Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Philippians Week 27-The Shining Examples of Salvation

September 17, 2014

Introduction
-“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:1-13 ESV)

Philippians 2:14-15

Context
-In verses 12-13, Paul declared that Christians should earnestly and eagerly work out their salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God and God alone who causes them to thirst for righteousness for the sake of His Name, in order that His sovereign power alone would cause them to work for His good pleasure.
-As Christians, our sole hope and source of joy in our walk with the Lord as we seek His ways is solely in His sovereign and sanctifying power to conform us to the image of His ways. It is solely by the grace of God that we are saved in justification, are being saved in sanctification, and will be saved in glorification.

Verse 14
Do all things without grumbling or disputing,

1. The Grumbling against God
-“Do all things” refers to the things which entail working out our salvation with fear and trembling.
-Working out our salvation with fear and trembling involves hearing God speak through His Word and obeying it. (Psalm 119:60; Joshua 22:5; 1 John 3:24)
-Working out our salvation with fear and trembling means being courageous in proclaiming Christ. (Philippians 1:14; Ephesians 6:19; Acts 4:29)
-Working out our salvation with fear and trembling means partnering with other believers in Gospel ministry. (Philippians 1:7; 2 Timothy 1:8; 2 Timothy 1:16)
-Working out our salvation with fear and trembling means suffering affliction for the sake of Christ’s Name. (Philippians 1:29-30; 2 Timothy 2:3; 2 Timothy 2:8-9)
-Working out our salvation with fear and trembling means placing God above all else in our lives. (Philippians 1:21; Philippians 3:8; Galatians 6:14)
-“Grumbling” (γογγυσμῶν) is the idea of muttering, mumbling, and begrudgingly deriding something or someone. It is the Greek word gong-goos-mos'.
-Grumbling in this context produces disagreement and division. (John 6:61; John 7:12; James 5:9)
-In contrast to a spirit of grumbling, Paul told the Philippians that he had learned contentment. (Philippians 4:12)
-Grumbling comes from looking at our present circumstances (Numbers 14:2) instead of looking at Christ. (Psalm 27:7-8; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
-Grumbling comes from elevating our desires (2 Timothy 4:10; 1 John 2:17) above our desire for God. (Psalm 16:2; Psalm 17:15)
-Grumbling comes from failing to remember who the Lord is (Philippians 2:9-11; Psalm 147:5) and what He has done. (Psalm 136:10-12; 2 Timothy 1:8-11)
-Grumbling comes from failing to recognize that God is sovereignly and providentially working all things to the counsel of His will for His good pleasure. (1 Corinthians 1:9; Psalm 92:5; Revelation 15:3)
2. The Disputing Opposing God
-“Disputing” (διαλογισμῶν) refers to doubtful and deliberate questioning of what is true.
-Disputing means to first base our thoughts on the voice of our opinions rather than obeying the voice of God. (Mark 7:21-22; Luke 24:38; Romans 14:1)
-Paul had to correct those who were prone to vain disputations. (Philippians 4:2; Titus 3:9; 2 Timothy 2:23)
-Paul continually instructed the Philippians and other believers to avoid disputing in order to be unified in mind, purpose, and spirit. (Philippians 2:1-2; Romans 12:16; 1 Corinthians 1:10)
-Disputing begins by trusting one’s own wisdom instead of the wisdom from God. (Proverbs 3:7; Isaiah 5:21)
-Disputing comes from not growing in love in all knowledge and discernment (James 4:1-3), as Paul prayed would occur for the Philippians. (Philippians 1:9-11)
-Disputing comes from seeking one’s own interests rather than the interests of Christ. (2 Timothy 3:2; Philippians 2:21)
-Disputing comes from failing to recognize our great salvation. (Philippians 2:8; Hebrews 2:1-4)
-Disputing fails to recognize who the Lord is, since doubts of God’s nature produce dissension among men. (Mark 2:7-8)
-Disputing breaks partnership apart, which Paul commended the Philippians for doing when partnering with him. (Amos 3:3)
-Jesus frequently dwelt with those who disputed about Him and against Him. (Luke 5:21-24; Luke 6:7-8)


Verse 15
that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
1. The Righteous through God
-“You may be” (γένησθε) means to be transformed from one state into another. Since it is a hina clause in the Greek, it denotes a certain result, not a proximate probability.
-Being transformed is not a possibility for genuine believers, but a genuine certainty. (2 Timothy 4:18; Hebrews 10:14)
-The purpose of abstaining from grumbling and disputing is so that we may be transformed by God’s grace. (Romans 13:13-14; Galatians 3:27; Ephesians 4:24-25)
-God has already transformed us by His saving grace through His Spirit. (Psalm 100:3; Colossians 2:13; Ephesians 2:5)
-God will continuously transform us as we continue our walk with Christ throughout our lives. (2 Corinthians 4:16; Colossians 3:9-11)
-“Blameless” (ἄμεμπτοι) means to be lacking in no good thing and to be free from defects and shortcomings.
-Christ established the New Covenant so that it might be a blameless covenant with blameless people of God. (Hebrews 7:11; Hebrews 8:7-8; Matthew 26:28)
-As Paul had done with the Philippians, Scripture declares that the righteous before God keep the commandments of God. (Luke 1:5-6)
-We are to grow in being blameless as the Lord makes us blameless. (1 Samuel 2:9; Proverbs 11:20; 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13)
-To be blameless means to heed the Word of God and to follow it. (Psalm 119:1; Psalm 119:80)
-To be blameless keeps us from reproach in our testimony, as the apostle Paul was free from reproach in his testimony in Roman imprisonment. (Philippians 1:12-13; 1 Peter 2:12; 1 Peter 3:15-16)
-“Innocent” (ἀκέραιοι) means to be free from deception and evil influences. Akeraios was used to refer to wine that was pure, or metals that were free from impurities. It means to be separate from a mixture of tainted influences.
-We are made innocent by being acquitted of sin by Christ’s blood. (Psalm 32:2; Romans 4:5-8)
-Both Jesus and Paul called believers to be innocent of evil by remaining pure from evil. (Matthew 10:16; Romans 16:19)
-We are to be innocent by having upright conduct. (Proverbs 21:8; 1 Timothy 4:12; Hebrews 13:18)
-We must seek the Lord and His Word as we seek be practically innocent in our lives. (Psalm 51:10; Psalm 119:9)
2. The Children of God
-“Children of God” refers to the position of the Philippians and all believers.
-We become God’s children by being adopted into his family. (John 1:11-12; Galatians 4:5-7;
-Because we are God’s children, we are no longer strangers and aliens to His Kingdom. (Ephesians 2:19; Hebrews 12:22)
-Because we are God’s children, we will see Him in His glory when He returns to bring us home. (Philippians 3:20; 1 John 3:2)
-Because we are God’s children, we need not have any fear, for we cry out to the Lord as our heavenly Father. (Romans 8:27; 2 Timothy 1:7)
-Because we are God’s children, we are assured that He will protect us from evil. (Psalm 121:7-8; 2 Thessalonians 3:3)
-“Without blemish” (ἄμωμα) means to be without spot or fault. It refers to being cleansed from all impurities.
- To be without blemish comes from having our sins removed from us. (Psalm 32:5; Psalm 103:11-13; Isaiah 43:25)
-The apostle Paul declared that the Philippians were not to grumble or dispute so as to be without blemish.
-Just as the Philippians were to do, so must we pursue purity, for Christ has set us free from sin and death. (Titus 2:10-14; Hebrews 9:14)
-Christ’s purpose is to present His Church as a blameless Bride, made possible through His power. (Ephesians 1:4; Ephesians 5:27; Colossians 1:22)
-To be without blemish means to be perfected and to be holy before the Lord. (Leviticus 22:21; Revelation 14:5)
-Pursuing holiness brings us great joy as we make Christ infinite gain in our lives. (Matthew 25:21; Acts 2:28)
3. The Rebellion against God
-“Crooked” (σκολιᾶς) is the Greek skolias, whence we derive scoliosis. Skolias referred to being bent beyond use. In context, it means to be morally perverse.
-When men look to their own interests, they become crooked in their thinking. (Ephesians 4:17-18; Proverbs 11:20)
-When men do not recognize the Lordship of Christ, they become crooked in their living. (Proverbs 2:13-15; Proverbs 10:23; Proverbs 15:21)
-Individuals who are crooked fall far short of God’s perfect standards. (Job 9:20; Proverbs 3:32; Proverbs 11:20)
-Individuals who are crooked do not act blamelessly before the Lord. (Deuteronomy 32:4-5)
-All those who walk in crooked ways will be indicted in their sin. (Proverbs 10:9)
-All crooked individuals will fall into a pit of destruction. (Job 4:8; Proverbs 28:28; Psalm 141:10)
-“Twisted” (διεστραμμένης) means to corruptly oppose the right manner of living by turning aside from the right path and entering the winding path of destruction.
-To be twisted is to reject Christ as Lord and Savior. (Matthew 17:17; Luke 10:16; Hebrews 12:25)
-To be twisted is to willingly pervert righteousness. (Exodus 23:8; Deuteronomy 16:19; Acts 13:10)
-To be twisted means to willingly distort truth. (Psalm 56:4-5; Acts 20:30; 2 Peter 3:16)
-Destruction befalls those who willingly are twisted in their ways. (Proverbs 10:10)
-“Generation” (γενεᾶς) refers to the entire race of men living in the present moment.
-In all generations of men are those who joyfully submit to His Lordship (Psalm 14:5; Psalm 112:2) and those who do not (Judges 2:10).
-In the days of Jesus, He indicted the generation of His day for being crooked and perverse. (Matthew 12:39; Matthew 16:4; Luke 11:29)
-God deals righteously with all generations of men (Deuteronomy 5:9-10; Deuteronomy 7:9-10), just as Paul had told the Philippians (Philippians 1:28), for He reigns forever throughout all generations. (Lamentations 5:19; Psalm 102:12)
4. The Lights from God
-“Shine” (φαίνεσθε) means to brightly send forth light. The NIV states, “…shine as stars in the sky.” This is a present indicative, not an imperative. “Shine” specifies what we do, and “lights” specifies who we are.
-The idea of God giving light to His people is the idea of God giving blessing and deliverance to His people. (Psalm 84:11; Psalm 118:27; Isaiah 60:20)
-Jesus Christ is the Light of the world. (Psalm 27:1; John 8:12)
-We, being sons of God, have become children of light. (John 12:36; John 12:46)
-Just as Paul told the Philippians that they were the light of the world, so did Jesus tell believers that they were lights in the world. (Matthew 5:14-16)
-We walk in the light of the Lord (Isaiah 2:5; 1 John 1:7) for God is the Light of the world. (Psalm 139:12; Daniel 2:22; James 1:17; 1 John 1:5)
-The Lord is the One who keeps us shining brightly in the world. (Psalm 18:28)
-Shining light will accompany the return of the Light of the world (Matthew 23:27) and we will reign forever with Him as our Light. (Revelation 21:23; Revelation 22:5)
-“World” (κόσμῳ) refers in context to the created universe.
-The whole earth will be full of the glory of our God and Savior Jesus Christ our Lord. (Isaiah 6:1-3; Psalm 72:19; Isaiah 40:5)
-As God, Christ shined as light in the past to protect and lead His people (Exodus 13:21-22; Exodus 24:16-18), and He will do so again when He comes to fully establish His reign. (Zechariah 2:3-5)
-As we await our coming King, we shine as His lights in a crooked and perverse generation in the world as we work out our salvation with fear and trembling, made possibly solely through Him graciously and powerfully working in us to will and to work according to His good pleasure.

Conclusion

-“But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.” (1 Timothy 6:11-16 ESV)


Recordings
-Download
-Streaming

Handout
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2MJbdnrDPMDLUJ6eFhHcFAtdl9RZTFCMXozVng4eHJZdE9j/edit?usp=sharing

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Philippians Week 26-The Sovereign Responsibility of Salvation

September 3, 2014
Introduction
-“By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:8-11 ESV)

Philippians 2:12-13

Context

-In Philippians 1:19-20, Paul expressed his gratefulness for the prayers of the Philippians in the midst of his Roman imprisonment. He did not yet know if he would live or die, but he fully recognized that Christ was infinite gain whether in life or death. He expressed his hopefulness in returning to see the Philippians face-to-face, and gave his instructions as to their conduct during his uncertain absence. (Philippians 1:19-30)
-Paul used the example of Christ’s humility and obedience both as the suffering Slave of Yahweh and the Lord, God, Savior, and King over all as the example that the Philippians were to look to as they strove to consider others better than themselves and consider others’ interests before their own. (Philippians 2:1-11)

Verse 12
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,

1. The Beloved of Paul

-“Therefore” (Ὥστε) introduces Paul’s application for the Philippians from Philippians 2:5-11.
-Paul declared that Christ, being fully God and an equal member in the Trinity, stepped down from His throne in an astonishing act of humility (Philippians 2:5-6), by taking on the nature of a slave by becoming the God-Man. (Philippians 2:7) His obedience and humility led to a most humiliating death (Philippians 2:9). Christ is now exalted by God as the Lord, God, Savior, and King over all creation for all time and eternity. (Philippians 2:9-11)
-“My beloved” (ἀγαπητοί μου) refers to God’s divine love for His children, which is then shared among His children for each other.
-God so loves us that He sent His son to die for us to pay the penalty of our sin. (John 3:16; Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 John 4:16)
-The Philippians had become the beloved of Paul because they had been saved by God’s grace (Philippians 1:1-2), they had faithfully partnered with him in Gospel ministry (Philippians 1:5), they were growing in the grace and knowledge of the truth (Philippians 1:6), they were partakers of the grace of God together (Philippians 1:7), they were deeply loved by Paul with the love of Christ (Philippians 1:8), they were being filled with the righteousness of Christ. (Philippians 1:11), they were faithfully praying for him (Philippians 1:19).
-Out of his love for them, Paul expressed his deep desire to minister with them face-to-face. (Philippians 1:25-26)
-Out of his love for them, Paul issued the call to gospel worthiness (Philippians 1:17), the call to gospel courage (Philippians 1:28), the call to gospel suffering (Philippians 1:29-30), the call to gospel unity (Philippians 2:1-2), the call to gospel humility (Philippians 2:3), and the call to gospel service. (Philippians 2:4)
2. The Persistence of Obedience
-“You have always obeyed” (πάντοτε ὑπηκούσατε) means “to actively listen and act upon the commanding voice”, and Paul describes that they have “always” done this.
-The Philippians had always obeyed Paul’s commands and the Word of God in the past.
-In the life of Moses, he continually called the Israelites to hear the commands of the Lord through the Spirit of God. (Deuteronomy 1:3; Deuteronomy 4:1; Deuteronomy 6:4-6)
-God continuously called all men to hear His Word and to obey it through His prophets. (Isaiah 1:10; Isaiah 28:14; Ezekiel 13:2)
-In Scripture, the writers continuously heralded the words of God to call others to obey it. (Jeremiah 11:6; James 1:22; Matthew 7:24)
-In order to fully believe in the Lordship of Christ, we must obey what the Lord commands, which Paul here calls the Philippians to do. (Luke 6:46)          
-Throughout Scripture, icons of the faith continuously obeyed the Lord as His redeemed people. (1 Kings 15:4-5; 2 Kings 18:5-8; Luke 1:5-6)
-No greater example of obedience can be found than Jesus Christ, for His perfect obedience fully fulfilled the requirements of the Law. (John 10:18; John 12:49; John 14:30-31)
-His obedience and His righteousness imputed to us makes it possible for us to obey Him as a fruit of our salvation that He supplies. (1 Corinthians 1:30-31; Philippians 1:9-11)
3. The Call to Action
-“So now” is a conjunction/adverb combination that Paul used to declare that what he was about to call the Philippians to do was to be done as soon as they heard it.
-Throughout Scripture, men called the people of God to hear and follow the Word of the Lord without delay. (Joshua 24:15; 1 Kings 18:21)
-The commands of God are to be heard and to be acted upon as soon as the audience hears it. (Exodus 19:5; Psalm 16:7-8)
-Christians are not to delay in obeying the Word of the Lord and following Christ. (Psalm 119:59-60; Luke 9:59-62)
-“Not only in my presence but much more in my absence” specifies that Paul called the Philippians to obey Christ to a greater degree than when they had obeyed Christ when Paul had been physically with them.
-Paul instructed the Philippians to obey even to a greater degree than they had before, and we are to grow in Christ to a greater degree than we previously have. (Ephesians 4:15-16; 2 Peter 3:18)
-Paul instructed the Philippians to obey regardless of whether he was present with them, just as we are to follow Christ whether or not He is visibly with us. (John 20:29; 1 Peter 1:7-9)
-Scripture calls us to action as we await a greater return than the Philippians waited for in waiting for Paul’s return. (Luke 12:35-40)
4. The Work of Salvation
-“Work out” (κατεργάζεσθε) is a present imperative meaning to work by expending great effort in bringing something to a definitive point of completion. It was used by the Romans to refer to the mining for precious metals or working a field to yield crops.
-Paul called the Philippians to earnestly work out their salvation, just as Scripture instructs Christians to strive after personal holiness. (; 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 2:22)
-Paul commended those Christians who earnestly sought to follow the Lord Jesus Christ in their manner of living. (Romans 2:7; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-3)
-Working out our salvation brings a peace and a security we would not otherwise have had if we walked in our own paths. (Psalm 16:11; Matthew 11:29)
-Our labor in the Lord will never be in vain when we work out our salvation in fear and trembling. (1 Corinthians 15:58)
-Our labor in the Lord is to be done with the definitive aim of making Him infinite gain in our lives. (Psalm 73:23-28; Psalm 119:57; Lamentations 3:24; Romans 13:14)
-“Salvation” refers to the redeeming grace of God in rescuing men and women from their sins.
-To be saved is to believe that Christ is the Son of God (John 20:31) and the Savior of sins (John 8:24) and Lord of all. (Romans 10:9)
-To be saved means to be purified of all our uncleanness and guilt. (Hebrews 10:14)
-To be saved means to be set free from the penalty of sin through justification (Romans 8:1-2) the power of sin through sanctification (2 Corinthians 3:18) and the presence of sin in glorification (1 John 3:2).
-“Fear” (φόβου) is the Greek “phobos”, and it means a terror or alarm or a great reverential respect and awe.
-Fear of the Lord is the safeguard to working out our salvation properly. (Psalm 19:9; Psalm 33:8)
-Fear of grieving our Savior should keep us actively working against sin in our lives. (Romans 8:13; 1 Corinthians 9:26-27)
-We should put no trust in our own ability to keep ourselves secure from sin. (1 Corinthians 10:11-13; Romans 11:20)
-We should have a great, awe-inspiring view of Christ in our lives in order to work out our salvation rightly. (Psalm 97:9; Colossians 1:18; Revelation 1:4-6)
-“Trembling” (τρόμου) refers to an expression of absolute recognition of one’s finitude and entire lack of power in the face of someone or something.
-We should rightly recognize that we are utterly powerless to merit for ourselves commendation from God, for our commendation comes solely from His Son. (Proverbs 20:9; Psalm 143:2; Ephesians 1:7)
-We should rightly recognize that we are utterly lacking in natural ability towards holiness in ourselves. (Isaiah 64:4-6; Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:23)
-We should rightly recognize that God is mighty in power throughout eternity. (Psalm 97:1-4; Psalm 147:5)
-We should rightly recognize that God is transcendent in majesty and glory. (Psalm 96:9; Psalm 104:31-32)
-We should be those who tremble at His Word. (Ezra 9:4; Isaiah 66:2)

Verse 13
for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

1. The Sovereign of Sanctification

-“For it is God” specifies that God and God alone is the One who makes working out our salvation with fear and trembling possible. Paul left the Philippians no room for doubt as to who the agent was in the process of them working out their salvation with fear and trembling.
-God is the only One that we praise for working all things according to His purposes. (Psalm 98:1; Isaiah 25:1)
-God is the only One that we look to as the Holy One. (Isaiah 30:15; Mark 1:24; John 6:69)
-God is the only One that we look to as the omnipotent King of the universe. (Psalm 22:28; Psalm 47:7-8; Jeremiah 10:7)
-God is the only One that we look to as our all-powerful Lord. (Jeremiah 32:217: Jeremiah 32:27)
-God is the only One who is mighty in working wonders for His glory. (Psalm 40:5; Psalm 72:18; Psalm 77:14)
-“Who works in you” (ἐνεργῶν) is energon, whereby the word “energy” is derived. It refers to actively and presently and continuously working and infusing with energy in order to operate successfully.
-God is the divine orchestrator of all that ever occurs in human history. (Isaiah 41:4; Isaiah 48:3)
-God’s sovereign will stands immovably firm forever, for what He has purposed He will accomplish. (Isaiah 14:24; Isaiah 46:10)
-God’s sovereign will cannot and will not be overturned by the actions of man. (Proverbs 19:21; Acts 5:39)
-God—not ourselves—is the One who causes our sanctification to be fruitful and certain. (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)
2. The Giver of Determination
-“Both to will” means to resolutely purpose and to be determined towards a particular course of action.
-Desire, or the will, influences what the course of action undertaken will be. (Exodus 25:2; 1 Chronicles 29:9; 2 Corinthians 9:7)
-The unbelieving will seeks to do evil and not to do that which is truly good. (1 Corinthians 2:14)
-It is necessary to be made new by the supernatural power of God in order to desire to do His will. (1 Corinthians 2:12)
-In the Old Testament, the Lord frequently promised that He would give the nation of Israel a new heart and a new spirit in order to be redeemed and walk in His ways. (Ezekiel 11:19-20; Ezekiel 36:24-27)
-To be given a new spirit by God means to be born of the Spirit of God. (John 3:5-8; Hebrews 10:16)
-Through Christ’s salvation, God now grants us the will to seek Him by His grace. (Ephesians 4:7; Titus 3:5-7)
-God produces the resolute desires in us to seek after Him. (Psalm 105:4; Psalm 145:19; Jeremiah 29:13)
-God produces the resolute desires in us to seek Him in prayer. (John 14:13-14; Ephesians 6:18; 1 John 5:14-15)
-God produces the resolute desires in us to obey His word. (Psalm 119:77; Psalm 119:88)
-God produces the resolute desires in us to strive after obedience. (Psalm 40:8; Psalm 119:133)
3. The Author of Operation -“To work” (ἐνεργεῖν) is in the present infinitive active tense, meaning that it is a continuous operation that constantly goes on.
-God has decreed that He will purchase a people for His own possession that will be sanctified through the sacrifice of His Son. (1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 5:9-10)
-God’s Spirit works within us to renew us and conform us into the image of God the Son. (Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18)
-The Holy Spirit is the One is the sole source of Divine power that energizes us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. (1 Corinthians 12:6; Galatians 3:2-3)
-God is the One who causes us to work in His kingdom solely by His empowering grace. (1 Corinthians 3:8-9; 2 Timothy 2:21)
-God is the One who causes us to run the race with perseverance in order to labor for Him. (Matthew 24:12-13; Luke 21:19; 1 Corinthians 1:8-9)
-God is the One who causes us to be fully supplied with all we need for godliness. (1 Thessalonians 2:10-13; 2 Peter 1:3)
-The works of God include repenting of sin when being convicted by the Spirit (Hosea 6:1), studying the Word (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 119:97), making supplication in prayer (Isaiah 55:6), ministering to the body of Christ (John 21:15), defending the faith (Jude 1:3), and preaching the Gospel to the lost. (Mark 16:15)
-Doing the works of God result in the glory of Christ, and God being the one who works in us to work for Him brings Him all the glory. (Hebrews 13:20-21)
4. The Master of Redemption
-“Good pleasure” (εὐδοκίας) refers to a delighted satisfaction resplendent in happiness.
-God’s good pleasure is the reason all things were created and exist. (Revelation 4:11; Revelation 14:7)
-God’s good pleasure is both the reason and the result of Paul’s teaching in Philippians 2:12-13.
-God’s good pleasure results in righteousness triumphing over evil. (Psalm 20:7-8; Psalm 60:11-12; 1 Corinthians 15:57)
-God’s good pleasure is what caused Him to bring us into His Son’s Kingdom. (Luke 12:32; Colossians 1:13; 1 Peter 1:10-11)
-God’s good pleasure caused Him to extend grace towards us in our salvation. (Ephesians 1:6; Ephesians 1:11; 2 Timothy 1:9)
-God’s good pleasure is His providential hand working all things for our good. (Romans 8:28)
-God’s good pleasure is His pursuit of His glory. (Psalm 46:10; Isaiah 49:3; John 12:28)
-As He did and will do with the nation of Israel, God’s good pleasure is that He saved us to be a holy nation for Himself in order to display His grace to magnify His glory out of His love for us. (Isaiah 29:22-23; Isaiah 43:1-7)

Conclusion
-“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:4-10 ESV)


Recordings
-Download
-Streaming

Handout
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2MJbdnrDPMDcVlRNUlwb3Z6WkViNzdqVExyUE92Q0x0Ql9r/edit?usp=sharing

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Jesus-The Great I AM

August 23, 2014

Introduction
-“But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” He said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.” Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations. Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, “I have observed you and what has been done to you in Egypt, and I promise that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey.”’ (Exodus 3:11-17 ESV)
-“For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me.” (John 5:46 ESV)


I AM…The Living Bread

“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”(John 6:35)
- In John 6:1-4, Jesus went to the region of Tiberias on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee in order to gain repose after learning of the slaughter of His cousin John. (Matthew 14:10-13) However, multitudes assembled, leading to His sermon to the crowd of 5,000 men, plus women and children. (Mark 6:34)
-Jesus miraculously fed the crowd of 5,000 men, plus women and children, by using five loaves of bread and two fish. (John 6:5-13)
-After crossing the Sea of Galilee overnight and reaching Capernaum, the crowd followed Him the next morning. (John 6:22-24)
-The crowd desired to see a greater miracle in order to validate their previous idea that He was the prophet coming into the world in the line of Moses, but Jesus instead revealed their futile thinking and presented the Gospel to them. (John 6:26-29)
-In the time of Moses, the Lord miraculously provided them with manna from Heaven while they were in the wilderness. (Exodus 16:14-15; Psalm 78:23-24)
-Jesus declared that He is the true Bread from Heaven, being the Life-giver to mankind. (John 6:32-34)
-In John 6:35, Jesus declared Himself to be the great I AM of the Old Testament, and the only source of eternal life, being the fulfillment of the foreshadowing manna of the Old Testament. He is the giver of eternal life (John 17:3) and the source of all spiritual nourishment and strength throughout our lives. (John 7:37-38)


I AM…The Light of the World

“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”” (John 8:12)
-During the Feast of Tabernacles established by the Lord in Exodus 23:16, Jesus frequently dealt with confrontations from the Pharisees amidst the growing divided public opinion regarding Him. (John 7:10-13) The Pharisees sought to arrest Him, with the people knowing that His life was in danger, but He remained free from capture. (John 7:25-31)
-Amidst the political unrest regarding His teaching, Jesus proclaimed that He was the Lord of the Old Testament Scriptures that was the source of “living water” prophesied to come about by the appearance of the Messiah. (John 7:37-38; John 4:10-11; Zechariah 13:1)
-The Pharisees and the people were divided as to His identity, so they confronted Him with a question regarding whether or not He could truly be a prophet of God. (John 7:
-Jesus declared by responding that He is the I AM—the Light of the world, as foretold and foreshadowed in Scripture (Exodus 13:21-22; Psalm 27:1; Psalm 119:105) and verified by God the Father. (John 8:13-19)
-The Lord is the giver of light to His people (Isaiah 60:19-22; Revelation 21:23-24), for He is the only One they are to follow.


I AM…The Divine Savior

“I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.” (John 8:24)
-Jesus, having declared Himself to be the light of the world, repeated His message that He would eventually depart, which caused some to think He would commit suicide. (John 8:21-22)
-Jesus declared that He is not from this world (John 8:23), just as the Lord had said that He is not of this world in the Old Testament. (2 Corinthians 6:18; Psalm 89:6; Psalm 113:4-6)
-Jesus then declared that unless people believe that He is the I AM, they will die in their sins. (John 8:24-26)
-In the Old Testament, the Lord declared Himself to be the great I AM, who is the only Savior of man. (Isaiah 44:6; Isaiah 45:21; Isaiah 45:5)
-In the New Testament, Christ is presented as the only Savior of man. (Acts 4:12; Acts 10:43)


I AM…The Door

“I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.” (John 10:9)
-In John 9, Jesus encountered a man blind from birth. When Jesus healed this blind man, this sparked a controversy between the Pharisees, Jesus, the family of the blind man, and the blind man. The Pharisees were divided as to who Jesus was (John 9:16), the blind man’s family was afraid of who Jesus might be (John 9:22), but the blind man both saw and believed that Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah. (John 9:35-38)
-The Pharisees indignantly asked if they were spiritually blind, and Jesus soundly affirmed their guilt. (John 10:40-41)
-In the context of pasturing sheep, which was an ancient, integral identify of the Israelites from the very days of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Jesus used the analogy of the walled-in pastures that were guarded by a hireling or a shepherd that stood entrance at the gate of the pasture. (John 10:1-6)
-Jesus declared that He was the only entrance to true pasture and the only way for the sheep to enter in, as told in Scripture. (Psalm 118:19-21)
-Jesus is the only means of salvation, for He alone is Lord of all. (Exodus 15:2; Psalm 28:8; Psalm 118:14)


I AM…The Good Shepherd

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)
-David served as the foreshadowing shepherd of Israel that pointed the way to the Shepherd who was to come. (2 Samuel 5:1-3)
-Frequently, the Lord charged the leaders of Israel with rank failure for not shepherding the people of Israel. (1 Kings 22:17; Zechariah 11:17)
-In Scripture, Yahweh was the true shepherd of His people (Genesis 49:24; Psalm 23:1; Psalm 78:52; Psalm 80:1-2), and He now incarnate declares to the people of Israel that He is their shepherd.
-It was prophesied in Scripture that the Great Shepherd would search for His Sheep (Jeremiah 31:10; Ezekiel 34:11), which Jesus now does in John 10:14-18.


I AM…The Resurrection and the Life

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)
-In the town of Bethany two miles from Jerusalem, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus lived. Later, Mary would anoint the feet of Jesus as He reclined in the house of Lazarus. (John 12:1-8)
-Mary and Martha contacted Jesus, telling Him that Lazarus lay near death. (John 11:2-4)
-Earlier, the Jews had endeavored to stone Jesus to death for His declaration that He is God. (John 10:22-33) The disciples questioned Jesus as to His wisdom in travelling back to Judea, for they thought He and they would be stoned to death. (John 11:8-16)
-Upon arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus was in the tomb four days. Yet nevertheless, Martha had faith that Jesus had power from God to do whatever He wished. (John 11:20-22)
-Scripture foretold that there would be resurrection of the dead at the last day, brought about by the Lord. (Isaiah 26:19-21; Ezekiel 37:12-14)
-Jesus declared that He is Lord of death and life, for in Him is the resurrection and the life. (John 11:23-28) Hence, He simply spoke and by the power of His word, Lazarus rose from the dead. (John 11:40-44)
-Because Jesus is the I AM of the resurrection and the life, we also will be raised up on the last day. (1 Thessalonians 4:14-18)


I AM…The Way, the Truth, and the Life

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
-Before the Passover and His soon death, Jesus gathered His disciples together to celebrate the Passover. On the first day of the feast, He instructed His disciples to prepare an upper room. (Matthew 26:17) While there, they celebrated the Last Supper together, where Jesus declared that the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34) had been inaugurated by His crucifixion. (Matthew 26:26-32)
-After the Passover supper ended, Jesus washed His disciples’ feet (John 13:12-15), warned them that one of the Twelve would betray Him (John 13:26-27), commanded His disciples to love one another (John 13:34-35), and foretold Peter’s denial. (John 13:36-38)
-When speaking of His imminent departure, Thomas asked Him how they could find the way to God. Jesus declared that He is the great I AM of the way, the truth, and the life, as Scripture foretold. (Isaiah 45:9; Jonah 2:9)
-Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation, having appeared to the world as prophesied in the Old Testament. (Isaiah 30:21-22)
-Jesus Christ is the only source of all truth, for He is truth incarnate. (Colossians 2:1-3)
-Jesus Christ is the only source of eternal life, for in Him is everlasting life. (John 17:2; 1 John 5:11)


I AM…The Vine

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
-After His declaration of being the way, the truth, and the life, Jesus promised the future anointing of the Holy Spirit after His departure. (John 14:25-27)
-Jesus declared that He would leave them with His peace, which would enable them to trust in him and be courageous for Him. (John 14:27-29)
-Jesus proclaimed that He is the I AM, being the true vine in which we are all branches. In order to be part of the vine, the Father must graft them into the vine, and the branches must bear fruit. (John 15:1-5)
-In the Old Testament, the Lord presented Himself as the vinedresser of the vineyard of Israel. (Isaiah 5:1-7) However, those who were in the vineyard of God’s people will not be like the wild grapes of the old vine.
-As Christians, we glorify God by bearing fruit in Jesus Christ, so that we may know His love and be fully joyful in Him. (John 15:8-11)


I AM…Who I AM

“Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:58)
-In John 8:34, Jesus declared that men are by nature slaves to sin, but that He alone is the one with divine power to free captives from the bonds of sin and death, for the truth will set them free. (John 8:34-38)
-The Jews countered Him by declaring that they were true children of Abraham, and accused Him of being a child conceived by scandal. (John 8:39-41)
-Jesus responded by declaring that He indeed came from God, and that by rejecting Him, they rejected God. He charged them with being children of the devil, for all true children of Abraham worship Him as their Savior and God. (John 8:42-46)
-The Jews responded by accusing Him of being demon-possessed, and Jesus in turn responded by stating that those who believed in Him will never perish. The Jews repeated the charge of demon-possession, for they rightly understood Him to be stating that He was alive before the time of Abraham. (John 8:48-57)
-Jesus declared that He is the I AM of all eternity. (John 8:58-59)
-When walking on water, Jesus quelled the fear of the disciples by stating, “I Am; be not afraid.” (John 6:16-21)
-Jesus also declared Himself in the face of His arrest in John 18:5 to be the I AM.

Conclusion
-“To you it was shown, that you might know that the LORD is God; there is no other besides him.” (Deuteronomy 4:35)
-“But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31) 
-“Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11) 

Handout
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pcKQ0pAzcQXNGMxxWsRjD2ajN08QQk-ldfvAp60Cm7s/edit

Recordings
-Download
-Streaming

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Eating, Error, and Edification-The Mindset of Christian Liberty

August 20, 2014

Introduction

-“Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.” (Romans 14:13-19 ESV)

1 Corinthians 8:10-13

Context
-In the early church, conflict quickly arose between the Jews and the Gentiles regarding how Christian living should occur in Christian community. Raised in the background of Judaism, the Jews frequently argued that the Gentile believers should adhere to Mosaic traditions. (Acts 15:22-31)
-Corinth was located on the Isthmus of Corinth between the Corinthian Gulf and the Saronic Gulf. Athens, Thebes, Olympia, and Sparta were all located within the surrounding region of Corinth, with Corinth being named by Plutarch as one of the three great cities of ancient Greece. Greek philosophy was highly prized in this region, hence why Paul declared very clearly that he spoke the very words of God in the message of the Gospel, and not man’s rhetoric empowered by secular thinking. (1 Corinthians 1:18-24; 1 Corinthians 2:1-2)
- In the city of Corinth, idolatry and paganism rose to a great height in the culture. Paul declared the Corinthians to be divided (1 Corinthians 1:10-11), immature (1 Corinthians 3:1-3), proud in secular philosophy (1 Corinthians 3:18-20), complacent (1 Corinthians 4:8), prone to sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6), arrogant in their ignorance of Scripture (1 Corinthians 8:1-2), prone to idolatry (1 Corinthians 10:14), prone to feminism and selfishness (1 Corinthians 11), self-seeking (1 Corinthians 12), unloving (1 Corinthians 13), and deceived about spiritual gifts. (1 Corinthians 14)

Verse 10
For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols?
1. A Knowledgeable Decision

-“Anyone” refers to any member in the Christian community at Corinth.
-“Sees you” indicates that the testimony of the Christian is available for viewing whenever anyone might be looking.
-The Christian’s duty is to keep his or her conduct clean as a public and private testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (Proverbs 22:1; Philippians 1:27; Ephesians 4:1)
-The conduct of the Christian serves as a defense of the truthfulness of Scripture and the saving power of the Gospel. (Proverbs 4:18; Philippians 2:14-15; 1 Peter 2:12)
-Christians are to remember that their conduct is visible to all, and is especially visible to an omnipotent God. (Daniel 6:4; Matthew 5:14-15; 2 Peter 3:14)
-“Knowledge” (γνῶσιν) here refers to the wisdom and the intelligence gained from a knowledge of God and a right understanding of His ways.
-Paul contrasted knowledge that merely serves as intellectual pride (1 Corinthians 8:1-2) with the knowledge that declares there to be one God and one Lord. (1 Corinthians 8:6)
-In Greek culture, the pantheistic society believed that demons attached themselves to food, thereby infesting people once ingested. Sacrifice was necessary to purge the demons from the meat, and then was used in idol feasts and later sold in the marketplace.
-True knowledge, such as described in verse 6, begins by recognizing that there is one God and one Lord of all. (2 Samuel 7:22; Isaiah 37:20; Philippians 2:10-12)
-True knowledge recognizes that God is the Creator of all that exists. (Acts 17:24-25; Isaiah 43:15; Colossians 1:15-17)
-True knowledge recognizes that God is the one to whom all things belong. (Deuteronomy 10:14; Job 41:11; Psalm 24:1)
-An “idol’s temple” (εἰδωλείῳ) was a common sight in ancient Corinth, for the temple of Aphrodite was the prominent temple. While it was in disrepair in Paul’s day, the cult prostitutes of Corinthian young women numbered to 1,000 throughout the city based on the worship of Aphrodite, also known as Diana. Also, another prominent temple in Corinth was the temple of Poseidon, the god of the sea. Other temples to Apollo, Venus, Isis, and the Pantheon stood in the city as structures devoted to idolatry.
-Paul later commanded the Corinthians to flee from idolatry, (1 Corinthians 10:6-8; 1 Corinthians 10:14)
-Idolatry is a heinous sin against a holy God. (Jonah 2:8; Exodus 20:3-6; Colossians 3:5)
2. A Dangerous Encouragement
-“Encouraged” (οἰκοδομηθήσεται) means to be built up and was frequently used to refer to the building of temples. Here, it is encouragement in the sense of being emboldened to a course of action.
-In Scripture, being emboldened to a course of action can be positive or negative, depending on the course of action and the motivation.
-Christians are to build up one another towards greater unity. (1 Corinthians 1:10; Colossians 3:13-14; 1 Peter 3:8)
-Christians are to build up one another towards greater obedience towards Christ. (Titus 3:8; Hebrews 10:23-24)
-Christians are to build up one another towards greater maturity and wisdom. (Proverbs 19:20 Luke 22:32; John 21:15)
-By contrast, building up those around us to defy the Lord constitutes a wrongful encouragement. (Numbers 23:7-8; 1 Samuel 17:26; Isaiah 37:24)
-Building up those around us so as to cause them to pursue idolatry brings about judgment from God. (Jeremiah 7:18; Jeremiah 44:18-23)
3. A Confusing Consumption
-“Conscience” (συνείδησις) is the inborn ability to identify on some level what is morally right and wrong, regardless if one is redeemed or not.
-God has created men in His image, and they hence have the Law of God written upon their hearts. (Romans 2:14-15)
-By nature, men have an evil conscience and suppress the truth of God in unrighteousness. (Ephesians 4:18-19; Colossians 3:5; 1 Timothy 4:1-2)
-Because of being born again by the Spirit of God, our consciences have been cleansed by Christ’s blood. (Hebrews 10:22; 1 Timothy 1:5)
-It is the responsibility of God’s people to have clear consciences in their testimony in the world by abiding by the Word of God. (1 Timothy 1:18-19; 1 Timothy 3:9; Titus 1:9)
-The Holy Spirit renews and utilizes our conscience in guiding us in the ways of the Lord. (1 John 2:27)
-An immature conscience is “weak”, due to being impure and immature. (Titus 1:15; Colossians 2:8)
-The meat in question belonged specifically to the Lord, even though men falsely attributed it to idols. (Psalm 50:9-11)
-After being charbroiled, the sacrificed animal would be portioned and divided among the crowd gathered at the temple. Eating meat sacrificed to the gods and goddesses of the Greek pantheon was a very common community practice in Greek culture. Here, those who were immature in the faith and weak in conscience were erringly led astray by the well-informed conscience of mature believers.

Verse 11
And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died.
1. A Destructive Knowledge

-“Your” pinpoints that Paul holds the reader personally responsible if they have caused their brother’s weak conscience to be emboldened to do what they believe is morally wrong to do.
-Knowledge holds great power for good and for evil. (Proverbs 1:22; Proverbs 2:10; Proverbs 18:15)
-Here, Paul was not stating that the knowledge was improper; in fact, he sided fully with those who claimed this knowledge that idols have no defiling power over food, for they do not exist. (1 Corinthians 8:4-7)
-Good knowledge used improperly does not honor Christ or His Word, for it does not edify His people. (1 Corinthians 13:8)
-We are to gain full knowledge so as to be discerning believers, and not to make hasty or immature decisions.
-Our full knowledge should not be used to cause those with lesser knowledge to become weakened in their faith. (Romans 14:21; 1 Corinthians 8:9)
-Our knowledge should always be used in a loving manner to build others up. (1 Corinthians 14:26; 1 Thessalonians 5:11)
-“Weak” (ἀσθενῶν) here refers to a feebleness related to illness or lack of strength.
-Weakness in the brethren is done by not fearing the Lord rightly. (Job 28:28; Psalm 34:9; Proverbs 14:27)
-Weakness in the brethren comes about by an incomplete knowledge of Scripture. (Hosea 4:5-6; Proverbs 10:21; Mark 22:29)
-Weakness in the brethren comes about from intellectual pride. (Proverbs 3:7; Proverbs 26:12;    Proverbs 28:11)
-“Destroyed” (ἀπόλλυται) means to be violently brought about to death and to experience a miserable end.
-God warns His children not to return back to the ways of idolatry after they have been brought out of the kingdom of darkness. (Exodus 23:24; Deuteronomy 12:30)
-God has freed us from the condemnation of sin, but the consequences of sin remain if we do not fight against them in the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 8:1; Ephesians 4:30)
2. A Redeemed Brother
-“Brother” (ἀδελφὸς) means to be a relative in the Christian community by the blood of Christ.
-As Christians, we are made the brethren of the Savior through His death and resurrection. (Hebrews 2:11-12; John 20:17)
-As Christians, we are called to love our Christian brethren as Christ loved us. (John 13:34; Ephesians 5:2; 1 John 3:11)
-As Christians, we are to guard our brethren in Christ from falling prey to evil. (Romans 15:1)
-All that is done for our brothers and sisters in Christ is done for the King over all. (Matthew 25:40)
-“For whom Christ died” heightens the importance of the matter at hand, for Paul declares that his audience is to view those with weak consciences as their brothers and sisters in Christ bought by His shed blood.
-Christ died so that we might die to death, and He rose again so that we might be given eternal life. (Romans 6:4-5; Romans 8:11)
-Christ’s sacrifice through the power of the Gospel mandates our Christian unity. (Romans 15:5-6; 1 John 1:7)
-Jesus Christ and Him crucified was the very reason Paul came to Corinth and continued ministering to Corinth. (Acts 18:1-6; 1 Corinthians 2:2; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4)

Verse 12
Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ.

1. A Sinful Influence

-“Sinning” (ἁμαρτάνοντες) derives from the idea of “missing the mark”, and is defined by Paul as falling short of glorifying God. (Romans 3:23)
-From the fall of man, all human beings have becoming dead in sin. (Ephesians 2:1; Ephesians 4:18; Colossians 2:13)
-Sin brings about holy judgment. (Romans 1:18; Ephesians 5:6; 2 Thessalonians 2:10)
-Sin be both of commission and omission. (Proverbs 24:11-12; Matthew 23:23; James 4:17) 
-Sinning dishonors the name of Christ in the public square. (Joshua 24:27; Proverbs 30:9; Hosea 13:6)
-Sinning brings about division in the body of Christ. (1 Corinthians 3:3; 1 Corinthians 11:7-8)
-The result of flaunting Christian liberty for selfish reasons is that we sin against our brothers and sisters in Christ.
-“Against your brothers” specifies the wronged party.
-To sin against an individual is to be responsible for the guilt incurred against that person and the resulting actions of that person. (Leviticus 5:1; Psalm 50:18; 1 Timothy 5:22)
2. A Wounded Weakness
-“Wounding” (τύπτοντες) means to strike, thereby inflicting injury.
-In Rome, the gladius was a short sword using for inflicting stab wounds or slash wounds. The pilum was the Roman javelin that enabled Roman armies to fight against Greek armies. Both of these weapons would inflict serious wounds in battle, and these wounds could very well prove fatal.
-In the Roman world, advances were made in wound care, such as the importance of keeping a wound site moisturized so that it would repair itself properly. Infection always poised a serious risk, however.
-In the Old Testament, men were liable for wounding their fellowmen whether intentional or unintentional. (Exodus 21:12; Deuteronomy 19:4-6; Deuteronomy 19:11-12)
-Paul declared that the Corinthians wounded their brothers when the conscience of the latter was already weak.
-To wound a person weakened by disease or illness or physical limitations is the height of ignominy. Cicero, a prominent Roman philosopher before Christ, advocated the “just war” theory, declaring that war was only acceptable for honor, for self-defense, and for maintaining national security.
-To wound a weak Christian is to cause harm to the body of Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:26-27; 2 Corinthians 11:29)
-To wound a weak Christian is to injure the spiritual growth of fellow believers. (Romans 13:10; 1 Thessalonians 3:12; 2 Thessalonians 1:3)
3. A Horrifying Result
-“You sin” (ἁμαρτάνετε) is plural.
-“Against Christ” specifies that the end result of exercising knowledge wrongly so as to wound the conscience of others and embolden them to sin is to sin against Christ Himself.
-When the Corinthians exercised their liberty in the face of weak consciences, they ignored the fact that they were sinning against Christ.
-When Christ died, He paid the penalty for our sin. (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24; Hebrews 9:28)
-When Christ died, He ensured that we would no longer be captives to sin. (Luke 4:18; Romans 6:18; Romans 8:2)
-When Christ died, He brought us near God by His blood on the Cross. (Ephesians 2:13; Ephesians 2:17; 2 Corinthians 13:14)
-Sinning against Christ results in us dishonoring His blood and spurning His grace. (Hebrews 10:29)
-Sinning against Christ causes us to diminish the Cross of Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:12; Revelation 12:11-12)

Verse 13
Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.
1. A Stumbling Brother

-“Makes my brother stumble” (σκανδαλίζει) is the Greek “skandalizo”, and it means “to put a snare in the way of”.
-Christ Himself repeatedly warned against causing others around us to stumble and to be ensnared by sin. (Matthew 17:27; Matthew 18:6; Mark 9:42)
-Sin ensnares us into danger. (Job 18:7; Proverbs 22:5; Proverbs 29:6)
-Paul taught that the Corinthians should avoid the snares of sin, just as Scripture teaches.
-Not fearing the Lord more than anything else proves to be a snare. (Proverbs 29:25; John 12:42-43)
-God enables us to be free from stumbling when we look to His salvation. (1 Samuel 2:8-9; Psalm 18:36)
-God enables us to be free from stumbling when we hold fast to His Word. (Psalm 17:5; Psalm 119:116-117)
-It is our responsibility not to lay a snare before our brothers, unlike the Corinthians in this verse. (1 Corinthians 10:32)
2. A Resolve to Edify
-“Meat” (κρέα) specifically refers to the flesh of an animal sacrificed in idol worship.
-By exercising Christian liberty, the Corinthians had caused weaker brothers to participate in that which destroyed their faith.
-Paul called those to whom he wrote to build one another up in the faith, even as he did. (1 Thessalonians 5:11; 2 Corinthians 11:9)
-Scripture commands us to build one another up and consider others before ourselves. (Romans 15:9; Ephesians 4:29)
3. A Dangerous Liberty
-In Scripture, to ensnare someone in sin makes you equal with the wicked. (Psalm 119:110; Psalm 140:5; Psalm 141:9)
-To willingly lay a snare for someone is to wish for their destruction. (Matthew 22:15; Mark 12:13; Luke 20:10)
-Paul declared that he would not exercise his Christian liberty should it ensnare others into sin.
-As Christians, we are called to look out for the best interests of our brothers and sisters in Christ. (Philippians 2:4; Romans 15:1)
-Paul called the Corinthians to sacrifice their rights in the service of others, just as he sacrificed his rights to serve them. (1 Corinthians 9:1; 1 Corinthians 9:11-12; 1 Corinthians 9:15-17)
-Christians are called to be free to serve others, rather than having others serve them so that they themselves might be free to serve themselves. (Galatians 5:13; 1 Peter 4:10;
-Christ did not exercise His liberties as the Son of God to serve Himself, and so are we not to use our Christian liberty to serve ourselves. (Philippians 2:5-7; Matthew 23:11; Mark 10:42-45)

Conclusion
-“For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.” (1 Corinthians 9:19-23 ESV)


Recordings
-Download
-Streaming

Handout
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2MJbdnrDPMDYkVjLXVMRzQxbjFPcTBTSUY2WUQwUmtDdW84/edit?usp=sharing