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 »

1 Corinthians 12:1-11 One and the Same Spirit

To: My child; Love: God

Paul focuses his attention on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. His emphasis is that ALL the gifts come from the Holy Spirit for the good of all and HE chooses what to give to each one of us.

The church in Corinth had a lot of spiritual gifts working within it. My bible study helps concludes that this was one of the questions addressed to Paul in the Corinthian’s letter that he was responding to. The church was dividing itself along spiritual gifting lines and valuing some over others. They also appear to be wondering which were real.

Paul gives them a quick litmus test. If the person who is supposed to be speaking in the Spirit derides Jesus, they are a FALSE speaker. The Spirit NEVER speaks against Jesus and His Lordship. The person speaking for Jesus through the Spirit belongs to Him. No one can pray in the Spirit, in tongues, anything that is contrary to God’s will. Read more »

1 Corinthians 11:17-34 Communion Commandments

Paul firmly addresses his readers in today’s section. He has heard of how they have been treating each other in regards to the Lord’s Supper, communion. Their actions and attitudes have brought about judgement.

For those of us who have been raised in the church this may be one of our most familiar passages. Verses 23—26 are the standard communion reading. It is the beautiful reminder of Jesus’ work on the cross for us. Read more »

1 Corinthians 11:2-16 Under Cover of Authority

I’d rather be under His authority than my own!

Paul’s message to us today concerns a physical expression of spiritual authority. His teachings here fly in the face of our 21st century “liberation” attitude, BUT they still represent God’s desires for us eternally. Let’s see how we can apply Paul’s meaning even if we don’t still display his practices in dress.

The first thing Paul says in today’s reading is a commendation to the church in Corinth. They “maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you” (verse 2b). He has modeled these traditions for and spoken of them to the church when he was with them initially. These were NOT commandments from God on how men and women should dress for all eternity. Instead they were a representation of a spiritual concept that does stand the test of time and comes directly from God. Read more »

1 Corinthians 10:23-1:1 All to the Glory of God

I will follow Him and those who follow His example

Our reading today finishes Paul’s instructions on food sacrificed to idols. His main focus though is not the food but the attitude of the one eating. Is what you are doing bringing glory to God? If not, then stop. If so, then continue.

The last verse in our reading gives the most practical example possible; “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (verse 11:1). WWJD. What would Jesus do in this situation or that situation? That is what Paul strives to ask himself then do. Now he asks his readers to do the same.

So what is it he is wanting his readers to imitate him in? It is in putting others’ needs and spiritual growth above our wants and “freedoms.” If what I’m about to do will offend my brother or cause him to stumble, regardless if I believe it to not be a sin, I will not do it. Read more »