Corinthians 3 the apostle Paul shares with us five specific warnings about
"Serious Pitfalls to Spiritual Progress". Last time we learned
that if we are going to progress spiritually, then we must avoid the
pitfall of carnality. Today we are going to see that we must also avoid
the pitfall of complacency. What is complacency? I discovered a single
word definition -"smugness".
Smugness means to be self
was impressed with themselves. Their hearts were filled with pride.
Spiritual Complacency is one of the great pitfalls of the 21st
century Christian. Just as carnality hinders our spiritual growth and
causes spiritual immaturity, spiritual complacency in the church hinders
involvement and contributes to more immaturity in the church. The
spiritually complacent Christian has the attitude that he doesn't need to
come to Bible Study like someone else does because they already got
everything figured out. "I don't need to get involved"; "I
don't want to get involved"; "I'm fine, I don't need to grow;
I've arrived". That is a dangerous spot to get in. In our text we
find four insights that we need to apply to our lives so we can avoid the
pitfall of complacency. The Corinthians got into trouble because they lost
sight of these important principles. First of all, we must not lose sight
I.OUR PLACE IN
GOD’S WORK (VV.4-5)
Look if you would back to chapter 1 for a moment. Notice verses
11-13...there was division over leadership. Notice what Paul asked in
verse 13. They had a problem understanding the ministers in God's work.
They were taking sides. Look at verse 4 and 5 in our text. Paul reminds
them that there was no need for division for these men are nothing more
than "ministers" or servants of Christ. Paul was stressing that
they were just servants. The ministry of Southside works because everyone
takes their place - then souls are birthed into the family of God. Let's
be willing to get involved... let's take our place in God's work. Don't
fall into the trap of losing sight of the importance of your involvement.And don't get so smug as to think... I don't want to get involved!
If we are going to avoid the pitfall of complacency then we must keep in
focus our place in God's Work.
Secondly, we must not lose sight
II.OUR PURPOSE IN
All of us can look back to those that the Lord gave to us to encourage us
to come to Christ. (
)... Paul understood his purpose. He kept it in proper perspective. He did
not desire to be placed on a pedestal. All he wanted to do was be faithful
in preaching the gospel. He knew that the gospel is what men need. We too
must keep our purpose in focus. There are many things that need to be done
in the Lord's work, but the over riding purpose must be that people would
come to know Jesus. The reason
exists is so that souls can come to know Jesus Christ. We are here because
there is people in our community that need to hear the gospel of Jesus.
The complacent Christian loses sight of that. I am sure the Corinthians
were not winning anyone to Jesus. They were more concerned about who was
the most significant and who was the most talented. If we are going to
avoid the pitfall of complacency, we must not only not loose sight of our
Place in God's work, or our Purpose in God's work, but thirdly, we must
not loose sight of......
III.OUR PRIZE IN
GOD’S WORK (V.6-8)
Paul talks about in verse 6, how he planted, and how Apollos watered, but
God gave the increase. He says in verse 7.....in other words, it is not
the preacher or the worker, but it is God the gives the increase. God
deserves the glory.
A.There Is A Unity
In Ministry (8a)
are differences in the way we might do what we do.But when we understand our place and purpose, there is a unity.
B.There Is Encouragement
In Ministry (8b)
trying to encourage the Corinthians, and us. Though others may not
appreciate the labor that goes on, God will recognize the faithful work of
His servants. And please note God rewards not on the basis of our success,
or on the basis of our results, He rewards on the basis of our labor. That
is significant... if God gives the increase then I cannot take that
responsibility. I am responsible to faithfully labor. (Illus:
Missionaries: one served 40 years with few converts and one just a few
years with many. Who was more successful? Seen in the O. T. as well:
Jeremiah and Jonah. On one hand you have a man who gave his heart and life
and soul and had little results. On the other hand you have a man who
could have cared less, and he had a lot of results. The only way to
explain that is this, God gives the increase! God is the one that knows
the heart and soul of the laborer.He
knows the work.He is the one
who will accurately judge the quality of work. May our desire be to
faithfully labor for Jesus, so one day we may hear His well done. How
precious that will be. I hope that is the longing of your heart.
Finally, we must not loose sight
IV.OUR POWER IN
GOD’S WORK (VV. 9-10)
Many times I have had people say, "I can't do...such and such."
I hope that deep down they don't mean... "I won't do...” Moses was
a famous I can not’er.God
called him and he began to make excuses. What we need to understand is
that God never asks us to do anything that we can't do through His power.
We can witness, we can exercise our gifts in the body... so that others
might come to know Him. All through this passage, Paul gives God the
glory.He is the one who is
giving the increase. In verse 9 he reminds us that we are laborers
together with God. Let's work with Him not against Him. In verse 10 Paul
calls himself a master builder. What he did was "according to the
grace of God". God gives grace to sustain us, to enable us to serve.
Don't say I can't or I won't.Instead
say... by God's grace I'll do what He wants me to do!
has a cousin by the name of apathy. The attitude that says who cares. The
church cannot afford to fall into that pitfall.The price is too high. The cost is souls. I'm glad for God's grace
that will enable us to do what God wants us to do. Today if you don't know
Jesus as your Savior, God has grace for you as well. Grace that will save!
Christian if you are in the pit of complacency, come to the Savior today
and let Him refocus your vision for you.