Sun, Aug 20, 2017
Duration:44 mins 29 secs
Paul’s Closing Plea to the Corinthians
It has been said that the body of Christ is the most glorious dysfunctional family on planet earth. The people of God are at one and the same time a perfectly redeemed people who also dwell in an imperfect body that is still flawed because of the remaining corruption of sin in our flesh. Such was the case in Corinth, and certainly, such is the case here at Koinonia. Paul prayed for their perfection, or their progressive maturity in The Lord. The Christian life is a life of growth in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. We grow in Christ by remembering who we are in Jesus, and by yielding to The Holy Spirit. We grow in Christ by the way that we interact with one another as a community of believers as well.
Paul exhorts this congregation of saints (yes, saints; see 1:1 and 13:13) to “be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.” What do these words say to you and me personally? What do you think that should look like congregationally? Beloved, each one of us is working out (not for!!) our own salvation with fear and trembling. But as Paul states at the end of this letter, we are given divine resources to empower and encourage us. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.”
Sun, Aug 13, 2017
Duration:36 mins 48 secs
Regeneration: Fact or Fiction?
This morning, the apostle Paul makes the distinction between a sincere follower of Jesus Christ who has been born of The Spirit and is bearing fruits of repentance and are working out their salvation with fear and trembling, and those whose “faith in Jesus” is nothing more than an empty verbal profession of faith that lacks the evidence of repentance and regeneration. Every epistle seems to indicate the fact that every congregation consists of a mixed multitude of wheat and tares, both possessors and professors of faith in Christ. Paul addresses his concern for those whose lifestyle does not match their alleged testimony of having experienced the regeneration power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He does not want them basing the assurance of their salvation on a false profession of faith.
It is abundantly clear that our assurance of salvation does not lie in any work that we do, but by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9) in the finished work of Jesus Christ. The veil has been torn. We can only draw near to God because of Who Jesus is and what He did for us. But, it is equally clear that when we trust in Him, we can see the evidence of God’s Spirit bearing fruit in our lives. Jesus said that you can tell a tree by its fruit (Matthew 12:33).
Reader, is your life bearing the fruit of regeneration by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ?
Sun, Jul 30, 2017
Duration:37 mins 8 secs
Paul’s Pastoral Plea
Paul has been under attack from those who sought to undermine his apostolic authority and the sincerity of his love for the Corinthians. He apologetically wrote in defense of the validity of his calling and ministry as an apostle. He now proceeds to write about his love for them, and the concerns that he has for their spiritual condition. With the flaming darts of slander and accusations sticking out of his back, from deep in his heart he calls them “dearly beloved” (2 Corinthians 12:19). To call them beloved is a remarkable evidence of the love of God shed abroad in his heart towards them. He proceeds to tell them that the more he loved them, the less he was loved. How painful it is when the love you pour out to others and into others is despised or rejected. But Paul is driven by the love of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:14).
He was accused of ripping the Corinthians off because he did not take any money from them like the false, pseudo teachers were doing. All that he did was for their edification. Because Paul told them things in his letters and previous visits that they did not want to hear, he was accused of being unloving and uncaring. Thus, in advance of a third visit, Paul tells them that he is concerned about their ungodly behavior. He is grieved over the fact that many of them have remained defiant in their sin, and ignored his apostolic admonitions of the need to repent. The sins that Paul lists in 2 Corinthians 12, verses 20 and 21 are sins that grieve The Spirit of God.
Lord Jesus, give us ears to hear and obey Your voice. Selah
Sun, Jul 16, 2017
Revelations, Thorns, and the Grace of God
Every child of God experiences his or her own version of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. Every one of our lives is a mixture of good days, bad days, blessings, and bummers. But as followers of The Lord Jesus Christ, we can count on one thing to sustain us in and through all of those seasons - His wonderful, marvelous, and powerful grace. It was the grace of God that granted Paul visions and revelations that were so spectacular that he could not even write them down. But it was also the grace of God that sustained him and strengthened him when he was buffeted by a painful and demonic “thorn in the flesh”.
How vital it is for each of us to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, as the apostle Peter exhorts (2 Peter 3:18). It is not enough to know the academic doctrine of grace. It is not enough to be able to articulate the theological implications of the doctrine of grace. Grace is a Person and His Name is Jesus Christ. When we go to the throne of grace for help or wisdom in time of need (Hebrews 4:16), God gives us Himself as the supply of grace and help. Jesus doesn’t give us grace and a lecture. He gives us Himself, and in giving us Himself, He gives us abundant grace (John 1:17). So whether you are experiencing revelations from God or thorny attacks from the enemy, know this. God’s grace is sufficient for you and His strength is made perfect in your weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Sun, Jul 09, 2017
Duration:38 mins 4 secs
A Real Basket Case
Have you ever heard the saying, he or she is a real “basket case”? In our study this morning, the apostle Paul ends his credentials of being a genuine follower of Jesus Christ by referring to the time when he was let down the side of a wall in a basket to escape the wrath of those who wanted to do him in. From the very outset of his ministry to the end, there was never any letup to the afflictions and opposition he faced in his ministry of preaching the gospel and making disciples. You and I may not be called by God to face the same degree of challenges and opposition that Paul did, but we are all called to deny ourselves daily, pick up our crosses and follow Him. We are all called to endure difficulties and forgo conveniences for the cause of Christ and to care for one another.
The vast majority of Christendom today is far removed from the biblical example of sacrifice and care that was exhibited by the early followers of Jesus. If there is one word that is sorely lacking in today's church, it is the word sacrifice. It is both a noun and a verb. It describes the action of being a living sacrifice, of giving up oneself, for the cause of Christ and for the sake of others. All of Paul’s “credentials” were incidental things that he faced in the pursuit of the spreading the gospel and the daily care of all the churches. Because Paul knew the sacrificial love of Christ for him, he sacrificially cared for Christ’s bride, the Church.
What are your sacrificial credentials of being a follower of Jesus Christ? Selah
Sun, Jun 25, 2017
Duration:38 mins 37 secs
Messengers of Satan - Angels of Light
Ever since the fall of man, the world has been spiritually divided into two groups: those who are “begotten” of the spiritual seed of Cain, and those who are “begotten” of the spiritual seed of Abel.
Dear ones, the devil has ministers. They use the same language that you and I do as Christians, but underneath the mask of words is a different gospel and different Jesus. Do not be deceived, beloved. They are ministers of darkness in sheep’s clothing.
Sun, Jun 11, 2017
Duration:36 mins 49 secs
From the Garden of Eden to the present hour, the biblical truth of God regarding Jesus Christ and the gospel has been redefined, twisted, or simply called outrageous. Satan has his own "evangelists" who proclaim a counterfeit Jesus and a counterfeit gospel under the inspiration of a demonic spirit who transforms himself into an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14).
Sun, May 28, 2017
Duration:37 mins 7 secs
Our study today presents us with the most important aspect of the Christian life; namely, living for the glory of God. Unfortunately, to speak of the glory of God has become a phrase that is used so much that it has become trite and void of any depth of meaning. To live for the glory of God simply means that I no longer live for myself. That is it in a nutshell. This living for the glory of God affects how we eat, drink, work, pray and serve. Living for the glory of God is living under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Ponder this thought beloved. Any problem that you and I have in our walk with Jesus; be it in our marriage, our vocation or even in how we relate to on another here at Koinonia is a Lordship problem.
Sun, Apr 30, 2017
Duration:36 mins 11 secs
Spiritual warfare is part of the normal Christian life. Because we live in a fallen world and still dwell in a body that is corrupted by the influence of sin, the battle for what we think is the key to living a life of victory as a Christian. And where does the battle begin? It begins in the mind.
Sun, Apr 23, 2017
Duration:47 mins 25 secs
Are you using God’s Spirit to help you make wise decisions? It’s up to you whether you take advantage of the gifts that God offers. In my life, they are exactly what I need each and every day.
We must choose to live generously. When you are generous, you experience being "enriched in every way". If you live generously, someone else will get an opportunity to learn of and receive God’s generosity.