I enjoyed today’s sermon from Pastor Howard of New Beginnings Church, Orlando. Here’s the link to the church website: http://nborlando.org
Scripture reading comes from 1 Corinthians 1: 10-31 from the (MSG) Message translation Bible. I am sharing my notes and revelation with you in hopes of inspiring you to revaluate your priorities and understand Grace.
Divisions in the Church
10: I have a serious concern to bring up with you, my friends, using the authority of Jesus, our Master. I’ll put it as urgently as I can: You must get along with each other. You must learn to be considerate of one another, cultivating a life in common. We Believers, must get along with each other. We must not debate with each other. We must stand in agreement. We must respect each other, correct each other in love and agree to disagree. (*If it doesn’t line up with Scripture.) For example, you may not believe in the speaking of tongues. I once didn’t believe in this gift of the Holy Spirit because I was blinded by religion. Once I developed a relationship with God through His Word, I began to renew my mind to His truth. I prayed and ask God to receive this supernatural gift and He gave it to me! I now pray in tongues daily and experience supernatural results. Just because you may think the outpouring of the Holy Spirit disappeared when The Church Age started, doesn’t mean that your belief is biblical truth. I posses this gift because I trued in God’s Word to provide my miracle. Catch my drift? I won’t speak in tongues if in your presence if you feel offended (for now). But I will pray in tongues once you leave because I believe what God’s Word said. We have to learn to stand in agreement with things that matter to the Body of Christ. We can agree to disagree with Insignificant things like clean eating and dress attire. But we must not do away with God’s Word.
11-12: I bring this up because some from Chloe’s family brought a most disturbing report to my attention—that you’re fighting among yourselves! I’ll tell you exactly what I was told: You’re all picking sides, going around saying, “I’m on Paul’s side,” or “I’m for Apollos,” or “Peter is my man,” or “I’m in the Messiah group.” It doesn’t matter your church affiliation. All that matters the most is that Jesus is Lord and Savior. Rather you be Methodist, Baptist, Pnetestocal or non-denominational (like me), just agree that Jesus Christ is the ONLY WAY to Our Father! Amen?
13-16: I ask you, “Has the Messiah been chopped up in little pieces so we can each have a relic all our own? Was Paul crucified for you? Was a single one of you baptized in Paul’s name?” I was not involved with any of your baptisms—except for Crispus and Gaius—and on getting this report, I’m sure glad I wasn’t. At least no one can go around saying he was baptized in my name. (Come to think of it, I also baptized Stephanas’s family, but as far as I can recall, that’s it.) Paul baptized a few, but it was not out of His own power but God’s. We don’t serve Paul, but our Lord Jesus Christ!
17: God didn’t send me out to collect a following for myself, but to preach the Message of what he has done, collecting a following for him. And he didn’t send me to do it with a lot of fancy rhetoric of my own, lest the powerful action at the center—Christ on the Cross—be trivialized into mere words. Paul was a man used by God to minister the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We disciples are purposely called to do the same.
The Wisdom of God
18-21: The Message that points to Christ on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense. This is the way God works, and most powerfully as it turns out. It’s written, I’ll turn conventional wisdom on its head, I’ll expose so-called experts as crackpots. So where can you find someone truly wise, truly educated, truly intelligent in this day and age? Hasn’t God exposed it all as pretentious nonsense? Since the world in all its fancy wisdom never had a clue when it came to knowing God, God in his wisdom took delight in using what the world considered dumb—preaching, of all things!—to bring those who trust him into the way of salvation. The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we (who are saved) know it is the very power of God. God has made the wisdom of the world look foolish. The world will never know Him through human wisdom.
22-25: While Jews clamor for miraculous demonstrations and Greeks go in for philosophical wisdom, we go right on proclaiming Christ, the Crucified. Jews treat this like an anti-miracle—and Greeks pass it off as absurd. But to us who are personally called by God himself—both Jews and Greeks—Christ is God’s ultimate miracle and wisdom all wrapped up in one. Human wisdom is so tinny, so impotent, next to the seeming absurdity of God. Human strength can’t begin to compete with God’s “weakness.” Some people think the Gospel is foolish because they lack faith. They expect to see signs and wonders. While others seek the world to find the truth. People of the world take Jesus as a joke because they are spiritually dead and therefore unreceptive to the things of the spiritual realm.
26-31: Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That’s why we have the saying, “If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.” Before we were all saved, we were once lost and drowning in our habitual sins. We all must realize that we are justified and SAVED BY GRACE! Likewise, we must show others the same grace that He has shown to us and not look down on others as if we are better. Though, we are no longer seen as God as sinners, we still sin. We have to repent (turn away from that sin) and seek the Holy Spirit so that we may be continue God’s sanctification process. We are being daily renewed back into His image as long as we daily seek His help. No one can ever boast in the presence of God. Because if Jesus had not died for our sins, we would all be in hell for the wages of our sins (even the ones we consider smaller than others!) Jesus had made us justified. We are only pure because of His shed blood. If we are to boast, we must only boast about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
AMEN! God bless you. Jesus loves YOU! There’s no condemnation for those who belong to Jesus Christ! Don’t fear God’s judgment. All is well with your soul. Repent and be daily transformed. Yes, we sin, but God looks at Jesus and sees ALL of His Children as #FLAWLESS & PURE! We’re being sanctified until the return of our Lord and personal Savior Jesus Christ!