by Jerry Vines

I Corinthians 11:17-34
Dr. Jerry Vines
The time is 10:45 on Sunday morning. The worshipers are
gathering, smiling and speaking to one another as they are coming into
the building. The music is lovely that day. The hymns and the anthems
are impressive. The preacher stands and preaches a very eloquent,
informative and inspiring message. The people respond appropriately.
Then in the appropriate hour the service is ended and the people go
home. As they walk out of the building they are actually worse off when
they leave than when they came. That sounds absolutely astounding and
amazing. Yet, that is exactly what the Apostle Paul says was taking
place in the Corinthian congregation.
We pick this up in verse 17 - "...we come together not for
the better, but for the worse." The little phrase, come together,
occurs five times in the remaining verses of this chapter. It is a
phrase that is used to describe God's people gathering together for
public worship services. So, Paul makes the astounding statement that
when the people of Corinth came together for worship, instead of being
benefited and helped and profited by their gathering together, they were
actually worse off than when they came.
Of course, you know that when the Corinthian church was a
church that was laden with all kinds of problems. For several chapters
we have been going over these problems that plagued those believers.
They were immature. They were spiritually carnal. They were filled
with all kinds of divisions and problems internally and it was bleeding
into their worship services. Because of the factionalism and the
difficulties which they encountered they were actually worse off when
they came together to worship than when they had come.
We are going to deal tonight with the matter of when
worship is wrong - when worship does not accomplish what God intends for
it to accomplish. The highest form of worship that any of God's people
can ever experien ...

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