Are you STILL growing?

Series: But God

Title: Are you STILL growing?

Date: Sept. 16, 2018

Scripture: 1 Cor. 3:1-7

 

Intro: As Nebraskans we understand the idea of growth. We understand this idea because we see it played out each year by the farmers and their crops. Each year they plant their crops in the spring and during the summer we see those crops rise up from the ground and grow. Growth is actually all around us. Just look around for a few moments and you can see growth. (Grass, Plants, Trees, Children) I have a game for us today that goes along with growth. The game is simple: a picture of a baby animal will come up on the wall behind me and you need to guess what animal it is. Sound simple enough? Good, and by the way winners get a special treat.

 

  • Picture 1 – Aardvark
  • Picture 2 – Coati
  • Picture 3 – Cougar
  • Picture 4 – Meerkat
  • Picture 5 – Wildebeest

 

I think we all agree that physical growth is important but there is another kind of growth that is even more important and that would be spiritual GROWTH. Today we are going to look at 1 Corinthians chapter 3 verses 1 – 7. In these verses we will see the idea of GROWTH. Today’s sermon is called, “Are you STILL growing?”

 

  • Read verses

 

In order for us to better understand the verses we just read we need to understand that what Paul is talking about in chapter 3 connects back to what he mentions in chapter 1 and then expands upon in chapter 2. We aren’t going to read those chapters but I will give you the short version.

 

  • The church in Corinth has some issues
  • The church at Corinth struggled with division and quarrels
  • The church was broken into different cliques of people
    • Those who said, “I am of Paul.”
    • Those who said, “I am of Apollos.”
    • Those who said, “I am of Cephas.”
    • Those who said, “I am of Christ.”

 

This connects to spiritual growth because in chapter 3 Paul tells the church you haven’t grown spiritually because of these divisions.

 

Before we dive into the heart of the sermon I am going to ask you a favor. The favor is that I need you to look the rest of this sermon from two vantage points.

 

  • Vantage Point 1 – You in the singular – As your own person
  • Vantage Point 2 – You in the plural – As being part of the church (Paul is speaking to the entire church)

 

 

With that disclaimer we can move ahead with the sermon.

 

Things that hinder GROWTH:

  • Division – A split or a gap; To tear
    • Makes smaller
    • Isolates

 

  • Jealousy – An envious and contentious rivalry
    • The different groups within the church looked at each other differently
    • Will only make the division wider
    • Can creep up for numerous reasons

 

  • Strife – Contention; Debating
    • They believed that they were right and the other group was not
    • Love was tossed out the window in favor of voicing their thoughts and looking right
      • Ephesians 4:2-3 – …with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
    • Strife usually leads to pain and suffering
      • Proverbs 17:19 – He who loves transgression loves strife; He who raises his door (puts up his defense barriers) seeks destruction.

 

  • Notice that all 3 of these issues stem from our PRIDE.
    • I am too proud to get along
    • I am too proud to be happy for someone else
    • I am too proud to seek peace
    • Proverbs 16:18 – Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling.

 

Things that help us GROW:

  • Recognize that God causes the GROWTH (Read verses 6 and 7)
    • It is God and God alone who can SAVE
      • Paul states, “…Paul was not crucified for you, was he?”
    • We can hold people in high regard for the role they played in you coming to Jesus but only JESUS saved you.
      • Acts 4:12 – And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.
    • Even in our spiritual walk it is God that causes us to grow in our faith.
      • Growth in our faith is meant to be a daily endevour
      • Those who help us along the way are just tools that God uses. Other people can’t make you TRUST in God more.
      • Other people can’t make you GROW in your faith

 

  • Being content with our role
    • In sharing the gospel
      • Planter or Waterer
        • Planter – Spreads the gospel message and may never see it bloom
        • Waterer – Gives the proper care and then waits to see the bloom
        • We can’t SAVE people. We can only take people to Jesus and be servants through whom you believed…

 

 

 

  • In the church body
    • Leader – Pastor, Deacon, Trustee, Deconness, Music, Finances, etc.
    • Teacher – Sunday School any age, Bible studies, etc.
    • Supporter – Clean up, Nursery, Behind the scenes, Listener, Comforter, Greeter, Prayer Warrior, etc.
    • All these parts must be done with humility! (Phil. 2:3)
      • Should be a SERVANT Leader
      • Should be a SERVANT Teacher
      • Should be a SERVANT Supporter

 

  • By connecting to God’s Power
    • It takes POWER for certain things to run properly
      • Vehicles need FUEL; Electronics need electricity; People need FOOD
    • As a person who has trusted in Jesus Christ you need more than FOOD to power you. You need God’s POWER. As a CHURCH WE need God’s POWER!

 

  • God’s POWER…
    • CREATES – In just 6 days GOD created all that we have around us and that which we can not see. To accomplish this task of CREATING GOD just SPOKE!

 

  • FORGIVES SIN – Sin is falling short of the mark set forth by God = PERFECTION. The wages of our sin is death but praise be to GOD He has the POWER TO FORGIVE OUR SIN. The power of sin is great but the POWER OF GOD’S forgiveness is greater.

 

  • BRINGS LIGHT – We once lived in darkness but now we can live in the LIGHT.

 

  • CHANGES – The spiritual family in which we live. From having Satan as our spiritual father to having God as our FATHER. (Acts 26:18)

 

  • SAVES – Those who repent and trust in Jesus will be saved from the wrath to come.
  • Directs, Heals, Comforts, etc.
  • Don’t you want to plug into this POWER SOURCE? This is the POWER we need to live a life that is abundant. We need God’s POWER to get through each day.

 

  • We PLUG into God’s Power by:
    • Being Humble – Recognizing that we can’t POWER our own life
    • Prayer – Connecting to God verbally and depending upon Him
    • Study and Meditation – Taking the time to build your relationship with your HEAVENLY Father.

 

    • When you plug into God’s power you will begin to experience GROWTH

 

 

Closing: Growth is delicate and it can easily be stifled. What role are you playing in your personal growth and the growth of the church? Are you hurting growth or helping growth? We hurt growth with division, jealousy and strife. We help growth when we recognize that God causes growth, by being content with our role, and by connecting to God’s power. I ask one last time, “Are you STILL growing?”