1 Corinthians

1 Corinthians 5-8

Chapter 5

Keep perspective of the point of the letter.  The church of Corinth was prideful and boasting about what a great job they had done while Paul was absent.  So this letter directly speaks about the issues ‘inside’ the church.  They have issues of sexual immorality within the church and yet they are not handling it.  They do not need to concern themselves with those outside the church…that is for God to handle.

Throughout the Bible, we have associated ‘yeast’ as a symbol of corruption or sin.  The littlest bit grows and takes over.  Jesus even compared the false teaching of the Pharisees to yeast.  Being taken in by false doctrine eventually grows and corrupts your belief.  Paul wants them to be a ‘yeastless’ church.

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case, you would have to leave this world.

Evidently, there was a letter before this one that was taken out of context.  For us to be a light in the world, and mission the world,  we must be IN the world BUT ‘INSIDE’ the church of believers it is different.  We are called to be set apart from the world.

11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

Chapter 6

Lawsuits- When there is a disagreement that cannot be handled in church and it goes to the courts-it means that someone does not agree that whatever the issue is-believes that it is wrong.  Clearly, there must be someone inside the church that knows enough about the Lord’s will to be able to dispute it? Do they not read the scriptures?  What’s to dispute?  If we all used the Bible as our measuring stick-we wouldn’t even need courts.

I thought I was re-reading a chapter because it repeated itself.  Since it did I am going to take the passage and level it out for us.  I struggle when people take a “portion” of a scripture and hone in on it.

Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? (Sin=death). Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

All the underlines words = sin.  Not one over the other.  If you have participated in just 1 of these you are a sinner.  Verse 11:  And that is what some of you were (yup) . BUT you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Free in Christ!  John 8:36 saysSo if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”    

Paul says in verse 12  “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. 

As I usually do “teen” Bible studies, this is a scripture I have had to use repeatedly as teens always ask “What does the Bible say about…”   I have heard people say “The Bible is interpreted by people in different ways” or “It is a grey area”.  I respectfully disagree.  The Bible is Black and White.  Scripture interprets scripture.

Next, Paul is responding to their questions.  The church of Corinth was very confused about what was being asked of them.  They either went too far in “freedom in Christ” (with sex or marriage) or too restricted and assumed they needed to be celibate (even if married).  Paul clarifies that if being called to be single or celibate,  it is good.  But if you are married, you are called to have marital relations (ONLY with your spouse).  Some were married and depriving their spouse thinking they would have a higher status in the church if they committed to celibacy.

Changing status was a topic.  Many thought they should marry “up” or marry someone who appeared “more spiritual” to gain their status.  The point Paul is making is God doesn’t put us in “status”.

19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts. 20 Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.

I love this scripture:23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings. 24 Brothers and sisters, each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.

There isn’t a hierarchy to climb in God’s eyes!  Bloom where you are planted!!

The second half of Chapter 7 is a tough read.  The short version is: Life is short: be committed to what the Lord asks of us.  Don’t try to figure it out, don’t worry about ‘worldly things’.  Live as if He was returning tomorrow.  (He just might).

I am not going to try to “figure this out” (but it did make me laugh!!) 😂😂

39 A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord. 40 In my judgment, she is happier if she stays as she is—and I think that I too have the Spirit of God.

Chapter 8 (man this is a hard read!!)

If you lived in Corinth it would be nearly impossible to eat or drink anything that didn’t come from a butcher or shop that served temple worship to false gods.  Paul is saying if you believe in the Lord as the one true God it is OK…it is just food!

So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that “An idol is nothing at all in the world” and that “There is no God but one.”

HOWEVER, there are others:

But not everyone possesses this knowledge. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled.

But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.

BUT because the Corinthians, as well as the Americans, can take a scripture like that and fall to the “free in Christ” far side he ends with BE CAREFUL:

Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. (read the rest and see how the Lord wants you to apply it)

Tomorrow chapters 9-11.  Keep reading!

1 Corinthians

1 Corinthians 1-4

Chapter 1

Someone from Cloe’s family (unknown person) has contacted Paul regarding the lack of unity in the church.  They are not following Jesus, they are following “men”.  (Question: do you quote what the Pastor said, what a book or an article said, or what the Lord said?)

 “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”


18 For the message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
    the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

Paul quotes Isaiah 29.  The Word of God will sound foolish to unbelievers.  It is like asking a blind person to watch a movie or a deaf person to listen to a song.  If a person is not a believer, the Word will sound foolish to them-even to the smartest person.  But for you and I (today)-25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.  ❤️

We all talk about how much we are learning this year through this read-through.  Maybe you have been reading since Genesis or maybe you jumped in much later.  You have learned NOTHING  from my posts.  Maybe a few maps or history regarding a territory BUT everything that has been revealed to you in the Scripture has been solely from the Holy Spirit.  None of this seems foolish to you because God has revealed it to you.   Part of your evidence in your Salvation is the Word NOT being foolish:

“What no eye has seen,
    what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
    the things God has prepared for those who love him

10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

Isn’t that amazing!!

In chapter 3 we see that the Church of Corinth is not growing in spiritual maturity like they should be.  Why? Because they are still living in the “world”, not set apart.  Yes, it is man’s job to plant the seed on our daily missions.  Yes, it is our job to water the seed by pouring into others, however, it is God who grows us.  (think back now to the soil parable…maybe that’s why God can’t grow some people…the spoil is not fertile)

You can skip the rest if you want.  It’s my own “comment” (beyond what is written…ha!)

Maybe something in today’s read stood out to you. I would love for you to share.   If I may,  I would like to share my favorite scripture from today’s read.

Chapter 4: “Do not go beyond what is written.”  

I am NOT saying not to expand our knowledge by reading supplementary texts.  However, I find more and more people will read the supplements, listen to podcasts, listen to pastors, read Christan books, read posts on social media WITHOUT it being directly related or relevant to what is written. (and they don’t know it is not related because they are not filtering it through the Bible or have even read it)  This is VERY dangerous for 3 reasons:

  1. we remove ourselves from God’s Word. We read it less, study it less, and meditate on it less.
  2. we replace God’s Word. That is, when we stop filling ourselves with God’s Word, we start filling ourselves with something else.
  3. we eventually reject God’s Word altogether without even realizing it. At first, this will just be a doctrine here or there that we will reject because we prefer what the world teaches over what God teaches in the Bible.

Anything we listen to or read must not “go beyond what is written”:   So as we listen to teachers of the Word, Jesus is the foundation.  Supplements are the Farmers who plant and water the seed of God’s Word (1 Cor. 3:5–8), Construction workers who ensure that the church is built only on the foundation of Christ and him crucified (1 Cor. 3:10–17), Servants of Christ who only teach and preach what the Lord tells them (1 Cor. 4:1) and Stewards of the word of God—and of nothing else (1 Cor. 4:1)

Sorry to be preachy today.  As I am picking my 2021 study,  I have been pressed by the Lord on this VERY topic.  “Do not go beyond what is written” ❤️

1 Corinthians · Book Overviews

Corinthians Overview for tomorrow

Jesus, Church, Gospels, Acts, Letters, Revelation | Bible mapping, Books of the bible, Paul's missionary journeys

I know we already talked about Corinth the other day when Paul went there.  But he was left and received a report or letter from them.  Here is a little recap.

So far our letters to the churches all regarded the “outside” factors that affect the church.  For example,  the persecution or the false teachings that were going on in the world.  This time we are reading about the “inside” of the church and the troubles they are having.  This book is as modern as the day it was written. (uhh they all are)

First, the city of Corinth was a rich town just outside Athens.

  • Consisting of about 300,000 free citizens with 450,000 slaves by the 2nd Century.
  • Theaters would hold about 14,000 people (often for pagan worship).
  • The city included 1000 high-end prostitutes.
  • The temple in town was a temple for Aphrodite, the love goddess!  Cleary sexual immorality is a huge part of the lifestyle.
  • The city was best know for the beauty and sexuality of the woman, they all attained to look like Greek Goddesses.

So while Paul was in Ephesus he received a report on Corinth:

  1. The church was in disunity.
  2. They were spiritual immature
  3. Sexual immorality (inside the church)
  4. “Freedom on Christ” was taken out of context.

Paul also needed to answer their questions about marriage, divorce, celibacy, food, idolatry, worship, and spiritual gifts.

So Paul is going to write back and address the Churches of Corinth

We will be in both 1 and 2  Corinthians for eight days (It’s going to be good!).   Here is the schedule:

Nov 29: 1Cor 1-4
Nov 30: 1Cor 5-8
Dec 1: 1Cor 9-11
Dec 2: 1Cor 12-14
Dec 3: 1Cor 15-16
Dec 4: 2Cor 1-4
Dec 5: 2Cor 5-9
Dec 6: 2Cor 10-13


Acts 18:19-19:41

Map of Paul the Apostle's Third Missionary Journey in the New Testament

Paul heads through Galatia again.  In the meantime, a Jew named Apollos is a believer but does not have the full testimony of the death and Resurrection.

  • Think about the details on that though
    • He was named after Zeus’ (very steeped in Greek culture)
    • The word from the Passover events had really spread
    • People just need gaps filled in who missed the 2nd feast (Pentecost)
    • Aquila and Priscilla, friends of Paul, who spent some time with Apollos and filled in the gaps, he  immediately began a preaching ministry and was used to share the gospel.

Chapter 19- Ephesus

Ephesus becomes the new “headquarters” for Paul.  As you read chapter 19 you will see the gaps are being filled in regarding the Gospel.  Now that people know that John’s message has been fulfilled in the death and resurrection they can now fully understand the gift of the Holy Spirit.  As predicted many times in the Old Testament, false prophets come on the scene BUT we also see the miraculous work of the Gospel spread.

He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. 10 This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.

“All the Jews and Greeks heard the Word”-    Paul uses the lure of this city to spread the Gospel.  Look at this map.  Look at the location of Ephesus.  Now, look at some of the major churches that grew in the area that Paul never even walked through! (if you don’t recognize the names…you will 😁)

St Oswald's Parish Church, Walkergate - Sermons - Sunday Morning 201721 After all this had happened, Paul decided to go to Jerusalem, passing through Macedonia and Achaia. “After I have been there,” he said, “I must visit Rome also.” 22 He sent two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, while he stayed in the province of Asia a little longer. (Sadly he will visit Rome…but not like he wants to)

So why were so many people coming to Ephesus? 

What was the #1 activity on the Trip Advisor app?? 

The Temple of Artemis!The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus - Drive Thru History Adventures


Artemis (the Roman name was Diana) was a goddess worshiped in the ancient world. The Greeks considered her the twin sister of Apollo (daughter of Zeus). She was the goddess of hunting and wilderness and the protector of unmarried girls. Her temple in Ephesus was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Artemis was a “queen of heaven” emphasizing fertility, virginity, and the protection of childbearing. It employed many priests in the temple to perform animal sacrifices. There were many priestesses, too. It is uncertain whether or not the priestesses engaged in ritual prostitution. (Being it was a popular place, I assume probably). The temple became a MAJOR tourist attraction and place to worship, so just like today, it was filled with souvenir shops.  Idols were sold so that they could worship Atememis after they left (I grew up in a superstitions house,  so I totally understand this). This is the idol of Atemesis.  She is a multi breasted figure.  Women would pray to her when they had fertility issues.

Artemis, the Chaste Huntress: You Really Didn't Want to Mess With This Greek Goddess | Ancient Origins

The Riot in Ephesus-

The silversmith knew that with each convert meant less money in his pocket.  If people believed in the ‘One True God’, not only will they NOT come to the temple, but certainly they would not buy the fake idols.  So a riot began.  Oh, and just to show you history repeats itself:

verse32 The assembly was in confusion: Some were shouting one thing, some another. Most of the people did not even know why they were there. (ha)

Pin on Bible

The city clerk is just looking out for his best interest.  If the local government officials cannot control a providence, Rome will come in and replace the local leaders with new ones.

What a great read!!




1 & 2 Thessalonians

2 Thessaloninas

(Previous Post was 1Thess)

A few months later Paul writes a second letter. Evidently, there was a letter or a message supposedly from Paul that someone forged in his name.  It was a lie.  So Paul writes to clarify. The first letter was about Jesus.  The second one is about the Antichrist “The man of sin” or the “lawless one”.

“Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come.

Somehow a fake letter was received saying the Day of the Lord had already occurred even though the first letter had discussed that there would be a “gathering” or a “rapture”.  Of course, leaving them confused!  To make matters worse,  persecution has grown worse!  Emporer worship was rising and as they refused, they were being harshly persecuted for it. Paul reminded them that the Lord is JUST and will handle all matters in the end. We have seen through the scripture the Holy Trinity.  Satan has his Unholy Trinity.

Richard Schmidt - April 29, 2016 CHART

Paul reminds them “We talked about this…”  The antichrist WILL come.

 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work;

BUT!!!  BIG BUT!!!

BUT the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

So what is the takeaway?  What is the application of knowing this?

Stand Firm in your faith.

  • keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. 
  • follow our example! never tire of doing what is good
  • Some believers (look around people) are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies.
  • Take special note of anyone who does not obey our instruction in this letter. Do not associate with them, in order that they may feel ashamed. 15 Yet do not regard them as an enemy but warn them as you would a fellow believer.

This time he signs the letter with a special mark SO THAT you know the false letter was fake-don’t this is the one to hold onto!

1 & 2 Thessalonians

1 Thessalonians

Greek letters began with the author (3 in this case), followed by a greeting and thanksgiving.    This letter is specifically written to a group of people that assemble together ‘ekklesia’-meaning church.  In case the letter went to the wrong church, they address it to the Thessalonians.  Well, now that makes sense because you would not want this letter and the letters to the Galatians mixing up!

Paul, Silas and Timothy,

To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

Grace and peace to you.

The Thessalonians were standing firm and exhibiting faith, love, and hope.  The purpose of this letter was:

  1. Thanks.  Paul was probably in Corinth when he wrote this and the report back to him encouraged him greatly.
  2. An explanation about why he had to leave so quickly and could not return.
  3. To encourage them as they faced hostility and suffering.
  4. To explain “fraternal love”
  5. To discuss the topic of sexual purity (they were sliding on that topic)
  6. Clarify the End days

You can feel the Joy in Paul when Timothy’s report back was:

In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know. For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter had tempted you and that our labors might have been in vain. But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you.

He slips in a reminder about sexual immorality.  Paul knows the flesh is weak and this is the one read they were failing in.  But quickly commends their continued love for each other, and reminds them to live a quiet life, working hard so others will know they love the Lord through their way of life-not but beating them up with scriptures.

Chapter 4: What will happen to those who have died (fallen asleep) and are still alive when the Lord Comes back? 

There were many different theories floating around so this letter was written to clarify the issue and put their minds at ease.

13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 

We believe in a Resurrection of the Lord,  so we know that He will bring those who have died to Him BEFORE He returns. After that, a trumpet will sound.  If you read the OT with us,  you will remember the Trumpet signified a war was to begin and the Lord was with us.

15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

‘Caught up’: the Latin translation of this verse used the word rapturo. The Greek word it translates is harpazo, which means to snatch or take away. 

(If you believe the rapture occurs after the first 3 1/2 or after the first 7: I am ok with that.  I am a Pre-trib girl because it says we will be caught “in the air”.  The second coming He firmly puts HIs feet on the Mountain).

Chapter 5:  written to believers (you)

  • acknowledge those who work hard among you, live in peace with each other
  • warn those who are idle and disruptive
  • encourage the disheartened
  • help the weak
  • be patient with everyone.
  • Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong
  • Rejoice always
  •  pray continually
  • give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
  • Do not quench the Spirit (let your fire for the Lord show)
  • hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.

23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through.


1 & 2 Thessalonians · Book Overviews

1 & 2 Thessalonians Overview

Happy Thanksgiving 🦃

Paul's Second Missionary Journey - New Testament Maps (Bible History Online)

We are reading 2 books tomorrow!  We read briefly about Paul visiting Thessalonica on his second mission trip. (look at the map; when he stayed at Jason’s house).  He left after 3 short weeks and intended on going back but did not.  Paul feels terrible that he left so quickly and did not return.

Quick History: The city was founded in 316 BC.  The king of Macedonia named it after his wife, Thessaloniki, the half-sister to Alexander the Great.  The city became a hub for government and commerce.  After the captivity, many of the Jews dispersed and relocated in the Macedonia area. The city was the 2nd largest, the first being Athens.  About 200,000 lived there.

This is a time of great persecution to the believers. The Roman Emporer Cladius in power but soon his son Nero will be 😢.  Paul was very aware of the growing practice of persecution since he was ONE OF THEM once!  He now stood on the other side of the Cross.

This letter was to encourage the believers of Thessalonica AND to assure them of Christ’s return (eschatology).  Actually, Christ’s return will be mentioned over 20 times in these books.  Paul gives us a way of living that will prepare us for the Second coming of Christ.  As persecution grows,  they need to hold on to Hope that a final judgment will occur for those persecuting them.

12. 1 and 2 Thessalonians | Jehovah Sabaoth



Acts 17-18:18

Paul's Second Missionary Journey - New Testament Maps (Bible History Online)

As you read, follow your map. Paul spent 3 weeks in Thessalonica.  In a short time, they caused quite the stir!  The report was: They are all defying Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus.  When they heard this, the crowd and the city officials were thrown into turmoil.”  Unfortunately, (or fortunately) I have caused come turmoil clarifying some doctrine.  But notice Paul “reasoned” with them from the Scriptures.  It is the ONLY way.

Paul does his job and moves on for safety reasons.  BUT if you looked at the schedule we are about to read two letters to them after he leaves. (I hope it is a better tone than the one to the Galatians)

Next on the map is Berea.

11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 

Yasss!!!!  Love that!

BUT those horrible men from Thesselia followed him and messed things up!  Good Grief!

Next stop- Athens!

When Paul got to Athens, he was shocked to see about 30,000 statues of the Greek gods.  Immediately he came upon two schools of teaching (Just like Jesus faced the Pharisees and Sadducees) Paul faces the Epicururian and Stoics philosophers.

Epicureanism taught that the highest state a person could attain was ataraxia—absolute peace—and aponia—a complete absence of mental, emotional, and physical distress or need.  (sounds like Tom Cruise if you ask me) They taught people to relax and enjoy life without worrying so much. To Epicurus, the gods did exist, but they lived so far away from the affairs of man, in a permanent state of ataraxia, that they didn’t interfere with humanity—in fact, they weren’t even aware of humanity.  Ultimately, what Epicureanism was a “fulfilled” life free from pain, hunger, distress, worry—and God.

Stoicism, which emphasizes rationalism and logic, is the opposite of Epicureanism. Stoicism is all about rejecting pleasure.   Stoics believed that we need to endure pain and hardship to developed self-control to overcome feeling emotions so that we can be unbiased and clear-minded.

So Paul went to Areopagus. See the picture below.  It is the rocky hill – called Mars Hill.  It’s the greek version of a Synagogue where they just sat around all day and talked Philipohy. (I know people like that)

“People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious (that was sarcasm). 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.Paul's Speech to the Athenians · Blog from Author & Methodist Minister Adam Hamilton · Paul's Speech to the Athenians · Adam Hamilton

This unknown God:

  • made the world and everything in it
  • does not live in temples built by human hands
  • he is not served by human hands
  • He himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else
  • he made all the nations
  • he is not far from any one of us
  • he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead.

The next stop is Corinth-“what happens in Corinth stays in Corinth”

This is a major port city that controlled the canal so that boats did not have to sail around the peninsula.

Tour in Greece

Corinthians were very pleasurable people that legalized prostitution.  Their favorite god was Aphrodite if that tells you anything!

Emperor Claudius had expelled all Jews from Rome, and Aquila and Priscilla found their way to Corinth and settled there, pursuing their trade as tentmakers. When Paul, a tentmaker himself, came to Corinth, Paul lived and worked with them while founding the Corinthian church.

As I follow Paul I see a group of prominent people becoming Christ-followers.  This will be important as he continues to travel. Crispus was the Synagogue Leader!  (His replacement, however, was an idiot)

Paul was brought in front of the governor Gallio, a Roman Officer who could care less about Jewish Law (Sounds like Pontius Pilot) and handed him back over to the Jews.  The new Synagogue leader beat him in front of Gallio and he could care less! (This all sounds very familiar)

When Paul and his 2 new besties leave he cuts his hair.  He must have taken a Nazarite Vow somewhere along the way.    If you were not with us when we were reading Numbers I will summarize it:

The Nazarite Vow: – a dedication to set yourself apart and rely completely on God.

  • it was voluntary
  • both men and woman can take the vow
  • a certain time frame was given
  • Restrictions:
    • no fermented drink (I just heard someone say “I’m out”!)
    • could not go near a dead body (they would be considered unclean)
    • could not cut their hair

Paul cuts his har signifying the vow time frame was over.

The next 2 reads are:

Nov 27: 1 & 2 Thessaloninas
Nov 28: Acts 18:19-19:41





Galatians 4-6

I make no bones about going through “dry spells” when I can’t even find my Bible but have I read this Book before?  I don’t remember this at all. We see or hear tidbits of it all the time.  A pastor quotes it, in a song, on a coffee mug…but reading it with the audience in mind as a whole book is rocking my world!

I did this read-through with a brand new Bible (not because I couldn’t find my old one smarty pants) but because I wanted to see what God would highlight totally new!  This one grabbed me:  “But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—”

Such a deep statement.

Paul continues to express his concern for the Galatians since they have changed their way.  They have gone backwards and it has caused them to lose their joy.

The story of Hagar and Sarah.  This would make more sense to the Jewish converts than the Gentiles. Paul uses the story of Sarah and Hagar to illustrate two different covenants: the New Covenant, based on grace; and the Old Covenant, based on the Law. In Paul’s analogy, believers in Christ are like the child born of Sarah—free, the result of God’s promise.

Those who try to earn their salvation by their own works are like the child born of Hagar—a slave, the result of human effort. Sarah had no business offering her servant to Abraham, and Abraham had no business sleeping with Hagar. And Sarah was wrong to mistreat her servant as she did. Yet God worked through these situations. Hagar was blessed, and Abraham and Sarah were still the recipients of the promise.  The Promise was open to both!

Chapters 5 and 6:Our Freedom in Christ.  What does that really mean?  It is not a “pass” to do what we want.

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

From the Flesh verse From the Spirit?

Ministry of the Holy Spirit: Fruit of the Spirit


24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

The read gets a little personal so I am reluctant to comment on the last chapter.  I am sure God has brought something to your mind that is a 1:1 with you and Him.  But I will end with a conclusion of the whole book in 1 simple verse:

15 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation.



Galatians 1-3

I don’t ask much of you…but…  I am asking for ONE FAVOR.  Find a place you can read these 3 chapters out loud.  Read it to your child, dog, spouse, or sit in your car by yourself.  If you do that the book will completely come to life as you pretend to be Paul.  I am telling you!!

The book starts off with a sweet little greeting and then by verse 6 all Paul’s frustration comes out in an explosion!

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all.

Oh, my stars! 

Evidently, some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! (Yikes!)

We have this issue between Paul and Peter.  (If you were as confused as me: Peter is also called Cephas: his Aramaic translated name for “the Rock”)

Chapter 2:7 says “On the contrary, they recognized that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised.”

So Paul: to the Jewish beliefs.  Peter to the Gentile believers.

So the man Jesus called ROCK was more like a PEBBLE!  (Don’t judge:  we have all acted one way in front of some people and a different person in front of others). That is what Peter did.  Is it a big deal?? YES.  It’s called Hypocrisy.  Do you remember when Jesus used that word: it was a greek word for Actor/Actress.  Ouch!

11 When Cephas (Peter) came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles (he acted one way)  But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. (he acted another way)  13 The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray. 

Paul’s comments after this confused me at first (that is why this post is late, I needed to “get it”).  He is NOT putting down Gentiles, actually, he is lifting them up.  Gentiles did not have a History of knowing God’s Law as proof that salvation was unattainable through the Law.  The Jews did! Salvation should have been easier for the Jews and harder for the Gentiles who did not read the unattainable law.  But it was the opposite!   I often wonder if this is why it is hard for us to believe someone is truly saved when we know ‘their sinful past’ compared to some who grew up in the church.   Hmm.

19 “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

Paul acknowledges that BECAUSE the Law is unattainable… he is dead.  BUT that dead person was crucified when Christ gave up His life to give life!

Life in Christ is NOT our identity.  Christ is our life is our source of Life. 20: “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me”

Preach it twisted sista!! (sorry, I try to stay in context but I just couldn’t help to say all that!!)

Chapter 3- I just read it aloud to my dog again.  This time with even more emotion. (she just looked at me like I was crazy).

So here is the BIG question: Has the “ticket” to Heaven changed in the Old Testament and the New Testament?  Was it EVER by following the Law?  Was it ever the ‘act’ of the Temple Sacrifice?   NO.  Paul so BOLDLY  smacks them in the face when he talks about the Father of the Jewish Nation and the Abrahamic Covenant:

Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

Then to undo what the Judiazers claimed (the whole purpose of Paul’s emotional letter) he quotes from the Torah.  The Book OF the Law).  In Galatians 3:10 he is quoting Deuteronomy 27:26

10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”  (meaning if you break just ONE Law, you are cursed=a sinner). 


13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”

Marinate on that for a minute.  On that Cross, He felt the weight and pain of every sin.  He took it all from us. That is why it went dark that day.  God could not be with Jesus when that happened.  God is Holy and cannot be in community with sin, He left Him for that time.  That is why Jesus said, “why have you forsaken me?”  God had to leave while Jesus took all that sin on Him.  (Sorry, I am getting off track). It just proves what a big deal this letter states about adding to Jesus’ sacrifice in any form.

Ready: If you did not read it aloud (caught many of you) THEN you have to answer verse 19 in your own words in the comments.   Verse 19 says: “Why, then, was the law given at all?”

Want to read something cool??  So in this book, Paul is correcting Peter’s leadership and his hypocrisy of “going along with the crowd”.  Does it leave an impact on Peter?  Well, what do you think?  Peter later writes: (1 Peter 3)

14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.