Ezra 4:24-6:22, 1 Corinthians 3:5-23, Psalms 29:1-11, Proverbs 20:26-27
Today is the 7th day of August welcome to the Daily Audio Bile I’m Brian it is wonderful to be here with you today as we round the corner now and head into the last…the last part of this week. And this week has definitely brought us into some new territory and some new things to talk about. So, we’ll continue the journey. We are reading this week from the Christian Standard Bible. And today from the Old Testament, Ezra chapter 4 verse 24 through 6 verse 22.
Okay. So, in the letter, known as first Corinthians, the letter of Paul to the church at Corinth we’ve basically been talking about the same issue from the beginning. We’re kind of at the beginning of the letter. But it's…it’s division that is happening in the church based on different people kind of preferring the teaching or leadership of different people. And, so, it’s kind of come to the point that there are like different camps within the church. Some claiming that their supreme leader is Paul and others saying, no, the main leader for them is Apollos, others are like no, that’s Peter for us. Others are like, no, it’s Jesus. Christ…it’s Christ for us. And the way that Paul has been dealing with this issue is really interesting and so profoundly needed even now, because what Paul’s dealing with here, that…this behavior has continued on until today and is still happening. And what Paul is trying to do is tell them all that they are all correct. Like, in this case somebody doesn’t have to be wrong for somebody else to be right, which is what causes the division. So, Paul’s like, “when…when some of you are like, I’m for Apollos and others of you are like I’m for Paul, aren’t you just acting like everybody else in the world? And heaven we just discussed that…that there is a bigger thing going on that you need to become aware of? Who’s Apollos? Who’s Paul?” And I’m quoting…I’m quoting Paul here. “They are servants, through whom you believed, and each has the role the Lord is given. I planted, Apollos watered, God gave the growth. So, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything. It’s God who gives the growth.” Paul’s essentially lifting everybody’s viewpoint to say, “we are all in this together” or quoting Paul, “we are God’s coworkers, you are God’s field, you are God’s building.” So, we kind of talked about this when we started this letter. There have been lots of divisions in the Christian faith over the years, which has allowed 40,000 different Christian denominations to exist in the world. And we could look at and go like, “what's…what’s the rub here? What’s the problem?” The problem isn’t diversity. We…like…by default the Christian faith is all over the world in all different kinds of cultures. We are a vast and diverse body. That’s the nature of it. It’s just that we kind of like…we kind of like get our own team and then, over…overtime, like we like this style of worship, we like this kind of message, we like this kind of stuff. And “O, they’re saying something a little different and O they are deceived, and O they look at it from a different perspective and O what they’re missing out on.” And it just kind of builds into this team mentality where at some point our teams the right team and…we’re the ones actually have the truth. And, so, then we try to build an identity in that. And this is what Paul’s trying to lift the Corinthians out of…like to look higher, raise the bar, look further. We are all in this together and doing things like the world is only gonna give you a result like the world. Ahhhh…you know, like that should linger there for a second. And what Paul is saying is, “can’t you lift your eyes and understand that you have the mind of Christ within you, all of you?” Or to quote Paul, “and don’t you yourselves know that you are God’s temple and that the Spirit of God lives in you?” Or continuing to quote Paul, “let no one boast in human leaders for everything is yours, whether Paul or Apollo’s or Cephas of the world or life or death or things present or things to come, everything is yours and you belong to Christ and Christ belongs to God.” So, Paul is lifting the Corinthian readers, but he’s lifting us to say, “it’s all yours already. Are you not aware of that? Can you not open your eyes and understand that trying to segregate yourself so that you can be right, like what are you trying to gain here? You have it all already. And if you became aware of the mind of Christ within you then you could see this. But if you’re just gonna look through your own mind then this is what’s gonna happen. It’s all gonna devolve into nonsense.” So, we’re left today just…w’ere left to ponder where we are getting our spiritual identity. Like where is that coming from? Is that coming from Paul, Apollos, Cephas? Like is that coming because we’re part of a movement and we’re affiliated with it? Is it because we’re following a specific person? Or are we actually in love with Jesus, like are we actually in a relationship with Jesus, the only place we could ever receive spiritual identity like the one Paul is talking about? And, so, yeah, some things to think about today.
Holy Spirit we invite You into those things. What are we following and what are we hoping to get? How have we lost sight that as new creations we are righteous before You. You are the most-high God, Creator of all things. We are Your children and heirs to Your kingdom. We have nobody to fight against to get an identity. It’s all ours already, Come Holy Spirit and let us see this we ask in the name of Jesus. Amen.
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