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Power for a Change

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Scripture Introduction

In the 1929 Rose Bowl game, Georgia Tech and the University of California were locked in a defensive struggle. The score was zero-zero, when “Stumpy” Thomason, quarterback for Georgia Tech, fumbled the ball and University of California defensive center Roy Riegels got the chance of a lifetime. The ball bounced into his arms with open field ahead of him. As a defensive player, Riegels was not accustomed to handling the ball, but he was determined to do everything right. He tucked the ball, ducked his head, and ran for all he was worth. He crossed midfield, the forty-yard line, the thirty, the twenty, and then, on the one-yard line, his own teammate, Benny Lom, caught up with him and screamed, “You ran the wrong way!” Before he could run the other way, Riegels was smothered by Georgia Tech players, setting up a two-point safety that was the deciding play in the game. For the rest of his life, the poor defensive center was known as Roy “Wrong Way” Riegels.
The story of Wrong Way Riegels seems especially sad because he tried so hard to do everything right. He did just as he should: tucked the ball, ducked his head, and ran as fast as he could. His only problem was that he lost track of his goal. Something similar is happening to the congregation at Corinth in the apostle Rabbi Paul’s time. Everyone is doing their own version of what they think the right thing is. They want to eat and drink and be merry, they want to celebrate Messiah’s body properly and they want to operate in the power of the Holy Spirit. But as commendable as those desires may be, the congregation goes astray because it has lost sight of its ultimate calling and the reason why the Holy Spirit manifests his power in anyone. That is why Paul here writes so plainly about the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in this passage. In essence, he is plastering a huge signpost on the congregation so that people neither then nor now lose sight of the one thing that the highest priority of the Holy Spirit so that He will manifest His power in their lives. What is that highest priority? To be a fully submitted servant of Messiah Yeshua.
Rabbi Paul says that whatever the Corinthians previously thought would cause the Holy Spirit’s power to come upon them must be set aside because when a person is full with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit intends to give that person power to the degree he/she is a fully submitted servant of Messiah Yeshua.
Bryan Chapell, Christ-Centered Sermons: Models of Redemptive Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2013), 130–131.
The implications are at once vast and specific for those of us who wish to be used by the Holy Spirit. Discussions about the fruit of the spirit and gifts of the Spirit are necessary and inevitable, but if we are not first and foremost fully submitted servants of the Messiah Yeshua, we will not experience the power of God’s Spirit in our lives.
Our instruction may be valid, our facts may be accurate, our doctrine may be correct, our truth may be true, but without a life fully submitted to the Lordship of Yeshua will keep seeking His power but never experiencing it. To experience the Spirit’s power—to have a life that is operating on more than just natural principles—we must never lose sight of this one thing: we must remain fully submitted to the lordship of Yeshua the Messiah and committed to the benefit of others.
Living It ()

Ha-Foke Ba

- On Screen Bible
Background to Corinth and it’s community.
Corinth was an influential graeco-roman city far away from Rabbi Paul’s home base in Antioch: about 750 miles by sea and over a thousand miles by land.
Corinth was like the Las Vegas of the ancient world.
Diversity of Culture
Diversity of Religion
Diversity of Economy
Diversity of Pleasures

Corinth was a city where public boasting and self-promotion had become an art form.

Corinth was a home for Jewish people amongst Greeks
The oldest Synagogue dates to about 150 BCE and we believe historically there were 7 synagogues in Corinth in the First Century.

Apart from this inscription, seven more have been found in Corinth. Five of them are in such small fragments that no one word survived completely. The date cannot be determined, and the conclusion of the editor of the corpus, that they are in Hebrew, is accepted. Near the Theatre was found a tablet bearing the seven-branched menorah upon a base flanked by a seven-branched menorah, a lulab, and an ethrog. Two fragments of Jewish inscriptions were also found in the eastern area of the Theatre.71 They yield some information. The first one is bilingual (Greek and Hebrew) with a Hebrew word miscab (tomb). The second contains two titles διδάσ[καλος] and ἀρχ[ισυνάγωγ]ος. After the last title the editors restored τῆ[ς συναγωγῆς Κορίνθου?]. The restoration is very insecure and the last word ought to be ruled out, since ‘given the size of Corinth in the Roman period, it is certain to have had more than the one synagogue which Κορίνθου might imply’. Moreover it would be very difficult to find a parallel for the use of a city’s name within that city in a text of this category.74

Rabbi Paul leads the Synagogue Leader at Corinth to faith (; ).
The First Letter to the Corinthians was written from Ephesus probably around ad 53 to 55 shortly before Pentecost ().
Matthew S. Beal, “Corinth,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016).
Corinth was like the Las Vegas of the ancient world.
Diversity of Culture
Diversity of Religion
Diversity of Economy
Diversity of Pleasures

Corinth was a city where public boasting and self-promotion had become an art form.

Rabbi Paul is addressing a mixed audience of Jews and Non-Jews that are from diverse backgrounds but all of whom probably share this one things in common: that the way to get further faster is to live for self-promotion and that if there was spiritual power from the Holy Spirit it would was were meant for self-promotion and for self agenda. Rabbi Paul says the opposite: if you want to experience the Spirit’s power then life a life fully submitted to Yeshua and committed to other’s benefit. That is why in when he starts to talk about “Living It” living the fully submitted and committed life verses 1 reads like some just threw a cup of cold water on someone who was sleeping in their bed.
Owns Idolatrous Past (vv. 1-2)
Living It (). Rabbi Paul gives us three rapid bullet points for experiencing the Holy Spirit’s power: ditch, submit, and commit.
Ditch the Old Submit and Commit ()
1 Corinthians 12:1–2 TLV
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be ignorant. You know that when you were pagans, you were enticed by idols that cannot speak, and you got led astray.
They were believers living in ignorance about how much therr former paganism (cf. ; ; for Jews being called pagan also ) was still controlling their hearts (see ; ). Earlier in the letter, Rabbi Paul calls them “worldly” because of their jealousy and strife ().
They were committed to themselves and submitted to speechless idols that led them astray and the implication is that at a maximum they are still led astray or at a bare minimum not experiencing the real power of the Holy Spirit.
Rabbi Paul is saying something very powerful here: Brothers and sisters, you can be very ignorant about how much of your old life of submission to idols and commitment to self is still leading you astray and preventing you from experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit in your life.
Submit the Heart’s to Yeshua’s lordship ( )
1 Corinthians 12:3 TLV
Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Ruach Elohim says, “Yeshua be cursed,” and no one can say, “Yeshua is Lord,” except by the Ruach ha-Kodesh.
First, this is not as simple as “say” the right thing. It is so much deeper than that. This is about the heart of a person fully submitting to Yeshua’s lordship.
Second, In the Jewish community, from which Rabbi Paul is retrieving this word “anethema,” it means to devote something to a “cherem” a “ban.”
During the rise of Israel as a nation and during its days as a kingdom to put something or someoneunder a ban meant to totally destroy it. Remember, when Joshua went in to take the promise land and God told him to put all of Jericho under the “ban” (see ).
The Jewish Encyclopedia perfectly describes the use of the anethema or ban in Paul’s day.

In post-exilic times the ḥerem as a war measure against idolaters no longer found any application. Nevertheless it was employed as a means of ecclesiastical discipline to keep the community clear of undesirable, semi-heathenish elements; and when the new constitution was to be adopted for the new colony, those that would not participate in the assembly of the children of the captivity, had, according to the counsel of the princes and elders, all their substance devoted (A. V. “forfeited”), and were themselves separated from the community (Ezra 10:8)

Rabbi Paul is saying, that the person who is speaking by the Holy Spirit would never suggest to any degree possible that Yeshua or His teachings are undesirable and should be destroyed or eliminated. -
1 Corinthians 12:3 TLV
Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Ruach Elohim says, “Yeshua be cursed,” and no one can say, “Yeshua is Lord,” except by the Ruach ha-Kodesh.
Last, contrarily, he says the mark of a person who has the Holy Spirit is a heart fully submitted to the lordship of Yeshua. When you submit to the lordship of someone else you are not paying lip service rather you are saying, “your agenda is my agenda, your plans are my plans, your dreams, your good, your kingdom, your glory is my highest goal in this world. Your “yes” and your “no” are the song of my heart; rather than the one who says, “your ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ are like puke in my mouth.”
Commit to Benefiting Others
First, it means committing to Oneness not Sameness ()
1 Corinthians 12:4–6 TLV
Now there are various kinds of gifts, but the same Ruach. There are various kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are various kinds of working, but the same God who works all things in all people.
Rabbi Paul is infected by the implications of the echad tri-unity of God: The parallelism of verses 4–6 is remarkable. Paul tells us that there are different distributions:
The parallelism of verses 4–6 is remarkable. Paul tells us that there are different distributions:
of gifts (χαρίσματα, charismata), but the same Spirit;
of service (διακονίαι, diakoniai), but the same Lord;
of working (ἐνεργήματα, energēmata), but the same God.
God is One not the Same, Oneness or Echadness does not mean Sameness. The model of the body of the Messiah is built upon the platform of God’s echadness, His oneness.
There is going to be a difference in giftedness, differences in service and degrees of how gifted and how much a person is going to serve.
One of the life principles that I have tried to put into my kids is this one be a craftsman and sharpen your skills and don’t attempt everything everybody else does. Some people are more talented, are more gifted, have more endurance, have more character; however, I have told them if you want to be so good at something that nobody ignores you, then give 100% of your talent, giftedness, endurance, character, and power to it.
Second, it means committing to their benefit ().
1 Corinthians 12:7 TLV
But to each person is given the manifestation of the Ruach for the benefit of all.
Each person is being “given” (in the present tense) the manifestation of the Spirit.
Second, the manifestation of the Spirit is not for personal aggrandizement, but “for the common good” (present tense).
Second, these gifts are not for personal aggrandizement, but “for the common good.”
Illustrate: The Gifts of Galadriel to the Fellowship of the Ring to aid each other.
Lembas for Food.
Elven Cloaks
Sheaths, Belts
So why is Rabbi Paul putting such a strong emphasis on being fully submitted to Yeshua and committed to others when it comes to experiencing the Spirit’s power, His manifestation? The answer becomes clear when we consider the consequences of faking submission the lordship of Yeshua.
Faking It (). What are the consequences of faking submission to Yeshua and committing to serve others.
There are Eternal Consequences for Faking it ( )
Matthew 7:21–23 TLV
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, and drive out demons in Your name, and perform many miracles in Your name?’ Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Get away from Me, you workers of lawlessness!’ ”
Illustration: John Reece
There are Immediate Consequences for Faking it ()
Acts 19:13–20 TLV
But some traveling Jewish exorcists also tried to invoke the name of the Lord Yeshua, saying, “I charge you by the Yeshua whom Paul preaches.” Seven sons of a Jewish ruling kohen named Sceva were doing this. But the evil spirit answered them, “I know Yeshua and I know about Paul, but who are you?” Then the man with the evil spirit sprang at them, subduing and overpowering all of them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. This became known to all who lived in Ephesus, both Jewish and Greek people. Fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Yeshua was being magnified. Many also of those who had believed came confessing and recounting their practices. And many of those who practiced magic arts brought their books together in a heap, burning them before everyone. They totaled the value of the books and found it to be about fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord was growing in power and prevailing.
The choice to fake it is now, the consequences are later.
Illustration: The Fallen Televangelist
Illustration: The Fallen Father
Even as I say these things, I am very much aware that what I am cautioning against can and, more frequently thant I wish does characterize me. I know the pain of personal attack and wanting to restore all the slander people have said about me and my wife, I know the pressure to succeed and want to be seen as a success, I know the disappointment of not meeting my children’s expectations, my wife’s expectations, my friends and even my congregation expectations of me. I know how easy it is to just fake it, to show just the highlight reel of my life but knowing full well I am not fully submitted to Yeshau’s lordship nor am I really living for the betterment of others.
I know that in order to continue to serve as a Rabbi, I need to be a first repenter. I have to confess to the Lord the sins of pride and self-concern that make me want to tell others how much they should honor me and serve me. I have to ask the Lord to keep me dependent on him, or I will try to minister out of my talents rather than through his Spirit. All of this I am ready to confess, but I still struggle with something. I don’t struggle to confess the sin of my lack of submission or lack of really caring about others. I don’t like admitting it but I do. What I am fearful of is a future where He would say “I don’t know you” or a day when something similar might await me like the sons of Sceva.
I know that in order to continue to minister, I need to be a first repenter. I have to confess to the Lord the sins of pride and self-concern that make me want to tell others how much they should honor me. I have to ask the Lord to keep me dependent on him, or I will try to minister out of my gifts rather than through his Spirit. All of this I am ready to confess, but I still struggle with something. I don’t struggle to confess the sin of Moses; I struggle to understand why God’s punishment of him was intense—and I wonder if something similar might await me. After so many years of service, God did not let Moses go into the Promised Land. I want to ask: Where is the second chance? Where is the mercy? Where is the grace? Can we really preach grace if we do not see and experience it in the life of Moses or in our own lives?
I want to ask: Is their still another chance even for me? Is there an opportunity for even me to no longer be led astray by my stupid idols? Is the Holy Spirit still willing to work through me even if it is just one more time like Sampson? Can I once again pledge my heart to Yeshau in full submission and commit life for the sake of others and trust the Holy Spirit to show up?
Bryan Chapell, Chric, 2013), 122.
The answer lies in seeing that, although the Corinthians were very ignorant about how much of their old life of submission to idols and commitment to self was still leading them astray and preventing them from experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit, Rabbi Paul wrote this letter in full hopes that they would repent, that they would elevate the lordship of Yeshua and commit to living a life that cares more about others than about self.
Elevating It
Release your allegiance to Self.
Illustrate: I remember one time I needed to make a bold statement to a group of believers that had perfected the art of faking submission to Yeshua’s lordship. You can always tell when someone is faking it because the proverbial proof is in the pudding. So in my sermon I pulled out an old Bible that was badly damaged and destined for the trash can. “Alright,” I said to them, “I want you to go ahead and rip out every passage you are not currently going to do or have not done in the last week.” Then I said to them, “I want you to go ahead and rip out every passage that you wish was not there or you think you have a reasonable excuse not to do.” Then I did the unthinkable, I started ripping out the pages and one-by-one throwing whole chapters, and books on the floor around me until almost nothing was left. And I said, “you should see and recognize that when you are done with this little experiment the only person who is really your lord is you, you are the Lord of your life not Yeshua.”
When do believers surrender the lordship of Yeshua to idols? When they are lord of their lives.
Money
Entertainment
Reputation
Sex
Control
Release your allegiance to self and fully submit to the lordship of Yeshua.
Release your commitment to Self.
The sad thing about a life committed to self is how predictably unsatisfying and shallow it truly is.
There was a girl named Maria who had broken up with Jimmy. She told him she simply didn’t want to be with him anymore. But after about a year of being broken up, out of the blue, she wrote Jimmy a letter. She said, “Jimmy, I miss you bad. I think of you all day and all night long. You dominate my mind and I just don’t want to be apart from you anymore. Jimmy, let’s reconnect. P.S. Congratulations on winning the lottery!” It’s amazing how willing people are to do things when there is personal benefit involved
There was a girl named Maria who had broken up with Jimmy. She told him she simply didn’t want to be with him anymore. But after about a year of being broken up, out of the blue, she wrote Jimmy a letter. She said, “Jimmy, I miss you bad. I think of you all day and all night long. You dominate my mind and I just don’t want to be apart from you anymore. Jimmy, let’s reconnect. P.S. Congratulations on winning the lottery!” It’s amazing how willing people are to do things when there is personal benefit involved
Conclusion
Conclusion
Today, I know I am really driving home the point that we must remain fully submitted to the lordship of Yeshua because I believe it is essential, necessary in order to experience the Spirit’s. Please here me, I don’t think for a second the Spirit leaves you when you are not fully submitted but you will not experience his power and you may even experience great defeat because he wants your life fully submitted. He is not interested in trying to make you look good nor is He interested in maintaining your reputation if it means your life will ultimately remain anything less but submitted to Yeshua’s lordship.
If our teaching, our understanding of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling causes us to make light of our sin, to slight the lordship of Yeshua over our all our heart, mind, soul, and spirit then we have not really understood the hatred the Holy Spirit has toward our sin, we have not yet recognized our former idolatry and the necessity of being fully submitted to the Messiah so that we can experience the blessing of the Holy Spirit’s power in our lives.
If we have become mired in selfishness. Always bent on being served or serving for the sake of recognition, status or promotion then we have not yet grasped that the Holy Spirit is always looking out for others through you. His power comes through a life that wants to give itself away, wants to give itself for the sake of others especially others that are difficult and not easy to serve.
If we are going to experience the power of the Holy Spirit then we cannot slight the lordship of Yeshua nor can we add shades of grey to just how important is to seek the benefit of others for their sake. Here is the thing, the Holy Spirit knows if your heart is committed or is faking it. He is not fooled by our shows, performances or flattery. In the depths of our beings, at the very core of who we are we must desire to be in submission to the full lordship of Yeshua and seek the benefit of others. I have discovered in my life and ministry career these realities:
A Life submitted to Yeshua’s lordship always experiences the power of the Spirit.
A Life committed to Others always manifest the gifts of the Spirit.
A Life fully submitted and committed is being Driven about by the Holy Spirit.
These truths apply whether you are a counselor, teacher, business professional, employee, employer, parent, friend, to all believers who will submit their lives to Yeshua’s lordship and commit to benefiting others instead of self. In order to experience the life changing power of the Holy Spirit, we must recognize that it will take not just some of our self, or part of our self but it will take all of ourself being fully submitted to the lordship of Yeshua and totally committed to the benefit of other people.
Some of you might be saying, “Michael, it is too hard.” If you try to do it in your own strength, then you are right it is not only too hard it is impossible. But perhaps instead of saying, “Michael, it is too hard.” Why don’t you say to God today, “I repent of saying it is too hard. I repent of relying on myself instead of on you. I release my allegiance to myself. I release my commitment to my self and I want to submit my whole heart and life to you. I want to commit my whole life to serving others.”
The disciples had 3 1/2 years of seeing the Spirit’s power manifest in Yeshua’s life: a life fully submitted to the Father and committed to other people’s benefit. After He rose from the dead and spoke with the disciples for a span of 40 days about the Kingdom of God and then they spent the next 9 days together in Jerusalem waiting for the Holy Spirit to be poured out upon them according to Yeshua’s promise. I think during those nine days they were re-ordering the allegiances of their hearts through prayer and the word of God and they were committing their lives to one another. On the 10th day, when Shavuot had fully come they were there in one place and the Spirit came down upon them.
Shauvot for us falls on Tuesday evening the 30th of May and as a congregation we will celebrate together this amazing day next Shabbat. I would like to ask you to do exactly what the disciples did: submit your heart and commit to others and I am expecting that next Shabbat we will see an outpouring like no other we have seen before at CBM.
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