Mere men

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Herald, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. Herald

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    1 Corinthians 3:1-3 "And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?"

    The Apostle Paul must have been frustrated with the lack of spiritual maturity in the Corinthian church. Paul pointed out lapses in Christian character to prove their immaturity. Jealousy and strife are not fitting character traits of professing Christians.

    Our Christian character, indeed our profession of faith, is tested at our weakest point. What is your weakest point? Take a moment to reflect on your life. What are the area(s) that you find yourself consistently sinning in? Does your sin find its way into the local church? Are their those in your church that you do not like or that you are in competition with? Do you find yourself talking (really, gossiping) about people instead of building people up in their faith (Jas. 4:9, 10)? I know that this is a difficult area for me, and I can only hope to gain victory over it through the help of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps this an area that you also need to address?
     
  2. Earth Wind and Fire

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    I don't see anything good in the church...I'm pretty much done with them. They do not represent Christ.
     
  3. preacher4truth

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  4. Earth Wind and Fire

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    no ..... what I hate is corruption.

    2 Peter 1:3-4

    3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

    4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through evil desires.

    2 Corinthians 11:13-15


    13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.

    Revelation 2:2


    2 “‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false.

    Matthew 7:21-23


    21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
     
    #4 Earth Wind and Fire, Sep 22, 2013
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  5. Herald

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    By the way, when I wrote this:
    It was not to be a get out of jail card. None of us can say that the Holy Spirit failed us as an excuse to continue in sin. I know the areas in which I sin most. I have a responsibility to take the necessary action to avoid sin in those areas. It is the Holy Spirit that strengthens me to be able to resist sin. I want to clear that up, so that there is no misunderstanding.
     
  6. Herald

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    1 John 4:20 "If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen."

    Yes. Why is there jealousy and strife (c.f. 1 Cor. 3:3)? Because there is hatred instead of love. Many do not see themselves as their brother's keeper. They ignore the scriptural admonition found in Philippians 2:3-4, "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own interests, but also for the interest of others."

    The local church is made up of imperfect people, but it is all we have. It is the one place that should be different than the world. It should be a safe harbor for God's people. You and I cannot change how our brother responds to us, but we can change how we respond to our brother. We can bring blessing instead of cursing; altruism instead of competition.
     
  7. Earth Wind and Fire

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    I dont believe the Holy Spirit has failed any of us who he truly enlightens. Thats why I use scriptures to denounce the false & corrupt within the churches that destroy His Church.....we should be no respecters of that lot. Brother, we do not need banquets, we do not need clubs, we do not need Pastors who wont get involved in the world & who put up walls to shun those who are not like them.

    If it is my duty to be a voice calling out in the wilderness then so be it. It is the Holy Spirit that tells you to touch the flesh of Christ and to touch the flesh of one another and understand what God is calling us into. (see John 20:27).

    Until we Christians give evidence of seeing Christ in the least ....."For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’

    Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?'

    And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'"
    (Matthew 25.35-40 )


    ......DO NOT expect them to embrace you as the perfect Christian worldview, cause your not.
     
    #7 Earth Wind and Fire, Sep 22, 2013
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  8. preacher4truth

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    I agree. The church is made up of imperfect people and I am one of them. The problem comes when we feel we are above this and place ourselves above this as some sort of maverick and island unto ourselves. It is glaringly apparent that the problem isn't then so much with 'the church' at that point. I'm just telling the truth here, take it for what its worth.

    Part of the problem of the Corinthians was that they were comparing self to others as per 1 Cor. 3 and elevating their spirituality above that of others. When we take on such a position ourselves it becomes odious to others, thus always pointing to others faults is problematic, prideful. Those who do so should be held accountable. I am talking about pointing out others sins incessantly. This has nothing to do with debating Scriptural truth whatsoever, nor for reproving error, as we know we are commended to do so, Jude 3 &c, and we also see this in 2 Timothy 4:2 where the recipe for preaching is reproof (confute), rebuke (chide for fault), exhort (summon to appease), and to do so with all patience and to teach all doctrine. Two thirds of this is seen as a negative by the church (reprove,rebuke) and it seems increasingly apparent that the church refuses to accept these things.

    We know in 1 Cor. many claimed a stake in who they were following, and the clique who claimed they followed 'Christ' in objection to those who said they were followers of Paul, Apollos, or Cephas were also wrong, since they caused division as well -- 1:13. The problem in this case I believe was not so much hate as it was fleshly pride in my opinion.

    Thanks for the OP. I better get ready for the preaching today. Blessings to you and your ministry of the Word Herald. Peace to you also EWF, others.
     
  9. Herald

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    Certainly there are those who try to cause the Church harm, but the Church cannot be destroyed. Matthew 16:19, "I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it."

    There is corruption in the Church. There are false shepherds that are more concerned with their own appetite instead of feeding the sheep under their charge. But God is not mocked. He will demand an accounting of their service. Ezekiel 34 speaks against false shepherds. Revelation 2:5 reveals that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself cut off those churches that deny Him, "Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place - unless you repent."

    But while there are corrupt local churches, not all local churches fall into that category. There still remains many faithful churches that proclaim the Gospel, and where the love of God is practiced among the brethren. I am blessed to serve in such a church. Soli Deo Gloria!
     
  10. Earth Wind and Fire

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    I would change "Should Be" to "Must Be" Then maybe.
     
  11. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Well Im sorry, but I havent found any....quite the reverse.

    BUT.....

    We reaffirm that because salvation is of God and has been accomplished by God, it is for God's glory and that we must glorify him always.We must live our entire lives before the face of God, under the authority of God and for his glory alone. We deny that we can properly glorify God if our worship is confused with entertainment, if we neglect either Law or Gospel in our preaching, or if self-improvement, self-esteem or self- fulfillment are allowed to become alternatives to the gospel."
    - The Cambridge Declaration
     
    #11 Earth Wind and Fire, Sep 22, 2013
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  12. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Then any Catholic, sitting in the pews of his Churchs's morning Mass could use that same logic to continue on in his normal Catholic Worldview.

    consider Martin Luther--A RC Priest, theologian & teacher. He could have used that same logic....look Im an imperfect man & these are imperfect people, why cry out & respond pubically to offensive behavior? And if I do this, I will be shunned....indeed hunted & probably forfeit my life. I will be an island unto myself.

    And this is probably Pope Francis thought process & logic as well. Dont rock the boat. So what if we have a church full of Homosexuals & Pedophiles......their all "IMPERFECT PEOPLE", Right?

    My question then is this, "Who stands up and demands change?"
    :laugh: Come on Rob, your telling me this.... Really?!?
    you do recall Matthew 7:5 --- Enough said.

    [/QUOTE]
     
  13. HankD

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    I empathize with what has been said.

    Fortunately my local church is at rest for the most part and its like going into an air-conditioned Macy's on a 100 degree day with the sweet relief of the brethren and the fellowship.

    Jesus said that the gates of hell would "not prevail against it" meaning of course that there would be an all-out attempt by the enemy.

    Matthew 13 is Jesus description of satan's master plan to prevail against His kingdom on earth so we must expect that there will be the wheat among the tares.

    But he said to leave them alone for the time being (although apostolic epistles do draw behavioral limititations).

    However:

    Matthew 13
    30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
    ...
    41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
    42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.​

    James 5
    7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
    8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
    9 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.​

    Soon He will gather us into His barn.

    HankD
     
  14. DocTrinsoGrace

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    How about "...and certainly will be!"

    Here is how the old Historic Baptist divines spoke of the church:

    "The purest churches under heaven are subject to mixture and error; and some have so degenerated as to become no churches of Christ, but synagogues of Satan; nevertheless Christ always hath had, and ever shall have a kingdom in this world, to the end thereof, of such as believe in Him, and make profession of His name. (1 Corinthians 5; Revelation 2; Revelation 3; Revelation 18:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:11, 12; Matthew 16:18; Psalms 72:17; Psalm 102:28; Revelation 12:17)" --1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith (chapter 26, paragraph 3)

    We may have done with the church -- and such a position is particularly problematic for any believer, since we are commanded to worship and serve corporately. Nevertheless, Christ is not done with the church! He will wash it in the Word and present it to Himself in perfect purity one day.
     
  15. Earth Wind and Fire

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    would you have told that to Arthur Pink? Do you think he was not aware & just retired from church life? No, it permeated his life as well & troubled him. I tell you brudder, this is an evil time & the churches are internally failing their people. Subsequently....well you see the condition of the world today dont you?
     
    #15 Earth Wind and Fire, Sep 22, 2013
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  16. Earth Wind and Fire

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    The enemy has won (Up here in NW NJ Anyway)......he has created a lazy service, no outreach to the community & has lied repeatedly & been deceptive to its congregations. There has been no leadership & no encouragement to believers interested in working the great commission. So what is the motivation to go to an odious service on a weekly basis?

    You might go to another service at another church then but they are in collusion with the other church & even more deceptive to the attendees....to the point of nausea.

    So after you have been lied to, discouraged, shared war stories with many who have experienced similar (and I would even say that one of these is my little brother who is a Pastor), then you realize that it isnt worth the time. You could spend it in prayer with your own family.

    Let me put it another way that maybe you can understand.....my wife just said, come into the parlor & let me show you something. QVC is selling phony Christmas trees....$500.00 a pop.

    I'm older now, but when I was younger my family made a day of it (getting a Christmas tree) ....we would go for breakfast together, then go to the farms in PA & hunt out the perfect tree for our family that year.....$35.00 a tree. Then the whole family would put it together.....what lights that year (retro c colored bulbs/ my favorite, Colored Italian lights/ my kids favorite or the white Italian lights/my wifes favorite)....we would trade off each year. Those times were memorable.

    So rather than being frustrated by lazy church services, phony Christians, etc. why am I not making Sunday breakfast & sitting with my wife & son reading & studying the bible.... together as a family & sharing scripture? Then put a roast in the crock pot for a family lunch....together. Precious times together.

    And so we have to wait on Him to deliver us from such an evil area.....Thats in my prayers each & every day.

    “Truly my soul silently waits for God; from Him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved.” Psalm 62:1

    “But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.” 2 Thessalonians 3:3
     
    #16 Earth Wind and Fire, Sep 22, 2013
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  17. HankD

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    For many years when we lived in Maine we did the same thing.

    Every Lord's day we gathered together in the morning and had a time of bible and discussion of the things of the Lord.

    Most of the morning afterward the TV was centered on Sunday services.

    We occassionaly would try a local church in the area often driving for many miles.

    Finally we found church which we liked, but there were some difficulties.

    HankD
     
  18. HankD

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    When we lived in Maine we did the same for several years.

    HankD
     
  19. Earth Wind and Fire

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    OK....so Im not going to fret over it anymore. Its in His hands & no amount of my discontent is going to alter it. Thanks for at least letting me know Im not alone in this.:thumbs:
     
  20. Herald

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    Churches are not perfect because they are made up of redeemed sinners.

    I taught on 1 Corinthians 3:1-4 today. It reads, "And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men?"

    The Corinthian church was experiencing jealousy and strife. The Corinthian church was experiencing gross immorality (1 Cor. 5:1). Christians were suing one another (1 Cor. 6:1). The Corinthian church was dishonoring the poor by abusing the Lord's Supper (1 Cor. 11:17-22). The Corinthian church was turning prophecy and tongues into a sideshow and power grab (1 Cor. 14). But even with all of this going on the Apostle Paul addressed them as "the church of God" and "saints by calling" (1 Cor. 1:2).

    No one on this board is a modern day prophet who has been commissioned by God to purify the churches in his area. All churches are, as our Baptist forefathers described them, partly "mixture and error". To keep oneself from being joined with God's people because a local church has error in one or more areas fails to take into account that each one of us is in the same category. We have this dichotomy within us. I am not saying we should be joined to a local body that clearly denies the Gospel. But we need to be careful that we do not create a litmus test that no church can possibly pass.
     

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