1. I suppose one of the earmarks of a spiritual, mature Church is
stability. And stability is the ability of a congregation to just keep
about the business of serving God no matter what the circumstances
happen to be.
2. The circumstances that really throw an immature congregation off
kilter, and there will always be elements of immaturity in even the
most mature congregations, are of three or four basic varieties.
3. First, when the Church is without leadership. Really, this ought
never to happen to a Church since the Bible teaches the idea of
multiple Church leaders who step in until a new senior pastor is in
place. Should something happen to me, for example, our deacons would
implement the Churchís plan to bring a new pastor in. The
difficulty, of course, would be to get a pastor who was not a
4. Second, facilities. I think this results from just being
spoiled. Remember, for hundreds of years believers really didnít
have specialized facilities to meet in, yet they turned the world
upside down. Though facilities are nice and convenient, they will only
throw a Church off kilter if that Church is composed of really
immature Christians. Mature Christians will sit close to others and
will endure a bit of heat or a bit of chill.
5. The third thing that throws an immature Church off stride is bad
talk. Itís either gossip, telling the truth with the intent to do
harm, or just plain lying, or being a party to bad talk by allowing
people to say things to you that they ought not say.
6. Turn to Proverbs 6.16-19 with me:
16 These six things
doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
17 A proud look,
a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 An heart that
deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to
19 A false
witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among
Notice, in particular, verse 19. God just plain does not like bad
7. He dislikes bad talk so much that, I suppose, if the
Bible were being written today, God would have an entire chapter
dealing with the telephone ad e-mail and how they are used to cause
8. But a mature Church understands James 3.2-10:
in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the
same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the
Behold, we put bits in the horsesí mouths, that they may obey us;
and we turn about their whole body.
Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are
driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small
helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.
so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold,
how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue
among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on
fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things
in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of
bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are
made after the similitude of God.
of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren,
these things ought not so to be.
In good Churches mature members simply will not allow
wrong things to be said to them. Amen?
9. There is a final cause of disruption in an immature
Church . . . false doctrine. Or even good doctrine thatís out of
balance or out of perspective.
10. At Corinth, with this resurrection controversy, the
problem was bad doctrine . . . unbiblical teachings related to a major
11. In Titus 1.9-13, Paul draws a blueprint for preachers
dealing with teachers of wrong things in the Church:
Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may
be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the
there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they
of the circumcision:
Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching
things which they ought not, for filthy lucreís sake.
of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The
Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.
witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be
sound in the faith;
12. I want you to notice something that will surprise you
in verse 13. When Paul instructs Titus to "rebuke them
sharply" he is directing Titus to rebuke the Church members.
13. "Titus, you rebuke those Church members for
listening to that nonsense." And how do I know he wants the
Church members rebuked here? Because he has already addressed the
problem of the false teachers in verse 9: "Holding fast the
faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound
doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers."
14. Donít you just love Paul? What tremendously
consistent behavior he displays. Heís not like a cigarette smoking
father who wonders why his boy smokes dope. And heís not like a
rebellious mother who wonders why her daughter has improper
relationships with boys.
15. And heís not like the parent who refuses to submit
to the will of God and then wonders why the kids are so rebellious.
No, the great thing about Paul is that what he asked of others he did
16. He told Titus how to deal with bad doctrine in an
immature Church and Titus probably did exactly as he was told. Why?
Because Paul was the kind of guy who did what he was told.
17. Turn to First Corinthians 15.33-34 and read with me:
not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge
of God: I speak this to your shame.
In these two verses Paul is chewing out folks a bit for
hanging around the wrong people and listening to their spiritual
nonsense about the resurrection . . . exactly what he instructs
Titus to do in Titus 1.13.
18. So, can you guess what this consistent man of God
tries to do in our text for today? In todayís text he rebukes, but
then tries to salvage with good doctrine the false teachers. You see,
folks, people must be restored to a right understanding of the
resurrection if there is to be any hope of them getting converted.
19. In verse 35 Paul cites their skepticism, their
questioning of the legitimacy of the resurrection: "But some man
will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they
20. Now letís watch how Paul employs a two-step method
for dealing with false teachers. Itís a method you and I ought to
use when dealing with people who attempt to mislead you.
1A. First, PAUL REBUKES "Thou
1B. Donít think Paul is rude for coming on too strong
and calling those he rebukes fools, because he isnít. The Holy
Spirit of God inspired this response by Paul.
2B. You see, the most important thing Paul must
accomplish at this juncture of the retrieval process is to let those
in error know in a powerful way that their error is wrong.
3B. He does this by writing "fool," which is
a strong word that describes a person who doesnít have any sense.
Despite their pretense, Paul is telling those who are skeptical
about the doctrine of the resurrection that they do not know what
they are talking about.
4B. Iím sure what he wrote startled them, since
people who believe false doctrines usually think they are very smart
and well-informed. So, he has accomplished the first step of this
retrieval process. he told them they were wrong in such a way as to
get their attention and perhaps stop them from spreading their bad
doctrine throughout the Church.
2A. Second Step In The Process, PAUL RETRIEVES
Here is where he uses sound doctrine to try to win the
gainsayers over. And the way in which he does this is by showing
that the resurrection, as a doctrine, is a legitimate doctrine. Two
lines of argument here:
1B. In Verses 36-42, Paul shows the resurrection to be
a parallel to nature
fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:
And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall
be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:
But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed
his own body.
All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind
of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of
fishes, and another of birds.
are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the
glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the
terrestrial is another.
is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and
another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another
star in glory.
also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in
corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
1C. Now donít make the mistake of thinking that
nature proves Bible doctrine, because it doesnít. You never want
to try and use nature to interpret the Bible. On the contrary, you
use the Bible to teach you things about nature.
2C. What Paul has shown in this paragraph, and the
only thing he has attempted to show in this paragraph that Iíve
just read, is that nothing in nature argues against the
3C. On the contrary, by examining such things as
seeds and grain, flesh and stars and planets and such, the
resurrection is seen to be possible.
4C. So, with this line of reasoning, which I have not
the time to fully develop, Paul has established the parallel,
thereby taking away from his opponents the claim that
"believing in the resurrection is unscientific."
2B. The second line of argument is in verses 42-50.
Here Paul goes on to show the resurrection to be preparation for
1C. We read of what is produced in verses 42-44:
So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in
corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in
weakness; it is raised in power:
It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There
is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
1D. What changes occur at the resurrection! From
corruption to incorruption. From dishonor to glory. From
weakness to power. From natural to spiritual.
2D. Think about it, skeptic. If heaven is life on a
higher plane of existence than can be comprehended from our
frames of reference, surely changes are going to be needed to
exist on that higher plane.
3D. Resurrection is that supernatural alteration
which produces the person who is capable of existing on that
2C. We read more of the people involved in verses
And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul;
the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that
which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is
the Lord from heaven.
As is the earthy, such are they also that are
earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also
that are heavenly.
And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear
the image of the heavenly.
1D. There are two modes of existence. Adam was of
the soul. Sinful. Natural. Earthbound and corruptible. He was
the first man.
2D. The second man is Christ. From heaven and
spiritual, Christ is not earthbound, not corruptible, not
3D. When a person receives Christ as his personal
Savior he actually passes from the race of Adam to the race of
Christ. You didnít feel it happen, Christian, but it did
4D. For such a person, for the Christian,
resurrection, wherein he is given a glorified body in the
process described in verses 42-44, is the completion of this
5D. You see, brothers and sisters, we already have
a soul and a spirit suited for heaven. All that awaits is a
resurrection body. That is made possible by Christís
3C. What is produced, the people involved, and now
the parameter (50)
Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit
the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit
1D. A parameter is a condition or a requirement we
have to work within, the rules if you will.
2D. Let me give you a couple of examples of what
In baseball, one of the parameters or
requirements for scoring a run is that you first be on base.
Unless you have at least touched first, second and third base,
you cannot score a run by touching home plate..
In football, a parameter for legally receiving a
forward pass is that you be eligible. Either you line up for
the snap of the ball on the end of the line of scrimmage or in
the backfield. Otherwise you cannot catch a pass.
3D. In much the same way the resurrection is a
parameter. You see, you and I may not enter heaven the way we
presently are, even though you may be saved.
4D. Solution to the problem? Resurrection. When you
are resurrected you can go to heaven and there remain for all
1. Know of a situation in which someone is teaching
members of this Church false doctrine? If so, I have two jobs to do.
First, I am to deal with the Church members for listening to the
nonsense. Second, I am to deal with the folks who are teaching the
2. Implicit in this responsibility assigned to me, of
course, is the necessity of you actually informing me when Church
members listen to doctrinally unsound nonsense and you informing me
when people are teaching doctrinally unsound nonsense.
3. Addressing just the teachers of false doctrine, for a
moment, I have a twofold obligation when dealing with them that I need
your help in:
4. I am to rebuke them. Make no mistake about that. False
teaching cannot go without a strong rebuke. But what do I do after I
have rebuked them? I then try to retrieve them. And your help is
needed not only so I will know who to rebuke but also to help me
retrieve them after I have rebuked them.
5. Some folks in Corinth had a really distorted and
twisted view of the resurrection. Others even denied the resurrection.
And they attempted to spread their heresy. Someone told Paul what was
6. What did Paul did do? First, he rebuked those who
listened to the false doctrine, in verses 33 and 34. Then he turned
his attention to the propagators of false doctrine, rebuking them, and
then trying to retrieve them.
7. He rebuked them by calling them fools. He tried to
retrieve them by pointing out two undeniable facts to them: #1, there
is nothing observable in nature, i.e. science, which contradicts the
resurrection. #2, you cannot logically expect to get to the heavenly
plane without the resurrection. Corruption cannot inherit
8. So, there it is. You and I have a practical and
workable example of what to do when someone tries to teach you
something that is contrary to the Word of God. You tell me and I
rebuke him, then I try to retrieve him and you help me retrieve him.
9. Has that kind of situation presented itself in your
life of late? Do you need to inform me of something that may lead to
me rebuking someone and then retrieving him, or trying to retrieve
him? Let me know so we can get to it quickly before serious damage is
done to anyone in our Church.