The Only Foundation - RR274C6b
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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.|
Let us worship God. The time cometh and now is when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth. For the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. Let us pray.
Oh Lord our God unto whom all flesh shall come. We thank Thee that Thou in Thy judgment art all together righteous and holy. And that Thou in Thy grace and mercy are all together gracious and merciful. We thank Thee that y Thy mercy we are the recipients of Thy grace. That by Thy sovereign calling Thou hast made us Thy people not for any good thing in us but in Thy sovereign grace. Give us grateful hearts that we may praise Thee as we ought. And in all things honor and glorify Thy holy name, In Christ’s name, Amen.
Our scripture is from First Corinthians 3 9-23. And our subject: The Only Foundation.
“For we are laborers together with God. We are God’s husbandry, we are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereon or thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid which is Christ Jesus. Now if any man build upon this foundation, gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble, every man’s work shall be made manifest. For they shall declare it; for it shall be revealed by fire. And the fire shall not try every man’s work but what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he has built thereupon he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned he shall suffer lose. But he himself shall be saved yet so by fire. No ye not that ye are the temple of God? That the spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defiles the temple of God him shall God destroy. For the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. Yet no man deceive himself, if any man among you seems to be wise in this world let him become a fool. That he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written ‘he takes the wise in their own craftiness and again the Lord knoweth the Thoughts of the wise that they are vain’. Therefore let no man glory in men for all things are yours. Whether Paul or Apollos or Sephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come, all are yours and you are Christ’s and Christ is Gods. “ [00:04:39]
Paul confronts from the beginning of his letter the...
Paul confronts from the beginning of his letter the problem that is Corinth and the Corinthian church. Somewhere around A.D. 50 Paul went to Corinth; a cosmopolitan trade center with a large immigrant population and a shipping center. Corinth catered to the needs of travelers, sailors and merchants on the peak known as [greek word] there was a temple to the goddess Aphrodite and that temple had a Thousand or so sacred prostitutes. Morality was at a low ebb in the Roman Empire but Corinth still stood out among all other cities for its casual depravity. Paul’s language was alien to Corinth even for so immoral place wherein antinomianism was taken for granted by most. There were still some whose Jewish heritage led to a sense of law. But these were withdrawn, they were people who had given up or were fearful . They were not champions of the law. We need not wonder at their timidity because Paul confessed to some fearfulness on coming to Corinth. [00:07:09]
Paul tells the Corinthian Christians that we are laborers...
Paul tells the Corinthian Christians that we are laborers together with God. Ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. Two images are here used. First of the farm, second of a building. God’s building, God’s construction. Something under construction. God is the builder and yet we are builders together with Him. Now God is the master builder but we are in the task. The building belongs to neither Paul however nor to any of the members. Not to the congregation, but to the Lord, it is God’s building. But for any man to try and conform God’s house to his specifications is morally wrong. He’s not the architect. He cannot act like this must be built as I want it to be built. The only true foundation for the church is Jesus Christ. Paul had laid that foundation, he had taught faithfully the biblical doctrine of Jesus Christ so that they know Jesus Christ as God incarnate, God the Son, the God the Redeemer. They know that his atonement had freed them from the law as a death penalty against them to become for them as the redeemed of God their way of life. On the day of judgment their works will be made manifest whether they used in continuing the work begun by Paul in doing materials or cheap combustible materials. The day shall declare it. For the fire of judgment shall destroy that is perishable. The expression Paul uses ‘precious stones’ can refer to jewels or to costly building materials such as granite or marble. In verse ten Paul calls himself a wise master builder or architect because he does not build on himself but on Jesus Christ. [00:10:59]
He speaks now as that wise master builder to prove...
He speaks now as that wise master builder to prove them in terms of God and to prevent their judgment by the Lord. Christian can be saved as by fire, the fire of the last judgment or his work can endure to receive a reward. To escape as by fire means to survive with his life only. Everything else is gone. And his will be a lower place in God’s kingdom, on judgment day he will be a bare survivor. Verse seventeen is very blunt, if any man destroyed God’s church by his sin God will destroy him. The word temple is a Greek word which refers to the inner shrine of the temple. Such a destruction is sacrilege. Leviticus 15:13 tells us that to defile the sanctuary called for the death penalty. Even a ritual uncleanness on the part of anyone meant defiling the sanctuary and excommunication according to Numbers 19:20. In verses eighteen and nineteen of our text Paul tells us that men deceive themselves when they use their standards to judge the church. In their foolishness they see themselves as very wise and thus capable of downgrading God’s law and God’s penalty for so doing. They are correcting God with their wisdom. Thereby playing god over God! But the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. Sad to relate what Paul is describing here is all too common. How many people have you ever heard with regard to one or another text ‘well of course I believe the Bible but I can’t take that seriously, I don’t believe God meant what he said there’? Paul’s point is the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. And these rae fools. God confuses these self-styled wise men with their own craftiness. We cannot, we must not be wiser than God and to entertain the idea of correcting God is blasphemy and stupidity. God knows us all and as Paul tells us in verse twenty He knows the Thoughts of the wise that they are vain. [00:14:51]
The conclusion Paul rams home is blunt...
The conclusion Paul rams home is blunt. Let no man glory in man. Certainly not in himself which is the most common failing. This self-glorification is foolishness because God has given us Jesus Christ, Paul, Apollos, Sephas and others. He has given us this world, life, death and things to come in Christ. Man’s vanity depletes his inheritance in Christ. Man in Christ is in error of all things yet in sin many beggar themselves with a self-centered perspective of a ludicrous character. The Corinthians were an arrogant people and they were a lawless people. The Christians were too accustomed to the lawlessness of Corinth to see the implications of their easy antinomianism. They saw their salvation as liberation instead of enslavement. They looked to salvation in their ways and they saw Jesus Christ as the one who saved them from the law to do as they please. They did not see themselves as now called to enlist in Christ’s service. This approach to the gospel is like to too many evangelicals to see it as a deliverance to heaven rather than a commission to believe and obey the King of Kings. Some of the twentieth century refuse to call Jesus Lord and call themselves Christians. He is simply their savior not their king and that’s a fearful blasphemy. Jesus is the Christ the messiah, the Lord. He is inseparable from the law and the prophets and he is also our great judge. An Antinomian Jesus is a figment of man’s imagination he does not exist. The Jews of the bible should have believed, the Jews of our Lord’s day did not. They refused to see that Jesus the blessed and only potentate, the King of Kings and lord of Lords, not to come but here and now! [00:18:23]
Reigning in heaven and also reigning on earth...
Reigning in heaven and also reigning on earth. Paul says Jesus is the only authority or potentate or ruler. He is the almighty. Before Jesus Christ the only authority all apostles, Christians and all men must bow. He is either our Lord or our condemning judge. The church is the temple of God, His sanctuary, and in that sanctuary dwells the Holy Spirit. This means that the church must not be viewed humanistically as a man-made institution but as God’s house. If we foul His house He will in time deal with us. Paul tells the church that their concern should be less with themselves and their decisions and more rather totally with God and His law word and His Lord Jesus Christ the King. Let us pray. [00:19:48]
Our Lord and our God we give thanks unto Thee that...
Our Lord and our God we give thanks unto Thee that because Thou art on the throne all things are ordered and shall be ordered in terms of his sovereign and most holy purpose. Teach us to see our lives in terms of Thy purpose. Not our hopes but Thy kingdom. Not our will, but Thy will which must and shall be done. How great Thou art oh God and we praise thee, In Christ’s name, Amen.
Are there any questions now about our lesson? Yes?
[Man speaking] Rush, I was just noticing in verse sixteen what Paul here identifies the Corinthians as the temple of God. There are many of course who want to identify the church as an institution as the new temple. Don’t you think it’s significant that Paul identifies the individual Christians as the temple rather than the church as an institution?
[Rushdoony] Yes, he here at least is emphatic that the individual is the temple. And this is important because the emphasis in Christendom has shifted from the individual and his faith to the church and it’s faith so much so that you have some groups, they believe that when you recite the Apostle’s Creed it does not commit you to believing it. You are simply saying this is the church’s faith. I’ve seen that seriously argued by some and I think it’s a very sad account of what the modern church is. I’ve also heard said in regard to the Westminster Standards that the church should retain them because of their historical importance and affirm them as a part of its heritage but not for themselves or for the church today. So it is important to recognize the Bible speaks to the person. Yes? [00:23:05]
[Man speaking] If it is the temple that he is speaking...
[Man speaking] If it is the temple that he is speaking of individual, how does another man abide in temples? Is he speaking of some kind of covenantal promise here?
[Rushdoony] Yes. Uh, [Man interrupts] Yes, what we do to ourselves we do to something that is not our own. Because when we are saved we become God’s property doubly not only by creation but by redemption. And as his property we have no right to damage ourselves or mar ourselves in anyway. That’s why for example in the law tattoos are forbidden. We’re not our property! Yes, you were going to add something?
[Man speaking] Well I was thinking if a Christian is a temple of god some other man is defined as the temple. It’s not just the individual Christian by himself- it could be just the esoteric meaning that individual is not just doing it to himself, he’s doing something to the temple.
[Rushdoony] Yes, that’s true. Yes Douglas?
[Man speaking] The books of the Bible are listed in the order by the date they were written?
[Rushdoony] More or less, now some people contest that that is so, particularly when they get to the prophets but there is a historical scheme there. First creation then the law then the captivity then the restoration to the promised land then the time of the judges, the kings, then the prophets and so on.
[Man speaking] There’s a reference here to ‘it is written’ in the Book of Job [unintelligible] Is it verified that the book of Job was written prior to his time, prior to Paul’s writings.
[Rushdoony] Yes, well there are many of those who believe that the book of Job is the earliest written book of the Bible and there’s much internal evidence I believe that indicates that. Are there any other questions or comments? Yes?
[Man speaking] Where did the saying come from ‘the body is the temple of the soul’?
[Rushdoony] I don’t know but the biblical position is the body is the temple of God. That is somewhat Greek expression because for the Greeks the body was nothing except the place that the soul inhabited. They did not believe that the body had any future and if they did it was a very limited meager life. Uh, for many of the Greek thinkers the body had nothing to do with morality. Morality had only to do with the mind or spirit. So they had a low view of the body. Any other questions or comments?
Well if not let us conclude with prayer. [00:27:06]
Our Father we thank Thee for Thy word we thank Thee...
Our Father we thank Thee for Thy word we thank Thee that Thou hast called us to make us Thine. We pray that by Thy grace and mercy the Corinthian churches of our time may be reclaimed and made strong. Faithful to Thee in all their being. We pray our Father that Thou wilt make of Thy church indeed a governing body, the advance authorities of Thy kingdom. 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.