1 Corinthians

1 Corinthians 15-16

Why is Paul talking about Resurrection?   Some of the church believed in the resurrection of Jesus but most did not believe that believers would participate in a resurrection of the body.  There was mass confusion on the topic since Greeks and Jews living in Greek communities were being taught “Greek Philosophies” that contradicted the Gospel.

By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

During this time,  and centered in the area of Corinth began a movement called Gnosticism.  The word Gnosticism comes from the Greek word gnosis, meaning “knowledge.” The Gnostics believed there was a secret knowledge reserved for those with true understanding, leading to the salvation of the soul. Spiritual salvation was of preeminence to the Gnostics because they thought the human spirit was naturally good and was trapped in the body, which was naturally evil. Their goal, therefore, was to free the spirit from its embodied prison, and the only key to unlock the prison doors was the mysterious knowledge they possessed.

Christians came to the false conclusion that they must literally beat their bodies into submission and live such lives that they never allowed themselves the enjoyment of bodily pleasures. Others went to the opposite extreme and permitted their physical passions to run whatever course they chose. Those in this second group justified their liberal lifestyles with the idea that their evil bodies were destined for destruction anyway, while their spirits, which they believed were good, would remain unharmed  (live any way you want, everyone goes to heaven?).  BUT it all centered around a lack of belief in a human resurrection that WILL occur.

Paul says:

  •  if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
  • If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 
  • if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.
  • if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 
  • if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.

Christianity is based on the Resurrection.


33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 34 Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame. 😳


I know this is a lot to read but it is worth reading again!!!

50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
    Where, O death, is your sting?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you.

Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

WOW!!!!


Chapter 16 Paul closes the letter with his upcoming plans to return.After I go through Macedonia, I will come to you—for I will be going through Macedonia. Perhaps I will stay with you for a while, or even spend the winter, so that you can help me on my journey, wherever I go. For I do not want to see you now and make only a passing visit; I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits.

He promises to send Timothy and hopes Appolos will come one day too. He praises a few people and says in other words “take care of each other”. He sends his love from Aquilla and Priscilla.  It really is a sweet conclusion to a hard book!!

Finally, he says:13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 14 Do everything in love. ❤️

 

 

1 Corinthians

1 Corinthians 12-14

Spiritual Gifts. 

Paul is talking to Corinth.  Remember the first thing Paul addresses is the lack of unity in the Church.  We know from this text that the church is not unified as a “body”.  He has also addressed their perception of status and favoritism.  This all ties together.

September | 2013 | whatshotn | Gifts of the spirit, Spiritual gifts list, Spiritual gifts

21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

Spiritual gifts are GIVEN by the Holy Spirit. If we are genuinely seeking God’s lead through prayer, fellowship, studying God’s Word, and the sharing of the Gospel, our gifts will become obvious.

Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4

God gives us the desires of our hearts. (Not grants OUR desires).  He stirs up and creates a desire in our hearts!  He can place within our hearts the desire to teach, the desire to give, the desire to pray, the desire to serve, etc. When we act on those desires, and we are truly committed to His glory in the use of our gifts.  God gets the Glory!

Can I also give you something to think about (rare of me not to quote scripture but….)

Comparing Yourself To Others Leads To Nowhere Good! | Fact, Fiction & In Between


If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

LOVE-

the word is used 538 times in the Bible.  FIVE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-EIGHT!  How cool would it be the next time you read through the Bible you have a colored pencil and you put a heart around the word each time. ❤️

With spiritual maturity comes Love.  We only have 30 days left and we have read all the words God wrote for us.  You won’t remember my genealogies, my maps, why Simeon did not get land, who were the good kings verse the bad kings, etc.  We walk away with a greater understanding of Who God Is.

James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. (❤️ 538 times) 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law (❤️ 538 times) that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

1 Corinthians 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.


Chapter 14

The Greek word translated tongues literally means “languages.” Therefore, the gift of tongues is speaking in a language a person does not know in order to minister to someone who does speak that language. According to Paul, speaking in tongues is valuable to the one hearing God’s message in his or her own language, but it is useless to everyone else unless it is interpreted/translated. A person with the gift of interpreting tongues (1 Corinthians 12:30) could understand what a tongues-speaker was saying even though he did not know the language that was being spoken. The tongues interpreter would then communicate the message of the tongues speaker to everyone else, so all could understand. “For this reason, anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says”- Good so far?  (hard topic)

IF the gift of speaking in tongues were active in the church today, it would be performed in agreement with Scripture. It would be a real and intelligible language (1 Corinthians 14:10). It would be for the purpose of communicating God’s Word with a person of another language.

God can most definitely give a person the gift of speaking in tongues to enable him or her to communicate with a person who speaks another language. The Holy Spirit is sovereign in the dispersion of the spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:11). Speaking in tongues does not seem to occur today in the manner it did in the New Testament, despite the fact that it would be immensely useful on mission trips!!

Chaos Order Abstract Images, Stock Photos & Vectors | Shutterstock

This is a long letter (and there is still another letter!).  Why?  Because the church in Corinth was in chaos.  Paul’s letter must be read in context.  God is a God.  His church should be too.  It all needs to work together in harmony as one body.

verse 26 “Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.”

So let’s take a tough one to chew on and read it in context: 34 Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. 35 If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

The church of Corinth was noted for the chaos in that assembly. It seems that everyone in the church service was participating whenever and however they wanted. Those with the gift of tongues were speaking simultaneously, and no one was concerned with interpreting what was being said. Those with a supposed revelation from God were shouting out randomly and apparently no one was evaluating what was being offered as prophecy. The meetings in Corinth were characterized by chaos. To remedy this, Paul instructs a number of groups to “be quiet” at certain times and under certain conditions:

• Verses 27–28: Those who would speak in a tongue must “keep silent” if someone else is speaking or if there is no one to interpret what is said.
• Verses 29–31: A prophet must “be silent” if someone else has the floor.
• Verses 34–35: The women should “keep silent”.  They were acting out “as men, with shaved heads or uncovered heads”, arguing the scriptures.

God is a God of order.

 

 

1 Corinthians

1 Corinthians 9-11

Chapter 9

Paul begins with a series of questions to reads like a resume to prove his apostleship.

Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not the result of my work in the Lord? Even though I may not be an apostle to others, surely I am to you! For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.

He IS an apostle.  With that said, he should be taken care of by his people.  He should be provided for!  He asks a series of questions that supports this.

I think of it this way: Should we pay a fireman for saving people from a burning fire??  YES.

HOWEVER…He DOES not exercise his right to such things!

15 But I have not used any of these rights. And I am not writing this in the hope that you will do such things for me, for I would rather die than allow anyone to deprive me of this boast. 16 For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me. 18 What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make full use of my rights as a preacher of the gospel.

Instead, he made himself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.

  • To the Jews he became like a Jew, to win the Jews.
  • To those under the law he became like one under the law so as to win those under the law. 
  • To those not having the law he became like one not having the law so as to win those not having the law.
  • To the weak he became weak, to win the weak.

He became all things to all people so that by all possible means he might save some. He Ran the race in such a way as to get the prize!  (Something I need to do better!  I think more about myself than the people around me that are not saved)


Chapter 10- We continue to talk about what “we can and cannot do” verse “what we should and should not do.”   This is understandable.  Jesus came and fulfilled the law.  This left many in confusion as to “now what?”  Should we eat that? Can we go there?  Viable questions for sure.  We still have this sense of confusion today as to what it means to be “Free in Christ”.  Paul clarifies.

First, he tells us to look back on HIstory so that we do not make the same mistakes that brought judgment and will still bring judgment.  (So anyone who thinks they don’t need to read the Old Testament is wrong.  The three passages Paul discusses are:

  • “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.”– the Corinthians were taking their “freedom” too far and eating in a pagan temple.  Exodus 32 (look at verse 6)
    • History was repeating itself.  So take this is a warning.  You CANNOT do this.
  • We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did– This SAME thing happened in Numbers 25 with the Moab women.  Numbers 25
    • History again repeating itself.  You CANNOT do this.
  • We should not test Christ, as some of them did
    • You know what I am going to say: History repeating itself: Number 1611

 “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!

Eating AT a pagan temple will tempt you more than you can bear. But eating meat that was sold from a temple-that you do not enter…who cares!  Meat is meat.  You are not committing idolatry.


Now read this: Here are the “should/should not” statements!

23 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “

I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 

24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.


31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33 even as I try to please everyone in every way.


Hair and head coverings.  I know you read that and thought “what in Sam Hill”??  It’s actually not that complicated.  Corinthians was the “new age” city.  When a woman was married she would culturally wear a head covering.  (I wear a wedding ring).  For a woman to not wear it when married was a disrespect to her husband. On uncovered head would be like me going to a bar and taking off my wedding ring…loose morals. HOWEVER, there was also a HUGE gender movement going on in Corinth where women were shaving their heads in a feminist “equal” right movement and men were growing their hair to work at the Temple as a prostitute.  Hot mess of a time! Oh wait…like today.


The Lord’s supper.  It is obvious from the test that people were taking advantage of the Lord’s supper.  Some were coming to it disrespectful like a feast, eating and drinking whatever they wanted.  Paul said, “Go home and do that”!.

Sorry, the post is so late.  Crazy week.

 

 

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.”

Wisdom:

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