1 Corinthians 15:1-11 Not in Vain

Our sin isn’t left wandering. It is washed away!

Paul is summing up the gospel in this chapter. The portion we are focusing on today puts forth the foundational basics. When the believer holds onto these cornerstones he has surety.

The two most basic and required parts of the Christian foundation are: 1) Christ died for our sins; and 2) He was raised again on the third day. Without these two pieces everything else falls apart. There is a lot more that is built on these two facts but these two alone are required for believer. Read more »

1 Corinthians 14:26-40 All Things In Order

There is order and then there is rigidity. Strive for balance.

Paul is continuing on the matter of spiritual gifts. In our reading today he is setting out an order or framework for the service. He is putting forth God’s commands for orderly worship.

Ok. Before we get going too far I’m going to come out and say that I believe the bible was for yesterday, today and forever. God’s word doesn’t change. But our customs do. Things that people in Paul’s day thought “shameful” are not considered shameful now. Case in point is women speaking in church.

Another issue I have with the command for women to keep silent in churches is that previously Paul was talking about women prophesying. He didn’t tell them to stop but to cover their heads if they were married. So what circumstances is Paul speaking to when he says for women to keep silent? Is it only married women? The single woman wouldn’t have a husband to ask but would instead ask her father, in Paul’s society. My bible helps suggest that Paul’s command was possibly made concerning judging prophecy. I could see that interpretation, but still we come back to the cultural changes. How does that apply today? Read more »

1 Corinthians 14:1-25 To Build Up

A gift form the Holy Spirit

Paul continues to call for love from the Corinthian church. He also encourages them to seek one specific spiritual gift because that gift builds up the body. It leaves no one out and all benefit by its use. I think it may be his favorite spiritual gift.

The spiritual gift Paul values most is the gift of prophecy. Or maybe he simply values it most in the church service. It is also possible that he is highlighting this gift because the gift of tongues was being overused in the church without the gift of prophecy accompanying it and he is trying to restore order. Read more »

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 A More Excellent Way

If you were to take a picture of Jesus, this would be it

Paul has been dealing with the Corinthian church’s divisions and attitudes of superiority. They were divided over spiritual gifts and offices. Paul reminds them that those things ALL come from the same Spirit. He commands them to use what they have been given to the betterment of the whole body but also tells them to “earnestly desire the higher gifts.” Paul’s final words in our last reading though set to scene for today; “And I will show you a still more excellent way” (chapter 12, verse 31b).

Far more lasting than spiritual gifts; more beneficial than offices of service, enduring longer than even faith and hope, is love. That is the more excellent way Paul wants to show this group, and us.

Practicing true love with one another would have cured ALL this church’s issues. Because of love for their brother, they would have willingly set aside their “freedoms.” Due to love for their sister, they would never have put her down for not having the “best” spiritual gift or right work of service. Out of love for each other, they would have worked together for the benefit of everyone in the body. No backbiting. No elevating oneself by putting others down. And out of true love for their brother, they would have dealt with the egregious sin that had come into the body. Read more »

1 Corinthians 12:12-31 His Body Parts

Glad to be a member in His body

Paul is continuing to addresses the Corinthian church’s superiority attitude. He started this answer in our last reading by focusing on the fact that ALL of us were brought into Christ by the same Spirit, and that ALL of the gifts given to the church were given by the same Spirit. Today he puts this concept into physical terms; the body of Christ.

The church was divided over which gifts and which offices were most important. They were looking for a pyramid structure with one group being on the top. Of course everyone thought their gifting or office should occupy that top placement. In this model those on the upper levels stand on the shoulders of those under them. Resources pass up to strengthen the top but nothing flows back down to shore up the base. Read more »