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.
9 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.
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.
9 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 says “So 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!
4 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:
7 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.
8 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:
9 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)