Glory In The Lord

Photo by Sixteen Miles Out on Unsplash

1 Corinthians 1:30-31 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

Last Sunday night we began a journey through the book of 1 Corinthians. Though all of the “Church Letters” (writings like Romans, Colossians, Philippians, Thessalonians – to name just a few) are necessary for the local Church to learn, I believe 1 Corinthians is a particularly timely book for the day we live in. I came across an article submitted to the Gospel Coalition entitled “Self-Worship Is The World’s Fastest Growing Religion”. Author Thaddeus Williams noted:

In their recent book Good Faith: Being a Christian When Society Thinks You’re Irrelevant and Extreme, David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons document that 84 percent of Americans believe that “enjoying yourself is the highest goal of life.” … Further, 86 percent believe that to enjoy yourself you must “pursue the things you desire most.” … And 91 percent affirm this statement: “To find yourself, look within yourself.””

You can see this everywhere you look. A commercial came on television the other day for H&M, a Swedish multinational clothing company. A stylish black man comes on screen, and as he walks toward the camera telling us “You do you. The most important thing is to love yourself. I know I do.”

It is this attitude that got us in trouble from the beginning of humanity. When Adam heard the serpent (Satan) say, “The reason God didn’t want you to eat of the tree of knowledge is because He doesn’t want any competition. He’s trying to keep YOU from becoming a god, too! (paraphrase of Genesis 3:5). Who wouldn’t want to be a god? So Adam ate, and we all lost Paradise. We should have learned from that.

When Israel waited for Moses to come down from Mount Sinai, someone suggested “let’s build a god to lead us”. Everyone chipped in a little jewelry, gave it to Aaron the High Priest, and he made them all a golden calf. (Exodus 32:4). When Moses came down off the mountain, he made Israel drink the ashes of that calf (Exodus 32:20). I don’t think it tasted that well, but the point is clear. Any god that we make with our own hands is not only lacking in nutrients, but it’s not fit to drink. And it eventually ends up in the toilet!

In the Medical News Today newsletter we are told that today, “Gender is different than sex. Although genetic factors typically define a person’s sex, gender refers to how they identify on the inside. Only the person themselves can determine what their gender identity is.” Some people say that there are 72 genders, and others 57 genders. This is what happens when people become gods, and reject the true God of the Holy Scripture. The Bible tells us that we are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) – but we are definitely NOT God nor little “g” gods. God tells us:

1 Corinthians 1:19-20 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

Said to be unsinkable, the Titanic struck an iceberg and sank April 15, 1912. As families gathered at the White Star Line office in Liverpool, England, they waited breathlessly to hear if their loved ones survived or not. Dr. Joe Pettigrew noted:

“”On both sides of the main entrance notices were posted. One {notice} said ‘KNOWN TO BE SAVED’; the other {notice} said, ‘KNOWN TO BE LOST’. From time to time a company official walked out with a piece of paper which contained the name of another passenger. When he held it up, a deathly stillness swept over the crowd as loved ones of the missing waited to see which side he would write the name on.”

In Heaven there is a book called “The Book of Life” (Philippians 4:3; Revelation 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12; 20:15). The only ones that will enter into God’s Paradise we call Heaven is “those whose names are written in the Book of Life” (Revelation 21:27). Those in the Book of Life are those ‘KNOWN TO BE SAVED’. How do you get your name in that Book? It is not by human wisdom, or human knowledge and strength. You get in that all important Book by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior.

Only The Cross Will Get You Into God’s Kingdom

1 Corinthians 1:17 …For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

In the Church at Corinth, the believers there had become to believe their salvation was better than another’s salvation because the Apostle Paul, or the Evangelist Apollo, or the Chief Apostle Peter, or the Messiah Jesus baptized them. Paul wanted the Corinthians know that, though Baptism is an important part of our faith (for Jesus commanded water baptism – Matthew 28:19-20), it is only the Gospel and how you respond to it that saves. When Paul says that Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel, he is emphasizing that it is only your response to the Gospel that saves or damns you. Let me put it this way.

Some Christians are baptized by immersion in water. I believe this is the New Testament standard. But other Christians are baptized by having water poured over them. Yet others are baptized by having a few drops of water sprinkled on them from a chalice or a cup. Each group is baptized by a different method, and they are following their conscience.

But salvation is not brought to a person because of baptism. Salvation only comes by the preaching of the Gospel (Greek εὐαγγελίζω euangelizō). That same phrase “preaching of the Gospel” can also be translated “to bring or declare good news”.

Illustrate: On my keychain are several keys. They are all good keys – I don’t keep old keys – and each key opens a certain door. I can take a perfectly good house key and try to open the doors of this Church building with it. It won’t open. Why? Because it’s the wrong key. Only the right key will open the doors to this sanctuary.

Only the right key will open the door to God’s Kingdom. That key is the Gospel or Good News of the Cross.

1 Corinthians 1:18 … For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

Word Study: The word preaching is actually the Greek λόγος logos, which means “WORD”. The Apostle doesn’t want the Corinthians nor us to believe that only the preacher can lead a person to salvation. The power of salvation is not in me, nor in any holy person, not even the so called “Pope”. The power of salvation is in the WORD OF THE CROSS. The Scripture says:

Psalm 33:6 By the WORD OF THE LORD were the Heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.

God and God alone made all that you see around you by speaking it into existence. He made SOMETHING out of NOTHING. When God made mankind, and entered mankind through Jesus Christ His Son, He sent His Only Begotten Son to die for our sins.

Oh, we are broken and sinful creatures.

Two tricks that Satan uses to try and get us all to reject the Word of the Cross is (1) “You can become gods”, and (2) “You can be good enough”.

Hell will be filled with people who felt they were “good enough”. The Bible is quite clear, that,

Romans 5:12, 17-21 … By one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: … 17 … by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Adam brought sin and death into the world. Adam broke fellowship with God, and lost the key to Paradise. But Jesus came, the anti-Adam, and living a perfect and sinless life, went to the Cross to make payment for our sins. John the Baptist famously said of Jesus,

John 1:29 … BEHOLD, the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world …

Jesus took away the penalty of sin by taking our punishment for us.

Illustrate: The legendary preacher C.H. Spurgeon was saved at the age of 15 years old. He stumbled upon a small chapel where an unknown and illiterate man shared the Word of the Cross. His text was Isaiah 45:22, “Look unto Me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” As the man preached, Spurgeon heard his words:

Jesus said ‘Look unto Me, I am sweating great drops of blood. Look unto Me, I am hanging on the Cross. Look unto Me, I ascend unto Heaven. Look unto Me, I am sitting at the Father’s right hand. O poor sinner, look unto Me!”

Spurgeon testified, “I looked until I could almost have looked my eyes away. That happy day when I found the Savior and learned to cling to His dear feet was a day never to be forgotten by me. … I listened to the Word of God; and that precious text led me to the Cross of Christ”.

That is how a person is saved. The person hears the Word of the Cross, and believes that Jesus Christ died for them. And not just died, but rose again to lead His people toward glory. So many people today are trying to be gods, or trying to be good, and think they are leaving this life for glory. Yet they are not. Pastor John Piper wrote:

Christ did not die to forgive sinners who go on treasuring anything above seeing and savoring God. The people who would be happy in heaven if Christ were not there, will not be there. The gospel is not a way to get people to heaven; it is a way to get people to God.”

God is the Gospel. God the Son gives Himself for our sins. We give ourselves to Him, loving Him, and He promises to bring us to God. Not just later, when we pass from this life and into Heaven, but right now, right where we are. The Apostle said:

1 Peter 3:18 (ESV) Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,

1 Corinthians 1:21-22 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

The Bible says the world by wisdom knew not God. The Gentiles in rejecting Christ cling instead to human wisdom. “How can one Man – even Jesus – make payment for another man’s sins? It makes no sense”.

It makes better sense than what Progressive Liberal believe!

Pastor (Dr.) W.A. Criswell shared this little poem:

Once I was a tadpole, beginning to begin;
Then I was a frog with my tail tucked in;
Then I was a monkey in a banyon tree;
And now I’m a professor with a PhD!

The world does not understand the Gospel – but God’s wisdom is much greater than ours. The Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom. Jesus showed the Jews sign after sign when He walked the earth.

Jesus was born of a virgin in Bethlehem.
Jesus walked on water.
Jesus rebuked the wind, and calmed the seas.
Jesus healed the lame so they could walk.
Jesus gave sight to the blind so they could see.
Jesus cured the leper, restoring him to his family.
Jesus cast out demons.
Jesus fed thousands with a child’s meal.
Jesus restored life to the dead.

They always wanted just one more sign. Jesus finally told them:

Matthew 12:39-40 (ESV) An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

God has given us all the signs, and all the reasons He is ever going to give us. Jesus clearly died on Calvary, and laid in a tomb for three days and three nights. Rising from the grave, our Lord taught on the earth 40 days after His resurrection, then ascended into Heaven. He did all this so that you could be a part of His family.

But I’m Not Worthy To Be Saved

As I said before, Satan uses some little tricks to keeps us from the Word of the Cross. He uses, (1) You can be gods, and (2) You can be good. But there’s another ruse Satan uses. I hear this quite a bit. It is, “I’m not worthy to be saved”. Beloved, if your mind is in the place of “I’m not worthy”, my answer to you is “None of us are worthy”. The Apostle writes:

1 Corinthians 1:26-27 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

When God calls people to salvation, He does not focus on calling the best and brightest according to the world. He calls those who are broken, and know they are broken. Of those who God calls to salvation, the Scripture says not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. It doesn’t say not any but not many. God does not go out of His way to exclude people. The Gospel is inclusive. The Gospel of salvation is a “whosoever will” proposition. Jesus said, “He or she that has ears to hear, hear and respond!” But sadly many people disqualify themselves because they place importance on other things, rather than heed the Gospel call.

Jesus was told Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” (Luke 14:15). When Jesus heard this, He said:

Luke 14:16-24 (ESV) “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. 17 And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ 18 But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’ 19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’ 20 And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ 22 And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ 23 And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’”

Why is it that “not MANY wise, not MANY might, not MANY noble have been called”? Because those with “superpowers”, the bold and the beautiful, the jocks and the movie stars, they are busy worshiping THEMSELVES. They are out inventing genders, and twisting Scriptures, and ignoring the Word of God. They could have been saved, but always had something better to do. They are those who refuse to assemble with a Church because a football or baseball game is on television.

When Jesus walked the earth, who was most blessed by Him? I seem to remember one Centurion, one Synagogue leader, the wealthy Joseph of Arimathæa, and one member of the Sanhedrin named Nicodemus. There may have been more Jews or Gentiles of note, but if so, it was a short list. Who were most of the people who were blessed by Jesus? Lepers. Cripples. Blind people. Widows. Fishermen. People who were never named. Common folk. Mary Magdalene. Mary of Bethany. Lazarus. Martha. Just plain folks who realized they needed Jesus. Just plain people willing to break open an alabaster box of ointment to anoint the Master’s feet.

1 Corinthians 1:28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

Word Studies: God called base things, the Greek ἀγενής agenḗs, [pronounced ag-en-ace’] meaning “low born, ignoble, people of no class”. Jesus cast demons out of that wild man who lived among dead bodies in the tombs (Mark 5). When the man was healed, and wanted to go be with Jesus, the Lord told him: No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.” (NLT – Mark 5:19). The people no one wanted to be around – Jesus called them, and saved them. God the Son came to save things which are despised . The least and the less. Jesus came to call things which are not, people that are nothings.

I am one of those nobodies. I am one of those nothings. Jesus called me! Before I met Jesus, I was nothing. Now I am a child of God with Heaven as my home.

1 Corinthians 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.

When we get to Heaven (if we get to Heaven), we will not look back on our lives and strut up that street of gold to the Throne of Christ. We won’t be able to brag about how “we made it”. If we get to Heaven, it will be because JESUS made it for us.

1 Corinthians 1:30 But of Him {of God} are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

If you are saved, it is because of God. God sent the message and the messenger to you. God rolled back the fog of sin around your mind, so you could hear that Word of the Cross. Then God through Christ gives us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. It is all a gift of God, our salvation. So if you want to brag – if you want to be proud of anything – be proud of God. Brag on God.

1 Corinthians 1:31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

Let us brag on the Jesus Who saves us, and keeps on saving us. Let us brag on the Jesus Who loves us so. May God draw you close to Him today and, if you are not saved, into a saving relationship with Him. For His glory. Amen and Amen.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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