Expositional commentary on Scripture using an inductive exegetical methodology intent upon confronting the lives of Christians with the dogmatic Truths of God's inspired Words opposing Calvinism and Arminianism, Biblical commentary, doctrine of grace enablement, understanding holiness and wisdom and selfishness, in-depth Bible studies, adult Bible Study books and Sunday School materials Dr. Lance T. Ketchum Line Upon Line: Transforming Transfusion Preaching

Monday, November 11, 2019

Transforming Transfusion Preaching

Why We are Failing the Great Commission
Chapter twenty-six
God has Ordained the Foolishness of Preaching
Transforming Transfusion Preaching

         Undoubtedly, the first epistle to the Corinthian believers is an epistle defining the scope of Biblical repentance.  The aberrations of carnality addressed by the epistle were not to be allowed to continue and were to be addressed by the leaders of the local congregation through “preaching.”  Of the sixteen separate chapter divisions in the first epistle to the Corinthians in our KJV Bibles, fourteen of those chapters rebuke and reprove the Corinthian believers (“saints,” I Corinthians 1:2) for carnality, false doctrines, sinful attitudes, and false practices.  The epistle is a sermon preached on preaching.  

          “The gospel” to which the epistle refers is all that the death, burial, and resurrection/glorification of Jesus accomplishes for the believing sinner.  This extends far beyond salvation from Hell.  Included in this salvation is the salvation of the believer’s life from waste through practical sanctification.  The future glorification of the believer’s body is also included in this good news.  Much of what the first epistle to the Corinthians addresses will be lost if we do not understand that the good news extends into all three of these aspects of a believer’s salvation. 

I Corinthians 1:17 immediately divides the hearers of the good news into two distinctly different apposing categories (appose: to place something in proximity to or juxtaposition with something else).  To the understanding and believing sinner these accomplishments are truly good news resulting in the manifestation of the creative power of God in the regeneration of a lost sinner.  To the unbelieving sinner these accomplishments are just “foolishness.”  The preacher of the good news may not understand to which category of hearers he is preaching until they respond to the preaching.  The vast majority of the epistle is addressed to those who view Paul’s preaching on practical sanctification as “foolishness.”  This is the aspect of the “gospel” that the Corinthians were rejecting.  This is the primary in a series of appositions. 

Paul is beginning to develop a presentation of ideas that attempt to bring the intangible realities of the invisible dimension of the spiritual into sight through a faith understanding of that invisible reality.  Within the invisible spiritual dimension, known only through faith and the teaching of the Spirit (I Corinthians 2:9-16), there are no grey areas between righteousness and unrighteousness.  Within the invisible spiritual dimension there is just darkness and light.  Everything is just black and white with no confusion about right and wrong.  This is the discerning understanding of the spiritual dimension that God wants His Spirit to teach all believers.  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (I Corinthians 2:14).  Spirit filled preaching and Spirit-filled hearing of that preaching is to bring the believer into a full understanding of all things spiritual in both apposition and opposition to the carnal.  Carnality always begins with misunderstandings of the spiritual existence.  Life transfusion preaching will ALWAYS be life transformation preaching. 

Another differentiation in the first chapter of first Corinthians is the apposition between the “wisdom of God” and worldly wisdom (“wisdom of words,” (I Corinthians 1:17).  The “wisdom of God” is a purely spiritual thing defined as the communication of the heart and mind of God.  In this kind of preaching, the purpose is not so much about merely communicating God’s truths, but rather the spiritual transfer and integration of the heart and mind of God from a Spirit-filled communicator to a Spirit-filled receptacle in another person whose heart is prepared to receive the transfusion.  A Spirit-filled receptacle has open ears and an open heart.

This is a transfusion rather than a mere transference because when the transfusion of the heart and mind takes place, that transfusion transforms the life into which the heart and mind of God is transfused.  This transforming transfusion of the heart and mind of God (“the wisdom of God”) is the purpose and goal in true spiritual preaching of God’s Word.  

For preaching to be spiritually effective it must be spiritually infective.  Preaching is much more than the transference of mere intelligentsia (facts).  Only a believer can prepare himself to be the spiritual receptacle for this transforming transfusion.  This miracle of transfusion can never happen against the believer’s will.  In other words, this transfusion cannot be forced down another person’s throat.  This spiritual dynamic of teaching/preaching is to what Paul speaks in the first two chapters of his first epistle to the Corinthians.  Trying to fill a receptacle without ensuring that the receptacle is opened is an operation in futility.  Be very careful it is not your carnal spirit and your bad attitude that closes the receptacle of deposit. 

17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. 18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it {‘the preaching of the cross’} is the power of God. 19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. 30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord” (I Corinthians 1:17-31).

In I Corinthians 1:17, we are immediately confronted with a harsh apposition between mere ritualism and the transference of real spiritual life through truth communication (transforming transfusion preaching).  “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.”  The ritual of water baptism transfers NOTHING to the believing participant in the ritual.  It is complete foolishness to think that there is a spiritual pill we can take or some magical ritual in which we can participate that will transfigure us from the carnal into the spiritual.  Yet, this is exactly how the legalist thinks. 

Paul is addressing the great fallacy of the magic pill philosophy to become spiritual proposed by the legalist.  This nonsense proposes that there is some transference of spirituality, conversion, or forgiveness through participation in some religious ritual as proposed in the idea of Sacramentalism.  If ritual baptism was the magic pill that could accomplish transference of spirituality, conversion, or forgiveness then Paul would have been preaching water baptism.  He did not! 

Paul preached and taught “the gospel” of salvation from Hell through the propitiation of God’s wrath upon sin in Christ upon “the cross of Christ.”  Paul preached and taught “the gospel” of salvation from Hell through the impartation of God-kind righteousness to the repentant believing sinner through the indwelling Spirit of Christ (justification).  Paul preached and taught “the gospel” of salvation of a believing sinner’s life through yielding to the indwelling Spirit of Christ in obedience to God’s will to live a sanctified life before God.  Paul preached and taught “the gospel” of salvation unto the ultimate glorification of the believer’s body and deliverance from the very presence of sin. 

The “gospel” Paul preached and taught involved specific details defining the spiritual operations of God in all three aspects of a believer’s salvation.  None of these three aspects of a believer’s salvation could ever be viewed as anything but precious and powerful.  Such a view of preaching brought incredible delight to those whose ears were opened spiritually and whose hearts were a readied receptacle for what God offered.  They certainly would not be treated as “foolishness.” 

All three aspects of a believer’s salvation are carefully defined and explained (“preaching of the cross”) in the sixteen chapters of the first epistle to the Corinthians.  I Corinthians 1:17-31 is foundational to the unfolding of all of this.  If we miss this foundational understanding of transforming transfusion preaching in the first two chapters of this epistle, we will also miss the spiritual transfusion of the heart and mind of God intended for us through such careful explanation/preaching.  For the true believer, the believer that believes every Word of the Bible is inspired of God, God’s ordination of preaching His Word is to spiritually transform the believer from the heart to the feet.  This outcome is what defines transforming transfusion preaching.  If spiritual transformation is never achieved, transforming transfusion preaching is not accomplishing its purpose due to some form of shutdown in that believer’s communication and reception of truth processing.  There must be a compulsive desire for spiritual transfiguration that begins in the heart of the believer thereby opening the receptacles of the mind to the Spirit of God’s teaching ministry. 

Necessities for Transforming Transfusion Preaching

1. Real Faith

Real faith believes deeply in the reality of God and His love for us.  Real faith understands that God has communicated His will for His “born again” children solely through His inspired Bible.  Therefore, real faith loves faithful preaching, teaching, and thorough explanation of the Bible.  Loving faithful preaching, teaching, and thorough explanation of the Bible is the first manifestation of a person’s genuine love for God because it is ONLY through studying God’s Word can we know God’s will, what God loves, what God hates, and what God’s plans are for us and our lives.  Real faith hates anything that corrupts true knowledge of God.

103 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way” (Psalm 119:103-104).

126 It is time for thee, LORD, to work: for they have made void thy law. 127Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold. 128 Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way. 129 Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them. 130The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. 131 I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for thy commandments” (Psalm 119:126-130).

Unfortunately, most of what many call faith these days is really not faith at all because it is not solely sourced in orthodoxy coming from a right understanding of the Word of God.  When faith is real, transforming transfusion will take place through any type of genuine devotional interaction with the Word of God.  Real faith does not require someone to plead with you to read your Bible, to attend the services of your local church, or to long for the preaching of the Word of God.  All of these things are what define and manifest real faith.  Without the reality of these compulsion, faith is artificial. 

1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good report. 3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. . . 6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:1-2 and 6).

2. Real Faith generates Real Love

Real faith and real love for God want what God wants more than anything else in this world.  Real faith wants to live in “fellowship” with God and become part of His redemptive purposes through the “work of the ministry” (Ephesians 4:12).  Real faith generates a compulsion to talk with God (prayer) and to hear from God by reading His Word and passionately listening to His Word taught and explained.  Real love for God wants fellowship with God.  Real love is consumed with knowing God personally and intimately.  In really loving God there is an inner compulsion to walk with God, worship God, live with Him in the minutia of life wanting every aspect of our being to be filled with all that God is.  Real love of God is ALWAYS defined and manifested by being consumed with FAITHFULNESS to Him and to His Word. 

162 I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil. 163 I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love. 164 Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments. 165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. 166 LORD, I have hoped for thy salvation, and done thy commandments. 167 My soul hath kept thy testimonies; and I love them exceedingly. 168 I have kept thy precepts and thy testimonies: for all my ways are before thee” (Psalm 119:162-168).

15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is {this reality is he} that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him {doctrine of spiritual reciprocity manifested in transforming transfusion}” (John 14:15-21).

3. Real Faith plus Real Love results in Real Ministry

Real faith and real love ALWAYS result in spiritual “works”!  It is these spiritual “works” that define true faithfulness.  Real faith and real love ALWAYS overflow “unto good works,” the “work of the ministry.”  “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).  Real faith and real love understand that the believer has an obligation in a vocational calling of real ministry.  

26 For ye see your calling, brethren {the holy and royal priesthood of all Church Age believers; I Peter 1:9}, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things {morally headless; moral blockheads} of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things {morally weak because they are morally ignorant} of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things {without kin; of unknown descent} of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. 30 But of him are ye {priests} in Christ Jesus {the believer’s eternal High Priest}, who of God is made unto us {positionally} wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth {rejoices in something}, let him glory {rejoice} in the Lord {being able to serve as part of the New Creation ‘in Christ’}” (I Corinthians 1:26-31).

Paul’s first rebuke to these “saints” (sanctified priests) is found in I Corinthians 1:10-13.  This is the springboard for the next fourteen chapters of rebukes and reproofs (corrections). 

10 Now I beseech you {parakaléō; pleading}, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions {schisms creating different elitist prejudicial sects according to who baptized them} among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For it hath been declared unto me of you {apparently not by the pastors, one of which was Apollos; vs.12}, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe {either this information came to him from someone from this household or most likely the problem was sourced in this one family where this spirit of contention and elitist prejudice was being produced}, that there are contentions {arguments, quarrels, debates } among you {Why didn’t the rest of the congregation put a stop to this nonsense?}. 12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith {the wicked and carnal elitism generated out of a false belief about having a superior baptism based upon who baptized someone now permeated the whole congregation} I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. 13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul” (I Corinthians 1:10-13)?

This rebuke of I Corinthians 1:10-13 is quite a statement considering Paul’s introductory salutation defining the commonality of all believers “in Christ” as representative priests before God.  In I Corinthians 1:2-9, Paul establishes the communion (commonality) of all Church Age believers “in Christ” as believer-priest and their common supply of enabling grace for servanthood ministry.  Understanding what is being communicated in I Corinthians 1:2-9 is critical to understanding the context of everything else said in the first epistle to the Corinthians. 

2 Unto the church of God {an assembly of believer-priests} which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified {this is the outcome of perfect, complete sanctification before God by justification and the impartation of the righteousness of Christ through the indwelling of the Spirit of Christ} in Christ Jesus {the New Creation through Spirit baptism}, called to be saints {sanctified ones; referring to their ministry as priests before God}, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord {as all believers’ High Priest in the literal Holy of Holies in Heaven; refers to the believer-priests praying to the Father in the Name of Jesus}, both theirs and ours: 3 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ {this is their common potential for righteousness, illumination, and spiritual power in the enabling grace given to every believer priest in the indwelling Spirit}; 5 That in every thing {commonality in every spiritual aspect of potential through the enabling of the indwelling Spirit} ye {plural; everyone}are enriched {enabling grace; spiritual wealth of unlimited spiritual resources} by him, in all utterance {includes thinking, reasoning, resulting in right doctrine and the communication/explanation of right doctrine}, and in all knowledge {based upon the trustworthiness of their common Teacher/Illuminator; I Corinthians 2:9-16}; 6 {verses 6-9 provide a list of commonalities that belong to every believer-priest}  Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you {plural; everyone}: 7 So that ye {plural; everyone} come behind in no gift {there is commonality in the gift of the Spirit, but there are ‘diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit,’ I Cor. 12:4; ‘differences of administrations, but the same Lord,’ I Cor. 12:5; and ‘diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all,’ I Cor. 12:6}; waiting for the {second coming; the rapture first and then returning with Jesus to rule the Kingdom Age} coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: 8 Who shall also confirm {future, active, indicative; the final and complete stabilization of the believers in their glorification and eradication of their sin natures}you {plural; everyone} unto the end {until the end of theChurch Age}, that ye may be blameless {not to be called into account for failures} in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ {referring to the Judgment Seat of Christ; II Cor. 5:10}. 9 God is faithful {God will always do what He promises}, by whom ye {plural; everyone} were called unto the fellowship {the ‘fellowship of the mystery,’ Ephesians 3:9, in the priesthood of all believers as ‘workers together with God,’ II Cor. 6:1} of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord {within and under the Sovereignty of the Lordship of Jesus}” (I Corinthians 1:2-9).

It is not the preacher’s responsibility to make you love the Word of God or even to make you love preaching.  That is totally on you.  Loving the Word of God and loving the preaching/teaching/explanation/application of the Word of God is a choice.  That choice is dependent almost totally upon the reality of your worship of God and the value you give to intimately knowing Him and His will for your life.  

If the three necessities for transforming transfusion preaching are not genuine then transformation will not take place: real faith, real love, real passion to change lives (passion and compulsion to do the “work of the ministry”).  If these three necessities are not real, nothing about the professing Christian will be real either, for these three necessities define real Christianity.  Any thing LESS is just pretense!

3 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, 5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; 6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth: 7 As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; 8 Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit. 9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness” (Colossians 1:9-11).

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Numerous studies and series are available free of charge for local churches at: http://www.disciplemakerministries.org/ 
Dr. Lance Ketchum serves the Lord as a Church Planter, Evangelist/Revivalist. 
He has served the Lord for over 50 years.

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