Monday Morning Coffee with Mark

Can't I be spiritual without Jesus and the church?

May 02, 2022 Mark Roberts Season 2 Episode 18
Monday Morning Coffee with Mark
Can't I be spiritual without Jesus and the church?
Show Notes Transcript

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Welcome to the Westside church’s special Monday Morning Coffee podcast with Mark Roberts. Mark is a disciple, a husband, father and grand dad, as well as a certified coffee geek, fan of CS Lewis’ writings and he loves his big red Jeep. He’s also the preacher for Westside church.

Speaker 1:

Hello, and welcome to the Westside churches special Monday Morning Coffee podcast on this podcast, our preacher Mark Roberts will help you get your week started right. With look back at yesterday's sermon so that we can think through it further and better work the applications into our daily lives . Mark will then look forward into this week's Bible reading so that we can know what to expect and watch for. And, he may have some extra bonus thoughts from time to time. So grab a cup of coffee as we start the week together on Monday Morning Coffee with Mark.

Speaker 2:

Good morning. Good morning. Welcome to the Monday morning coffee podcast for Monday, may the second I'm mark, I've got a cup of coffee with me. I've got my Bible open. I've got some in notes from yesterday. Sermon. As we start a special series asking for a friend, I've got my Bible reading scared and a whole bunch of notes about that, because this is gonna be a crazy weekend daily Bible reading. Lots to talk about. Lots to do let's get started. Yesterday was a big day at west side , began this special series, asking for a friend with that super important question. Can't I be spiritual without Jesus and the church made some important observations about that. First of all, I'm glad that people are questioning for spirituality. That is a good thing. We want people to be thinking about spiritual dimension of life, and it certainly shows that we are spiritual beings that were made by God to seek after him. And that is Paul's point in act 17. I worked out of act 17, seems like I'm an act 17 a lot. It just fits and helps so much in our culture today, which in many ways, mirrors. I think that culture that Paul was worked in there in Athens, and we really talked a little bit there about genuine spirituality and how that works and what that's all about. Spirituality is about pursuing God and what Paul says to the Athenians and what I think we need to say to people today is it's great that you're pursuing the spiritual you're on the right track. You need to realize there more to life than this life, but you are missing something you need to go further. You need to go more. You need to quest for the God of the Bible. And that means that spiritual activity is not just anything that makes us feel good. It is what connects us to God. And there is such a thing as right and wrong. And we get real assurance in our spiritual activity and enterprise. When we do what God says, we need to do to connect to him through Jesus, the Christ. And I hope that that came across in a good way and not in Arah our way, little behind the scenes. I can do some of that in the podcast here really concerned about this sermon that I'm gonna come off, just screaming at people like the old guy, yelling at the kids, get outta my front yard. I made reference to that yesterday because that is really uppermost in my mind when I'm trying to connect with people who maybe are giving us a look for the first time or who are going to hear that sermon or watch that sermon on our Facebook page at some later date and think, well, do I really want to try this Jesus thing? So here's an extra thought or two then that I would add to that sermon that maybe will help us a little bit more as you're thinking through it. If we're gonna talk about spirituality somewhere in the , we need to start talking about life after death. We need to start thinking about reaching beyond the grave. And I think you do get that in ecclesia. And the idea of the resurrection of the dead is something that Paul can make a lot of. And that has been a struggle. For example, for the Corinthians and our daily Bible reading . We've been seeing some of that in first Corinthians 15 and is the point where the Athenians cut him off. The other thing I really wish I could have talked a little bit more about this, that sermon that Paul preaches in acts 17 is very much about Jesus and not about the church, but the church is part of true spirituality because in real spirituality, we wanna connect with people who are connecting with God. We want to be in a community with others who are seeking the Lord according to the scriptures. And that helps us so much to keep us on the right course, to give us the opportunity to serve and help others get on the right course and stay on the right course. Community is a huge part of genuine and spirituality. And Paul emphasizes that, for example, in Galatians six throughout the Corinthian correspondence that we have been reading the church is so vital to our walk with God. So somehow trying to turn down the emphasis on the church is really a mistake. We want to turn up the emphasis on other believers, sharing with them, working with them, encouraging them and being encouraged by them. The church is a vital part of genuine spirituality throughout the new Testament. And that is something that I think Paul is going to say a whole lot more about in ACC chapter 17. If he doesn't get cut off before he can say it. How about that hope that helps you as you're thinking about the sermon yesterday. Let's then yeah, let's go to that Corinthian correspondence because that's where our Bible reading begins this week and kind of kind of ends and then begins again. And I'll explain what I mean by that. As we open our Bibles to first Corinthians chapter 16, Welcome to Monday it's first Corinthians chapter 16 versus 12 to 24 that we're gonna read today. And here is Paul closing out first Corinthians. We are finishing first Corinthians and fixing to go, oh, I love that. It's a wonderful Texas expression. We're fixing, we're fixing to go to acts chapter 19 and pick up the store , worry there with Paul and start traveling with Paul. Again, it's been great to be in Corinthians, but I know a lot of us are kind of thinking, Hmm , let's get that story going again. In some ways that sometimes that's a little easier to work with, but I like this ending here. Don't just skip past that. Sometimes when Paul starts giving in the howdy dos , that's another wonderful Texas expression starts saying hello to folks. We just kinda hit the fast forward button and moved right on through that. Don't do that here, stay with it. As Paul continues to encourage the Corinthians here. And he does that look at verse 13, be watchful stand firm, act like men be strong. Those are imperatives. And they have a very military flavor to that. He then makes reference, notice verse 17 to the coming of Stephanies and for nots and Aus . And we do not know anything about those guys. Did they bring news of the Corinthians? Now they, the ones that brought some of these questions that Paul has been answering, but pay particular attention, then verse 18, they fresh my spirit as well as yours. Listen to that. Paul has deep care and love for them and he still loves them. Even though there's a lot of crazy going on in Carrin question. One a that I have added to our daily Bible reading is what's Paul's mood. And you need to think about that as you do is reading what is Paul's mood as he closes this epi verse 21. I write this reading with my own hand. That's pretty common for Paul. There's a couple of other places. Second Theon , three Colosians, four Fellman . He'll say something like that. Paul often dictates his letters. And then at the end says, give me the Quill . And he'll write a little bit there in his own hand to authenticate that letter. We know that there were some forgeries that were circulating. So that is important. Then the letter ends, of course, with that famous expression, verse 22 in the ESV, it's our Lord come in. Some translations it's MENA , which means our Lord come or Lord come quickly. And that's what Paul is for . We should pray for that as well. This section here has a good warm tone to it. I think it is reaffirming to the Corinthians. As Paul puts the Quill down, he is hopeful that they will accept this letter and make the necessary changes and correct. But Paul knows there's trouble in Corinth . There are people there who are saying, he's not even an apostle. Don't listen to him. He's preaching a false gospel and Paul is anxious. How will this letter be received? We're going to acts tomorrow, but by the end of the week, we'll be talking more about this church in carent that's Monday's reading first Corinthians 16, 12 to verse 24. See you on Tuesday, have your Bible open to acts 19, The it's Tuesday. And for our reading today, we're reading in acts chapter 19 versus 11 to 20 we're back with Luke in the book of acts, remember where we were 19 one to 10. Paul is in SIS and he's been there acts 1910 for two years. This is where Paul writes for Corinthians this. I gave a reconstruction of this and I hope maybe this is gonna work out, trying to tie all this together and make these timelines go and decide where Paul was when can be very difficult. But it does seem that Paul visited car insect Corinthians two verse one talks about a painful visit. So he wrote them a letter from first wrote what we call first Corinthians from SIS . He mentions that in first Corinthians 16 , eight, and that is this account here right here, acts 1910, and Titus takes it to Corinth . And Paul waits in Ephesus for a time. But after a while, Paul finally decides I gotta go see what's going on in Corinth. I gotta go see how first Corinthians was received by that church. What's happening there in the meantime. Yeah, there's a riot. And that comes because Paul is powerfully preaching the word of God. And Paul is doing some miracles, actually acts 1911 begins our reading by saying that God is doing the miracles here. Even handker chips or aprons, verse 12 that had touched his skin could be used to heal. And maybe this is Luke comparing Paul to Peter. Peter does a kind of similar sort of thing in acts chapter five. And Luke is often concerned to show that Paul and Peter are equal. Both can do the same kinds of things. And so maybe this is an intentional parallel, but what that does is set up another showdown between the gospel and magic magic in the new Testament world is seen as a real thing. It's not slight of hand , it's not smoking mirrors. It's really the power of the Ault , the power of the Hey DN realm, the power of the devil. How is that gonna go? Can the gospel overcome that? And we get what is easily. One of the funniest scenes in all of the Bible where the sons of S Skiva , we don't know any S Skiva as a high priest. Evidently he took that title on for himself and just decided to call himself that they just say, Hey, we know that we can do this. We think we're something. And so they start trying to do what Paul is doing and the evil spirit in verse 15 says, I know about Jesus. And I know about Paul and I don't know who about you. I don't know anything about you. And then the evil spirit, the man, the evil spirit just whips him and everybody hears about this. And this is a huge win for the gospel. And so many believers come verse 18, and this is a huge win for the gospel over magic verse 19. And they burned their books and put away this attempt to manipulate and being manipulated by the Ault and by evil spirits, they burn those books. Books of course are super valuable in the new Testament world, 50,000 pieces of silver. This seems to be 50,000 drop MAs , which would be a day's wage. So just think about what a day's wage is today, multiply it by 50,000 and you have some idea of the purchasing power that we're looking at here. And you put this with acts eight. You put this in with acts 13, once again, the gospel triumphs over false teaching, the gospel triumphs over magic and the Ault . That's the emphasis here. And then we get verse 20. That's one of those ending statements. One of those summary statements that Luke uses, and that really ends section five of the book of acts for Luke. That's not often how we divide the book, but I think that is how Luke is dividing. The book that's acts 1911 to 20 that's Tuesday's reading hope to see you in the zoom Bible study tonight. If you remember, the west side church will talk more about what's going on here and maybe more about demon possession tomorrow. We'll read further in acts chapter 19, bring your riot gear. There is gonna be trouble. See tomorrow it is Wednesday halfway through the week, and we are reading in acts chapter 19 versus 21 to 31. And this is a key place in the book of acts in acts 9, 19 21 . We read after these events, Paul resolved in the spirit to pass through Macedonia and ake and go to Jerusalem saying after I had been there, I must also see Rome. That's the theme of the rest of the book of acts. That little verse is often overlooked. That is a huge verse. Luke is going to use Paul's journey to Rome very much like he used Jesus' journey to Jerusalem and Luke nine there, Luke tells us Jesus set his face to go to Jerusalem. That's Luke 9 51. And the rest of the book of Luke until the cross is about that journey. That journey of death, where Jesus says, I must go and do this. And now in acts Paul in a very similar kind of way has the journey of destiny. I must verse 21 acts 1921. I must also see Rome. There's a lot of things that are going on here. And we know from first and second Corinthians, for example, that part of this is about carrying that collection for the, the saints to Jerusalem. But Luke, doesn't talk about that in acts . That's not important to Luke and that's maybe just gonna clutter the story in the main point that he wants to make, which is that Paul is going to go and carry the gospel to the center of the Roman empire, the capital of the Roman empire, the most important city in the Roman empire. He's going to Rome, that's the center of the Gentile world. And he is going there and is determined to go there. Like Jesus was determined to go to Jerusalem. So keep your eye on that. We get some of his helpers, Timothy and a RAAs verse 20. That's the first mention of a Rais who becomes a trusted companion of Paul . He's mentioned again in second Timothy four and verse 20. Notice that Silas Silas is gone. We're not sure where Silas is or what happened to him, but he's not part of this traveling party at this time. Then Luke covers for us, this incredible riot by Demetrius Demetrius is a silversmith. And this is all about money. The there's a decline in sales of idols because Christianity has come to town and that threatens everything about Ephesus economy in Ephesus . There was this amazing temple, the temple of Artemis. It was one of the seven ancient wonders of the world. It had been rebuilt after a fire in 3 56 C . It actually stood until ad 2 63. So when Paul is standing there, this temple is yeah, 400 years old, maybe sometimes in America, we don't have an appreciation for things that are really old. This temple had been there a long time, man . It was huge. It was 165 feet by 345 feet sitting on a platform that was another 240 feet by 420 feet. So this is a huge temple sitting on a big platform that is huge. It's three or four times the size of Solomon's temple. It had 127 marble pillars of white. They were 60 feet high and decorated with brilliant decorations of gold. Only one of those pillars by the way, remains today. Like I said, it was considered one of the seven ancient wonders of the world. And it was a great tourist attraction ESUs economy was in decline at this time because its port continued to fill up with silt and the city was in an economic depression and it was becoming more and more dependent upon people coming to the temple of Artos. And what Demetrius says is folks, aren't going to come. If this Christianity thing keeps building up and more and more people become Christians. And there's some pretty funny lines in here. Verse 26, he says, I can't believe Paul goes around, tells people God's made with hands are not gods that's. That's just funny. Anyway, you slice it. And then in verse 32, Luke tells us that most of the people came into the amphitheater and they didn't even know why they were there. This amphitheater seats, 25,000 people, it has been excavated and is in excellent condition. You can still see it today. I have high hopes at some went to journey to this part of the world and stand in this amphitheater. You get a little bit of common sense going on here. As we read a little bit further, that's really for tomorrow's reading. I don't wanna get too far. What I want us to look at is the threat, the gospel poses to false religion, false religion is usually, I'm not gonna say always, but usually based on economics and money and true religion will always crowd that out. And that makes false teachers really, really angry. And you get a big dose of that today, cuz we're having a riot in emphasis . See you tomorrow. We'll finish action chapter 19 and dip our toe a little bit in acts chapter 20. And then yep . Paul's gonna write another letter. See you tomorrow For Thursday's reading. We're going to read acts 19 beginning verse 32 through acts chapter 20 and verse two. It's kind of an awkward break there, but it's necessary because of what Paul is doing. Let me detail some of that. The end of acts 19 deals with Alexander calming the crowd verse 33 and then the town clerk comes verse 35 and just offers some common sense. We're gonna get into trouble about this. We need to all go home. And if there's real , a problem , Demetrious needs to take that to the courts. I do think that Luke is emphasizing again that the gospel is harmless to the Roman empire. It has no political ends. It's not trying to overthrow the government. It's not a problem. Romans, don't worry about this new Christianity movement. And I think acts does a good job of maybe assuaging some of those fears that something's going on, that the Roman government needs to take notice of. No, it's all fine. Everybody go home. Nothing to see here. Then we're gonna read in acts chapter 22 , super important verses after the uproar ceased, Paul sent for the disciples and after encouraging them, he said farewell and departed Macedonia, wait, wait, wait, wait , wait in chapter 19 verse 21, which we read on Wednesday, Paul said, yeah, I'm gonna go to Macedonia and ake and then to Jerusalem. And then I'm gonna go to Rome. Rome was the focus. What happened here? Why are we going to Macedonia? And why is Macedonia the focus here? It's because it's because of the in Corinth . Paul will tell us in the Corinthian correspondence that we're going to resume tomorrow. Second Corinthians, that he is so concerned about the church in Corinth. He couldn't stay at Aus . He ends up picking up and going. What he's doing is he's looking for Titus Titus care. First Corinthians to the church in Corinth and Paul is going to meet him. And he has hoped that by now Titus would have made his way all the way back to Ephesus and told him, given him the news about how that epi was received. Now, Paul feels like he has to find Titus and meet him. I just can't wait any longer. And so he ups chapter 20 verse one and heads to Macedonia. I'm going to find Titus. I must know what's happening with the brethren there. And Paul leaves an open door intro as because he is so concerned about what's going on in Corinth . And as we read in second Corinthians, Titus does join him probably in Philippi . In second Corinthians seven tells us about that reunion somewhere in Macedonia. Then Paul is writing second Corinthians. We don't know how long all of this was. There's some discussion in Romans, for example, in Romans 15, that he preached in a lyric, which is in a , a province way north of Macedonia. Did he do that at this time? It's hard to find when else Paul would have done that particular preaching. A big key here then is, as I said earlier in the podcast, Luke paralleling Paul to Christ and those journeys, Jesus going to Jerusalem and Paul going to Rome are just very similar. Like Jesus, Paul traveled to Jerusalem with a group of his disciples like Jesus he's opposed by hostile Jews who plot against his life like Jesus. He makes predictions of his sufferings, including being his it over to the Gentiles and like Jesus, he says he is ready to lay down his life. I think Luke is really saying that Paul is being like Christ. And so Paul heads to Macedonia Paul is concerned about the Corinthians. He is so concerned about the Corinth. He is going to write them another letter and we'll read that letter starting tomorrow. See on Friday, we'll be in second Corinthians. You made it to the end of the week. It's Friday and we are starting second Corinthians today. We read second Corinthians chapter one versus 1, 2 11 . The breakdown here in second Corinthians, first six , seven chapters gonna be about I'm coming to see you again. And I need you to get ready for that chapters. Eight and nine need to talk about this contribution for the saints , Jerusalem folks at Quran , you need to get on the ball with that. And then chapters 10 to 13. Paul says you need to stop listening to these workers of Satan, these false teachers who are undermining me and who seem to have mesmerized some in carent and dazzled them. No stop looking at that pay attention to the true gospel. And that leads us to the big theme, pay attention to Paul. I am a true apostle except me as a true apostle because I care about you . You and the main key verse that we're gonna use for second Corinthians is what Paul says in second Corinthians chapter two, we'll be reading this next Tuesday, second Corinthians chapter two versus three and four. I wrote as I did so that when I came, I might not suffer pain from those who should have made me rejoice for, I felt sure of all of you, that my joy would be the joy of you all for. I wrote to you out a much affliction in anguish of heart and with many tears not to cause you pain, but to let you know the abundant love that I have for you. That's what Paul's all about. I care about you and Corinthians. I need you to care about me. I need you to accept me as a true apostle and that theme is sounded notably. As Paul begins in second Corinthians chapter one, you're gonna read lots of comfort here. Get a little bit of a , how much wood can a wood Chuck Chuck . When Paul talks about, I want you to be comforted with the comfort with which we are comforted by the same comforting that we have been comforted with. You could be comforted with it's a little bit of a tongue twister there, but you're gonna see Paul's interest in their comfort and Paul sharing with them very clearly how much suffering he has been involved in versus eight and nine that may reference. He says, we, we felt like we'd received the sentence of death. Is that something that happened after he left F this? Or is that maybe a reference to Demetri's riot and Paul thought, man, they're gonna come for me. I'm I , this is the end, the whole city's just up in arms and they're gonna come and they're gonna tear me limb from limb . By the way, sometimes people will say, God never puts more on you than you can bear. And that really sounds well. It looks great when we posted on social media and that's totally not true . Paul says in verse eight of our reading today, we were utterly burdened beyond our strengths so that we despair of life ourself. We were burdened beyond what we could bear. And in fact that happened, he says verse nine so that we would rely not on ourselves, but on God who raises the dad . So sometimes we are burdened beyond what we can bear so that we will trust in God more. That is what Paul is pushing for the second cor in second Corinthians, as he talks about the comfort that God provided for him and how much he has suffered on behalf of the gospel. And on behalf of the Corinthians Corinthians, I care about you. You need to care about that's what second Corinthians is gonna be about. We're gonna see that theme repeated again and again and again, there you go. Then that's our Bible reading for today, 11 verses it will not take you long. And it opens up the wonder of second Corinthians, a book where we really get to step inside Paul's heart. There may not be any place where Paul shares so much of, of his feelings and we're just gonna get his emotions and how much he cares about this church at Corinth , a church in some ways that is not reciprocating, that at least not in the way that Paul wishes they would. There you go. Then those are notes for daily Bible reading, hope that the podcast is helping you hope that you would sh share that with others and that you would subscribe or follow and leave us a review that helps more people find the podcast. As I'm closing, I'm thinking about the sermon series, asking for a friend that continues this Sunday with a potent question. Hasn't science made God a necessary, wow , that's a real challenge to our faith. That's going on? You know, what's going on? Let's talk about it this Sunday at the west side church of Christ in the 10 40 hour, hope you'll be with us in person or you'll stream it on Facebook or@justchristians.com . So until next time, may your coffee be delightful? I hope your Friday is wonderful and that the Lord will be with you today. All day. I'll see you on Monday with a cup of coffee.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for listening to the Westside church of Christ podcast. Monday morning coffee with Mark. For more information about west side , you can connect with us through our website, just christians.com and our Facebook page. Our music is from upbeat dot I that's upbeat with two P'S , U P B E a T , where creators can get free music. Please share our podcast with us. And we look to seeing you again with a cup of coffee , of course , on next Monday ,