH--1Co 3:5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? Page 5 of 6 The question is, who is Paul and who is Apollos? The point is, what did they do? The answer is, they are God-given men, men gifted by God to “minister,” and they did The word translated “minister” means to be a servant, literally a “bond-servant” Nothing was more important to Paul than being “a servant of Jesus Christ,” Rom 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God Many Christian leaders today want as many titles behind their name as they can have They want to be looked upon, honored, and identified in as many ways as they can be There is no higher calling of God than to be a servant of God The title that was most meaningful to Paul is not the most popular title of today Paul wanted to be identified as “a servant of Jesus Christ,” which should be our desire James said that he was a bondservant, Jas 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. Peter wanted to be known as a bondservant, 2Pe 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: Jude was glad that he could be called a bond-slave, Jud 1:1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called Nothing was more meaningful to John than the fact that he was a servant, Rev 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: All Christians are ministers sent to serve, how important is that? “Ministers by whom ye believed,” they were saved because of the message of faithful servants God’s wisdom selected the plan of witnessing to the lost, 1Co 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. The Lord sends every Christian out to serve and minister to others, He has gifted us to serve “Even as the Lord gave to every man,” Paul and Apollos did what God gifted them to do GOD DOES HIS PART--1Co 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. Paul planted the gospel seed in Corinth (Read it in Acts 18:1-18) Act 18:11 And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. And “God gave the increase,” Act 18:8 And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized. “Apollos watered,” Act 18:27 And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, (Corinth) the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace: Act 18:28 For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ. Apollos was a servant of the scriptures, through scripture God will give the increase Creation tells us that God can give the increase, consider those little seeds planted in the ground One example, the acorn, from which God grows the mighty oak, with towering limbs of shade God is waiting for us to plant the gospel seed, when we do, God will give the increase Study what we have learned from this passage: God gave the servants, God gifted the servants The servants ministered the message God gave them and “God gave the increase” Page 6 of 6
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