1 Corinthians 12:1 Message 7
I. Introduction of the argument for order in the service.
A. His exhortation. They needed correction.
1 Corinthians 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
Members in the church perverted the use of the gifts from God in their worship, changing the gifts of God from that of spiritual edification, worship and service unto the Lord to a self-exalting excitement, promoting themselves and their groups. While they believed their hearts were right with the Lord, they ignored the sin of others to the detriment of the church. In order to increase their influence, they invited the world into the church, not to be changed through the preaching of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, but to be cheered by the excitement and ever-increasing intensity and promotion of gifts.
They were believers, but were going to lead others away from the Lord by changing –
a. From honouring the Lord in being –
Prepared to worship – come with purpose.
Practice of worship – serious minded
Promise of worship – submitting to the Lord’s will, serving Him.
John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
b. To honouring themselves by their self exaltation.
They needed correction in their –
They were ignorant of the destruction of lives they were promoting by allowing sin to continue in the church, turning a blind eye to it, while practicing a form of worship of God in their own lives.
They should have remembered the terrible things that happened in Jacob’s family, while he built altars and offered sacrifices, he failed to lead in a Godly manner –
Jacob had God on his mind, but his family did not have Him in their hearts. He built an altar but they did not prepare themselves for worship! They met the world as they were and reaped the terrible results. Jacob learned the lesson that a casual heart leads to careless living.
Jacob, because of his focus on himself and the casual attitude in leading his family, was responsible for the defilement of his daughter, the disgraceful actions of his sons, and the destruction of Shechem.
Let’s take a moment to look at the life of Jacob and learn from the mistakes of this man who believed God, yet struggled with his own flesh and desires. We will not read all of the verses, but will give the references in the book of Genesis for you to study this out for yourselves –
a. His Character
1). With men. Non-confrontational; manipulative
a). Esau Genesis 25:24-34
b). Rebekah Genesis 27:6-14
c). Laban Genesis 29:16-28
d). Esau Genesis 32:1-8; 33:8-17 (Insinuated he would follow Esau, then turned West)
2). With God.
a). The Covenant. Genesis 28:11-22
b). The intervention.
(1). For the wives. Genesis 29:31; 30:6,17,22
(2). For Jacob Genesis 30:27-30
c). The Call. Genesis 31:3
d). The Comparison.
Note that Abraham’s servant was dealing with the same man, Laban. Genesis 24:12-14; 24-27; 34, 35, 40, 42, 44, 48, 50-52, 56.
Jacob received the blessings of God, but we do not read of him acknowledging God in his day to day life. This is the manner of many believers.
b. His Crisis
1). The defilement of his daughter.
Genesis 34:1-2 And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her.
2). The disgraceful action of his sons.
Genesis 34:13-18 And the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father deceitfully………
3). The destruction of Shechem Genesis 34:25-31
Genesis 34:25-31 And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males. …..And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house. And they said, Should he deal with our sister as with an harlot?
What caused this crisis? –
c. His carelessness.
Genesis 35:1-4 And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Beth-el, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother. Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: And let us arise, and go up to Beth-el; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went. And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem.
As we said before – Jacob had God on his mind but his family did not have Him in their hearts. He built an altar, but he did not prepare his family for worship! They met the world as they were, with their idols and superstition and reaped the terrible results. They may have excused themselves to Jacob with their cultural icons and harmless jewlery, but Jacob learned the lesson that a casual heart leads to careless living.
1). He acknowledged God as His God.
2). He ignored the activities of his family. They had become ‘of the world’.
d. His compliance to the will of God.
1). To seek the Lord. “…go up to Beth-el…and make there an altar…”
2). To separate from the world. Note what he told them to do in order to accomplish this –
a). Cleanse your hearts. Put away the idols.
b). Cleanse your minds.
c). Cleanse your bodies.
Jacob instructed his family to separate themselves from the things of the world and separate themselves unto the Lord. They were on their way to worship the Lord and they prepared their hearts and their dress accordingly.
Leaders need to ask themselves –
“Am I diligent in my own spiritual growth”?
“Am I negligent of the spiritual condition of my church” (Compromising Biblical values to avoid conflict)
“Di I understand the consequences resulting in my negligence”? (Beyond anything you might imagine!!)
Leaders, will you answer –
“I am going to submit myself to God and serve Him in the church, seeking His will and obeying Him”.
Or are you going to have to face a destructive crisis before you take control. The consequences will have to be borne and they can be beyond anything that we may imagine!
As much as the leaders need to ask themselves these questions, –
Parents, as responsible for the spiritual wellbeing of the family, need to ask themselves –
“Am I diligent in my own spiritual growth”?
“Am I negligent of the spiritual condition of my family” (Compromising Biblical values to avoid conflict)
“Am I cognizant of the consequences resulting in my negligence”? (Beyond anything you might imagine!!)
Parents, will you answer – “I am going to submit myself to God and lead my family to seek His will and obey Him”. Or are you going to have to face a destructive crisis before you take control. The consequences will have to be borne and they can be beyond anything that we may imagine!