(#004) 1 Corinthians - Let There Be No Rivalries Among You.

FCOR-4-191020 - length: 94:48 - taught on Oct, 20 2019

Class Outline:

Cooperation is the key not competition.









Welcome To 


a Christian Church

Rory Clark



Good Morning!


Welcome to Barah Ministries…an intimate, local Christian Church with worldwide impact.  My name is Pastor Rory Clark.  At Barah Ministries we know this truth…that Jesus Christ is God.  As our Lord He is 100% Deity…He is God the Son.  God the Son became flesh as Jesus Christ and tabernacle among us here on earth as 100% true humanity.  Therefore, He is the uniquely born One…the Lord Jesus Christ…the God-Man…100% God and 100% man in One Person forever.  He is the Sovereign God of the Universe, and He is the Savior of the whole world.  


Barah Ministries makes a difference by teaching the Word of God from the Lord Jesus Christ’s perspective, and not from man’s perspective because how our God sees things is very different from how people see things.  Instead of trusting what man has to say about God, we prefer to search the Scriptures and to learn what God says about Himself and His plan for mankind in His Word…the Bible…the inerrant Canon of Scripture.


TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON - Let There Be No Rivalries Among You




When we treat each other as rivals, we are being competitive.  The goal in a competition is to outdo the one with whom you are competing.  The life the Lord recommends to Christians is a cooperative life where we use our spiritual gift for the benefit of all concerned.  In today’s lesson, we’ll take a look at the effect of competition on a church as we continue our study of First Corinthians.  Welcome to a place where you can learn to build relationships instead of destroying them.



Our amazing God doesn’t help those who help themselves.  God helps the helpless.  Mark Chapter 2, Verse 17…


MARK 2:17

And hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician…it’s those who are sick who need a physician.  I (the Lord Jesus Christ) did not come to call the righteous (to salvation) … but (I came to call) sinners (to salvation).”


When God calls sinners to salvation, He does it with the gospel message… the preaching of the good news concerning what the Lord Jesus Christ did for all mankind at the Cross.  The group MercyMe says the gospel is not just good news…in their song they say the gospel is the BEST NEWS EVER!



Be Occupied with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ

Enjoy the Singing of His Praises






Let us pray...


We’re grateful, Heavenly Father, for the privilege of studying Your absolute truth...the Word of God…


Father, thank you for reminding us not to compete with others…thank you for showing us the destructive nature of competition…thank you for reminding us that competitiveness comes from Your enemy, Satan, who seeks to inspire us to destroy each other…


Keep on teaching us Father, how to get along with others, and how to reflect Your goodness by sharing Your unconditional love, forgiveness, and grace with others…keep on reminding us that You have given us a uniqueness that You want us to discover and to share with the world…


…we ask this through the power of God the Holy Spirit…in Christ’s



TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON - Let There Be No Rivalries Among You


We’ve studied three lessons so far in our First Corinthians journey…this is the fourth.  In our opening lesson we are reminded that God grants His grace and His peace to His saints…all believers in Christ.  God sends us a person to nourish our souls with truth…First Corinthians, Chapter 1, Verses 1 to 3…



Paul, called (by God as a “sent man”) to be an apostle of Jesus Christ BY THE WILL OF GOD…and Sosthenes our brother…



…to the church belonging to God that is in Corinth…to those who have been sanctified (set apart as possessions by God…placed) in union with Christ Jesus…called to be saints (thus, no longer sinners)…



…together with all those in every place who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…their Lord and our Lord…



…grace to you and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.


In the third lesson, we learned that God establishes churches as a classroom for learning truth…and the person He sends and the church He establishes for His believers are perfect in His eyes.  First Corinthians, Chapter 1, Verses 4 to 9…



I (Paul) thank my God the Father always concerning you believers in Christ at Corinth…I thank Him for the grace of God the Father which was given to you (at Corinth) who are in union with Christ Jesus…



…that in everything you were enriched in union with Christ Jesus…enriched in all of the Word…and enriched in all knowledge…



…even as the testimony (I gave…the gospel message) concerning Christ was confirmed in you (because you believed)…



…so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift…AWAITING EAGERLY the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ (at the exit resurrection of the Church…the Rapture)…



…(The Lord)…who will also confirm you to the end (your salvation is

 secure…confirming you as) blameless (free from condemnation and accusation) in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Why?  Because…



God the Father is faithful (even when we are faithless) … the Father through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.


Everything God does is perfect…and we must learn to see things as He sees things.


In the second lesson, we learned that as saints we keep on sinning.  Yet Romans, Chapter 8, Verse 1 is in full effect in the lives of Christians…and we must never forget that God has nothing against us…



Therefore…there is now no condemnation for those who are in union with Christ Jesus.


As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ we must keep it top of mind that we are loved unconditionally, forgiven completely, and resident in a sphere of grace that allows us to make mistakes as we grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  We are no longer under condemnation, and we must ask God to rid us of the habit of condemning ourselves in the subtle ways we do it every single day.  As we look into the mirror of our lifestyle that we see reflected as we study about the saints at Corinth, we must remember to stay off our own backs.


You, as believers in Christ, come in three parts…the body…the soul…and the spirit.  The Bible has a name for your physical body…Second Corinthians, Chapter 5, Verse 1…



For we believers in Christ know that if the earthly tent (our temporal, physical body) which is our (current) house is torn down…we have a building (a resurrection body) from God…a house not made with human hands (instead, a body made by God)…a house that is eternal in the heavens (not temporal like our physical bodies which must die).


Your physical body…your earthly tent…is where your nemesis resides… THE FLESH…Romans, Chapter 7, Verse 18…



For I (Paul) know that nothing good dwells in me…that is…in my flesh (indwelling sin is in my physical body)…


Your SOUL is the real you…Hebrews, Chapter 4, Verse 12…



For the word of God is alive and powerful and it is sharper than any two-edged sword…and it is piercing…even as far as the division of the SOUL and THE SPIRIT…


You have a soul…the real you…and you have a human spirit that is a spiritual decoder ring, allowing you to discern spiritual things.  The apostle Paul highlights what saints need to know about sinning… Romans, Chapter 7, Verses 14 to 25…


ROMANS 7:14 

For we now know that the Mosaic Law is spiritual (because God the Son wrote it)… but I (Paul) am of flesh (I am in a body with indwelling sin)…(I am) sold into bondage to sin (in the flesh).


Even though the flesh (indwelling sin) has been crucified at the Cross and is dead, God did not remove “the flesh” from our mortal bodies at the moment of salvation.  “The flesh” still considers you to be its property, even though you no longer are its property, and it is no longer your sovereign.  “The flesh” is your inside enemy.  “The flesh” hates you…it is out to destroy you…it is out to destroy everything you have…and it is out to destroy everyone you love.  Christians totally underestimate this insidious, treacherous, deceitful, seemingly harmless, but actually disastrous enemy.  


As the penalty for having the flesh (indwelling sin) in the body, the Christian’s body dies physically. It’s a joyous time when we are free, once and for all time, of this body of death with the flesh (and its indwelling sin).  So, here is our experience with the flesh as a companion…


ROMANS 7:15 

For what I am doing (in my outer game that the world sees), I do not understand…for I am not practicing (in my outer game) what I would like to do…but I am doing the very thing I hate (to do…I am not living the spiritual inner game…which is what I want to do).


After years of observing ourselves, and shedding all the superficial explanations for our conduct that are offered by the world, if we want to, we can realize that the only explanation we need for our conduct is contained right here in a single and simple verse…Romans, Chapter 7, Verse 15…I want to behave well…and I can’t…I don’t…because my will is not stronger than the flesh (indwelling sin).  


ROMANS 7:16 

But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, and I do, I agree with the Mosaic Law, confessing that the Mosaic Law is good (IT is holy, IT is righteous, IT is from God).


ROMANS 7:17 

So now (my insight is that) no longer am I the one doing the sinning…but the flesh (indwelling sin in me) is doing the sinning.


It is not our souls that sin…it is not the real us that sins…it is the flesh that sins.  Paul has correctly identified that there is a difference between himself (who he is) and what the flesh (indwelling sin) does. Paul is not engaging in self-justification.  The flesh (indwelling sin) IS doing the sinning.  At the moment of salvation, you are a new creation…and the new creation is not able to sin…First John, Chapter 3, Verse 9…



No one who is a born again one of God the Father practices sin…because the Father’s seed abides in him (absolute righteousness) … and he cannot sin…because he is a born again one of God the Father.


You don’t sin.  The flesh sins.  Romans, Chapter 7, Verse 18…


ROMANS 7:18 

For I (Paul) know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh…for the willing(ness to do good…the wish to do good) is present in me…but the (actual) doing of the good is not (present in me…in the flesh).


Paul wants to do good but he realizes he cannot carry out his desire alone.  He says, “I can will it, but I cannot do it.”  The thing that once owned us as a slave…the thing that was once our sovereign…the flesh (indwelling sin)…is still wooing us to listen to it.  We become smart as Christians when we place no confidence in “the flesh.”  


ROMANS 7:19 

For the good that I want to do, I do not do…but I PRACTICE the very evil that I do not want to do.


Paul’s “fleshly” game is no good.  Thus, he is dependent on God’s help.  A sobering time for most Christians is that time when they realize they are powerless to affect the changes they want to affect in their lives.  Any time we change, it is God changing us…God does the work for us.


ROMANS 7:20 

But if I am doing the very thing I do not want to do, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin (the flesh) which indwells me (is doing it).


When we listen to the flesh, and do its bidding, we are doomed to defeat.  How ironic that believers in Christ, who have already overcome, who already have the victory, would forfeit the game.  


ROMANS 7:21 

I (Paul) find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good.


Surprise…surprise…surprise…for most believers in Christ it is a shock that they still have evil inside and that it is very active…each believer has a thorn in the flesh…and it is constantly buffeting us.  Yet a believer in Christ was not designed to live listening to the influence of “the flesh.” 


ROMANS 7:22 

For I (Paul) joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man…


Paul is saying, “In my mind…in my soul…the law of God rules!”


ROMANS 7:23 

…but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members (the physical body).


Paul is saying, “In my ‘flesh’ … the law of sin rules.”  


There is a battle for control of the soul between the law in our bodies and the law in our minds.  We are powerless against the flesh (indwelling sin) if we go up against it with our will.  Woe to the believer in Christ who has not yet learned this simple truth concerning the war within.  Woe to the believer in Christ who does not acknowledge the depth of this reality.  Paul agrees…


ROMANS 7:24 

Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?


Paul expresses his frustration that he can’t defeat the flesh.  Paul admits to the defeat of his human power.  He would rather be self-sufficient.  “I want to do it, but I can’t.  Why… why…why?”  Paul describes the flesh (indwelling sin) as the body of sin and the body of death, meaning the body bringing sin and the body bringing death.


This is an expression of frustration from a man who is trying to live the law, when he has been freed from the law of sin and death.  Wretched indeed is the one who is entangled in this frustrating and fruitless lifestyle.  Have you given up on the self-life yet?  Paul had the answer to his question of deliverance in Philippians, Chapter 4, Verse 13…



I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.




ROMANS 7:25 

Thanks be to God the Father through Jesus Christ our Lord (who delivered us)! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God…but on the other hand, with my flesh I am serving the law of sin.


It’s not until we realize our total dependence on God to save us that we are ready to really live as Christians.  Here are a couple of insights from my good friend Pastor John Farley…



The sinner (an unbeliever) struggles in vain to find forgiveness and peace until he looks outside himself to CHRIST who made peace for everyone through His shed blood on the Cross.



The saint (a believer in Christ) struggles in vain to find victory over sin by self-effort, and is frustrated completely until he looks outside himself to God the Holy Spirit for enabling power.


It’s not until we realize our total dependence on God to save us and to deliver us that we are ready to enjoy the victory the Lord gave us at the Cross.  Whenever we make a choice, we are always giving our power to a source outside of ourselves to do the work…we give our power to the flesh…who sins…OR we give our power to God the Holy Spirit who pours His enabling power into us, showing us how to live righteously.


When we return from our five-minute break, we’ll take the offering and then we’ll continue our study of First Corinthians, Chapter 1.



Unconditional Love

Donna Summers


TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON - Let There Be No Rivalries Among You


The Lord Jesus Christ came to earth to demonstrate how we should live.  Giving was His specialty.  Second Corinthians, Chapter 8, Verse 9…



For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ…that though He was rich (as Deity…as God who had everything) … yet for your sake He became poor (taking on the form of true humanity…making Himself a nothing) … so that you…through the Lord’s poverty might become rich (by being saved).


Just as we benefit from His generosity, give, so others around the world can benefit from your generosity.  Let’s welcome up Deacon Denny Goodall with the offering message.



Deacon Denny Goodall





Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus…





so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.




David Bauer, Instrumental


TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON - Let There Be No Rivalries Among You



In First Timothy, Chapter 6, Verse 12 the Lord invites us to think about our spiritual life as an athlete would think in a contest…



Keep on fighting the good fight of faith…


Until there are all zeroes on the clock of your life, God wants you to press on in the face of trials and adversity.  Here is that idea put to song by the group Unspoken in their song GOOD FIGHT.



Be Occupied with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ

Enjoy the Singing of His Praises





TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON - Let There Be No Rivalries Among You


In light of the fact that the Corinthians have a great teacher, and a great church…and in light of the fact that the sin problem has been cared for at the Cross…they ought to contemplate Rodney King’s question, “Why can’t we all just get along?”  That’s not what happened in the Corinthian church… First Corinthians, Chapter 1, Verses 10 to 17…



Now I (Paul) exhort you, brethren (fellow believers in Christ), by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.



For I (Paul) have been informed concerning you, my brethren (in the church at Corinth), by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you.


Fighting disrupts an already established unity…


Now what I (Paul) mean by this is that each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” and “I am of Apollos,” and “I am of Cephas,” and “I am of Christ.”


Rivalry…one-upmanship…I am better than you are…now Paul asks the blockbuster question…



Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?



I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius…



…so that no one would say you were baptized in my name.



Now I did baptize also the household of Stephanas…beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized any other.



For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the Cross of Christ would not be made void.


How do rivalries manifest themselves?  I was thinking about this in light of the recent Pastor Appreciation Day.  It was Denise Jones’ idea to have this day, and we celebrated it for the second time this year.  My thought is…who cares, really, whose idea it was?  Wasn’t this just the manifestation of a spiritual gift…perhaps the gift of giving?


Then the rest of us got on board.  We thought, “Yeah…maybe we ought to let the schmuck know we appreciate him.  After all, one of these days he might figure out that if he didn’t have to be here on Sunday he could be off galivanting around the world for longer times in cooler places.  Then what would we do on Sundays?”


Then comes the challenge of who should bring the food, and all hell breaks loose.  I start hearing about misunderstandings, and text messaging, and he said she said and toes that we don’t want to step on.  All of a sudden, we compete instead of cooperating. 


The answer of cooperation is this simple.  I want to bring the drinks.  You decide to bring them and you bring them.  It doesn’t really matter who else brings drinks because you are deciding to bring the drinks for the benefit of all, and you decided to do it because you want to.  If we have too many drinks, it’s a nice problem to have.  You don’t need anyone’s permission to bring drinks.


In Barah Ministries, I don’t ever want to see this kind of rivalry crap.  I don’t hand out merit points for the things you do.  You are doing things as unto the Lord and not as unto the Pastor!


Here’s what I have seen.  “I am of Thieme!”  “I am of McLaughlin.” “I am of the Pope.”  Eyes on men.  Who cares?  What I haven’t seen is, “I am of Rory.”  


We’ll study this third passage of First Corinthians in more depth next week, but the simple fact is that in relationships, rivalries kill.  So, we avoid them like the plague.  When you start expecting things from people, that’s when your misery begins.



Make the Most Important Decision of Your Life


The closing moments of our study are for the benefit of anyone who does not have a personal relationship with the Sovereign God of the Universe, the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  We want you to know that GOD WANTS YOU. 


Life may be puzzling, but there is nothing puzzling about how to get to heaven.  The Bible sums it up in three verses.  The first is John, Chapter 14, Verse 6…


JOHN 14:6

Jesus said to the doubting apostle, Thomas, “I AM the way (to salvation),

and I AM the truth (through the Word of God), and I AM the resurrection life (eternal life)…and no one comes to God the Father in heaven but through believing in Me.”


The second verse is Acts, Chapter 16, Verse 31…


ACTS 16:31 

“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and everyone in your household who also believes.”


The third verse is John, Chapter 3, Verse 36…


JOHN 3:36

“He who believes in the Son has the resurrection life right at that moment… but he who does not obey the command to believe in the Son will not see the resurrection life…instead the wrath of God (the Lake of Fire) abides on him.”


Who is this God who saves you?  The apostle Paul describes the Lord Jesus Christ…in First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verses 3 and 4… 



For I (Paul) delivered to you as of first importance what I also received… that it was Jesus Christ who died for our sins according to the Scriptures…



…and that He was buried…and that He was raised from the dead on the third day…according to the Scriptures…


What are you waiting for?  Right where you sit, right now, you can tell God the Father you are believing in His Son, Jesus Christ, and that is the moment of eternal life for you.  Do it now!




Human relationships, especially with family, can be pretty challenging.  In the Bible, the Lord tells us the secret for dealing with human relationships in Ephesians, Chapter 4, Verses 31 and 32…



Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.


Stop doing the common sins…



(Instead)…be kind to one another…tender-hearted…forgiving each other… just as God the Father, in Christ, also has forgiven you.


Do just as Christ did, who in a single action, at a single moment in time in the past, has forgiven all of His creatures for all of their sins, once and for all time.  Here’s June Murphy to sing one of her new songs about the subject… it’s called WE’RE FORGIVEN.




June Murphy



Let us pray...


Thanks for coming!

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Thanks for listening!


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