FCOR-16-191229 - length: 99:55 - taught on Dec, 29 2019
We share in Paul's fate and the unity of the beloved
a Christian Church
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 with us here on earth…He is 100% true humanity. Therefore, He is the Lord Jesus Christ…the God-Man…100% God and 100% man in One Person forever…the uniquely born One…the Sovereign God of the Universe…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
Every Person and Every Church Belongs to God
Do you ever wonder what the Lord was telling us through Paul the apostle in Ephesians, Chapter 4, Verse 1? It says…
Therefore I (Paul), the prisoner of the Lord, implore you believers in Christ to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called…
The Christians “walk” is The Christian Way of Living…it is your lifestyle.
As we begin our study of First Corinthians, the seventh book of the New Testament, a question suggests itself. How would you describe your lifestyle? I once described my lifestyle as RELENTLESS FOR CHRIST. I’m quite certain, both at that time, and now, that this is a description a desired state as well as a future state.
As you begin to describe your lifestyle, you might be tempted to begin the answer with “I.” But the truth is there are only two lifestyles…a godly lifestyle and a worldly lifestyle. For the Christian, God expects us to live the godly lifestyle…that’s what He means by walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called. Our Lord elaborates in Ephesians, Chapter 2, Verse 10…
For we believers in Christ are God the Father’s workmanship…created to be in union with Christ Jesus for good works…which God the Father prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
God the Holy Spirit is assigned to guide us, to teach us, and to shape our godly lifestyle. It is not our responsibility to become godly through our own efforts, but becoming godly does involve our choices. So as we continue our study of First Corinthians, we are not only going to be hearing about the sins that so easily entangle us…we’re actually going to be looking into the mirror of the Word of God to inspect our lifestyles so we can ask God the Holy Spirit to rid us of all the elements of our lifestyles that are not godly.
In today’s lesson, we’ll begin our verse by verse study of First Corinthians…in addition, we’ll celebrate The Lord’s Supper and in it we’ll learn that at the Cross, the Lord taught us to cultivate unity with each other. Welcome to a place where you can learn to live in the unity into which you have been placed by the Lord Jesus Christ.
Hebrews, Chapter 9, Verse 27 says…
…it is appointed for men to die once…and after this comes judgment (the evaluation by God)…
God does not propose to judge us until the end of our days. The people in our lives judge us as unfinished products all the time. In addition, we judge ourselves as unfinished products…prematurely. Here is the group For King and Country to remind us to let the judging be done by the Righteous Judge…our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…in their song GOD ONLY KNOWS.
MUSIC AND REFLECTION
Be Occupied with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ
Enjoy the Singing of His Praises
GOD ONLY KNOWS
For King and Country
Let us pray...
We’re grateful, Heavenly Father, for the privilege of studying Your absolute truth...the Word of God…
Father, thank you for loving us so much that You sent Your uniquely born Son…that whosoever believers in Him might share in His resurrection life…thank you for God the Holy Spirit...who intercedes for us during prayers, even this one, with groanings too deep for words…thank you for letting Him lead us into all the truth…thank you for your amazing and personal plan for each of us which You continue to unfold before our very eyes, day-by-day, as You keep on perfecting us through the renovation of our thinking…
As we study Your word, let the eyes of our hearts be enlightened so that we can know the hope that comes from Your calling us to be saints…and so we can know the glorious riches of the inheritance You have set aside for us through our union with Christ…
…we ask this through the power of God the Holy Spirit…in Christ’s
TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON
Every Person and Every Church Belongs to God
Let’s begin our study of the first three passages of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians…the passages are…
First Corinthians 1:1-3
First Corinthians 1:4-9
First Corinthians 1:10 - First Corinthians 4:21
The first two passages of First Corinthians are soooo romantic! Here’s the first passage…First Corinthians, Chapter 1, Verses 1 to 3…listen to its amazing flow…
FIRST CORINTHIANS 1:1
Paul, called (as a “sent man”) to be an apostle of Jesus Christ BY THE WILL OF GOD…and Sosthenes our brother…
FIRST CORINTHIANS 1:2a
…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 (no longer sinners)…
FIRST CORINTHIANS 1:2b
…together with all those in every place who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…their Lord and our Lord…
FIRST CORINTHIANS 1:3
…grace to you and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul is not one to waste words. After all, all Scripture is God breathed, so everything Paul writes has been dictated to Him as the exact thoughts of the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, very word has meaning. When we study the Word of God, we must remember that every word of Scripture has a depth that cannot be tapped out. In this first passage, the Lord is making it clear that Paul is His possession. Paul did not choose to become an apostle because He was ambitious…even though he was quite ambitious.
Paul became an apostle of God because the Lord called Him…Paul responded…and the Lord trained Him and sent Him out to be the apostle to the Gentiles. Paul is sanctified…Paul is in union with Christ…Paul is a saint…Paul is a “sent man” who is enslaved to God by his own choice to do the will of the One who sent Him. We share this fate with Paul. We, too, as believers in Christ are sanctified…in union with Christ…saints…and sent into this world on a ministry.
In the next lesson we’ll learn exactly what these words mean and why they are so important. For now, please know that Paul is from God, as are you.
Here’s the second passage…First Corinthians, Chapter 1, Verses 4 to 9…feel the words…
FIRST CORINTHIANS 1:4
I (Paul) thank my God the Father always concerning you believers in Christ at Corinth…I think Him for the grace of God the Father which was given to you (at Corinth) who are in union with Christ Jesus…
FIRST CORINTHIANS 1:5
…that in everything you were enriched in union with Christ Jesus…enriched in all of the Word…and enriched in all knowledge…
FIRST CORINTHIANS 1:6
…even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you…
FIRST CORINTHIANS 1:7
…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)…
FIRST CORINTHIANS 1:8
…(The Lord)…who will also confirm you to the end (your salvation is
secure)…blameless (free from condemnation and accusation) in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
FIRST CORINTHIANS 1:9
God the Father is faithful…through whom you were called by God the Father into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Corinthian church is God’s church. It is not man made. It is intentionally placed in one of the most immoral climates in the history of mankind. The Corinthians church members were perfectly taught…totally equipped for spiritual battle…and they went off the rails! It is reminiscent of what happened with the angelic creatures. They had a perfect God…they were in perfect environment…and they all sinned and fell short of the glory of God…they turned on their leader…they profaned their sanctuaries.
The Corinthians church was not man made. They were organized by a “sent man” from God and they were God’s chosen church. When Paul left for Ephesus, “all hell done broke loose.” The Corinthians church, instead of being a beacon of light became a tunnel of darkness.
The third passage…First Corinthians, Chapter 1, Verses 10 to 13…
FIRST CORINTHIANS 1:10
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.
FIRST CORINTHIANS 1:11
For I (Paul) have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you.
FIRST CORINTHIANS 1:12
Now what I mean by this is that each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas,” and “I of Christ.”
FIRST CORINTHIANS 1:13
Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
The Corinthian church lost its way. It became a worldly church. Luckily there were people in the church who wanted to get the church back on the rails. They made the long journey to Ephesus to seek Paul out and to bring him a list of question that were not really questions, to get his spiritual opinion on world matters.
This passage must confound false teachers. In verses one through nine, through Paul, God makes it clear…I sent a Pastor who I My man…I organized a church through Him that is my church…the church members were well trained and totally equipped…and then they sinned. It is totally clear that this letter is written to believers in Christ, a group of believers who after being well trained are now engaging in appalling immorality. Yet Paul is saying that this group of Christians is “confirmed by God to the end… blameless…free from condemnation and accusation…until the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” How can this be? If saints keep on sinning after salvation, how can they be blameless?
The members of God’s church turn on each other and they turn on their God chosen teacher. Like all of us, when we have something wonderful in our hands, we intentionally destroy it. Who will deliver us from the body of this death? Thanks be to God the Father and to the Lord Jesus Christ. We’ll learn these passages in more depth in our next lesson. Let these thoughts set the stage for what is to come as we examine our own lifestyles which we will find to be totally consistent with the Corinthian lifestyles.
When we return from our five-minute break, we’ll take the offering and then we’ll celebrate the Lord’s Supper.
FIVE MINUTE BREAK
TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON
Every Person and Every Church Belongs to God
Matthew, Chapter 6, Verses 1 to 4 say…
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by
them… otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.”
“So when you give to the poor…do not sound a trumpet before you…as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets…so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you…they have their reward in full.”
“But when you give to the poor…do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing…”
“…so that your giving will be in secret…and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”
There is a lot of anonymous giving in Barah Ministries. There are a lot of people in Barah Ministries who give without counting the cost. Let your giving be voluntary…as you are led by God the Holy Spirit…who is always looking for a chance to reward you for your faithfulness in giving.
Let’s welcome up Deacon Denny Goodall with the offering message.
Deacon Denny Goodall
Set your mind on the things above…not on the things that are on earth.//For you (as the old man...the flesh) have died (with Christ) and this resurrection life of yours is hidden with Christ and with God the Father.
THERE IS NONE LIKE YOU
David Bauer, Instrumental
THE LORD’S SUPPER CELEBRATION
At the Cross, the Lord Taught Us the Power of Unity with Each Other
Welcome to The Lord’s Supper Celebration, the most intimate expression of our love for the Lord Jesus Christ in The Christian Way of Living. The Lord demonstrates His desire for a deep, intimate and personal relationship with His believers by creating a way to keep on sharing His body and His blood with us, just as He did with His apostles on the night before His death. Luke, Chapter 22, Verses 14 to 16…
When the hour had come (and His crucifixion was near) … the Lord Jesus Christ reclined at the Passover table…and the apostles reclined with Him.
And the Lord said to the apostles, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover meal with you before I suffer … ”
“…for I say to you I (the Lord Jesus Christ) shall never again eat this
Passover meal until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God the Father.”
In First Corinthians, Chapter 11, Verse 26, the apostle Paul says, on behalf of the Lord…
FIRST CORINTHIANS 11:26
…as often as you eat this bread (representing His body)…and as often as you drink this cup (representing His blood)…as part of the Lord’s Supper Celebration…you proclaim as a reality and you announce the significance of the Lord Jesus Christ’s death on the Cross…and His resurrection from the dead…until He comes again at the second coming.
The Lord’s Supper Celebration is a time when the resident members of this congregation join hands through the miles with our non-resident members, and we demonstrate our unity by remembering our Lord together. This is a celebration for which we set aside time. We don’t do it on the move.
During the Lord’s Supper Celebration, Jesus wants His believers to look
back to the Cross for a moment. He wants us to REMEMBER how He rescued us from the kingdom of darkness. He wants us to REMEMBER the sacrifice of shedding His blood to cover our sins. He wants us to REMEMBER the deliverance to the resurrection life He orchestrated, bringing us into His kingdom of light. Most of all, the Lord wants His believers to look forward with ANTICIPATION that He is coming again.
As believers in Christ, when we celebrate The Lord’s Supper, we ask ourselves in reflection, “What did the Lord Jesus Christ do for us at the Cross?”
The second chapter of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is soooo romantic, and it tells one of the stories about what the Lord did there. The second chapter of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, like the entire Bible, is a love letter from God to the human race. Today it is a privilege to share a part of this love letter with you…Ephesians, Chapter 2, Verses 11 to 17…
Therefore, remember…that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision” … which, by the way, is circumcision performed on the flesh by human hands—
…remember that you were at that time (when you were unbelievers) separate from Christ…excluded from the commonwealth of Israel…and strangers to the covenants of promise…having no hope and without a relationship with God the Father in the world.
BUT NOW…in union with Christ Jesus…you who formerly were far off… have been brought near to God the Father by the blood of Christ.
For the Lord Jesus Christ Himself is our peace…who made both groups (Jews and Gentiles) into one group…and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall…
…by abolishing in His flesh the enmity (the hostility…the hatred…the ill will…the animosity)…which is the Mosaic Law…commandments contained in ordinances…so that in Himself…the Lord Jesus Christ might make the two groups (Jews and Gentiles) into one new man (in unity with Him)…thus establishing peace…
…and that the Lord Jesus Christ might reconcile both (Jews and Gentiles) in one body (The Body of Christ) to God the Father through the Cross…by the Cross having put to death the enmity.
Reading this brief passage and the passage right before it took my breath away as I prepared for this Lord’s Supper celebration…and I wept tears of joy. We don’t merely celebrate a Pastor today…although I am both glad and grateful that you have chosen to do so…we also celebrate a ministry…Barah Ministries…which began as a gift to my children at a dining room table at 1903 W. Aspen Avenue in Gilbert, AZ almost twenty years ago to the day.
More importantly, today we celebrate the Source of this ministry and this Pastor…God the Father, the planner of our lives…God the Son, who took on the form of a man as Jesus Christ to become the uniquely born Person of the Universe and the Savior of all mankind with His blood on a Cross…and we celebrate our Guide and our Mentor and our Teacher…God the Holy Spirit. We celebrate the Cross…which solved every problem we would ever have in this life…because the Lord Jesus Christ chose to die on it so that we could live…so that we could be reconciled to His Father…so that we could share in the magnificence of the resurrection life we now have as believers in Christ, the magnitude of which will be revealed to us in due time.
Barah Ministries began as a commitment to my sons and to my family…a commitment to lead them into the one and only relationship that matters in this brief earthly journey…a relationship with Christ. It began as a commitment to fill their souls with the truth of the Word of God so they could enjoy this tribulation filled journey on earth, regardless of its ups or downs.
When people heard about what we were doing at that dining room table, they joined the celebration each Sunday. Before I even knew what happened, there were several people sharing in this ministry.
Most of you moved from somewhere else in the country to be a part of Barah Ministries. If you ever wonder why I am faithful to this ministry aside from the obviousness of my faithfulness to the Source, our Lord, it’s because you moving here…you being a part of this ministry is a statement that you trust me to help you find out the truth about the only One who matters in the universe…our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
In the process of being a part of this ministry, many have touched this ministry and many have touched my life. I am grateful to everyone who has touched this place in any way…live…or by internet…or by publication… because I am happy whenever anyone wades through the lies and the deception of this world to allow Christ to find them and to save them. I am especially grateful when those same ones who are saved want to grow in the sphere of grace in the knowledge of the Lord and Savior.
What exists here at Barah Ministries is a remnant…the wheat. God has gently blown away the chaff from His church…unbelievers who cannot understand the things of God the Holy Spirit…life’s spectators who enjoy hearing the truth but do not enjoy believing it. He has plucked some of the wheat from this church as well, other believers in Christ who chose to focus on men instead of on the Lord and the unity into which He placed us.
The Lord’s will be done no matter what. This remnant, Barah Ministries, will continue to grow with or without any of us because it was God-breathed in the first place…and the door the Lord has opened here, no one can shut.
I wouldn’t even want to attempt to put my gratitude for all of you into words. Feelings have always been things that I experience in private. In my outward face, it appears I have none. Many tell me I am cold. My pillows would tell you a different story. My pillows and I have intimate relationships, and into them I mutter softly or scream loudly or cry out those feelings of excruciating agony or squeals of absolute delight that come from the ups and downs of my life.
I imagine it was the same for the Lord Jesus Christ as He was bearing His Cross. He said a few things out loud…“Father forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.” Yet He also felt things that were too deep for words as He broke down the barrier of the dividing wall at the Cross. All I hope for in this life is that He is happy with the lives I have touched in error…and the lives I have touched in earnest. I hope He is happy that through those I have touched in error…through those I have hurt…that it taught me the value of treating people well. I hope He is happy that through those I have touched in earnest, that I filled their souls with the truth they will use to press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. I wanted them to really know Him.
I look forward to our eternity in heaven, when all the things we go through in this brief stint on earth become perfectly clear as they are brought before the Light…my Light…the righteous Judge…our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
When I look back at the Cross, I see the reason for my existence.
There is nothing I could ever say that would be good enough to express my appreciation for everything He has made me think, say, do, or be. I am happy to be in union with Him, and I am even happier that He placed me into union with you…my dearest friends. It will go unsaid many times…but my pillows know the truth. I love you with all my heart, and all my mind, and all my soul, and all my strength. And there are miles to go before we sleep. Thank you for the honor of your presence. Thank you for stopping to tell me what you think of me. Thank you for loving my Lord with me.
THE LORD’S SUPPER CELEBRATION
Enjoying the Elements
Obeying God’s command, we keep on celebrating Christ and His Cross
regularly. We eat to remember who He is as a PERSON. We drink to remember His WORK on the Cross…the voluntary sacrifice He made to deliver us. We remember with gratitude what God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ have done to save us. Matthew, Chapter 26, Verses 26 to 28…
While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take…eat…this is My body (which is being broken for you).”
And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you…”
“…for this is My blood…the blood of a new testament (a new covenant)…
blood poured out for many for the forgiveness of their sins.”
As you enjoy the bread and the cup, REMEMBER the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Let us keep on giving thanks that we are loved unconditionally and we are accepted fully by a Lord who is always there for us…the One on whom we depend. Let’s keep on being transformed by His life…His death…His burial…His resurrection from the dead…and His Word.
We take pleasure in knowing who we are in Christ. Here is Casting Crowns to ask us to contemplate it in their song WHO AM I?
LORD’S SUPPER SONG
WHO AM I
GOD WANTS YOU!
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.
When a person evangelizes to you, they are presenting a gospel message for your consideration. They know they cannot “convert” you, although the pressure you experience from some of them might feel like that’s what they want to do. Most are simply giving you facts to consider…facts that you may or may not know.
For example…if you have ever had Jehovah’s Witnesses come to your door, they are evangelizing to you. If you have ever had members of the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-Day Saints come to your door, they are evangelizing to you. Unfortunately, both of those groups are inviting you to share eternity with them in the Lake of Fire, because neither of these groups believe that Jesus Christ is God. I have family members who are part of one of these religions, and in spite of my best evangelism efforts, my family members don’t want to hear anything God has to say through me.
Many parents are leading their children to a destiny in the Lake of Fire. If you want to assess whether or not you’re a good parent, just ask yourself a simple question…are you influencing your children to have a relationship with the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Sovereign God of the Universe? He is the only way to get to heaven…John, Chapter 14, Verse 6…
Jesus said to the doubting apostle, Thomas, “I am the way (to salvation), and I am the truth (through the gospel message…the Word of God), and I am the resurrection life…and no one comes to God the Father (in heaven) but through believing in Me.”
If a gospel message makes it sound like you have to work to get to heaven, it’s probably a false gospel message. Second Peter, Chapter 2, Verse 1 warns…
SECOND PETER 2:1
…false prophets also arose among the people…just as there will also be false teachers among you…who will secretly introduce destructive heresies…even denying the Master (the Lord Jesus Christ) who bought them (to earth)…bringing swift destruction upon themselves.
Romans, Chapter 11, Verse 6 says we don’t have to work to be saved…
…if salvation is by grace (a free gift from God)…and of course it is…it is no longer on the basis of works…otherwise grace (as a free gift) is no longer grace (it is not free).
Romans, Chapter 4, Verse 4 says you CAN’T work for salvation…
Now to the one who works (for salvation), his wage (for his work) is not credited (to his account) as a favor (from the grace of God), but (his wage is credited) as what is due for the work.
Unfortunately, your hardest work is not perfect enough to earn you a spot in heaven. Do you want to get to heaven free of charge? Acts, Chapter 16, Verse 31…
“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and everyone in your household who also believes.”
John, Chapter 3, Verse 36 warns…
“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.”
John, Chapter 3, Verse 17 highlights Jesus’ mission…
For God the Father did not send God the Son (the Lord Jesus Christ) into the world to judge the world…but the Father sent the Son into the world that the world might be saved through 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…
FIRST CORINTHIANS 15:3
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…
FIRST CORINTHIANS 15:4
…and that He was buried…and that He was raised from the dead on the third day…according to the Scriptures…
Take the free gift of eternal life right now! There’s no time to waste! God wants you. If you want to go to heaven when you close your eyes in this life, simply believe of the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.
God is omniscient…He knows everything that is knowable…but He is pretty forgetful about one thing…your sins. Psalm 103, Verses 10 to 12…
The Lord has not treat us as our sins deserve…nor does He punish us for our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth…so high is His lovingkindness toward those who respect Him.
And as far as the east is from the west…so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
God forgets because He loves us unconditionally. God forgets because He has compassion for us. God forgets because He paid for every sin every creature would commit in the past…in the present…and in the future. God is able to separate our sins from the creature who sins. June Murphy, in one of her excellent songs, reminds us that with our Lord…HE REMEMBERS TO FORGET.
HE REMEMBERS TO FORGET
Let us pray...
Thanks for coming!
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Thanks for listening!