Put yourself through this filtering system…
RECAP: Dr. Paul Little’s message can be heard at the link below.
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 11:17-34
Do you know how much God loves you? Do you know how much God loves the Church, His Bride?
Dr. Paul Little preached this morning that God loves His Bride so much that He is willing to destroy anyone who hurts it or tries to destroy it. The well being of the body of Christ supersedes the person in the body. If we are undermining the body of Christ or having a negative impact on the Church than we are attacking the Church and we should be frightened. Our behaviour can either cause us to be blessed or can put God in a position where He has no choice but to withhold blessing from us and be judged.
Dr. Paul Little had four main points that he discussed today and I’d like to refer to them as filters.
So the first filter we must put ourselves through is ‘DISUNITY’. In verses 17-19 God talks to us about the way we deal with our hurts, judging others and forgiveness. Dr. Paul Little said that when we cause disunity in the Church it causes judgement upon us. That’s a scary thought! He also mentioned that the way we handle our hurts and deal with forgiveness is a good reflection as to how our relationship with Christ is. Perhaps if you have a hard time forgiving others you will get stuck in this filter.
Let’s go through the ‘EMPTY RITUAL’ filter now. In verses 20-22 people were demeaning the body of Christ. They were living together in selfish isolation. When they came together for feasts some people were gorging themselves with food while others were starving. This seems so obviously bad to us but we do it too. I’ll get to that thought in a minute but first consider this thought, if we fail to appreciate and value others it’s a mockery to the gospel. We need to be thinking about the things Jesus valued and perhaps set our values by the same standard. Perhaps there won’t be so many children going to school hungry. The amount of poverty in our own back yards is something we try not to think about because we like to consider ourselves as giving and loving people right? The only starving children and families are in Africa right? But how giving and loving are we? I feel challenged here. How many starving people have I walked by? It’s uncomfortable and awkward to think about the poverty that is in our own neighbourhoods because maybe we don’t really want to help as much as we think we do. Have you been to a ‘soup kitchen’ lately…or ever?
Now we are getting to the end of the filtering process but we can’t leave out ‘HYPOCRISY’. In verses 27-30 we notice that sin is not something that God is not used to dealing with. God has a plan for sin. We can confess our sins, admit we are guilty and than ask God for forgiveness. But when we allow sin to accommodate itself into our lives that is a problem for God and for the body of Christ. If we allow sin to accommodate itself in our lives we are living in HYPOCRISY.
This last filtering process is filled with sand. It’s scratchy and may hurt but you’ll come out with fewer rough edges if you allow yourself to go through it. This filter is ‘ARROGANCE’. Arroganced is addressed in verses 29-32. Let’s face it, we can’t be objective about ourselves. If we are not spending time in the word of God, listening to preaching about the word of God and accountable to others than we are in trouble. Dr. Paul Little says that if we get comfortable and content with ourselves it creates arrogance and a judgemental attitude which is a breeding ground for legalism. Ohh that’s a scratchy filter but we need to be real with ourselves and stop kidding ourselves about who we really are because we’re really only kidding ourselves. Trust me, ask people you trust to be honest with you about how you act and talk. I guarantee you they won’t tell you you’re perfect 🙂
In the clay,