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!!

 

 

 

 

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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!

 

1 Corinthians – Chapter 7

Principles for Married Life

Verse 1 – Now concerning the things of which you wrote me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.

The Corinthians had written to Paul, asking several questions concerning Christian life. The first question had been whether it was good to be married.

Verse 2 – Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.

Paul says marriage is honorable, and that the relations of domestic life should be formed to avoid evils which otherwise result. The world is the witness of the evils which flow from the neglect of his advice. Look at the evil that has grown out of the celibacy of the clergy among priests in the papists.

Verse 3 – Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.

Verse 4 – The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.

The phrase “have the right” in this context refers to sexual relations. The equal rights of husband and wife, in Scriptures, are everywhere maintained. They are to regard themselves as united in a most intimate union, and in tender ties.

Verse 5 – Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time that  you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

Verse 6 – But I say this as a concession, not as a commandment.

Verse 7 – For I wish that all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that .

Paul plainly says that a man should stay single only if he has the divine gift to do so.

Verse 8 – But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am;

Verse 9 – but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion (lust).

Some people just don’t like being single. Some on the other hand, don’t mind it at all. However, Paul says if a person does not have self-control over sexual desires, then they need to marry, because he has already stated that sex outside of marriage is sin.

Principles for the Married Believer

Verse 10 – Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband.

In the previous verses, Paul said it was not a command, but now in this verse it is from the Lord a command.

Verse 11 – But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.

God hates divorce. The marriage tie is so sacred that it should not be dissolved by the will of either party. This is when both are Christians, born-again. If one leaves the other, then they are to remain unmarried.

Paul doesn’t cover abuse by one or the other spouse, because they are supposed to be Christ like in their relationship with each other. But no one should tolerate abuse, whether physical or mental.

Verse 12 – But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother (Christian) has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her.

That means that the husband was saved after marriage but the wife was not. It has to mean this because if you are born-again you are not supposed to be joined with a non-believer when you marry.

Verse 13 – And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him.

Verse 14 – For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy.

Sanctification used here does not mean that the unbelieving spouse becomes holy, or becomes a Christian. This simply means that because they are married, it is proper for them to stay and live together. In these types of situations, for the children’s sake, it is best to not separate.

Verse 15 – But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace.

Verse 16 – For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how d you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?

Principle of Abiding in God’s Call

Verse 17 – But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk. And so I ordain in all the churches.

Verse 18 – Was anyone called while circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? Let him not be circumcised.

Verse 19 – Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters.

Pleasing and obeying God is more important than observing traditional circumcision.

Verse 20 – Let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called.

Paul is saying that when someone becomes a Christian, he or she can continue in their occupation or profession, or stay married, or stay single, if they choose. In other words, you don’t have to quit your job and start preaching or if you are married to an unbeliever, get a divorce. (The profession of course means, that it wasn’t an immoral or unethical job.)

Every job can become Christian work. Because God has placed you where you are, we are to look for opportunities to share the gospel and do good to others.

Verse 21 – Were you called while a slave? Do not be concerned about it; but if you can be made free, rather use it.

Verse 22 – For he who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord’s freedom. Likewise he who is called while free is Christ’s slave.

Verse 23 – You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men.

Verse 24 – Brethren, let each one remain with God in that calling in which he was called.

People today are slaves to sin until they commit to Christ, who alone can conquer sin’s power. Once a Christian, sin and fear no longer have any claim over us. Our freedom is gained through Christ because we were bought with a price – Christ’s blood.

Verse 25 – Now concerning virgins: I have no commandment from the Lord; yet I give judgment as one whom the Lord in His mercy has made trustworthy.

This was one of the questions of which were asked by the Corinthians. Should they give their virgin daughters in marriage. Paul said that he had no commandments from the Lord on this, but only advice.

Verse 26 – I suppose therefore that this is good because of the present distress – that it is good for a man to remain as he is:

Verse 27 – Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed. Are you loosed from a wife? Do not seek a wife.

Paul is not forbidding a man or woman from marrying again after their spouse has died. He’s not talking about a divorce. He’s simply saying that if you find yourself single, it would be better not to remarry because you can devote more of yourself to the Lord.

Verse 28 – But even if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Nevertheless such will have trouble in the flesh, but I would spare you.

Married couples do have more troubles than singles, for instance in their emotions regarding each other. On the other hand, a single person doesn’t answer to anyone except God. Whether married or single, we must learn to be content and keep our focus on Christ.

Verse 29 – But this I say, brethren, the time is short, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they had none,

Yes, people who are married have certain responsibilities, but they are not to entangle the person so much that they don’t have time to do the Lord’s work.

Verse 30 – Those who weep as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess,

Verse 31 – and those who use this world as not missing it. For the form of this world is passing away.

The general idea in all these expressions is, that in whatever situation Christian’s are in , they should be dead to the world, and not let their emotions control them from the passing event.

Verse 32 – But I want you to be without care He who is unmarried cares for things that belong to the Lord – how he may please the Lord.

Verse 33 – But he who is married cares about the things of the world – how he may please his wife.

Verse 34 – There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit. But she who is married cars about things of the world – how she may please her husband.

As a single person, I can study and have all the devotion time I choose. I wouldn’t’ be able to do this commentary if I was married and had children.

Verse 35 – And this I say for your own prophet, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper , and that you may serve the Lord without distraction.

Verse 36 – But if any man thinks he is behaving improperly towards a virgin, if she is past the flower of her youth, and thus it must be, let him do what he wishes; he does not sin; let them marry.

Verse 37 – Nevertheless he who stands steadfast in his heart, having no necessity, but has power over his own will, and has determined in his heart that he will keep his virgin, does well.

Verse 38 – So then he who gives her in marriage does well, but he who does not give her in marriage does better.

Paul is talking about the father of the virgin daughters.

Principles of Remarriage

Verse 39 – A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.

Only in the LOrd – that is to one who is a Christian.

Verse 40 – But she is happier if she remains as she is, according to my judgment – and I think I also have the Spirit of God.

Those are some pretty strict guidelines for being married and being single in the Christian walk. However, what do we actually see within the church in our society today? We see a divorce rate as high among believers as we do among unbelievers. Why do yo think that is? I believe it’s because some have never learned to put others first and to make sacrifices in order to have peace! Husbands don’t treat their wives as Christ treats the church and wives are not devoted to their husbands, because their husbands don’t treat them as they should, so it’s a vicious circle. This shouldn’t be.

 

 

 

 

1 Corinthians – Chapter 6

Concerning Litigation Between Believers

Verse 1 – Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints?

Some Corinthian believers were bringing charges against fellow members before unbelieving Roman judges at Corinth.

Verse 2 – Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge smaller matters?

Verse 3 – Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?

Verse 4 – If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge?

After Paul tells the saints that they will sit in judgment of the world and angels at the end of the age, then why would they sit before unbelieving judges and plead their case, of whom are not qualified?

Verse 5 – I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren?

Verse 6 – But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers!

Verse 7 – Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather let yourselves be defrauded?

Paul is talking about disputes between believers. He asks then, “Why not just be wronged?” Most will not let something go and most lawsuits involve money or revenge. Think about that for a moment. Judges that are not believes do not understand Christian values.

verse 8 – No, you yourself do wrong and defraud, and you do these things to your brethren!

Verse 9 – Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicator’s, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,

Verse 10 – nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

Don’t deceive yourself into thinking any of these practices listed is “ok” with God. These are characteristics of unbelievers! However, many that come to Christ, no longer practice these because they have been born-again. You do not become a Christian and still commit adultery, swindle people out of money, get drunk, and continue in a homosexual relationship! I don’t care what society says, the Bible says those that practice these things will not enter into the kingdom of God!

Verse 11 – And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

Warning Against Sexual Immorality

Verse 12 – All thins are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

Verse 13 – Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.

We cannot commit sin in our body and not damage our souls, because the soul and body are inseparably joined. Be careful of what God has allowed us to enjoy, that it doesn’t grow into a bad habit that controls us.

Verse 14 – And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.

Verse 15 – Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them, members of a harlot? Certainly not!

Verse 16 – Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “The two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.”

Verse 17  – But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

Everything we do and everywhere we go, we as Christians are one with Christ. That statement ought to stop some from doing what they know is wrong and against God’s word. If it doesn’t, then maybe they are not one with Christ.

Verse 18 – Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.

Paul is not just talking about people being with prostitutes. This concerns sex outside of marriage – fornication. If you call yourself a Christian, we are not supposed to be living with the opposite sex without a marriage license – no exceptions.

Verse 19 – Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

Verse 20 – For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

As Christians, we belong to Christ. We are not free to live anyway we desire. From the moment we are saved, we take the Holy Spirit everywhere we go, so don’t make Him go where God forbids!