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An Outward Sign of an Inward Problem

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Radio transcript for the week of July 16, 2017

Ricky Berger speaks on "An Outward Sign of an Inward Problem" on Seeking the Lost - International Radio.

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Many sins are those which we can see directly in the actions of others. There are public sins that cannot go hidden but instead are known by all of those who come into contact with them. Although different, these sins are no worse than those sins which are personal and can often remain hidden in our lives. Two such sins that indicate an inward heart problem are complaining and pride. Both of these issues are discussed by the apostle Paul to the church at Corinth in the book of 1st Corinthians.

In 1 Corinthians 10:10 we see that the Bible here condemns complaining. This is written to the Corinthian church; a congregation with many problems. In this passage Paul warns the brethren about complaining. He tells the church to avoid complaining "as some of them". Who are the "them" that Paul refers to in this verse? Read 1 Corinthians 10:1-4 and note the context of this passage. We know that the Christians in this congregation had a Jewish background. These people would have been very familiar with the stories of the Old Testament. Paul’s example here was to remind them that the people of Israel were blessed by God but continued to have problems. Although they were continually given good gifts from the Father, the children of Israel were constantly wanting more. Paul uses their life story to teach the people in Corinth how to better serve God. Today we can also learn from the examples of others in both how to behave and what we should not be doing.

In verse 5, we note a change between the words "all" and "most". 1 Corinthians 10:5 says that with "most" of them God was not pleased. We can still be found faithful and pleasing regardless of those around us. Continuing on with this reading, we see that in verses 7, 8 and 9 that “some” of the people here committed sins of idolatry, fornication, and tempting Christ. Again, there were still some individuals who were pleasing to God. The church in Corinth could find these words encouraging by realizing that there was still hope for them to remain righteous. In reading this passage, we might see that these sins do not personally plague us. However, in 1 Corinthians 10:10 we see a warning against complaining. How many of us today struggle with this sin? How often do we all struggle with complaining?

Continuing on, we see in chapter 10 and verse 12 that pride was one of the struggles that the Corinthians were warned against. So many of our problems today can be traced back to the sin of pride. Pride could have even been the reason that the children of Israel were complaining. One can lead to the other when we believe that we are "too good" for our current situation. No doubt, this was something that had to be dealt with by the church in Corinth. These people needed Paul in love and boldness to correct their actions; teaching them and us to humbly follow God. When we strive to follow God we know that we can always overcome the sins that tempt us, including complaining and pride. We know this is true because of the words found in verse 13: "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way of escape, that ye may be able to bear it."


Jesus asked in Luke 6:46, "Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord' and do not do the things I say?" Hebrews 5:9 says Jesus is the author of eternal salvation to all who obey him.

Jesus said unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God - John 3:3.

We are born again though belief in and obedience to the gospel. He who believes the gospel and is baptized shall be saved - Mark 16:15-16. We obey the gospel by:

  1. Believing in Jesus’ Deity, his death for our sins and his resurrection (John 8:24; 1 Cor 15:1-4)
  2. Repenting of our sins (Luke 13:3, 5; Acts 17:30)
  3. Confessing Christ as the Lord (Romans 10:9-10)
  4. Being baptized, that is immersed, in water to receive remission of sins (Acts 2:38)
  5. Living faithful to the Lord until the end (Matthew 10:22; Revelation 2:10)

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