1st Corinthians – Wayne Barber/Part 85
|By: Dr. Wayne Barber; ©1998|
|Have you ever noticed how an immature child will test you to see who is in charge? They’ll do what they can to see what they can get away with. Finally, you just have to yank that leash to get them straight. Well, in a very similar way the church of Corinth was a very immature church. So whatever was going on, you can rest assured God was not in control. They were in control. What the apostle Paul is doing in 1 Corinthians 12 is setting the record straight as to who really is in control.|
1 Corinthians 12:10-11
Just Who Is In Charge?
We’re going to look at verses 10-11, not going very far. I want to entitle this “Just Who is in Charge?” Have you ever noticed how an immature child will test you to see who is in charge? They’ll do what they can to see what they can get away with. Finally, you just have to yank that leash to get them straight.
Well, in a very similar way the church of Corinth was a very immature church. So whatever was going on, you can rest assured God was not in control. They were in control. What the apostle Paul is doing in 1 Corinthians 12 is setting the record straight as to who really is in control.
In chapter 14 we’re going to see that what was going on in Corinth was not tongues, plural, it was a tongue, singular. As a matter of fact, in most translations it says “unknown.” “Unknown” is written in italics because what it’s trying to get across is this thing that was going on in Corinth was not anything like what Paul is talking about in 12:10 when he speaks of languages that people can known and can understand. It’s a tongue. It was an erratic speech of some kind of gibberish that nobody could understand. A tongue, singular, they were speaking that way.
By the way, it really reminds you of what was going on 30 miles from town at the Oracles of Delphi when we introduced chapter 12. Hopefully you understood that. This was something they used to be in, and evidently it’s crept right back into the church.
Chapter 14:2 reads, “For one who speaks in a tongue [singular],” verse 4 says, “One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself.” Remember back in 12:7 Paul says the gifts are not for personal edification. They’re for the building up of the whole body, for the edification of everybody. He says he only edifies himself. Verse 13 of chapter 14 tells us, “Therefore let one who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret.” He doesn’t have a clue what he’s saying. Verse 14 goes on, “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.” It does not work at all because it doesn’t have a clue what’s going on again.
In verse 19 of chapter 14 we read, “however, in the church I desire to speak five words with my mind [he refers now to understanding what he’s saying] that I may instruct others also, rather than ten thousand words in [what?] a tongue.”
I can’t wait until verse 26. There’s a hypothetical situation there Paul brings up, kind of like “if Superman walked in the back door” type thing. You say, “Well, that can’t happen.” That’s kind of what’s going on here, but I’m not going to get into it this time. That’s for later. I’ve got too many other things to say. He says in 14:26, “What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching [evidently, they just get up and do whatever], has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation.” That’s interesting since they can’t be interpreted. “Let all things be done for edification.”
Now, look at verse 27. “If anyone speaks in a tongue.” You have got to see this as a significant thing. Paul says, “I thank my God I speak in tongues [plural] more than you.” But when he refers to them, it’s singular. When he refers to himself or the gifts that God has chosen to give from time to time—languages and the ability to translate those languages so that the gospel can get out, they’re known understandable languages—they are in the plural. And there is a direct difference with what’s going on in Corinth and what we know of in 12:10.
It’s interesting to point out that in all the gifts listed in verses 9 and 10 there, most of them are plural in chapter 12 except for the interpretation, singular, of tongues. Why is it? Because there can only be one translation of any one language, only one translation of a language. The most confusing thing you can ever be around is when somebody would stand up and give a gibberish or something like that and somebody give an interpretation and somebody else give another interpretation. There can only be one interpretation, one translation, to any one language.
I don’t back down from it because I believe scripture supports it. You check it out. You be the Berean. I’m not the last word on any of this stuff. I’m growing, I’m learning, and so are you. But everything I can find in scripture as I throw up a red flag is that tongues, when he mentioned in scripture in the plural, means a known, understandable language. That’s all I’m really going to say about it right now because that’s all Paul says about it until chapter 14. So you just have to sort of rest the rest of it until you get there. Put it on a shelf, but let the context continue to build. You’re trying not to find out about tongues. You’re trying to find out about what is Paul doing in chapters 12, 13, and 14. Once you get that down, everything else will make sense.
We’re going to push a little further. Paul has clearly pointed out that God does manifest Himself through His people. Yes, He does. He does manifest Himself and He gives gifts to His people. Through some He gives the equipping gifts, and evidently there were people speaking in Corinth. Everything he mentions had something to do with what was going on in Corinth. Remember that. He’s not teaching gifts, he’s correcting error. So he says, “Yes, he does give some equipping gifts, but it’s always according to the Word of God and it’s with the word of wisdom or the word of knowledge.” And to others He does some things that are just kind of hard to understand. They’re extraordinary things and it starts with faith, gifts of healing, the effecting of miracles, prophesy, distinguishing of spirits. But then through some God has manifested Himself, and He chooses sometimes to give them a language that they don’t know or they do know so they can speak it to another culture in another language, but He also gives people the interpretation of that language, the ability to translate that language.
None of these things are done by the simple will of man. We’ve got to understand this. Corinth was an immature baby church that would test anybody to see who was in charge. What Paul was saying is, “Let me tell you something straight out. If you’re in the church of Jesus Christ, you are not in charge. Your emotions are not in charge. Your flesh is not in charge. God is in charge.” “So just who is in charge?” is what Paul is asking here. He’s trying to set the record straight about what God does. He is in charge and is not going to like what was going on in Corinth.
In verse 11 he brings us full circle. I love the way he does this. He starts off with the Giver, and now he comes full circle back to the Giver. He leaves the gifts. You know what? I feel like sometimes when we have taught on gifts, perhaps we have made a huge mistake of making too much of the gifts and not making enough of the Giver. That is the key to living the Christian life. It’s not just knowing your gift; listen, your gift means nothing if you’re not connected properly to the Giver. So Paul brings them back to that very truth. You watch the flow as we go on through chapter 12. He continues to bring you back to the Giver, not to the gift.
Paul points us back to the person of the Holy Spirit
Verse 11 reads, “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.” There are two things that I want you to see. That’s all we’re going to look at, just two things. First of all, I want you to see how Paul points us back to the person of the Holy Spirit. We need to understand the person of the Holy Spirit. This is important.
Now, in the deepest sense, believers do not utilize the gifts that they have. You don’t really use your gift. In the deepest sense, it’s the Holy Spirit of God who causes them to work. It’s the Holy Spirit of God who chooses when they’ll work. It’s never for my emotional gratification, it’s for God’s eternal and redemptive purposes. He’s in charge of the gifts He gives. He’s in charge of the manifestations that He chooses to manifest. The Holy Spirit, the Giver of the gifts is a person. Now, listen to me. Why is that important? Because He’s not an emotion; He’s not an influence; and He’s not a force as Star Wars would tell us, “The force be with you.” He is a person, and He is God, and He is fully God.
Someone said to me years ago, “Now, when you speak of the Holy Spirit, I don’t think people understand that you’re talking about God. I know you understand that, but maybe they don’t understand it. So when you say the Holy Spirit, say God the Holy Spirit.” That is exactly right. When you speak of the Holy Spirit as a person, you’re speaking of God, fully God. He’s totally God, and He’s in charge of what He does in a person’s life when it comes to manifestations and gifts, etc. As a matter of fact, everything He does in us is a gift.
The word “He” in the phrase “He wills” is not there because it’s not masculine in that particular verse. It’s in the neuter, which has more to do with what He does than who He is. But it’s implied. Look at John 16:13. Jesus Himself calls Him the person who is the Holy Spirit. This is what Jesus said. It’s not my word, Jesus is speaking to His disciples in John 16:13. This is His promise of the Holy Spirit: “But when He [that little word “He” is masculine and singular, referring to a person], the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.”
You see the Lord Jesus Himself identifies that His replacement who is coming will be the Holy Spirit living in us, the Spirit of Christ, as we’ll see in a little bit. He is a person. He’s not an emotion. He’s not an influence. He’s not a force. He is God personified. He is the Holy Spirit of God.
Now, again, why is that important? Because if He were an emotion, an influence, or a force, you could be in control of Him. But since He is God, the third person of the trinity, He must be in control of you. That’s the first thing that has to start. That’s why he takes us back to the Giver. You are never in control of the gifts, neither am I. You are not in control of the manifestation, neither am I. It has to be Him. He’s God. He’s a person. He’s God, and He’s absolutely in control of what He gives and what He manifests.
We must understand that there are three persons in the godhead—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit—and they’re all equals. This just boggles my mind when I preach it, because I preach it as if I fully grasp it. Are you kidding? I just trust it by faith. I don’t fully grasp the trinity. If you do, would you talk to me afterwards?
In 2 Corinthians 13:14 is just one of the verses where it shows they are all equated. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God [the Father], and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.” They are all three equal. There’s only one God, but there’s three persons. So the Spirit of Christ is the Holy Spirit. Christ still lives in each of us in the person of His Holy Spirit.
John 14:16 says, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever.” The word “another” is allos, another of exactly the same kind. It will be the Holy Spirit. It will be Me. It will be the Father. No, it’s not. It’s the Holy Spirit. It’s the Spirit of Christ.
It’s amazing how many people try to figure out the trinity. Have you heard them do it? Some people take an egg and they’ll say, “Here’s the shell. That’s like the Father. Here’s the white and that’s like the Son. Here’s the yolk. That’s like the Spirit. That’s like the trinity.” When I was growing up. I thought that was really good. I got that answer in Vacation Bible School. Until I started studying Scripture and found out, “Nope. I’m sorry. That won’t cut it.” In the trinity the white of the egg is God, fully God, with or without the yolk and the shell. The shell is God with or without the white and the yolk. And the yolk is God with or without the white and the shell. You say, “That’s heavy.” Yes it is. It’s over my head. That’s just the trinity. So when you talk about the Holy Spirit of God, you’re speaking of Christ and you’re also speaking of the Father; however, in the personality of the Holy Spirit. There’s no jealousy in the trinity.
Isn’t it amazing how many people have Holy Spirit conferences because they feel like the Holy Spirit’s getting a bum rap? There’s no jealousy in the trinity. The Father gives it to Jesus; Jesus gives it to the Spirit; and the Spirit turns around and gives it back to the Father; the Father gives it to Jesus, because there’s only one God. This boggles your mind, but when you have the Holy Spirit of God in your life, you have the Spirit of Christ in your life. The life of God comes into you in the person of the Holy Spirit of God.
The point is that He’s a person. He’s a person. He’s God, and He’s in charge. He’s in charge so you better hook up to Him. Don’t you hook up to what people say that He does or doesn’t do. You hook up to Him because He’s the one, the divine intelligence of God, who does what He does to a believer’s life according to a predetermined plan in the godhead for the purposes of eternal redemptive things. That’s what God does.
Now, He wills the gifts and the manifestations of God to men. Just because somebody needs an emotional fix, He’s not at your beck and call. He’s not an emotion or an influence. That’s why it is never Him bending to us except at salvation. It’s us receiving Him and it’s us getting lined up under Him, you see.
Well, it says in 1 Corinthians 12:11, “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.” Boulomai means as He wishes, as He desires; not as we desire, but as He desires. The point is in the context it will point to the uneven, sometimes sporadic ways at which He distributes the gifts. He does it according to a divine plan. He does it according to a divine purpose. He’s representing the Father. He’s representing the Son and what He does through us. He’s in charge of that.
You see what Paul’s doing. He’s trying to set the record straight. What’s going on in Corinth? A bunch of babies are trying to question who’s in authority. He’s saying, “Now, listen. When God does it, it’s not going to look like what it looks like in Corinth.” Gifts are not to satisfy man’s emotional make-up, but they’re to fulfill the purposes of God. Whatever manifestation one has, if it’s truly of God the Holy Spirit, it must bear the mark of the character of the very person of God upon it. It must flow out of the divine intelligence and purpose of God.
I’ve told you this illustration before, but I tried to find another one and racked my brain but I cannot find another one that’s any better. So I just apologize. You’re going to have to hear it twice. If you’ve got a hammer that nails a nail, don’t throw the hammer away. When the nail pops up, just use the same old hammer. Because this is what I’m trying to explain to you; this is where people get messed up. I want to tell you something. When you become a Christian, you no longer are in a judgment seat of telling God what He’s going to do or not to do. The Christian life is not you getting your will on Earth done in Heaven. Prayer is not something that starts with you. Prayer starts with God. Our whole purpose is God’s will in Heaven being done on Earth which takes a decreasing, which takes a dying to self, which takes a constant brokenness in our life submitting, surrendering, surrendering, surrendering to who He is and to what only He wants.
Remember when the Toronto blessing started? It’s kind of died down in some areas. It depends on where you are, really. But when the Toronto blessing came out, laughing in the Spirit was supposed to be a new phenomenon of what the Holy Spirit of God does through people to manifest Himself through people. It’s a very emotional time. As a matter of fact, accompanied with it, if you’ve never seen it, people get down on all fours barking like dogs, down on all fours roaring like lions, and they’re saying, “This is the Holy Spirit of God. Don’t question us because we love Jesus.”
I was in a conference one summer. We had about 600 kids and I don’t know how many groups. Right in the middle of it, I don’t know if it was just me, my flesh, or whether it was the Lord, but I had been troubled with this one thing for a long time. I don’t know what we were in. I don’t think we were talking about deception. We might have been. But somehow, right in the middle of a sentence, said something very distaining about the Toronto blessing. I really put it down quick. Well, I did not know what I had just done. I had just taken a grenade and thrown it right over into one of the groups, because they came there wanting to let us know of this new thing the Spirit of God was doing in their midst.
A friend of mine came to me in that conference and said, “I don’t know who you think you are.” I said, “What do you mean?” He said, “Who do you think you are to tell us that God can’t manifest Himself through our life that way? Who do you think you are?” I said, “Okay, go ahead.” He said, “The Holy Spirit is like an emotion.” That’s what caught my attention. I said, “He is?” He said, “That’s right. It’s like anger. I have anger; my wife has anger; my three children have anger; and when we express that anger, then every one of us express it in different ways. Some hold it in. Some blow it out and do different things. Just like they are free to express their anger in a certain way, then we’re all free to express the Holy Spirit the way we are. You have no right to tell us that’s not of the Holy Spirit of God.”
My only answer to him was this—and I haven’t changed; I’m not the last word; I told you a million times I’m not the authority and I keep saying that. You be the Berean. You check it out for yourself. But here’s what I told him—I said, “The flaw in your argument, which only works in a barbershop by the way, is the Holy Spirit of God is not an emotion. And what He does is characterized from this [Bible], page to page, one covenant, another covenant, and what He does He speaks of Christ, He manifests Christ. If He gets on His knees and barks, then I’ll bark with Him. If He gets on His knees and roars, I’ll roar with Him. But you cannot say that He’ll step outside the predictable consistent pattern in Scripture.”
We’ve got to understand something, folks. When God’s in charge, people don’t do what their emotions tell them to do. They do what their will is led to do, and they bow before Him, repent before Him. What we are seeing happening today, which was also going on in Corinth, is people are taking charge. And when people take charge, the result is nothing more than absolute havoc and confusion. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1:12 and elsewhere, “There are divisions among you.”
It divides. It does not unite. He’s the person. He’s the person of God. He is God and He is in charge. My whole life is to live surrendered to the One in charge. He’s not concerned about my emotional instability at any time. He’s not concerned by what I feel. He’s concerned about a choice that I’m going to make because that choice is either going to be to surrender to Him or to go the way of my flesh. That was what was going on in Corinth.
Paul points us back to the purpose of the Holy Spirit
Secondly, there is the purpose of the Holy Spirit of God. To me this is so clear. I guess it’s because I’ve studied it. “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.” It’s the role of the Holy Spirit. There are two phrases there, “works all these things” and “distributing to each one as He wills.” What’s the purpose? Why does He do that as He wills? What’s the plan behind this? What is it that shapes the desires of God? What is it He’s out to do? Paul is going to tie the distributing of the gifts and the manifestations and the working of the Spirit in verse 11 to the body of Christ and its function in verse 12. Watch this carefully.
Look at verse 12, “For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.” You know the picture here. I don’t have to illustrate it. I wonder if your heart ever gets upset because there’s only one of it and two lungs. But there’s different parts to our body, different members to our body, and yet it’s only one body. Everything that goes on in my body is not for the sake of itself. It’s for the sake of the whole body. If my liver quits today, then it kills the whole body. It doesn’t matter how functional everything else is. If my kidneys give up, that kills the whole body. If my heart stops beating, it kills the whole body. Everything else may be healthy. So the whole purpose of a member of a body is never for itself, but always for the benefit of the whole body.
Paul says it’s the same way in Christ, His body. His body is one. In other words, there are many members in the body of Christ. There are many functions in the body of Christ. There are many gifts, many manifestations, but there’s never a manifestation given here or given there that doesn’t somehow enhance the visibility of the body of Christ.
Christ still lives on planet earth. He lives in the bodies of those who have received Him as their Lord and Savior. And each one of us makes up a certain function in the body of Christ. So whatever happens to me is not just to me, it happens to me for the benefit of the whole body.
Remember verse 7 of chapter 12? That’s what he’s been trying to say. Now, the Lord Jesus lives in us in the person of the Holy Spirit. In John 14:16 we read, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever, that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you.” Then he says in verse 18—listen to these words; he just told you that the Holy Spirit is coming to live in you—“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” I will come to you? I thought the Holy Spirit’s going to come to me. Now I’m confused. That’s where you’ve got to go back to what we just covered. The person of the Holy Spirit is God. He’s fully God. When I have the Holy Spirit, I have Christ, I have the Father. I have all of God that I’m ever going to get when the Spirit of God comes to live in my life.
Revelations 5 says that Jesus is at the right hand of the throne and the Father sits on the throne. Well, but He’s also in us. How’s He in us? In the person of the Holy Spirit. Listen, the Holy Spirit lives in me to do one thing; never to bring attention to Himself, but to manifest Christ. He says in John 14:14, “He shall glorify me.” What I’m trying to get you to see—and you’re going to see as Paul continues to tie together—if Christ lives in me, He’s manifesting Himself through me by that which the Holy Spirit gives or manifests through me. The Holy Spirit’s the agent who manifests the very life of Christ to others. It’s not to glorify the Spirit and it’s not to glorify me. It’s to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, to bring recognition back to Him.
There were many spirits in Corinth, and they were causing all kinds of extraordinary things going on in Corinth. But they were not the Holy Spirit of God. The end result was, there was division and strife and confusion. That automatically negates the fact that it was Christ. When Christ is in us, His proven character will be manifest through us. The Holy Spirit’s the one who does that. So anything that happens to me, whether it be in a service or wherever, it’s not just for me. It’s for the benefit of the whole body and for the benefit that Christ might be manifested in that body.
He uses a infinitive there in verse 11. He says that He works all these things. That’s an infinitive. An infinitive is always there to express a purpose for something. The verb “works” is energeo. It means He actually causes it to happen, the Holy Spirit does. The purpose behind what He causes to happen is as we just said, so that Christ will be manifested through us.
Let me show you this a different way. Look over in 2 Corinthians 5:20. This is totally another illustration, just to maybe come at it a different way. You ask, “What’s happening to me in my prayer closet, because something’s going on and it doesn’t fit with anything you’ve said so far?” My answer to you is that, first of all, I love you deeply in the Lord Jesus; but I want you to know, secondly, I haven’t got a clue what’s happening to you. But what I am trying to tell you is, you cannot fit whatever’s happening to you in 1 Corinthians 12-14. Fit it someplace else. Whatever experience you say you’re having, then I can’t deny that experience, although I can say that that experience does not in any way validate scripture. Scripture must validate that experience, and it doesn’t fit in 1 Corinthians 12-14.
Look at 2 Corinthians 5:20, just sort of a statement you sometimes read and miss it. He says, “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ.” By the way, he says this to the Corinthian church. Do you realize the word “ambassador” is also the word we get elderly or aged person from? The idea suggested here is a mature person. Do you realize a person who is only attached to his flesh and to gifts and all this other kind of cannot in any way be an ambassador for Christ? He cannot represent Christ, because he’s not attached to Christ. It’s not for the immature; it’s for the mature. “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us.”
In other words, we came to you and preached to you and entreated you, but it wasn’t us, it was Christ in us. It was God in us and through the power of the Holy Spirit of God He was entreating others through us, you see. That’s the work of the Spirit.
If I take my coat off and I hang it there and say, “Come on, sleeve, do something; come on stupid, do something” it just hangs there. Why can’t it do anything? Because it’s got to have life in it to do it. The Holy Spirit is the life of Christ that has come into us. With my arm in that sleeve I say to this sleeve, “Now, do it” and it does it, not because of the sleeve. It’s because of the life that is in the sleeve which draws attention to the one who’s life it is.
That’s exactly why the Holy Spirit lives in us. And if He manifests something through you, it’s not to give you an emotional high. It’s to draw people around you, never to you, never to the Holy Spirit, but to the Lord Jesus Christ through you. That’s His whole work. That’s His purpose.
In Romans 15:17-18 Paul says, “Therefore in Christ Jesus I have found reason for boasting in things pertaining to God.” That’s good for him because most of his life before he became a believer he knew how to boast in things pertaining to himself. Verse 18 says, “For I will not presume to speak of anything except what Christ [I thought Christ was at the right hand of the Father?] has accomplished through me.”
Now, just giving those two illustrations, that’s what he’s trying to tell them in 1 Corinthians 12. When God is in charge, then the Holy Spirit will be. Yes, He’ll manifest. Yes, He’ll give gifts, but it will be for manifesting the life of Jesus Christ. The body parts never do anything for the sake of the part, they do it for the sake of the body.
Paul is trying to show the Corinthian church if you are so attached to your flesh and your emotions that you would even split the whole place over your experience. If you’d split the whole place over your emotional moment, he says you in no way in this world are empowered by the Holy Spirit of God. When He’s in charge, He manifests the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.
This body that we are as a church is only to bring recognition to the Lord Jesus who lives in us, and the Holy Spirit’s responsibility is to make certain that that takes place. If you make the mistake of thinking that the Holy Spirit is an influence or an emotion, do you realize what you’ve done? You have now put yourself in control and no longer is He in charge of what’s happening. One can clearly see He distributes; He works as He wills; He is not there for any of our emotional satisfaction.
I’ll tell you what. There have been some experiences in my life. I have never spoken in tongues, in an ecstatic tongue or something, but I’ve had some precious moments with the Lord that I just don’t feel free to share them with you. Do you remember on the Mount of Transfiguration when Jesus said to go and tell how many people? No one. I want to tell you something. When you have an emotional moment, the first thing you want to do is run and tell somebody and they want to built a denomination on it. We haven’t learned yet that those precious times that God may give to us are between you and Him and Him alone, and must always somehow fit the grid of what Scripture says. They’ll be precious times to you. But you’ll never tell anybody because they’re just in your walk with Him.
The Holy Spirit, when He manifests Himself, does it, not for your personal edification—even though there are times you are personally edified—He does them for the edification of others and for the presentation of the Lord Jesus Christ in and through our lives. That’s what Paul said in Ephesians 5:18, “Be ye being filled with the Spirit of God.” That’s the whole thing. Be always under His control. Let Him be in charge. When you get in charge, that’s when you see all the garbage that comes out; and Christ in no way is represented by what’s going on. Anything else is the sick church of Corinth.
Let me conclude in saying this. When a church is under the control of the Holy Spirit of God—which will only be when the Holy Spirit is manifesting the character of Christ through them—there will be unity, because Christ unifies through His Spirit. Ephesians 4:3 says, “Being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace.” There will be fellowship, a general sharing together. Why? Because He manifests fellowship through His Spirit. It says in Philippians 2:1, “If there is [and it should be translated “since there is”] therefore any consolation of Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, and of one mind.”
If Christ is in control, there will be worship. People will sing praise, talk praise, and live praise to Christ. Ephesians 5:18 reads, “Do not get drunk with wine for this is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms and with hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father.”
There will be a mutual willingness to submit to church in one another. Verse 21 tells us, “And be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.”
It will be a loving group of people, for Christ manifests Himself through the love that His Spirit produces. Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
The church will be obedient to the leadership that the Lord has established. Hebrews 13:17, “Obey your leaders and submit to them; for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.”
It will minister to others. Why? Because Jesus didn’t come to be ministered to, He came to be a minister. And on and on. What’s going on in Corinth has nothing to do with God. Because God’s not in control of that group. They have taken control of themselves. And division and confusion and havoc is the end result when flesh is in control.
Just who is in charge? If we surrender to Him, we’re never going to see the body of Christ draw attention to its preacher, to anything else, just to Jesus Christ who’s being manifested by the work and the will of the Holy Spirit of God. Just who is in charge?