Faithlife Sermons

The High Cost of Carnal Christianity

Notes
Transcript
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

Introduction:

Psalm 92:13 KJV 1900
Those that be planted in the house of the Lord Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
Intro:
Illustration- Cat 5 Rated Dorms During a Hurricane...
Illustration- Cat 5 Rated Dorms During a Hurricane...
It is important to do God's work God's way, as the cost of carnality is severe, but the reward of faithfulness is sweet.
Purposes of the Message-
Reproof - Attributing credit to the servant when it belongs to the Lord;
[Opt. Rebuke - to hold back the desire to fulfill the pride of life];
[Opt. Exhortation - to compel to consider your own ministry in light of the Judgment Seat of Christ]
Main Thought: Mistaking the source of spiritual growth leads to missing the mark in God's ministry!
Sub-intro:
This section is structured around three metaphors for the church: the church as God’s field (vv. 5–9), the church as God’s building (vv. 10–15), and the church as God’s temple (vv. 16–17). ... The final part of the chapter (vv. 18–23) first recapitulates the earlier teaching about wisdom, folly, and boasting and then concludes with a powerful affirmation that not only the church and its leaders but everything else in creation finally belongs to God. [Richard B. Hays, First Corinthians, Interpretation, a Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching (Louisville, KY: John Knox Press, 1997), 51–52.]
Throughout this chapter, two fundamental points must be kept clearly in view. First, Paul thinks of the church not as an institution with a hierarchy and a certain formal structure but as a concrete community of people in a particular locality. ...Thus, when he says, ...“you are God’s temple,” he is referring not to a building but to the gathered people of God. Second, Paul’s metaphors all refer to the community viewed corporately: the building that is built by the apostles and tested by fire is not the spiritual life of the individual believer, but the church community as a whole. The latter point may be especially hard for some Protestant congregations to keep in focus, because the tradition of individualistic reading is so entrenched. But if this point is not grasped firmly, Paul’s whole meaning will be missed. [Richard B. Hays, First Corinthians, Interpretation, a Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching (Louisville, KY: John Knox Press, 1997), 51–52.]
Body:

I. Serving in God's Ministry ().

A. Farming with the Holy Spirit ().

1. The Lord’s Workers ().

a. Pointing Others to Faith in Christ (v.5).

1 Corinthians 3:5 KJV 1900
Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
...some are Boanergeses, sons of thunder, and are mostly useful in conviction and conversion; and others are Barnabases, sons of consolation, who are chiefly made use of in comforting and edifying the saints: [John Gill, An Exposition of the New Testament, vol. 2, The Baptist Commentary Series (London: Mathews and Leigh, 1809), 615.]

b. Planting, Watering, and Trusting God for the Growth (v. 6).

1 Corinthians 3:6 KJV 1900
I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
Note Paul's planting endeavors in . Note Apollos' irrigation of the church in .
"He says, 'I have planted, Apollos watered [the human partners in the work of winning souls]; but God gave the increase [the heavenly Partner].'" ...Paul saw Apollos as a partner, not as a rival. On all the really important issues they were one. There was plenty of work for everyone. Not all are gifted to plow and plant. Not all have the patience and concern to water. In any case, neither one could accomplish anything without God, who alone can give the harvest. [John Phillips, Exploring 1 Corinthians: An Expository Commentary, The John Phillips Commentary Series (Kregel Publications; WORDsearch Corp., 2009), .]

c. Promoting GOD’S Power & Glory Above Ours (v. 7).

1 Corinthians 3:7 KJV 1900
So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
Three main lessons appear from this image. First, diversity of ministry. ...Second, unity of purpose. ...Third, humility of spirit. ...What men may think of our ministry is not important; what God may think is of supreme importance. ...He wants each local church to produce the fruit of the Spirit (), holiness (), giving (), good works (), praise to the Lord (), and souls won to Christ (). ...Those who serve in ministry must constantly be caring for the “soil” of the church. It requires diligence and hard work to produce a harvest. ...Satan is busy sowing discord, lies, and sin; and we must be busy cultivating the soil and planting the good seed of the Word of God. [Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 579.]

2. The Laborers’ Wages ().

a. The Right Portion (v. 8).

1 Corinthians 3:8 KJV 1900
Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
Both are necessary: without the waterer, the crop would die; without the planter, there would be no crop to water. [Hays, 52.]
Without the sun, water and life, there would be no hope for either the waterer or the planter; we need God!

b. The Right Partnership (v. 9).

1 Corinthians 3:9 KJV 1900
For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.
Note - This word (Lemma = sunergos) is used a total of thirteen times in thirteen verses, each time in an epistle of the New Testament; twelve of those times are by Paul, and once, John used the word in his third Epistle. Of Paul, three times he used it in his closing salutations of . In verses 3 and 9, Priscilla and Aquila, Urbane are named as Paul's helper(s) in the ministry; in verse 21, Timothy is said to be his workfellow, and also in Timothy is called by Paul his fellowlabourer in the Gospel of Christ. In , Titus is named by Paul as his partner (koinwnos) and fellowhelper. In , Paul called Epaphroditus his companion in labor, and then two chapters later in the same letter (), he addresses the Philippian believers, his brethren dearly beloved and longed for, his joy and crown, whom he counts as his true yokefellow, and calls on them to help those who labored with him in the Gospel, counting them as fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life. In , Paul states that Aristarchus (his fellowprisoner), Marcus (Barnabas' nephew), and Jesus Justus (a Jewish Christian) are his ONLY fellowworkers, unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me. Twice Paul used this word in his small but powerful letter to Philemon (, ): First, to address Philemon himself as one that Paul considered a fellowlabourer, and in his closing salutation to name Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas and Lucas as his fellowlabourers.
This word (Lemma = sunergos) is used a total of thirteen times in thirteen verses of the New Testament, twelve of those times are by Paul, and once, John used the word in his third Epistle. Of Paul, three times he used it in his closing salutations of . In verses 3 and 9, Priscilla and Aquila, Urbane are named as Paul's helper(s) in the ministry; in verse 21, Timothy is said to be his workfellow, and also in Timothy is called by Paul his fellowlabourer in the Gospel of Christ. In , Titus is named by Paul as his partner (koinwnos) and fellowhelper. In , Paul called Epaphroditus his companion in labor, and then two chapters later in the same letter (), he addresses the Philippian believers, his brethren dearly beloved and longed for, his joy and crown, whom he counts as his true yokefellow, and calls on them to help those who labored with him in the Gospel, counting them as fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life. In , Paul states that Aristarchus (his fellowprisoner), Marcus (Barnabas' nephew), and Jesus Justus (a Jewish Christian) are his ONLY fellowworkers, unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me. Twice Paul used this word in his small but powerful letter to Philemon (, ): First, to address Philemon himself as one that Paul considered a fellowlabourer, and in his closing salutation to name Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas and Lucas as his fellowlabourers.
Isaiah 5:1–7 KJV 1900
Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, And planted it with the choicest vine, And built a tower in the midst of it, And also made a winepress therein: And he looked that it should bring forth grapes, And it brought forth wild grapes. And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, Judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. What could have been done more to my vineyard, That I have not done in it? Wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, Brought it forth wild grapes? And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; And break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: And I will lay it waste: It shall not be pruned, nor digged; But there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, And the men of Judah his pleasant plant: And he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; For righteousness, but behold a cry.
Synopsis of Those Directly Named By Paul as His sunergos: (14)
Priscilla, Aquila, Urbane, Timothy, Apollos, Titus, Epaphroditus, Clement (and other helpers not directly named), Aristarchus, Marcus, Jesus Justus, Philemon, Demas, Lucas.
Aquila Urbane Timothy Titus Epaphroditus Clement (and other helpers not directly named) Aristarchus Marcus Jesus Justus Philemon Demas Lucas
Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994), 2248.]
They are labourers with God, synergoico-workers, fellow-labourers (v. 9), not indeed in the same order and degree, but in subordination to him, as instruments in his hand. They are engaged in his business. They are working together with God, in promoting the purposes of his glory, and the salvation of precious souls; and he who knows their work will take care they do not labour in vain. Men may neglect and vilify one minister while they cry up another, and have no reason for either: they may condemn when they should commend, and applaud what they should neglect and avoid; but the judgment of God is according to truth. He never rewards but upon just reason, and he ever rewards in proportion to the diligence and faithfulness of his servants. [Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994), 2248.]
Psalm 92:13 KJV 1900
Those that be planted in the house of the Lord Shall flourish in the courts of our God.

B. Framing on the Right Foundation ().

B. Framing on the Right Foundation ().

1. The Frame ().

1 Corinthians 3:10 KJV 1900
According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
The successor to Paul did not have to lay a new foundation, but only to go on building on that already laid. It is a pity when the new pastor has to dig up the foundation and start all over again as if an earthquake had come. [A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament (Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1933), .]

2. The Foundation of Christ ().

1 Corinthians 3:11 KJV 1900
For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
It is not here ἑτερον [heteron] a different kind of gospel (ἑτερον εὐαγγελιον [heteron euaggelion], ; ) which is not another (ἀλλο [allo], ) in reality. But another Jesus (, ἀλλον Ἰησουν [allon Iēsoun]) is a reflection on the one Lord Jesus. Hence there is no room on the platform with Jesus for another Saviour, whether Buddha, Mahomet, Dowie, Eddy, or what not. Jesus Christ is the one foundation and it is gratuitous impudence for another to assume the role of Foundation. [Robertson, .]
Christ is a firm, abiding, and immovable Rock of ages, every way able to bear all the weight that God himself or the sinner can lay upon him; neither is there salvation in any other. Leave out the doctrine of his atonement, and there is no foundation for our hopes. [Matthew Henry and Thomas Scott, Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 1997), .]

3. The Fire ().

a. The Right Materials (v. 12).

1 Corinthians 3:12 KJV 1900
Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
...“of a palace on the one hand, of a mud hut on the other” (Lightfoot). [Robertson, .]

b. The Revealing Manifestation (vv. 13-15).

1 Corinthians 3:13 KJV 1900
Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
Paul’s point is that some leaders are building with valuable fireproof material (the gospel of Christ crucified) and others are building with ephemeral fluff (the fads of human wisdom) that will be consumed by flames in God’s coming building inspection. [Hays, 55.]
The word for declare is dēloō, which means “to make plain,” or “to signify.” How many issues there are that will be made plain enough at the judgment seat of Christ! [Phillips, .]

i. Reward for the Faithful (v. 14).

1 Corinthians 3:14 KJV 1900
If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
God, in the N.T. Scriptures, offers to the lost, salvation, and, for the faithful service of the saved, rewards. The passages are easily distinguished by remembering that salvation is invariably spoken of as a free gift (e.g. ; ; , ); while rewards are earned by works (; ; , ; , ; ; ). A further distinction is that salvation is a present possession (; ; ; ), while rewards are a future attainment, to be given at the coming of the Lord (; ; ). [C. I. Scofield, ed., The Scofield Reference Bible: The Holy Bible Containing the Old and New Testaments (New York; London; Toronto; Melbourne; Bombay: Oxford University Press, 1917), 1214.]

ii. Ruin for the Carnal (v. 15).

1 Corinthians 3:15 KJV 1900
If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
It is the tragedy of a fruitless life, of a minister who built so poorly on the true foundation that his work went up in smoke. His sermons were empty froth or windy words without edifying or building power. They left no mark in the lives of the hearers. It is the picture of a wasted life. The one who enters heaven by grace, as we all do who are saved, yet who brings no sheaves with him. There is no garnered grain the result of his labours in the harvest field. There are no souls in heaven as the result of his toil for Christ, no enrichment of character, no growth in grace. [Robertson, .]

C. DO NOT Forfeit the Spirit’s Filling ().

1. The Importance & Presence of God's Spirit ().

1 Corinthians 3:16 KJV 1900
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
Literally, a sanctuary (ναος [naos], not ἱερον [hieron], the sacred enclosure, but the holy place and the most holy place) of God. [Robertson, .]

2. Protect God's House ().

1 Corinthians 3:17 KJV 1900
If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
With the significance of destroying, it is used of marring a local church by leading it away from that condition of holiness of life and purity of doctrine in which it should abide, (kjv, “defile”), and of God’s retributive destruction of the offender who is guilty of this sin (id.); [W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, and William White Jr., Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, TN: T. Nelson, 1996), 130.]

D. Flee Secular Foolishness ().

1. The Choice - A World Who Rejects God, or a God Who Wants to Redeem Souls ()?

1 Corinthians 3:18–20 KJV 1900
Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.
Whose standard does a church (temple) of God wish, that of this world or of God? The two standards are not the same. It is a pertinent inquiry with us all whose idea rules in our church. Paul quotes . [Robertson, .]
Job 5:13 KJV 1900
He taketh the wise in their own craftiness: And the counsel of the froward is carried headlong.
It comes as a shock to some church members that you cannot manage a local church the same way you run a business. This does not mean we should not follow good business principles, but the operation is totally different. There is a wisdom of this world that works for the world, but it will not work for the church. The world depends on promotion, prestige, and the influence of money and important people. The church depends on prayer, the power of the Spirit, humility, sacrifice, and service. The church that imitates the world may seem to succeed in time, but it will turn to ashes in eternity. [Wiersbe, 581.]

2. The Challenge - Glorify God, not Men ()!

1 Corinthians 3:21–23 KJV 1900
Therefore let no man glory 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 ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.

Conclusion:

“but he himself shall be saved: yet so as by fire.” The ship is lost, the sailor is saved. The work is burned, the believer is not. But oh! what loss.
When I [John Phillips] was a boy, we used to sing a hymn that seems to have gone out of style now, but the words are poignant....
Must I go and empty-handed,
Must I meet my Savior so?
Not one soul with which to greet Him,
Must I empty-handed go? [Phillips, .]
Years ago, at the Moody Bible Institute annual Founder’s Week Conference, I [John Phillips] heard Allen Redpath tell of his call to full-time Christian service. He was a successful businessman at the time and, at first, he resisted the call of God. However, six words kept ringing through his soul: “A saved soul, a lost life! A saved soul, a lost life!” He could not get away from these words—nor can we. [Phillips, .]
Take heed how we are building for the Lord, let us strive for things eternal. Mistaking the source of spiritual growth leads to missing the mark in God's ministry!
Psalm 92:13 KJV 1900
Those that be planted in the house of the Lord Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
Related Media
Related Sermons