All Things Are Yours

1 Corinthians 3:18-23

Posted by Dan Jarms on April 23, 2023
All Things Are Yours
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Big Idea: Four imperatives to abandon the wisdom of this age and the jealousy it produces.

  1. Don’t deceive yourself.
  2. Become a fool to the wise of this age.
  3. Don’t boast in men.
  4. Consider what you have in Christ.

  • Automated Transcription
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    Good morning, everybody. I want to I want to add my welcome if you are visiting with us it is a joy to have visitors come make sure you come say hi to me or make sure you greet the people who are at the information center. If you're new, please stand there all of us for the reading of God's word we are in first Corinthians chapter three, I'm going to read 18 through 23. And this short section is a review a reprise and then powerful truth added to some of the things that the apostle Paul has been saying. And by the end of the, by the end of the sermon, you're going to see how a couple of verses could change your outlook on all your human relationships dynamically change all of your outlook, First Corinthians chapter three, verses 18 through 23. Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, He catches the wise in their craftiness and again, the Lord knows the thoughts of the wise that they are futile, so that no one boast in men, for all things are yours, whether Paul or a palace or Sisyphus, or the world or life or death, or the present or the future, all are yours. And you are Christ's and Christ is God's. This is the word of the Lord. God thank You that You have given us Christ, we have been singing about it. We're gonna sing again about it. You and your great love for a wayward sinful, sick humanity. You gave Christ to us. And how quickly I forget and we forget the Christ is all we need. And Christ is Lord of all. So bring to remembrance. The totality of Christ and His fulfillment. For us. I pray that You would help us deal with the issues of pride and in who we belong to pride in what we know pride in what we want to get jealousy that erupts. This is a cure for so many things. Pour Your grace out on those enslaved to these things and we pray that you would be using your word across our city. And as preachers preach and Sunday school teachers teach in our church and all across the city, May Christ be known and then taken out and proclaimed. We have the wisdom that the world needs. It's in this revelation and help us share it in Christ's name. Amen. You may be seated. So Americans are obsessed with greatness. Humans love the idea. So I thought I'd have some fun with the idea of the goat. Greatest of All Time. Just type in the phrase greatest of all time, but fill in the blank of the what you want to do. And you're gonna get somebody's opinion somewhere. greatest painter of all time. Leonardo da Vinci. Greatest violin player Joshua Bell. I've never heard of Joshua Bell, nor have I ever Googled the greatest Violinist of all time until this time, but I wanted to give a little shout out to our violin players. greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan. Guess what? Here's here's another one greatest bubble blower of all time. Serious there is I got an answer. Susan Montgomery Williams she blew a 23 inch wide bubble in 1993. And her record goes on beaten to the greatest of all time. Every 12 year olds going I think I could get one greatest Barbie of all time. There is one totally hair Barbie sold 10 million since it was introduced in 1992 greatest anime series of all time. Yeah, I know you've been waiting for this one and everybody's got their list in this room. That's a joke because you don't even some of your like I don't even know what anime is. Its Japanese cartoons. for grownups, Full Metal Alchemist. Yes, I even typed in greatest bank robber of all times because some people want to be the greatest at being The worst? I got an answer Carl gaseum who robbed 50 banks for a total of $2 million. Like, really? That's how you got out of 50 banks. And you're the greatest. Hackers get more than you come on. People hunger for status and honor by being the greatest, or by being associated with the greatest. Like, as much as I love Adam Morrison, and I do, he was a great guy. He's a good player. He played in the NBA for a couple years. I'm not tempted to wear Adam Morrison shoes. You know why? There are none. He was in and out three years, nobody's making a major shoe deal. But I might be interested in wearing a pair of Air Jordans. And even if you don't know anything about basketball, if somebody says you got a pair of Air Jordans on you're gonna walk well, yes. Isn't that a good choice? It's so in. It's so intrinsic and who we are, we are built to belong. We are built to know things. And when these move together are mixed together with our pride, it can be deadly. Corinth was obsessed with greatness, status and honor the Corinthians were competitive in that they had athletic games. So competition was constant. And there was also competition. Under the wisdom philosophers of the age, the philosophers of the age, their great speaking abilities, and people identified with them. The Corinthians brought this into the church, internally competitive, always hungering for status being better than others, or being in the best group or and they took their pride in those people who are in the know everybody wants to be in the know. What resulted in Corinth was factions, jealousy hostile divisions in the church. And we returned to this triad again that we had in 111 and 12. And chapter 111, introduces this long section for it has been reported to me by close people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. And what I mean is that each one of you says, I follow Paul, I follow a policy, I follow Sisyphus or I follow Christ. And they use these as a way to say, here's the group I belonged to, here's what I belong to. And that makes me superior than the other groups. Even using, following Christ, in a proud human way, to show that you're better. What happened then, is what happens now. And it's really serious attention is diverted from Christ and the gospel onto mere men and man's wisdom. Then, and now, people align themselves, we align ourselves with influencers, motivational speakers, pop philosophers, yes, even preachers to enhance our credibility. I was out with Linda on a walk on a trip that we had taken a number of years ago. And I thought I would try the shoe thing because like, people are really proud about their shoes. And I saw this guy with a shoe that I thought was impressive. Like, I have no idea if it was impressive or not, but I just thought I would try. Hey, I really liked those shoes. And the guy was like, yeah, and he had a riff on those shoes. Because they were really, they're really important to him. People want to belong to something they want to be known for something. Then and today, the standard is usually based on style more than substance. That's when we have the issue. Now, I just want to say if you want to argue with me about Michael Jordan being the greatest of all time or not, I'm going to ask you, why are we having this conversation because it doesn't really matter. Unless you want to say Michael Jordan's the greatest of all time than me like, great. He's the greatest of all time. But humans are funny people in that we hunger for greatness or to be associated with greatness. So we use criteria most popular most intelligence, most passionate, best communicator when we do that in the church. We tend this way. So this passage here is a corrective for the damage that worldly wisdom causes and the jealousy that ensues. If you look in our chapter that we're in now in three, three, Paul's trying to move them on to maturity but can't because whatever he's teaching them, they're turning it into a reason for pride.

    Three, three, he says, For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way For when one says, I follow Paul and another I follow apologists are not you being merely human, those were slogans that they would shout for identity and superiority. And then they would have arguments about which of these preacher teacher apostles was the best therefore what makes me the best seems like an odd thing to do, but it's human nonetheless. So Paul gives a variety of correctives Paul and Paul us are mere servants of Christ this is the first thing he wants to tell us in five through nine like you got the whole idea of leadership in the church wrong. Everybody's a servant of Christ. Paul, Apollo's Peter, we're all servants of Christ. That's what we're here to do is proclaim Him. Using human wisdom to build up the church will be useless at best and destructive at worst. 10 through 15. Anybody who builds using quality materials, Christ for a quality gold building up with the body that's going to remain anybody who uses worldly wisdom, wisdom of this age, is going to have that destroyed and 16 and 17. Paul says if we let in context, jealousy factions are human wisdom, damage to the church, God's going to damage the person, anybody who the church is God's temple and every person if they have trusted Christ is cemented and mortared into this temple that the Holy Spirit dwells in. And we all together our holy, or the temple of God, the Holy Spirit. And so therefore, everybody has a glory and an honor shared with the temple. So if anybody damages the temple, God's going to damage them or destroy them. So then we come to this reprise a reprise is a is a set of song notes that bring us back to a main melody line, here's a reprise. Here's a review of this section with incredible, incredibly important addition to it at the end. And we're gonna see one of the best cures to jealous division in the local church. There's there there are a set of imperatives commands for commands and so that what I say the big idea is for commands to abandon the wisdom of this age, and the jealousy of produces, since the competition produces jealousy, since mishandling wisdom produces jealousy, Paul wants to overturn this and return all of our attention and the world's attention onto Christ. Like that's his goal. Let's, let's turn our attention and the world's attention back to Christ instead of these things about mere men. Now on a different take. What we get to by the end is one of the best preventatives against jealousy bubbling up. It's one of the best preventatives to quarreling, because the root of quarreling is, two or more sets of people all trying to selfishly get the same thing. It's a, it's a cure for division from it taking root. And if you're visiting with us today, and you're not a follower of Christ, yet, I want, I want you to see something by the end that could relieve you from the addiction of getting likes, and social media, of getting praise or attention of being noticed, I've got to be noticed. It's the most natural thing, to want to belong, it's the most natural thing, to want knowledge, it's the most natural thing to have relationship, you have to be noticed to have relationship and yet it is also the most natural thing to corrupt it with pride. So if you are feeling that weight or that barrier, if you're feeling that jealousy constantly moving in your heart, you could be free from that today. And if you're frustrated, by the way others are treated, and you are not, this could be a day of relief. You could see that frustration vanish away. So as far as the cure for jealousy, for strife, for envy for quarreling, what Paul says here is profound. We're going to keep it in the context though. Keep it in those in that in that sense about what we're seeing in the church, how we can best purify that and then by extension, I'll ask you to look at your marriage or your relationships. If you are with a bunch of housemates, one single guys, a bunch of single girls, all of these kinds of things still plague human relationships. By the end we'll apply it to those two. So let's start with With this, the imperatives to abandon the wisdom of this age, the jealousy and strife that produces Number one, don't deceive yourself or Stop deceiving yourself if we're going to be more direct about it. What what the Apostle says in verse 18? Is this Let no one deceive himself? I mean, it's a funny thing to say Don't deceive yourself, because? Because isn't it's a lie that you're telling yourself and don't you know it? Well, the problem with self deception is you don't know it. You give it to yourself, but you still don't know that it's a lie. And so Paul's likes blood, no one believes his own lies. What's he referring to at least two things, at least two things immediately, is that wisdom that gets you as much as you want in this age, is folly, that's line number one, that is really going to make you something. But there's another lie underneath. That brings us back to the top of the chapter. And that is, I'm important. And other people need to see me that way. That is the root of this jealousy of being noticed, or known or better. I'm important, I'm worthy of respect, I need to see to it that others treat me that way. And when they do, I will be satisfied. That's really the root lie that he brings up and he's going to give an answer to it before we're done. The jealousy and strife here was over who was the most impressive who had the biggest following. And the second lie is that you can best do this by mastering the wisdom of this age. How do I get attention? How do I make sure that people know that I'm really in the know? And I'm a person that they should have on their trivial pursuit team. And we all like trivia games. Who likes to be on the losing team have a trivia game? Who likes trivia games? Like a lot of people like trivia games? Yeah, if you can get one answer, right, you feel smart. If you don't feel smart, you're in a trivia game. Who do you want on your team? Somebody who's really smart. I want the Fulbright Scholar like, it's a no brainer. Miko, can you be on my team, you're the you're the tribute, You're the fool up for a Fulbright Scholar, like we gotta get that guy on my team. Then we'll be something. It's the wisdom of the sage wisdom of this age. We don't know what kind of wisdom it was. We don't have the record of what the philosophers were saying and how the Corinthians were using it. But we know the after effect. Paul was ranked compared to a policy and CIF is based on a worldly standard. Today, it looks like this, I want to be the person people come to to solve their problems. I mean, here's the other way to say it when you were a this is for all the all the guys when you were a nine year old. And it was time to pick teams. You wanted to be the first pick on the playground, kickball baseball. When I when I was in fifth grade, everybody wanted to pick J. Hamburg or Marty just said, those are the guys who could always kick a home run, they could catch anything, they could chase anybody. Like that's what they wanted. That's what we all want. We want to be the first person even with for the worst. I want to be the person they come to when they want to get something done. I want to be respected, I want to be listened to. I want to be included in the group of influencers. Then I'll be important, and everybody will see me that way. I'll be the person in the know.

    What's the truth? The truth is this. You are weak and helpless. And any knowledge, any insight, anything you have is a gift of God in His providence and on your own, to save yourself to change in a way that's going to please God or make any eternal significant contribution. You are dependent on God. The truth is that you are weak and helpless. And the truth is that Christ is the only one worthy of our attention. We are not worthy at all. So don't deceive yourself, you're weak, you're helpless. The wisdom and power that you need is from God not from yourself nor from any other person in the world. We have to start with this issue of self deception. The second then we go to this so don't deceive yourself second become a fool to the wise of this age. And here's what you have to be ready for. You have to be ready to say A the wisdom that would impress the world. The people of this age, outside of the Bible is wisdom that's actually contrary to God, I have to be ready to be a fool to the wise of the sage says, If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. And that's a very strong correction. If you consider yourself to be a master of the wisdom of this age, you are actually barred from true wisdom. Not that little phrase wise in this age. What is Paul talking about? He is setting a marker between this age and the age to come. Wisdom in this age, this age is where Satan rules where Satan gives his lies, where people continue to rebel. Remember, it's not logic, it's not wisdom itself. It's not intelligence. That's the problem. You You do have hungry minds, you do want to know things that is right and good to know things. I mean, I know you have a hunger to know things. Why? Because you're willing to sit at a 45 to 50 minutes subpar sermon every week just to get something I know you have hungry minds. God's made us to have hungry minds to know him to know him better. But the wisdom of this age is to use it for self self glory, and a selfish agenda. So you could use good logic in a worldly way. You could use good science in a worldly way. So the focus is on what you're trying to get from this age. Now there's lots of wisdom that is anti God. Wanting to reject God stand apart from God. That's what worldly wisdom wants to do wants to stand apart from God having its own glory in this age. So if any one of you thinks he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he became become wise.

    human wisdom is focused on now. Now think of this. Think of this. You were to become a fool on the stage. This isn't the first time we've heard this. To become a fool in this age is to trust in Christ, who became a fool in this age. If you go back to 118, it says this For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God. To become a fool to this age is to become to recognize that you're weak without proper knowledge without proper wisdom, to be weak and sin and unable to accomplish salvation and to need to trust Christ who was crucified on our behalf. Christ crucified was folly or absurdity. Who wins by dying? No winners live. Losers die. That's what the world would think. So think of this, you're condemned in your sins with no power to save yourself. You live for a short time, and then you die with no power to live on. You are weak and helpless. That's the truth of who you are, apart from Christ. I've been saying all of this to flatter you Are you impressed? Let me tell you what you are again. You are condemned in your sins with no power to save yourself. You will live a short time and then die, face a judgment, no power to live on. You're weak and helpless. And here's what God did. God in His wisdom, wanted to make a great people. And he sent his Son, Jesus Christ to pay for your sins. Jesus Christ died on a cross was raised from the dead by the power of God, and he now stands exalted in the heavens. And as you trust Him, following his life example, picking up your cross and following him living a life of weakness, living a life worthy of living a life ready to be rejected for men. You now take on true wisdom. And you need to keep placing your hope in A crucified Messiah as you and you need to trust His revelation, not human wisdom to go through life. Become a fool to this age, whatever intelligence you have, it's a gift of God and you continue you are to utterly and continually be dependent on the revelation of God and the Scripture. You need to recognize that even once you've trusted Christ, you're still fallible. You still have human weakness, you still need God's spirit to intervene, you still need other people with their accumulated knowledge of Christ. You need others to help you understand the Scripture better, and even to challenge you, when you come to the wrong conclusion how tragic it is when a person gets pumped up and pride about his knowledge or her knowledge of Scripture. And some even come to believe they are infallible masters of infallible scripture. When you had finally admit that you're fallible, that you're human with limited insight, with limited understanding with the potential of sin getting in the way, now you are open to the wisdom of God, as a learner. As a learner, not as a master. I think what what could be opened up for you in growth group setting, for instance, growth group leader asks a question, and half of you are afraid to share an answer why? I might be wrong. I don't want to look stupid. I think I have a stupid answer. Anybody enjoy feeling stupid? I know there are some of you who enjoy feeling stupid, because you just want to be heard. I, like I love to be heard. So like, I don't care about being sued. Because I like attention more than I like to be smart. But a lot of you the other half of you is like I'm not gonna share anything. Imagine if you could say something like, I'm not sure what the right answers. But here's what I'm thinking. Now. Does anybody have something to help me? I mean, imagine if you could just say that in a group. I don't understand this. Could somebody draw this out? Could somebody help me? Anybody have an answer to number seven? I have an answer. I'm not sure it's right. Here's what I'm thinking. Can we work on it together? One of my favorite times in my my week in and week out at Faith Bible Church is our Monday morning review or preview of the passage that we're going to preach? Because when we come together, nobody's a master. We're all learners. And so whoever's preaching for the week says, here's what I'm thinking is in this passage, can you guys give me some help? And there's nobody saying, well, that's stupid. How dare you think of that? They're like, well, it could be that or it could be and we just have a dialogue and trying to refine our thinking, there's no heretic until we leave the room. i Okay, once we leave the room, and we have conclusions, they better be decent, or they better be sound. But like here, we're going to, we're going to just have this open dialogue. I love that process. And how much wisdom is open? When we open up our discussion? Instead of having to beat people who are in no, we have to be people who are learning. Paul goes on to quote two passages of Scripture. First one. He says, For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. This has already been unpacked in chapter one and two. Then he uses two verses to support it to scriptures. The first one is from job 513 It says he catches the wise in their craftiness and the context is worth looking at. You don't have time to go to Job five read it. It's from LFS LFS and job are in the middle of a dialogue along with Job's friends. LFS has the right wisdom but the wrong application. Paul still says the wisdom is worth quoting. He says he catches the wise in there craftiness, meaning, God uses worldly wisdom, wisdom of this age, to actually trip up and condemn the people who hold it. That means God is going to bring justice. The context is important because LFS is talking about God's final vindication of the poor, the needy, the weak, God will vindicate the needy and the weak when those who are more powerful use crafty wisdom to destroy them. God comes to the aid of the week. Now again, for the Corinthian this would be that's ridiculous. To quote a great philosophical line from the Emperor's New Groove. Isa, she says to the peasant, who is about to be ruined? Well, you should have thought of that before you became a peasant. human pride thinks that somebody who is we weak or poor, wouldn't be weak or poor, if they did something about it

    God says he's going to come and rescue the weak and the poor from the oppression of the world. The second one he says is an comes from Psalm 9411 says, The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise that they are futile. Their plans come to nothing. But that's how you might read it initially. But that word knowing is actually a word that means ordaining or seeing to it, God knows or sees to it, that the thoughts of the wise will come to nothing. That context is people of this age, with wisdom of this age, use their knowledge in a wicked way to harm righteous people. So God's going to vindicate the poor God's going to vindicate the righteous, He is going to come to the aid of those who are weak and those who are righteous by using or thwarting the wisdom of men. And as Paul has been saying, throughout this, why use that wisdom, don't use that wisdom. Don't measure by that wisdom. God will rescue you. So if you want to prevent jealousy, if you want to be free, from the chain of what people think, to prove your worth. stop trusting in human wisdom and stead trust the wisdom of the cross, adopt a cruciform life in which God will take one day those who have humbled themselves and raise them up. Don't deceive yourself, become a fool in the eyes of those who are wise in this age. And number three, don't boast and men don't boast and men stop taking pride in the experts, the sages and the influencers of the age don't boast and men. We have this inner desire we want to belong, we want to be important. We want to be in the know so people will identify with great men great women. Here's his let so let no one boast and men don't get your identity for men or women or key leaders don't make it something to put your hope in or your Glorian or your identity in and don't use the same kind of criteria for Paula policy and Peter. We've already been given an answer to this first Corinthians 131 Just look back at it. pager so Beck says let the one who boasts boast in the Lord, what is a boast that is to exalt it is to identify with it is to exalt in or rejoice. In fact, the one who boasts boast in the Lord, don't boast and Paul a palace or Peter boast in Christ, Paul polish and Peter what was their entire mission and entire aim? To help us know Christ. So Christ is the one who we should boast in.

    Christians are by their new natures hungry for truth, and the truth that God gives. So they're hungry for teachers to teach it to them. To read it, to understand it to be taught more, you you have been given a book with 66 smaller books, and God gives you teachers to understand this wisdom. And so whenever a teacher has an accurate or helpful insight about God, and His will from those books, don't put your identity in the teacher who taught it, put it in the teaching that he taught in the truth, that you now see. How much quarreling and arguing have come in churches or between churches, when people put their identity in a creed a teacher or leader a a theological system. Lutheran Wesleyan Calvinist Arminian how much division has ripped through the truth ripped through the church. When people put their identity in the thing they belong to instead of the God they belong to? The idea of the truth. Of course there's a place for truth. There have been great teachers who are out there teaching is worth listening to. But it's hard to be offended when somebody throws your favorite guy under the bus disagrees with him, attacks one of his thinking one of his pieces of thinking or one of your it's, it's much harder to be offended when all you care about is Christ. I mean, you might want to be fair about a person who's taught something, but what you really cares about Christ, I don't have to be offended, I don't have to be jealous. Don't boast in men. Don't deceive yourself, become a fool in the world's eyes, don't boast in men. Number four, consider what you have in Christ. Consider what you have in Christ, if you want to inoculate yourself against jealousy. The most significant help is counting all that you all ready have? What can you be jealous of? If you already have everything? If you have at all, what are you jealous of? The problem is we don't believe that we have at all. It's a faith issue in some sense. This is what Paul rounds this round of the arguments out with this reprise the summary now comes with this powerful addition. He says For All things are yours. What is he talking about? Can I just I see something in my neighbor's garage? And my Bible says all the things remind, walking over and taking it. The question is, why are you taking it if you already have all things? Well, that's gonna give me meaning. It's something I want. It's something. Oh, but don't you have all things already? You can't be jealous if you have it already. What are you jealous of if you have it already? What does he mean? All things benefit you. All things benefit you. You don't need to look for significance. In a system of teaching in a man or woman, you don't need to look for significance in them. If you already have Christ. You don't need to look for importance or status, if you already have Christ. So then he breaks down the all things he doesn't mean all things exhaustively. He means all things Representative Lee we use all like that. And he's got three groups. The first is the teachers says, whether Paul or a polish or Scifest, God inspired and empowered preachers and teachers. And these were preachers and teachers of the revelation of Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ is the person to have to have God. He has the knowledge to have to have the father, John 17, three, Jesus in this prayer to God, this is this is eternal life, that they would know You, Father, and Jesus Christ, whom you've sent. Paul in a policy and CIF as our preachers of Christ in Christ is the one who gives us the fullness of God. The tragedy of picking sides of picking a school of thought or a person is that what you've decided to do is to take this this massive library that you have all at your disposal and grab one book and say, This is the only one that matters. I can imagine how ridiculous that would be. You have a whole library. But you're going to say this is the one that I'm going to protect. You have the whole library. Pulsing you have all of us, you have Paula policy for send me we all have our own perspective. We all have had our own revelation we've all taught you and you have all of it, why pick one to put your identity and when you have all of them. And that's true today. It's true today. Why fight over which author is the only author or the best author when you have all the author's? I think if we bring it down to some more practical applications, all people are fallible, even Christian scholars, even Christian scholars who love their Bibles are still fallible. So having a larger group of Christian scholars and writers is helpful because all people are fallible. And there's so much to mine out of the scripture that no one man can mine at all. No one woman can mine All. And so imagine the resources available to you if you know 10 People who have been mining the scripture for their whole life. Why just take one when you have them all. So be ready to learn from anyone as they handle God's truth accurately. Last week, one of my seminary professors visited, he has been here off and on. And I used to get really nervous when my seminary professors showed up. Like, I hope I get this, right. Like, I didn't think of that, like God was listening. But you know how you are with people. He comes to church every week, and he really just wants to be fed. So he'll he'll email a graduate, if he goes visit their church, hey, I'm coming to visit, just want to give you a heads up because when you preach, I don't want you to look out and see me and freak out that your seminary professors hear I need to be fed, would you please feed me That's all I'm asking. I'm not here to critique your sermon, I'm not here to do it. I'm just here to be fed, as my seminary professor. What an attitude. A seminary professor thinks that the people that he taught are worth listening to, to be fed. All things are yours. He moves to the to the second the things of this age, the things of this age. So the teachers the things of this age, he says or the world or life or death. On one hand, the three can war against Christ, the world system is generally anti God, this life is temporary death is still an enemy. So you could definitely look at those and go, all things are mine. Can we skip the one that says death? Don't want it yet. Not really ready. But what's what's Paul talking about? He's, he's saying this, under the Lordship of Christ. That's that's who you get when you repent and trust him under the Lordship of Christ. All of these things are still a benefit to you.

    reason and science is still a benefit, even for this life. under the Lordship of Christ. Life here has so many joys, so many lessons, so many things to be learned by observation. There are a benefit to you under His Lordship, and even death, while on one hand, it's an enemy, what's the until he comes back? What's the thing that's going to usher you into His presence? Death, death is the door. It's a dreaded door, but it's a door nonetheless. Death in some sense is of benefit. Like Solomon would say, it's better to go than a house of mourning than a house of laughter. Because that morning at somebody's death, you realize, hey, my life is short. And I gotta make it count. I mean, even death has some wisdom that we should listen to. So Teach us to number our days. The Moses says, Psalm 90, it's all a benefit for you. So you have all of that.

    And then he talks about the ages. Remember, he's just brought up the ages wisdom of this age, he's talking about this age versus the present age, he says, or the present, or the future. They're all yours. God has things to benefit you now. He has glorious things laid up for you. You're a bet you receive benefits of all these things now. And by contemplating the future, knowing true and knowing what the final story is going to be, you are blessed in life now by what's coming in the future, the promises that are laid up for those who believe you receive benefits from all these things.

    So if all things are yours, what is there to be jealous of? If All things are yours, what is there to be jealous of?

    The final answer to the I'm of Paul, I'm a Paulus. I'm of syphilis now comes in verse 23. And it's the issue of belonging. You You were born to belong. You were born to belong, belong to a family, to belong to a church family, to a belong to a community to belong in a new heavens and an Earth. New Earth, there was a belonging that you have and it says, You are Christ's. Your Christ's. And Christ is a is God's miss so easily we forget the benefits of belonging to God. As much as God made the human mind evolved for knowledge to glorify Him, He has also made the human heart a vault for relationship with him. And if you are in Christ, you have a relationship with the Lord of Lords and the King of kings.

    And so in God's wisdom, God ordained to make people for Himself by sending Jesus and Jesus came eager to redeem people from the bondage of guilt and sin. I mean, the folly of God if we use the AACAP if we use the quotes around Farley is the God wanted to people for himself, and he wanted to make them out of people of this world. micros threesome like the turns of phrase that he used, confused, like, what am I confused about? I'm confused that God would want me to make me his, like, that's confusing to me. I don't get it. There's nothing worth God having in me. And yet this is the love of God for sinners.

    Jesus endured, the cross rate was raised from the dead, having made payment for sin, sat down, having satisfied his own just demands of righteousness. And through the message of the gospel, he opens blind eyes, awakens faith and repentance and saves his people. So I want to ask you, friend, do you have Christ? Have you said no to the things you think will satisfy you here on Earth, and said yes to Christ. Christ is my Lord Christ is my king Christ rules, my affections and my life. Trust Him. In John 10, Jesus makes a series of statements talking about him himself being the good shepherd, he says, The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep, he dies for them. Then in John 1035, he says, I do not lose one of them. Whoever the Father gives Me, I don't lose one of them. If you call out in faith and repentance today, you can belong to Christ, who will keep you who will fill you who will fulfill you. And if you have noticed how secure this is, says, You are Christ's and Christ is God's meaning there is an inseparable and an enviable relationship between the father and son which is existed in eternity past, and those who put their faith in the sun. Those who are rescued by the sun are brought into this relationship they belong to God what Christ is equal and being and glory and majesty, yet he has the beloved son belongs to God. Let me make a contrast when when we hear the word belong, we might have a little bit of a hard time with it. Otherwise other than belonging to get my love cup filled I want to belong to get my love cup filled. Let me let me give you a different thinking about this. We're headed out on vacation this week, my five year old granddaughter wants to go fishing. I haven't fished in years, but we're going to find a little lake. We're going to try to fish in the ocean. So I went and bought power bait. Because I want it to be easy. We're gonna go to a dock, got a little kids pull. It's got to be easy. powerbait I'm not even going to grocery out with worms yet. Little kids pull. We're hoping to get some trout. The bait belongs to me. I'm going to put the little bait on a hook and we're going to try to catch a fish. Usually, here's here's the problem with the idea of belonging. When we think of you are Christ's. When we admit that we're Christ, we think what we're doing is we're becoming bait for a bigger fish. As if God's going to use us and sometimes abuse us and make us suffer to get something else. When we think of belonging, we need to think of belonging like a parent who adopts a child

    like a country that enlists a citizen, that accepts a new citizen and gives all the rights and privileges of a citizen. Listen, if you trust Christ, you belong to God like a precious son or daughter. He has all kinds of things for you to go through in this life, life, death, opposition, you have all kinds of things, and many of them are hard or difficult. He's not saying because All things are yours, you're not going to suffer. He's actually saying because All things are yours, you aren't going to suffer. But in the end, those who are humble under it will be exalted. If you've trusted Christ and received Him as LORD and KING, you're his and all the manifold eternal blessings, that that brought you he bought you. And you share. Now, this phrase life or death, or the present, or the future, has some language similar to Romans 837 through 38. So sometimes you'll see that phrase, and it's the things against you. Sometimes it's the things that benefit you and Corinthians, it's the things that benefit you, but listen to the things that could potentially separate you. But consider them in their fold. The apostle Paul says, who's going to separate us from the love of God, he says, No, and all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us, for I am sure that neither death nor life, angels or rulers, things present or things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord. You haven't been weak, powerless, helpless, having even become foolish in the eyes of the world, have been brought near and secured by Christ.

    And if Christ is your King, and your his younger brother, or younger sister, all that the king has you share

    what do you need from a man or a woman? When you have all that, in Christ? There's no explanation about your worth. Christ just made it so. He bought you. He owns you. He keeps you. You have him. Martin Luther had this famous statement in Latin. We've kept it on a sign for years they use me use at Omnia if God is mine, everything is mine. If God is mine, everything is mine. So when another person gets honor in the church, or for that matter in marriage, or for that matter, in family, or for that matter, roommates sharing in a house, you can share in their joy, even if you don't have the same joy right now. And think about the problem of being the goat the greatest of all time. Mark Spitz was the greatest of all time as a swimmer for decades, until Michael Phelps. There's always somebody coming, who will dethrone your greatness. Why would you want to trust him that the belonging and greatness you need is in Christ. It is with God himself. What you need to do when you see something that somebody else has that you want, is to stop and say, I belong to Christ. And all his is mine. What do I really think I need this for? It's going to solve your quarreling, you're arguing your jealousy. What you do with your knowledge, all of that now is going to be turned to gratitude and contentment before God and a means to give him glory and boast in Him. May that be true of us now, Father, use this word in our hearts. As we pair prepare for the Lord's Supper, remind us of the folly that you endured Jesus remind us that the folly that you endured to make us your own Christ's name we pray. Amen.
Dan Jarms

Dr. Dan Jarms is teaching pastor and team leader at Faith Bible Church in Spokane Washington, as well as associate dean at TMS Spokane. He has been married for over 30 years to Linda, and has three adult children. He earned his B.A. in English at the Master’s College, B.Ed. at Eastern Washington University, M.Div and D.Min in Expository Preaching at The Master’s Seminary. His other interests include NCAA basketball, gardening, brick oven cooking.

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