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Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 3:9-17
Dangers of Congregational Drift
1. We drift away from Christ when we do not give earnest attention to following God’s word, Heb. 2:1.
2. Drifting can happen to churches as surely as individuals.
3. Jesus addressed the churches of Asia with knowledge (“I know your works”) and expectations, with warnings (“I have this against you”), and with solutions (“Remember…repent…”), Rev. 2 & 3.
4. Analyze and improve ourselves to overcome, lest we drift away and lose our fellowship with Christ and our souls.
I. SIGNS OF CONGREGATIONAL DRIFTING.
-Ephesus: Leaving our first love, Rev. 2:4.
-Pergamos: Compromise with sin and error, Rev. 2:14-15.
-Thyatira: Toleration of evil, Rev. 2:20.
-Sardis: Prideful overconfidence, Rev. 3:1-2.
-Laodicea: Spiritual apathy (lukewarm faith), Rev. 3:15-18.
II. CONGREGATIONS CAN DRIFT AWAY FROM…
A. Bible Authority, Col. 3:17; Rom. 4:3; Gal. 1:8-9.
1. Not being equipped with the fundamentals of Bible authority and how it impacts personal faith and congregational actions.
2. Its necessity, how to establish and apply Bible authority, 2 Tim. 1:13; Heb. 8:5.
a. Commands, apostolic approved examples, necessary inferences.
b. Sanctioned by God, Acts 15:7-19.
3. Drifting when Bible preaching/teaching viewed as boring and unnecessary; Refuse examples and NI, Phil. 4:9; Lk. 12:57.
B. Following Bible Patterns, 2 Tim. 1:13.
1. Worship, John 4:23-24.
-Drifting: Praise teams, women leadership; instrumental music and other forms of “contemporary” worship; Rote w/o heart.
2. Organization (Acts 14:23; 20:28; Phil. 1:1; 1 Pet. 5:2-3).
-Drifting when satisfied being unorganized.
3. Work: Evangelism, Edification, Limited Benevolence, 1 Thess. 1:8; 1 Cor. 14:26; 1 Tim. 5:16.
-Drifting: Growing tendency to announce social activities along with spiritual work; Funneling individual work through l. church.
C. Reverent, Assembled Worship, 1 Cor. 14:33, 40.
1. Remember: Focal point of worship is God, not us, John 4:24; Heb. 10:24-25.
2. Drifting: Irreverent demeanor, casual attitudes, play time for children, distractions; Rejecting the necessity and need of assembled worship (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:18, 20).
D. Practicing Corrective Discipline, 1 Cor. 5:4-5.
-Drifting: Refusing to apply it (1 Cor. 5:2); Not working to restore fallen (Gal. 6:1-2; James 5:19-20).
E. Unity in Christ, Phil. 2:1-5.
1. Unity in Christ in truth, John 17:20-21; 1 Cor. 1:10.
2. Drifting: Open fellowship without investigation (Rom. 16:1-2); Misuse of Rom. 14 to solve disagreements over revealed truth; Biting and devouring each other instead of serving each other (Gal. 5:13-15).
F. The Simplicity that is in Christ, 2 Cor. 11:1-4.
1. God is jealous of us and our soundness and purity.
2. Drifting: Corinth was putting up with the very things that would destroy it: Counterfeit Jesus, spirit, gospel, 11:4.
1. These are exhortation to duty, vigilance, and courageous faith to stand strong in the faith and resist the devil’s temptations to “go with the flow” of moral, spiritual, and religious relativism and diversity of this present evil age.
2. Christ knows each of us and will judge and reward each one, Rev. 3:3-5 (6).
By: Joe R. Price
Posted May 25, 2021