Category Archives: 1 Corinthians

21Sep/15

Resurrection!

1 Corinthians 15

The resurrection chapter.

v3 says 3 most important things.

  • Christ died according to scriptures
  • Christ was buried according to scriptures
  • Christ was raised to life according to the scriptures

Paul returns to where he started in chapter 1 : Christ and Him crucified and devotes the whole chapter to resurrection!

We are amazed at doctors, nurses, paramedics, surgeons etc.  they can resuscitate; but we are not talking about that – we are talking about resurrection

Ezekiel 37: dry bones vision. That is resurrection and one day it’s going to happen

Job:  though worms eat my flesh yet I will see see you!  He has the hope of resurrection!

Daniel:  sees humanity rising from the dust of the earth.  He sees the resurrection. (Dan Ch 24)

What’s important about resurrection?

If no resurrection then we are men most miserable because preaching, faith is in vain.  There is no hope.

Channel tunnel:  goes into English side and comes out the French side.  If not then we’d be left wondering and darkness would win the day. Jesus went into tunnel of death and came out the other side!

How do we know Jesus is alive? Paul says He was seen by  people and seen by himself!  We know because we met with Christ, because we have a personal relationship with him.  He lives within my heart.  People can’t take away our experience of Him.

v32 says do you think Paul would lay his life on the line for things that are rubbish?

Then he starts talking about resurrection of people who believe in Jesus.  Not just the engine driver gets out the tunnel but everyone on the train!  Like putting a bulb in ground will come out completely different, so too

  • Perishing body for imperishable
  • Dishonour raised in glory
  • Physical to spiritual
  • Weakness raised in power

Paul ends with “O death where is thy sting… Grave where is your victory?”.

Bible talks of 2 resurrections.  Dan 12 says some raised to eternal life and some to eternal death. 1st resurrection is the rapture, after the millennium is second resurrection. What’s important is we are in the first and that we are ready.

Let’s know excitement of resurrection!

 

21Sep/15

Love is the most excellent way

1 Corinthians 13

And now these three remain: faith hope and love. But the greatest of these is love!

Faith is still absolutely vital.  All through scripture faith is vital for our salvation, vital for pleasing God, But love is more important

Hope.  We need hope. If no hope then we are in a dark and desperate condition.  We have a hope that is steadfast and sure.  Hope is glorious.  But love is more important

End of chapter 12 says.. And now I will show you a more excellent way….

Chapter 12 is fabulous because it’s all about body ministry and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  All needed, all good, all give glory to Jesus.   But there is the most excellent way.

God moves in the most excellent way. The way of love!

1. The law. 5 books.   Hangs off 2 things: love God and love your neighbour.   The most excellent way

2. Dealings with Israel.  Jer 31:3 .  God loves them with an everlasting love.  Despite everything, God goes the most excellent way.  Hosea shows how much God loves His people

3. Life of Jesus.  Summed up in John 3:16

4. The church.  Summed up in Gal 6:14.  All about the love of Jesus displayed by the cross

5. Character of God. The river from Genesis to Revelation, all the names of God that displays His love.  John says this God is love.

6. Life of service.  John 21.  God wants to know if we will love Him before we serve Him

What love isn’t and what love is?

 Isn’t Is (always) 
 Envious  Patient
 Boastful  Kind
 Proud  Protective
 Rude  Hopeful
Self-seeking Trusting
Evil Persevering
Keeps no record of wrongs (forgiving)
Glorifying

 

Bad news!

  • We are to love one another
  • Love our neighbour
  • Love the unlovely

Because that means we have to be patient kind etc….  That’s bad news! How am I going to be able to fulfil it?

Good news!

It’s God love in us and through us that does it for us! Eph 3:17-19

Generations change.  The love of God does not. Love crosses generations. Crosses cultures, etc. We need the love of God more than anything else.  We need faith. We need love more.  We need boldness. We need love more.  We need the Spirit, the gifts, hope, but we need love more.  It is the most excellent way!

16Sep/15

Communion

1 Corinthians 11:17-33

Also known as the Lord’s supper or last supper or Lord’s table.

Passage does start at verse 22 …for i received from the lord….etc

Topics have to be dealt with that are tough and often open to interpretation

  • Guilty of sinning against against body and blood of the lord
  • A man drinks judgement on himself
  • Many are weak and sick and some have fallen asleep
  • A man ought to examine himself

Look at this movement… v2 Paul says, ‘I praise you’; v17 in the following directives I have no praise for you; then in v22 shall I praise you for this? Certainly not!

So what were the Corinthians doing wrong?

Neglected Jesus way

Jesus divided it up.  Share it amongst us.  Jesus served.  The server had some last if any left.

Neglected Jesus work

That Jesus died and resurrected.  They treated it like a restaurant, like a pub crawl.

Neglected Jesus word

They forgot what Paul had already passed into them

Neglected Jesus will

Do this in remembrance of Him was what Jesus wanted.

***

If we approach life in that way, things will not be good.

When we look at theses phrase and understand

1. Guilty of sinning against against body and blood of the lord Cross is the greatest thing and by neglecting way, word, will etc then we are sinning against …

2. A man drinks judgement on himself The cross is plan A. There is no plan B. So if we neglect way, word etc. If the neglect the cross we drink judgement on ourselves

3. Many are weak and sick and some have fallen asleep Talking about spiritual health.  Because of neglect of table some Christians are weak.  There are sick Christians.  There are Christians that are asleep.

4. A man ought to examine himself. Not just about reconciliation. But make sure it’s right motive and right heart.  Don’t come out of tradition. Not out of a matters of fact. But because He is the One who died for me.

The reverse will be true: When the cross is first then you have

  • Victory over Satan
  • Freedom from condemnation
  • Release of Christ’s life
  • Therefore a man ought to examine himself
16Sep/15

Coverings

1 Corinthians 11:1-16

Examples : covering are necessary.

  • Coats for coal;
  • blankets on bed;
  • coverings of cling film for food;
  • Adam and Eve: God made a covering.
  • Noah: pitched the Ark inside and out. It has a covering inside and out.
  • Moses: basket was pitched with tar: a covering
  • Ruth: garment used to illustrate a willingness to come under Boaz covering.
  • 1 Corinthians 14:29-32.  Covering in prophecy; weighing the word.

Headship.

v3. Headship is not a hierarchy: i.e. not Father then Son then Holy Spirit

So it is with God then Christ then man then woman. This is about different roles.

Eve ate the apple but Adam took the blame because Adam did not fulfil his role. Headship depends on which way you are looking.  We need to look correctly.  Jesus looked to God. Ruth looked to Boaz because Boaz looked to God.

True headship is in Ch 11v1.  Follow my example as I follow the example of Jesus

16Sep/15

Getting the Prize

1 Corinthians 10

End of Chapter 9 we understand that the gospel needs to be kept open – don’t win the battle that prevents you from sharing the gospel.  Then in Chapter 9v24.27 Pauls says to run to get the prize.

Then in 1 Corinthians 10 Paul takes the lesson from Israel. Same spiritual cord, same spiritual food, same spiritual drink, same spiritual rock that was Christ.  But their bodies were scattered over the desert.

So just be careful that all you have had over your life and what God has done that you don’t miss out on what is the prize!

To get the prize:

Keep your eyes on the prize because it will keep you going through tough times.  What is it you want in God?  Then keep your eye on the prize!

Don’t be overloaded. ! Cor 10:13. God is faithful. Not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  God does not overload us!  If you are carrying too much, Jesus said we can come to Him for rest.  This verse 13 is about Satan overloading us, but when that happens God will provide a way out of it.

Reframing from… verse 20…don’t participate with demons.  Refrain from anything that’s evil.

Do things that are beneficial. See also Acts 2:42.  Do things that are beneficial to get the prize.

 

 

16Sep/15

Can win the battle but lose the war!

1 Corinthians 9

Jesus was not concerned about winning against Pilate – He could of – but He didn’t because He has his eye on the souls of men.

The Corinthians did not like Paul – there were questions like ‘Am I not free?’, ‘Am I not an apostle?’.  Paul says to those who sit in judgement over him.

The Corinthians had the attitude of different levels of apostle. Cephas gets all bills paid, Paul has to bring his own tent.  v9-11 even the ox who treads the grain gets the right to eat it.  But that is all Paul says!   He is not concerned in getting one over the Corinthians but all that matters is that the war is won – that the gospel is preached and souls are saved.

Paul’s strategy in v22:  ALL things to ALL men that by ALL means I might win some!

Churches can sometimes be more concerned with winning the battle but the war is lost,  The light has gone.  The church is the only organisation that exists for the non-members!

Don’t be over anxious about the battle.  Aim to win the war!

 

11Sep/15

Food Sacrificed to Idols

1 Corinthians 8

How relevant is this today?

Knowledge puffs up but love builds up – key to the passage

Context: for Corinthians there were lots of idols.  People worshipped them. Paul came and the people came to know the true and living God.

3 changes:

1. Worshipped the created to the Creator

2. gods had to be carried around with them to a God who carried them.

3. Costly idols to salvation for free. The price has been paid already

Problem was these new Christians were still going down to the temple.  Food brought to the idols but idols don’t eat!  So this food was eaten by the people.  Some people thought this was wrong so what do they do?  The idol is not a god, so does taking food to it become meaningless?  Also does food bring you nearer to God?  No. So there is nothing wrong with it!

But the principle is this.  Does it draw you closer to God or does it take you away from God.  So bring the principle into everyday life.  Any question in your life – apply the principle!

But with freedom on things that are meaningless comes responsibility. Eating food sacrificed maybe nothing to you but it may cause someone else to sin.

What we do affects someone else.  Its not just between me and the Lord.

So back to key verse: Knowledge puffs up but love builds up

So in the knowledge of my freedom, my actions may not be loving to others.

 

11Sep/15

Marriage

1 Corinthians 7

Lots of representative circumstances:

  • Single and glad
  • Single and want to be married
  • Married and happy
  • Married and not happy
  • Married and divorced.
  • Etc

The state wants to redefine marriage: same sex marriage etc.  Should church reflect ‘society’ and reflect living together?

1. Importance of Marriage

The dispensation of time starts with marriage: Adam and Eve. Only God was present

At the wedding at Cana, Jesus made a difference in their marriage

At the marriage of the Lamb, God begins everything with a marriage!

2. Institution of marriage

Not like an intitution! But what is the basis for it? Each man has own wife each woman has her own husband. It rules out same sex marriage.

The chapter is actually about removing immorality. Also all sexual activity is within boundary of marriage that’s why it is until death do us part.  If a man dies, the woman is released to marry again but in the Lord. That’s how it is to be . That’s God’s intention – not to be unequally yoked.

Paul in Corinth turns back time to the way it should be. Goes against the trend of the day. Goes back to the garden of Eden.  Leaving and cleaving before interweaving. Paul did not go with culture and neither should we.

Marriage licence is not a worthless piece of paper.  It’s a promise.  Just like a ten pound note.

What makes a marriage? A pact: promises to each other in the sight of God.  An act: Illustrations of marriage God uses the natural to illustrate the spiritual. God used marriage to illustrate Christ and the believer with the church

Divorce and remarriage.  Not preached openly but we do preach God’s design for marriage.

11Sep/15

Expel the Immoral Brother!

1 Corinthians 5&6

Expel the immoral brother!  Kick him out of your church – having nothing to do with him.  Hand him over to Satan! Not much love in those words!

Paul is troubled about 2 things.

1. The man himself.  A believer sunk to a low immoral state

2. Reaction of the church towards the man: they were proud of it!

This is not about instant dismissal as Jesus said there were 3 steps (Matt 18)

1. One to one

2. Two or three others

3. To the church – It’s at this point Paul brings the matter to the church

1. The man

What does it mean to hand him over to Satan?  In old testament when people went away, prophets asked people to repent, but when the did not, God caused them to come into trial/sword/exile and they fell on their knees in repentance.

In other words they lost something.  So is that what Paul means?  When he begins to realise all that’s lost He will turn back to God.  It’s a statement of Iove to do no matter what to try and bring him back. Prodigal son had same principle. When he realised all was lost he turned back

2. The church

Yeast affects the whole batch so it is with not dealing with theses issues. Principle is this: Preserve the purity.

Look at the Lords prayer: Hallowed (holy) is your Name. A pure church is a powerful church. Jesus is pure so must His bride be! Be holy as I am holy.  The immoral will not inherit the kingdom of God.

In chapter 6 Paul talks about taking brothers to court. Paul says better be cheated than take another believer to court. If you are a believer then you have no earth nationality; we are citizens of heaven and because of that we live by standard of heaven not by standards of the kingdom of earth.  Israel had judges among themselves.

Living by standard of heaven means we do not tell lies: because standard of heaven is truth. No gossip because heaven builds up not pulling apart.

How can we live by this standard?  Read sermon on the mount. Use What Would Jesus Do (WWJD) Chapter 6 encourages us to display kingdom principles to preserve purity and purpose of church

 

11Sep/15

Saved to Serve

1 Corinthians 3&4

Saved means rescued from certain death.  We were dead spiritually. Jesus threw us a lifeline and we’ve grabbed on to it and we have been saved!  That is something to be excited about!

Too many people stop at the saved bit.  They take it easy and sit back on their laurels.  We are saved to serve.

Who is Apollos? Who is Billy Graham?  We are all servants of God

4 things to look at:

1.  Test

Is a warning. Chapter 3:12-15

The building materials of our service. Fire will test the quality of each mans work. Salvation is safe because of the blood of Jesus, but this test is a quality control of our service for Jesus. Parable of talents – the one that had one talent suffered loss.

3 questions come to mind –

What am I building with?

What are the precious materials that stand the test? John 17:4.  Was it for Fathers glory, Was it Fathers work (that is different from good work or ideas), Was it Finished work (do you get rewarded for partially completed work?)

What are the rewards? Crowns.  5 of them:

  • 1 cor 9:24,25 incorruptible crown
  • 1 thes 2:19 crown of rejoicing
  • James 1:12. Crown of life
  • 2 Tim 4:8 crown of righteousness
  • 1 Peter 5:1-4 crown of glory

Why do I want rewards? So we can lay them before the throne  and say worthy are you O Lord.  Want to bring a love gift to Jesus. Don’t want any embarrassment in taking no gift to the greatest party ever!

2. Temples

Is an encouragement

Don’t you know that you yourselves are Gods temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? This is amazing news.  God’s Spirit lives in you!  Before baptism and before gift of Spirit there is that fact that God’s Spirit lives in you.

Scripture gives us a progressive relegation.   God lives as heaven is throne and earth his footstool. People are like grasshoppers.  Solomon built a temple and Jesus came and lived among us.  The Spirit has come to live in us. Wow!

Think about who it is that lives within you! Grab this in all it’s fullness – God’s Spirit  lives in you. The Spirit that hovered over the face of the deep. The same Spirit that made the valley of dry bones rise up into a mighty army. The same Spirit that rose Christ from the dead

How did Jesus stand the test ? Because he was led by the Spirit – the same Spirit lives in us !

3. Trials

Is a warning

Chapter 4:9-13.  Is it only Paul that gets trials?  Of course not! We all have trials. Paul dealt with them because God’s Spirit was in him.  That’s why he wrote that we are more than conquerers.  That’s why Paul wrote that greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world

4. Treasures

Is an encouragement

Chapter 4:14-17 You have 10000 guardians in Christ but you do not have many fathers. I became your father through the gospel.  Therefore I urge you to imitate me. For this reason I am sending you Timothy my son whom I love.

What was the greatest thing of his life? Letters? Apostle? Journeys? No.  His greatest treasure was to father people. That’s the challenge to serve to see other people fathered in the faith. It’s a call of God on our lives.

Conclusion

We are saved to serve: despite the tests and the trials we are temples of God’s Spirit and storing up treasures in heaven.