Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode · 4 months ago

Deceiving Yourself About Yourself


Rev. Christopher Chelpka

And Your Gospel as we have beenreminded of who we are in Jesus Christ and that there is no boasting inourselves, but only in him alone. We ask that, as we come to your word nowand First Corinthians, that you would impress these truths on our hearts thatyou would sink the roots of those truths deep down into our souls that we would find ourselves to besteadfast in the word of God and built up in it. Lord, we ask that you would help us tobe aware of our pride to confess it and to set it aside that we might trust inyou and in you alone, and that your work might be done in US according tothe power of Your Holy Spirit and the promises that have been delivered to usin Christ. We pray this in his name Amen. Please remain standing if you're ableand let's turn our attention now to first Corinthians, chapter three I'll read the whole chapter thismorning. First Corinthians chapter three but eye brothers could not address youas spiritual people, but as people of the flesh as infants in Christ. I Fedyou with milk, not solid food, for you are not ready for it, and even now youare not ready for you are still of the flesh for for while there is jealousyand strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a humanway, for when one says I follow Paul andanother? I follow a police. Are you not being merely human? What, then, isApollos what is Paul Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assignedto each I planted a Paulis watered, but God gave the growth, so neither he whoplants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth hewho plants and he who waters are one and each will receive his wagesaccording to his Labor, for we are God's fellow workers, you are God'sfield, God's building, according to the grace of God, given to me, like askilled master builder, I laid a foundation and some one else's buildingupon it. Let each one of these each one take care how he builds upon it, for noone can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is JesusChrist. Now, if any one builds on thefoundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, Hay Straw, each one'swork will become manifest for the day will disclose it because it will berevealed by fire and the fire will test what sort of work each one is done. Ifthe work that any one has built on a foundation survives, he will receive areward. If any one's work is build up, he will suffer burned up. He willsuffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. Do you not know that you are God'sTemple and that God's spirit dwells in you? If any one destroys God's Temple,God will destroy him. For God's Temple is holy and you are that temple. Let no one deceive himself if any oneamong you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that hemay become wise for the wisdom of this... is folly with God, for it iswritten. He catches the wise in their craftiness and again, the Lord knowsthe thoughts of the wise that they are futile. So let no one boast in men, forall things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cepis, or the world or lifeor death, or the present or the future. All are yours and you are Christ's, andChrist is God's, a man you may be seated. There are many different things that wemight consider from this passage this morning. I want to focus on what Ithink is one of the primary things that Paul wants to communicate to us whatGod wants to communicate to us and that's that we shouldn't boast inourselves, but we should boast in the Lord and theLord alone. This comes up and our passage. It cameup in our hymn that we sung a moment ago. We called ourselves to pour contempt onall our pride to Lord Forbid. We saying that I shouldboast save in the cross of Christ alone. Why is that? Why is that so important? This is whatthis passage helps us to understand and for very important reasons. Bosting is essentially takingconfidence in something else, whether rightly or wrongly, boasting is placing our trust and orit's an expression we might say of a trust that is placed, and we like toboast in all kinds of things we boast in things. We have we boast inthings we say and the things that we've done and the things that we plan to do now, some boasting or pride, we mightsay in a certain context, makes sense as long as it's limited and qualifiedright. We explain to future employers that we have done such and such a thing,and so we are reliable to do another thing that we might be asked and that'sappropriate. It's not that kind of boasting and pride that Paul is talkingabout he's talking about taking those penultimate things, those little thingsand turning them into our ultimate confidence. Taking this thing that youmay have done, or the thing you might have achieved and turning that intoyour source of hope, your source of trust for this life and for the next and that boasting that boasting in menthat boasting and wisdom that pride in ourselves has no place Paul says in the Christianlife. Perhaps the strangest boasting of allfrom Christians is when Christians boast in their Christianity and that'swhat we'll think about together from first Corinthians. Three God will show us that this mostimportant, this most central, all encompassing aspect of our life, ourfaith in him. There is no prot room for pride. Inthat we belong to the Lord because of theLord. We are God's building. We are God's field because of God we ought not to boast in ourselves, butin him and by removing our false posting. The good news is that he also roves theconsequences of false bosting so that we can glorify and enjoy God instead.

So I want to begin by talking about thethings that keep us from confidence in the Lord. The thing that keeps us fromconfidence in God and the problem is self deception, or at least we can start here. The problem that keeps us fromconfidence in God is we deceive ourselves? That's what Paul says infirst eighteen, he says letting no one deceive himself. That's a funny thing.Isn't it to deceive yourself to know the truth and then to trick yourselfinto believing a lie? It's really foolish right. We would say why wouldanybody do that? But of course we do it all the time we trick ourselves in to believing things thataren't true. Maybe you've tricked yourself into buying a car that youcouldn't afford, or maybe you tricked yourself intomarrying someone. You knew you shouldn't, or maybe you tricked yourself intolifting something that you knew you couldn't debt, bad marriages, bad backs. Theseare the results of US fooling ourselves and we can pile up the examples we like to pretend that we are purelyrational creatures and that if we just have the right facts, then we will bemotivated by the truth and we will go where the evidence leads. But the truth is we're more often thannot happy to ignore the facts when we think that doing so, we'll get us whatwe want and, sadly, amazingly, this applieseven to our Christianity. This happens when people who have beengraciously adopted by the father have been given the inheritance of his onlybegotten son actors, though all of e that belongs to us because of ourgreatness. We have been graciously adopted by God, while we were still sinners right. Weread this just a moment ago in opheis chapter two: While you were dead in your trespassesand skin sins, God poured out this rich love to us, but we deceive ourselves. Let me giveyou three examples drawn from our passage of how we do this one way we deceive ourselves and beginto boast in man instead of God, is we replace our devotion to God withdevotion to his servants? We reposed devotion that is due to go out alonewith devotion to his servants. Now God's servants are certainlyimportant. They are worthy of our gratitude. We should honor them imitatethem submit to them. They are those whom God is using to bring about goodthings in our lives, to build us up to strengthen us, but we should never treat them asthough they were God himself. They are only his servants. That's why Paul saysin verse: Five. What, then, is a Paulus? What, then, is Paul Servants throughwhom you have believed the author of Hebrews makes this pointas well in regard to one of the greatest servants of God of all RosesRight: Great Great, Moses, this great man of God who led peep God's peopleout from slavery and bondage under Pharaoh to freedom and life under God? But what does Hebrews say about Mosesthis one who climbed up the Mount Sinai and who, when he came downhis face shine with the glory of God,... brightly that people told him tocover it up? He was a servant. Heber says he was a servant and, though gloriousso glorious, the people shielded their eyes from him. It doesn't begin tocompare with the glory of Jesus Hebrew says that while Moses was a servant inGod's house, Jesus was a son. The Lord and Master of the House, towhom the father had given all things. Well, that's true of Moses, how much more so of a police and Pauland Cephas and others. We can of course, be devoted to people.Paul was devoted to the Corinthians. The Corinthians were devoted to him,but we should never be devoted. We should never give our love in such away that only belongs to God himself. When we do so, we begin to put ourpride and our trust in man instead of God, all of us, whether we are great orsmall, are, under God and under his authority, when we give what is due to him aloneto his servants, we turn his Gospel into law. We turn what is divine into what is human and we begin totrust in ourselves in man more than the saviour of man. This is one way and we deceiveourselves one practical way in which we go about trusting in man rather thanGod. A second way we do this is by dividing God servants against eachother. So one way is by putting over an unduedevotion in them. Another is dividing them or another way to put, it isdividing the work of God valuing some parts of his work and not others. Inthat way, we stand over God when the people and Corinth stood over in asense, Paul and a police and said I like this one, but not that one. Whatwere they doing? They were essentially saying I likethis part of God's work and not that part of God's work. I prefer this thing.God is doing to that thing. God is doing, but is God's work divided. Are we in a position to stand over whatGod does and choose what we would like and what we would not like, of course not Paul says I planted a police watered,but God gave the growth verse seven, so neither he who plants nor he who watersis anything. It's God who gives the growth. We are God's fellow workers, Youare God's field, God's building. This doesn't mean that servants don'texist. This doesn't mean that there aren't separate gifts, but it does meanthat they are all one under the one. Lord, the Lord's work is varied, so as servants Paul will go on todescribe this, not only in relationship to him and other workers by in relation to Corinth and allchurches, even ours, to each of you that the Lord has saved.He has poured out his Holy Spirit on you and has given you particular gifts, capabilities ways in which you are called to servehim and do serve him, and you ought not to despise it andothers not ought not to despise it, and we not ought not to separate one ofthose gifts from the other and think of still one is more important thananother.

God uses them all together, like a body, members of a body, hands feet, eyes,ears, all working together, and that makes the body good, but it also pointsus to God who makes the body good. Our Trust is, in God, when we deny that when we die divide upthe body- and we say well, this part is more important than that cut off thefeet, cut off the hands. I don't want that here anymore. We are dividing up the work of the HolySpirit now this, of course, doesn't mean thateverything God's servants or do are perfect, but it does remind us that Godis the one who is ultimately where God is watching Paul talks about this some ways as hebegins to talk about the various ways in which the servants work and verses aten through fifteen. He says people build with differentthings: some of high quality, some of low quality, some of bad quality and all will be revealed. That's good news to us. If we aretrusting in the Lord, if we're trusting in servants, then we might findourselves very wanting. At the end of the day we might find ourselves, we will findourselves disappointed, frustrated angry when God servantsdon't act like God, but when we trust that God is doing hiswork even with fallen people, we can know that we're safe, eventhough the tools are imperfect, the day will come all will be revealed,and what we will find at the end of time is that the foundation in whichall has been laid is secured. This is what God wants us to remember.Is that this work that the Corinthians were trying to divide up these peoplethat they were pitting against each other against one another. They werenot to think of things this way. Instead, they were looked. They were tolook first and foremost to God and to his work. The last thing that we ought to notice is that weboast in ourselves in giving this divine devotion to servants of thedivine we thought about that. We thought about how we boast in ourselvesby dividing God's work by becoming a judge over God's work, and finally, weboast in ourselves, and we deceive ourselves when we begin to think thatwe are our own making, as I've mentioned. As the scripturessay, we are God's work from God's tools. We are God's field inGod's temple notice. The way that God says this. This is really wonderful. Hesays we are built on a foundation by his servants. First, sixteen do you notknow that you are God's Temple and God spirit dwells in you talks about oursafety next in verse, seventeen he says: If anyone destroys God's Temple, Godwill destroy him. For God's Temple is holy and you are that temple. These things are, of course, allconnected because of how we are built and by whomwe are built. It tells us the kind of building we are. We are a protected structure, a safeone, secure one, a holy one, one set apart for God to dwell him. This does not divide US and teach us toput other people down our unity and the Lord our strength and the Lord tells usto look to him and as we do so, we are...

...a built up these kinds of Gospel truths. When hetells us you are holy, you are secure. You are under my protection. They teach us to then to turn to otherpeople in dit with the dignity they deserve. The love they deserve. The opposite is, of course, true. Self deception, brothers and sisters isdangerous when we deceive ourselves and begin tothink that we ourselves are worthy of a pride of being boast of boasting in. We can fall into great folly, conser a man who decides to do his ownheart surgery because he watched something on Youtube and he's justreally confident that he can do it. Consider somebody who tries to build ahouse without any plan or knowledge of how to build a house just look aroundtheir garage and start. You know stapling tarps, to pieces of wood and it's not going to end well and it's not just the way in which webuild these things. That will end in our folly, but it's also, we have tosay the danger of offending him. The giver of all of these things when God offers this great salvation tous when he says I will give you everything. I will give you my spirit.I will build you up. I will make you wholly. I will protect you. I will keepyou. I will unite you both in this life and in the life to come, and we saynever mind. I've got it, I can do it on my own. I can do it in myown way. I can stifle my wood together and build my own structure, and youknow I will fill myself with Holy Spirit. This will not turn out well. The scriptures warn us that when wedespise the gifts of God, when we turn away from the gifts of God and put ourstrength in our own pride, we will fall will fall not only under the weight ofour own foolishness but under the weight of God's wrath. Who is offeredto us a so great a salvation, and then we rejected it. The antidote to these things is givenright here, in our passage, don't be self deceived, but instead remember thetruth that are being a taught here to remember and believe that the HolySpirit speaks to us to day, to remember self deception. How pernicious theflesh is, how prideful we can be and to be on guard against it on guard byholding fast to the very truths that God speaks to us here and what is thetruth? The truth is that the Lord is good and it's him who builds his church and that foundation on which he buildshis church is Jesus Christ himself when we try to build the church out ofour own righteousness and out of our own prides, it's like building thatfoolish house. It's like building howls on a foundation of sand. The winds comeand knock it down, and it all falls apart, but we build our foundation on theCross, the Cross of Christ on therighteousness of Christ. We do have something strong and sure,even as Paul tells us, we know this from the Cross think about it. This way, if we hadsome great thing to offer, God the building materials, the skills of thebuilders add all of these things up.

Why Would God Send His only begottenSon to die if we were perfectly capable of assembling all of our righteous toget riteousness together, constructing a holy temple fit for God to dwell in? Why would Jesus have to suffer and diethe way that he did? He, wouldn't, God would simply say, get to work, we'dget to work and all would be well. Jesus had to die because we were unableto do that and in our inability, God still lovedus, and so, instead of judging us andpouring out his wrath upon us for our pride and our rebelliousness and ouridolatry, he instead poured out his wrath onJesus as a act of love toward us and build our hope not on our ownrighteousness but on his Jesus died because we need, in God, God came into this world and took onhuman flesh because we needed God, God offered himself as a sacrifice forour sin, because that's what we needed. God established our hope in Heaven onhis righteousness alone, because that's what we needed. That's why? When welook to the cross, when we survey the Wondrous Cross, we throw contempt on all our pride andtrust only in Jesus Christ alone. He died because we weren't worthyrighteous e people. He died because we were unworthy, unrighteous people whowere in need of His grace and having died and having given us all things. Wecan know that the foundation of our life now and the foundation of our hopein the future rests not on me trying or you trying, but on God, accomplishingand finishing his work. Our Salvation rests on the foundationof the forgiveness of our sins, given by God himself. We stand in the presence of God. Wedwell in the love of God because of his love toward us, and so let us not deceive ourselves and boastin our pride, but instead give all glory to God, Father Son and HolySpirit. Let us not seek to build on any other foundation to give undue weight to his servants todivide them up to trust in them or anything else. Let us not deceive ourselves, butinstead know the truth and trust in God alone. When we boast in ourselves, weundermine all our hope, but we boast in the Lord. We find solidity and hope andjoy for ever I'll praise, Peto God, let's pray, our heavenly father. We asked that youwould help us to remember these trues were so prone to self deception soprone to wandering away. We lose sight of who you are you welose sight of who we are our security or protection of the love with whichyou have given to us.

You have given to us all things in Christ. We asked that you would help us to keepour eyes on him and to do so through the cross, as welook at the cross. Help us to remember that he Jesus Christ is not just ahelper, an aid, some kind of side power that comes into our livesand helps us get a little better grow a little more, but instead o Lord, you are our saviour. You raise us from death to life. Youunstop our ears, which were at once unable to hear and now can hear you open our eyes, which were onceunable to see and allow us to see the very light of the glory of God in theface of Jesus Christ. Lord, let us put all of our rest andour hope in him, and as we do so by the power of yourspirit, we ask that you would continue your work in this world of drawing inyour people, of building up your church, of placing one living stone on top ofanother and filling us all, with your presencethat we might glorify and enjoy you for ever as those who have been built into thisholy structure and built by your hands. We pray this all in Jesus name, Amen, O.

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