Unbelieving Believers

The Problem Of Unbelieving Believers

1 Corinthians 15

There are certain things that all Christians should have in common.

1) The Trinity of God is a doctrine that is fundamental to the Christian faith!

God is one in essence.

God is three in persons. (The Father, The Son, The Holy Ghost)

The three persons all have distinct relationships.

The three persons are equal in authority.

2) The person of Christ was 100% God and 100% man.

3) The Second Coming of Christ. (The Lord Promised He Would Return)

4) Salvation is by Grace alone through Faith alone.

5) The Scriptures are “all” inspired by God and we have the complete Word of God.
(The Bible does not just contain the Word of God, it is the Word of God!)

If these things are true, then the Scriptures teach of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and since the Word of God says this is true then we must accept it as the truth!

You cannot be saved and reject the Word of God!

You can be saved and disagree on certain things that have no real meaning in salvation!

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is not one of these things and neither are these five basic fundamentals!

*****1Co 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
1Co 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

It should be clear to us all that Christianity is based on historical facts and not on human reasoning nor human imagination.

1) The person of Jesus Christ.

2) He “died”, He was “buried” and He “arose”!

3) There is more evidence that these things are all true, than for our own birth.

4) Christ Jesus died for our sins because He had no sin Himself.

5) Christianity is to be preached with this design!

The Apostle Paul preached so that those that heard the “Gospel” could be saved!

The Apostle Paul preached the facts of the Word of God!

*****1Co 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
1Co 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
1Co 15:5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
1Co 15:6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
1Co 15:7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.

The central focus of the “Gospel” is on the death, the burial, and the resurrection of Christ for our sins!

This is the greatest of the fundamentals of Christian faith!

Paul received the truth of the Gospel when the Lord Jesus revealed Himself to Paul on the road to Damascus!

Gal 1:12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

The physical death, the actual burial, and the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ is not a doctrine because it is a fact!

For salvation to be real, this is the first thing we must base our faith on!

If Christ had not rose from the dead to everlasting life, then we could not trust in our own promised salvation.

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Everlasting life can mean only one thing, eternal life after our own resurrection!

The reason that Christ, the Messiah first came to this world was to pay for all our sins!

1Jn 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

1Jn 4:14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

The New Testament records all these things of Christ but it is the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophesies that Paul is referring to.

It is the death of the Messiah that is the Gospel, the Good News!

Were we to be convinced that some man died for our sins, then that would be meaningless. Martyrs die every day but none of those can die for the sin of all the world!

Christ, the Messiah died for us, for all our sin!

No doubt that Christ died in substitution for our own eternal death but the death of Christ also means that the righteous demands of a holy God “were satisfied”!

The death of Christ provided the payment for sin and God was satisfied!

Christ death resulted in forgiveness for all sinners!

God could not forgive sin without the proper payment!

Col 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
Col 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
Col 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

Christ arose showing the world that He had the power over death and the grave!

This is also a historical fact!

We know that Christ was seen by many in the world as the Scripture dictate, but Paul gives us the evidence of the Apostles.

Cephas(Peter) saw our risen Saviour!

Luk 24:34 Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.

Christ was then seen of the eleven remaining apostles:

Joh 20:19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

And just so we would know that there many other witnesses to His resurrection, Christ was seen of more than 500 brethren at once.

And Paul told these Corinthians that many of those eyewitness were still alive the day he wrote this epistle!

No doubt the Apostle Paul had spoken to many of them!

We all know that if there were 500 witnesses to anything today then that thing would be believed without a doubt.

This James was the half-brother of Jesus.

We know that none of the half-brothers and half-sisters of Christ Jesus believed in Him until after the resurrection and then they believed.

Then Christ was seen of all the apostles. These would have been the followers possibly the 120 who gathered after the Lord ascended back to Heaven.

And then by Paul himself later on the Damascus road!

*****1Co 15:8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
1Co 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

When the Apostle Paul said “as one born out of due time” the Greek words used mean the same as we would say today that “as one who has survived an abortion”.

We know that any child that is born before it has completed the normal 9 months in the womb would be puny and though born alive would not be the proper size.

Paul said, “I am the least of the Apostles”, “I am scarcely meet to be an Apostle”.

Paul said, “I did not come through the regular course as the other Apostles”.

Paul said, “I should have been aborted but I was saved by the power of God”.

Paul had persecuted the Church and God had forgiven him but in reality Paul had never forgiven himself!

Paul said if not for “Grace” he would still be lost!

We can all say this same thing!

*****1Co 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

The appearance of Jesus to Paul was real!

The appearance of Jesus to Paul was necessary for him to be an Apostle.

The appearance of Jesus to Paul was before Paul was a believer.

The appearance of Jesus to Paul was a special example of God’s “Grace”!

Paul later wrote to the Philippians these words:

Php 3:4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:
Php 3:5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;
Php 3:6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
Php 3:7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
Php 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
Php 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
Php 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Php 3:11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
Php 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
Php 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
Php 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

God had reached down and touched the heart of the Lord’s greatest persecutor and made him the greatest of the Apostles to the Gentiles.

We know that “Grace” is the unmerited favor of God!

This wonderful thing called “Grace” can only come by the Lord Jesus Christ!

2Ti 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
2Ti 1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

Then the Apostle Paul joined the ranks of the other Apostles to preach the “Gospel”!

*****1Co 15:11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.

Paul said it was he that preached the “Gospel” to these Corinthians but all the Apostles preached the “Resurrection” of Christ!

These Corinthians had believed at first, but now they were just confused about the Resurrection of Christ as they were about so many other things.

Therefore Paul the teacher, was writing to re-educate this church in the truth!

*****1Co 15:12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
1Co 15:13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
1Co 15:14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
1Co 15:15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.

The truth is that over 600 eye-witnesses had seen Christ after He had risen from the dead.

It is a fact fact that this miracle had taken place, is also a fact that we have the complete “Gospel” of Jesus Christ.

It is a fact that we have the Words of Jesus Christ, teaching us what He will do!

We have enough facts to furnish all Christians with enough proof that we shall also rise after death!

Paul wrote to the Thessalonians with these words:

1Th 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
1Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
1Th 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

Those that deny a risen Christ simply ignore the truth of the Word of God!

This is what happens when the world is allowed to gain entrance into the Church!

The politics of this world must never be allowed to gain a foothold in the Church established on the foundation Christ Jesus!

The Church is established on the resurrection of Christ!

1Pe 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1Pe 1:4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
1Pe 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

The Baptism of each believer would be a useless ceremony if the resurrection was not true!

The Church is non-existent without the resurrection of Christ Jesus!

Our faith would be in vain because that faith would be in a crucified man, a martyr, and not in a risen Savior!

The entire Church would be a false witnesses of God.

It would be a lie to tell false stories of the things that God does, if God had not raised Christ from the grave and God would not tolerate such a lie!

Job 13:7 Will ye speak wickedly for God? and talk deceitfully for him?

God will not allow deception in His name!

There is no true Christian faith without the resurrection!

There is no hope for forgiveness without the resurrection.

There is no hope of salvation without the resurrection!

There is no eternal life without the resurrection!

We would all be still lost in our sins. We would never see our loved ones again. And we would live miserable lives without purpose!

*****1Co 15:16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
1Co 15:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
1Co 15:18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
1Co 15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
1Co 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

Verse 16 repeats verse 13 and when God repeats Himself, He wants to clearly understand what we are reading.

The Resurrection of Christ Jesus is a historical fact!

The truth is a dead Redeemer cannot be a Redeemer.

Without the Divine Power to resurrect Christ, Jesus would be just another man with high ideals!

Rom 4:23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
Rom 4:24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
Rom 4:25 “Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification”.

There is a reason that all these things happened before so many eyewitnesses.

Death is the greatest enemy of the human being!

In fact death is the enemy of all God’s creation.

For this reason those of evolution have no case at all!

Everywhere we look we see death. All animals die, all plants die, even whole species of both have become extinct.

Cities die, nations die, homes, automobiles, clothes eventually wear out and go back to dust.

Even the universe itself is running down and will one day die.

Rom 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
Rom 8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
Rom 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

Of all creation, there is only One who has conquered death.

Christ died, and was buried and then because of the power of God, He arose!

Since His claim of Resurrection was an actual event, then His promises will be actual events!

1Pe 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

All the goodness, all the faith, all the love, of the Christian life has not been for nothing!

If this life is all that there is, then to live the Christian life and suffer ridicule and persecution could be considered to be miserable by most Christians!

The fact remains that Christ Jesus did rise from the dead!

Though the resurrection was foretold in the Old Testament and Jesus Himself told all His followers, they were completely surprised when it happened!

Luk 24:34 Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.
Luk 24:35 And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.
Luk 24:36 And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
Luk 24:37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.
Luk 24:38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?
Luk 24:39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
Luk 24:40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.
Luk 24:41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?
Luk 24:42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.
Luk 24:43 And he took it, and did eat before them.
Luk 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

All the Apostles then died a martyr’s death but John because they would not reject this truth!

Jesus Christ became the firstfruits of all those that sleep in Jesus!

*****1Co 15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
1Co 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

This one verse disproves the false theory that these was long ages before the birth of mankind. The Bible is specific death had it’s beginning with sinful man!

There is no such thing as a billion year old fossil record!

There is only the record of the great flood in Noah’s day!

2Pe 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
2Pe 3:6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
2Pe 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

Every human being since the time of Adam, partake of Adam’s sin nature and are therefore liable to the death that sin nature incurred.

Since the first fruit is a specimen of the whole harvest, then Christ is the first fruit of the whole Church.

First Christ, then His own and last the end when death itself will be destroyed and finally the resurrected creation handed back by Christ the Mediator to His Father!

1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

*****1Co 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.
1Co 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
1Co 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
1Co 15:27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.
1Co 15:28 And 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.

Christ Jesus will reign on this earth until He has put all the enemies of God under His feet.

This ultimate triumph will show all creation that there was no defeat at the cross but eternal victory!

The last enemy to be destroyed will be the first enemy who rebelled against God in the beginning.

He who has deceived the world with lies ever since!

It is Satan who now has the power of death:

Heb 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
Heb 2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Satan will finally be locked up forever in the Lake of Fire that was created for Him!

Rev 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

We know that in the Holy Trinity, the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit are co-equal in all things!

But we also know that the Head of Christ is God!

And we also know the Christ Jesus came to do the will of His Father!

So verse 28 is one of those things we may not clearly understand until we also get to Heaven!

Christ will deliver all those that His Father has called to Him for eternity!

God will always be God, even that day that we obtain a glorified body just as Christ Jesus has now, we will not be gods!

*****1Co 15:29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all?

It is very evident that some in this church believed that they could get baptized for someone they knew that had died without Christ.

There may actually be some of those who had received the Lord as their personal Savior and had not had the opportunity to be baptized.

There is never salvation in baptism because that would be a doctrine of works!

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

The larger question was the Resurrection of Christ!

Paul is saying “none of these make any sense at all if you cannot believe in the Resurrected Christ”!

All places of worship that are divided in doctrine and disorganized in their theories and rejecting the truth of the Scriptures, will find themselves committing many things that go against the Word of God!

*****1Co 15:30 And why stand we in jeopardy every hour?

Paul is saying, why would “we” the Apostles, stand in jeopardy of our lives if salvation could come by waiting to the very last and just be baptized.

“Or to just make arrangements for someone else to get baptized for us after our death”.

Many a Pastor would opt out of preaching the Word of God, if they knew they could gain salvation by such a simple method!

*****1Co 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.
1Co 15:32 If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.
1Co 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
1Co 15:34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

The Lord Jesus said to pick up our own cross daily and follow in His ways.

If the Lord did not rise from the dead in His resurrection, why would we even want to die daily and live the life of a Christian.

The Apostle Paul had been imprisoned for preaching the Word of God.

The Apostle Paul had been beaten and stoned to near death for preaching the Word of God.

The Apostle Paul was writing this epistle from Ephesus where great mobs, who acted like wild beast were attacking anyone who claimed to be Christian.

Paul said there is no advantage to being a Christian if our Lord Jesus did not rise from the dead!

None of us would live in such peril as Paul, if the goal of eternal life was taken away.

All those Christians in Iraq, and in Syria, and in other places where persecution is a real and a daily occurrence would not suffer through those things if Christ Jesus was some fable and there was no hope of eternal life in Heaven.

We just as well be like the world and partake of the madness of a carnal life, if all that life brought was death!

The truth is that false doctrine will lead to wicked behavior!

To deny the resurrection of Jesus Christ is to deny the Word of God and so deny God Himself!

Denying our Creator in favor of evolving from some animal leads to acting like animals and we can see this happening in our world today.

This was the message of Paul to these Corinthians.

If you think you come from a beast then you will act in the ways of some wild beast!

Evil communications corrupt good manners!

What is the answer?

Awake to righteousness.

Sin not.

Be not ignorant of the truth of God’s Words!

We shame ourselves and the Lord, when we say we are saved and yet do not believe the Word of God!

Joh 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Jesus said if you really loved Me you would keep My commandments!

The Word of God is not hard to understand but it requires “Faith” and it requires “The Love Of God”!

God is “Love” so we must have “Faith”!

That’s why it is called “Grace”!

*****1Co 15:35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?
1Co 15:36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:
1Co 15:37 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:
1Co 15:38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.

Even today the world has this same question, how can the dead rise up in new life?

Those of us that know God and have “saving faith”, also know that with God nothing is impossible!

If we trust our Creator then all life is in His hands!

The truth is that Christ Jesus passed from death to life and ascended into Heaven as a man and this was witnessed by many infallible truths!

Act 1:3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:

Paul is saying the same thing that the Lord said:

Joh 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

Most everyone knows that if you sow a seed, then that sprout that finds its way out of the ground does not resemble that seed!

The growth of that seed shows that there is a personal identity that is under a complete change.

When we die and God resurrects that body, we may have the same personal identity but there will a complete change from that body that died and was buried!

God will give that new body as it pleases Him and to every seed his own body.

The truth is, we know very little of this glorified body beyond what the Scriptures teach.

John says it like this:

1Jn 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
1Jn 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

This is why we live the Christian life and this is why so many will suffer the persecution of being a Christian and will not renounce their beliefs!

The truth of seeds is, that they will only produce after their kind which refutes all the theories of evolution.

A Christian that goes home to be with the Lord, while that old body is placed in the ground, can only produce after it’s own kind but that body will be designed of God because all flesh is not the same flesh!

*****1Co 15:39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.
1Co 15:40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
1Co 15:41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
1Co 15:42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
1Co 15:43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
1Co 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

All plants and animals can only reproduce after their own kind.

Evolution has never proved this to be wrong!

True science shows that there are “distinct” genetic gaps between different kinds of animals and by the gaps between those same kind of animals in the fossil records that have been found!

There is also a big difference between earth and the planets from the Sun and the Moon and these things also have been verified by modern astronomy.

The chemical and physical structures of the earth and the other planets and the moon are vastly different from each other.

These things make it impossible that they could have evolved out of the same dust cloud and true science knows all these things!

All stars may look alike to the naked eye, even seen through a telescope they seem to be just points of light.

When the light spectra is studied it reveals that no two stars are the same, just as the Bible states!

Each one has it’s own brightness to temperature, so each one is different “in glory” from all others!

The truth of all these things is the same truth of each child of God!

All those that sleep in Christ will be raised in bodies that differ.

That word “incorruption” also means “immortality”, so that mortal body will be raised as immortal!

That new glorified body will without corruption and without death!

This is much more than just the immortality of the soul!

The Scriptures say the “resurrection of the dead”!

When a seed is planted in the ground as though it was dead, it lies dormant until the conditions are met and it finally rises to new life.

The human body because of sin and the curse, eventually dies and is buried but one day when the Son of God calls that body will be raised, the same basic body but born again in Christ being immortal and glorified!

That spiritual body rising from the dead will no longer be under bondage to gravity or the forces of this earth!

In our bodies today, we are continually in a struggle our spirit with our flesh and we must die everyday to our flesh.

That new Spiritual and glorified body will not have this problem!

We do know much of this body but some we do know:

1) The glorified body of Jesus could pass through walls.

2) That glorified body was able to move with tremendous speed between earth and God’s throne in Heaven!

These things are all written down for us to know!

*****1Co 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
1Co 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
1Co 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
1Co 15:48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
1Co 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

Without a doubt we can see that all the Apostles confirmed the Genesis account of creation without question and we should to.

Adam was a real man and the first man and Eve the first woman!

There were no humans before Adam and Eve.

There were no creatures evolving into humans before Adam and Eve!

The last Adam is of course the Lord Jesus Christ!

Both Adam and Christ were both true men and both formed directly by God.

Of course Christ was also 100% God!

Both Adam and Christ were both formed without genetic inheritance from human parents!

Adam was the first man made a living soul, and the “head” of the human race!

The Lord Jesus was the first begotten from the dead, the first man made a life-giving spirit!

Adam brought sin and death into the world.

Christ brought everlasting, sinless, eternal life!

Adam was formed of God and not born at all.

Christ Jesus was directly formed by God the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary!

Heb 10:5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:

Christ is the second and last man that this was true!

All humans resemble their first parent which was Adam.

All Christians resemble our Redeemer who is Christ!

Besides salvation itself, the greatest promise of God is that all those who have accepted Christ as their Savior will one day “be conformed to the image of the Son of God”!

Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Php 3:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

1Jn 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
1Jn 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

Because flesh and blood can never enter into Heaven!

*****1Co 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
1Co 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1Co 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.

Our mortal body with our inbred sin nature can never enter into the kingdom of God!

There will be no corrupt thing in Heaven!

1Pe 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1Pe 1:4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
1Pe 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

What is the great mystery of the Old Testament?

Just before the Second Coming of Christ, when He comes in the clouds, there will be a simultaneous resurrection and glorification of all those in Christ!

The dead who sleep in Christ, Christ will bring with Him!

Those alive in Christ at that moment will be changed!

There is no basis for a partial rapture of the saints!

We shall be changed in less time than the twinkling of an eye!

This coming of Christ will be so sudden and without advanced notice, so that we should be abiding in Him at all times!

2Ti 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Heb 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

1Jn 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

*****1Co 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
1Co 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
1Co 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
1Co 15:56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

As we know the whole of creation is in bondage to corruption!

In science this is called “entropy” and it is a real thing!

The Bible says it is the curse because of the sin of Adam.

The law will be changed and the curse will be removed for all those that know the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior!

Death will be swallowed up in victory!

Isa 25:8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.

Death no longer has any power over the Child of God!

When there can be no sin there can be no death!

The Law only made sin more grievous because it made God’s “Grace” even clearer!

Thank God for “Grace”!

*****1Co 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Co 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.

God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense!

We must not make the work of the Lord to accomplish all these things a vain thing meaning nothing.

No matter how great the temptation to compromise the Word of God,”Do Not Yield”!

No matter how demanding the work of the Lord can be at times, “Do Not Quit”!

There is coming to all Christians a day of rest and reward but just not yet!

Heb 6:10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
Heb 6:11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:
Heb 6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Remember God has never broken a promise!


Let’s Pray!

Self-Centered Believers

The Problem Of Self-Centered Followers

1 Corinthians 13:1-14:40

The be self-centered is to be centered on yourself!

To be self-centered is to be all about yourself, your own self interest, or the love your own private interest and is also known as selfishness.

This self-centeredness is destroying the America that we know and love.

Small groups of people in America are claiming that they deserve to be better treated than all others and that the world should be given to them while the others pay for it.

No matter what you think, that is being self-centered and it is selfish of them!

Selfishness is always contrary to the Word of God!

Jas 2:8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
Jas 2:9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.

Selfishness is forbidden in the Word of God!

Php 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

Increasing selfishness is another sign we are in the end times!

2Ti 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2Ti 3:2 “For men shall be lovers of their own selves”, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
2Ti 3:3 “Without natural affection”, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
2Ti 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
2Ti 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Let’s begin:

1Co 13:1 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.
1Co 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.
1Co 13:3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

We must understand that the most important trait of the Christian is a giving love!

The tongues of men are human languages, every angel that is mentioned in the Bible also spoke in human languages or their message would not have been understood.

Any other sound coming from the mouths of man are as a sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal that can only lend themselves to music with the proper tone and sequence.

No gift of human expression is more important than the gift of charity!

Charity is then the supreme love of God and a benevolent love and universal good will to all men!

The love of God is “agape” love!

Remember to be benevolent is to promote happiness and prosperity to all those you come in contact with!

The charity of the Christian must be unstained without any semblance of evil!

Many men possess the power of speaking but without charity their words are meaningless!

Many will come to Jesus at the judgment saying, “have I not prophesied in thy name” and Jesus will tell them, “depart from me I never knew you”.

Many possess the knowledge of the mysteries of the Old Testament that are revealed in the New Testament.

Some may even possess the faith to move mountains but without “agape” love, that faith cannot accomplish the desired goals of God!

Judas Iscariot had faith that Jesus Christ was indeed the Messiah but he was rejected because he did not have the love of God nor the love of man.

To be nothing is to be non-existing in the eyes of God, who looks into the heart of all men!

Though you give away all you own to feed the poor but do not know the “Grace” of God that gave you those things and show “His Grace in your life as you give those things, then it is not real love.

Though you become a Martyr but do not know the love of God, you have sacrificed your life for nothing in return!

Without repenting and giving of your soul to God, He will reject anything else you have to offer!

Mat 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
Mat 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

It is the laws of King Jesus that we are to obey above all else!

Jas 2:8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
Jas 2:9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.

What is the truth of Godly love?

*****1Co 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
1Co 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
1Co 13:6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
1Co 13:7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Charity is defined by “what it does” rather than “what it is”!

If we want to earn rewards in Heaven then it is essential to have a real love for God and also for our fellow man, without these things then every thing else is valueless!

Agape love shows patience not jealousy.

Agape love is not proud and boastful but is courteous, unselfish, good natured.

Agape love is not suspicious. It does not rejoice in wickedness but rather rejoices when truth and purity prevails.

Agape love looks on the bright side, is hopeful and patient even in persecution and does not complain!

Agape love endures all things because agape love is the love that God has shown to each of us as an example of the love we are to have as Christians!

*****1Co 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

Charity never fails because the love of God can never fail!

Fail is the same as vanish away and become useless and come to and end.

When the Lord Jesus returns to take us home and then sit on His earthly throne, prophecies will fail, tongues shall cease, and spiritual knowledge will be done away with, because it will be Truth that will fulfilled!

Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Joh 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
Joh 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

God’s love is the most permanent trait that He has shown to us!

When we see “Perfection” we will truly understand just how sinful we really are!

*****1Co 13:9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
1Co 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

It is true that God has given us this love letter that we call the Bible and it is all we need to know to get us into Heaven but the Apostles clearly understood that this world we now live on could not contain all the knowledge of God!

Joh 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

We can only know a small part of the knowledge of God!

The prophecies of men can then only be partial because we have the complete Word of God!

But when we see the Perfect Lord, face to face, the partial knowledge we have known will be of no great concern because Jesus said, all things will be new!

All the things we know of the present state of things will be lost in Perfectness when we have at last attained the fulness of Jesus Christ!

Eph 3:19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

Paul was telling these Corinthians it was past the time of being “Babes in Christ” and it was time for them to begin maturing in the Word of God.

It was time to end the divisions in the Church and unite in one mind and in one accord!

It was time to properly use the “Spiritual gifts” given to them for the betterment of the Church and glorify God by the building up of the Church!

It was time to grow in the Lord and put away childish things!

It was time to stop relying on the gifts of God and rely on the pure Word of God which is the most reliable thing we possess in this world!

We absolutely cannot see clearly if we focus on the the things of this world!

*****1Co 13:12 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 completed Word of God which we now have, are like a mirror which shows us as we are!

It is the Word of God that can encourage us to make the needed changes in our walk in this life!

We cannot know the fulness of Christ until God’s plan is complete as revealed in the Scriptures!

Jas 1:23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
Jas 1:24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
Jas 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

The three traits of the Christ should be faith, hope, and charity!

*****1Co 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

These three things are fundamental to the Christian walk and these three things are the only permanent things in this world!

It takes faith to please God!

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Hope is what anchors our soul!

Heb 6:19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;

But greater than all these is Charity!

We believe in things that we love!

We hope in things that we love!

Faith and hope are mainly for ourselves but love is for God and our neighbors.

Faith and hope are human but God Is Love!

We must follow our Love of God!

*****1Co 14:1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.

The chief aim of each of us is first to possess that giving benevolent love that God shows to each of us!

The chief aim of the Church is first to possess that giving benevolent love that God shows to His Church!

No spiritual gift is of any importance until we have and show “the agape love of God”!

Then Paul says if we desire a spiritual gift, then desire to prophesy.

To prophesy in this verse means to speak and exhort under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit!

This does not mean for all of us to desire to be a preacher because this is a special calling from God. It does means for us all to study the Scriptures and be able to witness to the lost world, and be able to help disciple those that are “babes in Christ”!

It appears that this church in Corinth all had such a great desire to speak in different languages that many of them spoke in unknown languages.

*****1Co 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.
1Co 14:3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
1Co 14:4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.
1Co 14:5 I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.

There was such a strong tendency at Corinth to magnify the use of tongues(languages), these members spoke in utterances that no one could understand, let alone interpret.

This was rebuked harshly by the Apostle Paul.

Studying the Scriptures and being able to lead some lost soul to the Lord is of far greater importance in the Church!

To edify is to build up in the truth of God!

To exhort is to encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ.

To comfort is to help those who are distressed and weary in this lost world.

These are the things that show the love of God much more than speaking some other language especially some unknown utterance that no one can understand except maybe God who looks into the heart and then they can only edify themselves.

We are to pick up our own cross and die daily to ourselves!

If it is possible that you know some foreign language that is a benefit to those in the church then you must also be able to interpret what you have said so that all others can be edified or just be quiet and learn the truth!

The truth is that what comes out of our mouths can carry no real meaning unless it can be understood by those around us!

If we are to edify, exhort, and comfort those we are around then we must speak clearly the Words Of God!

We can be sure of one thing, the Holy Spirit will never inspire any message that cannot be understood by those He has already brought under conviction.

Salvation is a two part event. The Holy Spirit brings conviction and the Gospel will lead them to Jesus for forgiveness and salvation.

On the day of Pentecost everyone heard the message in their own language!

Act 2:6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, “because that every man heard them speak in his own language”.

And Paul continues:

*****1Co 14:6 Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?
1Co 14:7 And even 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?
1Co 14:8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?
1Co 14:9 So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air.
1Co 14:10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.
1Co 14:11 Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.

The truth is unless we speak what has been revealed to us by the Holy Spirit and/or by thoughtful study of the Scriptures, what we say as a teacher or preacher or just to witness is useless if it cannot be understood!

Even instruments of music must be sounded with distinction and melody and in tune for the music to pleasant to the ears. Much more the human voice!

If God’s people do not proclaim the Word of God in it’s truth and in it’s fulness, without compromising with the standards of worldly conduct then the Church will be unfit for the service of God, and this is what we are beginning to see in most churches today!

If an army is prepared for battle and they receive an uncertain order they will not move when they are supposed to or they will move to soon and either way the battle could be lost!

When our words are not distinguishable then we are only polluting God’s air!

What is the real “climate change” in our world? The falseness and deceit that comes out of peoples mouths!

In 2009 there were 6909 known languages in our world and that number should be declining as times passes.

Each of these languages are understood by those who live within each family and each one has it’s own significance.


If we do not clearly understand each other we will each be seen as barbarians to each other!

Barbarian in this verse means a foreigner.

If we remember the Tower of Babel when God caused there to be many different languages, it brought confusion and those that spoke the same language separated themselves from all the others.

Gen 11:7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.
Gen 11:8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.

This same thing has happened to the Church because of the many denominations that speak the Word of God by their own interpretation when God commands us not to!

2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
2Pe 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

We are all to accept what God says as the complete truth, rightly divided!

If we truly want to be useful servants in the Church then we should desire better gifts of the Holy Spirit than some ability to speak in some language that no one else can understand!

*****1Co 14:12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.
1Co 14:13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.
1Co 14:14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.
1Co 14:15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.
1Co 14:16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?
1Co 14:17 For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.

It must be clear to us all that the Church is here to make disciples.

In order to do that, we all must have a clear knowledge of the Word of God and then living our own life according to God’s Word.

We will never be able to teach others what we refuse to do ourselves!

To edify is to build up Christian knowledge, instructing that knowledge, so to improve the mind of that one being instructed.

Repenting is not only changing the direction of a lost soul, it is the complete changing of his or her mind!

Only faith in the Word of God can accomplish these things!

It is true that when we pray the Holy Spirit may speak in utterances that only God can understand.

Rom 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Rom 8:27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

It is also just as true that if we pray in some unknown language, we may be aware that we are praying but we will not even know what we are saying to God, who will certainly not answer such prayers.

Mat 21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

Prayer is a most wonderful form of worship, why would we pray in words that we ourselves do not even understand.

Joh 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

When we sing why would sing with words that no one understands.

Psa 47:7 For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.

There are many today who make a practice of these things and they are just as wrong as these Corinthians were wrong!

To say Amen is to confirm the words you have heard and pray for the fulfillment of those words!

How can we say “Amen” to words that we do not understand!

We can understand the truth of the Word of God and say “Amen” to those words!

2Co 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

To be able to say “Amen” is just as important as the prayer itself!

There can be no profit to the Church when someone speaks in an unintelligible manner!

*****1Co 14:18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:
1Co 14:19 Yet in the church 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.

The Apostle Paul was a highly educated man and it is said that he could speak in as many as six different languages.

Paul also had the powers given to him by Jesus.

The truth is if one does not address a congregation in words that they can understand then that speaker is wasting his time and also the time of those who are gathered.

In fact to do so is childish!

*****1Co 14:20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.
1Co 14:21 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.

Jesus said we are to be childlike in our faith:

Mat 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 18:4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

There is a great difference in being childlike and being childish!

Childish behavior refers to the selfish and ignorant and silliness of children that come from a lack of understanding!

Paul said it was right to be like “infants” in malice, which means causing harm to others!

But in understanding the Word of God, we must all be mature!

Infants cannot cause much harm but grownups acting like children cause much harm wherever they are!

What does the Word of God say?

*****1Co 14:21 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.

Paul quotes directly from the Word of God:

Isa 28:11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
Isa 28:12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.

God also said that languages that could not be understood were a sign of trouble!

Jer 5:15 Lo, I will bring a nation upon you from far, O house of Israel, saith the LORD: it is a mighty nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language thou knowest not, neither understandest what they say.

Deu 28:49 The LORD shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand;
Deu 28:50 A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor shew favour to the young:
Deu 28:51 And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed: which also shall not leave thee either corn, wine, or oil, or the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee.

Therefore speaking in words that could not be understood is not a good sign but a bad sign!

*****1Co 14:22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.

The speaking in an unknown language was then a sign of the coming wrath and punishment inflicted on a rebellious and unbelieving people!

Speaking in an unknown language in this manner is not a sign of the “Grace Gifts” of God!

The speaking of tongues on the day of Pentecost was a major miracle to establish the Church and is not repeated in this day because we have the complete Word of God.

The gift of prophecy in the day of Paul was a much more desired gift to allow church growth and understanding and it to has now been replaced with preaching and teaching because we have the full and completed Word of God!

Rom 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
Rom 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

*****1Co 14:23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?
1Co 14:24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:
1Co 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.

It is the object of the Church to gain souls to the Lord not cause the loss of a single soul!

For those who insist on doing these things then closet prayer is where it should take place!

The English word “maniac” is derived from the Greek word “mainomai” which is used in this verse for “mad”.

The natural reaction of anyone who came across someone speaking the gibberish of unknown language would be greatly multiplied if that person entered into a building where they all were doing so!

This thing would drive the precious soul of an unbeliever away.

The gift of prophecy is intended for the believer but the properly spoken Word of God can often bring an unbeliever to conviction to a point where they will also accept Christ Jesus!

What is the truth of every human being, even for those that reject the Word of God?

Rom 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Rom 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

There can be no true atheist but there are many who just reject this truth!

It is the “Gospel” that can awaken these deep truths and the secrets of the heart be made known to them and then they will humble themselves before God and then begin to worship the Lord!

These things were not happening at Corinth because they all gathered with their own ideas of worship!

*****1Co 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.

How divided was this church?

Everyone had their own special song and wanted all the others to acknowledge it.

Everyone had their own interpretation of the Scriptures and all others were wrong. Each had some hidden mystery that only he or she could reveal.

Everyone had their own unknown tongue and no one could understand what was said.

Everyone had their own interpretation of what was said and no one agreed.

Everyone wanted to take control of the worship service and have it their way!

The Apostle Paul said none of these things were edifying.

To edify is to build up the church and not to tear it apart!

To edify is to instruct, to improve the mind in the ways of the Lord!

God is not the author of confusion and this church at Corinth was a confused church.

*****1Co 14:27 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.
1Co 14:28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.
1Co 14:29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.
1Co 14:30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.
1Co 14:31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.
1Co 14:32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
1Co 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

We can see how Paul rid this church of the use of tongues.

First he did not allow more than three to speak and they, one at a time.

The one was to interpret what the other one said.

Since speaking in unknown tongues is gibberish obviously there was no interpreter of what was said.

Since there was no interpreter then they were to keep silent and speak to themselves and to God!

Then Paul said let no more than two or three preach the Word of God and let the congregation judge what was said.

Prophesyings are not to be despised but we are to hold only to those things that are good.

1Th 5:20 Despise not Prophesyings.
1Th 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

We are also to try the spirits!

1Jn 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
1Jn 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
1Jn 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
These few things would eliminate most false prophets.

The congregation could then judge which message that was preached was of greater importance to the church.

Paul then said all that think they are called of God should get the opportunity to preach but no more than three in one service.

The truth is, a preacher truly called of God would not be acting like some raving maniac and speaking words that no one could understand.

The true man of God will be ready to preach the truth at all times!

2Ti 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

2Ti 4:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

God is not the author of confusion, which is also disorder and commotion.

God is the author of peace in the church!

Peace is the freedom from commotion!

*****1Co 14:34 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.
1Co 14:35 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.
1Co 14:36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?

There is a reason these things were preached by the Apostle Paul and remember many questions had been asked that he is answering by the Word of God.

From the beginning God has said this:

Gen 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

God had assigned authority to the man at creation and it is the man who is to first be totally obedient to God before he serve his family.

Remember the head of Christ is God, the head of the man is Christ and the head of the woman is man.

This is the order of things as set by the Word of God!

The woman was given to man as an “help-meet” an aid to man’s completeness.

These things do not change within the church!

For women to speak in public “in the culture of that day” would be an act of independence.

Remember in the Book of Acts, the Grecian women had needs that the Jewish women did not have and the first Deacons were brought into the church.

Paul said rather than just speak out in the church let the family discuss these things at home and together they could search for the answers.

Not to ask other men but to ask their own husband keeping the unity of the family which was establish before the church and it must remain that way!

This again was to stop some of the confusion in this church at Corinth!

The family must remain the most important structure in God’s creation and then the Church!

In other words it is God, then the family, and then the Church!

It seems that this church in Corinth had adopted things that they felt should be in every church and we see this same thing go on today!

There are those who think the Word of God is out of date with today’s culture and seek to change the Church.

The truth is God’s Word is alive and is just as true today as it was when it was first inspired and given to the writers.

Not one word is to be changed until the Lord returns and all is fulfilled!

Rev 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
Rev 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

God will never go against His own words!

Neither should we!

*****1Co 14:37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.
1Co 14:38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.
1Co 14:39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.
1Co 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

These words of the Apostle Paul must be seen as the commandments of the Lord!

That being true, then these things are required of us by the Word of God to keep order in the church.

All those that reject the Word of God will still reject the truth no matter what is said.

In fact:

Rev 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

The power to preach is desired by many but only those called of God are equipped to do this but we are all called to witness for the Lord Jesus Christ!

If we forbid the preaching in a foreign language then missionaries could not travel to foreign countries and do what God has called them to do.

God will equip them if He has sent them!

Worship in the Church must be in good order and harmony.

It does not mean we cannot shout and clap our hands.

It does not mean we cannot raise holy hands.

It does not mean we we cannot enjoy the Holy Ghost!

It does mean that the saved of the Lord should say so!



Let’s Pray!

The Dysfunctional Member

The Problem Of Dysfunctional Members

1 Corinthians 12

To function in the Church is to perform the duty that God has called us to do!

God has given us all a ministry!

Our ministry is the ministry of reconciliation!

The true meaning of “reconcile” is to exchange a sinful life for new relationship with God.

In fact there are two parts of reconciliation.

1) All mankind was reconciled to God prior to faith and all mankind was then rendered savable.

Rom 5:10 For if, “when we were enemies”, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

2) Each individual can then can be reconciled to God, once he believes!

2Co 5:18 And all things are of God, “who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ”, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
2Co 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

The emphasis of reconciliation is that of making peace with God!

The sin of Adam created a barrier between man and God and rendered man hostile toward God!

The truth is that God removed that barrier, by the Lord Jesus Christ, and produced peace, enabling mankind to be saved!

It is God who initiated this change as He moved to reconcile sinful man to Himself!

That’s why it is called “Grace”!

Man then is the object of God’s reconciliation!

It was man who moved out of fellowship with God, therefore man needed to be restored to that fellowship!

God made reconciliation available to the whole world but is is only effective when it is received by personal faith!

God has never moved away from His creation!

Man moved because of sin and man must move back without sin!

Since that was impossible God came to us as our Savior!

*****1Co 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
1Co 12:2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.
1Co 12:3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that 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.
1Co 12:4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

The Apostle Paul teaches that God has given spiritual gifts for the building up of the Church, the Body of Christ.

A spiritual gift is a “God-given” ability for service in the work of the Church!

In this chapter we will learn that it is the Holy Ghost who is building the “Body of Christ” while the Lord Jesus remains as the Head of that Body!

In the growth of the Church, God calls, Jesus adds, The Holy Ghost builds!

It is Jesus Christ who is the source of nourishment of the Church:

Eph 5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, “even as the Lord the church”:
Eph 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

Jesus Christ is the source of all Spiritual gifts but the Holy Spirit administers them!

Eph 4:8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Eph 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Eph 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

It is the Holy Spirit that monitors these gifts and no one who knows the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, can then curse Him or His gifts!

There may be great diversities of gifts but only One Holy Spirit to administer them all!

*****1Co 12:5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
1Co 12:6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
1Co 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

It is a fact that different individuals perform different services in the Church.

But we would be foolish if we refuse to accept the Trinity of God in the path of the Church!

1) Some can have the same gift but apply it in a different way but we have only One Lord who directs all ministries and assigns all functions!

2) Some gifts have different effects on different people but it is the One Same God who is the source of all things!

Jas 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

3) Though the Lord directs the ministries, and God is the source, it is the Holy Spirit within each believer that works to bring profit to the Body of Christ.

It is the fruit of the Spirit that that the world sees when we walk in the way of Christ Jesus!

*****1Co 12:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

There are at least 20 or more different gifts mentioned in the New Testament that can be given by the Holy Spirit for the work of the Church.

No individual would have all the gifts nor would any church.

Many of these gifts ceased with the death of the Apostles!

Some of these gifts have ceased with time and others could be added as needed.

These gifts are gifts of the Holy Spirit, “as He will”, never “as we wish”!

Most gifts are a gift of God’s “Grace” and are not naturally developed abilities or talents!

**This gift of wisdom involved the direct revelation from God and is then the whole system of revealed truth.

1Co 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
1Co 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

This gift as revealed by Paul has ceased since we now have the complete Word of Truth, the Old and the New Testaments!

**The gift of knowledge is closely related to wisdom and is the ability to properly understand the truths that were revealed to the Apostles and the Prophets.

This gift of knowledge would also have involved communication of God’s direct revelation and had also ceased with the completion of the Scriptures.

There will be no new knowledge because God has given us all we need to know on how to get to Heaven, where we will then have the mind of Christ!

*****1Co 12:9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

**All believers have saving faith or they could not be saved “But” all believers must exhibit faith in order to walk with God.

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

This gift of “faith” as described by Paul is a gift only possessed by a few believers.

This is faith that is required to step out in complete trust that God will provide that need!

This the faith that is required for God to do the impossible!

**The gift of healing involved the ability of a person to cure other persons of all forms of sicknesses!

The healings of Christ Jesus and the Apostles were instantaneous, complete, permanent, unconditional, and had purpose, were subordinate to preaching, significant to confirm the Lord and the Apostles, and included the raising of the dead.

There is a difference between the gift of healing and healing itself!

The gift of healing ceased with the death of the Apostles and the completion of Scripture!

Healing still occurs as God responds to the prayers of His children and the supreme healing is to be taken on into Heaven where there is no sickness at all!

We should also realize that there are times when God chooses not to heal for His on reasons but we can be sure of this one thing.

Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

*****1Co 12:10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

**The study of the miracles in the Bible is great subject.

Miracles were never random occurrences in the Scriptures.

Miracles are recorded in the days of Moses and Joshua.

Miracles are recorded in the days of Elijah and Elisha.

Miracles are recorded in the days of Jesus and the Apostles.

Not many miracles occurred outside these times!

God enabled those He called to perform miracles to substantiate a new message they were giving!

The New Testament miracles were used to validate the New Message of Jesus and the Apostles!

We now have the complete New Testament and miracles are no longer needed to validate it’s message because it is by “faith” in the Word of God that we should live.

The gift of miracles and miracles are separate actions. God still performs miracle at His will!

The gift of miracles ceased upon the completion of the Scriptures but miracles can occur today by the action of answered prayer.

God may heal a terminally ill person in answer to a prayer but God does not do this any longer through any other person!

There are no healing preachers!

**Prophecy. The Prophets of God received their information through direct revelation from God! These were things that a man could not other wise know!

Since this revelation came from God it was always true, therefore the words of the prophet of God were always true!

The gift of prophecy is also related to the foundation of the Church and because the foundation of the Church has been laid and the Scriptures complete, there is no more need for the prophet.

The Word of God is now our written prophecy of the past, the present, and the future of the Church!

**Tongues. The gift of tongues were a part of the era of Christ Jesus and the Apostles and was necessary along with the gift of miracles as an authenticating sign of the Apostles.

Again because we have the complete Scriptures the gift of tongues is no longer necessary.

The gift of tongues was more for the Jews than for the Gentiles in fulfilling the Word of God.

1Co 1:22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

When an unbelieving Jew would enter the assembly of the Church and hear a language foreign to their ears, it was a sign to them that God was working.

Isa 28:11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
Isa 28:12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.

**Interpretation of tongues was the supernatural ability of someone to interpret a foreign language spoken by one who had the gift of tongues.

That language would then be interpreted “into the language of the people present”!

All these gifts have only one source!

*****1Co 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

The filling of the Holy Spirit is necessary because it is essential for us to mature in Christ Jesus, for our sanctification!

The filling of the Holy Spirit is necessary because it is essential for us to carry on the work of the Lord!

Since it is the Holy Spirit that decides the gifts for each believer then there should be no boastful comparison of gifts.

No gift of the Holy Spirit is more important than any other gift in the work of the Church!

If we will all walk in the Holy Spirit we will all be unified in the work of the Church!

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

The Holy Spirit will only lead us in the ways of Jesus Christ! If you are moving away from Christ you are not being led by the Holy Spirit!

Joh 16:12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
Joh 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
Joh 16:14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
Joh 16:15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

Now Paul describes the importance of know all these things. Paul will explain these things by comparing the “Body Of Christ” to our own physical bodies.

*****1Co 12:12 For as 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.
1Co 12:14 For the body is not one member, but many.

The truth is the Jesus Christ and the Church form one body and Christ is the Head!

Jesus said “I am the vine, you are the branches”.

Jesus said “I am the Rock, you are the living stones”.

We know that the human body is only one body so is the Church with Christ the Head to be one body!

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit includes all believers from the Church Age that began at Pentecost and is unique to the Church Age!

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit brings all believers into union with all other believers in the “Body of Christ”!

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit brings all believers into union with Christ!

Rom 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Rom 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

This Baptism of the Holy Spirit happens immediately at the point of salvation and not later as some believe!

Since the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is done by the Holy Spirit and it happens at the point of salvation it does not come from our own thoughts or our own experiences!

The Word of God says it happens, so then it happens, because the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is performed by the Holy Spirit but only to a believer!

The Holy Spirit comes to stay:

Joh 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Joh 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

Since all these things are true, then the Church is just “one Body of Christ” with many members just as the human body is one body with many members!

*****1Co 12:15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
1Co 12:16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
1Co 12:17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?

The one thing we all know for sure is, we know how important each and every part of our body is to us.

When our feet get tired and need rest then the whole body will stop.

When our hands can no longer hold to things then our whole body will stop until they can.

Just because one part of our body gets weak it does not mean we can do without that part of our body!

Our feet travel in the mire of this world but without them then the ear could not get close enough to hear the important things in life.

The eyes direct our path to keep the whole body safe but even the eyes must be covered from time to time!

The most humble part of our bodies are just as important the more noble parts of our body.

The foot and the hand could represent the “hands on” workers of the Church.

The ear and the eye could represent “those that study and teach the Word of God”.

As superior as the eye is to many other parts of the body, the eye still could not properly function without the other parts of the body!

The parts of the body are all not equal in strength or delicacy but each part of our body is happy doing what God designed it to do!

This is the same image that God would have His Church, the entire “Body of Christ”!

*****1Co 12:18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
1Co 12:19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?
1Co 12:20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.

We are a designed people!

Forget what the “evolutionists” say, the human body was designed by God, formed by Christ, and all those that believe are filled with the Holy Spirit!

It is Jesus that made us all:

Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

It is Jesus that said “I will build My Church”.

Mat 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock “I will build my church”; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

The “Body of Christ”, The Church, did not exist when Jesus made this statement!

It is the work of the Holy Spirit in baptizing each and every believer into one “Body of Christ”, each having his own purpose in the Church but to function as “One Body” just as the human body!

When Jesus said “I will build My Church”, He was not talking about just the local Church but the Universal Church, the entire “Body of Christ”!

We are many members but we are still to be only “ONE” body!

*****1Co 12:21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
1Co 12:22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:
1Co 12:23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.

The unity of Christians is vital, even more vital in these last days, yet there are still so many denominations, all pulling against one another.

Even the local church is becoming more and more divided because the Church has forgotten that the Church is built by the Holy Spirit with Jesus Christ the Head!

Just as the life of the human body maintains all the various members and nourishes them in harmony, so it is to be in the “Body of Christ”!

It is a fact that the heart, the brain and the lungs, are more important than the hands and the feet but the loss of these things still cripple the human being,

The Church is no different! The contempt of just one member can cause harm to the church!

In today’s world, the garments that are worn are man’s honor and glory.

So the feet and the torso are covered to bestow more abundant honor.

So the poor of the church are many times considered less honorable.

Since God will not allow these things, God has chosen the poor to be more rich in faith!

Jas 2:5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?

*****1Co 12:24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:
1Co 12:25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
1Co 12:26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

That word “comely” means the well-formed or the decorative parts.

The face, the eyes, the ears, the nose, the lips etc. have no need of covering or outward ornament but with “Grace” and holiness, they are exposed to the world and there is no need to conceal them!

God has composed the body in such a form, and in such an order and each part of the body are beneficial to each other and this is what God expects of the “Body of Christ”!

God says there should be no divisions in the “Body of Christ” because there are no divisions in the way He tempered the human body. Every part of the human body works in unison with all the other parts!

Each member should have the same care for one another!

There should be “one heart” in all the “Body of Christ”!

There should be “one soul” in all the “Body of Christ!

Every member of the Church belong to the “Body of Christ” and each has a particular service to perform and each helping each other as the need arises. When one member suffers then all suffer!

But when one member can rejoice then we all can rejoice over the joy of that one!

*****1Co 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

Each individual house of God is to be a miniature of what the whole world wide Church is to be collectively!

This does not mean there should be one world wide church but is does mean that each Christian is to be a member of the Church!

1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1Co 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.

The Church is not the natural body of Christ, “for God prepared that body for the cross” but the Church is the “spiritual body of Christ” that was resurrected to new life and an eternal life!

How did God begin His Church?

*****1Co 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
1Co 12:29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
1Co 12:30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
1Co 12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

The New Testament Church was built upon the foundation of the Apostles!

Eph 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
Eph 2:21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
Eph 2:22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

The last living Apostle was John.

This is the Church that God has built and all others are impostors!

The Church is fitted and framed together by the Lord Jesus Christ!

The Church is to be a living organism growing as new “believers” are added to it!

1Pe 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

The prophets in this verse mean the wise spiritual preachers.

All preachers were to also be teachers!

There were also teachers who were not preachers and would not ever be.

Those that were helps, would be those to had the gift of sympathy and compassion but would also include the office of Deacon.

Those with the gift of governments would be those good at organizing but also spiritual leaders.

Diversities of tongues would be those who who could converse the Gospel in many languages and could emotionally comfort most all others.

All these things were to bring the “Body Of Christ” into UNITY OF THE FAITH AND THE FULNESS OF JESUS CHRIST!

Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Eph 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Eph 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

It was God in His providence which has set the order of the Church and nowhere does it say we have the authority to change what God has done!

In fact we need to go back to the things that built God’s Church to begin with!

If we are sincere in our asking God will provide the things needed to build His Church!

Mat 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
Mat 7:8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

BUT, we should never forget the absolute best trait of the Christian is to be LOVE!

In fact Charitable Love!


Let’s Pray!

Disorderly Worship In The Church

The Problem Of Disorderly Worship

1 Corinthians 10:16-11:34

That word disorderly means, confused, lawless, contrary to the law.

The Bible says:

2Th 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

Again we know that the Apostle Paul was addressing questions that had been sent to him in a letter from this Church at Corinth.

For the most part, the disorderly of any Church are all those who claim to be Christian but the way they live outside the Church says otherwise!

Let’s begin:

*****1Co 10:16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
1Co 10:17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

Throughout this epistle, Paul has stated that the wise are all those who know the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior!

In other words you cannot be very wise until your name is written in the Lamb’s Book Of Life!

It is a fact that we can never substitute the wisdom of this world for the wisdom that is in Christ Jesus!

The Jewish Passover included 4 cups, the cup of thanks giving, the cup of plagues, the cup of praise, and the cup of redemption.

It was the cup of redemption that held the blood of the sacrificial lamb.

It was the cup of redemption that the Apostle Paul was making reference to as the “cup of blessing”!

It is this cup that symbolized what Jesus Christ has done for all believers!

1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. “For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:”

John the Baptist said this when he first saw the Lord Jesus:

Joh 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world”.

If we remember the last meal the Lord had with the Apostles, He had these words:

Mat 26:27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink ye all of it;
Mat 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins”.

Communion means, a gathering of like minded people that participate in something that is real important to all those that are gathered!

The Apostle Paul is saying that it is in the “Blood of Jesus” that we realize our Christian benefits.

The “life” of Christ gives us our example of how to walk with Him!

It was the “death” of Christ that has given us the ability to share in His Divine Life!

Jesus explains these things Himself!

Joh 6:53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
Joh 6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
Joh 6:55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
Joh 6:56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
Joh 6:57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
Joh 6:58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

It is the Church that is to be the “Body of Christ” still walking as the example that Christ gave us in His own walk.

The Church is the one body and Christ Jesus is to remain the Head of that body and the Church is to walk as Jesus walked until He returns to take us all home to be with Him!

The Church is to have communion with Christ Jesus.

In Jewish worship there is only communion with the altar, where the sacrifices were made.

*****1Co 10:18 Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?
1Co 10:19 What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?
1Co 10:20 But I say, that 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.
1Co 10:21 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.

The Jews were directly connected to the Temple altar, the sacrificial animals and all that they symbolized.

The Apostle Paul said the same thing is true of all those who partook of sacrifices to idols!

Though an idol is nothing, then sacrificing to a nothing is meaningless!

BUT, if you have it in your mind that the idol represents a deity then your actions are sinful!

Any worship offered to anything other than Jehovah God is the same as sacrificing to the Devil!

The truth is, that God will not allow us to worship false deities and then take part in holy communion without consequences!

This would be an offence to the God we say you serve!

*****1Co 10:22 Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?
1Co 10:23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

What is the truth?

Exo 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:
Exo 34:15 Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice;

Why would we even think we would not be offending God and we certainly can never be as strong as God!

Who has ever stood up to God and prospered? God has already condemned all who do not accept His Son!

Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

It is true that if you know that an idol is a nothing and a false god is nothing then you could take part in eating of meat that was sacrificed to an idol without sin.

The fact remains that a “babe in Christ” who observed you may not have those same feelings and it could then be a stumbling block to him.

It is also just as true that the one who offered you that meat is a believer in his falseness and he will believe you have sinned against your own God!

The truth is Christian Liberty must always be modified to insure that our testimony is not blemished!

The love of our brothers and sisters must always be considered in all our actions!

*****1Co 10:24 Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth.

We must remember the commandments of Christ Jesus!

Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

These are the commandments that we are to observe throughout our days as Christians!

Paul offers some examples:

*****1Co 10:25 Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake:
1Co 10:26 For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.
1Co 10:27 If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake.
1Co 10:28 But 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: for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof:
1Co 10:29 Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience?

Paul is saying to just use common sense!

The “shambles” were to open air markets that lined the streets at that time.

If a Christian just bought his meat in such a place then why would anyone think he was showing favor to some particular idol or show any favoritism at all.

It would be a foolish thing to investigate the source of that meat if it was good meat.

Every creature of God is good and nothing to be refused, this is why it is so important to always pray before consuming our food!

1Ti 4:4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
1Ti 4:5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

Verse 27-28 make reference to a friend who is a non-believer, who has invited you to a meal at his home and these verses explain themselves.

We must always remember that when we are obedient to the commandments of Jesus we will always have more concern for those that are around us, than for ourselves!

*****1Co 10:30 For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?

When we have received the “Grace” of God, then we are to show the “Grace” of God to those around us!

We must remember what “Grace” is!

Grace is the unmerited favor of God!

We did not deserve God’s “Grace” but we received it because of God’s love!

Those around us may not deserve our own grace but if we have the love that we should have, then we will extend God’s “Grace” through us to them because we are to love them as much as we love ourselves!

Anything that we receive of God and then thank Him for it, is never forbidden in the eyes of God!

Rom 14:7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.
Rom 14:8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.
Rom 14:9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.

*****1Co 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
1Co 10:32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:
1Co 10:33 Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

What is the most important object of our walk in this life after salvation?

1Pe 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

It should be obvious that God considers that there are only three groups of people spoken of in the Scriptures.

The Jew.

The Gentile.

The Church which consist of Jews and Gentiles who have accepted that Jesus Christ is our One and Only Savior.

To give “no offence” means to never give an occasion of stumbling to any other person, no matter who they are or where they came from!

Explained in Scripture this way:

Act 24:16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.

Once we have received the profits of God through our own salvation, it is our only job to be a testimony for Jesus Christ, witness to those who do not know the Lord, and disciple those who are weak in the “Faith”!

We are to follow those that we know are following Christ Jesus!

*****1Co 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
1Co 11:2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
1Co 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 our job to be a follower of Christ just as was the Apostle Paul!

A follower, according to the Greek word used here is an imitator.

Our walk after salvation should resemble the way Christ Jesus walked.

A follower of Christ, would use the doctrine of Christ Jesus as their guide in this life!

A follower would use the opinions of Christ as their example.

A follower of Christ Jesus, would obey His Word, worship Him only, and honor the One who sent Him!

Eph 5:1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
Eph 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour

God has placed a certain order of things in this life.

The “head” in this verse refers to the principle person.

The head of man must be Christ Jesus.

In the family, the head of the woman is to be the man, “if they have allowed their head to be Christ”!

Remember the distinction of the sexes is done away with in all those that are in Christ Jesus and this is only an earthly application!

The Head of Christ is Jehovah God and we know Christ came to this earth to do the will of His Father!

Joh 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

Christ is only inferior to His Father in His earthly manhood!

In the Godhead the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are all coequal in all things!

The Father is God!

1Co 8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

The Son is God!

Heb 1:8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.
Heb 1:9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
Heb 1:10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:

The Holy Spirit is God!

Act 5:3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
Act 5:4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

Yet there is but One God!

Deu 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:

The Bible states that God is a Trinity!

Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

As these things are all true, we then proceed:

*****1Co 11:4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.
1Co 11:5 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.
1Co 11:6 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.
1Co 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.
1Co 11:8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.
1Co 11:9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
1Co 11:10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.
1Co 11:11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.
1Co 11:12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.
1Co 11:13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?

Verses 1-3 have explained the relationship that we should have in our earthly life!

God the Head of Christ.

Christ the Head of man.

Man the head of woman.

Verses 4-13 concern a covering or a veil worn by men and women.

In that day men and women would wear what we would call a shawl to protect them from the harsh conditions.

It is true that all men and women stand on equal ground at the cross but it is also true that the family was established before the Church!

Among the Greeks it was custom for the women to appear in public with her head covered. The shawl could be both head covering and veil.

It was in the rite of marriage that she assumed the veil in token of how her husband was her head.

These things do not speak of authority but of order!

Men also wore a shawl!

When a man began to pray or preach in public when that shawl should not be covering his head because it would show that he was in subjection to someone of this earth and not Christ and this would dishonor Christ his true Head!

On the other hand if a woman appeared in public without her covering it would show that she was not in subjection to her husband who was to be her head in that marriage and she would dishonor her marriage vows.

This woman would put herself on the same level as a woman with a shaven head which was a sign of disgrace.

Man is the glory of God because man was made in His image!

Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Man is to directly fulfill the purposes of God!

Woman then indirectly fulfills the purpose of God. Woman is God’s glory by being man’s glory!

Gen 2:21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
Gen 2:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
Gen 2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

Woman was God’s gift to man to make man a complete person but they are both equal in the eyes of God!

Gen 5:2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, “and called their name Adam”, in the day when they were created.

No doubt that women possess all the gifts fitted for their role here on earth!

Of all the beautiful things of a woman she is still a woman even when she becomes a Christian and we know that each subject must honor their king.

Christ the Head of man, and man the head of woman and it is our duty to accept our place in the order of God!

As the angels are in relation to God, so the woman is in relation to the man.

God’s face is uncovered but the angels on the other hand are covered!

Isa 6:2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; “with twain he covered his face”, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.

But the truth remains that neither sex is insulated and independent to the other in Christian life!

Each one needs the other to be complete just as Christ Jesus and the “Bride of Christ”(the Church) will be joined in completeness!

As woman was formed out of man, even so men are born out of woman but all things have God as their source!

Paul said if you just look at the Word of God, then these things just make good sense.

When the Word of God does not make sense to you then you need to pray more and study harder, God is not the author of confusion!

*****1Co 11:14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?
1Co 11:15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

Men who were Greeks or Jews cut their hair and did not allow it to grow long!

The women on the other hand, shows her beauty and she looks like herself as long hair becomes her!

But still, what is the truth of the New Testament Church!

*****1Co 11:16 But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.

It should be obvious that Paul was addressing a question that had been asked of him by this church!

Paul is saying, that if you must, by using common sense, work out these trivial details that have nothing to do with salvation.

Christianity is not intended to change the customs of any nation beyond those that go against the Word of God.

The use of a veil or head covering of any female in Christian worship is indifferent to God because God only looks at the condition of the heart but anything that causes contentions in the gathering of God’s people is wrong, and it is sin.

Remember to be contentious is to be argumentative!

Church worship must not be disorderly because it defeats the purpose of gathering to worship!

Joh 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
Joh 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

It is a foolish thing to burden the church down with ceremonies, the church is to be full of those that the Lord has set free, the Church is free!

It is a sinful thing to argue over trivial matters just for the sake of winning an argument!

The truth is the Apostles had not given any such custom!

The truth is the established churches in Jerusalem and Antioch also had no such custom!

In the church, the decency of apparel is all that is necessary!

1Pe 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
1Pe 3:2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
1Pe 3:3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
1Pe 3:4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
1Pe 3:5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:

*****1Co 11:17 Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.
1Co 11:18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.

There are many things in the church that can cause some disagreement and they should be settled according to the Word of God and by using common sense.

The partaking of the Lord’s Supper is something that should never cause a disagreement!

1) The Church must gather together to come to maturity!

Eph 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

There must be teaching, there must be fellowship, and most of all there must be worship!

Worship is to be the reason for our gathering!

Eph 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
Eph 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Eph 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

2) The Church must gather to promote Evangelism!

The work of the Church is to make disciples, baptize them, teach them and send them out into the world!

Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

3) If there is a third thing, then only after these first two things are set in motion are we to do good to all others!

Gal 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

All these things are based on the One truth of the Gospel!

The life, the death, the burial, and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ!

1Co 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
1Co 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
1Co 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
1Co 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

These Corinthians had failed in all these things.

This church was still a divided church!

*****1Co 11:19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

Heresies are fundamental errors in true doctrine not just differences of opinions!

In our world today the church has gotten away from the fundamentals of the Word of God!

This church in Corinth had chosen their own way, in a deliberate fashion, of partaking in the Lord’s Supper against what had been taught them by the Apostles.

There were still some in this church that would go out of their way, inspite of instructions in doctrine, to cause divisions in this church!

It is most probable that God had allowed these things to take place so that we could see that there is a certain way we are to observe the Lord’s Supper!

These Scriptures to the church in Corinth are here for the modern day church to learn from their mistakes!

We now have a written record that has been passed down since the beginning of the early church!

*****1Co 11:20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper.
1Co 11:21 For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.

We should be clear, it was Jesus Christ that instituted the Lord’s Supper on the eve of His crucifixion!

Jesus then “commanded” that all His followers observe it until He returns!

The Lord’s Supper signifies the New Covenant in contrast with the old Mosaic Covenant.

To enact this New Covenant Christ death was necessary because His death provided the means for forgiveness of sins!

Heb 9:16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.

And Jesus said:

Luk 22:19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: “this do in remembrance of me”.

The Lord’s Supper emphasizes that those who participate in it, demonstrate “faith” in the death of Christ Jesus!

Jesus said: “remember what I have done for you”!

The Bread symbolized Christ perfect sinless body offered in a sin-bearing sacrifice for all our sin.

The juice symbolized His blood, shed for the forgiveness of sin.

Heb 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

The Lord’s Supper involves a looking back to that historical event of the cross and anticipating His return in the near future!

Mat 26:29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.

The Lord’s Supper is to be a “communion” of believers with each other, and focusing on their “common” faith in Christ Jesus!

A divided church should never partake of communion, it destroys what Christ has done for His Church!

This church at Corinth had substituted a feast for the Lord’s Supper.

It is true that Jesus and His disciples ate the Passover Feast but they did this before the Lord took the time to explain the New Covenant which was the last meal before He was crucified!

But even in a feast this church could not show love for one another.

Everyone brought their own food and no one shared. Those that had, feasted while those that had not, went hungry.

There is nothing wrong with church fellowship but if they gathered in fellowship they did not show it in love for one another!

Just as He should have, Paul was harsh in chastising this church!

*****1Co 11:22 What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.

Paul said you have houses where you can eat until you are satisfied and drink until you are full.

That is the place to satisfy your appetite and not when you assemble with your brother and sisters in Christ!

No doubt as is normal in every church, there were many who were poor and those that had were showing contempt for those who had not.

Jas 2:5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
Jas 2:6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?

There is no praise of God when we do such things!

The Lord’s Supper must be done in complete reverence!

Fellowship should also be done in complete unity and love for one another!

Paul was not an eyewitness to this last meal with the Apostles but Paul explains these things just as he received them from the Lord!

*****1Co 11:23 For 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:
1Co 11:24 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.

Paul said these things did not come from himself but from the Lord!

We know that Paul spent 3 years in the wilderness with the Lord just as the other Apostles had spent 3 years.

It is a fact that Christianity had it’s beginning that night previous to the Lord’s crucifixion!

The ordinance of the Lord Supper began at that time and has continued throughout all these years as the Lord has directed, but it must be done in the correct manner to have it’s real meaning!

These Corinthians ate and drank unworthily!

The are certainly words of no priests over the bread and the juice that can then make these things become the actual body and blood of Christ.

There is not nor can there be a change in substance of these things!

These things should also never be done so often that they become mechanical, the Lord’s Supper is not some mere ceremony!

And most important, we each must examine ourselves to see if we are truly worthy!

The truth is, the Lord’s Supper shows us the death of Christ and must be a solemn observance!

*****1Co 11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, “ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come”.
1Co 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
1Co 11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
1Co 11:29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
1Co 11:30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

The Lord’s Supper was instituted by God Himself and not from any man as so many others do!

The truth is, that Christ will certainly return to get His Church and then after this, His promised wrath!

We are all unworthy of the “Grace of God” but when we partake of the Lord’s Supper in a care-less, irreverent, or a defiant spirit, we are certainly unworthy and actually guilty of His death, putting the death of Christ in open shame!

We must test our own feelings!

We must prove our own selves!

We must be sure of our sincerity!

We must be clean when we come to God’s altar!

What are the facts?

Anyone that partakes of the Lord’s Supper unworthily can bring the judgment of God upon themselves!

Paul said look around at your congregation.

Many are weak in body and in faith and spiritually weak.

Many are sickly, weak in mind, stumbling in their faith.

Many, God has already called home who were useless in the work of God.

When God places us flat on our backs, He wants us to look toward Him for our answers!

The truth is, if we would judge our selves by the Word of God, we would not be judged by others and when we repent God will not chastise us without mercy!

*****1Co 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
1Co 11:32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

When we can truly discern between the spiritual and the common carnal things, we would not be seeing God’s displeasure!

1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1Jn 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

We must remember God chastises only those He loves!

Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

This Church at Corinth was being chastised because God loves His Church!

It is those who are never chastised that should rethink their salvation!

It is those who never chastised, unless they repent that will be condemned with the world!

*****1Co 11:33 Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.
1Co 11:34 And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.

Notice Paul still addresses this church as his brethren.

The truth is, we of the church need our toes stepped on from time to time to remind us that it is only by God’s “Grace” that we are saved and God’s “Grace” can come only because of God’s great love for us!

The Church is the called out group whom God has called as a special group of His own!

The Church is the great mystery of the Old Testament that has been revealed to the entire world in the New Testament!

Eph 3:4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
Eph 3:5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
Eph 3:6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

It’s time for the Church to take a stand in this world we live in!

The Lord will certainly set things straight when He returns!


Let’s Pray!

Supporting The Church

The Problem Of Inadequate Support

1 Corinthians 9:1-10:15

The lesson today deals with supporting those who are called of God to preach the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

As Christians we are obligated to not only support the Church and the ministries of the Church, we are to support those that preach the “Gospel”!

Some things to consider are these things:

1) Every preacher called of God should be supported in his ministry according to the limits of the ability of the church he serves!

2) No preacher should be supported unless he is willing to preach without that support!

3) Every preacher must be above suspicion, preaching is not a job, it is a calling!

*****1Co 9:1 Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?
1Co 9:2 If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.
1Co 9:3 Mine answer to them that do examine me is this,
1Co 9:4 Have we not power to eat and to drink?
1Co 9:5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?
1Co 9:6 Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?

There were many in that day and even some today who questioned the apostleship of Paul.

If Paul was not called of Christ then his words might have no real meaning at all!

Not everyone who saw Jesus became an apostle, but no one became an apostle who had not seen the Lord and who had not been commissioned by Him!

There can be no apostles today for these reasons!

Paul had seen the Lord on the road to Damascus!

Jesus had spoken to Paul with His actual voice!

Paul had been commissioned, even with a special commission, to reach out to the Gentiles!

Paul was called of God to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Paul had not chosen this thing himself, he was just obeying the Lord and the Lord gave Paul the same authority as He had done to the other eleven!

Paul had the same “Christian Liberty” as all brothers and sisters in Christ have!

The truth is, this church in Corinth was just one of the places that proved the results of Paul’s labor and his God given ability to lead the lost to Christ for salvation.

Paul had taught that because of the conditions of that day, it may be better to remain celibate and devote a life full time to the Lord’s service but Paul also recognized that it was also good to be married.

In fact Paul taught that one was no more holy than the other!

Paul insisted that even the Apostles had that same right if they so chose.

There is no biblical requirement for the clergy to be celibate!

We know that Peter had a wife, and we are sure some of the others did also.

Paul was just as much biblically free to take a wife if he so chose to do so!

The Bible clearly teaches the support of the ministry and Paul and Barnabas could have expected this church in Corinth to help in that support but Paul chose not to do this for his own reasons!

The truth is, that the greatest work that anyone can do is to lead a lost soul to the Lord for salvation!

No other work on this planet is greater than this work that Christ Jesus has given us all to do!

In fact Paul was saying to these Corinthians that if anyone deserved to be supported by this church then he should be at the top of the list.

And Paul begins to explain:

*****1Co 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?

**The armies of this world are supported at the expense of the public.

Preachers called of God are the good soldiers of Jesus Christ, they are engaged in a warfare state in fighting the good fight of faith against all the enemies of the church!

It is only reasonable that they be supported by God’s children!

**The church is the vineyard of God, those called to preach are the planters, the vine-dressers, and the laborers in God’s vineyard and they should be able to partake of the vineyard!

**The church is the flock of sheep that belong to God.

It is the job of God’s preachers to be that shepherd of those sheep until the true Shepherd appears to take us home.

He that feeds the flock should eat of the milk that is produced!

Is this not what the Bible teaches says Paul?

*****1Co 9:8 Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?
1Co 9:9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?
1Co 9:10 Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.
1Co 9:11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?

Paul knows that many in the church will question these things.

If God’s man can produce what the people need, then he should profit from that production but on the other hand those who will not work, neither should they eat!

Those that would muzzle an ox while he is doing such work, would find that ox would get weak and production would suffer.

1Ti 5:18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.

God’s laborers are certainly worthy of their reward!

Every preacher who plows and threshes in the house of God in hope of spiritual things, should also be a partaker of this hope!

The preacher should be supported by those he preaches to!

If one labors in the carnal world they live by the fruit of their labor, how much more should not one who sows “spiritual things” reap of the “carnal things” of those to whom he ministers!

*****1Co 9:12 If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.

The Apostle Paul abilities were great. He knew the Old Testament from cover to cover. He had been trained at the feet of Gamaliel and finished in the top of his class. He had been trained to work with his own hands and he had been called of God and had all the powers of the Apostles but Paul did not allow any of these things to hinder his moral obligation to God’s people!

After his salvation, Paul was more like Jesus than most all other men because he knew the mind of Christ toward all nations!

Paul willingly gave up his right to church support, that he might have the pleasure of saying he was a willing volunteer in the work of the Lord much like Isaiah.

Isa 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? “Then said I, Here am I; send me”.

Paul had nothing to prove to these Corinthians, Paul just cherished the fact that he could serve the Lord!

Paul said do you not know the Word of God?

*****1Co 9:13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?
1Co 9:14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.

What is the truth?

The priests and the Levites lived off of the offerings and the sacrifices that were brought to the Temple and before that to the Tabernacle.

Num 18:7 Therefore thou and thy sons with thee shall keep your priest’s office for every thing of the altar, and within the vail; and ye shall serve: I have given your priest’s office unto you as a service of gift: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.
Num 18:8 And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Behold, I also have given thee the charge of mine heave offerings of all the hallowed things of the children of Israel; unto thee have I given them by reason of the anointing, and to thy sons, by an ordinance for ever.
Num 18:9 This shall be thine of the most holy things, reserved from the fire: every oblation of theirs, every meat offering of theirs, and every sin offering of theirs, and every trespass offering of theirs, which they shall render unto me, shall be most holy for thee and for thy sons.

This teaching is very clear: The Old Testament ministers of the Word of God under the Law and the House of God, were supported by the people to whom they ministered to!

Should not God’s ministers who were now under “Grace” also be supported?

What had Jesus taught the Apostles?

Luk 10:8 And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you:
Luk 10:9 And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

Mat 10:10 Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.

Supporting the ministers called of God is a fundamental principle that the Church should not neglect for it is a needed part of carrying the Gospel throughout this world!

As this is also needed teaching to the New Testament Church every preacher is to teach these things!

The Apostle Paul had his own reasons for not accepting support from these Corinthians which he went on to explain.

*****1Co 9:15 But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.

The Apostle Paul clearly understood the evils that could result from “a paid ministry”!

We can see these things even more often in the modern day Church where those who support the minister then make demands of that minister, which he will comply with in order to keep his position.

This is not the intent of supporting the ministry!

Men who devote their lives to the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ deserve the support of the Church!

Those that just tickle the ears of the flock of God need to be run out of the ministry but that is what we see behind many pulpits today!

2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
2Ti 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

It is not charity to support the true man called of God, it is deserved!

The true minister of God must be first a man, then a Christian, and then a messenger of Jesus Christ!

The Apostle Paul decided to relinquish any support from these Corinthians rather than give them another occasion to offer their reproach.

Many of them already questioned his apostleship!

It is easy to see as we follow these Scriptures that this church required a special touch from God’s Apostle!

*****1Co 9:16 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!
1Co 9:17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.

The Apostle Paul, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Jonah, and every true man called of God already know that they could not keep the Word of God to themselves and they also understand the results of preaching the “Gospel”.

Jeremiah said:

Jer 20:9 Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. “But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay”.

Paul had only one goal and that was to gain other souls to the Lord!

Paul was willing to forgo comfort, profit, rest and any earthly prize in his goal of that “crown of rejoicing”!

1Th 2:19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?
1Th 2:20 For ye are our glory and joy.

The Apostle Paul lived in dread of becoming a castaway.

Paul had no fear of being rejected of God but he did fear reaching a point when he was of no use to God and was cast aside in favor of someone more unselfish, more compliant, and more willing to give of themselves!

The life of the Apostle Paul will put us all to shame, who think we are serving the Lord, but God does not think on these terms, God only expects our reasonable service!

What reward was Paul seeking?

*****1Co 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.
1Co 9:19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.

The Apostle Paul is saying that there is not enough money in this world that could replace the happiness he got from preaching the Gospel without cost to any!

It was of utmost importance to Paul for Christians to see that the rewards for serving the Lord are far more greater than any wage or reward that could be gotten from this world!

If this seemed to be boasting then in truth it is because it is the truth. The wages of the servant of God go far beyond salvation and eternal life, which should be enough if that was all we received.

The Bible says:

Isa 64:4 For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.

Paul had powers given to him by the Lord but he refused to abuse any of those powers so he could concentrate on the pure “love of God”!

Paul had made this covenant with himself, at the beginning of his ministry and he stuck to it throughout his ministry!

Paul did not demand support for himself even though he taught the full Word of God which called for the supporting of those men God called into the ministry.

Every house of God should strive to support the man God has given them along with the maintenance of a place of worship and the proper outreach which should concentrate on discipleship and evangelism!

*****1Co 9:20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
1Co 9:21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
1Co 9:22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
1Co 9:23 And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
1Co 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

It is a fact that in any race there can be but one winner!

If we refuse to even enter into that race, we will never have an opportunity to be a winner!

The prize to Paul was the “high calling of Jesus Christ”!

The Word of God gives each of us the rules for running in the race for sanctification and then glorification.

The course we are to run on is this world on which we live!

Unless we accept the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ as the truth then we can never be a part of this race!

Jesus Christ ran His race and won and is now sitting at rest on His throne in Heaven until it is time to return to gather all His winners!

The encouragement to run is the “Grace of God”, God’s Riches At Christ Expense!

We can begin this race by running to Christ and our race will end when Christ runs back to get His children!

Running is moving forward and as Christians it must be our goal to continue to move forward all the days that God will give us. Standing still is still losing ground!

*****1Co 9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
1Co 9:26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
1Co 9:27 But 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.

Racing, is normally a competition with a group. To strive, is that battle we face within our own selves and is an even more severe contest than the foot race!

The Apostle Paul exercised self-denial even abstaining from many things that would have made his own life more pleasant in order to gain the reward promised by the Lord!

Those that race for the glory of this world, can only win a crown that will fade away!

Those that race for the Glory of God, will obtain a reward that will never fade away and will be waiting on them when they get home to Heaven.

When we run the Christian race, and answer the call of God, we must take clear aim at the goals of Christ and cast away anything that hinders us, be indifferent to what bystanders may say, and consider that even a stumble can be a means of encouragement!

A boxer may shadow box to prepare for his opponent but we must never forget our opponent is Satan and he has been at this for more than 6000 years and he is a real adversary!

We must first win that battle with our own flesh before we can be a servant who will slave for the Lord or just be cast aside while God chooses someone else.

This was Paul’s goal and our goals should be similar!

There are things we should remember in the Word of God!

Our God is powerful!

*****1Co 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
1Co 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
1Co 10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
1Co 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
1Co 10:5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

Remember this Church at Corinth was full of people who thought they had reached their peak in Bible Knowledge and needed no further instructions.

Many today refuse to go to the house of God because they feel they are saved and have no further need of instruction and they are just as wrong as these Corinthians!

The people of Israel had witnessed with their own eyes the miracle at the Red Sea.

The people of Israel had seen the “Cloud by day” and the “Fire by night” that had remained with them day and night for 40 years.

The people of Israel had eaten of the manna that came down from Heaven and sustained them for 40 years.

The people of Israel had witnessed and drank of the water that had gushed from the Rock and that Rock was in “TYPE” Christ Himself, the true Living Water!

The people of Israel were eye-witnesses to how it could be only Jehovah God who could do all these things and yet they failed in their “Faith” and God was not pleased with many of them and they never entered into the Promised Land of God and they were over thrown in the wilderness!

These things are all examples for the Church to learn and understand!

*****1Co 10:6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.

Typology is used as a method of interpreting the Old Testament as it relates to the main theme of the Bible, which is “salvation” and out Christian walk after salvation!

Paul is saying that all these things are examples or “types” for our comparison!

The experiences of the Jewish people in their Exodus from Egypt are a great lesson for every believer.

All the Jewish people were a part of this Exodus and all were free from the “bondage of Egypt” but God was not pleased with most of them and they died unable to enter into the Promised land!

The Lord Jesus Christ died on Calvary’s Cross and paid the sin debt for all human beings, but God is not pleased with all those that reject the Lord and the work that He did for all our salvation and they will never enter into the Promised Heavenly home!

Christians are not to lust after the things of this world.

Christians are not to murmur and complain because of persecution.

Christians are to set the example as the true children of God!

Even the “Grace” of God has it’s limits!

*****1Co 10:7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

Some of these Israelite deliberately sat down, rejecting the Word of God, and worshipped an idol.

As Christians we must realize that anything that comes between us and our Lord is idol worship!

*****1Co 10:8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.

If we remember Balaam from the Old Testament, we know that he was unable to put a curse on the children of Israel because God simply would not allow it.

Though Balaam could not curse them, he did make a suggestion to King Balak of a way to cause Israel to sin.

Jesus Christ reminds the “Church Age” of the doctrine of Balaam in that day.

Rev 2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

Temptation was the downfall of many a Christians in the day of Paul and it is so much the more today!

These Corinthians were surrounded by temples of worship to false deities and prostitution was used in most all of them to entice the worshipper.

So long as we are in this world we will be exposed to temptations and we need always to be on our watch against them!

*****1Co 10:9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.

To “tempt” is to “try to the uttermost” to see if God is as good as His Word says!

Every Word that God has given us is true!

We must praise Him for His “Grace”.

We must trust by “faith” in His salvation!

We must also believe that those that reject the Lord will certainly see the wrath of God!

God is certainly everything His Word says He is!

*****1Co 10:10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.

If there be any doubt in your mind we can be sure that God hates a bunch of complaining people!

The fruit of the Spirit is joy!

It is our faith which will bring with it that joy!

1Pe 1:8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
1Pe 1:9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

*****1Co 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
1Co 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
1Co 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.
1Co 10:14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.
1Co 10:15 I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.

If there be any doubt that we should study the Old Testament Scriptures, then these words should put that to rest.

The Old Testament is given to us for our admonition!

Admonition means, for our attention, for our instruction in duties, for our direction, and for our caution and warning!

2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

There is never a time until we reach Heaven that we do not need to be studying the Word of God!

God is “faithful”!

God will never allow us to be tempted beyond our own strength without making a way of escape!

These words are just as true as the words of salvation!

To flee, is to run away as fast as you possibly can from all these things God has warned us about.

Remember God does not warn us for the punishment, God warns us because He loves us so much!

The Apostle Paul was a Christian who set very high standards for himself after he was saved and even Paul failed from time to time.

Who are we to think that this sinful, evil world cannot touch us!

We are all just sinners, who are saved only by the “GRACE” of God and held together only by OUR OWN FAITH”!


Let’s Pray!

Abusing Christian Liberty

The Problem Of Abused Liberty

1 Corinthians 8

By definition “Liberty” is the opposite of “servitude” or “bondage”. Liberty is then slaves or captives who are set free from oppression.

Throughout the Bible we can see that the main theme is that God will set His people free from spiritual bondage.

God has never ordained slavery!

It is God who has liberated all who believe by “Faith” from the bondage of sin, by the work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

What did Jesus preach?

Luk 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, “to preach deliverance to the captives”, and recovering of sight to the blind, “to set at liberty them that are bruised”,
Luk 4:19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

What else did Jesus preach?

Joh 8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
Joh 8:35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
Joh 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Today our lesson is not so much about “liberty” as it is the abuse of our liberty that has been given to us by the Lord Jesus Christ!

The Bible says:

Gal 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; “only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh”, but by love serve one another.
Gal 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Gal 5:15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

These things are important because as Christians we live in a world of idolatrous practices and where humans make them own selves gods!

So let’s begin:

*****1Co 8:1 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.

Again we can see that the Apostle Paul is addressing a question that was sent to him in a letter from the house of Chloe.

What we will see is that in all cases of our freedom in Christian Liberty, the main theme of the Apostle Paul rest on the commands of Jesus Christ!

Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40 “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets”.

For those who think other wise the entire Word of God is based upon the Love of God for His created people!

The message of the Apostle is that every Christian ought to walk so as not to wound another brother or sister in Christ!

This is the way that Jesus walked!

If we remember from the Book of Acts, a question the Jews had was if Gentiles could really be saved if they did not first become a Jew and obey all the laws of Moses.

It was James, the half-brother of Jesus who stated the results of that decision.

Act 15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
Act 15:29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.
Act 15:30 So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch: and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the epistle:
Act 15:31 Which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation.

It is a fact that there is only one God and His name is Jehovah!

We already know that the church at Corinth was full of “Babes in Christ” who had very liberal views.

We already know that times were hard with famine and increasing Christian persecution.

There were many false temples to idols and false gods in Corinth where animals were offered in sacrifice which usually meant that the remnants of those animals that were slain as sacrifices ended up in the local markets at a discount price or at great banquets in those temples.

Those of Jewish faith who had converted to Christianity would never consider buying such meat nor partake of what they considered unclean meat.

Those Gentiles who were now Christian saw no problems with consuming these things and they were right except for one thing.

This kind of knowledge can cause us to sin!

If knowledge of certain things causes us to place a stumbling block before any brother or sister in Christ then we have forgotten the law of Jesus Christ when He said “we are to love our neighbors as ourselves”!

When we put on an air of superiority over any other child of God we are committing sin not only to that brother or sister in Christ but to Christ Himself!

To edify, is to build upon the “Body of Christ” it is not to tear down!

*****1Co 8:2 And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.

We must realize as Christians that every teaching of God is to be tempered with not only the “Love of God”, but also the “Love For Each Other”!

When we use our “faith” as being superior to anyone, we are not on the right track in search of the knowledge of God.

We all stand on level ground at the Cross of Jesus Christ!

It is easy to see why this church at Corinth was having so many problems:

1Ti 6:3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, “even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness”;
1Ti 6:4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
1Ti 6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

But to be obedient to the “laws of love” the two greatest of all commandments, is to be known of God!

*****1Co 8:3 But if any man love God, the same is known of him.

There are those who have a “think so” religion.

Christianity is not a “think so” but “know so” by “faith in Christ Jesus”!

The Bible says:

1Jn 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; “that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God”.

The truth is that God knows all those who are His!

2Ti 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, “The Lord knoweth them that are his”. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

Those that know God are known of God!

Gal 4:9 But now, “after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God”, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?

And the truth is that we can only know love because God first loved us!

No one can be acquainted with God who does not love Him and show it in their actions toward all others!

This shoots down any theory of the Ecumenical movement that say all religions worship the same God!

To love God is to keep His commandments!

Joh 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

God gave us His commandments in what is now called the Bible, or the Word of God and these are the commandments that are to be kept.

Those that reject the Lord Jesus Christ and the Word of God will hear these words in the end:

Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, “I never knew you”: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Those that cannot love the Lord Jesus Christ cannot know God and therefore cannot be loved of God!

All those that do not know or love the Lord Jesus knows nothing as he ought to know, because all else is nothing in this world because there is no other God but Jesus!

*****1Co 8:4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and “that there is none other God but one”.

Therefore since an idol is only a figment of man’s imagination, as is all false gods, then things that are sacrificed to those things cannot in any way harm the Christian!

Some look upon idols and false gods as demons.

Some look upon idols and false gods as evil spirits.

The truth is they all are only figment of man’s imagination except for the One God Jehovah!

Isa 44:8 Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.

An idol or false god is a name without a thing, a mere figment of the human heart!

Isa 44:9 They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed

This is one of the trivial things that Christians have a tendency to disagree on, but the pure truth is, it is only how these things affect the conduct of others that is of real importance!

As Christians we are not to consider the lawfulness nor the unlawfulness of these things for we are to always consider all questions of this kind on the grounds of the welfare of the “Body of Christ”!

We are to rate all things as they concern the love of our brothers and sisters in Christ!

*****1Co 8:5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)

We should also consider that these Corinthians to whom Paul was writing, had, before their conversion to Christianity, worshiped many false gods in the heavens and also many lords on this earth!

All these things are only manifestations in the mind that are energized by Satan and his demonic spirits!

It is sometimes hard for the “Babe in Christ” to free their minds from the power of false religion!

It is even harder today for the new Christian to free their minds from the teaching of evolution, they been forced to grow up with!

It is a fact that our youth are being brain-washed by evolution and it’s false theories that cannot even be proven.

1Ti 6:20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of “science falsely so called”:
1Ti 6:21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith.

BUT, It is not other humans themselves that are our enemies but it is the rulers of darkness that are our true enemy!

Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

It is only “the truth” that make us free from all these things!

*****1Co 8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

The testimony of the Scriptures reveal that their is only one true God!

All true science points to only one Creator who is One God!

We are all God’s creation, created by His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ!

Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

In contrast, evolution is the teaching of pantheism and ancient pagans, evolutionary atheism put together by modern, so-called, intellectuals.

All idols are nothing!

All false gods are nothing!

All teachings other than the Word of God will lead to nothing but sin and eternal damnation!

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

It is only Christ Jesus who can make a New Creation!

Joh 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be “born again”, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Rev 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, “I make all things new”. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

All those that seek something new must come to the Lord Jesus Christ!

Baby Christians still struggle with some of these things and we must not ever place a stone of stumbling in their path to the truth!

*****1Co 8:7 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.

Some of these Corinthians just could not fathom eating meat that had been sacrificed to some idol or false god with a clear conscience.

Many of those were probably converted Jews but not all.

That had found freedom from all these things and they certainly did not want to fall back into their old false beliefs.

Those things simply did not have the taste of freedom and seemed in their conscience to be unclean.

To be quite honest once you have been removed from the filth of this world through Jesus Christ, you will simply not want to ever know that feeling of uncleanness again!

To be washed in the blood of Jesus is to feel a clean that only the Christian can know!

The truth is that no matter what God makes clean can never be soiled again but only in our own conscience!

But God says, all those with a weak conscience, weakness as a result of a past habit, are entitled to the respect and the exercise of patience from the strong Christian!

God says in fact, it is the strong Christian who is unrighteous to ignore the truth of these things!


These are all trivial matters that have no real importance to our Christian walk but we can allow them to ruin our testimony and harm the work of the Church!

*****1Co 8:8 But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.

The truth is that the food we eat to sustain our flesh does not affect our standing before God!

Food like anything else can only harm us if we allow it to control our actions toward others.

Our liberty is forfeited when we allow anything of this world to be our master!

We have only one Master and He is the Lord!

Rom 14:6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.
Rom 14:7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.
Rom 14:8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.

*****1Co 8:9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.

When we allow the trivial things of this world, that have no affect on our standing before the Lord but that thing may tempt another brother or sister to act against their own conscience, then that thing has become a sin to us!

What did Jesus say to the Church at Pergamos?

Rev 2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

The Christian is to have patience, and not privilege!

The Christian is to show love, not knowledge!

When sin came into God’s world, God did not first respond with wrath “but with love”!

For our redemption, God’s wisdom made a plan!

God’s power put His plan into action!

But it was God’s love that made all these things possible!

All that Jesus Christ did and suffered was because He loved us!

1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

*****1Co 8:10 For 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;
1Co 8:11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?

Corinth had many temples to false gods and each one had great banquet halls where the meat that was sacrificed to idols could then be consumed.

For a “Babe In Christ” to witness a fellow brother or sister at the banquet table, how could they not think that this person was not bowing to that false god!

We would have that same problem today if a member in good standing, decided to witness in a place of ill report and some “Babe in Christ” or some other member, drove by and saw his car in that parking lot, they would only think the worse!

If the Church is the hospital for lost souls, and it is, then we are to build up our brothers and sisters and not tear them down!

The Church’s job is to make disciples who will then make more disciples and on and on, until the Lord returns!

When we mingle with this lost world, we must be aware that all eyes are upon us, not only the lost but those of the church who may not yet possess the same knowledge we have and even though we are anxious to do right, we may in fact do more wrong by our actions, than good!

It is only God who can bring the lost to the point of salvation but if our actions cause a weaker brother or sister to loose their faith and not recover it, for whose sake Christ died, then we have sinned before the eyes of Christ!

If Jesus Christ died for our sins then we should also be willing to die for the sins of our own brothers and sisters and never allow our actions to harm the family of God!

Jesus Christ died even for all those that remain lost by their own choice but in the end even they will recognize the love of God when they all will bow before Him!

Any time we jeopardize the salvation of any soul we have pronounced the death sentence upon them if they never repent!

*****1Co 8:12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.

As Christians how much we are willing to give of ourselves for another, shows the value of that other person!

Paul told husbands these things:

Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

Jesus Christ gave Himself for the Church. He gave it all, including His life!

When we are so caught up in our own faith in Christ that we ignore that one who is weaker in faith, then we are not willing to give all for the “Body of Christ”!

The only thing we must not do is to allow the preferences of that weaker brother or sister to cause us to go against the will of God for us!

The important thing for each Christian is to set the proper example for others in this life just as Jesus Christ did!

*****1Co 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.

Christian liberty is a wonderful thing but we must not insist on our own rights at the expense of injury to others!

We must not allow trivial things that have no basis on salvation to ever make another Christian stumble!

We must:

1Th 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
1Th 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

We must in no way allow ourselves to give anyone the appearance that we will do evil!

Our testimony is the greatest resource we have in this world that is dying before our eyes!


Let’s Pray!

Broken Marriages

The Problem Of Broken Marriages

1 Corinthians 7

Before we begin this lesson we must realize that the Apostle Paul is addressing the Church and he is addressing certain questions this church at Corinth had about marriage.

Whatever the results we take from this passage we must realize that marriage is indeed honorable in the eyes of God!

Heb 13:4 Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.

In America today there are more than 2 million marriages each year but only 1 out of 15 of those marriages survive more than 10 years and only 1 out of every 13 even after children have come into that marriage.

It has become the trend for couples to just be cohabited together but of those, only 1 out of 23 will ever marry and their odds of divorce is even great than those that marry without first cohabiting.

There are also 30% of those married who are in their second marriage and 42% of those second marriages will also end in divorce!

In fact there is a divorce in America about every 36 seconds!

This is not what God intended!

For those that call themselves Christian, the averages are about the same as those say they are not Christian!

The truth is, that those who regularly attend church are 35% less likely to divorce than those who rarely attend church.

Over 53% of Christians say that God must be the center of that marriage for it to survive!

Those that say they are Christian, but the way they live their lives says differently, are the ones that are the most likely to get a divorce of them all!

This is another reason that the Church has the name “a house of hypocrites”!

Paul was addressing a church that was full of “Babes in Christ” and they had many questions about marriage and divorce and Paul, led by the Holy Spirit, was addressing these issues!

*****1Co 7:1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.

The first thing we see here is that Paul was addressing a specific question that he had received in a letter that had been sent to him.

In fact many believe that Paul was quoting the actual words of this letter.

The truth is, that forbidding marriage in the Church is considered “apostasy” in the eyes of God!

1Ti 4:3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
1Ti 4:4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
1Ti 4:5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

We must forget that it was God Himself who first sanctioned marriage and gave us the guidelines for marriage!

Mar 10:6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.
Mar 10:7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;
Mar 10:8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.
Mar 10:9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

The family was sanctioned before the Church, in order for the Church to understand what it is to be in the family of God!

Mal 2:14 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.
Mal 2:15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.

It is true, that those who can remain single, without sin, can attend to the things of the Lord without distraction but not many can do this thing!

Jesus Christ addressed this with the Apostles and Paul is now addressing this with these Corinthians.

Mat 19:10 His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.
Mat 19:11 But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.
Mat 19:12 For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

What is the truth?

*****1Co 7:2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

The only way to avoid the sin of fornication, is for every man to have “his own wife” and every woman to have “her own husband” or to remain celibate but still have “no” lusts in their hearts!

When we look upon any woman, other than our own wives or in the case of the woman on another man other than her husband with lust in our hearts, we are already in the sin of adultery!

Mat 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

And this would also include the homosexual movement and all those that are unmarried!

Rom 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
Rom 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
Rom 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

The truth is, being celibate without sin is no more holy than being married and without sin!

We must remember that God Himself said it was not good for most men to be alone!

Gen 2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

To solve this problem God made woman!

Only a woman can be a “help meet” to a man “to fulfill his incompleteness” and be his companion.

Adam was only complete, when Eve stood by his side!

Gen 5:2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and “called their name Adam”, in the day when they were created.

Those that enter into a marriage from lustful impulses, do not really understand the ordinance of marriage!

True marriage is, a mutual spiritual affection of one man to one woman!

True marriage is, each one wishing for the well-being of the other “and causing this to happen”!

*****1Co 7:3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

Benevolence, is the desire to do good, to be kind, to be charitable, and a love with a desire to promote happiness in that one you marry!

Benevolence is the trait of God that this world ignores the most!

1Jn 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
1Jn 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

A marriage that last, knows the love of God and shows that love toward each other!

The wife is due this sort of love as well as the husband!

*****1Co 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.

Most important is the fact that marriage is not just some fanciful union that is subject to change, marriage is a holy bond between one man and one woman!

In the marriage bond, separate ownership of each person ceases because they then own each other!

Even though in the family the man is to be the head, the equal rights of the husband and the wife are to be maintained.

A marriage is to be united in the most intimate union and the most tender ties!

*****1Co 7:5 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.

Marriage should bring much joy but it also brings many responsibilities!

Each one, husband and wife, have the responsibility to fulfill each other in all things!

Remember benevolence is also a great desire to promote happiness in each other in every way!

Anything less than this, is to defraud one another!

To defraud is to deny!

To defraud is to take something away without the knowledge of the owner and in marriage the two parties own each other!

To defraud is to withhold from another what is due him or her!

There should be times when each party should dedicate some time to the Lord and fasting could include the ability to withhold from each other for a known period of time!

Remember it is Satan’s goal to break up every family!

It is Satan’s goal, to put an end to all things sanctioned by God!

1Pe 5:9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

The Marriage is the first thing that God sanctioned in humans after life itself!

*****1Co 7:6 But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.

The “permission” to say these things was obviously from the Lord, since no one else was above Paul in “apostolic authority”.

The Apostles were all equal in the eyes of God and Jesus told them whatever they bound on earth would be bound in Heaven.

Paul was not denying divine inspiration but was certainly claiming it!

Paul was just saying, that though he did not have an explicit commandment to cite for this teaching, from the Laws of Moses nor from the teachings of Christ, he was certainly led by the Holy Spirit!

And what did Jesus say?

Joh 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

The Holy Spirit will always lead us in the ways of Christ Jesus!

*****1Co 7:7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.
1Co 7:8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.
1Co 7:9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

What is the truth of that day of the Apostle Paul?

Act 11:28 And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and “signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world”: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.

During the reign of Claudius, several different famine are known to have occurred.

The first famine during this period was centered around the city of Rome in the years 41 and 42 A.D.

The second famine known to have occurred during the reign of Claudius was in the fourth year of his office (45 A.D.), and was particularly centered in Judea.

It is this famine to which Luke makes reference in Acts 11:28.

The third famine during the time of Claudius was centered in Greece in about A.D. 50.

The fourth famine took place in 52 A.D. and once again, plagued the city of Rome.

The Apostle Paul established the Church at Corinth in 51 AD.

Not only did these things occur but during this same period, the persecution of Christians was on the rise!

Paul mentions these things in verse 26.

**1Co 7:26 I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be.

With these things in mind we can better understand what Paul is saying in these Scriptures.

The truth is, Paul was not married at this time and because of these conditions that were going on throughout the world, Paul said it may be best for all to remain single that were not at that time married!

Paul was a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin and marriage was a requirement and it is probable that Paul was at one time married and was in fact a widower himself as verse 8 leads us to believe!

And even Jesus said it would not be easy to be celibate while we are in these sinful bodies!

Mat 19:10 His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.
Mat 19:11 But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.
Mat 19:12 For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

Paul has only justified celibacy, but in no way is celibacy better than marriage as they are both holy in the eyes of God, one no better than the other!

It is being obedient to the Word of God that remains the example for all of us!

To burn with lust and passion, is a great sin as we have already pointed out!

To lust is to commit fornication in your heart and it is best to find that marriage partner and commit to a biblical marriage rather than live in sin!

Paul having been married and a widower and then saved, had now devoted all his life to serving the Lord!

These are all things that the Holy Spirit led Paul to write but once a marriage takes place it falls under the commandments of the Lord!

*****1Co 7:10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:
1Co 7:11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.

Remember Paul sent this letter to the Church, those who had welcomed Jesus into their heart and were saved. This Scripture refers to Christians that marry!

It is the Lord who said “let not the wife depart from the husband”.

Mat 19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
Mat 19:5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
Mat 19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

And Jesus had confirmed that marriage had been ordained of God from the beginning of Creation!

Gen 2:21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
Gen 2:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
Gen 2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
Gen 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

The idea of these things is that God himself had said that the marriage bond of one man and one woman would be until their death!

Adam lived over 800 years and was married to only one wife, who was Eve!

Jesus later said that only for the act of fornication, which includes adultery, should any divorce be granted!

Mat 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

There should never be any irreconcilable differences between two Christians!

The Bible plainly states two Christians that know the Lord should be able to work out any differences that come up in their marriage, if they truly love the Lord and love each other!

We should also remember we are all sinners and the Lord took our place on the cross to redeem us from all sin!

We must do the very best to follow the Word of God, and repent of all our sin!

*****1Co 7:12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.
1Co 7:13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.
1Co 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

Again Paul is claiming the inspiration of the Holy Spirit on things that were not directly addressed by the Lord.

These things are going to happen where just one in a family may become Christian and not the other.

In the time of Ezra when the Jews were returning from Babylon, God commanded the Jews to put away all wives who were not Jews. These things were under the laws of Moses.

Now in the time of “Grace” there are to be no marriages between a Christian and a non-Christian but those that come to know the Lord after marriage are to remain married it at all possible.

Verse 14 explains the reasons why!

In other words, that bond of marriage is still holy in the eyes of God but is does not mean that salvation can come based on the that Christian!

*****1Co 7:15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.
1Co 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?

If that non-Christian wishes to be separated from that Christian then it is not to be treated as sin and either one, man or woman are free to remarry, but that Christian only to another Christian.

If the unbelieving wife or husband chooses to leave the relationship, there is nothing else that the believer can do!

The Christian spouse may remain unmarried as long as there be any possibility of reconciliation but they are not under bondage, no longer bound by God’s law to remain with that one who left!

This is similar to the law that when one partner dies the other is no longer bound by the marriage vows!

Rom 7:2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
Rom 7:3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

*****1Co 7:17 But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.

The Christian life is a divine calling of God! We are to live according to the Word of God. Only then can we be true witnesses for the Lord!

God has a purpose for each of us and He calls on us to fulfill that purpose!

Unless God calls us specifically to do other wise, we should remain in the same calling as our previous life was spent.

There is a reason we live where we live and work where we work and that is our missionary field unless God tells us to change or opens a door to another ministry.

The only difference is, that we are to stay in our calling with God the Holy Spirit living within us and following His lead!

Our life is to be for Christ Jesus, in Him, with Him, and for Him!

If we are single we are to work for God!

If we are married we are to work for God!

If we are divorced we are to work for God!

If we remarry we are to work for God!

We are where we are, because God has chosen to place us in that position!

Christianity was never intended to introduce a violent revolutionary element into society but certainly to bring peace to a violent world!

Some examples are:

*****1Co 7:18 Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised.
1Co 7:19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.
1Co 7:20 Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.

Many Jews who became Christians became ashamed of Judaism and desired to remove the outward signs of it.

The Apostle Paul taught that once a Jew converted to Christianity he should not abandon the customs of his nation.

There is no shame in being a Jew! In Fact There is no shame for a Christian in any nationality!

Red, yellow, black and white, we are all precious in His sight!

We are all to keep the written Word of God as our guide of life!

Gal 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
Gal 6:16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

If you are a Christian then you are the true children of Abraham!

Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Gal 3:29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

When we are Christian, then we need to act like Christians rather than act like the world acts!

*****1Co 7:21 Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.
1Co 7:22 For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant.

A Christian is someone who after salvation succeeds in applying the principles of the Word of God to his daily life, and uses his place in society, no matter what it is, in a Christ-like spirit.

We should not consider slavery as we know it but look at slavery at the time of Paul!

Slaves abounded in Greece and in every part of the pagan world!

Grecians did not care for manual labor and had slaves to do that work!

Many slaves who had accepted the Lord Jesus Christ then also felt they should no longer submit to their masters.

It is true that slavery in most cases is very cruel, oppressive, and unjust but in that day many slaves had sold themselves into slavery in order to better themselves!

Christians should do their best to preserve the peace and not become disorderly.

God simply says be content where God has placed you, use your position to reach out to those that do not know the Lord.

We must never allow our circumstances to diminish our Christian spirit!

If freedom is to happen, God will make a way but we are already God’s freemen because we have been redeemed from the bondage of Satan!

We are all to suffer persecution and it still does not make the oppression of a master right or just, but we are all justified in the eyes of God that know the Lord!

This does not mean that a slave should not desire freedom if it can be obtained in a legal fashion, keeping in mind we are never to dishonor Jesus Christ under any conditions!

Slavery is certainly evil but each man or woman of God must be patient and allow God to do what He does best, as He will provide all our needs in every circumstance!

For those who do not know, slavery is even more rampant today than it has ever been throughout known history but you do not ever see this fact in the news or mentioned by governments.

Even the United Nations does not mention this fact!

In the eyes of God, all that are called and accept the Lord Jesus as our Savior are already God’s freemen!

We are all made free from “condemnation”!

Remember the “wages of sin” are death!

We were all once slaves to sin but are now liberated!

Freedom from the bondage of sin, is the greatest blessing we can receive at the hand of God!

We are Christ Jesus servants only to the extent that we are to obey the Word of God!

He is now our Master and He has given us all the same commands to follow!

We all stand on level ground at the cross of Jesus no matter the conditions of our past life!

*****1Co 7:23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.
1Co 7:24 Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.

The price for all our freedom was the precious “blood of Jesus Christ”!

1Jn 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

There is no other price that can purchase our freedom from Satan’s bondage other than the blood of Jesus!

No matter our position in life we are to be servants of God!

Even in what the world calls slavery, the Christian slave has absolute liberty in the eyes of God!

The key is, to abide in God and doing service as to the Lord!

Eph 6:5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;
Eph 6:6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
Eph 6:7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:
Eph 6:8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.

*****1Co 7:25 Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.
1Co 7:26 I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be.

Again we should not forget Paul is answering questions that were sent to him in a letter from these church members.

It is true that the Lord Jesus did not directly address virgins but the Bible is specific when it says we are to avoid “fornication”!

Virgins used in this verse mean both the male and the female.

Here we are reminded that in the days of the Apostle Paul, there where great famines everywhere and it was simply not a good time to start a marriage.

Most of us parents and grandparents today know how evil this world is getting, and we know it is simply hard for a newly wed couple to survive in a relationship at this time while the future of this world looks so bleak!

This is the same thing that Paul was saying!

In fact Jesus said these things as we approach the end times:

Luk 23:28 But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.
Luk 23:29 For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck.

And Paul continues:

*****1Co 7:27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.

Paul was simply saying that in that day with all those famines, and the Christian persecution was on the rise, there was enough turmoil in the lives of these people there was no sense in adding to it.

Jesus said:

Mat 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

BUT, Biblical marriage is never a sin!

*****1Co 7:28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.

Again Paul is just saying under the political conditions of that day, it would be even harder to have a Christian marriage.

Paul said “I only desire to spare you from adding great distress into your life that could cause a marriage to fail through no fault of your own!

*****1Co 7:29 But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;
1Co 7:30 And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;
1Co 7:31 And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.

First, our time is so short that we have to serve the Lord, we need to put off all things that are simply a waste of that precious time!

Second, Christian persecution was on the rise in the days of the Apostle Paul as it is now!

Third, The time is short before the Second Coming of Christ!

Peter preached the same message:

1Pe 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

It is a fact at the Rapture of the Church there will be no such thing as husbands and wives, for we will all be as the Angels!

We must understand the Scriptures!

Mar 12:24 And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?
Mar 12:25 For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.
Mar 12:26 And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?
Mar 12:27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.

We should be rejoicing that the time is so short and not be agonizing about it!

2Co 6:10 As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

And we should all remember the words of our Lord!

Luk 17:26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
Luk 17:27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
Luk 17:28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
Luk 17:29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
Luk 17:30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

We would be blind not see how the world is getting more like the days of Noah every moment that passes!

We must spiritually detach our selves from this world, because the fashion of this world is passing away every tick of the clock!

Paul points out that every decision we make in this time that is so short, should relate to our service in the work of the Lord!

And then Paul returns to answering those questions on marriage because marriage is a big step to take for everyone to consider!

*****1Co 7:32 But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:
1Co 7:33 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.

Paul is simply saying that when we allow the cares of this world overwhelm us, we will take our eyes off of the Lord!

Jesus put it like this:

Luk 21:32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.
Luk 21:33 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
Luk 21:34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.
Luk 21:35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.
Luk 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

Jesus says to the generation who sees all these things happening, that generation will not pass away until all that He has said will be fulfilled!

We should understand that the Apostle Paul is not discouraging marriage!

Paul is just saying that there times when things are so bad, and the coming of the Lord is so imminent, and our time spent in the service of the Lord is so valuable, that maybe we should concentrate on those things!

Some can without sin and some cannot and they marry, but all without sin!

Paul has already stated that one is no holier than the other!

What is the greatest difference between the single person and the married person?

*****1Co 7:34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

If we remember the story of Mary and Martha, then Paul is suggesting that the married wife would be more like Martha than like Mary.

Luk 10:38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
Luk 10:39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.
Luk 10:40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
Luk 10:41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
Luk 10:42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

The most important thing in all our lives should be to be sitting at the feet of the Lord Jesus Christ!

*****1Co 7:35 And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.
1Co 7:36 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.

One of the biggest problems in lasting marriages, is that neither the husband nor the wife really took the time to get to know each other!

It is also a fact that we should never make major decisions until we are firm in our relation with the Lord!

Paul has been speaking to “babes in Christ” throughout this epistle and Paul is saying slow down, get right with God first, then these other decisions will be easier to make!

Paul said he was not trying to put a stumbling block in front of any of them!

We can profit more in the Lord, than from any situation that this world has to offer!

In the days of the Apostle Paul, most marriages were arranged by the father of the bride and most of those daughters were wedded by a certain age usually before the age 0f 20, in order to insure her virginity.

If a father held his daughter out of marriage it could create scandal and sin for that daughter.

It is always hard for most fathers to approve of the one who is to wed that daughter but as we know, young lovers do things that parents do not approve of, and it may be best to allow the marriage, to avoid sin in their lives and turn them away from the Lord!

*****1Co 7:37 Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well.
1Co 7:38 So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better.

If that daughter simply did not want to marry and remain a virgin, then that parent was to have no cause to force the issue.

The authority of the parent in that day was great but parents certainly have no right to force a marriage that benefits the family more than it was a benefit to that child!

The freedom to wed, must remain with the child and follow the Word of God as best they can!

To give her in marriage would be good, but Paul says in the distresses of that time it may better if she remained free from marriage.

What is the truth of Scriptures?

*****1Co 7:39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.
1Co 7:40 But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God.

The Bible is specific, the second marriage of a Christian widow if it happens at all, should be to another Christian.

Rom 7:2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.

2Co 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

Those that remain single after the death of their husband can still be happy in the Lord.

Paul said we all have our opinions, but these he has spoken about were inspired by the Holy Spirit of God.

We must know that all Scripture was inspired by God through the Holy Spirit!

Those that despise what Paul has written about marriage, then despise the God that gave Paul these words!

1Th 4:7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
1Th 4:8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.


Let’s Pray!

Unresolved Disputes In The Church

The Problem Of Unresolved Disputes

1 Corinthians 6

In the days of the Apostle Paul, we know that in Greek culture we find that they were a quarrelsome people and actually enjoyed taking their problems to the law for settlement.

In our last few lessons we have seen that it is not the job of the Church to judge this lost world, that is the job of God!

If we are not to judge the lost world then why would we even think that the lost should judge any matter of concern to the Church?

How can any preacher teach the superiority of a life in Jesus Christ, if Christians then feel that they must call on the world to settle their disputes for them?

We must be clear, this church was already a divided Church.

They were divided over God’s messengers.

They were divided over immorality.

They were divided because of envy.

And they were divided over trivial matters that had no real meaning to either party!

This church was so full of “Babes in Christ” that their confusion was the main cause of their division!

We must also be very clear, these Scriptures do not mean that Christians are never to defend themselves under the laws of government!

It is always necessary to call in the law and the police to vindicate and to protect us from crime and criminals!

The Apostle Paul is teaching us about things that are private, personal, and of individual interest, to those of the “Body of Christ” and not about crime or criminals.

Personal matters between two Christians should be settled according to the Word of God!

When we face the Lord Jesus at the “Judgment seat of Christ” we will not be judged over trivial matters in our past history unless these things affect the work of the Church!

Allowing a carnal world to judge matters that are private between two Christians will certainly affect the work of the Church!

It is hard to imagine a church with so many problems, who was so careless about serious sins, and who were also so quick to go outside the church in civil court to settle trivial disputes.

We can see they were certainly “Babes in Christ” who lacked in “faith” but also knowledge of the Word of God, even after God had sent two of His best messengers to this Church.

Let’s Begin:

*****1Co 6:1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?

The Apostle Paul uses that word “dare” to imply that to do such a thing was in defiance of the Word of God and even challenging the truth of the Scriptures!

What had God said?

Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Those that are “unjust” are all those that do not know the Lord Jesus as their Savior!

It is rare that a Christian receives justice from those that are “unjust” because they would first be judging the facts of a salvation, that they know nothing about!

The truth is, that we can be justified only by our Supreme Judge, who is the only Fountain of Justice and we should know that we should not expect justice from an unjustified judge!

Paul was very clear in his opinion that it was better to bear injustice and even be wronged, rather than go before a heathen tribunal!

If two people could not come to some reasonable conclusion themselves, then they should take the matter before the saints of God and allow them to decide and end this thing before it went any further.

But even before these things, the first place to go is before the Lord in prayer!

And Paul proceeded to give his reasons according to the Word of God.

*****1Co 6:2 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?

These same “Babes in Christ” who refused to judge incest within the House of God would turn around and sue each other over things that were so trivial they could have easily have been settled just by taking the matter to the Lord and then the Lord’s people!

Will the saints of God judge the world? There are many Scriptures that make this statement true and it should be accepted as the truth!

Dan 7:21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;
Dan 7:22 Until the Ancient of days came, “and judgment was given to the saints of the most High”; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.

What are the facts?

1) Christians should be able to settle any dispute that comes between them!

2) Christians should never insist on having things their way even if they are right!

What did Jesus teach?

Mat 5:40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.

Mat 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
Mat 18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
Mat 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

How often are we to forgive our brothers and sisters in Christ?

Mat 18:21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
Mat 18:22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

These things are not always easy to do but this is the truth of the Word of God!

But when one brother goes to the law with another brother it cannot preserve the peace and understanding of the Word of God!

It shows the bonds of love are broken between the saints of God and these things ruin the testimony of the Church!

Solomon who had experienced in such things wrote that such things would cause harm in the relationship of these saints!

Pro 18:19 A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.

It is true that the saints of God will sit with the Lord on His throne, which designates the world under the absolute control of the Lord and will judge the world and Christians should not “dare” to do anything that goes against the Word of God and certainly not over trivial matters that have no real consequence other than showing the world just how carnal a Church can be that is not led by the Word of God!

America is now known as the land of the lawsuit and the Church members must not get caught up in such things!

*****1Co 6:3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

There is a reason that there will not only be a New Earth but also a New Heaven.

Job 4:18 Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly:

It is a fact that even the angels are not perfect and not one, even the highest angelic excellence, falls infinitely short of our Perfect God!

We may not understand this verse exactly except to accept it as the truth.

The saints of God will be made into perfection and have the mind of Christ on that day when we meet Him in the air and we will then understand all things!

1Jn 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
1Jn 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, “when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is”.
1Jn 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

In truth, the things in this life, beyond salvation and the work that the Lord has given us to do, are much to trivial to waste much our time on for they yield nothing but trouble!

1Th 4:11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
1Th 4:12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.

The rewards of this world come to those who obey the Word of God and certainly the rewards of the world to come!

*****1Co 6:4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.

Notice that no one was to judge things relating to the life or death of a fellow brother or sister in Christ, these things would be judged in the Legal System.

It was trivial disputes, things that pertain to this life, that continued to divide this Church!

In the Church no one has more authority than any other but it is a fact that Christians come from all walks of life.

Paul is saying to set them to judge who were farmers or ordinary workers rather than those who were educated in higher learning or who had businesses in that day.

Paul was saying let those who had “common sense” rather than “business sense” be the judge of these trivial things that was affecting the church in an evil way!

It would be a rare thing that those who were the poor of those days were ever caught up in law suits!

As an example, when the Apostles chose the first Deacons, the main requirement was that they be full of the Holy Ghost.

Act 6:3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

Things that affect the Church are best decided by those who cherish the Church and Love the Lord and are full of the Holy Ghost!

*****1Co 6:5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?

The Greek word for shame is “entrope”.

In science “entropy” is a measure of disorder and confusion!

These that had set themselves above their own brothers and sisters in Christ had forgotten true wisdom.

True wisdom comes from a fear of the Lord!

Job 28:28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

These Corinthians were so confused in their “Doctrine” they went against their own beliefs!

True wisdom is in the “Body of Christ” and not out in this “Lost World”!

It was also a shame to them that they had gloried in their own wisdom and boasted of their own abilities, but still felt that the heathen world could best settle their most insignificant matters.

What does God say of these things?

Jas 3:14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
Jas 3:15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
Jas 3:16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

Until all earthly wisdom is removed from the the Body of Christ, there will continue to be envy and strife in the Church!

What is the result of earthly wisdom?

*****1Co 6:6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.

What is the truth of such people?

1Jn 2:9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.
1Jn 2:10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.
1Jn 2:11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.

This is why Paul spoke to the shame of these brothers in Christ!

They simply had to grow out of all these things before the Church of Corinth was destroyed.

The work and the outreach of this Church was already tarnished!

What was the truth?

*****1Co 6:7 Now therefore 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?
1Co 6:8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.

These things are even more important today that in Paul’s day!

It is said that the Christian is his own worst enemy!

Our military has a saying that no man be left behind.

But the modern day church leaves it’s own wounded warriors on the battlefield to die!

Christians certainly do have arguments and disagreements with each other but by following the Word of God, all disputes can be settled but the truth of the Scripture says, that those that suffer in the name of the Lord are following in the footsteps of Jesus.

1Pe 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
1Pe 2:22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
1Pe 2:23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
1Pe 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

Even when we are right, it is sometimes best to lose an argument or a settlement than to lose a brother in Christ!

To defraud is “deception” and it is Satan who is the Deceiver!

To defraud is unrighteousness!

*****1Co 6:9 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, 1Co 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

The unrighteous are simply those that do wrong!

There are many today that think that Church membership is their ticket into Heaven but that is simply not true!

What is the truth? Faith without works is dead!

Jas 1:20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
Jas 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

Jas 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

Christianity is not in outward service!

Christianity is living a spiritual life led by the Holy Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit is in these things:

Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Eph 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
Eph 5:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

Note: Before we move on from this passage we should take note of that word “effeminate”.

As the gay movement and the sins of homosexuality, have made their way into the Church, we can see that those “effeminate”, those men who submit themselves to be used sexually as women are also mentioned along with fornicators those who operate outside the bonds of marriage between “one man and one woman” along with all these other things.

Upon salvation all these things are to cease and the fruit of the Spirit should rule in all our lives!

*****1Co 6:11 And 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.

There is not one of us that did not fit into at least one of these categories before salvation!

We cannot be perfect after accepting the Lord Jesus as our Savior while we still live in these wicked bodies but we are to do our best to try!

Any man or woman, no matter how wicked can be saved and “transformed” through “faith” in Jesus Christ!

The object of the death of Jesus Christ was so that we are washed in His blood.

Christ has cleansed His Church!

We are not washed by the water of Baptism, we are washed by the Word of God on which we base our “faith”!

When we find the Lord, we will find the real purpose and the true meaning of life!

***To be “sanctified” is to be set apart for God’s use. God will not use us to continue in our sin!

Joh 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

To be sanctified is to become a saint of God!

1Co 1:2 Unto the church of God which is 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, both theirs and ours:

***To be “justified” is to be declared righteous!

The only way to be justified in the eyes of God is by “faith” in Jesus Christ!

All believers are made right with God through the righteousness of Jesus Christ which is credited to our account by “faith”!

Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Rom 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

These things can only happen by the mercy of God!

Tit 3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
Tit 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Tit 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
Tit 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

When we are no longer deceived by the foolishness of this world, we will not do the things that this world does!

Just because the world approves of some sinful thing, we are still to follow the Word of God in all things!

*****1Co 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

I believe the thought of this passage to be this.

Unless some practice is specifically revealed in the Scriptures to be right or wrong, each believer should use the context of all scripture as his guide and formulate his own convictions about it.

We should be guided by these two things:

1) This thing must never be allowed to be our master!

Among these things would be drugs, alcoholic drinks, smoking, gambling and any other behavior that could become addictive!

Eph 4:27 Neither give place to the devil.
Eph 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
Eph 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Eph 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

2) We must abstain from anything which threatens out testimony as servants of the Lord, but also anything that could become a stumbling block in any other Christian’s life!

1Th 5:19 Quench not the Spirit.
1Th 5:20 Despise not prophesyings.
1Th 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
1Th 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
1Th 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Lord redeemed us and we now belong to our Redeemer!

*****1Co 6:13 Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.

Food was made to be nourishment for the body and it is therefore indifferent.

The body was not created for fornication. Fornication is a sin against the body.

What ever evil things in one body passes to the other body such as Aids, and many other Venereal diseases.
Fornication is therefore not indifferent as is food!

The body was made for the Lord and the Lord for the body!

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

If it is reasonable to give our bodies over to the Lord’s use, then it is unreasonable to not do so!!!!!!

Ecc 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
Ecc 12:14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

If the Lord has the power to save us and He does, then He certainly has the power to keep us saved and use us under His own power!

*****1Co 6:14 And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.
1Co 6:15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.

The power that raised the body of Jesus Christ from the grave is surely strong enough to raise our bodies from the bondage of corruption and place us in a position of the first resurrection or even the Rapture of the Church!

Rev 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

1Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
1Th 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

We are the members of Christ because the Church is the “Body of Christ”!

We are the branches, He is the Vine!

We are the lively stones, he is the Foundation and the Corner Stone!

We are the ship, He is the Captain of the ship!

If we are Christians, Christ Jesus regards our bodies as having a vital connection with Him!

The Lord had a human body when He walked upon this earth and that human body that was raised to Heaven is the model into which our bodies will be changed!

1Jn 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
1Jn 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

God forbids us to allow our bodies to be used as a harlot!

A harlot is one who will prostitute her body for hire!

A Christian prostitute is one who forsakes the true God, and Our Lord and prostitutes their body for Satan!

Jer 2:13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

*****1Co 6:16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.

Most of the world we live in does not want to see this verse but the pure truth is a marriage is to be between one man and one woman!

Gen 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be “one flesh”.

This is to be an unbroken unity between one man and one woman throughout their remaining days!

The Lord Jesus reinforced this Scripture:

Mat 19:5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
Mat 19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

No intercourse between the sexes is free from sin, except under the sanction of marriage and that according to the standard of one man and one woman as the Scriptures state!

Fornication, Adultery, and all manner of Homosexual activity is sin pure and simple!

Just as this is true, so is the relationship of Christ to the Christian believer!

*****1Co 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.

There must be a bond, similar to the marriage bond, between Jesus Christ and His Church but not only that but between Christ Jesus and the soul of the believer!

Spiritual life depends on that bond with Christ!

Jesus Christ must live in the heart of the believer!

Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

When God looks over the portals of Heaven and He does not see His Son in each and every believer then we are not saved from His wrath!

We must realize that we are in training for that future life to come or other words, why do we pray that “God’s will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”!

God’s will is, that we live as we are ready for Heaven and watching and patiently waiting to get there!

We must not just avoid sin but we must flee from sin!

To flee is to run away from sin as rapidly as we possibly can!

*****1Co 6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

In a battle with sin there can be no victory, so there must be absolute flight!

Sexual sin will leave their remains in your body and to flee from those sins is of even a greater need for they will destroy the body!

It may seem that drugs, alcohol, gluttony and even suicide would fall in this same category but they are still sin that is outside the body. Though they injure the body whereas the source of sexual sin comes from the uncleanness of the heart.

It is the uncleanness of the heart that defiles the body!

Mat 15:11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

Mat 15:18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
Mat 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
Mat 15:20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.

Once saved we are endowed with the Holy Spirit and therefore a Temple of God!

*****1Co 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
1Co 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

As Christians, our bodies belong to God and not to ourselves!

Our bodies are the members of Christ and for His use!

We absolutely have no right to unite our bodies with some other body in any sexual relation outside the bondage of a Biblical Marriage!

This is sin against our own bodies which could easily result in one of many sexually transmitted diseases not to mention many psychological disorders!

The payment for our bodies was the precious shed blood of Jesus Christ!

When we clearly understand these facts, it provides us with the knowledge to discern between right and wrong and what’s good and and what’s evil and will control our behavior.

Only then can we glorify God in our bodies and our “Born Again” spirit!

The Heavens declare the Glory of God!

The Angelic host glorifies God!

As the redeemed of the Lord, we are also to glorify God!

Our glorifying must begin with our praise!

Psa 50:23 Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.


Let’s Pray!

Neglecting Church Discipline

The Problem Of Neglecting Church Discipline

1 Corinthians 5

Before we begin such a topic as church discipline we need to consider that no matter who we are, we are all sinners who are saved only by the “Grace of God”!

Many of us always seem to be guilty of justifying our own sin, while we condemn the sin of others!

Most of us go out of our way to concoct ways to make wrong conduct appear to be right!

It is because we all still possess that old sin nature passed down to us from Adam!

Many will say that the Bible does not teach much on church discipline but it does not take much for us to know what God really means!

What is the only intent of church discipline? Ask Job.

Job 36:9 Then he sheweth them their work, and their transgressions that they have exceeded.
Job 36:10 He openeth also their ear to discipline, and commandeth that they return from iniquity.

The intent of church discipline is for that guilty party to return to the fellowship of the church!

To return means that at some point they were denied fellowship with the church!

By what means is church discipline to take place?

2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, “for correction”, for “instruction in righteousness”:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

It is by the “entire Word of God” that we are use, not only “for doctrine” but also “for correction”!

We are not to make up things as we go, we are to follow the written Word of God!

Let’s see what the Apostle Paul says:

*****1Co 5:1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.

We know that the house of Chloe had reported many things to the Apostle Paul but it does not seem that this thing was reported by them.

Paul says it was “commonly” reported!

This act of fornication was done, not by some citizen, not by someone who had visited the church, but by someone who was an actual member of the church in Corinth and it was known by everyone inside and especially outside the church!

It is a fact, that the church in Corinth could not plead ignorance of this thing nor could they excuse such an act and push it aside, even though up until this letter by the Apostle Paul they had condoned this thing and had said nothing.

Immediately we can see that their standard of morality was very low at this time, still much like the city of Corinth, whose nickname was “the city of fornication”.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Most of the world today would just say, so what.

Today in our societies it seems that all immorality is accepted!

1) The father of this young man was still alive and had suffered for what his son had done to him!

The proof is here:

2Co 7:12 Wherefore, though I wrote unto you, I did it not for his cause that had done the wrong, “nor for his cause that suffered wrong”, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear unto you.

2) Corinth was ruled by Roman law which was loose on morality, but in this thing, it was still branded as a public scandal, which meant it brought shame and reproach to both families and was considered a crime.

3) The man was a church member who was bound by the Word of God to walk by a higher standard than even the laws of Rome and the laws of all men, but he walked by his own laws!

It is these types of things that is fatal to the Christian image and the image of the “Body of Christ”!

We must remember the last verse in Chapter 4 where Paul had said this:

1Co 4:21 What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?

You see, through the first 4 chapters, no one had been singled out to blame for the divisiveness of this church and we should believe that this was not the only sin of it’s members!

We can see that before Paul wrote this letter, this epistle, he had spent much time in prayer and much counsel of the Holy Spirit to provide a method for church discipline then, and that is now to be used by the church!

We can already see the the commandment of the Lord Jesus had already been rejected!

Mar 12:31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

The is also means that this church did not love the Lord as they should, which is the first commandment of the church, “To Love The Lord With All Our Heart”!

*****1Co 5:2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed “might be taken away from among you”.

This an awful example for a church!

Rather than being grieved by the behavior of the church member, this church had defended their open-mindedness!

This is exactly what we see today in those place of worship that have welcomed the gay community into the church and not condemned that sin, “not that sinner” but “the sin” itself!

They try to defend their open-mindedness at the expense of the truth of God!

Some are even more arrogant to allow this sect into the priesthood directly violating the Word of God.

The Book of Timothy lays down specific guidelines for the Priest, the Preacher, and the Servants of the church named Deacons.

The the testimony of the this church had reached all the way to Ephesus where the Apostle Paul was now located when he wrote this Epistle.

When sin in the house of God, is a sin that even the world condemns, that news will spread faster than any other sin of the church.

Incest, even at that time was a revolting public offence that had to be addressed by the church!

It did not require some gathering of the elders!

It did not require some vote by the church body!

These things are completely addressed in the Word of God and no action of the church is to ever go against the written Word of God!

The “integrity” of the Body Of Christ is on full display throughout the world and it must remain the cause of all those who love Jesus Christ enough for salvation, “to protect the integrity of the Church at all costs”!

The Body of Christ should be in deep mourning today, and emotionally charged, to end such nonsense and return to the work of the Church, as outlined by Jesus Christ and moved by the Holy Spirit!

The Apostle Paul then proceeds to give acceptable guidelines to this church in Corinth which must apply to all the Body of Christ even through our day!

We must look at these words of Paul as the actual Word of God because all Scripture is inspired of God!

*****1Co 5:3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,
1Co 5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
1Co 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.

Paul said though he could not be there bodily, he was always with this church spiritually!

Paul said his decision was instantaneous and his judgment was final, just as soon as he heard of this thing, as though he were present!

That word “judgement” turns off many in the “Body of Christ” but is a fact that God will not only judge the World by His Word, but God will also judge the Church by that same Word of God.

We are never to judge that lost soul, because that is the job of God Himself!

But just as God judges by the Word of God we are definitely to judge the actions of those that are welcomed into the fellowship of the “Body of Christ” by that same Word of God!

“Not in condemnation” but as loving brother or sister in Christ!

Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

God’s Word give us specific guidelines for these things but to ignore these things makes us a part of that sin!

The existence of the Church itself was in jeopardy then, even as it is today!

Remember what Jesus said about His soon coming return.

Luk 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, “shall he find faith on the earth”?

We all look forward to the “Rapture” of the Church, but in truth there may not be many left that God has not already taken home!

Jesus is referring to the modern day church, that is not led by faith but by those who twist and turn the truth of the Word of God into something that is itself a condemning sin!

We must remember there is a highway to hell but only a stairway to Heaven!

Since no single individual had approached this man who was living in the sin of incest, it was time for the church to gather and come to the proper decision to remove this person from the fellowship of the church!

The church of today must also repent and gather together and remove all the “unrepentant sinners” from fellowship in every house of God.

We all know that when a child of God sins, if they will repent, God will forgive them of that sin and when God has forgiven them, then the church can allow that repenting one back into the fellowship of the Church!

The world may never understand these things but the world does understand it is a hypocritical church that does not condemn sin, especially a sin that even the world condemns!

Today the world condemns very little sin!

The ultimate goal of any church discipline, must always be to restore that sinner back to fellowship!

But the Church must take a stand on the entire Word of God and make an open statement condemning any action that goes against the Word of God!

It must be very clear that all those who refuse to confess their actions as sin before the Lord and repent of that sin, then they should never be allowed back into the fellowship of the Church!

Gal 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

That phrase “to deliver such a one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh” is clearly misunderstood by many.

If we want a glimpse into the unseen spiritual world that goes on around us, but is out of our sight, we can see a part of it in this reality!

Ever since Adam, Satan “in some sense” has the power of death over human beings!

Heb 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy “him that had the power of death, that is, the devil”;
Heb 2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Ultimately God Himself restrains this power that He has given to Satan, especially for all those that are redeemed into the family of God.

The child of God can only be hurt or even stressed, only to the point that God allows and this can happen when God is fulfilling some purpose He has for that individual!

The Book of Job addresses this issue as we know.

We also have this account of Peter:

Luk 22:31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
Luk 22:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

And of the Apostle Paul:

2Co 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
2Co 12:8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
2Co 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Satan’s power of death only extends to the reach that God allows it, but we know that God allows it from time to time and it is for sure that sin can destroy any life!

Even that child of God who has returned to a sinful life!

We also have the case of Ananias and Sapphira in the Book of Acts.

And we must not forget the statement Paul made to these same Corinthians about partaking of the Lord’s Supper ,while still partaking in unconfessed sin in their lives.

Paul told these same Corinthians this:

1Co 11:30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, “and many sleep”.

That that sleep are those that had died in their unconfessed sin!

It is obvious that God will sometimes remove His hand of protection, even from the child of God, during times of unconfessed sin!

This is not ever to come as a threat from any Pastor or church leader or any church member, but it is truly a fact of the Scriptures!

What is the job of the church in discipline?

*****1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
1Co 5:8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

To purge out all leaven!

What is the truth of all open sin in the church or of it’s members?

Even if only one member in the church is involved in open sin, his conduct will rapidly influence the rest of the congregation!

The truth is, this may have been the only member who was involved in open sin in the church but we all are sinners saved by the “Grace of God” and we all still have some sin in our lives because we all are still in this sinful flesh!

Certainly this man was to be denied the fellowship of the church unless he repent but we all must search out any sin in our lives and purge out that sin also!

We must also remove and purge all false doctrine, all false practices and anything else that goes against the pure Word of God!

The “Feast of the Unleavened Bread” symbolized the deliverance and freedom from sin, which was obtained only through the offering of the Passover Lamb.

The Passover Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ, had no sin in His life!

When we accept the Lord Jesus Christ “as our Passover”, then we to are to purge out all the sin in our lives all our remaining days!

The most essential requirement of this feast was the absolute putting away and even the destruction of every trace of leaven and this leaven was to be diligently sought for on the day before the Passover began!

The purging out of all leaven is another way of saying “Sanctification”!

Psa 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
Psa 139:24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

The congregation of the church is made up of all these who have purged themselves from all sin and to allow some one to commit open sin and not repent of that sin, will destroy the intent of the “Body of Christ”, and the New Testament Church!

The modern day church is ignoring these things of God!

It is a waste of time to keep the Christian Feast “of Christ’s resurrection” in a spirit of unholiness if we cannot purge away the sin from the midst of us God will not honor our sacrifice!

If we are now in Christ, then we are a “new creation” but leaven is hypocrisy and this will be what the world will see!

Luk 12:1 In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, “which is hypocrisy”.

When we confess to know the Lord and commit open sin we become nothing but hypocrites!

This is what the world thinks of the Church today!

Harsh as it is, this is the truth of the Scriptures!

If the church is that ship sailing through this world, then the world cannot be allowed into the ship or that ship will sink!

What are the marks of the Christian?

“Sincerity and truth” before God and before the world!

Tit 2:7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,
Tit 2:8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.

We will never reach that ultimate goal of “sanctification” without these things!

Joh 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
Joh 17:16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
Joh 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

*****1Co 5:9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
1Co 5:10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.

It is evident that Paul had written another epistle that has not been preserved but we can still be sure that we have the entire Word of God because God has preserved the Words that we need.

It is also clear that this letter may have caused some confusion in this church and God is not the author of confusion.

1Co 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

We are expected to take the Word of God as literal and Paul understood that if his words in a previous letter, that has not been preserved, were followed literal then Christians would become isolationist and this was not his intent, nor God’s intent!

We must take the Word of God out into the world, keeping in mind that only God can save those when they come under Holy Ghost conviction.

Certainly we all will have some friends who are not of the church and we are to certainly to avoid all the sin in which they partake but we are still to be friendly to all people!

Pro 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

Our testimony begins with our own actions that can be seen by the lost!

Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

All those works of darkness will never produce works of righteousness and they will never be satisfying!

Joy is never obtained through immorality but maybe for a season but will soon turn to misery and lost hope!

The testimony of the Christian must be lifted up against these shameful things which will ultimately bring the wrath of God!

Jesus said this:

Mat 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

This our only means of leading the lost to the Lord!

Then Paul explains the intent of this other letter!

*****1Co 5:11 But now 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.

Paul says this is what I meant in that other letter.

We know that Paul never forbade the Body of Christ to be unfriendly to the lost people of this world because that would go against the command of Jesus Christ!

Jesus said this:

Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Paul was clearing up this confusion:

1Co 10:26 For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.
1Co 10:27 If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake.
1Co 10:28 But 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: for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof:
1Co 10:29 Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience?

Jesus also said this:

Joh 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

Those we are not to keep company with, are those that are brothers and sisters in Christ who fall back into the sin of this world!

They may call themselves Christian but in reality are they “fornicators, or covetous, or idolators or any of these other things that Paul mentions.

Those that do such things should not be allowed the privileges of the “Body of Christ” and certainly not be allowed to partake of Holy Communion!

In fact God says this:

2Th 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that “ye withdraw yourselves” from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

We should follow the many places in the Word of God on how to restore such a brother or sister, if that is possible.

Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
Gal 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

That word “judge” takes on a whole new meaning when we obey the Word of God!

*****Co 5:12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?
1Co 5:13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

The intent of Paul’s message is this. If we remain “Babes In Christ” and do not take the time to learn the entire Word of God and grow daily in the Lord, the Church cannot properly function to do the work of the Lord!

We will end being judges to those outside the Church, when we should friendly and show the characteristics of Jesus!

We will allow those that say they are Christian to act like they are still in the world, with no rebuke of the truth and the Church will appear as it does today!

Christianity is not designed to drive us “out of the world”!

We are to live among those of the world but we are to live righteously!

We cannot escape all the evil in this world!

What did Jesus pray?

Joh 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, “but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil”.

The work of the Lord may call on us to to mix with those of the world, but we must always be aware of the danger of doing this!

That’s why we must put on the entire armour of God, when we go out into the world:

Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

When we are dressed in the armor of God, we are going into battle with evil!

We are to mix with the world but only as a witness for Jesus Christ, and our actions as Christians is our greatest witnessing tool.

If we look like the world looks, then the lost will see no reason to change their ways!

We must walk in this world while being separate from this world!

2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

The Lord will judge those outside the Church, but the Church must judge those on the inside, not to rid the Church of that wicked one but to restore them to the family of God!

They must remove themselves from all sin, that’s called repentance!

If we are to rate the quality of a church, then we can judge a church not on what happens on the inside, but what those on the inside do when they are on the outside!

It is when we walk outside the doors on the House of God that we all walk into our assigned missionary field!

Jesus said:

Luk 10:2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.
Luk 10:3 Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.

We must remain “a lamb” while we walk “amongst wolves” while depending upon the true Shepherd to take care of us!


Let’s Pray!

The Problem Of Church Criticism

The Problem Of Judgmental Criticism

1 Corinthians 4

Criticism is the art of scrutiny and scrutiny means a critical examination!

A critic is one who has exalted himself to the position of “a judge” of others!

In the church many times there are those who seek to find the faults of others without considering their own faults.

We actually have only one Judge and He is also our Creator!

Gen 18:25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right”?

Paul will use two words that we must consider in these Scriptures.

**Ministers: The Greek word used for minister in this verse is “huperetes”.

This Greek word has the meaning of an “under oarsman”.

In the time of the Apostle Paul the “oarsman” were in the belly of the ship and they had only one job and that was to row on command.

They did not see in what direction the ship was sailing, their job was only to move the ship along in the direction that the Captain chose and at the speed that He chose.

In many ways the Church is like a mighty ship sailing through the Church Age and it the Ministers job to keep the ship moving while Captain, Jesus, chooses the direction and the speed of the Church.

**Stewards: A steward on the other hand was employed by a master to manage the daily affairs of that master, including in many cases the financial accounts but also the provisions for that family.

The truth is, that the Lord calls out certain individuals to be the ministers and the stewards of the Church.

He has many names but here we call this man the Pastor or the Preacher or the Evangelist!

Paul continues in Chapter 4

*****1Co 4:1 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
1Co 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

If we remember this Church at Corinth was a divided church and one of the things that they were divided about was the men who had come to preach to the church.

Some insisted Paul was the best and others Apollos, and others Peter and yet others who only considered Jesus Christ to be just another prophet and just a man.

Paul had already shown them the “Gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul now was teaching that it was not so important who the messenger was that was sent of God.

Of most importance, were they indeed “faithful” to teach the “Gospel”, were they “faithful” to the God they served and to His entire Word!

Christian stewards are to be stewards of the mysteries of God!

The mysteries of God are all those things of Jesus Christ, that were hidden in the Old Testament that are revealed in the New Testament!

Christians are also to be stewards of the manifold “Grace Of God”!

1Pe 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

God expects all those called to be Preachers, Pastors and Evangelist or wherever God calls each of us, to be faithful to His “Grace” and to share the literal biblical explanations of the mysteries of God!

These men are subject to God for their message and for their faithfulness to their calling but only God can give the increase to the Church!

It is the job of the Church to listen to the message that comes from the Word of God and not to judge the messenger who is sent of God!

We are only to compare that message to the actual written Word of God to know if it is a true message!

We are all accountable to God, who is our sure Judge, during our life time and in the end, when we will face God in judgment either at the “Judgment seat of Christ” or the “White Throne Judgment”!

If we are to be stewards of the Word of God then we must be faithful to the truth of the Scriptures!

*****1Co 4:3 But 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.
1Co 4:4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

The judgment of all humans lies in the hands of God. Mankind is not capable of judging each other!

We may or may not despise the judgment by others but in reality it amounts to almost nothing as compared to the judgment of God!

We live now in man’s day and will continue to do so “until the Day of the Lord”!

Paul is saying that even though he has been found faithful in delivering the mysteries of God, he does not need man’s approval and he continues by saying that he did not even assume the right of judging himself.

It is only the judgment of the Lord that has any real importance!

It is still a fact that we as humans live only on average around 70 years. This is certainly not enough time to gain enough wisdom to judge other human beings!

For most of us, it is only after our death that we will be remembered or judged for the things we accomplished in our lifetime and that usually only by our own families.

But one thing is sure and it is that if we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior in this life time we have now, then we can be judged and justified by the Lord even before our death!

Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Rom 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

The heart of all humans is much to full of deceit to be an accurate judge of any other human being but only by their actions toward the Word of God!

Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Jer 17:10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

*****1Co 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: and then shall every man have praise of God.

In reality, we of the Church have no right to judge the messengers that are called into the work of the Lord.

If that Messenger is conveying the actual Word of God, “rightly divided”, and in context, then our one thing is to listen to that message that is sent from God and concentrate on being obedient ourselves!

You see it is only the Lord that can see into our hearts and expose those “hidden things of darkness”!

Heb 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

All things of our heart are naked and open to the eyes of the One who has called us out of the bondage of Satan!

If our own heart is the seat of our intellect and emotions, and it is, then only God can know what goes on in the mind of each of us!

The praise of God is so infinitely precious to all those called of God that it reduces to nothingness the value of human praise or of human blame!

Every child of God simply wants to hear these certain words in the end!

Mat 25:23 His lord said unto him, “Well done, good and faithful servant”; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: “enter thou into the joy of thy lord”.

If our hope is not in the joy of the Lord then we need to question our salvation!

When we do not look forward to entering into the “joy of the Lord”, then we will only become judges in this world and suffer loss because of it!

*****1Co 4:6 And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.

Paul continues to show his love for these, his brothers and sisters in Christ, the Brethren. Paul also does not point out those that chose to follow the teaching of Apollos and those that have said that followed his own teaching because Paul knew they both taught the same message of the “Gospel”.

Paul also did not mention Peter who at this time had not preached the “Gospel” in Corinth and may not have ever but was well followed in Jerusalem.

The message of Paul was that all the messengers called of God are laborers in the building up of God’s Kingdom. No one more important than any other!

One would simply be the planter and the other the waterer because only God can give the increase!

To exalt one above the other would also be to depreciate one below the other!

When church members get puffed up, one against the other, it’s like trying to build the House of God with a balloon rather than on the truth of God, which are to be the building blocks of every church!

These Corinthians were still full of emptiness rather than accepting that the gifts of God may differ in each individual, but the Word of God must remain the same in all of us!

God distributes gifts to His children according to their need and their abilities to perform the work that He has called on them to do and these things will never change until He returns!

*****1Co 4:7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

Even when we believe that one speaker or one preacher presents the “Gospel” in a better way we must realize any gift that they have came from the Living God!

God’s gifts are not for bragging!

God’s gifts are for using!

While bragging on or choosing one above the other we should also consider our own gifts from God “that we are not even using” for the work that God has called us all to do!

The truth is that God has given each of us gifts to use to carry the “Gospel” to the lost!

1Pe 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
1Pe 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

We are arrogant to believe that God exalts His workers one above another!

We are not superior one above the other!

We absolutely have no right to sit in “judgment” one above any other!

When we glory, then we must glory in the Lord who has placed us where He wants us to be and has given us the tools we need, whether they be spiritual gifts or carnal gifts.

All we have belongs to the Lord!

Even John the Baptist was well aware of these things!

Joh 3:27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.

*****1Co 4:8 Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you.

As “Babes in Christ” it is easy to have the opinion that you are saved and you need nothing else.

These Corinthians were full but they were not full of Christ, they were full of themselves!

In their own still fleshy minds, they believed they had already reached perfection in the eyes of God and really had no further need of any instructor in the Word of God.

They certainly felt they had no need to pick up their own cross and follow the Lord Jesus.

They forgot that before the “Kingdom of God” could come that they would also suffer.

They forgot that before there was a fullness of joy, there would be persecution.

They forgot that before the marriage supper of the Lamb, they must eat the meat of ridicule in this world.

They became self-complacent and self-sufficient and felt they had no sin and no need of anything else of God!

We should remember the Age we live in now, which is the last of the Church Ages!

Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Rev 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

These Corinthians were still blind to the complete truth of the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ!

They had one foot in the Church and still had one foot in the carnal world!

*****1Co 4:9 For I think that 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.

It was obvious to these Corinthians the way the world was treating the Apostles of Jesus Christ.

It was obvious to these Corinthians that persecution followed the Christian where ever they were.

Many of this church had actually come from Jerusalem because of the persecution of Christians!

It should be sobering to us all that Christians, especially those Christian leaders such as the Apostle Paul are actually on a stage being carefully watched by the audience of the world, to point out every mistake of the Church and it’s followers, ready to persecute and humiliate everyone in an attempt to stop the message of God!

These things are not going to change and to correctly understand these words of the Apostle Paul, we can see that for more than one reason, even the Angels of God also keep a close eye on each believer.

1Pe 1:12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; “which things the angels desire to look into”.

*****1Co 4:10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised.
1Co 4:11 Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace;
1Co 4:12 And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:
1Co 4:13 Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.

What is the difference between a true Christian and a counterfeit so-called Christian or even a carnal Christian?

The counterfeit is so full of themselves, rather than Divine Knowledge, that he thinks he needs no further instruction.

The counterfeit is so rich in his own grace, that he exalts himself above those who are spiritually poor.

The counterfeit is so confident in his confession of himself, that he would try to rule others who he believes are of a lower class of Christian than he.

The true Christian regards himself as the least of all Saints.

The true Christian submits willingly to suffering for Christ sake.

The true Christian repays all evil with good!

The Apostle Paul left the schools of higher learning, which would have led to untold riches, and devoted the remaining days of his life to the work of Christ, totally understanding that his only riches would come from his “faith” and the “Grace” of God!

Paul said in the eyes of the world, he was certainly a foolish man!

The model for the Apostle Paul was Jesus Christ Himself, who left the riches and glory of Heaven, to give his life in order that we might live!

How did Jesus respond to such people?

Luk 9:57 And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.
Luk 9:58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
Luk 9:59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Luk 9:60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
Luk 9:61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.
Luk 9:62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

The Bible teaches us that because of our loyalty to Jesus Christ,the world will despise us and consider us all mad and ignorant.

These Corinthians sought ways to make the teaching of the “Gospel” a means of becoming a celebrity and these “type” are still around today!

Christianity brings with it sacrifice, sometimes shame, many times suffering, and certainly a true work ethic.

But Christianity brings companionship in the greatest family of all, the “Grace “of God, and rewards that cannot be known of in this world!

The Christian must be a humble, and a meek, and a patient child of God!

The signs of the Christian are these:

1Co 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
1Co 13:12 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.
1Co 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Paul said to these Corinthians, “you simply need to know the truth”.

Who is the most important example for the Christian to follow?

1Pe 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, “leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps”:

*****1Co 4:14 I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.
1Co 4:15 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.
1Co 4:16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.

We can be sure that the Apostle Paul did not write these books to the these Corinthians, nor to the Church, for the purpose of causing them shame and embarrassment!

The truth is that, the liberal church cannot survive and function for the good of God!

There is a great danger to the “Body of Christ” if the majority remain “Babes in Christ”!

This is what we see in the Church of the modern day and the Church no longer has the Holy Ghost power it once had!

It was the Apostle Paul who had caused the beginning of this church at Corinth, and to Paul these were his spiritual children and there are no spiritual grandchildren!

Paul, by example, followed the life of Christ as close as he could after his salvation and this should also be our goal!

Paul is simply saying that beyond the Lord Jesus Christ, no one cared as much for the Church at Corinth as much as he did!

Paul was simply rebuking this church much like a loving father would rebuke their own children!

I see this same thing here at Gethsemane, where through the years we have had many tutors who have come through to teach us the great depths of the Word of God, but it is our Pastor who teaches us as a loving father does his own children!

And Paul further more states, that no church can have a father who is not following the Lord Jesus Christ!

Mat 23:9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

We must never forget the One from which the New Testament Church had it’s beginnings and that One is the Lord Jesus Christ!

Mat 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God”.
Mat 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, “but my Father which is in heaven”.

The Church at Corinth was begotten through the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” and it is on Jesus Christ that the Church must stand!

Paul said he was just filling in, until the Lord returned to fulfill His own “Gospel”!

Paul as a “faithful steward” of the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” said “you can follow me because I am following the Lord”!

It is a fact that good spiritual leaders will light the way for their followers to follow!

What is the job of the Pastor?

1Pe 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
1Pe 5:3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
1Pe 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

Paul was a church planter, who totally understood his calling by the Lord Jesus Christ!

Paul was not being arrogant nor was he conceited.

Paul explained himself to the Ephesians with these words:

Eph 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;

Many false teachers had come to the church at Corinth, just as happens today in most all places of worship!

We know that the Lord Jesus Christ cannot actually be seen with the eye but only with the heart until He returns, but the true man of God, such as Paul, would be more like Jesus than any false teacher could ever be!

The truth of the Church is not what we look like inside the Church, it is how we appear outside the Church!

We would be wise to follow the example of the Apostle Paul rather than the example of some false so-called man of God, who might speak great words but their lives tell a different story!

Paul had a another spiritual child of God who was following the Lord Jesus Christ by the example showed to him also by the Apostle Paul and his name was Timothy.

*****1Co 4:17 For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.

No doubt that it Paul who had led Timothy to the Lord!

No doubt that Timothy was already on his way to Corinth as Paul was writing this letter and the letter had arrived before Timothy had gotten there.

It was Timothy’s job to bring this church back to the teachings of the Apostle Paul!

Timothy was also a faithful steward of the “Gospel of Jesus Christ”.

Paul was telling these Corinthians that Timothy would not only teach sound doctrine, but he would also put these people in remembrance of Paul’s ways!

They could see with their own eyes, whether the child’s walk was like those of his spiritual father and also in Jesus Christ!

It is a fact that a Man of God who generates in another the character of Jesus Christ, has done a greater work than any teaching that this world does!

But Paul also knew that not all in the church would be satisfied with Timothy but expected Paul to return himself.

Here again we see that Paul knew many in Corinth cared more for the speaker, than for the message, which is still the failure in many houses of worship today!

*****1Co 4:18 Now some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you.
1Co 4:19 But 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.

Those that still allowed their own pride to interfere with right judgment would still be puffed up.

There were many at Corinth that believed Paul feared to return to Corinth, which was certainly not true.

We should be very clear that the Apostle Paul had the same powers that Jesus had granted to all the other Apostles!

Most of that power was the fact that if an Apostle asked anything of the Lord, then it would certainly take place as Jesus told to the Apostles.

Mat 18:18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

*****1Co 4:20 For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.
1Co 4:21 What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?

Paul informed those that rejected this letter from him, that he could come with the rod just as easy as he could come in love.

It would be their own choice!

God gave us the freedom to choose but we must certainly know that there are consequences to every choice we make!

What is God’s promise?

Isa 11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

We may not understand that “rod of the mouth” but it is very clear what God will do when He says He will slay the wicked!


Let’s Pray!