Life was designed to be lived in community.

09/18/11 Are YOU Willing to Make a Change?

Posted by Pastor Steve on Friday, September 23, 2011 Under: Sermon

Ocean View Anniversary

Text: 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 (HCSB)

1 Brothers, I was not able to speak to you as spiritual people but as people of the flesh, as babies in Christ. 2 I fed you milk, not solid food, because you were not yet able to receive it. In fact, you are still not able, 3 because you are still fleshly. For since there is envy and strife among you, are you not fleshly and living like ordinary people?”

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)

Intro: To change you must first be willing to move! Get out of your comfort zone and do what needs to be done to give the glory to God. There is no stadium where you can go and sit in the nose bleed section and watch things from afar! The Christian life style will be one of the most difficult things you will ever try to emulate! But at the end of your coarse you will receive the prize!

Christian life is not easy. In many ways living is far more demanding than before we were saved. How is this so? How - when we have God’s own Spirit within us, the mind of Christ, and the power of God - could it become more difficult to do what is right, to do what our Lord wants us to do? There are two reasons: the world and the flesh. The first is outside us, the second is inside us. They are Satan’s supreme instruments in tempting believers and keeping them from faithfulness and victory. This is where you must be willing to make changes to win the fight!

Application: Ordinary can’t be blessed by God, Spiritual can

1. Ordinary people: The ordinary allows the flesh to control them! The ordinary do things their way, which means it is not God’s way. They allow the OSN (Old Sin Nature) to have control.

The text here speaks of the Corinth Church. A church full of whiners, they wanted their way, there was envy, strive, and division amongst them. Changes were needed for God to ever bless this church and its ministries. These Christians were babies in Christ, immature – and my thought has always been with all the churches I have ministered at, how long is this church going to stay in a immature state? And will they ever Grow and reap the rewards of a mature group of believers.

A major change that will occur in a Christian’s life is growth: Babies (they grow). There is a lot to be said about babies. We too as Christian’s are a lot like babies.

“Brothers, I was not able to speak to you as spiritual people but as people of the flesh, as babies in Christ. Paul was telling the Corinthians they were mere infants in Christ.

When we were first saved, we stumbled a lot, we continued to SIN, which happens in the immature state. Like a baby who is just learning how to walk, they fall. But if you have ever watch a baby when they fall, they get back up too fall again and they get back up over and over until they get the hang of walking and move on to the next stage of growth.

In the immature state: Babies need parental guidance, we see the reality of the Devil, and we need spiritual guidance.

Let’s look at the Natural man: “But the natural man does not welcome what comes from God’s Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to know it since it is evaluated spiritually.” 1 Corinthians 2:14 (HCSB)

We are taught that there are three stages man deals with or man finds themselves in:

a. Natural Man
b. Carnal Man
c. Spiritual Man

In the Corinthian church Paul found himself dealing with many of the church members Stuck in the Carnal state! They were stuck being ordinary thinking they were spiritual. They were Carnal and out of fellowship, the flesh was in control.

Sooner or later the question has to be asked when does it stop, or when should it stop? How long should you be immature? Often the easiest answer to that is TIME TO CHANGE! Move on, grow up! Is it possible your at a plateau in your Christian Life (No Change) “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” Galatians 5:4-5 (KJV)

Some of these folks in the church were placing more value in circumcision and the hang ups of the law above Christ; they were out of Fellowship the O.S.N. was in control.

Here it is Milk or Meat you choose: Hebrews 5:12-14 (HCSB) 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of God’s revelation. You need milk, not solid food. 13 Now everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced with the message about righteousness, because he is an infant. 14 But solid food is for the mature - for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish between good and evil.

Illustration: Brill Cream & Christianity - a little dab will not do!

Believer cannot afford to be ordinary!

2. Spiritual people: The spiritual allows God to control them!

Spiritual people are new Creatures in Christ! No longer enslaved to sin: “For we know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that sin’s dominion over the body may be abolished, so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin.” Romans 6:6 (HCSB)

The spiritual people allow faith to guide them. To make a change in a Christians Life, their needs to be FAITH applied!

Are you carnal or spiritual and if you are spiritual you will be cutting into the meat of God’s word. We know that the milk of the word is based around simple truths.

To be spiritual isn’t easy; but one of the first things you must do is not to conform to this world: Romans 12:1-2 (KJV) “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

With maturity comes suffering, like a child being disciplined we will struggle!

Have you struggled lately? I hope so, because that means you are growing so hang in there! “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Are you mature in Faith? Are you studying? Reading? Witnessing? Praying? Are these things a part of your life?

Some of you are here today hoping for an answer, could CHANGE be needed???

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” James 1:22 (KJV)

Real Religion involves action

Conclusion: I find myself asking often, what’s the point? What was Paul this great man of God a preacher hoping the Corinthian church would come to realize, what would a pastor in a church today want to see accomplished through this scripture? Ordinary can’t be blessed by God, Spiritual can. So are you ordinary or spiritual and if you are ordinary ARE YOU WILLING TO MAKE THE CHANGE? Needed to become spiritual and blessed by God!

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