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?

 

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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!

 

1 Corinthians – Chapter 5

Verse 1 – It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles – that a man has his father’s wife!

Not even the pagans practiced this sexual immorality – sleeping with the mother or step-mother. Evidently, the church in Corinth had ignored this situation so far as, now the rumors had spread far enough for Paul to hear.

Verse 2 – And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you.

Verse 3 – For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged, as though I were present, concerning him who has done this deed.

Verse 4 – In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Verse 5 – deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

What this man had done or was doing, was no small offense. They were to cast him out from the believers. There was no church board meeting set up to decide what to do. This act of putting him out of the church was done in hope that he would repent.

Verse 6 – Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?

If no discipline ever takes place within the church body to someone who flagrantly is sinning, then people will think they can do the same without consequences.

Verse 7 – Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lumps, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.

verse 8 – Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, not with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Leaven is often referred to as sin in Scripture. Christ is recognized as our Passover because He delivered us from death, the penalty of sin. They were to purge all malice and wickedness from their own household, as should we.

Separate Yourselves from Immoral Believers

Verse 9 – I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexual immoral people:

Verse 10 – Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.

They had not been forbidden to mix socially with non believers. He meant not to mix with believers inside the body who behaved like outsiders.

Verse 11 – But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolaters, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner – not even to eat with such a person.

Do you take seriously what Paul is saying about associating with people within the body of believers that live anyway they seem fit? What about the one’s you know that live together without being married? Do we conduct our lives according to what Paul has said? If not, why not? Is it harsh? Yes, but we are to be a separate people that the world sees as belonging to God. Sex outside of marriage is called fornication, and God forbids it. There are no exceptions.

Verse 12 – For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside?

Verse 13 – But those who are outside God judges. Therefore put away from yourselves that wicked person.

These verses are instructions for dealing with sin inside the church with a person who claims to be a Christian, and yet who sins without repentance. The church is to correct and discipline such a person in love.

 

1 Corinthians – Chapter 4

Verse 1 – Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.

Verse 2 – Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.

Verse 3 – But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself.

A minister, like a steward, is devoted to his master’s service and should be faithful to that trust, and not abuse or violate it. A minister is appointed by Christ, answers to Him, because of the welfare of the kingdom has been committed in his care. God only is the infallible judge; and as we and others are liable to be biased in our own opinions, from envy, ignorance, or self-love, we should regard the judgment of the world as of little value.

Verse 4 – For I know nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord.

Verse 5 – Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts; and then each one’s praise will come from God.

Paul’s warning to the Corinthian church should also be a warning to us. We are all guilty of this. We judge fellow Christians as to whether they are serving God or not; we criticize other pastors because we don’t really think they were called by God. God is the only One qualified to judge the intentions of the heart, so we need to repent and stop doing this. I’m as guilty of this than anyone is. I do not answer for another, only me.

Misunderstanding of Paul’s Ministry

Verse 6 – Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sake’s, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other.

Verse 7 – For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you glory as if you had not received it?

Paul offered a rhetorical response to those who were claiming superiority in the Corinthian church. He who receives a gift by grace has no grounds for boasting.

Verse 8 – You are already full! You are already rich! You have reigned as kings without us – and indeed I could wish you did reign, that we also might reign with you!

This is for all the nay-sayers who say we are not destined to reign – 1 Timothy 2:12 – If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. We as believers are destined to reign with our Lord and Savior, if we endure to the end.

Verse 9 – For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.

Do you believe that a higher calling will bring larger trials? Paul did. Paul says it seems that God had designed that we, the apostles, should be subject to contempt and suffering; and be made poor and persecuted, while other believers lived joyfully and privileged. If you’ve read anything concerning the apostles lives, you know they suffered persecution unto death for our sake’s.

Verse 10 – We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored.

Verse 11 – Even to the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless.

Not a description of the pastors today. Do I believe a pastor is to be “dirt poor”? No, however, when they live in mega houses and the congregation is going hungry or without shelter, it’s wrong. You don’t preach the gospel to become rich. But like Paul says, “Let the Lord judge.”

Verse 12 – And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless, being persecuted, we endure it;

Verse 13 – being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the off-souring of all things until now.

Verse 14 – I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you.

Verse 15 – For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.

Verse 16 – Therefore I urge you to imitate me.

Verse 17 – For this reason I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church.

Verse 18 – Now some are puffed up, as though I were not coming to you.

Verse 19 – But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills, and I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power.

Verse 20 – For the kingdom of God is not in word by in power.

Verse 21 – What do you want? Shall I come to you with rod, or in love a spirit of gentleness?

If the Corinthians church ignored Paul’s rebuke and admonition, they would receive the rod of chastisement upon his arrival. If they repented, he would come with love and gentleness. Why don’t we repent when we know we are rebelling and sinning before we get chastised? Because we are stubborn human beings.

 

1 Corinthians – Chapter 3

Verse 1 – And I brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ.

Paul is telling the people at this particular church, that it was evident that contentions and strife’s were there and that meant that they were under the influence of carnal feelings and views. They needed to “grow-up!” Have you ever been around Christians that were constantly causing strife everywhere they went? I have, and it makes you want to avoid them.

Here’s the characteristics of a carnal person: hatred, wrath, strife, envy, division, quarreling, and jealousy. They have not renewed their minds with God’s Word, so they stay in the flesh when it comes to “not getting their way!” But if you will remember what Paul said about a carnal person in the Book of Romans, the person should seriously check their salvation. They are Christians in name only.

Verse 2 – I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able;

Verse 3 – for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?

The word “walk” is used often in Scripture in the sense of “conduct” or “act.” Instead of being filled with love, and being united and harmonious as the members of the same family ought to be, they were split up into factions as the people of the world are.

Why do you suppose people that  call themselves Christians still act this way? I believe first of all because they refuse to read God’s word on their own, and learn how they are supposed to act with that title – Christian. The second biggest reason is that they are just plain selfish and self-centered. Everything is still about them and their feelings.

Verse 4 – For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal?

Verse 5 – Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believe, as the Lord gave to each one?

Verse 6 – I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.

Ministers of the gospel are servants under the commandments of God. Paul and Apollos were mere instruments by whom God conveyed all blessings to the Corinthians.

Verse 7 – So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.

In other words: The efforts of ministers would be of no avail without God. They could do nothing in the salvation of souls without God giving the increase. But their labors are as indispensable and as necessary, as are those of the farmer in the production of a harvest.

Verse 8 – Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.

Verse 9 – For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.

God’s work involves many different individuals with a variety of gifts and abilities. The platform we stand on is to bring glory to Christ , not praises from others for ourselves.

Verse 10 – According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.

Verse 11 – For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

The foundation of a church is its doctrine on which it is established; those truths which lie at the base of their hopes, by embracing which they have been converted to God. The reason why no true church can be established without embracing the truth as it is in Christ is, that it is by Him only that people can be saved.

Verse 12 – Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,

Verse 13 – each one’s work will become manifest; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.

What every person has built on this foundation will be seen and judged on Judgment Day. Our works will be judged with fire, and that means the motive behind doing what we do.

Verse 14 – If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.

Verse 15 – If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

If a true minister taught and preached what is faithful to the doctrine of truth of Christianity, with right views and sincerity, their works will be rewarded. However, those who have built their own ministries on top of this foundation with intentions to prosper only themselves, teaching in error, their works will be burned up as wood when set to a flame.

Verse 16 – Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

Verse 17 – If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.

Paul gives a stern warning for those who corrupt the church. Anyone who destroys or ruins, with corrupt doctrine, will be destroyed by God. Any church leader who willing neglects the true gospel of Christ is in fear of judgment.

Verse 18 – Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.

Verse 19 – For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness,”

Verse 20 – and again, “The LORD knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.”

Paul was simply saying that if worldly wisdom and reasoning holds any Christian back from following God’s wisdom, God will count it as foolishness. Keep in mind that the Corinthians were using worldly wisdom to evaluate the leaders and teachers. Their pride made them value the presentation of the message more that the content of the message.

Verse 21 – Therefore let no one glory in men. For all things are yours;

Verse 22 – whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas (Peter), or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come – all are yours.

Verse 23 – And you are Christ’s and Christ is God’s.

While non-believers are victims of life swept along by its current and wondering the meaning to it, believers understand the true meaning of life and in death an eternity with Christ.