1 Cor. 3:3, you are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?

Paul is not dealing with doctrinal division in Corinth, but rather grouping off of groups of people. This also relates to 1 Cor. 11 and the Lords Supper issue, not a doctrinal discussion but a relational issue. They weren’t waiting for one another. Social stratification is the term for this. Wealthy people in one group, poor people in another group, etc. this accentuates the need for us as Christians to be united.

In chapter 4 Paul makes this very clear. Paul wasn’t literally saying people were following those named in chapter 1 but it was an example of what was going on. Christianity is not about identifying together in various categories whether they be economic, racial, or any type of division. Thus the description of being worldly in 3:3. That is what they were doing.

Remember your fellowship, 1 Cor. 1:9-10. We need to understand what true fellowship is in order to avoid these type of divisions. Fellowship is a noun, it is a concrete idea. 1:9 - we were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. We have gathered together this morning not because we agree on social issues or all have the same economic status. We have come together because we all have the same fellowship with our Lord, Jesus Christ. Fellowship is the thing which brings us together.

The extent to which we agree is the extent to which we pursue the kingdom of heaven together. Seeking Gods kingdom first is what will keep us united.

This brings warnings into play - when we take pride in who we follow in worldly matters, social issues for example.

So first we need to remember what it is that brings us together. What is it that has us united? Forget about the things in the world that may divide us. Those don’t matter. What is our commonality? It is our fellowship in God, that is what is most important. Focusing on the cross and on Jesus Christ who died there.

Next, we need to become “fools” together. The next logical step is to understand our place in the world. We are fools together for Christ’s sake. If our goal is to be honored in the world, we are misguided. That is not what it is about.

1 Cor 1:18 - for the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing.

Those who don’t believe in Christ will always see Christians as fools, when actually you are a fool if you feel the need to be accepted by those people. This is an issue with the Lord’s people. As long as you claim Jesus Christ as Lord, you will be very disappointed in how people of the world will view you. We are living for eternal life, that is our goal, not to seek the approval of man.

Lastly, boast in the Lord. 1 Cor. 1:31. God is not impressed with the wisdom of the world. He has done quite well with the lowly and the weak. Our society is very caught up with who they are, what they can accomplish. We have a society who believes in relativism and yet they pounce on anyone who is intolerant? That makes no sense. There are conflicting ideologies promoted at the same time but a confused and mixed up culture. Modernism and post-modernism are at odds with one another and yet our society tries to have them co-exist. This is the wisdom of the world.

Getting what you can get while you are here is what is actually going on in our world. Selfishness is at the core.

We need to accept our lowliness. Psalm 8, what is man that you are mindful of him? That needs to be our mindset. If we are going to boast, let us boast in the Lord. The message of the cross is a message of sacrificial love. That is the message that shows true humanity and a love for God, the two greatest commandments. Our highest good is what we find in Jesus Christ and it is that we need to be clinging onto desperately.

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Who God says I am - my identity in Christ.

Proverbs 22:1-2

Names can be important but true identity even more so, including others perceptions of us. Our name says a lot about who we are. But God gives us our ultimate identity, and identity matters.

Knowing God’s “name” is critical to properly regarding and serving Him.

What we know about Him and the names of His He divulges is critically important. They have to do with His identity. Jesus has a name above every name and at His name every knee shall bow.

What about us? They way you see yourself “in Christ” is perhaps more important than you think. Who am I in Christ? An altered identity?

Here’s a question. Are there any passages in the New Testament that refer to Christians as sinners? There is not much, which may surprise you. James 5:19-20 is about it and that is referring to someone who has fallen away. If we see ourselves in that light, it may have a negative impact on our self image.

Romans 1-3 make an argument about our undone condition without the mercy of God. We are all in need of the work Jesus did on our behalf. We lack the necessary attributes to determine our own destiny, someone has said. We are in need of what Christ provides in our behalf.

Should we forget our not so glorious past? Of course not. Paul called himself the chiefest of sinners but he says, I have received mercy.

If we are to refer to ourselves as a bunch of sinners, "I’m hanging out with a bunch of sinners today”, we may fail to know the victory over sin that Jesus intends for us. We may instead, live “down” to the name sinner. Think about that.

From Romans 3. Justified - a reclamation of what was lost. The single most important paragraph ever written someone has said, Romans 3:21-26.

Also Eph. 2:1-6. But God, when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ.

1 Peter 2:5, 9-12, also talks of our new identity in Christ. We are priests of God, cleansed for His special services. We are a chosen race. He doesn’t deny an occasional problem with sin but it does not identify us. We were called out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Sin is real, it is still significant, it can still derail our walk with Christ, but it is not our identity in Christ, if we do what He commands us to.

Who God says I am....


Born of God


Joint heir




Complete sealed



And the list goes on......

We have solutions and not hopelessness.

The way you see yourself in Christ is important. We have no business as God’s people wallowing in sin or seeing ourselves as sinning all the time. An occasional failure is not final. We may have areas where we struggle. Sometimes we overreact to something, maybe we misuse our tongue, maybe not showing proper love enough. So we have to exercise self control, that’s written throughout the New Testament. The point is our aim is higher than it was before.

This is not an overnight process. Molding ourselves after a Christ is a lifelong process. We need to learn to complain less and trust more.

Christ lives in me. That should be our identity. We need to be building a healthy Christ-image. We need positive affirmations, not negative self assessments.

The book of 1 John is all about this. Read it this week. Read a chapter a day. Then focus on 5:4 and 5:13-15. Put those into practice.

Are you going to heaven? You should be able to affirm that without hesitation and still be humble. Humility is a confidence properly placed. This isn’t based on my perfection but in what He has done for each of us.

Pray Psalms 139;23-24 this week, and every week.

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Exodus 17:1-7. Meribah, the place where Moses struck a rock with his rod and water came forth to satisfy the needs of the Israelites. Also in Numbers 20 the same thing happened and that is when Moses did not do right, he should not have struck the rock, he was told by God to speak to the rock and this was the incident that caused him to be banned from entering the promised land, Canaan.

So what does this mean to us? Maybe you’re in a place where things seem hopeless. You’re looking for answers and none seem to be evident. What is the place of your testing? Is 2020 a test of our faith? Of our willingness to adopt the mind of Christ in difficult circumstances? And maybe having nothing to do with the virus.

What do we learn in moments like this? What should we know about God when we arrive at our own Meribah?

1. God is greater than our circumstances. He supplies all of our needs. In Phil. 4:19 Paul says he not only does this, He does it richly. 1 Cor. 10 applies as well. Jesus supplies the water to quench all of our spiritual thirst.

2. God will act in His time and encourages our endurance when tested. We want an answer right now, today, this week or maybe next month. God has His own plan. He acts when it is the right and wise time to do so. It is not our business to question His timing. James says count it all joy when you encounter various trials. That is not our natural reaction.

3. God’s restoration and vindication of the righteous is assured. It all ultimately ends well for those who stay the course - story after story in the Bible illustrates this. Look at the parable of the wheat and tares in Matt. 13:24-30, 36-43. We need to focus on being the wheat, that the seed God provides is working in our life.

Conclusion: We need to leave Meribah. We should cry out in trust rather than complain when we find ourself in a place of testing. Look at:

Psalm 107:4-9

Psalm 46:10-11

God is our refuge and strength. Be still and know that I am God, He says to us. We will have no lack if we lean on God, abide in Him, be calm knowing He is in charge and are knit together with others with similar attitudes.

Plenteous provision promised:

The plea of the Lord, Psalm 81. Open your mouth wide and I will fill it up, verse 10. I would feed you with the finest of wheat and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you, verse 16.

Acts 3:19, only in His presence is refreshing.


Welcome and thank you for visiting. We hope you can come and be with us as we give praise and honor to the Father above and His Son as we assemble as Christ's church in the Tomball and Magnolia area.

Decker Prairie church of Christ

25903 Hardin Store Rd

Magnolia, TX 77354

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T: 281.259.2797


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