Popping the Balloon of Pride with a Cruciform Life

1 Corinthians 4:6-13

Posted by Dan Jarms on May 7, 2023
Popping the Balloon of Pride with a Cruciform Life
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Main idea: Follow the Apostle Paul and pop the bubble of pride with a cruciform life.

  1. Stick with scripture and add nothing.
  2. Remember that God’s grace is the source of all fruitfulness.
  3. Follow Paul as he followed Jesus.


  • Automated Transcription
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    Good morning faith Bible Church. If you are new with us, I just want to add my welcome if you're a visitor, if you're coming back maybe for second or third time, we're so glad you're here. It's always a joy to see new faces. We want to help you get connected, make sure you stop at the information center on the way back. Last week, Josh Gilchrist stepped in and it was so encouraging. We listened in online and worshiped with you all from our family's vacation. We had a sweet time, I talked about last time that I was going to fish with my granddaughter she caught she caught her first fish as a five year old. And so we had a really sweet time, and she ate them. So it's pretty good. We had a great time. stayed with me for the reading of God's Word. We're going to be in First Corinthians four six through 13. In our ongoing study. I said in between hours to one of our dear saints who said you know I'm so glad that we're faithful and preaching God's word, but every week I leave so convicted. Yes, it's true. But I said this to him not to flatter you but just to be encouraged. I faith Bible Church does not feel to me at all, like a factious proud set of people fighting for a position. And yet, these truths are still really helpful. Marriage who you live with, you know, if you're a bunch of singles in a house, these principles are still so helpful for us. So listen in. And it's it's Paul's strongest rebuke of the Corinthians so far, using sarcasm, effectively, which I don't use effectively all my sarcasm is belittling sarcasm, all of Paul's are effective for teaching and training. So my wife doesn't applaud mine at all. Paul's is though, quite different. For six. I have applied all these things to myself, and apologise for your benefit. Brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another. For who sees anything different in you. What do you have that you did not receive? And if then you received it? Why do you boast as if you did not receive it? Already, you have all you want. Already you have become rich. Without us you have become kings, but that you did rain so that we might share the rule with you. For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor. We are in disrepute to the present our we hunger and thirst. We are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless. And we labor working with our own hands. When we reviled, we bless when persecuted, we endure when slandered, we intreat we have become and are still like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things. This is the word of the Lord. Our God and Father You have given us a profound word here and an example the Apostle Paul follows the Lord Jesus, who took on human flesh suffered all things for our salvation, especially a humiliating, torturous death on the cross, receiving your wrath. And Paul followed him and we want to follow Paul. We want to be able to bear up under hardship, remain humble in successes. And we would pray that all that we would we would do would be so that this neighborhood or city, this church would boast only in the Lord. work in us that way. There are sufferers around the world. We think of believers in Sudan, where another major civil war has erupted. And certainly the Christians who are trying to be faithful are are often being persecuted. Certainly as refugees under war and battle, give them comfort and aid and protection, and especially enduring faith. We pray in our own country is, it seems like another mass shooting happens on a weekly basis and yesterday's in Texas grieves our hearts. And we would pray for all the families, loved ones who were in that traumatic situations, it's not only the ones who had loved ones die or get shot, but certainly that whole mall is full of people experiencing real trauma. Use your gospel then, to give true hope, and use the gospel in our city to give true hope to the persons or people who are desperate thinking of such evil things to do, there is a true hope in you. And for those of us who labor and work, may we keep pressing forward. We ask this in Christ's name, Amen. You may be seated. I can't think of anything, or any reality. Any situation better than this, like here is the best. Here it is. Christ is the savior of nothings. And nobody's. And that is great news. Christ is the savior of nothings, and nobody's in this world. These are people who, then if these people put their heart, their soul hope in Christ as Lord. They enter a state of happiness that rises above circumstances. They are now sons and daughters of the King, and eagerly await their inheritance in His eternal kingdom. And I can't think of any situation that's worse than this one. Christ is the judge of something's, and somebody's in this world. Those people who in this world think there's something think there's somebody and they put a false hope, in their ability, their status, their success, their wisdom. Because these kinds of people are ruled by their circumstances, this world is all they have. They have to get as much of it is possible and thought be thought of as best as possible. And they are on a hamster wheel, trying to keep and hold these places, and they're blindly waiting judgment when they see Christ face to face. Where do I get that? I get that from Paul's good friend, Luke, who's recorded Jesus famous sermon on the plane. It's in your sidebar. Bless it, which is happy, happy and joyful. Bless it are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God bless it are you who are hungry now for you shall be satisfied. Bless it are you who weep now for you shall laugh, bless it, are you when people hate you and when they exclude you, and refile you and spurn your name as evil on account of the Son of Man, rejoice in that day and leap for joy for Behold, your reward is great and heaven for so their fathers did to the prophets. Say this another way, if you're among the poorest, the hungriest, or the most depressed in the City of Spokane, Jesus has a happy kingdom for you. I mean, isn't that good news. If you do enter, by repentance from sin and faith in Christ, if you do enter, and friends and family exclude you, they speak evil of you. If they reject you, you still have reason to rejoice. Because God has a great reward for you and heaven. You follow him in a very short life with earthly hardships, and yet have an eternity of extended and increasing joy in His presence. Jesus warning though, is very, very poignant. Woe to you who are rich, for you have received your constellation. Woe to you who are full now. For you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now for you shall mourn and weep. Woe to you when all people speak well abuse for so their fathers did to the false prophets. is another way if you laugh in the face of trouble, because your wealth your wisdom or your reputation are going to save you. Whoa is coming D deep and abiding sadness and misery because you've put your faith in yourself and your ability, instead of the only person who can save you.

    And what's the relationship between the Sermon on the plane or if we read Matthews account the sermon on the mount and our passage here? Paul uses much of the same language. And those people who started out trusting Christ, they knew they were sinners, they knew or they're under condemnation, have moved from desperate to deserving. And it is a move that is easy in the human heart. I desperately need salvation. And I'm entirely dependent on God. And I start going through this world again. And I start thinking I'm deserving of attention and accolade and good treatment and success here. The Corinthians who all indications had really been saved. We're living more like the people that Jesus called the rose on. And Paul is going to set an example Paula polos are going to set an example this is what it is like to have the happy life, to endure hardships, to be the true spokesman and spokeswoman for Christ. There's a word that caught my attention as I've been studying First Corinthians. It's the word cruciform. The title of the message popping the balloon of pride with a cruciform life. I know you'll always use the word cruciform. It's just part of your everyday language. It's really not. But here's what it is. It's an architectural terms. It's a building shaped like a cross. In human terms, it's, it's a life shaped like a cross willing and enduring, suffering and hardship. Christ himself carried across and anybody who follows Him must pick up their cross daily. And so what we see in Corinth with this battle for preeminence, there's people living opposite. using their gifts and abilities to get not to give. They're blinded by the pride of their city, the values of the city and so instead of being desperate and remaining humble, they start to act like they are deserving and we all know it pride fractures, and dis unifies pride fractures and Deuce unifies it does it if you have a bunch of housemates once a single guys or single gals you got a bunch of housemates pride is going to tend to fracture and dis unify humility is going to unify

    church the church in Corinth was experiencing fractures and disunity. Pride knows this there's only one greatest there's only one people trying to work either how to be really friend good friends with the greatest or to be the greatest. The self styled somebody's in Corinth were riddled with strife and jealousy. I found this passage as we go through it, incredibly relieving, incredibly relieving, and it should for you to because to keep on the treadmill of greatest and however you measure it is exhausting and never ending. And yet to pick up your cross daily because of the riches you have in Christ, and the riches you're going to is relieving and peaceful. Paul wants you to have that fullness, and it will result in Unity. It it's the strongest, most direct rebuke so far. Here's here's Paul's big idea. He's saying follow the Apostle Paul and pop the bubble of pride with a cruciform life. We're going to follow Paul because Paul follows Christ. what's the upshot of it you can enjoy true unity among Christians because humility always breeds unity. You can receive success as the grace gift of God Korath had success by both worldly and Christian terms, many real converts. They could enjoy it as a grace of God. And then and most importantly, we can enjoy it joyfully Endure hardship and following Christ awaiting his return. So Okay, here's how you pop the bubble of pride. Ready. Number one, stick with Scripture and add nothing. Stick with scripture at nothing as a general principle. Sticking with scripture means that you're humbling yourself under God's Word, God's authoritative, all sufficient inerrant Word as a general principle. We don't want to go beyond that. And we don't want to go below that we want to go right with it. But Paul speaking is something pretty specific here. He's talking about something right in the text, verse six, he says, I have applied all these things to myself and apologize for your benefit. So he's summarizing from 111 here, talking about how the Corinthians were struggling with pride in their wisdom and their power. But the apostles came preaching Christ crucified in weakness. He's applied all of these things. The judgment that God has for the success of ministry is just that it's just God's judgment. It's not a zone. So I've applied all these things to myself, for your benefit. Apparently, there were other teachers in Corinth, who were not trying to get a following for themselves. And Paul wants the people in Corinth, to not do the same thing with their local teachers as they had started to do with their apostles and teachers. I want to apply this to myself and apologise for your benefit. He uses this affectionate title brother. So despite the fact that it's really strong sarcasm coming that we're going to look at, he really cares. This is really admonishment. If you look at verse 14, you say, writing them, I don't I don't write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you, this shouldn't be this way. He says that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written. Or what what is that what is written. It's got many interpretations. The history of studying this some scholars who study first Corinthians like this is the hardest one of all to figure out what is he referring to? I'm going to pick the safest route. Paul has used the phrase it is written or written to refer to Scripture. And he's quoted six scripture in the section. And all of them have to do with two topics, boasting only in God. And the fact that God will judge the wise of this world who reject him. It's about true boast. And that makes complete sense. Once we follow this up, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another. The Apostle on the other hand, preached as the apostles the preachers, Apollo's preached as weak and lowly men, to weak and ignorant sinners. So it didn't matter how the elite of the city judged success, but how God did that you may learn from us. Mark 834, Jesus says in calling the crowd to him, with his disciples, He said to them, If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow me. So if Jesus saved through his humiliation, then his saving message is born on the life of followers, who rejoice in being humiliated by the world. This is x 541. After the apostles are beaten and told not to preach Christ, they come out of the jail having been flogged rejoicing at the fact that they were worthy to suffer for Jesus name. I want you to learn from us, that you may not go beyond what is written. Now the beyond those weren't written has two things don't boast in your own ability don't boast in men. And second, don't add to the Scriptures. Don't add to the Scriptures by saying there is another criteria on top of the Gospel for success.

    He says this, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another. So here's the idea is as one person got more successful, that group of people compared themselves to another group of people and they started getting proud that that word puffed up is one of Paul's favorites. It's just the idea of puppet you can kind of see a visual of it. As there is a success. A person kind of puts out their chest they they talk about themselves in a certain way. They start looking down at people maybe literally, but by their by their tone of voice there's another picture on putting your mind. How did people make balloons in ancient times? Yeah, People, balloons weren't invented when robber was invented.


    You slaughter an animal, pig, big cow. Clean up the bladder, tie off one end. Tie off the other end and you have a soccer ball. You have a volleyball, you have a balloon.

    Paul is trying to take a pin to that balloon, that puffed up bladder that disgusting thing. The kids used as a toy.

    They're puffed up in favor of one against another, creating these factions. The cruciform life is so grateful for what Jesus has done. They're so grateful for what Jesus has given that this person eagerly loves and serves others they don't compete with others. And when success comes when there is fruit in ministry, they don't use it as a means of comparing. But as a means of giving thanks. Stick with scripture at nothing. Second, remember that Christ's that God's grace is the source of all fruit and fruitfulness. Remember that God's grace is the source of all fruit and fruitfulness if you're fruitful, don't boast in it, recognize what it is. Verse seven, he says for who sees anything different in you. And it's really a short little phrase saying who judges or distinguishes. And the idea is that in Corinth, all kinds of people have been saved and contribute their best to the church, at whatever stage of life or kind of life or kind of gift giftedness they're all giving. So who distinguishes among you, like who decides who's the best? There's actually nothing different. It's just all just given different opportunities. So then he says, What do you have? That you did not receive? It then you received it? Why do you boast? As if you did not receive it? Why did you think that it was innate to who you were, or born into you because of your family, your status, or that it was something you have now achieved, that makes you more special than another? Focusing on that phrase, If you then received it. If it was given to you by God, this, this fruitfulness, in your service, in your work, in your helps in your discipling in your teaching. If there's fruitfulness in it, God gave it to you, you can't boast in it.

    I've heard it said that the second greatest temptation in ministry, Christians serving other Christians is failure. It's the second greatest temptation, what's the greatest temptation? Success. As soon as we're successful in ministry, somehow we think that we should be crowned for it. There was a coronation yesterday, I heard we should be crowned for it. Or we have some special status now. know if you've received it, it's by God's grace. All your gifts, talents and abilities. Romans 12 Three, the apostle Paul heads off a list of spiritual gifts that different people in church of Rome had. And he's just using this list to say, however, you have been gifted by God use it fervently for His glory. But he writes this, there's the direct statement for it by the grace given to me. So here's an apostle, he gets his apostleship from the gift of God he has a gift of God, he recognizes it's a great responsibility, and privilege. For by the grace given to me as an apostle, I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. And then he goes on to describe all the various kinds of gifts that people use in service at the church. here not to think more highly of your gift or more lowly You have your gift than anybody else and their gift. The comparison game, it's got to stop to serve. The apostle Paul, in this very book that we're looking at First Corinthians 1510. And 11 was talking about his labors. He's the last of the apostles chosen, he is had to suffer more than any. And he says, but by the grace of God, I am what I am and His grace toward me was not in vain. Now Now listen to this humble statement. Is this a humble brag? Now know what a humble brag is. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them. The apostle Paul wasn't really bragging, he was just telling the truth. He worked harder and suffered more than any apostle. This is what he said, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. He recognized that all the ability, all the grace, all the endurance of hardship, all the success in ministry was because of the grace of God. So if you received it, why do you brag like you earned it? Why do you gladly take credit for the work that God is doing?

    Maybe I say it this way, if you serve or speak, in order to get from someone you're not truly loving, you are using. Let me say that again, if you serve or speak in order to get from someone you're not loving you are using that let's not all sinful, we all have jobs in which we serve to get paid. But love serves without an expectation back. So remembering grace means that we see service and the fruit as an undeserved privilege from God. So first, stick with scripture, don't add anything to it. To remember that grace, or that that all that you've done, all that your abilities give you as a gift three, follow Jesus in the way of the cross. Status and success become Satan's playground for proud temptation. And it had become that for Corinth and now he uses this irony in contrast, if you look at 14 It's not to shame it's to convince But look at verse eight. Already you have all you want, that idea of want is satiated full, you are fat, you have had so much success, that you you sit back like a well fed, noble philosopher. You have all you want. Already, you have become rich. It's been very financially beneficial for you. You see yourself as as possessing more than others and even other churches. Without us you have become kings, you know, we don't need the apostles anymore. We have achieved the status above Paul, where kings historian, and archaeologists point out that that threesome want riches and kings is the exact kind of language that the philosophers in Corinth and in Greece would use about themselves. One of them said this. As he's speaking, he's imagining this when they look upon me, they see me as a king.

    satiated, rich, powerful. And the Apostle Paul who doesn't really enjoy his suffering, just just to get clear, he's not a masochist. Masochist is a person who's like rushed headlong into suffering. He says in wood that you did rain so that we might share the rule with you I've got I would love a little success without suffering. That'd be great. You guys can be charged I can have a low place be calm. Everybody respect me. Are Paul Paul doesn't love to suffer.

    But Paul lives out authentic service and ministry as a follower of Christ. Every Age even our age, sees a false kind of Christianity as a means for power and success. They see Christianity in a local church setting. It's a place to network so I can do business. And since Constantine, in three hundreds, every time the government or the ruler has made Christianity protected, the holiness of the people has tended to diminish, and every time it becomes the official religion, it becomes utterly corrupted. Why is that because now, people use Christianity as a means to climb the ladder and a government position and a church position. They're using Christianity, not live in Christianity, and that has followed through all of the ages.

    Or even our age sees Christianity as a means for power and success. That's a false Christianity. There was this triumphalism in Corinth, like, look at us, we have one we're superior. From the Psalms to the present. The reason why I call to the Psalms is because they're the easiest place to see this. Those who truly follow God and His Christ are opposed and humiliated by their enemies. Psalm after Psalm David is dogged. He is chased. He's even even his own son comes after him. from Psalm two, all the way to Jesus, and all the way to this age, if you're truly going to follow God and His Christ, there are going to be even family members who come after you.

    pauses for I think, that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world to angels and to men. And right there, he summarizes what is often called the triumphal procession, the triumphal procession, a general wins a great battle. And if the opposing army and its soldiers didn't surrender early, and come into a service, if they were literally conquered on the field of battle, that general would lead his army back to a capital back to a region and they would receive the adulation of the province capital or even Rome. And first the army and the soldiers would come with their spoils of victory. First, the general then the army, then chained or caged would come the soldiers, the captives, and it would be a spectacle the whole city would, would line the the markets in the streets, and they would go into whatever Arena in Rome, it would have been the Coliseum for a parade of the captives. And at the end of that, the soldiers would be set with set the captives free these other soldiers and they would be told, here's a sword. Last Man Standing of this 12 gets to live. And the crowds went wild, as these people had to butcher each other and at the very last would have been the most despised, often set in the center of arena, with lions set loose. This is what Paul is saying, right, this is the triumphal procession, God has exhibited us apostles, as last of all the end of the train, like men sentenced to death because we have become a spectacle. That's the word. The crowds roar as the lions devour the trail, the last of the prisoners. He says it's a spectacle to the world. To angels, the spiritual realms, and to men. We are treated as the worst.

    This is what we want you to learn from us. You're satiated. You're full. You're rich, your kings were fed the lions were despised angels and men look on. Why would they do this? Why would Paul take on this role? Why would the apostles take on this role because their king was humiliated in same fashion in order to save them from their sins, restore them to a holy God, and be given any eternal imperishable kingdom in heaven. We have a we have a mindset of this for soldiers who enlist and go to war on behalf of their country, and they lay down their lives willingly and honorably, and they would consider it a privilege to be injured or to die for the sake of their country. Much, much more do Christians embrace that reality? For their crucified savior, risen from the dead?

    To the sarcasm he's back, we are fools for Christ. For his sake, it's for His glory. That's how we're treated by the world. You are wise in Christ you've you've already just zoomed by us and your spiritual maturity. We are weak. You are strong. Korn thought they now were more powerful even than the apostles more influential. You are held in honor. We in disrepute. Corinth appears to have had a measure of evangelistic success if you read the accounts and X, Paul got to stay there longer than any other place without a tense persecution. It was the most successful church probably in Paul's ministry by worldly standards of obscene converts. And now they took it as something that they have deserved. First, elevenses to the present hour, if you don't know how it really is. Here's it. Here's what they call a catalogue of hardships. They weren't uncommon for Romans and Greeks to talk about what they endured. I was watching a Honda commercial. And it was it was one of these like self styled, you know, we're, we're the people that everybody hated. Nobody believed in us. And it goes and nobody believed in us when we could do this and they invented the motorcycle. Nobody believed in us when we did this and it was a cool car. Nobody believed in us when you can do this now. It's like nobody believed in us but we did it. That's the catalog of hardships that the world uses today. Every athlete likes to use one every singer likes to use one every billionaire likes to use on you know, so hard on me out the billionaire now. My catalogue of hardships. Here's his catalogue of hardships. To the present our we hunger and thirst. We are not satisfied. We are poorly dressed. We can't afford the clothes that show our prestige and wealth. We're buffeted. I mean, we're treated roughly physically manhandled. Everywhere we go. We are physically manhandled. Remember upper class people often think nothing of violent and abusive behavior toward the poor. It's often the case since we're homeless, that they don't have a permanent home, a permanent residence, they can't boast of a famous place that they belong to, or a famous place to retreat to. An even have a modest place. Just like Jesus, who warned it would be disciple. The Son of Man has no place to rest his head. Jesus died homeless man without permanent home. And we labor working with our own hands. That kind of labor in that combination with working his own hands, was was something that was an affront to the elite. in Corinth, like many places where there were a nobility a wealthy noble class. You judged a person's wealth and a person's position by how clean and manicured their hands were. The absence of calluses the absence of stains, was a sign that you are above labor. He doesn't just use labor he uses working with your hands. I mean, it was the opposite for me. I grew up in farm arm country in a small town. And the sign of Your manliness was the thickness of your calluses and how many bloody knuckles you had. From whatever you are doing. This is the opposite. We're working with our own hands. We're the lowest where the craftsmen and tradesmen Look how he's like Christ here. When reviled, we bless. When persecuted, we endure when slandered. We intreat and it's the most direct reference to the imitation of Jesus, who on the cross was mocked and slandered by sinners. Had the ultimate kind of persecution death through shameful crucifixion. He endured it and trusting himself to God full of faith. slandered he's still in treated Father forgive them they know not what they do. The women who followed and morning he said there's there's worse stuff coming you need to be ready. He exhorted

    when reviled we blast and persecuted we endure when slandered we and treat and he says this we have become and are still like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things. As a boy, one of my chores was feeding and watering 100 chickens. We had a chicken coop and it was always muddy and squishy. Do you know why it was muddy and squishy and a chicken coop? chicken manure. If you ever smelled smelled something awful chicken manure is at the top of the list when it gets ripe. And you never wore those shoes into the house. They had to be scraped clean, washed just to sit in the mudroom just to go inside to dry out. They had to be thoroughly washed. The streets and barn yards of the ancient world had to be constantly cleaned and it was the lowest of the low who had the street cleaning job. major thoroughfares, major streets had slaves or low class workers whose job it was to go through and clean the horse mess and the various things that were there, they would scrape it off and there would be a portal to a sewer and they would wash it clean. Paul is saying more than we were the people who mucked out the street. He was saying we're we're the stuff scraped off the sandal. We're not even human. We're not even treated as human. We're treated as the scum or the scrapings of the world

    again, I asked How could How could Paul do this? And how can you do this? He's already told us how he could do this. He told them how they could do this back at 320 to 321. But no one boasted men for All things are yours but their Paula policies receive His or the world or life or death or the present or the future all are yours you are Christ. And Christ is God's. The believer has such fullness of Christ, that he plows ahead and faithful service in trusting himself to God and human weakness and human tiredness. And they keep giving the gospel and helping and loving because of the glory of the One they're already united to and the end that they are awaiting in His presence.

    Here my favorite part of the message last week. Josh Gilchrist went from cleaning toilets and preaching in the pulpit in the same week. Your toilets that you just used or will use after the service. He went from cleaning them to this he's a servant with a servant heart. Tom Schreiner makes a poignant, poignant statement about this and take it in. If society commends and celebrates believers, it is likely a sign that the latter have thrown their lot in with the world. If so, It celebrates you. Given their kind of values, you're probably more like them than you are like Christ. Universal of course, but something to pay attention to. Let's bring this to American Christianity in our era, people think that it is their right to be well treated and rewarded by government and society. So we're alarmed that our religious liberties are eroding. I heard what an elder has a conversation with an elder of another church in Spokane, telling me that God sovereignly put the Constitution in place, as if to say the Constitution is a divinely inspired document. Certainly God's sovereign, and I am grateful for religious freedom. I am grateful that we're broadcast on Facebook, and I'm not getting arrested this afternoon. grateful for that. So don't get any any of that idea. But as soon as we start to treat the world, and people inside the church, like we have a right or we're deserving of honorable and fair treatment. Because of who we are and what we've done. We are sliding down the path the Corinthians had. Often church attenders are consumers who seek to be served, not serve. When sampling the program's sampling some of the friendships, and the friendships don't live up to expectation. Very often people are like, man, yeah, man. Maybe the grass is greener somewhere else. The slight fight is disagreement or oversight becomes a great offense. And if we're honest, we all like to be treated like we're the king getting the crown.

    Let's think about how this affects our evangelism. If we take up a cruciform life, we expect rejection and suffering and shame. And yet we still carry that life giving message with joyful endurance. But if you expect the world to applaud your religious freedom or applaud your you're not likely to knock on a door, you're not likely to bring up a topic, because you know, they're gonna reject you, and you don't deserve to be rejected. But if you live a cruciform life, and you have the life giving message of the gospel, you expect rejection and say, I know that God's still going to use this. I mean, imagine if there was a girl lost in the neighborhood. We walked out here, somebody showed up and said a five year old girl snuck out the back, she's wandered out and we can't find her. Would you help us find her? What would you do? Like everybody would just like maybe keep your kids and put them in a car with you? But everybody, every able bodied person start going from house to house to house knocking on doors trying to get permission to look in the backyard. And as a person opened the door to you started yelling at you and saying awful things to you and you talk about this girl is lost Get away from me. This is my house. You wouldn't get bothered while I were quitting like the neighborhood's so mean to me. My neighbor, my coworker, they're so mean to me. They don't treat me like I should or even in the church, they don't treat me like I should. If there is a loss girl, you just keep going. You just keep going. You just keep going. You just you wouldn't care how you're treated until she's found. This little five year old has wandered off

    Paul thought of every city like this. Every place he went. He knew God had people who wanted to save. He knew there was a lost boy or girl. A nobody and nothing in the world's eyes. Who needed rescue? How do I know he did that second Timothy 210 Write it down. Second Timothy 210. Therefore, I endure everything for the sake of the elect. And are everything for the sake of the lack that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory

    when we do experience success, like Corinth, we still press on keep serving instead of stalling and getting proud. That's what you do when you get proud you stall and expect accolades instead of serving and seeing more people one, as people who have been given grace we still give the message of grace and adoring and in in the church in the church. We're often slighted mistreated, overlooked and thanked. It's it's often the case at home, that's often the case, we have to have two days of the year to stop children for just one day to say thank you to mom or dad. We have to make them public holidays. And that's just normal. When the church it's I got overlooked. You know, what if you, if you have this, you have this, you're not worried about that. You've got all things in Christ. You've got all things in Christ, you have Christ and you have eternity. I think how it would change. gifted people who who do have wisdom in Scripture, I mean, you could go to growth group and you could pray out loud and not worried about what everybody thought you could be the person asked to pray. Like, I hope everybody doesn't think I'm an idiot when I pray. I mean, you know how that happens. Like you. You're asked a question and growth group, but you're terrified, I might get the wrong answer. I'm gonna look like an idiot. You could be free from all of that. I mean, everybody's an idiot. Paul's mind. I'm just going to join the Club. Just how freed up you'd be to serve freed up you would be to play your music to sing. You'll serve well, because you'll be filled up with your Savior. I can't think of anything, any reality or any situation is better than this. Christ is the savior of nothing's and nobody's in the world's eyes. And so I would plead with you today. If you hear and you think compared to all the people here, you're nothing or nobody. There's an open door for you. You're nothing or nobody due to addiction, or a transition, or a divorce. Or a crime. I'm a nothing or nobody. Look what I've done. Look who I am. There's a door open for you to Christ because that's who Christ saves. The people who see themselves as sinners, the least the worst? Bless it are you who were poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who are hungry now for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now for you shall laugh. Blessing are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil on account of the Son of Man, rejoice in that day, leap for joy for Behold, your reward is great in heaven for so their fathers did to the prophets. It's a cruciform life. Jesus says it's a happy life. Because it's right it rises above the hamster wheel of meeting wealth and reputation and superiority. It is the happy life in Christ. Father, we pray that you would use these words, bind them in our hearts. Help us be a people who sees that all we have is already given in Christ. For those who haven't trusted Christ, may this be the day they come. See their nothingness nobody in this whatever their low NISS is, and they would come in faith and repentance. We ask this in Christ's name, Amen.

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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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