The Church At Corinth
Corinth was a city about 50 miles west of Athens, Greece. It was destroyed around 146 BC, and rebuilt about a century later, making it a fairly new city when Paul arrived there. It was a wealthy, luxurious, idolatrous and immoral city populated mostly by Romans, Grecians and Jews. Paul spent eighteen months there, trained Aquila and Priscilla, founded a Church, and authored two powerful epistles addressed to them.
1 Corinthians 1:1-2 - "Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, Unto the church of God which is at Corinth."
Pray For All Who Call Upon The Name Of Jesus Christ
Paul greeted the Church at Corinth, "to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord." There is a sacred fellowship among those who call upon the name of Jesus. He pronounced a blessing of grace upon them all. Bless your brothers and sisters in the Lord.
1 Corinthians 1:4-7 - "I thank my God always on your behalf, ...That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; ...So that ye come behind in no gift."
That Ye May Be Blameless In The Day Of Our Lord
In his opening statements to the Corinthian saints, Paul reaffirmed the doctrines of the second coming and Jesus Christ and His coming judgment upon the earth. No greater motives for righteous living exist than the anticipation of seeing Jesus Christ face-to-face and standing before Him in judgment.
1 Corinthians 1:6-8 - "The testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Let There Be No Divisions Among You
Paul wasted no time getting to the crux of the matter with the Corinthian saints. "I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you..." Members of Chloe's household had informed Paul of contention in the Church. When a Church fractures, it soon fragments. How would you like for your body to fragment? Saints should strive to agree for the sake of the Body.
I Corinthians 1:10 - "...that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment."
I Am Of Christ
In every generation, and in every Church, there eventually emerges variations on a theme. Whether it pertains to doctrine, baptism, holiness, or anything else, the temptation is to "divide to multiply." That is NOT the Biblical way. When differences arise, we must hammer them out on the anvil of the Word of God.
1 Corinthians 1:12-13,31 - "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? ...as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."
A New Gospel? Is Christ Divided?
Jesus presided over the epic transition from the Old Covenant into the New Covenant - the one and only transition. The New Testament Church, built on the Apostles' doctrine and filled with the Holy Ghost is the embodiment of the New Covenant. Nowadays, we have another generation of Christians trying to transition us into some new thing as if we are about to enter into a Third Covenant. That is a damnable delusion. This is no time to divide the Church. "Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set," Proverbs 22:28.
1 Corinthians 1:13,23 - "Is Christ divided?"
One Baptism (Not Several)
The Corinthian Church was dividing. Some wanted to follow Paul, others Apollos, others Peter. Some said, "I am of Christ." Paul rebuked their divisions. "I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name. ...Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel." Paul despised their small-minded sectarianism. He intentionally left the baptizing for others to do, to avoid creating a "baptism of Paul."
1 Corinthians 1:13 - "Was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?"
At the cross, Jesus paid off the Law. His blood satisfied the sin-debt. He did not destroy the Law, but paid to add Grace to the equation, enabling the Law to finally make something perfect. Grace fills the gaps that prevented the Law from working. The Law wanted blood for sin, so Jesus gave it. Now, the morality and order of the Law have more potential than ever, coupled with marvelous Grace.
1 Corinthians 1:18 - "The preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God."
I Will Destroy The Wisdom Of The Wise
Almost every major modern city has institutes of higher learning filled with students seeking for the knowledge and wisdom of this world to better their station in life. But rarely do any seek diligently to know the wisdom of God, and He is displeased. God is jealous of those who esteem earthly wisdom and spurn divine wisdom. You have one life. Seek to know God. If you fail in that, you fail in everything.
1 Corinthians 1:19 - "For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent."
Christ - The Power Of God And The Wisdom Of God
There is only one indestructible icon standing on the horizon of eternity. Christ - the power and wisdom of God. Every other man and every other message dims and loses its value in the shadow of the cross of Jesus Christ. Mohammad, Confucius, Buddha, Plato, Hammurabi, or a million other sages combined will disappear into eternal darkness, but our Light will shine forever.
1 Corinthians 1:23-25 - "But we preach Christ crucified, ...Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men."
Divine Destiny Does Not Need Worldly Wisdom Or Might
God controls our fate inexplicably and supernaturally. He deliberately bypasses the wise and strong in this world, using foolish, weak, base, despised, and even non-existent things to eventually confound the wise and mighty, and bring strong things to nought.
1 Corinthians 1:27-28 - "God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are."
No Flesh Should Glory In His Presence
I would rather hear a fire-baptized Holy Ghost-filled preacher any day than to hear a band of carnally-minded, worldly-wise musicians who think that smoke and lights and special effects can add ANYTHING to the anointed Word of God. Million-dollar sound stages do not save the lost. They may be losing the saved.
1 Corinthians 1:25-29 - "The foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, ...That no flesh should glory in his presence."
The Power Of God In The Pulpit
Paul emphasized that he "came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom." He confessed weakness, fear, and trembling. "My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power." Paul would reject the slick modern show-business that has commandeered the Church. We have been sucker-punched into believing that preachers must hold Doctorate degrees and use high-tech smoke and mirrors. Take a Bible to a pulpit, and preach!
1 Corinthians 2:5 - "Your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God."
If They Knew Hidden Wisdom, They Would Not Have Crucified Jesus
God hides His precious treasures. "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter," Proverbs 25:2. The Gospel is infinitely greater than financial seminars, marriage clinics, youth coffeehouses or community service. If this generation had a greater revelation of the hidden things of God, they would not suffocate the Church with powerless activity.
1 Corinthians 2:7-8 - "We speak the wisdom of God ...even the hidden wisdom, ...Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory."
We Speak The Hidden Wisdom
Paul consistently dismissed the natural wisdom of men, and justifiably so. He had received a volume of divine revelations that made worldly wisdom look completely insignificant. "We speak wisdom... not the wisdom of this world, ...But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew." In the Spirit, you can see forever.
1 Corinthians 2:10 - "But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God."
Unfathomable Things Are Fathomed By The Holy Ghost
The things pertaining to the Spirit of God are unfathomable to the carnal mind. It is absolutely necessary to be born again - filled with the Holy Ghost. The mind of God must be imported.
1 Corinthians 2:11-12 - "What man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God."
Eye Hath Not Seen, But God Revealed It By His Spirit
Isaiah 64:4 said, "Men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, ...what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him." Paul added, "But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God." The Holy Ghost-filled believer has supernatural abilities to discern the things of God. "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them."
1 Corinthians 2:16 - "But we have the mind of Christ."
Every Man Shall Receive His Own Reward Accordingly
Paul was thoroughly irked by the envy, strife and divisions in the Church. Petty prejudices caused them to isolate from one another. "While one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? ...Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed. ...I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase." Abandon counterproductive prejudices. Concentrate instead on laboring for your reward.
1 Corinthians 3:8 - "He that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour."
The Fire That Purifies
Our God is like a refiner's fire and a fuller's soap. All our works will be tried by fire, to save the good and destroy the bad. Righteous works are like gold, silver, precious stones. Unrighteous works are like wood, hay, and stubble. The fire of God will burn whatever was meant to burn. Whatever survives the fire deserves to survive. There is no reason to dread God's fire in your life. You really should not want anything you lose in His fire.
1 Corinthians 3:13: "...the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is."
If Your Works Burn, You Will Suffer Loss
Every man is building a house - his life. Only those who build their lives on the foundation of Jesus Christ will stand. "If any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: ...because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work." Take heed how you build. Don't build your life with things that burn.
1 Corinthians 3:15 - "If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."
God Will Destroy Any Man Who Defiles His Temple
"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" Remember the sacred, deep reverence shown for the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, and later to the glorious Temple of Solomon? Those were only TYPES of the Spirit-filled Believer. Christ was the first human Temple of the Spirit. Now, every Holy Ghost-filled believer is His Temple. We must be holy, or be destroyed.
1 Corinthians 3:17 - "If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."
Become A Fool To Be Wise
Compare someone who is "wise in this world" to one who is in Christ. "The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. ...He taketh the wise in their own craftiness." (God always catches those who try to outsmart Him.) The wisest worldly men are still vain. Unless Christ and His Kingdom becomes your highest priority, you are hopelessly foolish. It is wise to admit your foolishness.
1 Corinthians 3:18,21 - "If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. ...let no man glory in men."
All Things Are Yours
Jesus said that the meek will inherit the earth. He also said of the poor in spirit and of those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, "theirs is the kingdom of Heaven." That sums it up. The righteous will inherit both heaven and earth. What is left for sinners? Saints, rejoice! All things are yours!
1 Corinthians 3:21-23 - "Let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's."
Required In Stewards: That A Man Be Found Faithful
A "minister" is "a subordinate, a servant." To whom? To Jesus Christ! Every minister of Christ is a SERVANT, a SUBORDINATE. That requires every whim and every desire to be in submission to the Lord. We are "stewards" (overseers, governors) of the mysteries of God. That demands absolute faithfulness - no double allegiences, no double standards, no betrayals. Are you a faithful servant and steward?
1 Corinthians 4:1-2 - "Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful."
It Is A Very Small Thing That I Should Be Judged Of You
Did Paul have detractors? What minister does not? But he did not allow them to divert his ministry. He told them that they should consider him to be a minister of Christ and a steward of the mysteries of God. Whatever else they might have thought of him, Paul dismissed it.
1 Corinthians 4:3 - "With me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord."
Judge Nothing Before The Time
Those of us who know that every Bible prophecy is unequivocably true take solace in the fact that God knew everything from the beginning and meticulously presides over all the affairs of men. It is impossible for us to comprehend the complexities of how everything will work out, yet God already knows it all. That is why we should judge NOTHING before its time. Wait and see.
1 Corinthians 4:5 - "Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts."
A Spectacle To The World - Fools For Christ
Most modern "Christians" do not want to be a spectacle to the world. They do not want to be considered "different" or "weird." They want to blend in, be relevant, accepted, popular, compatible with their worldly friends. Worldliness loathes holiness. Holiness loathes worldliness.
1 Corinthians 4:9-13 - "God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake. ...we are despised. ...we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things."
We do not need a worldly education to be saved. Charles Spurgeon said, "instead of improving the gospel, carnal wisdom pollutes it, until it becomes another gospel, and not the truth of God at all." Genetically modified seeds produce sterile fruit. Christians who are begotten by philosophy, psychology, psychiatry, sociology, or popular -ologies cannot reproduce divine fruit. The seed is corrupt. Preach the Word of God! The Bible contains about 1200 pages of potent truth - pure seed - that needs nothing added to or subtracted from it.
I Corinthians 4:15 - "...in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel."
You Have Not Many Fathers - Be Ye Followers Of Me
Paul held himself and Apollos as examples to the Corinthians, to teach them not to be puffed up (proud, big-headed). He listed many abasements and humiliations they endured, and said to them, "I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you. For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel." Resist "teachers" whose lives are carnal. Follow men who are crucified with Christ.
1 Corinthians 4:16 - "Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me."
The Kingdom Of God Is In Power
Some big-headed men were trying to assert themselves in the Corinthian Church. Paul sent Timothy to "bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church." He acknowledged that "some are puffed up," and would not receive him. But Paul determined to defeat their proud words with the power of God.
1 Corinthians 4:19-20 - "I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power. For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power."
Faith And Action Should Be Based On God's Sure Word
Faith is about future expectation, and future expectation is based upon the sure word of prophecy. Every Christian lives his life in expectation that God will always do everything he said He would do. Paul fully believed that every man will face God in judgment, so that compelled him to firmly discipline a wayward saint. All our choices and actions should be with complete confidence in God's revealed plans.
1 Corinthians 5:5 - "To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus."
Leavening In The Lump
A man who commited incest with his mother had to be put out of the Church (by Paul). But Paul also had to deal with the sin of being "puffed up" (pride, self-righteousness) in Church leaders. Every kind of sin is like leavening in a lump of bread dough. Jewish feasts required unleavened bread. We must constantly purge sin from our lives.
1 Corinthians 5:6-7 - "Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened."
Put Away From Among Yourselves That Wicked Person
Like leaven dramatically changes bread dough, sin dramatically changes humans. Unleavened bread typifies the sinless Christ. The message says that we must keep sin out of our lives. "I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat." We cannot escape all the sin and sinners in the world, but we must keep the Church pure.
1 Corinthians 5:13 - "Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person."
Saints Of God Will Judge Men And Angels
The Saints of God - washed in the Blood of Jesus, baptized in His name, filled with His Spirit, and begotten by His Word - will someday judge all other men and angels.
1 Corinthians 6:1-3 - "Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?"
Judgments: Some Belong To God, Some We Must Make
Some judgments are high judgments, which God alone is worthy to judge. We cannot judge other men. Only God can. Other judgments are low judgments, the everyday arbitrations that we must decide. Was a crime or moral transgression commited? Must a wrong be righted? We must judge righteous judgment.
1 Corinthians 6:4-8 - "If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. ...Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?"
Suffer Yourselves To Be Defrauded
It is shameful for saints of God to take brethren into secular courts of law. We should either arbitrate within the Church or suffer the loss. "Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? ...brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers." Better to suffer wrong than to reproach Christ.
1 Corinthians 6:7 - "There is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?"
The Unrighteous Shall Not Inherit The Kingdom Of God
"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." "Why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord," Acts 22:16.
1 Corinthians 6:11 - "Such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."
God Gave Us Bodies To Be Raised Up Forever With Him
God did not give us bodies to pollute or defile with sin, but to be Temples of the Holy Ghost. "The body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; ...shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. ...he which is joined to an harlot is one body, ...But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit." Christianity is not only for living here, but forever.
1 Corinthians 6:14 - "And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power."
Glorify God In Your Body And In Your Spirit
Paul admonished the Corinthians to keep their bodies pure - not engaging in fornication, or joining to a harlot. By sexual intercourse, you become one with that person. Should a saint of God become one with a harlot or an unbeliever? No! Any saint who defiles their body with sexual immorality is defiling the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is a most grievous sin. Flee fornication! Sanctify your body and your spirit to glorify God!
1 Corinthians 6:20 - "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
The Married Couple
According to God's plan, marriage between a man and a woman provides the only context in which a sexual relationship can properly exist. God forbids fornication. That can be construed in these modern times as a sexual relationship between ANY two people of either sex. The Greek word for fornication is porneia, and may aptly apply to all sexual immorality or sexual perversions. God intends for our sexual needs to be fulfilled in a permanent committed relationship of marriage.
1 Corinthians 7:2 - "To avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband."
Each Spouse Has Power Over The Other's Body
When you marry, you give your spouse authority over your body, and you receive authority over your spouse's body. All conjugal rights are between the two of you. That does not give you the right to abuse or misuse your spouse. You should NEVER be unfair, cruel, threatening or terrifying to your spouse. "Love thy neighbor as thyself" governs marriages, too. Couples should practice mutual and reciprocal love and respect.
1 Corinthians 7:4 - "The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife."
Periodically Separate Yourselves To Fasting And Prayer
In lecturing husbands and wives, Paul instructed both the man and woman to give themselves freely to the other, and not defraud (or withhold from) the other. An exception was made for fasting and prayer, by mutual consent. Prayer and fasting holds a higher priority than even the responsibilities of marriage.
1 Corinthians 7:5-6 - "Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency. But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment."
Paul clearly believed that a Christian should remain single if possible. "It is good for a man not to touch a woman. ...I would that all men were even as I myself. ...I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. ...Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife."
1 Corinthians 7:9 - "But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn. ...But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; ...Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh."
A Faithful Wife
Marriage is supposed to be a lifetime commitment. If you cannot make the lifetime commitment, you should remain single. By the word of the Lord, Paul commanded, "Let not the wife depart from her husband: ...and let not the husband put away his wife." Nothing could be clearer. A man should not send his wife away, and neither should she leave him. If, however, the woman does leave her husband, she must not marry again unless she reconciles with her husband.
1 Corinthians 7:11 - "But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband."
An Unbelieving Spouse
From the outset, we are admonished not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. You should never enter into a marriage with someone who does not believe in God the way that you do. But Paul said that if you are married to an unbeliever who "is pleased to dwell with" you, then you should not put him or her away. However, "if the unbelieving depart, let him depart." You cannot force someone to believe, or to stay.
1 Corinthians 7:15 - "A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace."
Divine Destiny Favors Two Who Are Faithful In Marriage
A godly wife or husband is a gift of God. "Every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that." Paul instructed each spouse not to put away the other. "If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And the woman ...[likewise]." Divine destiny favors two who are faithful in marriage.
1 Corinthians 7:16 - "For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?"
Your Calling Is Your Divine Destiny
If you can live happily without marriage, you should. If you marry, "seek not to be loosed." If God called you as a circumcised Jew, be a Christian Jew. If God called you as a Gentile, be a Gentile Christian. Were you called while in slavery? Be a Christian slave. Did He call you as a free person, be a free Christian.
1 Corinthians 7:17,20,24 - "As the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. ...Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called. ...Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God."
You Are Bought With A Price; You Are Christ's Servant
If we are not careful, we will waste our lives like rats running on a wheel. We squander our time, energy and talents on things that have no eternal value. Ask yourself why you do the things you do. If what you do is not as important as serving Jesus Christ, then stop what you are doing. He bought you. You are His servant. Stop serving the wrong people.
1 Corinthians 7:22-23 - "For he that is called in the Lord, ...being free, is Christ's servant. Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men."
Husbands And Wives
When you marry, you must surrender much of yourself to your spouse. "Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: ...the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife." Loving spouses serve and please each other.
1 Corinthians 7:33-34 - "He that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. ...She that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband."
Time Is Short; Put Aside Worldly Cares
Paul urged everyone to work diligently, anticipating Jesus' return. "Brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none." Unmarried people can devote more, but married people should give their best.
1 Corinthians 7:32,34-35 - "He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: ...The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. ...this I speak for your own profit; ...that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction."
To Marry, Or Not To Marry?
When a relationship begins to manifest strong sexual attraction, it is time to marry or break up. "If any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, ...let them marry." Anyone with the willpower to remain celibate does well. "He that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better." Even widows do better to remain single.
1 Corinthians 7:39-40 - "If her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord. But she is happier if she so abide."
Avoid Being Perceived As An Idolator
Should Christians eat meat which pagans offered to an idol? Basically, Christians should refrain from ANYTHING that might become a stumblingblock to others.
1 Corinthians 8:4,7,13 - "We know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. ...Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. ...Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth."
Keep Yourself From Idols Or Things Pertaining To Idols
Anyone who believes the Gospel should know that man-made idols are not gods. We ignore idols and their non-existent gods. "Though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father." "Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge."
1 Corinthians 8:10 - "If any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols?"
Idols And Offerings To Idols
If a young convert had seen Paul eating meats offered to idols, he would probably have been greatly confused or distressed by the mixed signal from Paul, and might have stumbled at Paul's inconsistency. Likewise, if someone sees you, a professing Christian, participating in activities that are normally perceived as worldly or sinful, then you are a potential stumblingblock to them. Paul promised he would not do that. You should, too.
1 Corinthians 8:13 - "Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend."
The Minister Of God Has Divine Privileges
Paul defended not only his role in the ministry, but the divinely-ordained privileges of a minister. "Have we not power to eat and to drink? ...Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, ...have not we power to forbear working?" The ministry is a full-time occupation. God does not require ministers to work gratis or pro bono.
1 Corinthians 9:7 - "Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?"
Preachers Of The Gospel Should Live Of The Gospel
Every laborer should be paid for his work. Moses said, "Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn." If oxen deserve pay, how much more every man? "He that ploweth should plow in hope; ...he that thresheth in hope should be partaker..." "If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?"
1 Corinthians 9:13 - "They which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple... Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel."
I Preach Without Charge, That I Abuse Not My Power
Although Paul made a solid defense for ministers to be supported by the income of the ministry, he insisted that he had not taken advantage of that privilege. "We have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. ...I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me."
1 Corinthians 9:18 - "What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel."
The Apostle - God's Delegate To All Men
The word "Apostle" comes from a Greek word meaning "delegate, ambassador, one commissioned." Paul said, "Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord? ...the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord."
1 Corinthians 9:19 - "I made myself servant unto all, ...unto the Jews I became as a Jew, ...to them that are under the law, as under the law, ...To them that are without law, as without law, ...To the weak became I as weak, ...I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some."
One Reward Of Ministry Will Be An Incorruptible Crown
Paul spoke of his burden for the ministry. "For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward."
1 Corinthians 9:18,23-25 - "What is my reward then? ...this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you. ...they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? ...Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible."
The Man Who Strives For The Mastery
Paul's great goal was for the mastery, both as a Christian and as a minister of the Gospel. "This I do for the gospel's sake... Every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. ...I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air." He admonishes you and me to run the race to obtain the prize.
1 Corinthians 9:27 "I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."
Baptized In The Cloud And In The Sea
The Children of Israel were baptized in the waters of the Red Sea, and in fire by night and cloud by day. Those were figures of New Testament baptism in Jesus' name, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost. The manna and the water from the Rock prefigured Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 10:1-4 - "All our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; ...they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ."
Neither Murmur Ye, As Some Of Them Murmured
Paul reminded the Corinthians of how Israel failed God through unbelief in the wilderness. Although they all partook of the same miracles, the manna, the water from the rock, etc. (all of which were types of Christ), yet "they were overthrown in the wilderness" because they lusted after evil things. They were condemned by their idolatries and fornications, but mostly by their murmurings. We must be diligent not to murmur against God. Your tongue can save you or it can destroy you.
1 Corinthians 10:10 - "Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer."
Israel's Glory And Failure Served Prophetic Purposes
God originally chose Israel with prophetic intent. "Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD," Isaiah 43:10. But Paul said, "With many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. ...Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, ...Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, ...Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed."
1 Corinthians 10:11 - "All these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition."
With Temptation, God Will Also Make A Way Of Escape
The temptations of sin have never changed or diminished. The same sins that destroyed the ancients are destroying multitudes today. "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." But there is no reason for any believer to be destroyed by temptation.
1 Corinthians 10:13 - "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."
You Cannot Partake Of The Lord's Table And The Table Of Devils
Old Testament priests partook of the meats on the altar. New Testament believers partake of the communion bread and cup, thereby partaking of the body and blood of Jesus. If you participate in any rites pertaining to false religions, you make yourself an idolater.
1 Corinthians 10:20-21 - "The things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils."
Idolatry Is Fellowship With Devils
"My dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. ...I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils." The modern Church is refusing to discern between the holy and the profane. It fellowships with darkness as if light and darkness are compatible. But that which is of the world and devils is off limits to the child of God. "If any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake." Remember! Idolatry fellowships devils.
1 Corinthians 10:22 - "Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?"
We Must Not Do Wrong Just Because It Is Lawful
Paul was obviously discounting the defense that "all things are lawful for me," (v.23). That may be good in theory, but in practice, there are many things that we should abstain from. Whether it is eating meats offered to idols, or ANY questionable or doubtful practice, the true Christian is obligated to magnify, not reproach Jesus or His Church in any way.
1 Corinthians 10:31-32 - "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God."
Wealth And Riches
There is an evil teaching that Christians should seek earthly prosperity so that they may bless others. That is contrary to the scriptures. "Labour not to be rich," Proverbs 23:4. Jesus blessed the poor in Spirit. Paul said, "Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth." "He that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent," Proverbs 28:20. "He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, ...poverty shall come upon him," Proverbs 28:22.
1 Corinthians 10:33 - "...not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved."
Follow Me As I Follow Christ
Too many Christians are obsessed with learning leadership skills. Nobody needs to follow you. Almost every time the word "lead" or "led" is in the Bible, it refers to God leading the people. As many as are led by the Spirit are the sons of God. The only leaders we need are followers of Christ. Moses led by following God. Lead by following.
1 Corinthians 11:2 - "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you."
Who covers you? The Eternal Spirit of God covers the Son of Man Jesus Christ. Jesus covers the man. The man covers the woman. That is the Divine Hierarchy. It is more significant and important than mortal men can comprehend. Almighty God wants that hierarchy to be displayed throughout the human race using the symbol of HAIR to illustrate who is covered, and by whom.
1 Corinthians 11:3 - "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God."
It Is A Shame And Dishonor For A Man To Have Long Hair
Long, uncut hair is called a covering. "If a woman have long hair, ...her hair is given her for a covering." This "covering" typologically represents that the woman has a covering - the man.
1 Corinthians 11:4,7,14 - "Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. ...For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. ...Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?"
Her Hair Is Given Her For A Covering When She Prays
God covers Christ. The man covers the woman. She must wear uncut hair, representing that she is covered by the man. "Her hair is given her for a covering." Paul says that SHORN hair is the SAME as SHAVEN - not covered at all.
1 Corinthians 11:5-6 - "Every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered."
Men Must Have Short Hair, Women Long Hair To Prophesy
If you want to pray or prophesy (including worship or praise) in the church, a man must have short hair, and a woman must have long, uncut hair. "Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven." Nothing here speaks of veils. Hair is the subject. God has reasons. Will you argue with God?
1 Corinthians 11:6-7 - "Let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head."
Let Her Be Covered: Shorn (Cut) Hair Means Uncovered
Not one woman in a million is proud to be bald. Almost without exception, women who lose their hair because of medical reasons wear wigs or hats to avoid embarrassment or unnecessary attention. For thousands of years, women everywhere wore uncut hair. Women who cut their hair had a bad reputation. Hollywood glorified such women and styles, but the Bible still instructs all women to wear long uncut hair. Paul said that shorn hair equals shaven, and that means UNCOVERED.
1 Corinthians 11:6 - "If it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered."
Man: Image And Glory Of God; Woman: Glory Of The Man
This verse might be as controversial as any in the Bible to the modern feminist mind. A man "is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man." You cannot escape the fact that God designed the man to glorify Him, and the woman to glorify her husband. Modern culture vehemently defies that, but lady - defer to and edify your husband!
1 Corinthians 11:7 - "For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man."
God Created The Woman For The Man
In these days of gender-identity chaos, only the infallible Word of God can take us back to sanity and order. Men were not made for men. Women were not made for women. Men were not made for women. God made man first, then the woman for the man. When women rule men, they are in conflict with God, and the result will be chaos and confusion.
1 Corinthians 11:8-9 - "For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man."
Uncut Hair Affirms A Woman's Power With Angels
The Holy Angels can only do as commanded by God. They have no power or will to do otherwise. On earth, "are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?" (Hebrews 1:14). What could prevent an angel from ministering to a woman if she is an heir of salvation? Their authority is somehow tied to the "power on her head." What is on a woman's head but her hair?
1 Corinthians 11:10 - "For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels."
The Woman Is Of The Man, The Man Is By The Woman
It is honorable and wise for a man to submit to Jesus Christ, accepting His covering. It is honorable and wise for a woman to submit to her husband, accepting his covering. Women who fail to submit to their husbands, and men who fail to submit to Christ, defy the eternal plan and purpose of God, and forfeit unimaginable blessings.
1 Corinthians 11:11-12 - "Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God."
Is It Suitable That A Woman Pray Uncovered?
Renowned Presbyterian minister, Matthew Henry (1662-1714) said of a woman who cuts her hair: "She appears in the dress of her superior, and throws off the token of her subjection. She might, with equal decency, cut her hair short, or cut it close, which was the custom of the man in that age. This would be in a manner to declare that she was desirous of changing sexes." Before the 20th Century, it was scandalous for women to cut their hair.
1 Corinthians 11:13 - "Judge in yourselves: is it comely [suitable, proper] that a woman pray unto God uncovered?"
A cultural revolution in the 1960s was articulated in the Broadway show "Hair!" The show was performed by troupes all over the world - over 1900 performances in London! It promoted hippies, flower-power, sex, drugs, rebellion, etc. Why is rebellion and anarchy so regularly expressed in people's hairstyles? God orders men to have short hair, and women to have long uncut hair.
1 Corinthians 11:14-15 - "Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her."
Head Coverings In Prayer
Paul said that every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, but every woman who prays or prophesies with her head UNCOVERED dishonors her head (as if her head was shaved). What covering was Paul talking about? "Her hair is given her for a covering." This has nothing to do with veils or hats. Long, uncut hair is her covering. It is a shame for a man to have long hair.
1 Corinthians 11:15 - "If a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering."
We Have No Custom In The Church To Allow Contention
Many people dismiss ALL of Paul's teaching about hair length on men and women, excusing themselves with this line: "But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom." Does this mean that if you are contentious, you may contradict Paul's teaching? NO!! "It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a CONTENTIOUS and an angry woman," Proverbs 21:19. "Unto them that are CONTENTIOUS, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath," Romans 2:8. Contention evokes the wrath of God.
1 Corinthians 11:17-18 - "I praise you not, ...I hear that there be divisions among you."
There Must Be Heresies, To Manifest Those Approved
In every Church there are those who do not see eye to eye with the rest. Sometimes they have enough sense to remain silent and keep the peace. At other times, they voice their differences and cause division. God knew that from the beginning, and He knows how to redeem the situation. In time, He will manifest those who are approved. Be patient.
1 Corinthians 11:18-19 - "I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you."
The Lord's Supper
The Lord's Supper is an ordinance established by Jesus Christ that we should observe until He returns. It began on Passover, the night before Jesus was crucified. It is logical that we should celebrate the Lord's Supper annually before Easter. It is a sacred event, not to be taken casually with ordinary meals.
1 Corinthians 11:20-21 - "...this is not to eat the Lord's supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God?"
I Received Of The Lord That Which I Delivered Unto You
Paul was not present at the Last Supper, yet he taught more about it than anyone in the Bible. Like much of Paul's other teachings, the Lord showed it to him by supernatural revelation.
1 Corinthians 11:23-24 - "I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup..."
Show The Lord's Death Till He Comes
The Last Supper was one of the most powerful prophetic events in the Bible. It prefigured the sacrifice of Jesus' body and blood. He clearly knew that He would die the next day, long before anyone else knew. Communion is the singularly most significant ordinance of the Church. At least once a year, preferably at the time of Passover, we should ourselves participate in the Communion of the Lord, a sacred pantomime of His supreme sacrifice.
1 Corinthians 11:26 - "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come."
The Bread And Wine Of Communion
The Roman Catholic Church teaches the false doctrine of transubstantiation - that the communion bread and wine becomes in substance the literal flesh and blood of Jesus. If true, we would be committing cannibalism every time we partake of communion. Such a preposterous notion does not deserve the time it takes for a rebuttal. Besides, the Law forbids drinking blood or eating that which dieth of itself. Jesus could only have intended symbolism.
1 Corinthians 11:27 - "Whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord."
Always Repent Before Partaking Of The Lord's Supper
If you partake of the bread and the cup of the Lord's Supper (Communion), you must examine yourself first. Never partake of Communion in an unrepentant state. "Whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. ...he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. Always repent first.
1 Corinthians 11:30 - "For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged."
No Man Can Say Jesus Is The Lord But By Holy Ghost
Anyone who worships an idol is obviously not very discerning about the true nature or identity of God. Paul called them "dumb idols." Not surprisingly, ordinary men do not discern the true diety of Jesus Christ. Unless the Spirit of God opens your eyes, you will never comprehend the Mighty God in Christ. The Eternal Spirit is embodied in Him. "God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself."
1 Corinthians 12:3 - "No man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost."
The Nine Gifts of the Spirit
Nine specific supernatural gifts are bestowed upon the true church. 1. The Word of Wisdom. 2. The Word of Knowledge. 3. Faith 4. Gifts of Healing. 5. Working of Miracles. 6. Prophecy. 7. Discerning of Spirits 8. Different Tongues. 9. The Interpretation of Tongues. The Church is meant to be infinitely more than a soup kitchen, second-hand store, day care center, gymnasium, dance company, or voting station. God gives the Church a supernatural ministry. Does yours have it?
I Corinthians 12:11 - "But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will."
The Gift Of The Word Of Wisdom
Wisdom is the ability to discern or judge what is true, right or lasting. Unfortunately, we often face situations in which wisdom cannot be found. Our carnal mind possesses only the limited knowledge and wisdom of man, which often fails our needs. Miraculously, God sometimes uses a saint to communicate divine wisdom to us that could not have come from a natural mind. "The manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal." The gift of the word of wisdom is supernatural.
1 Corinthians 12:8 - "For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom."
The Gift Of The Word Of Knowledge
Knowledge is the accumulation of facts derived from what you have seen, heard, and learned. Some things you just do not know, because you have never been exposed to the right information. God knows everything, and can enable someone to miraculously reveal facts to you that you could not have known naturally. If God reveals a name, a time, a place, or practically anything else in a manner that edifies or helps you, that is probably a manifestation of the gift of the Word of Knowledge.
1 Corinthians 12:8 - "...to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit."
The Gift Of Faith
Paul asked the Church to pray that he and his companions would "be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith," (2 Thessalonians 3:2). Not all men have faith! Faith is "not of yourselves: it is the gift of God," (Ephesians 2:8). Our relationship with God founders or flourishes according to "the measure of faith" (Romans 12:3) that each man has been given. Faith comes in divine measures. When you feel faithless, the gift of faith will miraculously enpower you to believe God.
1 Corinthians 12:9 - "To another faith by the same Spirit."
The Gift Of Healing
There is no natural, inherent human ability to indiscriminately heal anybody, anywhere at anytime. Only by a supernatural gift can any man lay hands on the sick and they recover. Otherwise, it is inexplicable. With that awesome gift, a believer may lay hands, anoint with oil, or merely speak the word in the name of Jesus, and blind eyes see, deaf ears hear, the lame walks, and diseases disappear. You will never explain it, but have no doubt - it is real! It has happened for countless multitudes.
1 Corinthians 12:9 - "...to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit."
The Gift Of Miracles
Light out of darkness. Matter out of void. Water. Life. Seed. God of miracles. His power working in a man can turn a stick into a snake, a river into blood, the sky into darkness, and calm a raging sea. It is a gift. With the gift of miracles, you can call fire down from heaven, raise the dead, turn water into wine, or perform the most far-fetched incomprehensible feat. If thou canst believe, ALL things are possible. Stop a train. Pay a bill. Free a prisoner. Build a Church.
1 Corinthians 12:10 - "To another the working of miracles."
The Gift Of Prophecy
Among all the peoples and nations on earth, NONE have manifest the prophetic acumen and accuracy of the Old Testament prophets of Israel. That is because Jehovah God moved upon them by His Spirit. Now, the Spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus, and that Spirit moves inside the Church. As Ananias and Agabus prophesied over Paul, God often prompts Spirit-filled believers to declare or decree things unseen or unknowable in advance. Mind you, God HATES false prophets. Do not play games with this gift. If in doubt, remain silent.
1 Corinthians 12:10 - "To another prophecy."
The Gift Of Discerning Of Spirits
Almost nothing is more misunderstood or misrepresented as things pertaining to the spirit world. God is the Father of all spirits. He made angels, (one-third of which sinned, to become demons). God also gave spirits to men (human spirits). Outside of a clear understanding of Biblical teachings, multitudes have erroneous, outrageous, even bizarre, ideas about what spirits are and what they do. They are invisible and indiscernible to ordinary men. But by the gift of the Spirit, saints may discern the presence of angels, demons, or evil spirits of men.
1 Corinthians 12:10 - "To another discerning of spirits."
The Gift Of Tongues
Every person who receives the baptism of the Holy Ghost (as first occurred in Acts 2) will speak in other tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance. It happened in the Upper Room, at Ephesus, to Cornelius' household, and in every other Biblical account. In addition, God gives some saints the unction to prophesy in tongues in the presence of other believers. God then gives the interpretation of that message in tongues to another saint who relates it to the hearers. This is done for the edifying of the Church.
1 Corinthians 12:10 - "To another divers kinds of tongues."
The Gift Of Interpretation Of Tongues
When someone in the Church gives a message in tongues, Paul taught that there should be an interpreter present. Both people must operate in the gifts of the Spirit. This calls for a spiritually adept congregation who are well acquainted with the ways of the Spirit. An interpreter is not the same as a translator. A translator renders speech word-for-word from one language to another. No one knows the unknown tongue word-for-word. An interpreter supernaturally explains or expounds upon what was said in the unknown language.
1 Corinthians 12:10 - "To another the interpretation of tongues."
Knowing Gifts, Power Gifts, Speaking Gifts
It may help to understand the nine gifts of the Spirit by categorizing them in three ways: 1. Knowing Gifts; 2. Power Gifts; 3. Speaking Gifts. Many people teach that the word of wisdom, word of knowledge, and discerning of spirits are knowing gifts; secondly, that faith, healing and working of miracles are power gifts; and thirdly, that prophecy, tongues, and interpretation of tongues are speaking gifts. However, the word of wisdom and word of knowledge often involve speaking, too.
I Corinthians 12:11 - "But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will."
The Body Of Christ - Repository Of His Spirit
Jesus' mortal body was killed at Calvary. He resurrected immortal, and ascended into Heaven. Since His departure, the Church is called the Body of Christ on earth. We are the repository of His Ghost - the Holy Ghost. Unless you are filled with His Spirit, you are not yet His body.
1 Corinthians 12:12-13 - "The body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, ...and have been all made to drink into one Spirit."
Members Of The Body Of Christ
We are baptized by the Holy Ghost into the body of Christ. Whether we are Jews, Gentiles, bond or free, we are all partakers of one Spirit. As the natural body has many and various members with different functions (foot, hand, ear, eye, etc.), the body of Christ also has many members with different abilities. In every nation and every language, the Holy Ghost is the common denominator.
1 Corinthians 12:18,20 - "But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. ...they [are] many members, yet but one body."
Members Should Have The Same Care One For Another
Should a foot be amputated because it is not a hand? Or an ear removed because it is not an eye? Of course not! Every member has its own purpose and usefulness. Strengthen every member, every believer in the body of Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:22,24-25 - "Much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: ...but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another."
Ministry Gifts And Callings
The body of Christ consists of various members. There are Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, Pastors, Evangelists, Governments, Helps, and a wide diversity of other ministries. Nobody is proficient in every facet of ministry (although some have multiple gifts or callings). Not everyone gives messages in tongues, or interprets tongues. Not everyone teaches, or prophesies, etc. Strive to maximize all the gifts you have.
1 Corinthians 12:29-31 - "Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts."
Eros, Phileo And Agape Love
Three kinds of love are distinguishable in the Greek language: Eros, Phileo, and Agape. Eros (not mentioned in the Bible) refers to physical or sexual (erotic) love. Phileo speaks of brotherly love; love among family or friends. Agape love is selfless, perfect (divine) love.
Agape love is in John 3:16, "God so loved the world..." Agape love is in John 14:15, "If ye love me, keep my commandments."
1 Corinthians 13:1 - "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity [agape], I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal."
Say It With Love
We say that actions speak louder than words. Perhaps the ancient root of that conclusion comes from Paul. He said, "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal." If you think you have something to say, say it with love. Without love, your words are speechless.
1 Corinthians 13:2 - "And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing."
Having And Showing Love Exceeds All Other Virtues
According to these verses, having love is more important than speaking like an angel, understanding all mysteries, or having all knowledge and all faith. Having love is more important than being able to move a mountain, or giving everything to feed the poor, or even giving my body to be burned. The grand conclusion is that love is more important than all other virtues. What is love? A choice to do the highest good for someone. Love creates a bond of perfectness - perfect glue. Love holds everything together.
1 Corinthians 13:3 - "[If I] have not charity, it profiteth me nothing."
The Nature Of Love
Love is the bond of perfectness (Colossians 3:14). It is the perfect glue. It holds people together. Love bonds God to men, and men to God. As a result, love is longsuffering, kind, not envious, not selfish or proud, and is well-behaved. Love is not easily provoked and does not have an evil mind. Love has no joy in sin, but has great joy in truth. Love is tolerant, believing, hopeful and enduring. Love does the highest good for others. That is why love is the greatest of all the virtues.
1 Corinthians 13:8 - "Charity never faileth."
Prophecies Fail, Tongues Cease, Knowledge Vanishes
Theologians call it "Cessationism," - that God no longer uses prophecies or speaking in tongues because of 1 Corinthians 13:8. If their argument was valid, there would be no knowledge in the world today, either. Paul was showing that people sometimes prophesy inaccurately. Sometimes they fail to speak in tongues, and sometimes knowledge is elusive. Nevertheless, Paul commanded, "covet to prophesy" and URGED speaking in tongues!
1 Corinthians 13:8-9 - "Whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part."
That Which Is Perfect Will Come
Men sometimes mishandle the gifts of the Spirit. We do not always see or understand clearly. But if we tend to the most important matter of loving God and others with our whole hearts, everything will be as clear to us in Heaven as things now are to God.
1 Corinthians 13:10,12 - "When that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. ...For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known."
The Greatest Of These Is Love
Jesus taught, "Love the Lord thy God," "Love thy neighbor," and "Love your enemies." John repeatedly taught, "We should love one another." Paul taught that love (charity) is a perfect (fully mature) virtue. Love excels above faith and hope. How? Faith is a step in God's direction. Hope is confidence in an unseen portion. But love is a choice to do the highest good for someone, including God. If you love God and others, faith, hope, and all other virtues will eventually follow.
1 Corinthians 13:13 - "And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."
Desire To Prophesy
After you have attained to some spiritual maturity, you will recognize the value of having certain spiritual gifts. DESIRE the gifts of the Spirit! Among all the spiritual gifts to be had, Paul urges us to desire to prophesy! Yes, prophesy! This does not necessarily mean you will predict some future event. Maybe you will, but prophecy also includes inspired words of edification, exhortation and comfort.
1 Corinthians 14:1,3-4 - "Desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. ...he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. ...he that prophesieth edifieth the church."
Speaking Unto God
Some people oppose speaking in other tongues, arguing that we should not do so in public without an interpreter. But Paul explicitly urged the Corinthians to pray in unknown tongues, explaining that it is NOT intended to be understood by men. It is a divinely cryptic language. Men and devils do not have a clue what is being said. However, God
1 Corinthians 14:2 - "For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries."
I Would That Ye All Spake With Tongues
From the Day of Pentecost, the early Church was full of the Holy Ghost and spoke in unknown tongues. Praying in tongues was the most rudimentary and fundamental part of being a Christian. That should still be the case today.
1 Corinthians 14:2,4-5,18 - "For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. ...He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; ...I would that ye all spake with tongues. ...I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all."
A Distinct Sound
When you are baptized in the Holy Ghost, you receive the gift of speaking in unknown tongues. You can and should pray daily in the Spirit, making intercession in languages no man or devil understands. But when ministering to others, unknown tongues are useless, unless an interpreter is present. Speak clearly in your native tongue.
1 Corinthians 14:7-8 - "Things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?"
Pray That You May Interpret
The Apostle wished that everyone spoke in tongues. But he made a clear distinction between praying in tongues and speaking in tongues to the congregation. It does not edify the Church to speak to them in unknown tongues, "except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying." "If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. ...If there be no interpreter, ...let him keep silence."
1 Corinthians 14:13 - "Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret."
Pray With The Spirit
Paul prayed in unknown tongues, and gladly admitted it. He taught that we should pray as best we can understand in our native tongue. But he also acknowledged that sometimes our prayer needs exceed our understanding. That is when we should enter into the Spirit and pray as God gives the utterance. The Spirit makes intercession in ways we cannot know how to do, even though we earnestly groan or cry.
1 Corinthians 14:15 - "What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also."
There are many voices which have significance. Speaking in tongues. Revelations. Words of Knowledge. Prophecies. Doctrines. Like musical instruments - pipes, harps, and trumpets, they must be skillfully played to give a distinct sound. Words uttered by the tongue must be communicated accurately. If the hearer cannot know the meaning of a voice, it seems barbaric. Therefore, if you speak in tongues in the congregation, pray that one may interpret, or else, pray privately.
1 Corinthians 14:16 - "How shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?"
Men In Understanding
"I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue." Paul truly loved the manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit, but he cared far more that men may know and understand the things of God. "With all thy getting, get understanding," Proverbs 4:7. Are you a CHILD or a MAN in understanding? Only those with great and holy desire ever attain to the MASTERY.
1 Corinthians 14:20 - "Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men."
Tongues Are For A Sign To Them That Believe Not
Isaiah 28:11 prophesied, "With stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people." Paul concretely linked that prophecy with the Baptism of the Holy Ghost and speaking in tongues. "In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord." God devised unknown tongues for a sign to unbelievers.
1 Corinthians 14:22 - "Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth ...for them which believe."
Falling Down On His Face He Will Worship God
The Gifts of the Spirit that Paul listed in 1 Corinthians 12 are supernatural ministry gifts. Without the unction of the Holy Ghost, it would be impossible to minister in the Word of Knowledge, Word of Wisdom, Gifts of Healing, Miracles, Discernment, etc. The Gift of Prophecy, when truly inspired by the Holy Ghost can shake even a hardened man to his knees in contrition.
1 Corinthians 14:25 - "And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth."
Let All Things Be Done Unto Edifying
After fifty years of interacting with hundreds of thousands of Pentecostals in hundreds of churches, I conclude that the best Churches stay closest to true doctrine, and refrain from exotic, passing fads and fashions. You cannot improve on having a time of heart-felt singing and worshipping, followed by a good sermon from the Word of God. God works mightily in that.
1 Corinthians 14:26 - "How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying."
Prophesy, Knowing That Every Word Will Be Judged
Every utterance that crosses our lips will bear the judgment of God. Jesus said, "Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment," (Matthew 12:36). So when a man purports to be speaking by the Spirit of God, he should prepare to face rigourous judgment.
1 Corinthians 14:29-33 - "Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. ...that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace."
Let Women Keep Silence In The Churches
No amount of political correctness can cover the fact that the Bible teaches women to be in subjection to men, especially their husbands. And if we believe that the Bible is God's Word, then it is God instructing women to submit.
1 Corinthians 14:34-35 - "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church."
Covet To Prophesy, And Allow Speaking In Tongues
If you think you have a word from the Lord, a prophecy, or something spiritual, just remember that the things already written and commanded in the Word of God have priority over any new word. "What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?" We should covet to speak the Word of the Lord by the unction of the Spirit, and should not forbid others to speak in tongues.
1 Corinthians 14:39-40 - "Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. Let all things be done decently and in order."
Jesus Rose From The Dead As Prophesied
The Sadducees did not believe in angels or in the resurrection, so they were "sad, you see." The Pharisees did accept the teaching about angels and the resurrection, so they were "fair, you see." Of course, Jesus is risen, and there is hope for every man and woman of life beyond the grave. Over 500 people saw Jesus alive after His crucifixion and burial. Prophecies of His resurrection were fulfilled. Prophecies of His second coming will soon be fulfilled, too, and "EVERY eye shall see him!"
1 Corinthians 15:6 - "...he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once."
One Born Out Of Due Time
You may feel that you do not fit into your present time or place. But you were NOT born out of due time. From this very time and place, no matter how unlikely it seems, you can pursue God's perfect will.
1 Corinthians 15:8-10 - "Last of all [Christ] was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, ...But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain."
Witnesses Of The Resurrection
Jesus' resurrection is one of the best-corroborated facts in ancient history. Peter saw Him, then all the disciples. 500 saw him at once (most of whom were alive in Paul's day). James, the Apostles and others saw Him again. "Last of all he was seen of me [Paul] also, as of one born out of due time." "If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. ...and we are found false witnesses of God."
1 Corinthians 15:20 - "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept."
The End Of Time And All Things Temporal
Lucifer contaminated God's Eden with blasphemous arrogance, poisoned Adam and Eve, and usurped earthly dominion. For thousands of years since, sin has strangled this planet. But Jesus Christ will soon dispel sin's stygian darkness when He rules on earth with a rod of iron for one thousand years. Earth will be completely purged, "white-washed" of sin and Satan. That accomplished, time will be no more.
1 Corinthians 15:24 - "Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power."
He Must Reign Until All Enemies Are Under His Feet
One purpose of the millennial (1000-year) kingdom of Christ on earth is to totally rid the earth of sin and evil, and turn the righteous remnant over to the Father. When Jesus returns, a major, sweeping global overthrow will take place at Armageddon, where the Beast, False Prophet (Revelation 13), and Satan will be rid from the earth. Following the battle of Armageddon, Jesus and his saints will rule the earth until all men everywhere come into full submission to His rule.
1 Corinthians 15:25 - "For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet."
The Last Enemy That Shall Be Destroyed Is Death
At Armageddon, all the major evil kings on earth will be removed from power. The Antichrist, the False Prophet and Satan himself will be cast alive into the lake of fire by none other than Jesus Christ Himself. For 1000 years, Jesus will, by righteous government, finally purge the earth of all sin and lawlessness. Even so, mortal men who survived Armageddon will still die. Death will not be destroyed until the 1000 years is finished, and the material universe is dissolved.
I Corinthians 15:26 - "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death."
All Things Under Christ, Christ Under God
God is not three co-equal, co-eternal persons. The Father is one omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient Holy Spirit, who conceived Christ in Mary. God was in (the body of) Christ (2 Corinthians 5:19). Jesus had two natures; (divine) Spirit and human. His glorified body will sit on the Throne - the only body of God you will ever see. All things under Christ, and Christ under God.
1 Corinthians 15:28 - "...when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all."
I Die Daily
Are you a born-again Child of God? Two minds inhabit you: a godless carnal mind and a new spiritual mind. The carnal mind endlessly seeks to please the flesh. It is a slave to the world, the flesh and the devil. The spiritual mind, born of God, abhors temporal things and seeks the things of God. Jesus said that a man must take up his cross or he cannot be His disciple. Our flesh must be crucified. Are you a carnally-minded person? Carnality has to be crucified. Die to yourself.
1 Corinthians 15:31 - "I die daily."
Evil Communications Corrupt Good Manners
If Jesus is not risen from the dead, then our faith is baseless. We might as well do as the heathen say: "Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die!" But do not be deceived. Christ is risen. However, if you companion with unbelievers, and engage in conversational intercourse with them, your godly way of living will be destroyed. Don't kid yourself. If you listen to enough of unbelievers' vain talk, your righteous intentions WILL be compromised! Stop talking so much with the world. Talk with God!
1 Corinthians 15:33 - "Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners."
This Body Is The Seed For The Body That Shall Be
We will be resurrected from the dead, and will spend eternity either in Heaven or Hell. "How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?" The mortal body will perish forever. Saints will rise with new, immortal bodies.
1 Corinthians 15:36-38 - "That which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body."
The Natural Body And The Spiritual Body
There are celestial (heavenly) bodies. There are terrestrial (earthly) bodies. Our resurrected (heavenly) body will be different from our mortal (earthly) body. Flesh and blood will not enter Heaven. When Jesus returns, His saints' bodies will be changed from earthly to heavenly.
1 Corinthians 15:42 - "It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body."
The First Adam And The Second Adam
"The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit." Adam was a divinely-created soul, breathed into a body made of earth. The last Adam, Jesus Christ, was the incarnation of God, the life-giver. The natural, mortal, earthly man came first. The heavenly, immortal Savior came second. So are we. Our first man is the human soul. Our new man, received at the New Birth, is the Holy Ghost of Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:47 - "The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven."
First The Natural, Then The Spiritual
God first made the body of Adam, then breathed into him a living soul. "That was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual." God raised up a people called Israel, then filled them with the Holy Ghost. God brought you into this world to fill you with His Spirit. Graduate to spiritual living. Abandon earthy living.
1 Corinthians 15:49-50 - "As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. ...flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption."
Our Bodies Will Be Changed To New Bodies
God created light from darkness; matter from void; roses, tigers, whales and hummingbirds with only His voice. Everything the Hubble telescope has ever photographed - God made it! Every atom ever split by a nuclear cyclotron - God made it! When the angelic trumpet blasts, God's saints will instantly turn into immortal beings and fly into His presence. Never think that God cannot do that.
1 Corinthians 15:52 - "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."
Be Ye Steadfast, Unmovable, Always Abounding
Death and dying is often accompanied by terrifying pain and suffering. Loved ones are often overcome with devastating grief and sorrow. But we have hope in Christ to bravely face death. Death has no sting, and the grave has no victory for true believers. His children have the fondest hopes of eternal life beyond the grave. The rewards that await us should greatly motivate us to serve Jesus!
1 Corinthians 15:58 - "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord."
Take Up Collections For Saints In Need
"I have given order to the churches of Galatia," Paul said, to take up a collection for the saints in Jerusalem who were in need. "Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him." From the birth of the early Church, they had "all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need," Acts 2:44-45.
1 Corinthians 16:3 "Whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem."
A Great Door And Effectual
Paul certainly must have looked forward to his third missionary journey with much more excitement and anticipation than his previous two, for the simple reason that many of his preaching points had established congregations, and he had friends in every place. Still, he knew that it would not be easy, because there are always people who hate the Gospel. Around the world today, great doors are open to the Gospel. I bid you godspeed in Jesus' name, as you pursue God-given ministry opportunities.
1 Corinthians 16:9 - "For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries."
Timothy, Apollos, Stephanas, Fortunatus, Achaicus
Paul could never have accomplished as much as he did without the help of others who were also devoted to Jesus Christ and the ministry. He relied heavily on them to fill important roles in the Churches. The body of Christ has many members. Every one of us should do our best.
1 Corinthians 16:10,12,15,17 - "[Timotheus] ...worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do. ...Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you, ...the house of Stephanas, ...they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints, ...I am glad of the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus."
Quit Yourselves Like Men
When Israel backslid under Eli the priest (in 1 Samuel 4), the Philistines came to destroy them. They admonished one another to "quit yourselves like men," that is, abandon all selfish interests for the common cause. The Philistines defeated Israel that day. In his farewell to the Corinthians, Paul admonished the Church to "stand fast in the faith, QUIT YOU like men, be strong." He named their elders, and urged them to work with them. The Church today needs men who will quit themselves.
1 Corinthians 16:16 - "Submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth."
His closing statements to the Church at Corinth were loving, but terse. Paul said what he meant, and meant what he said. He charged them to acknowledge their elders and work unselfishly with them for the sake of the Kingdom of God. His last words showed no sympathy for those who did not love Jesus or the Gospel. Let them be "Anathema," cursed! "Maranatha!" The Lord is coming! Paul showed unbending urgency. We must not waste time on those who hate the Gospel.
1 Corinthians 16:22 - "If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha."
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