04 February 2017

Stone 40 - 1 Corinthians

In this post we will take a look at the first of two letters that Paul wrote to the Corinthians. Let's see what kind of message was in that letter.

At the beginning of the letter, Paul addresses the division within the church. Turns out that the people of Corinth were forming loyalties, if you would, to different leaders (1Cor 1:12). Paul urged that there should not be this type of division within the church since Jesus is the one they should follow as opposed to the church leaders.

Paul then moves into addressing some matters of sexual immorality. It would appear that relations were taking place between a man and his stepmother (1Cor 5:1) eww. To compound the issue, it appears that they are even proud of this (1Cor 5:2).

Paul then writes in 1Cor 5:12 "What is it for me to judge outsiders? Do you not judge those who are inside?"
**It seems reasonable to me that this is a way of saying that we ought to judge those who are in Christ as a means of helping them get back on track. However, for those who do not know Christ, we ought not do that. I believe the idea is that, as non-Christians, they are not bound by Christian rules so to speak. Our focus then should be to lead them to the cross that they might discover Christ and accept His gift.

Paul then gets after the Corinthians for going to court with each other all the time rather than taking care of matters within the church (1Cor 6:5-6).

**1Cor 6:12 states that everything is permissible but not everything is helpful. It also makes a claim about not being brought under the control of anything. Addictive behaviors. The text goes on to say that the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord.

Next, we move into some discussion about food. There has often been controversy over the types of food that Christians should or should not eat - bacon being a hot contender. The idea that is presented here is that all of it is OK - however - if the food has been offered up to some other god - it should not be consumed by the Christian. If eating the food should cause my brother to fall, I should not eat it (1Cor 8:13)- otherwise it is fine to do so.

The words of 1 Corinthians 9:24 ask if we know that all the runners in a stadium all race but only one receive the prize and then encourage us to run in such a way that we might win. Paul makes a connection here with our following of Christ. We should live it in such a way that we excel, or as Paul puts it, he "does not run aimlessly or box like one who beats the air." He performs as one with purpose.

**I find it interesting that the words from 1Cor 6:12 are repeated in 10:23 - Everything is permissible but not everything is helpful. We are encouraged to seek the building up of the other person. We also go back to the whole meat idea here as well with verse 25 stating rather clearly that we can eat everything that is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience sake. Verse 31 then tells us that whether we eat or drink or whatever we do, we should do it to the glory of the Lord.

Moving forward to chapter 13. This is probably one of the more well known passages of the New Testament. The Love Chapter. We have very likely heard these words spoken at multiple weddings. You know the words... "Love is patient, love is kind..." Love is the greatest of the gifts. God is Love. He is the embodiment of all these attributes assigned to love in this chapter. I was reminded of a song (surely one of many) that is built around this passage - Love by Petra - here is a link to it.

Love must be viewed in light of the gospel message, otherwise the original intended meaning is distorted to become what each individual thinks that love is.

Then we come to the issue of the resurrection. Some were still against this idea of a resurrection. However, we need to recognize that all of Christianity rests on the resurrection of Jesus. 1Cor 15:17 speaks plainly in stating that our faith is worthless without the resurrection. The beauty of this sort of thing is that the death and resurrection of Christ on the cross is a historical event that can be investigated. It is a truth claim that can be validated. I encourage each and every one of you to investigate for yourselves and determine if it really is reasonable to believe that Christ died and rose again.

As per usual, I will close this by sharing the video from our friends at the Bible Project.

Until next time.

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