Some Marks of a Healthy Christian Fellowship-1 Corinthians 16:15-24

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Levi Durfey


INTRODUCTION

 

In these final verses of 1 Corinthians, it seems that Paul is in a rush to fire off a final round of instructions and greetings. It’s a challenge for us to find any sort of way to tie everything together. As I studied the passage, the word that kept coming to the top of the kettle was fellowship. 

 

15 I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,) 16 That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth. 17 I am glad of the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied. 18 For they have refreshed my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge ye them that are such. 

 

19 The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house. 20 All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss. 21 The salutation of me Paul with mine own hand. 

 

22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maran-atha. 

 

23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. 24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen. (1 Corinthians 16:15–24)

 

Let’s see how this passage helps us answer the question: What are some of  the marks of a healthy Christian fellowship?

 

A Healthy Christian Fellowship will have…

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Soldiers In The Faith—1 Corinthians 16:10-14

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Levi Durfey 

 

I. BE SOLDIERS IN THE FAITH…

 

1 Corinthians 16:13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.  

 

These are words that you would say to soldiers who are about to enter into a battle. Indeed, Christians are to be soldiers in the faith—the Bible says so all over the place. We are told in Ephesians 6, to “be strong in the Lord” and to “put on the whole armour of God.” 

 

8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. (1 Thessalonians 5:8)

 

3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. (2 Timothy 2:3–4)

 

How are soldiers supposed to act? What are they supposed to do? Paul gives us four characteristics that we would normally think of being true of soldiers. Then, he gives us one surprise characteristic that must be true of soldiers of the Christian faith.

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Do Your Sins Make You Squirm? — Galatians 5:19-21

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Levi Durfey

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Before we share the Lord’s Supper together, it is important to examine ourselves. We read in 1 Corinthians 11,

 

27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. (1 Corinthians 11:27–30)

 

This is a self-examination, not an examination of the person in the other pew. There are times to judge and confront others—but this is your time to judge and confront yourself—“Let a man examine himself.” Do your sins still make you squirm?

 

How do we examine ourselves? We must use the Word of God.

 

23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. (James 1:23–24)

 

The Bible is like a mirror for us to look into and see ourselves. But, as James tells us, it does us no good to look in that mirror and then walk away without changing. It’s like saying, “Yep, my hair is a mess and my face is filthy, oh well.” 

 

Where do we look in the Bible? Just about any passage you read can be a passage that convicts you of your sin. But there are some passages that seem designed to lead us into times of self-examination. The Ten Commandments in Exodus 20, for example, has been used by generations of Christians to shine a light into their heart to see their sin. 

 

In the New Testament, a passage we can use to examine our heart is—

 

19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19–21)

 

There are 17 works of the flesh—sins—listed here. A proper self-examination will pick each one of these up and turn them over to see if they are hiding in our hearts. Which ones make us squirm? 

 

Let’s take a look—we find that the 17 sins are broken into four groups, which helps us get a handle on them. The first group are… Continue reading

How Would The Queen Come To Christ? — 1 Kings 10:1-13

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Levi Durfey

 

INTRODUCTION

 

The story of the queen of Sheba is one of the famous stories of the Bible. Here is a queen who travels a great distance to see king Solomon at the peak of his golden era. She comes to see if the stories she has heard are really true. She comes to hear of his great wisdom. 

 

But what do we make of such an account? Stories like this one are great for flannel graph boards in Sunday school, but how do we apply them to our lives?

 

Sometimes we can find a New Testament text that helps us understand how to understand an Old Testament story. Such is the case here with the Queen of Sheba. 

 

Some scribes and Pharisees had asked Jesus for a sign. Jesus knew their hearts—he knew that they really didn’t want to believe in him. They only wanted their own ideas of a messiah fulfilled. So Jesus told them the only sign that they’d get was the sign of Jonah, and then he said:

 

42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here. (Matthew 12:42)

 

Jesus was saying that the Gentile queen of Sheba responded in a right way to the wisdom of Solomon. 

 

Now, there they were—God’s people, not the ungodly Gentiles—and they were not responding correctly when someone greater than Solomon appeared (that someone being Jesus Christ).

 

Because Jesus made a comparison here with the queen of Sheba and seeking himself, we can look at her and discover insights into how we should seek Christ.

 

First of all, we find that the queen of Sheba was… Continue reading

The Righteousness That Will Exalt A Nation—Proverbs 14:34

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Levi Durfey

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalteth a nation: But sin is a reproach to any people. 

 

Sometimes the predominate attitude among conservative Christians seems to be that if we could just get some God-honoring laws in place, like a law against abortion, or a law against homosexuality, or a law against bad stuff on television, that God would exalt our nation again. 

 

Granted, I would appreciate laws like that, but is that what this verse is telling us? Let’s dig in and find out what the righteousness is that will exalt a nation. We begin with…

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