1 Corinthians 16:12-18 Done In Love

The starting place for all God’s plans

This is Paul’s final instructions to the Corinthian church, for now. He also gives special instructions for honoring some of the founding fathers of this group.

“Let all that you do be done in love” (verse 14) encompasses everything that Paul spoke of in this letter. It also stands sentinel to the command he wrote just before it. “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong” (verse 13).

Paul wants this group to be watchful to prevent sin from sneaking back into the body. But confront those who have fallen in love.

Stand firm in the teachings that you have received. Keep the foundational truths pure. But bring the new believers along in love. Don’t force them to mature to your standards. Let the Holy Spirit take the lead.

Act like men. Take responsibility for your own actions. Be the head of your household and remain under God’s leadership. Be willing to listen to correction. Respond with love instead of blame or excuses. Love your family as Jesus loves the church.

Be strong. There is going to be trouble and trials. Stand up for Jesus instead of hiding away. Demonstrate the same kind of love Jesus did for His persecutors. Forgive them and love them by sharing God’s word with them. Their soul may be won by your final witness.

Paul calls for honor, which comes directly from love, for the founding fathers of the church in Corinth. They opened their hearts and homes for the work of the gospel.

Lord Jesus, the example of love that You gave is SO far beyond what I could ever attain to. Everything You did began in love. I want to live that way too. I have a LONG way to go to get there. Thank You for bringing me a little further along each day though. Thank You for the renewed love I have for my husband. Even as times have gotten harder, my love has gotten fresher and deeper. Thank You for that gift. Keep growing me in love.

1 Corinthians 16:5-11 Long Visit Plans

Step 1: Ask God; Step 2: Listen for His answer; Step 3: Obey!

Paul shares his travel plans and his desire to visit this body of believers. He makes sure to put in “if the Lord permits” into his itinerary.

This letter is winding down to a close. Paul has poured his heart out in order to deal with some of the issues the church is having and to answer their questions. He went back and shored up their foundation, reigned in their “freedoms”, and redirected them back to the main focus of loving people.

No matter how good a letter is though it can never replace the face to face connection. Paul wants to see these believers again. They are his spiritual children. But they are not the only ones he has been given charge over. He has many obligations and the biggest one is to follow where the Lord leads him. He won’t go anywhere without God’s approval.

Another issue for Paul is that he wants to stay with this body for a while. He doesn’t want to make a “touch and go” trip. He wants to be able to work with them, answer their questions, refine them, and praise God with them over the growth that takes place. Paul needs time with them for this. He is also praying that when he does come they will have already put into practice the things he speaks about in this letter. Some of Paul’s instructions have been difficult and will cause a least a few to resist. He is probably praying that those who remain will be ready for the real work afterwards. Read more »

1 Corinthians 16:1-4 Weekly Offerings

Giving involves the heart, not just the pocketbook

Paul now gets down to the business portion of his letter. My bible helps tell me he is responding to a question in the Corinthian’s letter to him. This question involves giving.

Looking at the wording Paul uses, it sounds like this group is asking if they could contribute like their sister church. It appears that they wanted direction on how they should orchestrate this process of giving to help the Jerusalem church. This was where Paul’s collections from the different churches ended up. Read more »

1 Corinthians 15:50-58 It’s A Mystery

God reveals His mysteries when we search diligently for them, but not all of them

Paul has finished his summation of the gospel. He has adequately defended the two corner posts of salvation; Christ died for our sins, and He rose again. But now he is faced with meeting his audience’s “but how” question.

Paul has done everything he can to explain what happens next after death. He shared his analogy of the seed. He pointed out that our bodies are physical and dust and belong to the physical world while our spirits belong to the spiritual world. He also encourages us that we will “bear the image of the Man in Heaven” (verse 49). Read more »

1 Corinthians 15:35-49 A Flower for His Garden

I will be a Son flower

Paul continues with his summation of the two crucial points of the gospel; Christ died for our sins, and He rose from the dead. In our reading today he focuses on the “now what” of the resurrection.

There were those in his audience that doubted that we would be raised from the dead. Paul dealt with that in our last time together. He provided a list of witnesses and a well-reasoned argument. They say, ‘Ok. What body do we get then in the resurrection?’ ‘What will it look like?’ Read more »