1 Corinthians – Chapter 14

Superiority of Prophecy

Verse 1 – Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.

Prophecy may involve predicting future events, but its main purpose is to communicate God’s message to people, providing insight, warning, correction, and encouragement. False prophecy leads to deception and makes the believer the object of manipulation by a false prophet that has ungodly motives and a hidden agenda.

The main purpose is to edify, exhort, and comfort the church. Anytime someone speaks a message to you that leaves you feeling condemned or in fear, that is not from God. Prophecy will always agree with the word of God. True prophecy produces liberty, not bondage. True prophecy that comes fro the Holy Spirit will bear witness with a believer’s spirit.

Verse 2 – For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands them; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.

I’ve said it before and will say it again because this verse is clear: Speaking in tongues is man talking to God. It is not some strange message from God to the church. I don’t know how so many churches get this backwards. God will speak through prophecy or a prophet, to an individual or to a body of believers that will encourage the whole congregation, and it will be in the language you understand!

Verse 3 – But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.

Verse 4 – He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.

Verse 5 – I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.

This is in a worship setting. First of all keep in mind, tongues is still talking to God, not the other way around, so if someone does speak in tongues out loud during a service of believers, they are to interpret what they just said, or keep quiet. In almost every church I’ve been in one speaks in tongues and then everyone waits for another to interpret. Paul says nothing about waiting for someone else to interpret. He said that if he speaks in tongues then he should be able to interpret. This gift has been so abused that it’s no wonder that people are afraid of this gift. Pastors need to read the Scripture and quit making their own rules.

Verse 6 – But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall it prophet you unless I speak to you either by revelation, by knowledge, by prophesying, or by teaching?

Gift of Tongues

Verse 7 – Even things without life, whether flute or harp, when they make a sound, unless they make a distinction in the sounds, how will it be known what is piped or played?

Verse 8 – For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare himself for battle?

Verse 9 – So likewise you, unless you utter by the tongue words easy to understand, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air.

Verse 10 – There are, it may be, so many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them is without significance.

Verse 11 – Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be a foreigner to him who speaks, and he who speaks will be a foreigner to me.

Just as a foreigner is estranged by those speaking a language he does not know, so too members of the body of Christ become estranged from one another if unintelligible, untranslated languages spoken in the church.

Verse 12 – Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for edification of the church that yo seek to excel.

Verse 13 – Therefore, let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret.

Verse 14 – For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.

Verse 15 – What is the result then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with understanding.

Verse 16 – Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say?

Verse 17 – For you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified.

The legitimacy of a person’s speech in the midst of the congregation is measured by the edification it brings the body of Christ. They cannot edify if it is not understood.

People, please read your Bible concerning these gifts. This absolutely must be understood. Tongues is a precious gift from the Lord that helps the believer pray and glorify God in the Spirit. We don’t know everything that is going on in a person’s life or behind the scenes with God. The Spirit helps us talk to God and the Spirit will also tell us what we just said.

Verse 18 – I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all;

Verse 19 – yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.

Verse 20 – Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature.

Verse 21 – In the law it is written: “With men of other tongues and other lips I will speak to this people; and yet, for all that , they will not hear Me,” says the Lord. (Isaiah 28:11, 12)

Verse 22 – Therefore tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophesying is not for the unbelievers but for those who believe.

The way the Corinthians were using the gift of speaking in tongues was helping no one because believers did not understand what was being said, and the unbelievers thought the people speaking were crazy. That’s what happens in a church service that is out-of-order. That is not how God does things. That’s a “spirit of confusion.”

Verse 23 – Therefore if the whole church comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those who are uninformed or unbelievers, will they not say that you are out of your mind?

Verse 25 – And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed, and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.

The main objective in any church serve is to win the lost. It is not to run around spouting off in tongues to show how spiritual one is. Praying in tongues does have its benefits though. This gift should not be forbidden though. Pastors need to teach what is proper and what is not. God does not give gifts to harm us, they are to be a blessing, so don’t abuse them.

Exercising Gifts in Public Worship

Verse 26 – How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.

Evidently there was no order to their gatherings. If someone wanted to sing, they did; if someone had a word, they just shouted it out. All the while saying they were being led by the Holy Spirit.

Verse 27 – If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret.

Paul had already told them that the gift of tongues was for the unbeliever to be convinced. He wanted them speaking one at a time, no more than three in any meeting, and there had to be a person who could interpret.

Verse 28 – But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God.

A person would have to know before hand who could interpret what they were going to say in tongues, according to this verse. Otherwise they were to keep it to themselves, unless they could interpret also.

Verse 29 – Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge.

Verse 30 – But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent.

If  anything is revealed to another while one is speaking,which he feels is important to communicate to the church, let the first one stop talking. This does not mean to rudely interrupt.

Verse 31 – For you can all prophesy, one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged.

Do you see why these gifts are used in the church? They are always to encourage people with their faith. This should never be done in disorder or to cause confusion.

Verse 32 – And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.

Meaning, the prophet can control when he speaks. It is not blurted out at the person’s will.

Verse 33 – For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.

Verse 34 – Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says.

In some denominations today, some still hold to this verse and 1 Timothy 2:11, 12. However, it is mainly ignored by most churches. Our opinion does not matter when it comes to the things of God. I have heard this explained very plainly from a well-known pastor. It’s about the covering, the authority over a woman. So with the husband, or if single, the pastor’s permission, a woman can speak, pray, or teach. The head of the church is Christ, then the pastor and the man is over the woman. Agree or disagree.

Verse 35 – And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.

You have to keep in mind the time of the culture and that it was mostly Jews in these gathering. The Jews were very strict. The Rabbis taught that a woman should know nothing but the use of the distaff (the instrument used for twisting threads by a whirl), and they were specially prohibited from asking questions in the synagogue, or even reading.

Verse 36 – Or did the word of God come originally from you? Or was it you only that it reached?

The argument here is that, the church at Corinth was not the first church that was established; but that it was one of the last that had been founded; and that it could therefore claim no right to differ from others, or to prescribe to them what principles to follow.

Verse 37 – If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord.

If anyone claims to be divinely endowed, one who regards himself under the extraordinary influence of the Spirit, know that these principles of conduct are commandments from the Lord.

Verse 38 – But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant.

Basically Paul is saying, “Anyone that thinks Paul didn’t have the authority to instruct them on these topics, go ahead and ignore him and deal with the consequences.

Verse 39 – Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues.

Do not suppose that speaking in tongues is not for today or useless, or is to be despised, or that it is to be prohibited. In and on proper occasions, it is a valuable endowment.

Verse 40 – Let all things be done decently and in order.

Public worship should be orderly and without chaos and confusion. Preaching should be to the point and intelligible. We should learn to value the gifts of the Spirit.

 

 

 

 

 

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1 Corinthians – Chapter 13

Exercise Gifts With Love

Verse 1 – Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become as sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.

What good would any of these gifts be that Paul mentioned in the previous chapter do, if not used in love?

Verse 2 – And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

Verse 3 – And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Verse 4 – Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;

Verse 5 – does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;

Verse 6 – does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;

Verse 7 – bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Contrary to what the world calls love, God’s love is directed outward toward others, not inward to ourselves. It is utterly unselfish. This kind of love can only come with God;’s help, loving others while expecting nothing in return.

Verse 8 – Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.

Verse 9 – For we know in part and we prophesy in part.

Verse 10 – But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

God gives us these spiritual gifts while we live on earth in order to build-up, serve, and strengthen fellow Christians. In eternity, we will be made perfect and complete, and will be in the presence of God All Mighty, and no longer need these spiritual gifts.

Verse 11 – When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

The idea here is, that the knowledge which we now have, compared with that which we shall be in heaven, is like which is possessed in infancy compared with that we have as an adult.

Verse 12 – For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then shall I know just as I also am known.

While on this earth, we can only know Christ in part; we only understand in part. But one day when we are all gathered in heaven, we will know Him “face to face!”

Verse 13 – And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

When faith and hope are in line, we are free to love as Christ loves. Love is the greatest because it carries into the next age. Both faith and hope will be fulfilled in eternity. LOVE NEVER ENDS!

 

 

1 Corinthians – Chapter 12

Tests of the Spirit’s Control

Verse 1 – Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant:

Paul didn’t want any believer to not be taught about spiritual gifts. There are spiritual gifts to the believer that have been powered by the breath of God. Gifts can only move when the Holy spirit breathes on us. These gifts are to benefit the body of Christ. No one owns a gift. They are distributed at the Holy Spirit’s will.

Verse 2 – You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led.

Verse 3 – Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.

In this day and time there are many false teachers claiming to be speaking for God. The test to prove that they are, is them saying that Jesus is the Son of God and is Lord over all. That comes only from the Holy Spirit which is in them.

Diversity of the Gifts

Verse 4 – Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

Verse 5 – There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord.

Verse 6 – And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.

One spirit, one, Lord, and one God, working in these divine gifts through believers.

Verse 7 – But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:

That which makes plain to be seen or known, is what is meant by manifestation. The Holy Spirit will make Himself known by the people.

Verse 8 – for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit,

A word of wisdom is a divine answer or solution for a particular event. To have the word of knowledge, is to know something specific without having learned it by natural means.

Verse 9 – to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit,

The gift of faith is a supernatural impartation of belief and confidence for a specific situation. This is a manifestation of a gift from the Holy Spirit that is supernatural! The gift of healings are also supernatural endowments of divine health. This does not mean that anyone person has the gift to heal at will. Some think if this gift manifested once, then they own that gift, not so.

Verse 10 – to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kind of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.

The working of miracles is a divine intervention by God, that alters the situation.

Having the gift of prophecy is not just predicting the future; it can also mean preaching God’s Word with power, a message of encouragement.

The discerning of Spirits is someone who has the ability to be aware of a demonic presence. The gift is called “the discerning of spirits,” not the gift of discernment!” Having the gift of discernment is actually a spirit of criticism. These people think that they have God’s opinion. There is nowhere in the Bible a gift called just “discernment.” I will repeat, “IT IS THE GIFT OF DISCERNING SPIRITS.”

Different kinds of tongues – a person talking to God in an unknown language. People can become so confused about speaking in tongues. And that’s because; one, it hasn’t been taught properly; and second because it’s been so abused in churches.

First of all, God is not, I repeat not, going to speak to an individual or a church body, in a language that no one understands! Nowhere in the Bible did God ever speak to a person and that person not understand what He said. This is a gift given to the person, to either glorify God, or give edification to the church! The gift of tongues is tied very close to the gift of prophecy.

Now for the interpretation of tongues. This is not a translation of the message that was given in tongues! This is an understanding of what was just said. It is not word for word, translation. It is the jest of what was said.

When I studied this and realized that these people who stand up in church and start speaking in tongues, and then say, “Thus says the Lord,” that is not true!!!! The message will be from the Holy Spirit to encourage or edify the body of believers. The Holy Spirit moves in any of these gifts through whom He chooses, at His will! A message in tongues is man talking to God, not the other way around.

Verse 11 – But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

Importance of All Gifts

Verse 12 – For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.

Verse 13 – For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free – and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.

The church is made up of many types of people from a variety of backgrounds with a multitude of gifts and abilities. It is easy for differences to divide people, but despite the people’s differences, they have one belief in common – Christ.

Verse 14 – For in fact the body is not one member but many.

Verse 15 – If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body?

Verse 16 – and if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body?

Verse 17 – If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? I the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling?

Verse 18 – But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.

Verse 19 – And if they were all one member, where would the body be?

If we were made only with any eye, ear, or limb, there would be no body. If there were only apostles, or prophets, or teachers; if there were none but those who spoke with tongues or could interpret them, the church could not function. A verity of gifts and talents in the proper place is as useful as are the various members in the human body.

Verse 20 – But now indeed there are many members, yet one body.

Verse 21 – And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you;” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”

Verse 22 – No, much rather, those members of the body which seem weaker are necessary.

We are not to disregard those who don’t have the same gifts as us. When a person thinks the body of believers can’t function without them, that’s spiritual pride.

Verse 23 – And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow great honor; and our un-presentable parts have greater modesty,

God has arranged the body of Christ in such a way that the “less honorable” members are accorded “greater honor.” Humility is a pinnacle value in the kingdom of God.

Verse 24 – But our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it,

Verse 25 – that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.

The body should be united and be one harmonious whole with no separate interests, and that all the parts are necessary. No member of any church should be overlooked or despised, but that the whole church should have a deep interest in all members. And we know that this is not true in most churches.

Paul is telling believers that this is the way it should be, but is it? Maybe there are churches that function this way, but I’m sad to say they are far and few. Maybe if pastors would start teaching Scripture again and stop the “Self-help” messages, people would get back to behaving like Paul said we need to .

Verse 26 – And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

Our churches have grown so big that the members have become distant from each other. Very few know whether or not a fellow member is suffering from any kind of hardship, and some don’t care to know. I’ve watched 60 faithful members grow into 600 and watched the pastor become arrogant and then the members grew distant, and the whole thing fell apart and despised! Pride of any kind will destroy a church and scatter the sheep.

Verse 27 – Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.

Verse 28 – And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps,, administrations, varieties of tongues.

God is the One who appoints and God is the One who gives power with these gifts. God also has placed individuals with these gifts into the body of believers in order to function properly in bringing the gospel of Christ to the lost!

verse 29 – Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles?

Verse 30 – Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?

Verse 31 – But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.

No one gift is superior to another. We are to desire the gifts that edify the whole body. Gifts without love are useless!!

 

 

 

 

1 Corinthians – Chapter 11

Verse 1 – Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.

Paul was not being arrogant. He wanted the Corinthians to follow his example. The Corinthians knew very little of what Christ was like, after all, the New Testament had not been written. Paul had spent two years with the Corinthians, so they knew him.

Verse 2 – Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions as I delivered them to you.

Paul had already spoken of divisions and disorders of the church. This section focuses primarily on proper attitude and conduct in worship, not on the marriage relationship or on the role of women in the church.

Verse 3 – But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

There were two cultures that were clashing in Corinth, the Jews and the Greeks. Jewish women always covered their heads during worship, not covering their head showed loose morals. However, the Greek women did not. Theses were petty issues.

The phrase “the head of the woman is man,” is not used to indicate control or supremacy. God ordained submission in certain relationships to prevent chaos. Submission is not withdrawal or apathy. Submission between equals is by choice, not force.

Verse 4 – Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head.

A man was to remove any head covering when praying to a superior God. Out of respect. Paul didn’t want the Christians to do as the Romans did by pulling down the “toga” while they bowed down to pagan gods.

Verse 5 – But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved.

Pagan women at Corinth sometimes shaved their head and dedicated their locks as a token of worship or a vow to a pagan god. If a Christian woman’s head was uncovered during worship, it caused divisions between devotion to the true God and false gods.

Verse 6 – For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, let her be covered.

When studying Scripture, one has to take in consideration of the culture where the author is talking about. That’s why Paul said to the Corinthian church, “If it is shameful (where you live) for a woman to pray while the head is uncovered or to shave the head, cover it up!” He did not make this a commandment. He only said this to make peace among the different cultures.

Verse 7 – For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man.

The man was not to cover his head during worship to imitate the pagan worshiper of covering their head during worship.

Verse 8 – For a man is not from woman, but woman from man.

Verse 9 – Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man.

Verse 10 – For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.

This is one of the hardest verse to interpret. Perhaps because angels are witness to our worship and they recognize that the woman understands the role of authority when her head is covered.

Verse 11 – Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord.

Verse 12 – For as the woman was from the man also through the woman; but all things are from God.

Verse 13 – Judge among yourselves. Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered?

Verse 14 – Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him?

Concerning coverings for the head during prayer – Paul says that believers look and behave in ways that are honorable to their own culture. (In Corinth, a man with long hair was a sign that the man was a male prostitute in the pagan temple.)

Verse 15 – But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering.

Verse 16 – But if anyone seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God.

To someone who would likely cause an argument over this, Paul says there is no custom. Paul plainly says that in no other churches that they have founded, do they have this custom. Nor is this custom practiced in the church of God.

Rebuke of Disorders at the Lord’s Supper

Verse 17 – Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you came together not for the better but for the worse.

Verse 18 – For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it.

Verse 19 – For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you.

There were differences among the church members, and they were destructive to the congregation. Paul said in Romans 16:17 to note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to doctrine, avoid them.

Verse 20 – Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper.

Verse 21 – For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk.

verse 22 – What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.

When the Lord’s Supper was celebrated in the early church, it included a feast, a fellowship meal. It had become a time when some ate and drank excessively while others went hungry. This was not showing love or unity within the body of believers.

Verse 23 – For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread;

Verse 24 – and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”

Verse 25 – In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in, MY blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”

Please don’t ever take the Lord’s supper lightly. It is to be done in reverence and remembrance of what Christ did for us.

verse 26 – For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.

Verse 27 – Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

Paul was speaking to the church members who were rushing into the Lord’s Supper without showing respect to its meaning. When we as Christians take communion today, we should take a self-examination. Forgiveness of others can remove barriers with our relationship with Christ. In reality, none of us are worthy, but we are forgiven and loved by a loving God and should respect this time of communion with fellow believers.

Verse 28 – But let man examine himself, and so let  him eat of that bread and drink of that cup.

True faith in Jesus Christ is a sincere desire to live the life as a Christian and to be like the Son of God and be saved and washed by His blood.

Verse 29 – For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgement to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

Verse 30 – For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.

Some had even died due to the way they had behaved at the Lord’s Supper. Do you see from Paul’s words how serious the taking of the Lord’s supper is? I also see that correcting ourselves when necessary, repenting, and showing respect, during communion can keep you healthy. Agree or disagree. All I know is; My Jesus suffered bled, gave His life, and rose again, so that I might be free of sin and guilt and have an abundant life. So why would I not follow Paul’s instructions in taking part during a gathering of communion – remembrance?

Verse 31 – For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.

Verse 32 – But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.

Verse 33 – Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another.

Verse 34 – But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment. And the rest I will set in order when I come.

The Lord’s Supper is not a common fest, nor is it to be where one comes to gratify their appetite. It is a commemoration, distinguished from the ordinary feast or festival. And I might add, the communion is for believers only.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Corinthians – chapter 10

Warning Against Forfeiting Liberty

Verse 1 – Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea,

Verse 2 – all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,

Verse 3 – all ate the same spiritual food,

Verse 4 – and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.

Verse 5 – But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

For those of you who are reading, that don’t know: When Moses brought the Israelites out of Egypt they crossed the Red Sea on dry land. In the day as they traveled, God covered them with His cloud. They were baptized unto Moses teaching. They ate manna from heaven, and they drank fresh water from a Rock that represented Jesus Christ. But not everyone followed God.

Verse 6 – Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted.

Verse 7 – And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.”

Verse 8 – Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell;

Verse 9 – nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents;

Verse 10 – nor murmur, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed by the destroyer.

Some of the saved Corinthians had the attitude that since the idols and the meat sacrificed to idols were “nothing,” they felt they could go into these pagan temples, take a meal, and no harm would be done. However, Paul was trying to get across to them, “You dabble in sin and eventually it will destroy you.” People think they can walk on the edge of temptation and nothing will happen. But there are certain places Christians just don’t go, as there are certain things Christians just don’t do. Once a Christian loses their testimony to others, they almost never regain it!

Verse 11 – Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come.

We need to remember our past mistakes and learn from them. But that is another reason why we should also read and study the Old Testament, to learn from their errors. When the Bible speaks of “murmuring, it is complaining about things not going right or for lack of something, or about what others have done. But if you are a child of the Most High, He is the One ordering your steps, and He is the One in control, and He is whom you are complaining about.! When we complain, it shows we have no confidence in God!

Verse 12 – Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.

Confidence in our own strength and security is no evidence that we are safe from falling into sin. I might add, this can take place after a great victory or a show of God’s favor on a Christian’s life. The enemy will come in only to see us fall.

Verse 13 – No temptation has overtaken you except such as common to man, but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

Running from any temptation is the first step toward victory. Don’t place yourself in situations where you know good and well you are going to be tempted to do the wrong thing.

For instance: A person who has a problem with gambling, doesn’t take a vacation in Las Vegas. An alcoholic doesn’t go where the primary activity is “drinking.” A married person doesn’t conduct their behavior as if they are still single, especially when their spouse is not around. Don’t put yourself in those situations. As far as the Corinthian church, “Stay out of the pagan temples.”

Exhortation to Use Liberty to Glorify God

Verse 14 – Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.

Verse 15 – I speak as to wise men; judge for yourselves what I say.

Verse 16 – The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

The cup of blessing which we bless – the design of this verse and the following verses seems to be to prove Christians, by partaking of the Lord’s Supper, are solemnly set apart to the service of the Lord Jesus, that they acknowledge Him as their Lord, and dedicate themselves to Him, and that as they could not and ought not to be devoted to idols and to the Lord Jesus at the same time, so they ought not to participate in the feasts in honor of idols.

Verse 17 – For we, being many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.

Individual people make up one body of believers, the church. As one body, the Lord’s Supper points to united fellowship brought about by Christ’s death.

Verse 18 – Observe Israel after the flesh: Are not those who eat of the sacrifices partake of the altar?

Verse 19 – What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything?

Verse 20 – But I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons.

Verse 21 – You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons, you cannot partake of the lord’s table and of the table of demons.

As followers of Christ we must give Him total allegiance. We cannot take part in the Lord’s Supper and be messing with demons. This is  called “straddling the fence.” Eating at the Lord’s table means communing with Christ. There are no grey areas when it comes to following Christ. You are either a follower of Christ or a follower of Satan.

Verse 22 – Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?

Verse 23 – All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful; all things are lawful for me, but all things do not edify.

Believers need to adapt limits on their freedoms and liberty when the lost is at stake.

Verse 24 – Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.

Wouldn’t’ it be great if all Christians took this statement to heart and actually sought the well-being of others. However, we don’t see this but only from a few. Why? Because of self-centeredness and selfishness.

Verse 25 – Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience’ sake;

Verse 26 – for “The earth is the LORD’S and all its fullness.”

Verse 27 – If any of those who do not believe invites you to dinner, and you desire to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no questions for conscience sake.

Verse 28 – But if anyone says to you, “This was offered to idols,” do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for your conscience’ sake; for “The earth is the LORD’S , an all its fullness.”

I know we don’t have this situation today of wondering whether our meat was a sacrifice to idols or not, but there are principles we can learn from this or it wouldn’t be int he Bible. “Don’t create a problem when there isn’t one.”

Verse 29 – Conscience, I say, not your own , but that of the other. For why is my liberty judged by another man’s conscience?

Verse 30 – But if I partake with thanks, why am I evil spoken of for the food over which I give thanks?

Verse 31 – Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God.

Verse 32 – Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God,

Verse 33 – just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

Why should we be limited by another person’s conscience? Because we are to do all things to the glory of God, even eating and drinking. Nothing we do should cause a believer to stumble. We are to do all with the benefit of others in mind. However, there are oversensitive Christians, and those, we deal with in a loving manner.

 

1 Corinthians – Chapter 9

Paul Lists His Rights as a Minister

Verse 1 – Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?

Evidently, there were some at Corinth asking whether Paul had the qualifications to call himself an apostle. This office and title was held for only those who had witnessed Jesus life, doctrine, death and resurrection. However, Jesus did show himself to Paul after his ascension in order that Paul have the qualification for the apostolic office.

According to Matthew 28:18, 19 20, Jesus told his apostles to go and make disciples, not go and make apostles. I’ve been in churches where they call pastors and leaders “apostle.” I believe that is a title held only by those who walked with Jesus, Paul included.

Verse 2 – If I am not an apostle to others, yet doubtless I am to you. For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.

Verse 3 – My defense to those who examine me is this:

Verse 4 – Do we have no right to eat and drink?

Verse 5 – Do we have no right to take along a believing wife, as do also the other apostles, the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?

Although Paul and Barnabas wire both single, they still had the same rights of fellow ministers. They had the right to take along a wife, if they had one; they had the right to be paid for their services; they had the right to hospitality when they entered a city.

Verse 6 – Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working?

There must have been a question of Paul and Barnabas having to work to support themselves because they had no wives or family.

Verse 7 – Who ever goes to war at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk of the flock?

Verse 8 – Do I say these things as a mere man? Or does not the law say the same also?

Verse 9 – For it is written in the law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.” Is it oxen God is concerned about?

Verse 10 – Or does He say it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes no doubt, this is written, that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who  threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope.

Verse 11 – If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things?

People pay teachers, physicians, lawyers, and other professionals, so should we not pay those ministers who preach the gospel?

verse 12 – If others are partakers of this right over you, are we not even more? Nevertheless we have not used this right, but endured all things lest we hinder the gospel of Christ.

Paul says that he and Barnabas, who have founded your church (Corinth church), who instructed them, and who imparted blessings on them, do they not have the right to be compensated much more than the ministers they were supporting now? Then Paul says, “nevertheless,” we chose not to take anything as to not hinder the gospel being preached.

Verse 13 – Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat of the things of the temple, and those who serve at the altar partake of the offerings of the altar?

Verse 14 – Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.

All those who are called and sent forth, those who labor to preach the gospel, should be supported and maintained in this work. If you’ve ever had any doubt of whether a preacher should be paid, there’s your answer. It’s a commandment from the Lord to do so!

Paul Limits His Rights for Ministry

Verse 15 – But I have used none of these things, nor have I written these things that it should be done so to me; for it would be better for me to die than that anyone should make my boasting void.

Paul chose to support himself by his own hands.

Verse 16 – For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!

Verse 17 – For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have been entrusted with a stewardship.

Verse 18 – What is my reward then? That when I preached the gospel, I may present the gospel of Christ without charge, that I may not abuse my authority in the gospel.

Paul is saying that if a man chooses to give up that right of compensation, he has a right to do so. People generally set very little value on that which costs them nothing. All ministers are not like Paul. Paul’s example then should not be urged as an authority for people to withhold from the pastor what is due, nor, because Paul chose to forego his rights, should people now demand that a minister should devote their time, health, and life to their welfare for nothing!

Verse 19 – For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more;

Verse 20 – and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law;

Verse 21 – to those who are without the law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law;

Verse 22 – to weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to men, that I might by all means save some.

That takes total devotion and sacrifice towards one’s own comfort to see people saved.

Verse 23 – Now this I do for the gospels sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.

Verse 24 – Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.

Everyone that enters a race wants to be first to cross that finish line. They prepare, they sacrifice, and are totally devoted, with a hope of winning. Should we, as Christians not conduct our lives in being a witness for Christ, have these qualities also?

Verse 25 – And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.

Verse 26 – Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight not as one who beats the air.

Verse 27 – But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

Any athlete has to know their limits and know what it’s going to take to win. They sacrifice their time, they learn the subject, and most of all are faithful to it. As ambassadors for Christ, should we not know Him so intimately that no one would ever doubt that we belong to Him?

 

1 Corinthians – Chapter 8

Principles of Liberty and the Weaker Brother

Verse 1 – Now concerning things offered to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.

Verse 2 – And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know.

True knowledge will make us humble, modest, and kind to others. It will not puff us up, and it will not lead us to overlook the real happiness of others.

Verse 3 – But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him.

There is no true knowledge that is not connected to God. Being attached to God and seeking to serve Him, is not mere knowledge, it comes from the heart towards God. Love will prompt us to do what’s right. God knows you, if you love Him.

Verse 4 – Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one.

Verse 5 – For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords),

Verse 6 – yet for us there is only one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.

Verse 7 – However, there is not in everyone that knowledge; for some, with consciousness of the idol, until now eat it as a thing offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.

Verse 8 – But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we better, nor if we do not eat are we worse.

Paul is telling the Christians at Corinth not to be bothered by the food that was offered as a sacrifice to the worthless pagan idols – they are meaningless. As Christians, they know there is only one true God. The ones that were bothered by others eating sacrificed meat to idols, were weak in conscience and were defiled by their thinking.

Verse 9 – But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak.

Therefore, if the weaker or less mature believer misunderstood their actions, out of consideration, avoid eating meat offered to idols. Christian freedom should never be flaunted.

Verse 10 – For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscious of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols?

Verse 11 – And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?

Verse 12 – But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.

Paul is not talking about just food, and he’s not talking about sinning against the lost who have no conscience of sin until they come to Christ. He’s talking about offending intentionally, doing something that we know good and well is wrong, in front of a believer. Because Christians that still think they can’t eat certain foods and have to wear certain clothes in order to be holy, are weak in conscience. Paul is telling us to have respect and don’t be a stumbling block to them. What’s right for one may offend another because of a lack of understanding.

Verse 13 – Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.

Let me give an example of this: If a Christian has no problem with drinking a glass of wine with their dinner, they shouldn’t flaunt it in front of a Christian who might have had a problem with alcohol before being saved. They would then think they could also have wine which could easily cause them to fall back into alcoholism. That’s making a brother or sister stumble. We are not to be hard-headed or stubborn about these things. We are to be loving and caring about the welfare of our fellow believers!