A Privilege of Grace - RR274N26b
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|This transcript is unedited. It was:|
|Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library|
|Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules|
|Posted by with permission.|
[Man speaking] Pray that You would give us wisdom as we seek to obey you better each day. We thank You for this lord’s day and the opportunity to gather together. We pray for all those that are gathered today in Your name. We pray that You would bless us and our families, we pray that You would guard our families and protect them from all the dangers that our world holds for them. We pray that You would guard them in your tender hands and guide them so that they would know you and follow you all the days of their lives. We pray for Thy church everywhere, we pray that You would strengthen it, encourage it and we pray that You would revive it, we pray that You would cause it not to be just a gathering place, but a place for action, a place where people could find real meaning and purpose and direction in their lives in the midst of an evil generation. We pray that You would encourage us in serving You this day and this time we have together, we ask this in Christ our Savior’s name, Amen.
[Rushdoony] Our scripture this morning is First Corinthians 16:12-24. First Corinthians 14:12-24. Our subject: A Privilege of Grace.
“As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren: but his will was not at all to come at this time; but he will come when he shall have convenient time.
13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.
14 Let all your things be done with charity.
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 Maranatha.
23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.”
We come now to the conclusion of First Corinthians...
We come now to the conclusion of First Corinthians and we will continue next week with Second Corinthians, a continuation of the same theme in dealing with other aspects of the same problem. One of the first things we must note is that the humanistic view of history is dishonest. It gives us a favorable view of man, with his progress, his hopes, and his love for things that are good. In reality however history is more accurately the history of hate, of hatred. Men’s hatred for God, for one another and for that is holy, hatred is often justified and vindicated as a necessary response to evil. And this is true enough but evil does not arouse as much hostility as does godliness. Men hate God because God’s holiness and righteousness indite them and they indulge in intense hatred for God, for God’s servants and his peoples. Because of this fact Paul gives much space in his concluding words to guarding the Corinthian church wisely during his absence. He has already in verses ten and eleven prepared the church for Timothy’s coming. Now he tells them of Stephenus, Fortunatus and Achaicus who are coming soon or returning. They were exemplary Christians, in First Corinthians 1:16 Paul tells us that he baptized the household of Stephenus. Stephenus, Forunatus and Achaicus from Corinth had come to Paul at Philippi. He tells of the Corinthians they are men who have like Stephenus and Stephenus’s family addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints. That’s the Bibles expression. Paul speaks of an eagerness to serve, an eagerness to be a part of the Lord’s work as a marvelous addiction. [00:07:24]
Paul tells the Corinthians that ye submit yourselves...
Paul tells the Corinthians that ye submit yourselves unto such and to everyone that helpeth with us and laboreth. Paul says very plainly for they have refreshed my spirit and yours, therefore acknowledge them yet that are such. The health of the church requires that they appreciate not only Paul but their own members’ manifest true holiness. Paul then sends the greetings of the churches of Asia, especially the salutations of a distinguished couple known widely, that is Priscilla and Aquila and the church that is in their home. Here was a wealthy couple that had businesses in to our knowledge in three different cities and homes in three. They therefore being wealthier than most had apparently large homes that were suitable as meeting place and as you know for the first couple of centuries churches met in homes. All other Christians sent greetings also to Corinth and Corinth, Paul then adds his salutation, but dictated to them that in his own handwriting so that he’s making a point of telling the Corinthians that you know my handwritings, here this is in my letters, my hand. The salutation of me, Paul, with my own hand. [00:10:01]
Obviously Paul had a handwriting that was easily recognizabl...
Obviously Paul had a handwriting that was easily recognizable. My father’s handwriting was that way, you could spot it half way across the room if you could see that well and no one was ever was mistaken as to whose handwritings it was, the only question, as one of his classmates said, I can never tell right off the bat whether it is in Armenian, English or French! Well, Paul apparently had a distinguished hand. As against hatred one for another Christians should be commanded to love one another and to love the lord Jesus Christ. If not, Paul says, let all such be anathema. To anathema someone is not to hate them but rather to identify them as God’s enemies. Paul does not say ‘do not hate’ but rather he commands the Corinthians to love the Lord, Jesus Christ, for out of this love flows all true love. So Paul knows when he commands the love of the Lord Jesus Christ he is telling them to love him and to love all others who are faithful to the Lord. In Second Corinthians Paul must answer many lawless and malicious charges from the Corinthians. And he here sets before them the alternatives. He concludes with a brief and pointed benediction: first, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. It was grace the Corinthians really had need of. They had pride and arrogance in their faith; they had challenged Paul who was a veteran in the faith. Who had suffered great hardships for Christ. The Corinthians had brought their pagan intellectual baggage into the church and they were ready to correct Paul in terms of their limited knowledge. Of all men, to try and correct Paul the Apostle, that took a great deal of arrogance. [00:13:27]
Their acting as though they were the apostles and Christ...
Their acting as though they were the apostles and Christ a learner. Then second, Paul says something in his benediction that is remarkable. ‘My love be with you all and Christ Jesus, Amen’. It’s the only benediction I know of in which there is a personal note from the one pronouncing the benediction. But this is what he says. The love, my love be with you all, rather than what was usual, the love of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Paul almost gives to his own love a supernatural status because as an apostle commissioned by revelation from Jesus Christ he has a unique status and authority. Paul concludes Second Corinthians 16 with a triune benediction. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Ghost be with you all, Amen. This is a more formal benediction. There can be no question in Paul’s meaning and sincerity in First Corinthians 16:23 when he blesses them with his love. The love of Christ they knew, it had meant for them the atonement, the great blessings of history, the sacrifice of the cross. If they would but admit it, they knew also the love of Paul for them. A reflection of the redeemers own love. The intensity of Paul’s feelings in both First and Second Corinthians very clearly demonstrate his love. History is as I said at the beginning is marked by hatred. The hatred of men who see themselves as god for all who contest their claims beginning with the true God and inclusive all other men who believe themselves to be gods rather claimants to the same title. Now as against this scripture upholds the love of Christ. The love of God. The love of Christ’s true saints. We see that love in all of history especially in men like Paul and countless missionary pastors since then. [00:17:27]
We see in history the hatred of God by fallen men and...
We see in history the hatred of God by fallen men and in the other hand the love of God for those who are his elect. This love of God manifested through His saints, through men like Paul and countless others since then is a very wonderful and very godly thing. I recall someone saying that how when missionaries came to their area and saw the results of persecution and forced military created famine and the children bloated and half dead with hunger this missionary broke down and wept as he began to help, and the man thought ‘I have not wept for these, my people’s children’. And this foreigner from America is weeping for them. Well this is what Paul here means. Well, First Corinthians is thus not just a letter about intellectual priorities but also about Christian love. It is a letter of intense emotionalism as well as a profound thinking. It has left its mark on profound scholars like Cornelius Van Til and on very humble believers generation after generation. And to be marked by Paul is a privilege of grace. Let us pray.
Almighty God our Heavenly Father we thank Thee that through Saint Paul thou hast left Thy mark upon us. Prepare our consciences, arouse our minds and open them to great and marvelous things of Thy kingdom. We thank Thee our Father, we pray that day after day Thou wouldst enable us to grow in grace and in knowledge of Thee. To be more than conquerors to Christ Jesus our Lord and to manifest Him and His spirit and to all those round about us. Grant us this in Christ’s name, Amen. [00:21:40]
Are there any questions now about our lesson?...
Are there any questions now about our lesson?
Next week as I said we will continue with Second Corinthians. Very much a part of the same story. And sometimes a very sad part when we see how unwilling people can be to learn and to grow. How they are insistent that they be taken for what they are. That they have the privilege of being stupid and immoral rather than godly and gracious. Well if there are no questions, let us conclude now with prayer.
Our Father it has been good for us to be here for Thy word is truth. We thank Thee for thy word and for Thy spirit. We thank Thee that underneath all the experiences of our lives are Thy everlasting arms and so we cast our every care upon Thee who careth for us. We pray for Thy church everywhere, for those in the far off mission fields as they labor day by day for Thy kingdom. And now grant us Thy peace as we go our separate ways. And now go in peace, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost, bless you and keep you, guide and protect you, this day and always, Amen.