Corinth was a seaport city Paul entered in Acts 18 on his 2nd journey. He ministered 2 years.
Corinth was a city in ancient Greece known as Vanity Fair. It was a city of:
- Sexual immorality
In such a place a church was born. The tragedy was that instead of the church impacting Corinth, Corinth was eroding the church!
One pastor called it ‘Reverse Evangelism”. The Corinthians perverse spirit had invaded the church. The Christians were:
- They operated in the power of the flesh trying to do the work of God
There was no spirit of humility. There was no sacrificial washing of one another’s feet. Instead there was resentfulness, arguments, ostracism and exclusivists. They defrauded one another, sued one another, sexually violated one another and divorced one another! In fact, the best known verses in the book were given as a rebuke!
I Corinthians 13: Love is v.4
- PATIENT, they were arrogantly impatient, 4:6, 19; 8:1
- KIND, they were fracturing and splintering 1:10
- NOT JEALOUS, they were 1:11
They were an over spiritualized church with such bad attitudes and actions present.
Three Fantastic Elements of the Holy Spirit’s Ministry
With that backdrop Paul introduces three fantastic elements of the Holy Spirit’s ministry.
- He wants to transform your MINDS
- He wants to control your BODY
- He wants to reveal your MASTER
Now, join me as we find these truths:
- The Holy Spirit wants to TRANSFORM your mind.I Corinthians 2:6-16
- 2 Corinthians 10:4 Captivate – is yours?
- Colossians 3:2 Elevate – is yours?
- 2 Timothy 1:7 – Invigorate – is yours?
- I Corinthians 2:12 Illuminate – is yours?
- The Holy Spirit wants CONTROL your body.I Corinthians 3:16-17
- I Corinthians 6:11, 19 How?
- 2 Corinthians 2:14 Leading us in triumph
- 2 Peter 1:3-4 Escaping corruption of lust
- Titus 2:12 Denying ungodliness
- Titus 2:13 Looking for Christ
- The Holy Spirit wants to REVEAL your master through you.I Corinthians 12:13. How? Let me share what I preached the fifth week of 1989 – It’s still true today!
If you were to blend all of the 30+ references to our new standing in Christ, you can distill no less than these:
- A heavenly KNOWLEDGE of divine mysteries
- A heavenly LIFE or divine quickening
- A heavenly UNION with Christ and His saints
- A heavenly FELLOWSHIP with all holy beings
- A heavenly EARNEST of foretaste of bliss
- A heavenly ACCESS all boldness unto God
- A heavenly FRAME, renewed in love
- A heavenly WALK or conduct, manifest in all the life
- A heavenly GROWTH to the fullness of stature
- A heavenly STRENGTH and power to overcome
- A heavenly ASSURANCE or sealing of the Spirit
- A heavenly SECURITY within the panoply of God.
What Happens When Someone Will Not Yield?
But what if someone won’t yield? What if, to be specific, you won’t let Christ transform your mind, control your body, reveal your master?
Well, let me read from Paul Brandt and Phil Yancey classic…
Sometimes a dreaded thing occurs in the body – a mutiny – resulting in a tumor…A tumor is called benign if its effect is fairly localized and it stays within membrane boundaries. But the most traumatizing condition in the body occurs when DISLOYAL cells defy inhibition. They multiply without any checks on growth spreading rapidly throughout the body, choking out normal cells. White cells, armed against foreign invaders, will not attack the body’s own mutinous cells. Physicians fear no other malfunction more deeply: it is called cancer. For still mysterious reasons, theses cells – and they may be cells from the brain, liver, kidney, bone, blood, skin, or other tissues – grow wild, out of control. Each is a healthy, functioning cell, but disloyal, NO LONGER ACTING IN REGARD FOR THE REST OF THE BODY.
Even the white cells, the dependable palace guard, can destroy the body through rebellion. Sometimes they recklessly reproduce, clogging the bloodstream, overloading the lymph system, strangling the body’s normal functions – such is leukemia.
Because I am a surgeon and not a prophet, I tremble to make the analogy between cancer in the physical body and mutiny in the spiritual body of Christ. But I must. In His warnings to the church, Jesus Christ showed no concern about the shocks and bruises His Body would meet from external forces. “The gates of hell shall not prevail against my church,” He said flatly (Matthew 16:18). HE MOVED EASILY, UNTHREATENED, AMONG SINNERS AND CRIMINALS. BUT HE CRIED OUT AGAINST THE KIND OF DISLOYALTY THAT COMES FROM WITHIN.
Few doctrines are more important than the Church. Because of the constant attack, we need to be good students of the subject. Because we are fellow members of the Body, we need to apply ourselves to mutual harmony. And because disease can diminish the effectiveness of the Body, we must maintain habits of health and a consistent program of exercise in harmony with God’s Body-building program.
Furthermore, a regular checkup by the Great Physician is a must. Not once a year but at least once a week. And be prepared of the cost of that visit.