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Jul 22, 2017
It Is High Noon

"It's High Noon"

July 23, 2017

1 Cor. 3:1-4; 1 Peter 1:23-2:4

Pastor Roger Redmond

In the movie "High Noon" The sheriff had to face the lawless ones he had sent to jail years before.  In the drama leading up to the hour he search unsuccessfully for help but found none.  So "High Noon" came.  What did that mean? It meant the time had arrived.  We find the same expression in God's Word, Romans Rom 13:11 " And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed".  Rom 13:12 "The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light." The hour has come the time is now. 

Notice the manner in which Paul had to address this church.  1Co 3:1 "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ." A Carnal Christian and a Baby Christian is synonymous with being unspiritual.  Keep in mind these people had been saved for a while.

Paul addresses this people as unspiritual

(1). They were living under the influence of the flesh.  In other words, Paul had to speak as if they were babes in Christ.  I don't think the scripture is saying or that Paul is confirming here that all of these people were saved.  How would Paul know if they were saved?  You cannot look at a carnal Christian (unspiritual - a baby) and unsaved person and see any difference.

There is a change in tone from 1) to 2b- 3). 1Co 3:2 " I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, There desire would be for milk, 1Pe 2:2 "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:" But in 2b-3 there is a change in tone".... neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? In the beginning, as Peter said, after salvation you would desire milk.    But after a time if milk is all you can eat something is wrong! "....neither yet now are ye able."

(2)  The question would be why are you still living as an infant? "As to infants in Christ, I gave you milk to drink, not solid food. But now even yet, you cannot digest solid food, because you are still under the sway of human passions. Where there is envy and strife among you, are you not under the sway of human passions and is not your behaviour on a purely human level?"Barclay, W. (2002). The Letters to the Corinthians (3rd ed., pp. 34–35). Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press.

How is it that after many years of professing to know Christ, the church is characterized by carnality rather than spirituality.  How is that after so many years, the church is lacking in mature Christian men and women.  Heb 5:12  "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat." Heb 5:13  "For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe."

I want to share there (3) thoughts with you as to why this has and is happening.

First - There is the misconception about growing as a Christian.  Growth as a Christian is not viewed as urgent.  But it is God's expectation that you grow up in Christ.  I am amazed at the lack of urgency among the church about growing up in Christ.  Eph_4:15  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ. As a Christian you need to view your life all the way to the JSOC.  That is the judgment of the saved in this the church age.  He reviews our life.  You are not there to see if you are saved but you are there because you trusted Christ in this life.

The Milk of the Word and the Meat of the Word both refer to Christ.

Col 2:6 " As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:"

Second - There is the misconception of the confession of our sins as one who is saved, 1 John 1:9.

The Church wrongly uses 1 John 1:9. The same sin is confessed by words with no change in personal behavior.  It is not the act that needs confessing but the disobedience to God's word. Eph. 6: 11-18. I am not saying you should not confess your sin every time you sin.  You should, you must.  What I am saying is this if you don't address the disobedience to God's Word you will not grow.  Illustration:  you are reviewed by your employer and he finds some things that need to be corrected...... The LORD uses the same illustration in Malachi 1:8.  And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts.

A new day has dawned! Hebrews 10: 20 says "By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;" It is a different time, Acts 17: 30-31, "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:  Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead".

It is the morning of the gospel, the morning of the grace of God, It is the morning of the Living Saviour.  It is the morning of growing; it is the morning of following Christ. 1Th 5:5 -8 "Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation."

Third - There is a misconception of the doctrine of Salvation.  What does the Word of God have to say about: How to be Saved?  It is a subject the LORD brings up.  In fact, it is the central theme of the Bible.  It is the issue that consumes the emotions of mankind.  It is so important that a ruler came to Jesus by night to find out how he could go to heaven.  It is so important to be save, that God promised a Saviour before the World began, Titus 1:2, 2 Timothy 1:9.  Salvation is not a doctrine of man but a doctrine of God.  Salvation is the story of God's redemptive work for the world in Jesus Christ. John 3:16.

Rahab bound the scarlet thread in the window because the desire to be saved is written in the DNA of all mankind.  Jos 2:21  "And she said, According unto your words, so be it. And she sent them away, and they departed: and she bound the scarlet line in the window. " The scarlet thread represented her sin.  She was saying, "I have sinned, I need to be saved"  I am depending on you to save me.  Therefore the world stands before the LORD with the need to be saved.

It is God who preached the gospel to Abraham, Gal_3:8  "And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed."

Paul is a chosen vessel to bear the name of Christ to all the world, Act_9:15  "But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:" To bear the name of Christ, Act 4:12  "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

The Milk and the Meat of the Word is Christ

He gave them the milk of the Word for it is the only way to be saved and if saved the only way to grow, 1Pe_2:2  "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:" They key here is desire.  If you go back to 1Pe 1:23-25   "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you."

Then as you read past the chapter division through 2:1 it is easy to understand why he dealt with them as babes in Christ.  If they were not saved, it is the Word of God that brings you to faith in Christ.  If they are saved then it is thru the Word of God that you partake of Christ - that you taste again and again what He is like.  Paul said, "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;" Phil. 3:10

"To read or listen to Scripture is to hear the Lord speak, to take his good and nourishing words into one’s heart. To drink the milk of the Word is to ‘taste’ again and again what he is like, for in the hearing of the Lord’s words believers experience the joy of personal fellowship with the Lord himself" Grudem, W. A. (1988). 1 Peter: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 17, p. 102). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

"......being made conformable unto his death;" Paul said, I want to be like Christ even to die as He died! Because of what Christ had done for him, Paul said. "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."

Salvation is not a prayer you pray or a commitment you make but a person you meet.  And that Person is Christ, the Son of God.  He is the Milk of the Word and He is also the meat of the Word.

Eph 3:16 -20 "That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;  And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,"

You receive Him as the Milk of the Word and you grow up in Him as the Meat of the Word.

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