Archive for the ‘1 Corinthians’ Category


Under Gods Command

Final Greetings     

1 Corinthians 16: 24 My love to all of you in Christ Jesus. Amen

16:24 The church at Corinth was a church in trouble. Paul lovingly and forcefully confronted their problems and pointed them back to Christ. He dealt with divisions and conflicts, selfishness, inconsiderate use of freedom, disorder in worship, misuse of spiritual gifts, and wrong attitudes about the resurrection.

In every church, there are problems that create tensions and divisions. We should not ignore or gloss over problems in our churches or in our life.

Lets Bring it Home: Instead, like Paul, we should deal with problems head on as they arise. The lesson for us in 1 Corinthians is that unity and love in a church are far more important than leaders and labels.


Under Gods Command

Final Greetings     

1 Corinthians 16: 24 My love to all of you in Christ Jesus. Amen

16:24 The church at Corinth was a church in trouble. Paul lovingly and forcefully confronted their problems and pointed them back to Christ. He dealt with divisions and conflicts, selfishness, inconsiderate use of freedom, disorder in worship, misuse of spiritual gifts, and wrong attitudes about the resurrection.

In every church, there are problems that create tensions and divisions. We should not ignore or gloss over problems in our churches or in our life. 

Lets Bring it Home: Instead, like Paul, we should deal with problems head on as they arise. The lesson for us in 1 Corinthians is that unity and love in a church are far more important than leaders and labels.


Under Gods Command

Final Greetings     

1 Corinthians 16: 19-23 The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house. All the brothers and sisters here send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss. I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand.   If anyone does not love the Lord, let that person be cursed! Come, Lord.  The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. 

16:19 Aquila and Priscilla were tentmakers (or leatherworkers) whom Paul had met in Corinth (Acts 18:1-3). They followed Paul to Ephesus and lived there with him, helping to teach others about Jesus (Romans 16:3-5). Many in the Corinthian church would have known this Christian couple. They are also mentioned in Acts 18:18, 26; Romans 16:3; and 2 Timothy 4:19.

16:21 Paul had a helper, or secretary, who wrote down this letter while he dictated. Paul wrote the final words, however, in his own handwriting. This is similar to adding a handwritten postscript (P.S.) to a typewritten letter. It also served to verify that this was a genuine letter from the apostle and not a forgery.

16:22 The Lord Jesus Christ is coming back to earth again. To Paul, this was a wonderful hope, the very best he could look forward to. He was not afraid of seeing Christ—he could hardly wait! 

Lets Bring it Home: Do you share Paul’s eager anticipation? Those who love Christ are looking forward to that wonderful time of his return. To those that did not love the Lord, however, Paul says, let them be cursed.


Under Gods Command

 Personal Request 

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love. 

As the Corinthians awaited Paul’s next visit, they were directed to:

(1) Be on guard. They were to be constantly watchful or alert for spiritual enemies that might slip in and threaten to destroy them, whether it be divisions, pride, sin, disorder, or erroneous theology.

(2) Stand firm in the faith—that is, in the good news that they had been taught in the beginning, the gospel that had brought them salvation.

(3) Be courageous, so that they could stand against false teachers, deal with sin in the congregation, and straighten out other problems.

(4) Be strong, with the strength given by the Holy Spirit.

(5) Do everything in love, because without love, they would be no more than prideful noisemakers. Today, as we wait for the return of Christ, we should follow the same instructions. 

Lets Bring it Home: Today, as we wait for the return of Christ, we should follow the same instructions.


Under Gods Command

 The Collection for the Lord’s People     

1 Corinthians 16:1-12 Now about the collection for the Lord’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem. If it seems advisable for me to go also, they will accompany me. 

05-09: After I go through Macedonia, I will come to you—for I will be going through Macedonia. Perhaps I will stay with you for a while, or even spend the winter, so that you can help me on my journey, wherever I go. For I do not want to see you now and make only a passing visit; I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. But I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost, because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me. 

10-11: When Timothy comes, see to it that he has nothing to fear while he is with you, for he is carrying on the work of the Lord, just as I am. No one, then, should treat him with contempt. Send him on his way in peace so that he may return to me. I am expecting him along with the brothers.

12: Now about our brother Apollos: I strongly urged him to go to you with the brothers. He was quite unwilling to go now, but he will go when he has the opportunity. 

16:1-4 The Christians in Jerusalem were suffering from poverty and famine, so Paul was collecting money for them (Romans 15:25-31; 2 Corinthians 8:4; 9:1-15). He suggested that believers set aside a certain amount each week and give it to the church until he arrived to take it on to Jerusalem. Paul had planned to go straight to Corinth from Ephesus, but he changed his mind (2 Corinthians 1–2). When he finally arrived, he took the gift and delivered it to the Jerusalem church. 

16:10-11 Paul was sending Timothy ahead to Corinth. Paul respected Timothy and had worked closely with him (Philippians 2:22; 1 Timothy 1:2). Although Timothy was young, Paul encouraged the Corinthian church to welcome him because he was doing the Lord’s work. God’s work is not limited by age. Paul wrote two personal letters to Timothy that have been preserved in the Bible (1 and 2 Timothy).

16:12 Apollos, who had preached in Corinth, was doing evangelistic work in Greece (see Acts 18:24-28; 1 Corinthians 3:3-23). Apollos didn’t go to Corinth right away, partly because he knew of the factions there and didn’t want to cause any more divisions.

Lets Bring it Home: Do we add to the fractions of our Church which adds to more division?


Under Gods Command
The Resurrection Body

1 Corinthians 15:35-58 35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.
     So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, 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. Physical and Resurrection Bodies If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being” the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.
     I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

     Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Paul launches into a discussion about what our resurrected bodies will be like. If you could select your own body, what kind would you choose—strong, athletic, beautiful? Paul explains that we will be recognizable in our resurrected body, yet it will be better than we can imagine, for it will be made to live forever. We will still have our own personality and individuality, but these will be perfected through Christ’s work. The Bible does not reveal everything that our resurrected body will be able to do, but we know it will be perfect, without any infirmities, sickness, or disease (see Philippians 3:21).
Paul compares the resurrection of our bodies with the growth of a seed in a garden. Seeds placed in the ground don’t grow unless they “die” first. The plant that grows looks very different from the seed because God gives it a new “body.” There are different kinds of bodies—people, animals, fish, birds. Even the angels in heaven have bodies that are different in beauty and glory. Our resurrected body will be very different from our earthly body. It will be a spiritual body full of glory.
Our present body is perishable and prone to decay. Our resurrection body will be transformed. The spiritual body will not be limited by the laws of nature. This does not necessarily mean we’ll be superpeople, but our body will be different from and more capable than our present earthly body. Our spiritual body will not be weak, will never get sick, and will never die.
The “last Adam” refers to Christ. Because Christ rose from the dead, he is a life-giving spirit. This means that he entered into a new form of existence. He is the source of the spiritual life that will result in our resurrection. Christ’s new glorified human body now suits his new glorified life—just as Adam’s human body was suitable to his natural life. When we are resurrected, God will give us a transformed, eternal body suited to our new eternal life.
We all face limitations. Those who have physical, mental, or emotional disabilities are especially aware of this. Some may be blind, but they can see a new way to live. Some may be deaf, but they can hear God’s good news. Some may be lame, but they can walk in God’s love. In addition, they have the encouragement that those disabilities are only temporary. Paul tells us that we all will be given new bodies when Christ returns and that these bodies will be without disabilities, never to die or become sick. This can give us hope in our suffering.
“We will not all sleep” means that Christians alive at that day will not have to die but will be transformed immediately. A trumpet blast will usher in the new heaven and earth. The Jews would understand the significance of this because trumpets were always blown to signal the start of great festivals and other extraordinary events (Numbers 10:10).
Satan seemed to be victorious in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3) and at the cross of Jesus. But God turned Satan’s apparent victory into defeat when Jesus Christ rose from the dead (Colossians 2:15; Hebrews 2:14-15). Thus, death is no longer a source of dread or fear. Christ overcame it, and one day we will also. The law will no longer make sinners out of us just because we cannot keep it. Death has been defeated, and we have hope beyond the grave.

Lets Bring it Home: Paul says that because of the resurrection, nothing we do is useless. Sometimes we become apathetic about serving the Lord or hesitate to do good because we don’t see any results. Knowing that Christ has won the ultimate victory should affect the way we live right now. Don’t let discouragement over an apparent lack of results keep you from doing the work of the Lord enthusiastically as you have opportunity, knowing that your work will have eternal results.


Under Gods Command

1 Corinthians 15:29-34 Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them? And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour? I face death every day—yes, just as surely as I boast about you in Christ Jesus our Lord. If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.

Some believers were baptized on behalf of others who had died unbaptized. Nothing more is known about this practice, but it obviously affirms a belief in resurrection. Paul is not promoting baptism for the dead; he is illustrating his argument that the resurrection is a reality.

If death ends it all, enjoying the moment would be all that matters. But Christians know that life continues beyond the grave and that our life on earth is only a preparation for our life that will never end. What you do today matters for eternity. In light of eternity, sin is a foolish gamble. Your belief in the resurrection will affect your view of the future. It also ought to affect how you live today.

“I face death every day” refers to the dangers Paul encountered daily. The “wild beasts” in Ephesus referred to the savage opposition he had faced there.

Keeping company with those who deny the resurrection can corrupt good Christian character.

Lets Bring it Home: Don’t let your relationships with unbelievers lead you away from Christ or cause your faith to waver.