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Swallow Your PRIDE or be Swallowed UP!

Swallow Your PRIDE or be Swallowed UP!  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  40:58
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Romans 5:1–8 NKJV
1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. 6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

5:1–2 Previously, we were God’s enemies. We were at war with him. Through Jesus, however, he has drawn us close and made us his friends (5:1). Although the grace that saves and grows us can’t be earned (see 11:6), it can be accessed by faith.

5:3–4 If we are in Christ, then we can rejoice in our afflictions (5:3) because God is working in those afflictions for our good.

5:6–8 On occasions like Memorial Day, we honor the sacrifices of people who died so others might live. Remembering these heroes brings to my mind what Paul says here, that for a just person … perhaps someone might even dare to die (5:7). It’s rare for someone to lay his life down for others. It’s tremendously loving and worthy of honor. But God’s love is even more worthy of recognition than this. Jesus died, but not for friends; God proved his own love for us by dying for us while we were his enemies (5:8)! It’s as if he says to unbelievers, “I know you’re rebelling against me. But I still love you so much that I’ll go to the cross for you” (5:6).

Romans 5:5 NKJV
5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Acts 9:31 NKJV
31 Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.
Numbers 16:1–40 NKJV
1 Now Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men; 2 and they rose up before Moses with some of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, representatives of the congregation, men of renown. 3 They gathered together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “You take too much upon yourselves, for all the congregation is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?” 4 So when Moses heard it, he fell on his face; 5 and he spoke to Korah and all his company, saying, “Tomorrow morning the Lord will show who is His and who is holy, and will cause him to come near to Him. That one whom He chooses He will cause to come near to Him. 6 Do this: Take censers, Korah and all your company; 7 put fire in them and put incense in them before the Lord tomorrow, and it shall be that the man whom the Lord chooses is the holy one. You take too much upon yourselves, you sons of Levi!” 8 Then Moses said to Korah, “Hear now, you sons of Levi: 9 Is it a small thing to you that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to Himself, to do the work of the tabernacle of the Lord, and to stand before the congregation to serve them; 10 and that He has brought you near to Himself, you and all your brethren, the sons of Levi, with you? And are you seeking the priesthood also? 11 Therefore you and all your company are gathered together against the Lord. And what is Aaron that you complain against him?” 12 And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, but they said, “We will not come up! 13 Is it a small thing that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, that you should keep acting like a prince over us? 14 Moreover you have not brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, nor given us inheritance of fields and vineyards. Will you put out the eyes of these men? We will not come up!” 15 Then Moses was very angry, and said to the Lord, “Do not respect their offering. I have not taken one donkey from them, nor have I hurt one of them.” 16 And Moses said to Korah, “Tomorrow, you and all your company be present before the Lord—you and they, as well as Aaron. 17 Let each take his censer and put incense in it, and each of you bring his censer before the Lord, two hundred and fifty censers; both you and Aaron, each with his censer.” 18 So every man took his censer, put fire in it, laid incense on it, and stood at the door of the tabernacle of meeting with Moses and Aaron. 19 And Korah gathered all the congregation against them at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. Then the glory of the Lord appeared to all the congregation. 20 And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 21 “Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.” 22 Then they fell on their faces, and said, “O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and You be angry with all the congregation?” 23 So the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Speak to the congregation, saying, ‘Get away from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.’ ” 25 Then Moses rose and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him. 26 And he spoke to the congregation, saying, “Depart now from the tents of these wicked men! Touch nothing of theirs, lest you be consumed in all their sins.” 27 So they got away from around the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram; and Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the door of their tents, with their wives, their sons, and their little children. 28 And Moses said: “By this you shall know that the Lord has sent me to do all these works, for I have not done them of my own will. 29 If these men die naturally like all men, or if they are visited by the common fate of all men, then the Lord has not sent me. 30 But if the Lord creates a new thing, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into the pit, then you will understand that these men have rejected the Lord.” 31 Now it came to pass, as he finished speaking all these words, that the ground split apart under them, 32 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the men with Korah, with all their goods. 33 So they and all those with them went down alive into the pit; the earth closed over them, and they perished from among the assembly. 34 Then all Israel who were around them fled at their cry, for they said, “Lest the earth swallow us up also! 35 And a fire came out from the Lord and consumed the two hundred and fifty men who were offering incense. 36 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 37 “Tell Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, to pick up the censers out of the blaze, for they are holy, and scatter the fire some distance away. 38 The censers of these men who sinned against their own souls, let them be made into hammered plates as a covering for the altar. Because they presented them before the Lord, therefore they are holy; and they shall be a sign to the children of Israel.” 39 So Eleazar the priest took the bronze censers, which those who were burned up had presented, and they were hammered out as a covering on the altar, 40 to be a memorial to the children of Israel that no outsider, who is not a descendant of Aaron, should come near to offer incense before the Lord, that he might not become like Korah and his companions, just as the Lord had said to him through Moses.

16:1–2 Notably, these men already held positions of great honor when they decided to make a play for further power. This story is a reminder that sin doesn’t play favorites; it infects all.

16:3 Korah and his followers claimed to be as holy as Moses and Aaron. One has to wonder if they had been paying any attention at all. It is mind-blowing that they thought they could pull off a successful rebellion against Moses given what had befallen Miriam and all God had done through Moses to this point. Not one of these previous incidents or God’s responses, however, penetrated their hard hearts. Their accusation even included Aaron, the high priest, suggesting that they were challenging both the religious and governmental leadership of God’s kingdom structure.

16:4–7 Moses knew that, ultimately, Korah and crew were not sinning against him but against the Lord. So he fell facedown in worship and prayer before God (16:4). He must have been there long enough to get instructions from God for the event that would take place the next day at the entrance to the tabernacle.

16:8–11 Korah wasn’t content to take care of the tabernacle as a Levite. He wanted to usurp the role of a priest, even though God had given that ministry to Aaron and his family alone among the descendants of Levi (16:9–10). God had brought [Korah] near (16:10) by sanctifying him for ministry, but that wasn’t good enough for him. Thus, Korah and his friends decided to conspire against the LORD (16:11).

16:12–14 The claim made by Dathan and Abiram was outrageous. In their minds, Egypt—the land in which they had been enslaved—was a land flowing with milk and honey (16:13). So not only had Moses yanked them out of their “paradise” in Egypt, but he had also failed to give them the land that had been promised. They felt Moses had so deceived the people that the only way he could hide his true intention to kill everyone in the wilderness was to gouge out the eyes of the rebels who knew the real truth (16:13–14). They were delusional.

16:15 Everything Dathan and Abiram said was a lie; the opposite, in fact, was true: Moses had cared for and interceded for Israel. (See the note on 16:12–14.)

16:19 Korah’s prominence within the camp is on display here because he was able to assemble the whole community against Moses and Aaron. Yet his popularity did not mean his heart was right or that he was worth following.

16:31–40 What followed was a terrifying scene of judgment. As Moses predicted and through the supernatural work of God, the earth consumed all Korah’s people (16:32).

16:41 The community had witnessed the truth for themselves. Their outrageous claim testifies that humans can be tenacious in their willingness to deny the truth and believe a lie—no matter how obviously the facts are presented.

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