2 Corinthians – Chapter 4

Christ is the Theme of Ministry

Verse 1 – Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart.

Verse 2 – But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

When we tell others about Christ be sure not to distort the message to please your audience.

Verse 3 – But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,

This does not mean that the gospel message is intentionally hidden from some. It means there are those who hear the gospel and don’t see the beauty in the message and count it as foolishness. If they don’t unhardened their hearts they will perish.

Verse 4 – whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

Verse 5 – For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus sake.

Verse 6 – For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Light given by God, results in human response to gospel knowledge, which in turn results in glory of Christ – God’s glory.

Verse 7 – But we have the treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.

The valuable message of salvation in Christ has been entrusted by God to frail and fallible human beings. Though we are weak, God uses us to spread His Good News, and He gives us power to do His work.

Trials Abound in the Ministry

Verse 8 – We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

Verse 9 – persecuted, but not forsaken’ struck down, but not destroyed –

Verse 10 – always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.

Paul reminds the Corinthians of the trials and persecutions they went through in order to bring the gospel to them. However, after each description he says they were not crushed, were not in despair, not forsaken, and not destroyed. Because Jesus was persecuted, crucified, died, and rose again, so would they!

Verse 11 – For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

Verse 12 – So then death is working in us, but life in you.

Paul and many of the other apostles would end up giving their lives for the gospel, and they knew it.

Verse 13 – But since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believed and therefore spoke,

Verse 14 – knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you.

Psalm 116:10 is quoted here. David believed and therefore spoke confidence in God when he prayed. Do you? The confidence comes when we have faith because we believe. We believe in Christ who is willing and able to do all we could ever hope for. When you declare something, you speak it “out loud.” We let all the words loose in the atmosphere and watch things change. You let the enemy of God know that you know God is able!

Verse 15 – For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.

All the things the apostles went through was designed to promote their salvation, and ours too. Grace will abound because of the great sacrifices these apostles made. If we are thankful and grateful for the mercy and grace that God has given, then we need to act like it, by treating others like Christ treats us!

Verse 16 – Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.

The apostle Paul’s life is a great example why we Christians never, ever, should give up hope.

Verse 17 – For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,

Verse 18 – while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

The trials and hardships that we go through are only temporary. They may seem like they last longer than we think they should, but nothing compares to an eternity with Christ! It will all be worth it in the end.

 

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2 Corinthians – Chapter 3

Changed Lives Prove Ministry

Verse 1 – Do we begin again to commend ourselves? Or do we need, as some others, epistles of commendation to you or letters of commendation from you?

The false teachers at Corinth had been originally introduced there, by recommendatory letters from abroad. These were letters of introduction and were common among Greeks, Romans, and the Jews. Paul was asking did he need to send letters introducing himself when they already knew him.

Verse 2 – You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by men;

Verse 3 – you are manifestly an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.

The spiritual transformation of the Corinthians were endorsement enough for Paul. Literal letters, written with ink on paper or even on stone tablets, could not compare with changed lives.

Verse 4 – And we have such trust through Christ toward God.

Verse 5 – Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God,

Verse 6 – who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Trying to keep the Old Testament laws to be approved by God will end in death. No one could or can keep the law perfectly, except Christ. Only by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ can a person receive eternal life through the Holy Spirit. The law made people realize their sin, but could not give a pardon. However, the spirit gives new life to all those who believe in Jesus Christ.

Verse 7 – But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away,

Verse 8 – how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious?

The sacrifice of Jesus Christ is far superior to the Old Testament system of sacrifice.

Verse 9 – For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more glory.

Verse 10 – For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels.

Verse 11 – For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious.

Verse 12 – Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech –

Verse 13 – unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away.

Paul concluded that the main purpose of Moses’ veil was to prevent the Israelites from observing the fading of the old-covenant glory. The law was never designed to be permanent.

Verse 14 – But their minds were hardened. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ.

Paul implies that even the first-century Jews who had not believed the gospel were unable to recognize the fading temporary nature of the old covenant even when the Scripture was read.

Verse 15 – But even to this day , when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart.

Paul is talking about a spiritual impairment. One of the great difficulties Jews have had historically in coming to Jesus as Messiah, is to acknowledge that He has surpassed the fading old-covenant.

Verse 16 – Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.

Verse 17 – Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

Those who were trying to be saved by keeping the Old Testament law were soon caught up in rules and ceremonies. But now through the Holy Spirit, God provides freedom from sin and condemnation (Romans 8:11).

Verse 18 – But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as the Spirit of the Lord.

The glory that the Spirit imparts to the believer is more excellent and lasts longer than the glory that Moses experienced. Through the gospel, we see the truth about Christ, and it transforms us morally as we understand and apply it. Becoming Christlike is a progressive experience. The more closely we follow Christ and His teachings, the more we will be like Him.

 

2 Corinthians – Chapter 2

Verse 1 – But I determined this within myself, that I would not come again to you in sorrow.

Verse 2 – For if I make you sorrowful, then who is he who makes me glad but the one who is made sorrowful by me?

Paul had already made one trip to Corinth that had grieved him. He had to correct them in their division over his authority.

Verse 3 – And I wrote this very thing to you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow over those from whom I ought to have joy, having confidence in you all.

Verse 4 – For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you, with many tears, not that you should be grieved, but that you might know the love which I have so abundantly for you.

Paul’s Appeal to Forgive

Verse 5 – But if anyone has caused grief, he has not grieved me, but all of you to some extent-not to be too severe.

Verse 6 – This punishment which was inflicted by the majority is sufficient for such a man,

Verse 7 – so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow.

The man that was in the church with his father’s wife, had suffered enough punishment. It was time to restore him. The punishment had accomplished what was intended, He had been humbled and repented.

After this punishment of putting this man out of the church, they needed to forgive him and allow him back into their fellowship.

Verse 8 – Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him.

Verse 9 – For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things.

Verse 10 – Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ,

Verse 11 – lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.

The whole point of church discipline is to correct lovingly and restore that person to fellowship. But when it’s done out of personal anger or hostility, it can cause the person being disciplined to become bitter and leave the church entirely.

Verse 12 – Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened to me by the Lord,

Verse 13 – I had no rest in my spirit, because I did not find Titus my brother, but taking my leave of them, I departed to Macedonia.

Titus was one of the men responsible for collecting the money for Jerusalem., but on Paul’s way to Macedonia, he hoped to meet up with Titus in Troas. When Paul didn’t find Titus in Troas, he worried something had happened to him and went on to Macedonia. Paul found Titus there and sent this letter to Corinth by him.

Christ Causes Us to Triumph

Verse 14 – Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.

In the middle of telling them about his trip to Macedonia, Paul thanks God for his ministry and his relationship with the believers in Corinth, despite difficulties.

Verse 15 – For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.

Like a sweet fragrance, the laborers were acceptable to God.

Verse 16 – To the one we are the aroma of death to death, and to the other the aroma of life to life. And who is sufficient for these things?

Verse 17 – For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.

Those who peddle the word of God, were the false apostles in Corinth, whose motive was primarily financial prosperity. Accountability for the message of Christ lays with the One who was the source of the message. If the messenger is truly called by Christ, there will be evidence and results of the lost being truly saved!

 

2 Corinthians – Chapter 1

Introduction: The main theme of 2 Corinthians is Paul’s defense of his apostolic credentials and authority. Certain false apostles had mounted an effective campaign against Paul in the church at Corinth and Paul was forced to take a number of steps to overcome the opposition. Of all Paul’s letters, none is more personally revealing of his heart than 2 Corinthians.

Chapter 1

Paul’s Thanksgiving to God

Verse 1 – Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in all Achaia.

Paul wrote several letters to the Corinthian church, and the first letter was lost. The second letter was 1 Corinthians, the third letter was 2 Corinthians. In 1 Corinthians, Paul wrote to deal with divisions in the church, which were not dissolved, so he went there. He then planed to visit a third time, but delayed it and wrote 2 Corinthians.

Verse 2 – Grace to you and peace from God our Father and Lord Jesus Christ.

Verse 3 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,

Verse 4 – who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

Believers are to be channels in which mercies and blessings are passed on to others. We are a conduit.

Verse 5 – For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us so our consolation also abounds through Christ.

Do you remember when Christ appeared to Paul the first time, and He asked him why he was persecuting Him. That showed that when Paul was persecuting believers, Christ also suffered.

verse 6 – Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same suffering which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.

Verse 7 – And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation.

Paul and his companions suffered many things in order to bring the gospel and salvation to the Corinthians, but they were comforted by God, just as the Corinthians would be comforted when they suffered.

Paul’s Trouble in Asia

Verse 8 – For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life.

Paul was almost killed in Lystra, but made a miraculous recovery. This could also have been when Demetrius and his friends, mentioned in Acts 19, and Paul was compelled to leave the city.

Verse 9 – Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead,

Verse 10 – who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us in whom we trust that He will still deliver us,

Verse 11 – you also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the gift granted to us through many.

Satan will always challenge those who are making an impact on God’s kingdom. That is why we need the prayers of others. We cannot do the things we are called to do in our own strength.

Paul’s Original Plan

Verse 12 – For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you.

Verse 13 – For we are not writing any other things to you than what you read or understand. Now I trust you will understand, even to the end.

Sincerity and purity are possible only by grace. This letter of 2 Corinthians is a reminder that the Spirit inspired authors of Scripture intended to write what average believers could understand.

Verse 14 – (as also you have understood us in part), that we are your boast as you also are ours, in the day of the Lord Jesus.

Verse 15 – And in this confidence I intended to come to you before, that you might have a second benefit –

Verse 16 – to pass by way of you to Macedonia, to come again from Macedonia to you, and be helped by you on my way to Judea.

Verse 17 – Therefore, when I was planning this, did I do it lightly? Or the things I plan, do I plan according to the flesh, that with me there should be Yes, Yes, and No, No?

Verse 18 – But as God is faithful, our word to you was not Yes and No.

verse 19 – For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us – by me, Silvanus, and Timothy – was not Yes and Noe, but in Him was Yes.

All of God’s promises are Yes, meaning they are always true, faithful, and do come to pass! Paul wanted to be as faithful in his ministry as Christ was in His.

Verse 20 – For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the gory of God through us.

Everyone of God’s promises in Scripture is fulfilled directly or indirectly in Christ. Amen means “so be it” or “this is true!” God’s glory is displayed in Christ as well as believer’s confession of Him!

Verse 21 – Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us in God,

verse 22 – who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a deposit.

Paul’s change of Plans

Verse 23 – Moreover I call God as witness against my soul, that to spare you I came no more to Corinth.

Verse 24 – Not that we have dominion over your faith, but are fellow workers for your joy; for by faith you stand.

By calling on God, Paul says he is telling the truth.

 

 

 

 

 

1 Corinthians – Chapter 16

Verse 1 – Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also;

Verse 2 – On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.

Verse 3 – And when I come, whomever you approve by your letters I will send to bear your gift to Jerusalem.

Verse 4 – But if it is fitting that I go also, they will go with me.

The Jews in Jerusalem were suffering poverty and famine. The church in Galatia had been making collections for them, now Paul wanted Corinth to do the same.

The money that is collected within the church walls is not to stay there. It is to help those in need within the church and go out into the community to help there also.

Verse 5 – Now I will come to you when I pass through Macedonia (for I am passing through Macedonia).

Verse 6 – But it may be that I will remain, or even spend the winter with you, that you may send me on my journey, wherever I go.

verse 7 – For I do not wish to see you now on the way, but I hope to stay a while with you, if the Lord permits.

Something had happened to change Paul’s mind about going to Corinth right away. So, on his return from Macedonia, he would stop there and stay awhile.

Verse 8 – But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost.

Verse 9 – For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.

Paul counted adversaries, those who opposed the gospel, as a great opportunity in Ephesus. Most think that when they are opposed, it’s time to move on, not Paul.

Verse 10 – Now if Timothy comes, see that he may be with you without fear; for he does the work of the Lord, as I also do.

Verse 11 – Therefore let no one despise him. But send him on his journey in peace, that he may come to me; for I am waiting for him with the brethren.

Verse 12 – Now concerning our brother Apollos, I strongly urged him to come to you with the brethren, but he was quite unwilling to come at this time; however, he will come when he has a convenient time.

Verse 13 – Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.

Verse 14 – Let all that you do be done with love.

Verse 15 – I urge you, brethren – you know the household of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the ministry of the saints –

Verse 16 – that you also submit to such, and to everyone who works and labors with us.

Verse 17 – I am glad about the coming of Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus, for what was lacking on your part they supplied.

These three had showed up with supplies for Paul’s journey.

Verse 18 – For they refreshed my spirit and yours; therefore acknowledge such men.

Verse 19 – The churches of Asia greet you Aquila and Priscilla great are you heartily in the Lord , with the church that is in their house.

Think about this for a minute: Most of the churches were in people’s homes. People were close and were taught the Scriptures. When they were ready, those that had been taught moved on and they started preaching in their homes and son on. By meeting in people’s homes, they were able to find out which people were in need. It might have bee a good thing if the gospel had continued to spread this way, because you can go to a mega church for years and only get to know a few people. So much money is needed for salaries and the up-keep of the buildings, that most of the money stays within the walls of the church.

verse 20 – All the brethren greet you. Greet one another with a holy kiss.

Verse 21 – The salutation with my own hand – Paul.

Verse 22 – If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. O Lord, come!

Verse 23 – The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Verse 24 – My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Paul taught and corrected false doctrine and superstitions that had crept into the church at Corinth. The gospel never changes. It is the same down through the ages. When the true gospel is preached lives will be transformed!

1 Corinthians – chapter 15

Verse 1 – Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand,

Verse 2 – by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you – unless you believed in vain.

Sometimes it’s good to remind Christians the truth, by which they were converted when they stray from sound doctrine. This is what Paul was doing.

Verse 3 – For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.

Verse 4 – And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,

Verse 5 – and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.

Verse 6 – After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.

Scripture describes “saints” when they die, as falling asleep, because it’s as if we go to sleep with the hope of resurrection expectation.

Verse 7 – After that He was seen by James, then by the apostles.

Verse 8 – Then last of all He was seen by me also, as one born out of due time.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a historic fact. Paul’s most important credential to be an apostle was that he had seen the risen Christ. “Out of due time” means that the others saw Christ in the flesh, but Paul was in the next generation of believers – yet Christ appeared to him.

Verse 9 – For I am the lest of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

Verse 10 – But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

True humility is not convincing yourself that you are worthless, but recognizing God’s work in you. Paul was not boasting about working harder than the others. He worked harder because he had been a Pharisee and was persecuted more than the other apostles, thus he had to work harder to preach the same message.

Verse 11 – Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

Importance of Christ’s Resurrection

Verse 12 – Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?

Most of the Greeks did not believe that people’s bodies would be resurrected from the dead. They saw the afterlife as something that happened only to the soul. According to Greek philosophers, the soul was the real person, imprisoned in a physical body, and at death the soul was released. There was no immortality for the body, but the soul entered an eternal state.

Christianity by contrast, affirms that the body and soul will be united after the resurrection. The church at Corinth was in the heart of Greek culture. Paul wrote this letter to them to clear up any confusion concerning the resurrection.

verse 13 – But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen.

Verse 14 – And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is vain and your faith is also vain.

Verse 15 – Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up – if in fact the dead do not rise.

Verse 16 – For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen.

Verse 17 – And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!

Verse 18 – Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.

Verse 19 – If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.

Paul is telling those who don’t believe that Christ had risen, that it would be futile then to think anyone would be raised after death. It also would be futile to believe that their sins were washed away. The entire gospel would be useless if not for Christ’s resurrection. Because He lives, we live; because He was raised from the dead, we shall be raised.

Order of the Resurrection

Verse 20 – But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

Verse 21 – For since by man came death, by man also came the resurrection of the dead.

By Adam’s transgression all people die. so, it was only proper that freedom from death should come in the same way, by man – Jesus Christ.

Verse 22 – For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.

Verse 23 – But each one in his own order; Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.

Paul only mentions the Christians here raising from the dead at the time of Christ’s coming because that’s whom he was talking to. At the Lord’s coming, when He judges the world, He will gather His people unto Himself.

Verse 24 – Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.

Verse 25 – For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.

Verse 26 – The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.

Verse 27 – For “He has put all things under His feet.” But when He says “all things are put under Him,” it is evident that He who put all things under Him is expected.

Verse 28 – Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.

Verse 29 – Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then are they baptized for the dead?

Perhaps there were some in the Corinthian church who were baptizing others in the place of those believers who had died and not been baptized. Nowhere in Scripture does it say to do this for the dead. Paul simply pointed out that it was meaningless for the Corinthians to enact such a practice if they didn’t believe in the resurrection of the dead.

Verse 30 – And why do we stand in jeopardy every hour?

If there is no resurrection, Paul asks, then why were the apostles constantly putting themselves in danger to preach the gospel/ We would not do it unless we had this truth of the resurrection; unless we had evidence which convinced our own minds that here would be life after this death.

Verse 31 – I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have n Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

Daily Paul was persecuted, he suffered many trials to preach the gospel.

Verse 32 – If, in the manner of men, I have fought with beast at Ephesus, what advantage is it to me? If the dead do not rise, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”

If Christ did not rise from he dead, then there is no hope for mankind. Why then should we not just live every day like there’s no tomorrow?

Verse 33 – Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”

Keeping company with those who do not believe in Christ’s resurrection could convince some believers that it wasn’t true. We shouldn’t be so close to the lost that it causes our faith to waver.

Verse 34 – Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.

Awake from stupidity on this subject of resurrection; awake to a holy life; to sound doctrine. Don’t listen to those who will lead you in error of the Scriptures.

Bodies of the Resurrected Dead

Verse 35 – But someone will say, “How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?”

Verse 36 – Foolish one, what you saw is not made alive unless it dies.

A seed is planted n the ground, covered with dirt, buried, and when it is nourished, begins to grow and looks very different from when it was planted. Our risen bodies will be very different from the ones that died while on this earth.

Verse 37 – And what you sow, you do not sow that body that shall be, but mere grain – perhaps wheat or some other grain.

Verse 38 – But God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body.

The seed doesn’t produce what it wants. Each seed is designed by our wise Creator. There is nothing in the decaying kernel itself that would produce the result, but God chose that it should be. This is the same with our bodies in the resurrection.

Verse 39 – All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fish, and another of birds.

Verse 40 – There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.

Celestial bodies – the planets; the stars; the host of heaven. Terrestrial bodies – human beings, birds, beasts, etc.

Verse 41 – There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.

Verse 42 – So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption.

Our present bodies are subject to decay. We all have to die and it ain’t pretty. However, our resurrected bodies will live throughout all eternity and never die!

Verse 43 – It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.

Our dead bodies are rushed away, out of sight, to either be buried in the ground or cremated. Our resurrected bodies are raised in glory, in honor in beauty, raised in power against weakness and sickness, never to decay.

Verse 44 – It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

Verse 45 – And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

Verse 46 – However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.

The decaying, the weak, the corruptible, in order, was first. Christ came in human flesh, but His body saw no corruption and then raised to a spiritual body. And  so we will be on that glorious day when Christ calls us home!

Verse 47 – The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven.

Verse 48 – As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as it is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are made heavenly.

Verse 49 – And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.

Verse 50 – Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God;’ nor does corruption inherit incorruption.

Flesh and blood, the natural, cannot inherit God’s kingdom. We have to be transformed to have incorruptible spiritual bodies.

Verse 51 – Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed –

Verse 52 – in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Christian’s that are alive when the trumpet sounds, will be transformed as fast as one can blink. Those who have died will also be changed in an instant.

Verse 53 – For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

Verse 54 – So when the corruptible has put on the incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written; “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

Verse 55 – O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?”

Verse 56 – The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.

Verse 57 – But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Verse 58 – Therefore, my beloved brethren be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

Have you ever heard a Christian say, “Well I hope I make it to heaven?” Why wouldn’t they know where they are headed after this life? It’s either because they have been taught in error, or they are simply too lazy to read it themselves.

 

 

 

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.