Arrogance and Godliness Play By Different Rules

2023 March  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  42:06
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Life and Living are Different Categories

Last week I was covering 1 Corinthians Chapter 4 and dealt with the challenges we have living with this amazing grace that God offers us in Jesus Christ. We talked about the error that pride brings in, that we begin to believe that Jesus died for my sins because I deserved it, and maybe you don’t deserve it, from where I’m standing.
We were still dealing with the cliques in the church, as each little group was starting to create an identity that was different than any other group in the church. So if you are with us, you are “in” and if you aren’t with us, you are “out”.

When Pride Purges Propriety, Righteousness is Ruined

It’s all about me.

Righteousness Produces Godliness

It’s all about what God is about.

Different Masters, Different Goals.

Pride Creates Arrogance

1 Corinthians 4:18–20 ESV
18 Some are arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power. 20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.
Let me illustrate:
In our daily living, we all know there’s a difference between someone who just “blows hot air” with what they have to say about themselves and what happens when some real heat is used to get some work done.
Arrogant words like Paul is talking about are just so much hot air, compared with the power of God that comes through the Holy Spirit.
Put on your mechanical thinking caps for a minute.
Let’s build a machine in our minds. We’ll start with a large welded cylinder made of iron and steel. Now lets put some heat under it. By the way, you have one of these at home. Fill it full of water and it’s called a water heater. The same thing that made your shower comfy and steamed up the bathroom windows. But lets go a little further.
Let’s make that big enough to fill a room in your house. Now we’ll put a huge fire under it, from coal or gas or wood or even a reactor. We’ll call it a boiler, and fill it about 1/4 of the way up. So now, with a boiler part full of water, we’re using that huge fire to boil the water. That makes steam. With the valves all closed, that boiling water will produce steam that can be up to hundreds of degrees with pressures that can be in the hundreds or even thousands of pounds-per-square-inch.
If you want a little fun, just search “exploding water heater” on YouTube or Google. That’s going to show you an un-controlled steam explosion because steam from boiling water has real power in it. The reason your water heater has a steam release valve on it is because you really don’t want your water heater to destroy your house, which is what it can do, as easily as a large bomb can.
And steam-driven power under control is what was used in mechanical steam-shovels to move mountains, and dig the Panama canal. Steam power was used to move long trains at high speed on the railroads, and is still used to move battleships at sea. REAL power, from the right heat applied in the right way to water, that is controlled in pressure and piped to a steam engine or turbine and gets some real work done.
That’s the difference between the arrogance of words which are only so much hot air, and the real work that properly applied power can do.
In a spiritual sense, there is a that kind of difference between words and the Holy Spirit’s power working for God’s purposes to really get something done.
1 Corinthians 4:20–21 ESV
20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power. 21 What do you wish? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love in a spirit of gentleness?
When I spoke last week on learning to live with amazing grace, this is where we stopped. This is where the principle is explained, and where the sensitive soul will start to search themselves to discover if they are living in the truth or lying about what grace allows them to do. Experiencing the freedom of grace’s forgiveness, some went too far and claimed they were above the law, or more important than others, or God’s most favorite person ever, to take a role that their pride wanted rather than a place were God wanted to work through them. It destroys relationships, destroys truth, and misuses the glories of saving grace.
Now we will jump into the muck left over from pride and arrogance that even thumbs its nose at God. This is happening because

Arrogant Pride Produces Scandal

and Paul goes on to describe a situation inside the church that even makes the ungodly blush:
1 Corinthians 5:1–2 ESV
1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. 2 And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.
Now, this does not say a man took his mother as wife, instead that he took his father’s wife for himself. Likely not his own mother, but that is possible. You get into this level of sin, and it can turn into all kinds of junk. And when humanity begins to think that sin doesn’t really matter, there is no end to the depth of sin that won’t be tried, and it is apparent in society, destructive to relationships, slavery to those who are captured by it, and abhorrent to the holiness of God. Things quickly become the absolute antithesis of righteousness.
Paul knows that whoever is doing this feels like he has a right to do it. Or that no one will dare to stop him. Maybe he’s the landlord that a bunch of church members are renting from, or the factory owner where a bunch of people make their living, or the political blow-hard that is real good at bringing in wealth from others through untried promises.
Whatever it is, this is someone the rest of the church leadership is a little afraid of. So Paul tell them,

I’ll Take the Hit

1 Corinthians 5:3–5 ESV
3 For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. 4 When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.
Here is the essence of what Paul is saying.
My spirit is with you in a very real sense, since the Holy Spirit in me is the same Holy Spirit in you. All Paul had to do was to hear of the situation to know that this was wrong, and something that freedom in Christ does not allow.
Grace frees us from the penalties of law, but does not free us from the obligation to live for God, not for ourselves.
Paul will take the hit against this apparently important or at least self-important man.
“I have already pronounced judgement” based on what is right, no matter what the world around us may say is legal.
Paul says, “so on my authority, when you are gathered “in the name of the Lord Jesus, and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus”, take the steps that need to be taken.
Here is where the price of sin becomes desperate: “Deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh.”
We will see a little further into 1 Corinthians that sexual sin is a sin of the flesh which has very real consequences for the health of one’s own body. Sexually transmitted diseases are still having devastating effects throughout our society. I don’t need to list them for you. But you should know that the consequences of sin against our own bodies will result in diseases or damages that won’t be healed at every case.
If you want to arrogantly sin against your own flesh, expect that your own bodies won’t be on your side as the consequences of your sin produces disease, cancer, infection, and other breakdowns.
Paul is not proclaiming that this sinner is unsaved or unsavable. Because of amazing grace, even the most destructive of sins still leaves open the realities of grace, “So that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.”
When Pride Purges Propriety Righteousness is Ruined
It’s all about me.
Now its time to clean house:

Take a Lesson from Passover Preparations

1 Corinthians 5:6–7 ESV
6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.

Righteousness Produces Godliness

It’s all about what God is about.
Different masters, different goals.
Clean Things Up and

Celebrate Truth

1 Corinthians 5:8 ESV
8 Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Don’t Abandon the World

1 Corinthians 5:9–10 ESV
9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.

Deal With the Sin Faithfully

1 Corinthians 5:11–12 ESV
11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?

Do Not Judge Arrogantly

Matthew 7:1–2 ESV
1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.

Final Judgement is Reserved for God

John 8:50 ESV
50 Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge.

The Word Itself Will Be Judge

John 12:48 ESV
48 The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.
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