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1 Corinthians



by Ken Cayce



Ken Cayce All rights reserved.


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1 Corinthians Explained





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Book of 1 Corinthians Explained

We are beginning one of the most important letters that Paul wrote to the churches he had begun. The church at Corinth had been established on one of Paul's missionary journeys.


The city of Corinth was believed to be a city of about 600,000 people when this was written to them. One of the outskirts of Corinth was Cenchrea, which was a seaport. This was a thriving city with much evil. They were thought of as being one of the wealthiest cities of the area. There was a mixture of nationalities here. Greeks and Romans made up most the people.


This city had many false gods and goddesses. The most prominent of the false worship was of Aphrodite. There were over 1000 prostitutes working to win converts to this very sensual religion. This was a very evil city. The democratic way of life was foremost here, and debates were allowed on all subjects. This perhaps, was the reason Paul had an easy time being heard at first.


The most serious problem of the Corinthian church was worldliness, an unwillingness to divorce the culture around them. Most of the believers could not consistently separate themselves from their old, selfish, immoral, and pagan ways.


We will find in this book, as we do in many of Paul's writings that he deals with them within the confines of their customs. He does not try to change their life style. He shows them that Christianity is for all people. We will get into this a little more as we go along. One thing that we must remember from the outset: There were no iron clad doctrines that were to be used in all of these churches. We will see Paul trying to establish rules and regulations for each church that they could live with in the light of their customs.


In one way or another, wrong living always stems from wrong belief, such as sexual sins including divorce, are inevitably related to lack of belief or trust in God's plan for marriage and the family (7:1-40).


Before, Paul had written the church other correspondence (see 5:9), which was also corrective in nature. Because a copy of that letter has never been discovered, it has been referred to as "the lost epistle". There was another non-canonical letter after 1 Corinthians, usually called "the severe letter" (2 Cor. 2:4).





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1 Corinthians 1 1 Corinthians 7 1 Corinthians 13
1 Corinthians 2 1 Corinthians 8 1 Corinthians 14
1 Corinthians 3 1 Corinthians 9 1 Corinthians 15
1 Corinthians 4 1 Corinthians 10 1 Corinthians 16
1 Corinthians 5 1 Corinthians 11  
1 Corinthians 6 1 Corinthians 12  

1 Corinthians 1



1 Corinthians Chapter 1

We are beginning one of the most important letters that Paul wrote to the churches he had begun. The church at Corinth had been established on one of Paul's missionary journeys.


The city of Corinth was believed to be a city of about 600,000 people when this was written to them. One of the outskirts of Corinth was Cenchrea, which was a seaport. This was a thriving city with much evil. They were thought of as being one of the wealthiest cities of the area. There was a mixture of nationalities here. Greeks and Romans made up the majority of the people.


This city had many false gods and goddesses. The most prominent of the false worship was of Aphrodite. There were over 1000 prostitutes working to win converts to this very sensual religion. This was a very evil city. The democratic way of life was foremost here, and debates were allowed on all subjects. This perhaps, was the reason Paul had an easy time being heard at first.


The most serious problem of the Corinthian church was worldliness, an unwillingness to divorce the culture around them. Most of the believers could not consistently separate themselves from their old, selfish, immoral, and pagan ways.


We will find in this book, as we do in many of Paul's writings that he deals with them within the confines of their customs. He does not try to change their life style. He shows them that Christianity is for all people. We will get into this a little more as we go along. One thing that we must remember from the outset: There were no iron clad doctrines that were to be used in all of these churches. We will see Paul trying to establish rules and regulations for each church that they could live with in the light of their customs.


In one way or another, wrong living always stems from wrong belief such as sexual sins including divorce, are inevitably related to lack of belief or trust in God's plan for marriage and the family (7:1-40).


Before, Paul had written the church other correspondence (see 5:9), which was also corrective in nature. Because a copy of that letter has never been discovered, it has been referred to as "the lost epistle". There was another non-canonical letter after 1 Corinthians, usually call "the severe letter" (2 Cor. 2:4).


1 Corinthians 1:1 "Paul, called [to be] an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes [our] brother,"


First we need to ask, who is this Paul? We know that he was a Pharisee. We, also, know that he was a Roman. His mother was a Hebrew and his father was a Roman. Paul was his Roman name even though it is taken from a Greek name Paulos, which means little. His Hebrew name was Saul which means asked. Paul was a native of Tarsus, a city of Cilicia. We are told that he was a student of Gamaliel. He was a Pharisee of the Pharisees.


He was so against Christianity and its teachings that he persecuted Christians. On his way on one of his many journeys to capture Christians and put them in jail, he encountered the Lord Jesus Christ, in a great and blinding Light. Paul was sought out of God to be an apostle to the Gentiles. Notice, in the verse above that it was God's will for Paul to be an apostle. The word "apostle" means ambassador, messenger, or delegate. It also means, he that is sent. I like the last meaning best. In this case, it means one sent with authority. He had the power of attorney from the Lord Jesus. We must look at who sent him: Jesus Christ.


Sosthenes (of safe strength), had been the ruler of the synagogue at Corinth. The fact that Paul calls him brother makes me believe that he converted to Christianity. On one occasion, he was beaten for bringing Paul before the civil court at Corinth (Acts 18:12-17).


1 Corinthians 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:"


This church had been established on Paul's second missionary journey. Notice that Paul writes this letter to individuals in the church at Corinth.


In other lessons, we have talked about the word "sanctified", meaning set aside for God's purpose. Another meaning is to make holy. Notice how they are made holy. It is in Christ Jesus. The word "Saints" means sacred, blameless or religious. Saints are all, in every place, who call upon the name of Jesus.


1 Corinthians 1:3 "Grace [be] unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and [from] the Lord Jesus Christ."


Grace is one word that is hard to explain, because it is so all forgiving. It means unmerited favor. The grace of God toward man is unexplainable. It is love to the utmost, and I might add, undeserved love.


The grace of God toward man brings great peace because of God's saving grace. The only way to know real peace is in the Lord Jesus. I will just mention in passing, that the Father and Jesus are spoken of separately. Lord Jesus Christ is the true name of Jesus on the earth. Jesus means Savior and Christ means the Anointed One. When you couple that with Lord, you have said a lot. All agree, who are not even Christians that He was the Anointed One. They cannot deny the miracles. The next step is accepting Him as your Savior. The ultimate is when you know Him as your Lord.


1 Corinthians 1:4 "I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;"


Paul uses this greeting in all of his letters.


Paul feels very grateful to God for the church He allowed him to begin here in Corinth. These people, even though they were sinners, were very receptive to the message God had given them through Paul. Paul was always careful to give whatever thanks there was to God. We will find that people who are caught up in sin, and know they are, are easier to reach for God than the educated who want to analyze everything. This is why the Lord Jesus said that harlots and publicans would go into the kingdom quicker than the religious.


Matthew 21:31-32 "Whether of them twain did the will of [his] father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you." "For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen [it], repented not afterward, that ye might believe him."


The self-righteous did not even know they needed to repent. The harlots and publicans knew they had sinned, and asked and got forgiveness for their sin.


Note that (in Matt. 21:31), what they are speaking of. This is not the prodigal son (of Luke 15:11), but the parable of the two sons, one who said he would work in the vineyard but didn't and the other who at first said no but then repented and went.


1 Corinthians 1:5 "That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and [in] all knowledge;"


In the present, the believer has everything the Lord has to give and, therefore, everything he needs. The two particular blessings spoken of here, are related to presenting the truth of God's Word.


The only knowledge worth having is that which the Lord sends to us through His Word and is explained to us by His Holy Spirit. We explained that knowledge is accumulated learning. That is the reason it is so important to study the Bible every day.


Utterance: Regarding speaking for God, believers are able to speak when God wants them to because of His enablement. Prayer reaches out for that ability, and diligence in the study of God's Word aids it.


1 Corinthians 1:6 "Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:"


This is a reference to the moment of salvation when the gospel was heard and believed and settled in the heart. At that moment, the enabling of (verse 4) took place, because the individual became a recipient of the grace of God.


1 Corinthians 1:7 "So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:"


This is speaking of the ability to minister in a given area. The fivefold ministry of the church was active here. They were not just sitting around waiting for the coming of the Lord, but were using the gifts of the Spirit that the Lord had given them to help them minister.


"Gift" in Greek is specifically "a gift of grace." While the blessings of speech and knowledge were primarily for evangelizing the lost, the spiritual gifts (chapters 12-14), edify the church. Because these gifts are given to each believer (12:11-12), without regard for maturity or spirituality, the Corinthians, though sinful, had them in full.


Coming or "Revelation" of Christ: Paul looks to the blessing of future grace. At the Lord's second coming, His full glory, honor, and majesty will be revealed in blazing splendor (Rev. 4:11; 5:12), at which time all true believers will be fixed solidly forever as holy and without sin, in full resurrected glory and purity, to live in heaven with God forever.


1 Corinthians 1:8 "Who shall also confirm you unto the end, [that ye may be] blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ."


This is referring to the coming of the Lord for His church, or the Rapture. Not the Day of the Lord which is a term referring to judgment on the ungodly.


"All have sinned and come short of the glory of God". This is speaking of the fact that the penalty for their sin had already been paid by the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, they could come boldly before the throne of God, and they would be just as if they had never sinned. They are blameless, because they are washed in the blood of the Lamb. The day, spoken of here, is judgment day, when we all stand before the Lord to be judged. He will find us not guilty of any sin, if we are His.


1 Corinthians 1:9 "God [is] faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord."


God is faithful: Because of God's sovereign and unchangeable promise, believers are assured of this grace; past, present and future, and will remain saved, assured of future glory at Christ's appearing.


I believe the important word in the Scripture above is fellowship. There are three Scriptures in 1 John that can say this much better than I can.


1 John 1:3 "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship [is] with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ."


1 John 1:6 "If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:"


1 John 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."


We see a closeness here with the Lord Jesus. Fellowship, in the verse above, means union. God is faithful and will do everything He promised to do. Many are called, but few are chosen. In fact, all are called, but only those who receive Jesus as Savior and Lord are chosen.


1 Corinthians 1:10 "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and [that] there be no divisions among you; but [that] ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment."


We are told that on the day of Pentecost, when the wind of the Spirit came, they are of one accord. Paul has begun to show them of the error in their church. First of all, he explains that they must be together, that division is not what God would have. If they are truly in Christ Jesus, then they would be one in Him. Paul is explaining to them that there is one message from God that saved them, and they must stick with that message.


We have discussed how many times people will hang on to one or two of their habits sometimes when they come to Christianity, and will try to teach that along with Christianity. This is the way false doctrines come into the church. In our day, it is how Christian rock crept into our churches. Even Paul, unwillingly taught things that were a leftover from his teachings by Gamaliel. It is hard to unlearn some things.


1 Corinthians 1:11 "For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them [which are of the house] of Chloe, that there are contentions among you."


Chloe was probably a prominent person in the Corinthian church who had written or come to visit Paul in Ephesus to tell him of the factions in the church. It is not known whether Chloe was a man or a woman.


We see from this there are divisions in the church Paul had established in Corinth. Contentions here, means quarrels. This is still going on today.


1 Corinthians 1:12 "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ."


Strangely enough this is still going on today in the form of denominations. Some will say I am a Baptist, others say I am a Methodist, others will say I am a Christian. We must be careful not to be a Baptist Christian. We must be a Christian Baptist, if Baptist is our choice of denomination to join. I could have said that of all denominations, not just the Baptist. We must always remember that, we are first a follower of and a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, and then join whatever denomination best takes care of our needs. We do not join Jesus like you would a club. Christianity is a family. If we are believers in Christ, we are all born into Him. We have a tendency, like these people here, to relate our Christianity to the one who led us to the Lord.


1 Corinthians 1:13 "Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?"


No human leader, not even an apostle, should be given the loyalty that belongs only to the Lord. Such elevation of leaders leads only to contention, disputes, and a divided church.


Christ is not divided and neither is His body, the church. Paul depreciates his worth in comparison to the Lord Jesus so the answer to this is definitely no! Christ is not divided, then or now.


The message is Christ and Him crucified. Even if Paul, or anyone else other than Jesus had been crucified for you, that would not save you. The only salvation that is real and able to save you, is the salvation the Lord Jesus paid for with His precious spotless blood. Only His blood cleanses from all sin.


1 Corinthians 1:14-15 "I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;" "Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name."


We see that Paul did not want them to think of him as Christ. Had they been baptized by him; he is afraid some might confuse that with him being their Savior. Paul is very aware of the dangerous effect it would have if he allowed anyone to worship him.


"Crispus" was the leader of the synagogue in Corinth, who was converted under Paul's preaching (Acts 18:8).


"Gaius": Since Romans was written from Corinth, this man was probably the host referred to (in Romans 16:23a). "Gaius, my host and the host of the whole church, greets you." His full name was most likely "Gaius Titius Justus" and the whole church or congregation met in his house.


1 Corinthians 1:16-17 "And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other." "For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect."


Nothing is known of this family.


Paul preached the gospel and set up churches where he went. His primary goal was to set up churches complete with believers who would continue to teach the gospel to those he had given the gospel to. Others who were given that responsibility did the baptizing.


Actually, just baptizing someone does not save them. They must hear the message of God and be convicted in their heart. They must repent of their sins and receive their forgiveness. The preaching of the cross of Christ is what saves people. When we are convinced in our heart that Jesus did this for us, and we accept Him as our Substitute for our sin, we will be saved. Salvation comes from believing Jesus in our heart and confessing this with our mouth. (Romans 10:9-10), are the real way to receive the salvation provided for us as a free gift from God.


1 Corinthians Chapter 1 Questions


  1. When was the church at Corinth established?
  2. How large was Corinth at this time?
  3. What seaport city was a suburb of Corinth?
  4. What was the most prominent of the false worship in Corinth?
  5. How many prostitutes worked in this false religion at that time?
  6. What was their governmental way of life?
  7. Why was it easy for Paul to be heard the first time here?
  8. What type of doctrine had been established, before the founding of the church at Corinth?
  9. Who is Paul?
  10. His ________ name was Saul?
  11. What was his Roman name?
  12. What did the 2 names mean?
  13. What was Paul practicing, when he persecuted the Christians?
  14. What caused Paul to come to Christianity?
  15. Whose will was it for Paul to be an apostle?
  16. What does the word "apostle" mean?
  17. Who had been Paul's teacher?
  18. Who sent Paul on the missionary journey to Corinth?
  19. What does Sosthenes mean?
  20. Who was he?
  21. What makes us believe he converted to Christianity?
  22. What does sanctified mean?
  23. How are they made holy?
  24. What does saints mean?
  25. Who are the saints?
  26. What is grace?
  27. What does Lord Jesus Christ mean?
  28. What is the ultimate in Christianity?
  29. In Matthew, we read that the ____ and ______will come to God before these self-righteous, religious people.
  30. What are they made rich in, in verse 5?
  31. What is knowledge?
  32. What is the testimony of Christ?
  33. Why will the Christians be blameless?
  34. What does fellowship mean?
  35. What reprimand did Paul give to this church at Corinth?
  36. Who reported to Paul of the problems in the church?
  37. What message for the churches today can we get out of verse 12, here?
  38. Was Paul crucified for you? Who was.
  39. Who were the only ones Paul had baptized?
  40. Why did Paul not want to personally baptize them?
  41. How does salvation come?



1 Corinthians Chapter 1 Continued

1 Corinthians 1:18 "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God."


To the unbelieving world it would seem as if this type of preaching was foolish. "Foolishness" translates the word from which "moron" is derived.


Every person is in either the process of salvation, which is not completed until the redemption of the body, or the process of destruction. One's response determines which. To the Christ rejecters who are in the process of being destroyed, the gospel is nonsense. To those who are believers, it is powerful wisdom.


To truly understand the magnitude of what Jesus did for us on Calvary, we must study the sacrifice of the un-blemished lamb sacrifice in the book of Leviticus. I will just say a few words here about this, but I suggest you get our study on Leviticus, and study that for depth on this. All sin is punishable by death of the sinner. There must be blood shed to do away with the sin. Jesus became our substitute on the cross. He shed His precious unblemished blood and paid our penalty in full for us.


We are counted not guilty of any sin, because Jesus abolished sin for those who will believe this and accept it for themselves. You can see why the world would not understand this. With His blood, He has saved us, and by His power He has raised us with Him to eternal life.


Ephesians 2:6 "And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus:" This is a mystery almost unexplainable, but even now, all Christians are seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus.


1 Corinthians 1:19 "For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent."


It is a very strange thing to me, how it is so difficult for those with great book learning to come to Christ. The analytical mind cannot comprehend the things of the Spirit. We have studied over and over in these lessons, just what wisdom is important. The gift of wisdom from God is to be sought. The accumulated learning that you get from worldly education will never help you receive the gift of wisdom from God. We are told that the Holy Spirit of God must teach us for us to truly understand. What seems to be wise to the world is but foolishness to the Lord. God is not interested in your mind or your intellect, He wants your heart.


"It is written"; (quoted from Isaiah 29:14), to emphasize that man's wisdom will be destroyed. Isaiah's prophecy will have its ultimate fulfillment in the last days when Christ sets up His kingdom and all human wisdom comes to an end.


1 Corinthians 1:20 "Where [is] the wise? where [is] the scribe? where [is] the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?"


Paul was paraphrasing (Isaiah 19:12), where the prophet was referring to the wise men of Egypt who promised, but never produced wisdom.


The scribes and Pharisees had head knowledge of God and His teachings but they missed the Lord Jesus Christ as their Messiah, because they did not understand the things of the Spirit. You cannot figure out God. You must believe as Abraham did, and it was counted unto him as righteousness.


Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."


The wise want evidence but the believers have faith in someone they cannot see with their eyes. Fact is the opposite of faith.


A disputer was a Greek word with no Old Testament counterpart, identifying those who were adept at arguing philosophy.


1 Corinthians 1:21: "For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe."


In the Wisdom of God: God wisely established that men could not come to know Him by human wisdom, since it would exalt man. God designed to save helpless sinners through the preaching of a message that was so simple, the "worldly wise" deemed it nonsense.


Human wisdom tends to run a person away from God, rather than cause him to come closer to God. Childlike faith is what it takes to please God. From the human side, salvation requires and comes only through faith.


Preaching the Word of God as the Spirit gives you utterance is the power that causes many to believe. How can you believe, except you have a preacher? I have said it many times throughout these lessons, but the 2 great powers in this world are the written and the spoken Word of God. You cannot study your Bible very long without receiving Jesus as Savior and Lord. You cannot hear the true Word of God preached many times without receiving Jesus as your Savior.


The Word convicts you and saves you. It says: "them that believe". Believe what? That Jesus died for your sins and came to save you. We must believe that He is, and that He saves those who believe.


1 Corinthians 1:22 "For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after Wisdom:"


Paul found that the Greeks sought after wisdom, when he was ministering in Athens. This was thought to be one of the foremost areas for learning in the world at that time. They were constantly analyzing every new thing that came along. We know from the teaching of Jesus in the four gospels that the Jews were always demanding signs from heaven.


Unbelieving Jews still wanted supernatural signs, yet they refused to accept the most glorious of all the supernatural signs: the works of God, the provision of salvation through a virgin born, crucified, and risen Messiah. In fact, the sign was a stumbling block to them.


This was nothing new, because Elijah had run into this very same thing. When he called down fire from heaven to devour the offering, it was to prove whether the prophets of Baal were representing the one true God, or whether Elijah's God was the One True God.


1 Kings 18:21 "And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD [be] God, follow him: but if Baal, [then] follow him. And the people answered him not a word."


I Kings 18:38-39 "Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that [was] in the trench." "And when all the people saw [it], they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he [is] the God; the LORD, he [is] the God."


Read all this account (in chapter 18), to get the full impact. God had proved Himself over and over to the Israelites. It was time for faith to operate in these people without a sign.


1 Corinthians 1:23 "But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness;"


The only true sign and the only true wisdom. This alone was the message Paul would preach because it alone had the power to save all who believed.


The Jews had been for years expecting their Messiah to come and free them from the oppression of the Romans. They were expecting a mighty warrior king like David. They believed themselves to be God's chosen people, and the teaching that all men were brothers was not acceptable to them. The Greeks would not accept any teaching that they could not accumulate the facts and come up with a theory about. The crucifixion of Christ did not fit into either of their theories.


Look with me at the following Scriptures which show how Jesus is their stumbling rock.


1 Peter 2:7-8 "Unto you therefore which believe [he is] precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner," "And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, [even to them] which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed."


Even though the Jews had the law, they could not justify this crucifixion of Jesus. They could not go beyond this one point. There would be no salvation without the crucifixion.


1 Corinthians 1:24 "But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God."


To all that are called, the message of the cross, which seems so pointless and irrelevant to man's proud, natural mind, exhibits God's greatest power and greatest wisdom.


Jesus tore the middle wall of partition down, when He was crucified on the cross. There is just one way to be saved, and that is through belief in Jesus. It does not matter whether you are a Jew or any other nationality. It is Jesus who saves. The power was given to Jesus by the Father.


Matthew 28:18 "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth."


Read (Revelation 5:13 and 11:6), in connection with this.


1 Corinthians 1:25 "Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men."


Let us look at this same thing in some Scriptures from Romans.


Romans 11:33-35 "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable [are] his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" "For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?" "Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?"


Romans 11:36 "For of him, and through him, and to him, [are] all things: to whom [be] glory for ever. Amen."


The things that man thought of as weakness or defeat, brought about the greatest victory that man has ever known. Of course, I am speaking of the crucifixion.


1 Corinthians 1:26 "For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, [are called]:"


We see that this is true. God does not go down and call the king away from his kingship to follow Him and be His worker. He went and got some fishermen, who were unlearned in the law. God did not choose the scribes and Pharisees, or the priest, or high priest to be His apostles either. He chose the simple people who were not burdened down with their own importance. Usually God chooses someone who is very shy in the flesh (like Moses).


God chooses those who would be totally dependant on Him. Those who would not decide on their own what to do, but would seek the will of God in every matter are the ones He would use. God is looking for a few people who will serve Him, in whatever task He has for them to do.


1 Corinthians 1:27 "But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;"


God disdained human wisdom, not only by disallowing it as a means to knowing Him, but also by choosing to save the lowly. He does not call to salvation many who the world would call wise, mighty and noble.


God's wisdom is revealed to the foolish, weak, and common. That is, those considered nothing by the elite, who trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. God clearly received all the credit and the glory for causing such lowly ones to know Him and the eternal truths of His heavenly kingdom.


The following Scripture in Luke explains this very well.


Luke 21:15: "For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist."


1 Corinthians 1:28 "And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, [yea], and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:"


If you are nothing in the sight of the world, you have one qualification that God is looking for. He takes those from complete obscurity (by the world's calculation), and makes them His helpers. The only power, or wisdom, or strength we need is Jesus in us. We do not need a highly educated mind by the standards of the world. He gives us the mind of Christ.


1 Corinthians 2:16 "For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ."


The spoken Word of God created all the earth, and everything in it and around it from nothing.


1 Corinthians 1:29 "That no flesh should glory in his presence."


No saved sinner can boast that he has achieved salvation by his intellect.


If we are truly His, everything we are and hope to be is because He ordained it. That leaves no room for self-glory. The creation is flesh. The Creator is Spirit. Even our salvation is by divine intervention into our affairs.


1 Corinthians 1:30-31 "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:" "That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."


The redeemed not only are given salvation by God's wisdom rather than by their own, but are also graciously given (by His doing), a measure of His divine wisdom. As well as imputed righteousness (Rom. 4:5; 2 Cor. 5:21), sanctification from sin (Eph. 2:10), and redemption by God (Eph. 1:14; 1 Peter 1:18-19). In order that, above all else, the Lord will be glorified (Gal. 6:4).


1 Corinthians Chapter 1 Continued Questions


1. What is the preaching of the cross to them that perish?


2. What is it to those of us who are saved?


3. Where should we study to truly understand the sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross.


4. What one word shows that He paid the price for us? He was our ____________.


5. What is a mystery that is almost unexplainable?


6. In verse 19 it says: I will destroy the _______- of the wise.


7. The analytical mind cannot comprehend the things of the _______.


8. Who must teach us the things of God, for us to truly understand?


9. God is not interested in your ______ or your _____, He wants your heart?


10. What kind of knowledge did the scribes and Pharisees have?


11. The world by wisdom _______ ___ ___.


12. It pleased God by the foolishness of ______ to save them that believe.


13. What does human wisdom have a tendency to do?


14. What are the two great powers in the world?


15. What must we believe?


16. The Jews require a _______.


17. The Greeks seek after ___________.


18. Why did Elijah call down fire from heaven to devour the offering?


19. What did the people say when the fire came down?


20. Where can you find the account of Elijah and the prophets of Baal trying to call fire from heaven?


21. What was a stumbling block to the Jews, and foolishness to the Greeks?





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1 Corinthians 2



1 Corinthians Chapter 2

1 Corinthians 2:1 "And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God."


Paul is explaining to them here, that it was not because he was a great orator that they received the message of the Lord Jesus Christ. The message was pure and simple. The message was Jesus and Him crucified. Paul was a learned scholar, but that was more of a hindrance than a help, in this case.


"Testimony of God": This was not Paul's testimony of God, but God's testimony of Himself (namely, "the Cross").


1 Corinthians 2:2 "For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified."


"I determined" (literally, "I decided"): The implication is that Paul gave careful thought to his approach, and resolved to lay aside the ornaments of speech and philosophical skill to announce Jesus Christ, and him crucified. Paul's message and method reflected divine wisdom.


Paul was not interested in their standing in the community or their education. The only way that Paul separated them was those who believe and those who do not believe.


Though Paul expounded the whole counsel of God to the church and taught the Corinthians the Word of God, the focus of his preaching and teaching to unbelievers was Jesus Christ, who paid the penalty for sin on the cross. Until someone understands and believes the gospel, there is nothing more to say to them. The preaching of the cross was so dominant in the early church that believers were accused of worshiping a dead man.


1 Corinthians 2:3 "And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling."


Many Bible scholars believe that this was saying that Paul had a nervous disorder. Some type of nervous disturbance in His brain. I do not believe this is what Paul is saying here.


"Weakness...fear...trembling". Paul came to Corinth after being beaten and imprisoned in Philippi, run out of Thessalonica and Berea, and scoffed at in Athens, so he may have been physically weak. But in that weakness, he was most powerful. There were no theatrics or techniques to manipulate people's response. His fear and shaking were because of the seriousness of his mission.


1 Corinthians 2:4 "And my speech and my preaching [was] not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:"


I love Paul saying here, that his preaching was a demonstration of the power and the Spirit of God in him. In other words, he is saying that the Holy Spirit of God is speaking through him. Paul is fully aware, as we should be, that a message he might come up with on his own might not be the one God would have him to bring. He has turned his tongue and his mouth over to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is speaking through Paul.


1 Corinthians 2:5 "That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God."


Our faith should not be based on mankind, but should be placed in the power of God. It is not up to men to judge whether your faith is what it should be or not: it is up to God.


1 Corinthians 2:6 "Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:"


"Perfect" refers to the morally and spiritually mature (Genuine believers). Paul cannot resist the use of irony here. (In verse 4), he denies the use of wisdom; now he admits to using it, but only among those capable of comprehending and appreciating it (namely, the "perfect").


We know that the Lord Jesus spoke in parables, so that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not hear. He did not want the world to come to Him with their mind, so He taught in parables so that only His own would understand through the power of the Holy Spirit.


1 Corinthians 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:"


"In a mystery": In may be instrumental (i.e., "by a mystery"), modal ("in the form of a mystery"), or local ("hidden in a mystery"). Mystery refers to some work or purpose of God unrevealed until now (Romans 16:25-26). In this case, the reference is to the "hidden wisdom", which "God ordained...unto our glory". The purpose of God concerning our salvation was designed by God from eternity and is directed toward the everlasting glory that believers will enjoy in His presence.


We do know that Jesus revealed this "mystery" to the believers. Let me share a couple of Scriptures that will help us understand.


Colossians 1:26-27 "[Even] the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:" "To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:"


Paul is saying that the very thing they are calling folly, is in fact, the greatest wisdom. This is wisdom of God that He has revealed through the Holy Spirit of God to those who are His followers.


1 Corinthians 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."


"Princes of this world": The crucifixion is proof that the rulers/Jewish religious leaders lacked wisdom. This is saying; that if they had known for sure who Jesus was, they would not have crucified Him.


A little knowledge of the Word of God is a dangerous thing. If you truly get into the study of the Bible, stay with it. To learn just a little will tend to confuse you. You need an overall view of the Bible, before you start deciding what is right and what is wrong. Let the Word (itself), teach you.


1 Corinthians 2:9 "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."


In our wildest imagination, we cannot come up with the wonderful things the Lord has stored up for us.


Isaiah 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."


These words from Isaiah refer to the wisdom God has prepared for believers. God's truth is not discoverable by eye or ear (objective empirical evidence), nor is it discovered by the mind (subjective, rational conclusions).


This scripture also shows the harmony of the Old Testament with the New Testament.


1 Corinthians 2:10 "But God hath revealed [them] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God."


The Holy Spirit that we receive is the earnest of greater things to come. We are not like the rest of the world, if we are believers, we have hope of the resurrection. We are not a permanent resident of this earth, if we are a Christian.


"Revealed...unto us": Unto us is in the emphatic position in Greek, emphasizing the enormous privilege granted the recipients of divine revelation. The magnificent treasure of God's revealed truth is accessible to the mature believer.


By the Holy Spirit, God disclosed His saving truth. (Matt. 11:25, 13:10-13). The Spirit alone was qualified because He knows all that God knows, Himself being God.


As with the "we's" (in verses 6, 7, 12, and 13), Paul is, first of all, speaking of himself (as in John 14:26; 15:26-27), and in a sense, of believers who have been given the Word as recorded by the apostles and their associates who wrote the New Testament.


1 Corinthians 2:11 "For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God."


It is not possible for man of flesh to fully understand God who is Spirit. We know as much of God as the Holy Spirit of God has revealed unto us.


Verse 11, deals with the doctrine of illumination (a condition of spiritual awareness; divine illumination; "follow God's light"), having to do with human understanding of divine truth.


This is saying that it is not possible for man to know what is in another's heart. Only the Spirit of God knows that.


It is not possible for man of flesh to fully understand God who is Spirit. We know as much of God as the Holy Spirit of God has revealed unto each of us individually.


1 Corinthians 2:12 "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God."


The subject of (verses 12 and 13), is the doctrine of inspiration. In (verse 12), Paul talks about the content of inspiration. In (verse 13), his concern is with the communication of inspiration.


The "we" and "us" refer to the apostles and other writers of the Word of God. The means was inspiration (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21), by which God freely gave the gift of His Word. It was this process of inspiration that turned the spiritual thoughts into spiritual words (verse 13), to give life (Matt. 4:4).


The Spirit of God has brought unto us life, if we are Christians. We are heirs according to the promise of God, if we are believers. The New Testament is the last will and testament of Jesus Christ and it reveals to us what our inheritance is, if we are Christians.


1 Corinthians 2:13 "Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual."


This perhaps is speaking of the things that the Holy Ghost reveals to man. Physical eyes cannot see into the Spirit. That is why so many times people read the Bible and do not understand what it is saying. The Holy Spirit of God (our school teacher), has to teach us the meaning, or we do not understand. The spiritual things are so far above this earth that they can only be understood by the Holy Spirit. We will find, as we go on in these lessons, that it is the spirit of man that Jesus quickens, not the flesh of man.


"Comparing spiritual things with spiritual": The term comparing occurs only here and (in 2 Cor. 10:12), where the meaning is clearly "compare". However, in classical Greek, the term was always used in a sense of "to compound" or "to interpret." Probably the most satisfactory interpretation is "combining spiritual things with spiritual words." After speaking of spiritual "things," (verses 11-13), Paul now speaks of the "forms" in which they are conveyed. Spiritual truth is conveyed in language that is given by God's Spirit.


1 Corinthians 2:14 "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned."


The natural man looks with physical eyes and understands with a carnal mind, so he does not understand the Spirit at all. The Holy Spirit which dwells in us is (if we are true believers), teaches us the things of the Spirit. The physical (carnal), man believes only what he can see, touch, or taste. The spiritual man understands secrets that cannot be seen, touched, or tasted.


"Natural man": (Literally, "unspiritual man"), is unreceptive. He does not admit the truth into his heart (Luke 8:13; Acts 8:14; 11:1; James 1:21). As spiritual discernment is generated only by the Holy Spirit, the capacity to know spiritual truth is beyond the innate powers of the natural man.


"Spiritually discerned": The fundamental idea of discerned is that of "examination" or "scrutiny". It is used only by Paul and Luke, and mostly of "judicial examination" (Luke 23:14); Acts 4:9; 1 Cor 9:3; 10:25 and 10:27). On the spiritual plane, the natural man does not have the ability to sift the facts.


1 Corinthians 2:15 "But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man."


Obviously, unbelievers are able to recognize Christian's faults and shortcoming; but they are not able to evaluate their true nature as spiritual people who have been transformed into children of God.


I believe that this is speaking of a man who has been baptized with the Holy Spirit of God and has the gift of discernment. We must try the Spirits and see whether they are of God or not. We do not judge people lost or saved, but we do make judgments on the actions of people.


Jesus is the final Judge of all. The only Judge the Christian will stand before is Jesus and those making carnal judgments about you should not affect you at all.


The difference between the natural man and the spiritual man is primarily that the spiritual man has founded his faith on God's revelation. He can judge now both earthly and heavenly things. He can discern what is and what is not of the gospel and salvation, and whether a man truly preaches the truth of God.


1 Corinthians 2:16 "For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ."


Saying that we have the mind of Christ just means that He has revealed to us His will. In the following Scriptures, there is an even better description of what I am saying.


John 15:15 "Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you."


John 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."


"We have the mind of Christ": means that Christians possess the Lord's own understanding, that is, His thoughts, opinions, judgments, plans, and so on. This answers the question that Paul puts in the same verse, "who hath known the mind of the Lord?" The answer is, "We do!" The term we include the apostle Paul and to some extent all true believers. Though believers today are prudent to acknowledge the superiority of apostolic insight into spiritual matters to that of their own.


1 Corinthians Chapter 2 Questions


1. In verse 1, Paul says that he came not with what kind of speech?


2. Paul was a learned scholar, but his message he brought was ____ and ________.


3. How had Paul separated them?


4. What do many scholars believe that verse 3 is speaking of?


5. What does the author believe is the problem?


6. Paul's words were not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in what?


7. Who was speaking through Paul?


8. Your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the _______ of ______.


9. Who does he speak wisdom among?


10. Paul said he spoke the wisdom of God in a __________.


11. Why did Jesus speak in parables?


12. How long had this mystery of God been hidden?


13. What is the mystery?


14. If the princes of this world had known the mystery, they would not have done what?


15. A ________ knowledge of the Word is a dangerous thing.


16. Where can we find a Scripture in the Old Testament saying the same thing, basically?


17. What does this show about the Old and the New Testament?


18. How does God reveal to the believers what He has in store for them?


19. What is the hope the Christian has that the world does not have?


20. What do we know about God?


21. What is the last will and testament for the believers?


22. Why do many people attempt to read the Bible, and cannot understand what it is saying?


23. What does Jesus quicken in man?


24. The natural man looks with ____________ eyes.


25. What does the carnal man believe in?


26. Why must we try the spirits?


27. Who is the final Judge?


28. We have the mind of ________.





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1 Corinthians 3



1 Corinthians Chapter 3

1 Corinthians 3:1 "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, [even] as unto babes in Christ."


We see a reprimand from Paul to these Corinthians. He is saying, you have not grown in the Lord since you first began. You are still like a baby who must be told everything to do. These people still had one foot in the world while proclaiming Christianity.


The cause of problems in the church was more than external, worldly influence. It was also internal carnality. The pressures of the world were combined with the weakness of the flesh. Carnal meaning that although Corinthian believers were no longer "natural," they were not "spiritual" or fully controlled by the Holy Spirit. In fact, they were "carnal or controlled by the fallen flesh. Though all believers have the Holy Spirit (see Romans 8:9), they still battle the fallen flesh.


Paul says the only message that he could bring them was the simple salvation message, because they were not ready to receive any weightier message. These people have not made their spirit rule over their flesh. They are still operating in the fleshly realm.


"Babes in Christ": The carnality of those believers was indicative of their immaturity. They had no excuse for not being mature, since Paul implied that he should have been able to write to them as mature, considering all he had taught them.


1 Corinthians 3:2 "I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able [to bear it], neither yet now are ye able."


It appears they were criticizing the simple message that Paul has brought. He is saying, someone should hold your hand in Christian matters. You have not fed your spirit with the Word that would have made you stronger. You still want someone else to do all the studying for you. You are like a little baby that needs to be fed milk and not meat. It seems that Paul is a little aggravated with them for not growing in the Lord.


"Milk": meaning not a reference to certain doctrines, but to the more easily digestible truths of doctrine that were given to new believers. "Solid food": The deeper features of the doctrines of Scripture. The difference is not in kind of truth, but degree of depth. Spiritual immaturity makes one unable to receive the richest truths.


1 Corinthians 3:3 "For ye are yet carnal: for whereas [there is] among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?"


We see in this that they are still operating in the flesh. They are acting the same way they did before they got saved. Men in the verse above, is meant worldly men. Notice that envy, strife, and divisions are worldly. They should have no place in the church.


"Envying, strife": Carnality produces the attitude of envy, a severe form of selfishness, which produces the action of strife and the subsequent divisions.


"Walk as men": Apart from the will of the Spirit, hence carnal, not spiritual.


1 Corinthians 3:4 "For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I [am] of Apollos; are ye not carnal?"


Paul says, that just the fact that they are saying they are of Paul and of Apollos shows him that they do not truly understand Christianity.


Factionalism was the divisive product of carnality.


1 Corinthians 3:5 "Who then is Paul, and who [is] Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?"


The problem here, is their object of worship. They have their eyes on the people through whom they heard the gospel, rather than on the message that minister brought. The ministers should not be the object of worship. They are just a voice bringing the gospel message. Paul and Apollos are both servants of the Most High God themselves.


"Who then is Paul, and who [is] Apollos" is a humble but accurate assessment of the roles that ministers play. "The Lord gave": meaning that it is the Lord alone who can give the faith to the spiritually ignorant and dead. Salvation is God's work of grace to whom He chooses to give it.


1 Corinthians 3:6 "I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase."


We see from this that it is not the one who brings the original message, or even the person who comes along and furthers the message, but God who quickens the message to their unbeliever's heart. The destination is the kingdom. It really matters not too much who helped you get there.


Simply put, Paul is saying that he planted the seeds when he told them about the gospel. Apollos watered that seed as he continued to teach them the word. But ultimately it is God Himself who draws the repentant sinner to Himself so it is He alone who gives the increase, not those spreading the Gospel.


1 Corinthians 3:7 "So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase."


We see in this that the message carrier is not the important one. God is to be worshipped and He alone. He is the One who sent the messenger. When you get a telegram, the one who brings the message is not important. The message that he brings is the important thing.


1 Corinthians 3:8 "Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor."


God rewards the messenger that He sent, if the servant is obedient to take the message that God sent. God has rewards set up for all His obedient servants. Your work may go unnoticed here on the earth, but if you do the exact job God sent you to do, there will be great rewards in heaven stored up for you by God.


"Are one": All the human instruments God uses to produce salvation life are equally considered and rewarded for their willingness to be used by God. But all the glory goes to Him, who alone saves. Because of that, the silly favoritism of (verse 4), and that of (chapter 1:12), is condemned.


1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are laborers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building."


Christians are the hands on this earth that carry out the tasks for God. The word husbandry here, indicates that God has left us as overseers of His own. Husbandry normally means farmer, someone who cares for a crop which in this case, the Corinthians themselves.


We are to water them, dig around them, and even trim them from time to time. God wants the Christian ministers to care for His crop of believers here on the earth. We know that we are building blocks in God's house. Jesus is the chief Cornerstone, and we are stones fitted together to build God's house.


1 Peter 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."


1 Corinthians 3:10 "According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon."


As we said above, the building is the spiritual house, which is also the priesthood. The High Priest is our Lord Jesus Christ and all believers in Christ are the priests. Jesus is the cornerstone of this building.


In Paul's building the foundation, he is saying that he was the one who started this church in Corinth. God used Paul to establish the groundwork for churches in Asia Minor, Macedonia and Greece. Then others such as Timothy and Apollos built the churches up from his foundations.


He wants the followers who minister in this church to bring the same message that he had started. This is why he said "take heed how he buildeth".


This is the very same thing said above about one planting the seed, another waters it, and God gets the increase.


1 Corinthians 3:11 "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."


Paul did not design the foundation, Christ did. He only laid it down by preaching Christ.


This building is to be built upon Jesus Christ our Lord. Paul went on to say in another place, that if anyone brought another message, let him be accursed.


1 Corinthians 3:12 "Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;"


"If any man build": This is first of all, about the evangelists and pastors mentioned (in verse 9), and then to all believers who are called to build the church through faithful ministry.


Gold, silver, precious stones, quality materials represent dedicated, spiritual service to build the church. These items become purer when the fire is applied to them. This would be a lasting building built with these that symbolize the true church which could not be destroyed by the efforts of man.


Wood, hay, stubble are inferior materials implying shallow activity with no eternal value. They do not refer to activities that are evil. These would burn up if any heat was applied and symbolize a shallow form of Christianity which would fail under persecution.


1 Corinthians 3:13 "Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is."


The day spoken of here, is speaking of that day when we stand before the Lord Jesus Christ at the Bema Judgment. This is the judgment for believers, not unbelievers. "Be revealed by Fire:" means the fire of God's discerning judgment.


Fire is figurative for judgment, more specifically, the righteous judgment of God. Fire is used here to denote, not enlightening power, but consuming power. Of the six types of material mentioned, three are combustible and three are incombustible.


1 Corinthians 3:14 "If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward."


Most people who have done mighty tasks for the Lord never are rewarded on this earth. Some of the early founders of Christianity gave their lives for what they believed in. Most of the Old Testament prophets were killed for doing the task God had set before them. We are told by historians that Isaiah was sawed in two. We know that James, the brother of John, was killed. We know that Stephen was stoned to death for speaking boldly of God. We must continue in the face of death, if we are to be counted among the faithful.


"If any man's work abide": All that which has been accomplished in His power and for His glory will survive. The "Reward" is not a judgment for sin. Christ has paid that price, so that no believer will ever be judged for sin. This is only to determine eternal reward. (See chapter 4 verse 5).


1 Corinthians 3:15 "If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."


The key to this is that this man did a work for God. This man thought that he was doing a good work for God. Even though the work could not stand the heat of trials, God saved the man, because of the effort he had put forth to do the work. The workman is saved here, even though the work is burned. God looked on the heart of this man. The man wanted to do something to please God, and God saved him for his effort.


No matter how much is worthless, no believer will forfeit salvation.


1 Corinthians 3:16 "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?"


We are the house that the Lord Jesus lives in upon this earth, if we are Christians.


Galatians 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."


1 Corinthians 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?"


1 Corinthians 3:17 "If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which [temple] ye are."


Here is a severe warning to any who would try to interfere with or destroy the building of the church on the foundation of Christ (see Matthew 18:6-7).


Anything that is done to the body of the believer is done to the Lord, as well. This should quiet some people who are constantly criticizing other Christians. You are attacking God, when you attack God's servant.


1 Corinthians 3:18 "Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise."


Those who defile the church and think they can succeed in destroying it by their human wisdom, would be far better to reject that wisdom and accept the foolishness of Christ's cross.


This is speaking of being won over by the foolishness of preaching. The wisest thing a person can do is become as a foolish man and come to God.


Luke 18:17 "Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein."


1 Corinthians 3:19-20 "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness." "And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain."


With quotations from (Job 5:13 and Psalm 94:11), Paul reinforces his point from (chapter 1:18-25), by reminding them that human wisdom which cannot save, also cannot either build a church or prevent its growth.


A person must humble himself to receive God. Those who think themselves to be wise, do not know that they need a Savior.


The wisdom of man is foolishness to God. The wisest man in the world is the one who seeks God and humbly receives Him as his Savior.


1 Corinthians 3:21 "Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;"


"Glory in men": Paul, Apollos, and all others receive no credit for the building of the church. "All things are yours": All believers share equally in God's most important and valuable provisions and glories; human boasting, therefore, is ludicrous as well as sinful.


We should not elevate man up to a position that he does not belong. Just because someone is wealthy or has great influence, is no reason to elevate him up higher than anyone else. We are all exactly what God has allowed us to be.


1 Corinthians 3:22 "Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;"


Although the universe is now in Satan's grip, it is still the God given and God made possession of Christians. In the millennial kingdom and throughout eternity however, believers will possess both the recreated and eternal earth in an infinitely more complete and rich way (Matt. 5:5 and Rev. 21).


"Life": Spiritual, eternal life;


"Death": Spiritual and eternal death;


"Things present": Everything the believer has or experiences in this life;


"Things to come": All the blessings of heaven;


"All are yours": In Christ, all good and holy things are for believers' blessing and for God's glory (Eph. 1:3 and 2 Peter 1:3).


Paul is telling them here, not to choose one of these men out and elevate him up. God has promised all believers the same inheritance.


1 Corinthians 3:23 "And ye are Christ's; and Christ [is] God's."


Paul is saying in this, just because he led you to the Lord is no reason to feel obligated to him. Regardless of who led you to the Lord, you belong to Christ. This is showing the chain of command. We belong to Christ, and Christ is God the Father's. The Father, Son and Holy Ghost are all in total agreement.


Knowing that believers belong to Christ and therefore to each other is the greatest incentive for unity in the church.


1 Corinthians Chapter 3 Questions


1. What does Paul call the Christians in verse 1?


2. What reprimand was there for them by Paul?


3. Why could Paul not bring them any message, except the simple salvation message?


4. What does verse 2 say that Paul had fed them?


5. Why had he not fed them otherwise?


6. What three things in verse 3 made him believe they were still carnal?


7. What showed Paul that they did not truly understand Christianity?


8. Who are Paul and Apollos really?


9. Paul planted, Apollos watered, and _____ gave the increase.


10. Every man shall receive his reward according to what?


11. What are the Christians called in verse 9?


12. What does Paul call himself in verse 10?


13. Who is the great High Priest?


14. Who are the priests?


15. What is the foundation that is laid in verse 11?


16. Name the 6 things that might be used to build with?


17. Which of these materials will stand up under fire?


18. What will try every man's work?


19. What will happen to the man whose work is burned up?


20. What will happen to the man who defiles the temple of God?


21. What is the temple of God?


22. The wisdom of this world is ______________ with God.


23. Who is the wisest man?


24. Let no man glory in ____.





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1 Corinthians 4



1 Corinthians Chapter 4

1 Corinthians 4:1 "Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God."


Minister used here means servant. In the verse above Paul expresses his humility by using a word literally meaning under-oarsman or assistant. In the case here, they are ambassadors, or assistants of Christ. Paul wanted everyone to view him and his fellow ministers only as the humble messengers God ordained them to be.


Stewards: means a house distributor or an overseer. In the most extended form, it means a fiscal agent, or preacher of the gospel. Paul defines his responsibilities as an apostle by using a word originally referring to a person entrusted with and responsible for his master's entire household. Such as buildings, fields, finances, food, other servants and sometimes even children of the owner.


The mystery of God is used in the New Testament to refer to divine revelation previously hidden. It was all that truth which Paul had to oversee and dispense as God's servant and steward.


Jesus came and revealed to His followers the mystery of God. We are no longer closed off from the Father, but can go boldly to the throne by the name of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the door that leads to close fellowship with God. Look with me at the following Scripture on the mystery of God.


Luke 8:10 "And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand."


The mystery of God is the Truth in the Bible. The Holy Spirit reveals to all, who are truly believers, this mystery.


(Luke's verse 10) What do you think that is about? Why are some not allowed to understand the mysteries of God? Unless the Holy Spirit draws a person who is truly repentant and seeking a relationship with Jesus, they are unable to understand that which is the truth written in the Bible. To them it is nonsense. Secondly, it is the Holy Spirit who reveals the truth to them.


1 Corinthians 4:2 "Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful."


Remember, we said that in the most extended form, steward meant minister of the gospel. Notice, that the main ingredient of a minister is faithfulness to God and His Truth. Man, in the verse above, does not mean someone of the male gender. The word man was translated from means any person, young or old. The requirement then is not even that you be of a special gender. It is just required that you be totally sold out to God.


The most essential quality of a servant or steward is obedient loyalty to his master.


1 Corinthians 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."


There seems to be a group here, that is questioning Paul. Paul is reminding them that he will not be judged of these people. He says he cannot even examine himself, but he reminds them that all are judged of God. I do not know why they were questioning Paul, perhaps, because some of them had known him before he became a Christian. We must remember though all the laws in the temple at this time were not even similar to the laws God had given Moses. Jesus even called them man's laws. The priesthood had greatly deteriorated, and they were making up laws as they went along, so that they could have greater control of the people. The priesthood was being bought and sold instead of coming through the Levitical tribe.


Here Paul is not being arrogant or saying that he is above fellow ministers, other Christians, or even certain unbelievers. He is saying that a human verdict on his life is not the one that matters, even if it was his own.


1 Corinthians 4:4 "For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord."


Justified, as we have explained before, means just as if I had never sinned. Paul in this, however, is saying he ministers what the Holy Spirit of God gives him. He is not ministering what he believes, but what God knows, and there could be nothing wrong with that. The Lord will judge Paul the same as He does all His ministers, as to whether they were faithful in their messages.


Paul was not aware of any un-confessed or habitual sin in his own life, but his limited understanding assumed that his was not the final verdict. Paul's own sincere evaluation of his life did not acquit him of all failures to be faithful.


The Lord is the ultimate and only qualified Judge of any man's obedience and faithfulness.


1 Corinthians 4:5 "Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God."


"Hidden things of darkness": This refers to the inner motives, thoughts, and attitudes which only God can know.


Our judgment on this earth is warped, because we only judge what we see with our eyes and hear with our ears. God judges the heart of man. You may hide a sin you have committed from the world, but you will not be able to hide it from God. Since we are not able to judge justly, being human, we should not judge at all. Leave judgment up to Jesus who looks into the heart and judges. His judgment is perfect. Jesus is the Light. There is no darkness where He dwells. No sin can hide from His Light.


"Counsels of the hearts": Since final rewards will be based, not just on outward service, but on inward devotion, only God can give the praise each deserves.


1 Corinthians 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."


"These things" is referring to the analogies that Paul used to depict those who minister for the Lord, including himself and Apollos: farmers (3:6-9), builders (3:10-15), and servant stewards (verses 1-5).


"Your sakes": Paul's humility, expressed in light of God's judgment on the greatest apostles and preachers, was useful to teach believers not to exalt any of them.


"Which is written": God's faithful servants are to be treated with respect only within the bounds of what is scriptural.


"Puffed up": The greatest problem in the Corinthian church was pride and arrogance.


1 Corinthians 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]?"


Paul is correct in the statement that we are what we are, because God made us that. I happen to be a Caucasian, because God chose that I be born to Caucasian parents. We have nothing to do with our nationality or our I.Q. We are not even male or female because we wanted to be, but because that is what God made us. Our Creator made us what He wanted us to be for the furtherance of the kingdom of God.


Even where we minister is chosen by Him. We are equipped by the Holy Spirit in the area we are to function most effectively in. We have very little to do with this either. It seems in the verse above, that some of the people in the church have received gifts of ministry from God, and now they are trying to control Paul and his ministry. This is the wrong thing to do with the gift we receive. God did not give them their gift so that they might glory over someone else.


Pride is deception, since everything a person possesses is from God's providential hand.


1 Corinthians 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."


We must remember that the life style of these Corinthians had been that of a very affluent society. Many of them had ruled over servants, and they still had the desire to rule. Paul is saying this in somewhat of a reprimand to them. We see this same situation in the following Scripture.


Revelation 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:"


This was the church who had brought the world into the church.


Paul sarcastically, in a severe rebuke, heaps on false praise, sarcastically suggesting that those Corinthians who were self-satisfied had already achieved spiritual greatness. They were similar to the Laodiceans.


"Reign": Yet, Paul genuinely wished it were the coronation time of the Millennium, so that they all might share in the glory of the Lord.


1 Corinthians 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."


There is a great deal of sacrifice in this world required of those who minister God's Word. It is required that we sacrifice our flesh that our spirit might rein in our body. The fate of most of the apostles was very much like their leader, Jesus. John was an exception of that. He suffered much on this earth, even being banished to the Isle of Patmos for speaking the Word of God so boldly. Paul died in Rome after knowing much persecution on this earth.


The imagery of this verse is of condemned prisoners brought into a Roman arena to fight and die; the last ones brought out for slaughter were the grand finale. In His sovereign wisdom and for His ultimate glory, God chose to display the apostles figuratively before men and angels during the present age as just such worthless and condemned spectacles. Like doomed gladiators, they were ridiculed, spit on, imprisoned and beaten. Yet God glorified His name through them as He used them to build His kingdom.


1 Corinthians 4:10 "We [are] fools for Christ's sake, but ye [are] wise in Christ; we [are] weak, but ye [are] strong; ye [are] honorable, but we [are] despised."


"Fools...Wise": Again, Paul is using sarcasm. This time on himself as if mimicking the attitude of the proud Corinthians toward him, Paul rebukes them.


Paul is saying that he is willing to be thought of as a fool for the furtherance of the ministry of Christ. He jumps right in and tells them that it would be wise for them to accept Christ as their Savior. These people Paul was speaking to had undoubtedly been highly thought of in their community. It is almost as if he is saying, why are we thought of so poorly, if you believe it is wise to come to Christ. We are the messenger that Christ sent to make you wise unto Christ.


1 Corinthians Chapter 4 Questions


1. What 2 things did Paul call himself in verse 1?


2. What does the word "minister" mean in the verse?


3. What is the most extended meaning of the word "steward"?


4. Where had the mystery of God been veiled?


5. Who revealed the mystery of God to the believers?


6. What is the requirement of being a steward?


7. Man, in verse two, means what?


8. Verse 3 tells us that others were trying to _________ Paul.


9. Who are we all judged of?


10. What was wrong with the laws in the temple at this time?


11. What had Jesus called these laws?


12. Why had the high priest changed the law?


13. What does justified mean?


14. Paul is not ministering what he believed, but what?


15. Judge nothing before the ____.


16. What will the Lord make manifest when He comes?


17. Why is there no darkness where Jesus dwells?


18. What was the division in the church at this time?


19. Why should ministers not be jealous of each other?


20. Who maketh thee to differ from another?


21. Who chooses where you will minister?


22. Why does God give one person a different ministering gift than He gives another?


23. What type of life style had they been experiencing in Corinth before Paul came?


24. Verse 9 says God hath set forth the apostles _______.


25. Who are the apostles made a spectacle to?


26. Which apostle does the author believe was carried into heaven without benefit of the grave?


27. Paul said, he was a fool for _________ sake.


28. In verse 10 Paul says, they are three things, what are they?




1 Corinthians Chapter 4 Continued

1 Corinthians 4:11 "Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place;"


In the last lesson, Paul was explaining about the sacrifices that a minister must be willing to make to work for the Lord. Verse 11 above is just going into detail about what some of these sacrifices are. The apostles went where the Lord sent them. They were not in one place long enough to establish a dwelling place. They did not have a guaranteed salary. They ate and drank what was provided for them wherever they ministered. They were not dressed in fine apparel. Many of them wore skins of animals. The world looked down on them. They were several times even called mad men. They were actually repulsive to those who were not seeking God.


Philippians 4:11 "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, [therewith] to be content."


Paul had learned to be content when he had much and when he had little.


1 Corinthians 4:12 "And labor, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:"


We know that Paul worked as a tentmaker part of the time that he was ministering. Paul did not want to be burdened by obligation to the people he ministered to. He met Aquila and Priscilla and made tents with them for a while. This is probably what he meant by laboring with his own hands. Paul knew more rejection than most, because he would not give up on his Jewish brothers coming into the kingdom.


Paul was not resentful about any necessary labor needed to support gospel preaching.


He was stoned and left for dead, as well. It seemed that someone was out to kill him most of the time he ministered. I am sure we would have to say that he ministered under great adversity. In fact, he thought it all joy to be persecuted for the sake of the gospel.


1 Corinthians 4:13 "Being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the world, [and are] the offscouring of all things unto this day."


Paul was never popular with the Jews or with the people of the world, after he received Jesus and began to minister. They called him many evil names. They thought of him as being so evil that he needed to not only be stopped, but destroyed as well.


"Filth .... offscouring: The scum and dregs scraped from a dirty dish or garbage pot, figuratively used of the lowest, most degraded criminals who were often sacrificed in pagan ceremonies. Not in God's sight, but in the world's, Paul and his fellow preachers were so designated. What a rebuke of the proud, carnal Corinthians who saw themselves at the top, while the humble apostle considered himself at the bottom.


1 Corinthians 4:14 "I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn [you]."


Paul would go to any amount of suffering and humiliation to get them into the kingdom of God. Paul is not complaining about the suffering. He is also warning those who come to the Lord, that they might experience the very same problems. Paul had no physical sons, so this is speaking of those who came to Christ by his ministry. Paul counts them as his spiritual sons.


Despite their carnal, even sometimes hateful immaturity, Paul always looked on the Corinthian believers with affection.


1 Corinthians 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."


Paul is saying here, that these are those who were saved through his ministry. Others may teach them more fully the Word of God, but they began by Paul's ministry. He counts himself as their father. We will find in these letters that Paul wrote that he feels responsible for them, even after he is not preaching there anymore. In fact, this very letter was to straighten out some problems they had in their church.


"Ten thousand instructors": The term actually say "countless tutors," referring by hyperbole to an unlimited number of moral guardians used with children. Only Paul was their spiritual father, hence, no one cared like him.


1 Corinthians 4:16 "Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me."


Some people then, and many people of today, took this Scripture literally and could even be called Paulites. It is a very dangerous thing to choose one penman of the Bible and study just his works. We must read the entire Bible to get a full picture of what it is saying. This was not what Paul wanted at all, as we will see in the next verses. Paul was saying that he had tried to live before them the Christian life, and if he would follow the pattern he had set they would be fine. He was not asking them to worship him.


A bold, but justified exhortation. Spiritual leaders must set an example of Christlikeness to follow.


1 Corinthians 4:17 "For this cause have I sent unto you Timothy, 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."


Timothy had been an understudy of Paul. Timothy had been instructed (tutored), in the teachings of Paul about Christ and would perfectly represent him. Timothy in that sense, was an extension of Paul. Notice, it was Paul's ways that Timothy would remind them of. Timothy had been faithful to Paul's teachings.


Paul could not be in all the churches at once that he had started. There was no one better to carry on the work that Paul had begun here than Timothy. Paul knew that he could trust Timothy to do it his way, and therefore he sent him.


1 Corinthians 4:18 "Now some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you."


It seems that some of the Corinthians thought that Paul just did not want to come there and minister and they were pouting about it. Paul could not come.


1 Corinthians 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."


Notice "if the Lord will". We are warned against saying that we will do a certain thing. We do not even know whether we will be living tomorrow, so we cannot say for sure that we will do something tomorrow. You can see from this that Paul did want to come back and minister to them as often as he could. In fact, he came back to Corinth not long after he wrote the second letter to them.


They were arrogant, thinking they would never have to face Paul again. But, if God allowed, he was planning to see them soon. He would not let their proud sinning go unchallenged, for their own sake as well as the gospels. The reality of how much real spiritual power they had would become clear in that confrontation.


This is the first church Paul established, and he was very fond of the people. More than that, he felt responsible for their spiritual growth. He wanted to be sure that they were established on solid doctrine.


1 Corinthians 4:20 "For the kingdom of God [is] not in word, but in power."


For a person to just say they are a Christian is not enough. The Christianity within us must bring results. If we are really a Christian, then we will be fruit bearers. Of course, the real power comes with the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The reason for the Holy Spirit within a person is so that they might have the power to minister effectively. This is not the person's power, but the power of God working within them.


1 Corinthians 4:21 "What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and [in] the spirit of meekness?"


Paul is saying that he loves them very much as a parent does a child. Parents do not want to punish children, but sometimes it is necessary to help in their training. Paul is saying here, that he prefers to teach them in a loving manner, but he will train them with force if it is necessary. Paul would rather teach them by example, and through his meekness, to turn them back to God.


Spiritual leaders need to use the rod of correction if people persist in sin. The pattern for that correction is illustrated and explained in chapter 5.


The message in this entire lesson seems to be one where a parent (in the spirit), is trying to save his child from much heartache. Paul loves them and wants them to know Christ in the way he knows Him.


1 Corinthians Chapter 4 Continued Questions


1. What did Paul say, were the working conditions in verse 11?


2. Where did the apostles go?


3. Where did they live?


4. What did many of them wear?


5. What did they have to eat?


6. What had Paul learned to do in whatever circumstance he was in?


7. Where did Paul's living come from?


8. Why did Paul not live of the ministry?


9. Why did Paul experience rejection more than most?


10. What two people made tents with Paul?


11. What adverse circumstances did he minister under most of the time?


12. How did Paul feel about the persecutions he endured?


13. Why had Paul written these things to them?


14. Paul would endure any amount of suffering to get them ______ ___ _______.


15. What did Paul mean, when he called them his sons?


16. What did Paul say, he was to them in verse 15?


17. Who did Paul tell them to be followers of in verse 16?


18. What did he mean by that statement?


19. Who had Paul sent to the Corinthians?


20. Why had Paul chosen him for the task?


21. What was Timothy to remind them of?


22. Why were some of the Corinthian believers puffed up?


23. Why was it so important to use the phrase "if the Lord will"?


24. Did Paul ever come back?


25. What did Paul want to know of them?


26. The kingdom of God is not in word, but in _______.


27. In verse 21, what two different ways could he come to them?


28. Which way did Paul prefer to come to them?





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1 Corinthians 5



1 Corinthians Chapter 5

1 Corinthians 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."


Fornication, in this particular Scripture, means harlotry. We notice first about this, that it seems to be common knowledge. This sin and incest (so prevalent in our day), are so bad that even the heathen, who do not know God and His laws, do not practice this sin. In the book of Leviticus, there are definite regulations about this very thing.


This sexual immorality was so vile that even the church's pagan neighbors were doubtless scandalized by it. The Corinthians had rationalized or minimized this sin which was common knowledge, ever though Paul had written them before about it (see verse 9).


The Greek for "immorality" is the root of the English word "pornography". "His father's wife" is referring to a stepmother, with whom having sexual relations bore the same sinful stigma as if between him and his natural mother. Incest was punishable by death in the Old Testament and was both uncommon and illegal under Roman law.


1 Corinthians 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."


These Christians know about this and have done nothing about it. Some were so arrogant and carnal as to excuse even that extreme wickedness.


This is like so many in our day, who believe if you have been baptized, you are not guilty of sins you commit. "Taken away": Paul is saying, why have you not forcibly removed him from your group? It is as if you approve of what he is doing.


This could give this church a very bad name in the community. The fact that they have not dealt with this within the church would make it even worse. They are puffed up with pride that they are Christians and are not dealing with the sin that is in the church.


Eph. 5:11 "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [them]."


Reprove is better translated "expose". The believer's duty is expressed here in two ways. Negatively, he is not to have any fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, that is, not to indulge in the sins of the unsaved. Positively, he is to "expose" (reprove), these sins, that is, bring them to light and show them for what they really are, so that the unbeliever may see their hideous nature and their terrible consequences.


So what are Christians to do? Let's look at this scripture from Matthew.


Matthew 18:15-17 "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." "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." "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 a heathen man and a publican."


If the violator of God's Word will not listen after the things (in Matthew 18:15-17), are done in a lovingly manner, pursuant to (verse17), they are to be regarded by the church as "a heathen and a tax collector".


The idea is not merely to punish the offender, or to shun him completely, but to remove him as a detrimental influence from the fellowship of the church, and henceforth to regard him as an evangelistic prospect rather than as a brother. Ultimately, the sin for which he is excommunicated is a hard-hearted impenitence.


1 Corinthians 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,"


Paul has just heard of this sin from afar, and he knows exactly what should be done about this matter. Those who were in the church in authority should have already handled this.


Paul had already passed judgment on the sinner and those of the church needed to also.


1 Corinthians 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,"


"In the name of our Lord": Consistent with His holy person and will. "Gathered together": This action is to be done when the church meets publicly. "Power": Authority is in view. Action against unrepentant sinning in the church carries the weight of the Lord's authority.


The prescription for church discipline must be read considering the parable of the lost sheep (in Matthew 18:12-14). The goal of this process is restoration. If successful, "you have gained your brother". The first step is to tell him his fault privately.


1 Corinthians 5:5 "To deliver such a one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus."


"Deliver ... unto Satan": "Deliver" is a strong term, used of judicial sentencing. This is equal to excommunication of the professed believer. It amounts to putting that person out of the blessing of Christian worship and fellowship by thrusting him into Satan's realm, the world system.


"The destruction of the flesh": This refers to divine chastening for sin that can result in illness and even death.


"Spirit .... Saved": The unrepentant person may suffer greatly under God's judgment, but will not be an evil influence in the church; and he will more likely be saved under that judgment than if tolerated and accepted in the church.


This is not saying that they would automatically be saved because of the suffering of the flesh. This is saying that the protection is removed from this person, and Satan can do with this sinner's body whatever he will. This is done to cause the sinner to repent. If you repent of sin, your spirit will be saved, even if your body is ravaged by that sin. Paul is saying also, in the verse above, that these are not his own personal wishes for this man, but the will of the Lord Jesus Christ.


1 Corinthians 5:6 "Your glorying [is] not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?"


Just the fact that a person has accepted Jesus as their Savior does not exempt them from punishment for their sin. Paul is saying here, if you let this go without taking care of this, the sin will spread in your church. You must remove the one who is infected with sin, so that this disease will not spread to the other members.


"Glorying" as in this case means "boasting". It was not good because their proud sense of satisfaction blinded them to their duty regarding blatant sin that devastated the church.


"Leaven" in scripture is used to represent influence, and in most cases, evil influence.


"Whole lump": When tolerated, sin will permeate and corrupt the whole local church.


1 Corinthians 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:"


Leaven in the verse above, is sin. Paul is saying, clean up your church, so that it will be without sin again. Purge in this Scripture, means to cleanse thoroughly. Do not leave anything at all that is associated with this sin. Christ was the unleavened Bread. He was without sin. If we are truly followers of Him, we must be free of sin, as well. Jesus' sacrifice for us was to do away with the sin in our life. A person who sins must repent quickly and get forgiveness for that sin.


"Christ our Passover": Just as unleavened bread symbolized being freed from Egypt by the Passover, so the church is to be unleavened, since it has been separated from the dominion of sin and death by the perfect Passover Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ. The church is therefore, to remove everything sinful in order to be separate from the old life, including the influence of sinful church members.


1 Corinthians 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."


"Keep the feast": In contrast to the Old Testament Passover feast celebrated annually, believers constantly celebrate the "feast" of the new Passover, Jesus Christ. As the Jews who celebrate Passover do so with unleavened bread, so believers celebrate their continual Passover with unleavened lives.


The life of a Christian should be a continual remembrance of the great sacrifice that Jesus made for us. Jesus (the perfect Lamb sacrifice), was our Substitute. We deserved the death on the cross, but He took our place. I see in this a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus. In the Passover, the lamb was killed and the blood drawn of the animal, but had they not put the blood over the door, death would have come to that house.


We must not only believe that He gave His body at Calvary for our sin, but we must individually apply that precious blood to our life. He must be our personal Savior. We must desire to be like Jesus. This next Scripture tells it all.


Galatians 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."


Sin should not be tolerated in your life, if you are a Christian. Anyone proclaiming Christianity should have no desire in their heart to sin. We should constantly be sincere with the Lord. Truth should be our standard.


1 Corinthians 5:9 "I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:"


We become like those we keep company with. Paul had warned of the dangers of fellowshipping with sinners. Fornicator, in this Scripture, is taken from the word pornos, and can be translated male prostitute. This includes homosexuals. This leaves no doubt as to the danger of those who associate with those who are involved in sex sins. This is primarily speaking of unnatural acts in sex relations, but includes adultery between male and female, as well. One thing we must note in this, it is alright to go and witness to the lost, this is just speaking of not getting caught up in their sin.


Eph. 5:11 "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [them]."


In (Eph. 5:11), Paul's instruction is plain and direct: Christians are to faithfully live in righteousness and purity and have nothing at all to do with the evil ways and works of Satan and the world. The two ways of living are unalterably opposed to each other and mutually exclusive. The Christian's responsibility does not stop with his own rejection of evil. He is also responsible for exposing and opposing darkness wherever it is found, especially when it is found in the church.


1 Corinthians 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."


The statement, "not altogether" just means that he did not forbid casual association with these sinners, but continuous association, which might cause you to get involved in their sin. We are in this world with those who commit these sins, but we are not of this world. We are a holy people set aside for the purposes of God. We are not holy in our own right, but have put on righteousness which Jesus provided for us when He washed us in His precious blood. There would be no point in us staying in this world, except we have the opportunity to win people out of these sins to the living God.


1 Corinthians 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 a one, no, not to eat."


Paul clarifies his intention in the earlier letter. He expected them to disassociate with all who said they were brothers, but had a consistent pattern of sin. The meal was a sign of acceptance and fellowship in those days.


Notice the fact that Paul called him a brother here, which means they were of like persuasion. It seems it is much worse for a Christian to be caught up in these sins, than it is for those who have not repented and given their lives to the Lord. To sin in full knowledge is much worse than to sin and not be aware that you are sinning. It does not say, again, that you are not to come in casual contact with them, but not to eat with them. We are not to turn our head the other way when a brother or sister sins, and act as if it did not happen. When you fellowship by eating with them, it is as if you are condoning what they are doing.


1 Corinthians 5:12 "For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?"


Paul is interested in keeping the converts that the Lord has given him. He cannot change the world, unless they want to be changed. His instructions are for those he claims as his own converts.


1 Corinthians 5:13 "But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person."


There is a day of judgment coming when the Lord Jesus will judge the whole world. Paul is saying here, we do not judge the world, Jesus does. If someone is determined to live in sin like the world, put them out there in the world with the rest of the sinners. Let God judge them on judgment day, just as He will the rest of the sinners. Those who are determined to sin should not be left with the Christians to contaminate them.


1 Corinthians Chapter 5 Questions


1. What had been reported to Paul about the church at Corinth?


2. This sin was such a bad one that not even the _________ committed this sin.


3. Exactly what was the sin?


4. What does fornication, in verse 1, mean?


5. What is a similar sin prevalent in our day?


6. Where do we read who we can sleep with and who we cannot?


7. Who was this woman probably?


8. Did that make it any less a sin?


9. What have the members of the church done about this sin in their church?


10. What did Paul say they should do with this sinner?


11. What is this church puffed up with?


12. Paul was absent in body, but present in _________.


13. In verse 4, Paul is speaking this in whose name?


14. Who were they to deliver this sinner to?


15. Why?


16. That the spirit ____ be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.


17. What is this done for?


18. A little leaven ________ the whole lump.


19. Is a person exempt from punishment just because he has accepted the Lord Jesus?


20. Why must the sinner be removed?


21. What is leaven in verse 7?


22. What does purge mean in verse 7?


23. Who was the unleavened Bread?


24. What is meant by keep the feast?


25. Who was our Substitute?


26. Jesus must be our ____________ Savior.


27. Who had Paul written them not to company with?


28. What does fornicator, in verse 9, mean?


29. What type of sin is this primarily speaking of?


30. What does the statement "not altogether" mean?


31. What other sins are mentioned in verse 11?


32. What one word shows that Paul was speaking of someone professing Christianity?


33. Why is it necessary for the believer to stay on the earth, instead of being immediately raptured?


34. Why should they not eat with them?


35. Paul cannot change the world, unless they ______ __ __ ________.


36. Who judges them who are outside the church?





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1 Corinthians 6



1 Corinthians Chapter 6

1 Corinthians 6:1 "Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?"


This is speaking of a problem between two Christians. "Dare": Suing another believer in a secular law court is a daring act of disobedience because of its implications related to all sin, the displeasure of God.


"Having a matter against another": The phrase in Greek was commonly used of a lawsuit ("go to law").


"Unjust": not meaning their moral character, but to their unsaved spiritual condition.


The worldly court is no place to settle a dispute between two Christians. It is a sad situation that they had a dispute serious enough to have to be decided by someone else other than the two of them. It is unthinkable to turn it over to a world court. Believers are to settle all issues between themselves within the church. The fear of the Lord would not be part of the decision in a world court.


1 Corinthians 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?"


"Judge the world": Because Christians will assist Christ to judge the world in the millennial kingdom (Rev 2:26-27; 3:21; Dan. 7:22), they are more than qualified with the truth, the Spirit, the gifts, and the resources they presently have in Him to settle small matters that come up among themselves in this present life.


Jesus will be like what we think of the Supreme Court today, and we Christians will be like the lower court under His jurisdiction. We must learn to get along with our brothers and sisters in Christ. If there is something that seemingly is difficult to decide, then other impartial Christians should decide the matter with the Bible as the basis of the verdict. The Bible says that we will reign with Jesus. Those ruling have to judge. You can also see how a brother or sister in Christ, who is familiar with God's teaching, would be better able to come to a satisfactory Biblical verdict.


1 Corinthians 6:3 "Know ye not that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life?"


"Judge angels": The Greek word can mean "rule or govern." Since the Lord Himself will judge fallen angels (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6), it is likely this means we will have some rule in eternity over holy angels.


Since angels are "ministering spirits" to serve the saints (Heb. 1:14), it seems reasonable that they will serve us in glory.


1 Corinthians 6:4 "If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church."


This is a difficult verse to translate, as suggested by the widely varying English renderings. But the basic meaning is clear: when Christians have earthly quarrels and disputes among themselves, it is inconceivable that they would turn to those least qualified (unbelievers), to resolve the matter.


The most legally untrained believers (least esteemed), who know the Word of God and are obedient to the Spirit, are far more competent to settle disagreements between believers than the most experienced unbeliever, void of God's truth and Spirit.


1 Corinthians 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?"


Now Paul is saying; can't you see how silly this is? What he is trying to make them realize, is that Christians should sit down together and talk it out, with a third party if necessary. Pray together and let God decide the outcome.


1 Corinthians 6:6 "But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers."


Paul is saying that to go before a civil court to settle an argument between two Christians, gives Christianity a black eye. If Jesus Christ is King of Peace, why is there this problem too difficult to settle?


Such conduct as suing a fellow believer is not only a sinful shame, but a complete failure to act obediently and righteously.


Christians who take fellow Christians to court, suffer moral defeat and spiritual loss even before the case is heard. And they become subject to divine chastening.


Hebrews 12:3 "For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds."


1 Corinthians 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?"


"Why ... not ... take wrong": The implied answer is because of the shameful sin (verse 5), and the moral defeat (verse 8), that result from selfishness. A willingness to discredit God, His wisdom, power, and sovereign purpose, and to harm the church and the testimony of Christ's gospel.


"Defrauded": Christians have no right to insist on legal recourse in a public court. It is far better to trust God's sovereign purposes in trouble and lose financially, than to be disobedient and suffer spiritually.


Jesus taught if someone sued you for your coat; give them your cloak also. He also said to turn the other cheek, if someone slapped you on one cheek. He taught give to him that asks of you. Where have they sidetracked His teaching "forgive him that asks of you"? We know that Jesus taught that vengeance was His. We are to return good for the evil done unto us. These things are what make us a Christian. We are to kill them with kindness. What if you are the loser? It will just store up forgiveness for you in heaven, if you forgive the wrong he has done unto you.


1 Corinthians 6:8 "Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that [your] brethren."


Paul is shaming them here. It is bad to do wrong to someone of the world, but it is terrible to do wrong to a brother in Christ.


He is referring to those who sue their brothers in Christ being as guilty of the same misconduct they are suing to rectify.


Verses 9-10: In these next two verses, this catalog of sins, though not exhaustive, represent the major types of moral sin that characterize the unsaved.


1 Corinthians 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,"


"Not inherit the kingdom": The kingdom is the spiritual sphere of salvation where God rules as king over all who belong to Him by faith. All believers are in that spiritual kingdom, yet are waiting to enter the full inheritance of it in the age to come. People who are characterized by these iniquities are not saved.


While believers can and do commit these sins, they do not characterize them as an unbroken life pattern. When they do, it demonstrates that the person is not in God's kingdom. True believers who do sin, resent that sin and seek to gain the victory over it (see Romans 7:14-25).


Fornicators are all who indulge in sexual immorality, but particularly unmarried persons.


Idolaters are those who worship any false god or follow any false religious system.


Adulterers are married persons who indulge in sexual acts outside their marriage.


Effeminate ... nor abusers of themselves are homosexuals or sodomites, terms referring to those who exchange and corrupt normal male-female sexual roles and relations. Tranvestism, sex changes, and other gender perversions are included.


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


Deut. 22:5 "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so [are] abomination unto the LORD thy God."


Sodomites are so called because the sin of male-male sex dominated the city of Sodom. This sinful perversion is condemned always, in any form, by Scripture. (Lev 18:22; 20:13; Rom. 1:26-27; 1 Tim 1:10)


Paul is saying here; you are wrong if you think that just being baptized into Jesus will save you. You cannot go back into sin, and commit the sins the world is guilty of, and not be judged. He is saying, if you were really saved, you would not have the desire in your heart to commit these sins that the world is guilty of. Paul speaks of the unrighteous as a whole; he does not separate out those who are pretending to be Christians for special privileges. I am sure these types of sins are mentioned here, because of the worship of Aphrodite in this area, and also because most of the false worship was of a sensual nature.


In the book of James, it says faith without works is dead. We also see (in Hebrews chapter 6:5-6), the consequences of getting back into these sins after you have made a commitment to God.


1 Corinthians 6:10 "Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."


One thing we must note here is that the sins mentioned (in verse 9), were sins of the body and seemed to be classed together. The sins (in verse 10), are also bad sins, but sins that happen outside the body. They are not sex sins. These are still sins, but do not include the Holy Spirit (which dwells inside of us), in their act of sin.


"Thieves ... covetous" are both guilty of the same basic sin of greed. Those who are covetous desire what belongs to others, thieves take it.


Revilers are people who try to destroy others with words.


Extortioners are swindlers and embezzlers who steal indirectly, taking unfair advantage of others for their own financial gain.


1 Corinthians 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."


Though not all Christians have been guilty of all those particular sins, every Christian is equally an ex-sinner, since Christ came to save sinners. Some who used to have those patterns of sinful life were falling into those old signs again, and needed reminding that if they went all the way back to live as they used to, they were not going to inherit eternal salvation, because it would indicate that they were never saved.


"Washed" refers to new life through spiritual cleansing and regeneration.


"Sanctified" (set apart), is what results in new behavior, which a transformed life always produces. Sin's total domination is broken and replaced by a new pattern of obedience and holiness. Though not perfection, this is a new direction.


"Justified" refers to a new standing before God, in which the Christian is clothed in Christ's righteousness. In His death, the believer's sins were put to His account and He suffered for them, so that His righteousness might be put to an account, so that we might be blessed for it.


"By the Spirit": The Holy Spirit is the agent of salvation's transformation.


Everyone who ever lived has sinned and come short of the glory of God. Praise God, if we repent, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sin and wash us in His precious blood. We are saved by the grace of God. We are washed in his blood and set aside for his purpose. We are justified (just as if we had never sinned). The Christians standing around God's throne in heaven are clothed in white robes, washed in the blood of the Lamb. When He saves us, we become a new creature in Christ.


1 Corinthians Chapter 6 Questions


1. Who should Christians go before to settle a matter?


2. Do ye know that the saints shall judge the _______?


3. If we are to be a judge for Jesus, what will He be like?


4. What should be the basis for the verdict of a dispute between Christians?


5. In verse 3, it says the Christians will judge whom?


6. What does the word angel mean in this verse?


7. When will this judgment happen?


8. Who was to judge in verse 4?


9. Who are the brothers arguing their case before in verse 6?


10. What is a better solution to the problem?


11. If someone wants your coat, what are you to give him, also?


12. The unrighteous shall not inherit the __________.


13. What is a fornicator?


14. Faith without _________ is dead?


15. What does idolater mean?


16. Who are effeminate?


17. Who was the object of worship in this area?


18. What is the separation in the sins in verses 9 and 10?


19. In verse 11, they had these sins before, but why do they not have them now?


20. What are the Christians in heaven dressed in?




1 Corinthians Chapter 6 Continued

1 Corinthians 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."


First I want to give the definition of "expedient": "Based on or marked by a concern for self-interest rather than principle", which is self-explanatory. The definition of "power" can mean influence or is a measure of a person's ability to control the environment around them, including the behavior of other persons. In this case, Paul refused to be influenced by either others around him or Satan.


This is probably one of the most controversial Scriptures in the Bible. First, we must remember who Paul is writing this to. They are still very much caught up in the regulations of their Jewish upbringing. Paul is saying, we are not obligated to keep the letter of the law, because Jesus fulfilled the law for us. Even in the Old Testament, we read that to obey is better than sacrifice.


1 Samuel 15:22 "And Samuel said, Hath the LORD [as great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey [is] better than sacrifice, [and] to hearken than the fat of rams.


" Hearken: (To give heed to).


Obeying is an act of our own free will. We obey, because we know that it will please God, and we want to please Him. Sacrifice for the Jews had been an obligation, and not a choice. Paul is saying, I am not obligated to do anything, or not do it. I choose to please God, so as an act of my own free will, I obey God's laws.


These new Christians were still sacrificing, and keeping the old Mosaic Law, from obligation. They were still technical in their form of religion and did not understand fully the sacrifice of Jesus. Paul, I believe is just saying, I am not under the law of obligation but I am a free agent to operate my own will in a way pleasing unto God. Paul is not saying that he has a license to sin without the punishment for sin. He is saying that he is a free-will agent. He chooses for himself, with the benefit of his conscience.


He also is saying, that he refuses to become servant to sin. Paul refuses to live by a set of man-made rules any longer. The condition of his soul is between him and God. A Christian has Christ dwelling within them, and they no longer have the desire in their hearts to sin. This is what Paul is saying. If Christ within me makes the decisions, there is no law against that.


Galatians 3:21: "[Is] the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law."


Read the 6th chapter of Romans where Paul fully explains this.


1 Corinthians 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."


"Meats ... belly": Perhaps this was a popular proverb to celebrate the idea that sex is purely biological, like eating. The influence of philosophical dualism may have contributed to this idea since it made only the body evil. Therefore, what one did physically was not preventable and thus inconsequential. Because the relationship between these two is purely biological and temporal, the Corinthians, like many of their pagan friends, probably used that analogy to justify sexual immorality.


"The body ... The Lord": Paul rejects the convenient justifying analogy. Bodies and food are temporal relations that will perish.


In the spirit, all believers make up the body of Christ. Our body is the dwelling place for the Holy Spirit. My belly, along with my body, should not be my God, because they will perish and the real me will live in my new spiritual body that Jesus will provide me. If the body is such a temporary thing, we should not elevate it to godhood.


1 Corinthians 6:14 "And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power."


The 15th chapter of the book of Corinthians goes into detail about this very thing. We know that the body of the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross. That body was buried, and the third day He arose from the grave. There is a physical body, and there is a spiritual body. The physical body must die for the spiritual body to live. This mortal must put on immortality. Because Jesus rose from the grave, all those who put their faith in Jesus shall rise also. Read more at (1 Thess. 4:1-12).


Bodies of believers and the Lord have an eternal relationship that will never perish. He is referring to the believer's body to be changed, raised, glorified and made heavenly.


1 Corinthians 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 a harlot? God forbid."


This verse above is speaking of how bad it is for a Christian to commit a sin of the body, because it includes the house of the Holy Spirit in that sin. We Christians are the temple of the Holy Spirit. All of us are individual parts making up the body of Christ. You can see from the following Scriptures that we are one with Christ. Christ is the head, and we are the body.


Romans 12:5 "So we, [being] many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another."


1 Corinthians 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."


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


Therefore, when a believer commits a sexual sin, it involves Christ with a harlot. Therefore, you can easily see why it would be important not to involve the temple of the Holy Spirit in the act of a body sin.


1 Corinthians 6:16 "What? know ye not that he which is joined to a harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh."


Paul supports his point in the previous verse by appealing to the truth of (Genesis 2:24), that define the sexual union between a man and a woman as "one flesh." When a person is joined to a harlot, it is a one flesh experience; there Christ spiritually is joined to that harlot. The words "Shall be" are translated "shall become".


1 Corinthians 6:17 "But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit."


These two Scriptures above should be studied carefully by those who would make husband and wife one in the spirit. The Scriptures say that husband and wife are one in the flesh, not the spirit. All Christians, whether male or female, are one in spirit with the Lord Jesus Christ. Husband and wife relations on this earth are in the flesh. In heaven, it will not be that way. There is no marrying or taking in marriage in heaven.


Further strengthening the point, Paul affirms that all sex outside of marriage is sin; but illicit relationships by believers are especially reprehensible because they profane Jesus Christ whose believers are one. This argument should make such sin unthinkable (Which I might add, is sin just thinking about the possibility).


1 Corinthians 6:18 "Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body."


There is a sense in which sexual sin destroys a person like no other, because it is so intimate and entangling, corrupting on the deepest human level. But Paul is probably alluding to venereal disease, prevalent and devastating in his day and today. No sin has greater potential to destroy the body, something a believer should avoid because of the reality given (in verses 19-20).


Fornication, in the verse above, includes all sorts of harlotry. This includes all unnatural sex acts and it also includes acts not with the spouse that God has chosen for you. The Aids patients are finding out the hard way what this type of sin brings on. Not all Aids patients are committing this sin, but this is one of the major ways of transmitting this disease.


1 Corinthians 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?"


A Christian's body belongs to the Lord (verse 13), is a member of Christ (verse 15), and is the Holy Spirit's temple.


Think about this. Every act of fornication, adultery or any other sin is committed by the believer in the sanctuary, the Holy of Holies, where God dwells. In the Old Testament, the High Priest only went in there once a year, and only after extensive cleansing, lest he be killed.


1 Corinthians 6:20 "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."


When Jesus paid the price for our sin on the cross, He bought us and paid in full for us. I have used the following Scripture numerous times, but it seems to say exactly what I want to say on this.


Galatians 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."


If Christ is in me, then I should treat my body as if it is His temple. I should allow nothing into the temple of God that would defame it in any way.


1 Corinthians Chapter 6 Continued Questions


1. Who had Paul written this to?


2. Where do we find in the Scriptures, that to obey is better than sacrifice?


3. Obeying is an act of our own ____ _____.


4. Sacrifice, for the Jews, had been an __________, not a choice.


5. Is Paul saying he has a license to sin?


6. Paul refuses to become a servant to ___.


7. If Christ within me makes the decisions, there is no ______ against that.


8. What does "expedient" mean in verse 12?


9. Meats for the _______, and the belly for ________.


10. The body is not for ______________, but for the Lord.


11. Our ______ is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit.


12. Who raised up the Lord?


13. What hope does that give the Christian?


14. Where in Thessalonians, do we read a great deal about this?


15. Why must the physical body of man die?


16. Know ye not that your bodies are the ___________ of Christ?


17. Why is it so terrible for a Christian to be involved in a sin of the body?


18. What are those who engage in sin with a harlot, one with her in?


19. The word that was translated "shall be" in verse 16, could have been better translated what?


20. He that is joined unto the Lord is one _________.


21. Verse 18 says to flee what?


22. A person who commits fornication sins against their own _______.


23. What does fornication in verse 18, include?


24. What is the temple in verse 19?





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1 Corinthians 7



1 Corinthians Chapter 7

1 Corinthians 7:1 "Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: [It is] good for a man not to touch a woman."


In the first 7 verses these verses elevate singleness, as long as it is celibate, but they in no way teach that marriage is either wrong or inferior.


This letter had to be written to an individual in the church in Corinth, because we notice that it was in answer to a letter that Paul had received. We know that this, like many other specific Scriptures, is not to be taken as doctrine, or even rules for the church at large, because it goes against what God said at the creation of man and woman. There would be no need for two genders, if God had intended this to be so. We must look at this carefully to understand.


This is probably written to an individual who is, perhaps, going to minister in God's work. Paul is just explaining to this person, that the fewer other obligations he has, the more time he'll have to devote to God's work. Paul was never married, and he understood the freedom from other obligations that went with not being married. Marriage is not a sin, however it is God's plan for populating the earth.


1 Corinthians 7:2 "Nevertheless, [to avoid] fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband."


Paul is saying here, that if you desire to be married, it is better to go ahead and get married. You might be tempted to sin, if you desire a wife and do not have one.


There is a great danger of sexual sin when single. Marriage is God's only provision for sexual fulfillment. Marriage should not be reduced simply to that, however. Paul has a much higher view and articulates it (in Eph. 5:22-23). He is stressing the issue of sexual sin for people who are single.


Again I say, there is not sin in getting married. There is a sin when you live with someone you are not married to.


1 Corinthians 7:3 "Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband."


When a man and woman get married, they then are to think of the needs of their spouse more than they think of their own needs. The above Scripture is just saying, be true to the wife or husband you have chosen. Love them and comfort them, so there will be no need for them to look for comfort elsewhere.


Married believers are not to sexually deprive their spouses. While celibacy is right for the single, it is wrong for the married. The practice of deprivation may have been most common when a believer had an unsaved spouse.


1 Corinthians 7:4 "The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife."


When we get married, we become one flesh and we are no longer two flesh. Husbands and wives should not be ashamed in the presence of their spouse. Their bodies belong not to one of them, but each belongs totally to the other.


By the marriage covenant, each partner is given the right over the spouse's body for the satisfaction of the other.


1 Corinthians 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."


The meaning of incontinency: without self-restraint, especially regarding sexual activity


This is just saying for the two to comfort each other. They are not to refuse the closeness of husband and wife, unless they have agreed that they will refrain from personal contact, because they are fasting and praying.


The reason it is so important for the husband and wife to sleep together is because if they do not, their partner might stray to someone else for comfort. This is not just a physical togetherness with the husband and wife, but is a bond between them.


"That Satan temp you not": After a "time" of abstinence say for pregnancy, an illness, separation or for prayer and fasting, sexual desires intensify and a spouse becomes more vulnerable to sinful desire.


1 Corinthians 7:6 "But I speak this by permission, [and] not of commandment."


All that Paul has said here, is something that Paul wanted to share with others who were going into the ministry. It is a little of a personal testimony of himself. He realized that he was freer to go and minister, since he did not have the obligation of family. He was a eunuch by choice to serve God. Jesus spoke of this only once in the following Scripture.


Matthew 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]."


1 Corinthians 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."


Paul was a eunuch by choice, and he felt the call of the ministry could be better answered with fewer distractions that way. Not all men are called to be eunuchs that are ministers of God. This is a special calling.


Eunuch: Tertullian, a second century Church Father, described Jesus himself and Paul of Tarsus as spadones, which is translated as "eunuchs" in some contexts. However, these statements can be interpreted as a metaphor for celibacy, especially given the broad meaning of the term spado in Late Antiquity.


As a single person, Paul recognized the special freedom and independence he had to serve Christ. But he did not expect all believers to be single, nor all who were single to stay that way, nor all who were married to act celibate as if they were single. Both singleness and marriage are God's gracious gifts.


1 Corinthians 7:8 "I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I."


Paul was expecting the soon return of the Lord, and he thought there was not time to get entangled with anything that might slow down their work for the Lord. He is saying, if for any reason you are single, just stay that way and spend all your time for the Lord.


This verse makes it clear that the unmarried and widows are distinct. His first suggestion is that they stay single because of its freedoms in serving the Lord.


1 Corinthians 7:9 "But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn."


This probably is speaking of those who want to be married, and are not, who are burned up with lust for the opposite sex. It would be much better to be married, than to be filled with lust.


The Greek tense indicates a command, since a person can't live a happy life and serve the Lord effectively if dominated by unfulfilled sexual passion, especially in the Corinthian society.


7:10 "And unto the married I command, [yet] not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from [her] husband:"


What Paul writes to these believers was already made clear by Jesus during His earthly ministry (Matt. 5:31-32; 19:5-8; Gen. 2:24; and Mal. 2:16).


Depart is a word used as a synonym for divorce, as indicated by the parallel use of the word "put away" (in verse 11).


He is just saying, if you are married, stay married. You can still work for the Lord married. Divorce is of man and not of God. God made one woman for one man. They two are to be one. To divorce and marry another does not fulfill the wishes of God.


1 Corinthians 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."


The union of husband and wife is to be a permanent arrangement. It is not to be like in our society today, jumping from one husband to the other. A person should not get a divorce for just any little whim. The Lord has made provision for those to get a divorce from the unfaithful spouse.


This is saying that if a Christian divorces another Christian except for adultery, neither partner is free to marry another person. They should reconcile, or at least remain unmarried.


1 Corinthians 7:12-13 "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." "And the woman which hath a husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him."


"To the rest": Those not covered by the instruction of (verses 10-11). This is a simple way of saying that Jesus had not spoken on this and God had not previously given revelation on the matter, as Paul was then writing. Apparently, some Christians felt they should divorce their unsaved spouses, to live celibately or marry a believer.


The Lord had taught from the beginning not to be unequally yoked with those of unbelief. They should not have married a non-believer in the beginning. This house would have to be a house of confusion. One believing and the other does not, leaves a separation between them. It is possible, in time that this circumstance could change. If you love them enough to put up with the divided house, then Paul is saying, it is alright to stay. Marriages with mixed belief seldom last.


1 Corinthians 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."


This does not mean that an unbeliever will go to heaven, because their spouse is saved. Sanctified in this instance, would be made clean. Not by the wife, but in the wife. This is not speaking of the child being saved in infancy, but is speaking of not having any curse of unbelief on the child from birth. This child would not be a bastard child, but would be of a union made acceptable to God through marriage where one parent is a believer. This cleanliness is of a ceremonial nature and is speaking of the family as being a Christian family, because one is a believer.


The sanctification is matrimonial or pertaining to family, not personal or spiritual and means that the unsaved partner is set apart for temporal blessing because the other belongs to God. One Christian in a marriage brings grace that spills over on the spouse, even possibly leading them to salvation.


The Christian need not separate from an unbeliever because of fear that the unbelieving spouse may defile the children. God promises the opposite. They would be unclean if both parents were unsaved, but the presence of one believing parent exposes the children to blessing and brings them protection. The presence of even one Christian parent will protect children from undue spiritual harm and they will receive many blessings, and often that includes salvation.


1 Corinthians 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."


This would be covered in the spiritual adultery above. Moses permitted divorce, so that there might be peace in the family. The very fact that two people could not agree in their worship would be a very unsettling factor in a family. These two could not be one, if they had such varying commitments.


"Let him depart": A term referring to divorce. When an unbelieving spouse cannot tolerate the partner's faith and wants a divorce, it is best to let that happen in order to preserve peace in the family (Rom. 12:18). The bond of marriage is broken only by death (Rom. 7:2), adultery (Matt. 19:9), or an unbeliever's leaving.


"Not under bondage": When the bond is broken in any of those ways, a Christian is free to marry another believer. Throughout Scripture, whenever legitimate divorce occurs, remarriage is assumed. When divorce is permitted, so is remarriage. By implication, the permission for a widow to remarry (verses 39-40; Rom. 7:3), because the "bond" is broken, extends to this case where there is no more "bondage."


1 Corinthians 7:16 "For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save [thy] husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save [thy] wife?"


I have always believed that if a person lives a good Christian life around anyone (especially their spouse), it would have great influence on the non-believer. That, in my opinion, is what this is saying. Love them with the love of the Lord and live peaceably with them, and they will be won over to the Lord by your great devotion to your Lord.


Some may have been reluctant to let go of their unsaved spouse, who wanted out and was creating discord in the home thinking they could evangelize the spouse by hanging on for seeing that one converted. Paul says there are no such assurances and it is better to divorce and be at peace (verse 15), if the unsaved partner wants to end the marriage that way.


1 Corinthians 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."


Paul is saying in this, if you were married when you were called, stay married. Serve God wherever you were when the Lord called you. Do not leave your spouse to serve the Lord. If you were called to the ministry while you were single, consider staying single and devoting all your time to the Lord. Paul is saying, if you were called in a certain circumstance, who is he to question God in that? Just serve where you were called, and how you were called.


Discontent was prevalent among these new believers in the Corinthian church. As noted up to this point (verse 1-16). Some wanted to change their marital status, some were slaves who wanted to be free, and some used their freedom in Christ to rationalize sinning. In a general response to that, this passage plainly repeats the basic principal that Christians should willingly accept the marital condition and social situations into which God has placed them. And be content to serve Him there until He leads them elsewhere.


This is the first verse of three Paul states the principal of contentment which is required of all Christians. The other two are (verses 20 and 24).


1 Corinthians Chapter 7 Questions


1. In verse 1 Paul says, it is good for a man not to _______ a woman.


2. Why does the author believe this is written to an individual?


3. Why were there two genders of people created?


4. What is Paul trying to convey to this individual here?


5. Was Paul ever married?


6. To avoid ____________, let every man have his own wife.


7. If you desire to be married, it is better to go ahead and marry, why?


8. Who are the husband, or wife, to think of more than themselves in marriage?


9. They two shall become one _____.


10. What are the two reasons, in verse 5, that you could withhold love from your spouse for?


11. Why is it important for the husband and wife to sleep together?


12. Verse 6 says this message is from whom?


13. Paul wanted them all to be like whom?


14. Why?


15. Why did Paul tell the widows and unmarried to stay like him?


16. It is better to marry than to ______.


17. Who is the message from in verse 10?


18. Does the fact that you are married keep you from ministering?


19. The union of husband and wife is to be a ___________ arrangement.


20. What two things are true grounds for divorce?


21. Who had taught not to be unequally yoked?


22. What should the man who has an unbelieving wife do, if she wants to live with him?


23. Two people living in a house where they have different beliefs, would be what kind of house?


24. The unbelieving husband is sanctified by what?


25. Does this mean the unbeliever will go to heaven?


26. The cleanliness is of a _____________ nature.


27. A brother or sister is not under bondage in what case?


28. How could a wife save a husband?


29. How is each man to walk?




1 Corinthians Chapter 7 Continued

1 Corinthians 7:18 "Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised."


With Judaizers demanding all Gentile believers in Christ to be circumcised (Gal. 5:1-6), and with some Christian Jews wanting to disassociate with Judaism and thus having a surgery to become uncircumcised (as addressed in rabbinic literature), Paul needed to clarify the issue by saying that neither was necessary. Figuratively, the idea is that when a Jew became a Christian, he was not to give up his racial and cultural identity in order to appear like a Gentile. Likewise, a Gentile was not to become culturally like a Jew. Culture, social order and external ceremony have no bearing on spiritual life. What matters is faith and obedience.


1 Corinthians 7:19 "Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God."


This is just explaining that it is not the doctrine of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ to keep the law of Moses. If a person is not circumcised, then let him stay that way. If he was acceptable to God, then why should the people put extra restrictions on him? Of course, if a person is already circumcised before he receives the Lord, that is alright too. Accept them the way the Lord accepted them. Circumcision was part of the law which Jesus fulfilled on the cross. Sacrificing of any kind after the crucifixion of Jesus would have been saying that Jesus' sacrifice was not enough. You can see why all this sacrificing was stopped.


1 Corinthians 7:20 "Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called."


Paul is stressing the fact that if the Lord approved you, who was man to question.


1 Corinthians 7:21 "Art thou called [being] a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use [it] rather."


Servant means slave (the word servant in olden Greek means "doulos", or slave). Paul was not approving all slavery, but is teaching that a person who is a slave is still able to obey and honor Christ.


"Care not for it", meaning in modern society, this seems an insensitive command to those who wrongly assume that freedom is some God given right, rather than a preferable option.


1 Corinthians 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."


"The Lord's freeman": In the ways that truly count, no man is freer that a Christian. No bondage is as terrible as that of sin, from which Christ frees the believer.


"Christ's servant or slave": Those who are not slaves, but free in the social sense, are in the spiritual sense made slaves of Christ in salvation (Rom. 6:22).


1 Corinthians 7:23 "Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men."


The blood of Christ was the price that was paid.


"Servants of men" is referring to sinful slavery, i.e., becoming slaves to the ways of men, the ways of the world, and of the flesh. This is the slavery about which to be concerned.


1 Corinthians 7:24 "Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God."


Your position in society is of little importance to the Lord. Every job that we are called to do should be done unto the Lord. "Abide" means continually dwell. We must not seek to be changed, or moved, until the Lord moves us.


In verses 25-40: Having already established that both marriage and being single is good and right before the Lord, and for the person who has the gift of singleness, that state has many practical advantages. Paul continued to answer the questions about which the Corinthians had written him. Paul gives 6 reasons for never marrying, in relationship to the downside of marriage, but remaining single (virgins).


(1) Pressure from the system (verses 25-27);


(2) Problems of the flesh (verse 28);


(3) Passing of the world (verses 29-31);


(4) Preoccupations of marriage (verses 32-35);


(5) Promises from fathers (verses 36-38); and


(6) Permanency of marriage (verses 39-40).


1 Corinthians 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."


The Lord Jesus did not deal directly with this subject, and Paul is just giving his judgment (opinion) here. We know that all, whether virgins or not, should be faithful to the Lord. This is probably speaking of male virgins, as well as female.


The conviction given here is not a command, but is thoroughly dependable and sound advice to remain a virgin, which is counsel, included by the inspiration of the Spirit from a trustworthy man.


1 Corinthians 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."


Paul is saying, because of all the distress and problems surrounding being a servant of the Lord Jesus at this time, it would probably be better to remain a virgin. Notice that Paul says for a man to be so. This means man or woman.


The present distress: An unspecified, current calamity. Perhaps Paul anticipated the imminent Roman persecutions which began within 10 years after this epistle was written.


Persecution is difficult enough for a single person to endure, but problems and pain are multiplied for those who are married, especially if they have children.


1 Corinthians 7:27 "Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife."


The benefits of singleness notwithstanding, married people must remain married. Loosed: means that divorce is in view.


1 Corinthians 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."


"Marry, thou hast not sinned": Marriage is a fully legitimate and godly option for both the divorced (on biblical grounds), and virgins.


"Trouble in the flesh: Trouble means literally, "pressed together" or under pressure. Marriage can involve conflicts, demands, difficulties, and adjustments that singleness does not, because it presses two fallen people into intimate life that leads to inevitable "trouble". The troubles or singleness may be exceeded by the conflicts of marriage.


1 Corinthians 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;"


Paul is encouraging them to use all their time for the Lord. Paul is not saying that marriage is no longer binding or shouldn't be treated with seriousness, nor should there be any physical deprivation. But Paul is teaching that marriage should not at all reduce one's devotion to the Lord and service to Him. He means to keep the eternal priority.


1 Corinthians 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;"


Paul is saying, these things are a temporary situation. They will pass so quickly away. Do not be caught up in the things of the world which pass away so quickly.


The mature Christian does not get so swept up in the emotion of this life, to lose motivation, hope and purpose.


1 Corinthians 7:31 "And they that use this world, as not abusing [it]: for the fashion of this world passeth away."


Paul is trying to impress them that the world, and the things connected with it, are but for a moment in time. They will not always be. Christians are living in this world, but their home is in heaven. Someday we will not be in this world, in fact, someday there will not be a world as we know now. He is saying, you must live here, but don't get too attached.


1 Corinthians 7:32-33 "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:" "But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please [his] wife."


Paul again, is showing the difference in working for the Lord as a single person, and working for the Lord as a married person. The single person can devote all his time to the Lord without distractions and is free from concern about the earthly needs of a spouse and therefore potentially better able to set himself apart exclusively for the Lord's work.


1 Corinthians 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."


This is the very same statement as above, except the other was speaking of the man, and this is speaking of the woman. Women do like to please their husbands, and that is not a sin. In fact, if they are married, that is what God expects them to do. The married woman can be dedicated to God, but again, may have less time to fulfill the things of God.


1 Corinthians 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."


Again, we must remember that these are Paul's thoughts on the subject. We do know that it would be somewhat of a distraction to be married and in the service of God. All things are possible with God. We must fulfill the job that God has for us to do in whatever circumstances we are in at the time He called us. He knows the problems we face, and will help us with the problems. Our part is to be totally obedient to His call.


1 Corinthians 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."


This is a man's daughter. Apparently in Corinth some of the fathers intending devotion to the Lord, had dedicated their young daughters to the Lord as permanent virgins. "Pass the flower of her age": Meaning fully matured as a woman capable of child bearing.


"Need so require": When daughters became of marriageable age and insisted on being married, their fathers were free to break the vow and let them marry.


1 Corinthians 7:37 "Nevertheless he that standeth steadfast 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."


"No necessity": This means the father who has kept his daughter a virgin and is not under constraint by the daughter to change his mind, does well to fulfill his desire for her to be singularity devoted to the Lord (verse 34). As with those who remain single (verse 28), the choice was not between right and wrong.


1 Corinthians 7:38 "So then he that giveth [her] in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth [her] not in marriage doeth better."


Paul is saying that either thing you decide is perfectly alright. You have not sinned either way. Some serve the Lord while they are single, others serve the Lord married. Either way, they are pleasing unto the Lord.


1 Corinthians 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."


"Bound by the law": God's law designed marriage for life. It is so permanent that the disciples thought it may be better not to marry. "Only in the Lord": That is, free to marry a believer only. This is true for all believers who marry or remarry (see 2 Cor. 6:14-16).


1 Corinthians 7:40 "But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God."


Paul is saying (in his judgment), that she is usually happier with the memory of her first love, than trying to start over again and find a new mate. She will have more time to serve the Lord, if she does not remarry. Perhaps with a touch of sarcasm, Paul affirmed that this sound advice was given by the Holy Spirit.


1 Corinthians Chapter 7 Continued Questions


1. What is verse 18 explaining?


2. Let every man _________ in the same calling wherein he was called.


3. If you were a slave when you received the Lord, did that stop you from being a servant?


4. He that is the called in the Lord, is the Lord's ___________.


5. Regardless of the circumstance we find our self in, what are we to do?


6. What was the price we were bought with?


7. What does "abide" mean?


8. In verse 25, Paul said he had no command of God, but gave his _________.


9. Who are the virgins in verse 25?


10. Why did Paul say that it was good to stay single, if you already were?


11. Art thou bound unto a wife, seek ____ to be ________.


12. If a virgin marries, has she sinned?


13. What was Paul trying to spare them?


14. What is meant by verse 29?


15. Verse 30 is explaining that all these things are ___________.


16. And they that use this world, as not __________ it.


17. The fashion of this world ________ _____.


18. We must live in the earth, but we should not ____ __________.


19. He that is married careth for the things of the _______.


20. What is the difference in working for the Lord as a single person, and working for Him as a married person?


21. What is the difference in a married woman and a virgin working for God?


22. Verse 35 reminds us that these are whose thoughts?


23. How long is the wife bound by the law?


24. A widow is usually happier, if they remain _________.





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1 Corinthians 8



1 Corinthians Chapter 8

1 Corinthians 8:1 "Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth."


It seems that in each one of these chapters in Corinthians that Paul is answering questions they have written and asked him about. We remember that "idols" mean nothings. Paul is possibly saying; I know that you all know not to worship idols. It seems that the person who had written Paul was puffed up with pride, and Paul is about to show him the error in being puffed up with pride about the little knowledge he had. Love, or charity, builds a person up. Pride destroys.


The Greeks and Romans were polytheistic (worshipping many gods), and polydemonistic (believing in many evil spirits). They believed that evil spirits would try to invade human beings by attaching themselves to food before it was eaten, and that the spirits could be removed only by the food's being sacrificed to a god. The sacrifice was meant not only to gain favor with the god, but also to cleanse the meat from demonic contamination. Such decontaminated meat was offered to the gods as a sacrifice. That which was not burned on the altar was served at wicked pagan feasts. What was left was sold in the market.


After conversion, believers resented eating such food bought out of idol markets, because it reminded sensitive Gentile believers of the previous pagan lives and the demonic worship.


"We all have knowledge": Paul and mature believers knew better than to be bothered by such food offered once to idols and then sold in the marketplace. They knew the deities did not exist and that evil spirits did not contaminate the food.


"Charity (love), edifies": Knowledge mingled with love prevents a believer from exercising freedoms that offend weaker believers, and rather builds the others up in truth and wisdom.


1 Corinthians 8:2 "And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know."


The minute a person gets to the stage that he thinks he knows everything, he has stopped learning and probably does not know near as much as he thought he did. A little knowledge is a very dangerous thing. I believe a technical knowledge of the Bible, without benefit of the spiritual meaning, is dangerous as well. When you find a humble person still eager to learn more, you find a knowledgeable person. You can know what a Scripture says, without knowing what it means. To understand what it means must be revealed to you by the Holy Spirit.


1 Corinthians 8:3 "But if any man love God, the same is known of him."


To know God exists is one thing, but to have Him as your personal Savior is something else entirely. To know of God is one thing, but to love God in your heart is an entirely different thing as well. Love is the proof of knowing God.


John 10:14 "I am the good shepherd, and know my [sheep], and am known of mine." He knows us and we know Him, if we love Him.


Galatians 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?"


1 Corinthians 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."


Christians should believe that idols are nothings. The sin involving idols is to elevate them up and worship them. Christians should believe in God and God alone. Any form of worshipping idols is totally unacceptable. There would be absolutely no way to know what meat had been offered to idols and what was not. To regard the meat clean or unclean would be regarding the idol. They should not try to judge at all. Just ignore all of that, since an idol is a nothing anyway.


Paul states his agreement with the well taught believers who knew idols were nothing, so food offered to idols was not defiled.


We must remember through all this, that Paul is answering questions someone in Corinth had written to him. God had shown over and over that idols are nothings, as He did in Egypt; to make the Pharaoh let the people go.


1 Corinthians 8:5 "For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)"


In Egypt, there had been thousands of false gods. Here in Corinth, there had been many false gods as well. The problem with people who worship false gods is that they want a god they can see with their eyes. They worship things from God's creation instead of worshipping the Creator. God is the Eternal Spirit.


John 4:24 "God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth."


The One true God is Spirit, and must be seen in the Spirit and not with physical eyes.


1 Corinthians 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."


A powerful and clear affirmation of the essential equality of God the Father and God the Son. (Eph. 4:4-6).


Here is the Scripture which explains it best.


1 John 5:7 "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one."


The Lord Jesus Christ is the same as the Word mentioned here (in 1 John). Eternal God is the beginning of all. Our Salvation is by believing in Lord Jesus Christ. The Word was Creator God. All things exist by Him. He bought us with His precious blood, and we are now adopted children of the Father. There is no other way to the Father, but by Jesus Christ.


1 Corinthians 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."


This is just speaking of those who know the meat was offered to an idol, feel that they should not eat it, and eat it anyway. That would be a sin, because they went against their conscience. Those who regard the idol as nothing would not sin, if they ate of the same meat, because they do not regard the idol as anything. They could eat it with a clear conscience.


For more information on this read (Romans 14:20-23).


1 Corinthians 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 meat is not what makes the sin. It is our attitude toward the meat. Anything that you cannot do with a clear conscience is sin if you do it.


If you are a Christian, God has placed His laws in your heart. Your conscience alerts you when something is a sin or not. We must never do anything that we feel in our heart is wrong to do. The eating is not the sin. The sin is doing what you know or feel in your heart is wrong for you.


1 Corinthians 8:9 "But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak."


We must make a judgment call here. If we do something that we know in our heart is not wrong for us to do, but would cause our brother to sin, it is wrong for us to do. It is wrong, because we would cause our brother who has a weak conscience to sin. All Christians should be aware of their brother's weakness, and not do things in front of him that would cause him to sin. It is even more important that ministers are careful what they say and do. Sometimes the only example of Christian living that a person has, is the one we live before them.


1 Corinthians 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;"


This is speaking of someone who has no guilty conscience about eating things offered to idols, because he does not regard the idol as anything. The sad thing is that the person who does have a guilty conscience about eating the sacrifice offered to the idol might eat to show that they can do anything you are doing. Remember, you are their example, and they would sin because of your freedom in the Lord. It is just best to be careful of this for their sakes and not for your own sake.


1 Corinthians 8:11 "And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?"


We see in the following Scripture, it is not always what we do that is sin, but our attitude about what we do that is sin. Anything you do without having faith in your heart that it is alright to do, is sin. Look with me at that very thing in the following Scripture.


Romans 14:23 "And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because [he eateth] not of faith: for whatsoever [is] not of faith is sin."


The sad thing is that we have great influence on those who have just received Jesus as their Savior. We must not give even the appearance of evil for their sakes. The new Christian is not aware of the privilege of Christianity and thus you might cause him to sin.


1 Corinthians 8:12 "But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ."


A strong warning that causing a brother or sister in Christ to stumble is more than simply an offense against that person; it is a serious offense against the Lord Himself.


1 Corinthians 8:13 "Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend."


Paul has said a tremendous thing here. Not only will he not sin, but he will not do anything that might cause someone else to sin. Paul says, even if I can never eat meat again, I would even do that to keep my weaker brother from sinning. Will we do as much?


1 Corinthians Chapter 8 Questions


1. Knowledge __________ up, but _________ edifieth.


2. What does "idols" mean?


3. What happens to a person who thinks they know everything?


4. The author believes what kind of knowledge of the Bible is dangerous.


5. Who must reveal to us what a Scripture is truly saying?


6. To know God exists is one thing, what is better than that?


7. What does Galatians chapter 4 verse 9 tell us of our relationship with God?


8. If an idol is nothing, how can we sin regarding it?


9. What must we remember is the reason Paul is writing this?


10. When is a specific time that God proved that idols are nothings?


11. What causes a person to worship a false god?


12. What other Scripture explains 1 Corinthians 8:6 best?


13. The Word was _________ God.


14. What relationship do the Christians have to the Father?


15. Why would it be a sin for someone to know the meat had been offered to an idol, felt it was a sin, and ate it anyway?


16. The meat is not what the sin is; it is our _________ toward the meat.


17. Your liberty might become a ______________ to them that are weak.


18. Sometimes the only example of Christian living a new Christian has is what?


19. What might embolden the young Christian to sin?


20. Whatsoever is not of ________ is sin.


21. In 1 Corinthians 8:12, when you wound a weak Christian's Conscience, ye sin against _________.


22. Paul said: If meat makes my brother to offend, I will eat _____ ______ while the world standeth.





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1 Corinthians 9



1 Corinthians Chapter 9

1 Corinthians 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?"


In chapter 8, Paul set out the limits of Christian liberty. In this chapter, he sets forth how he followed them in his own life. (In verses 1-18), he discusses his right to be financially supported by those to whom he ministers. (In verses 19-27), he explains how he would give up all rights to win people to Christ. These questions are rhetorical, the "yes" answer to each being assumed.


In the very beginning, we must remember that Paul is answering letters that had been written to him from this church at Corinth. He is reminding them that his authority had come from him being an apostle of Jesus Christ. He also, reminds them that his calling was a dramatic call when he actually came in contact with the Light of the world. Jesus Christ Himself, who had sent Paul to minister to these people. It is with no small authority then that he is doing this. Paul even reminds them, that he was the one who founded the church in Corinth. He goes on to remind them that they were Christians through his ministry. He says, you are my children in the Lord.


1 Corinthians 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."


Paul is saying to them that in some other places, he might not be accepted as the voice to the Gentiles, but here at Corinth the church established was through his preaching. He is saying, you cannot deny me without denying your own salvation. The Jews in nearly every city had rejected Paul, but he had been accepted here at Corinth by these believers. The existence of the church in Corinth was evidence of Paul's apostolic authenticity.


1 Corinthians 9:3 "Mine answer to them that do examine me is this,"


It seems that even here at the church that Paul had started, some had begun to question Paul's authority.


Using the word "examine" is a Greek legal term for preliminary investigation" required before a decision was reached in a case. Paul sets out to defend his rights.


1 Corinthians 9:4 "Have we not power to eat and to drink?"


Paul is explaining to them that the apostle's living should come from the people he ministers to. They ministered to the people with no strings attached, but the people must from a free will support those who minister to them.


1 Tim. 5:17-18 "Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine." "For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The laborer [is] worthy of his reward."


1 Corinthians 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?"


There were many women, as well as men, that traveled with Paul and ministered with him. Paul is explaining to them, that they are not traveling with him as girlfriends, but ministers. Many of the wives traveled with their husbands who were ministering, as well. Sometimes these journeys lasted for months and sometimes for years. I will give just one Scripture here, which shows why the women traveled with Paul.


Philippians 4:3 "And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with] other my fellow laborers, whose names [are] in the book of life."


We should also read in (Luke chapter 8), the first few verses and we will find that Jesus, also, had women traveling with Him and the 12 apostles to minister. Why do not the expositors just accept this for what it says? The women ministered with Paul and the apostles.


Cephas was Peter who was married (Mark 1:29-31).


1 Corinthians 9:6 "Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?"


With sarcasm, Paul, a tentmaker (Acts 18:3), let the Corinthians know that he and Barnabas had as much right as others to receive full financial support from their work. Except for help from a few churches, they paid their own expenses not because of obligation or necessity, but voluntarily.


Besides a few churches, history teaches that Dorcas gave to the ministry of Paul.


Dorcas (or Tabitha), in Aramaic. Both names mean "gazelle", and is mentioned (in Acts 9:36-42). She was a member of the early Christian community in Joppa, a seacoast town of Israel, and noted for her acts of charity. In particular, for making garments and giving them to needy widows. When she fell ill and died, Peter came to see her, and raised her to life. His words to her, "Tabitha, kumi," (Tabitha, arise), are reminiscent of the words of Jesus to the daughter of Jairus.


1 Corinthians 9:7 "Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?"


Paul is showing how ridiculous it is for the minister of God to have to furnish his own living. In the Law of Moses, it was taught that those who ministered were to live of the things of the temple. The worker is worthy of his hire. Even in the world, the people are paid for the work they do, whether they are working for the government or on a job.


1 Corinthians 9:8 "Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?"


Paul was speaking of the Law of Moses, which had taught that the priest, and high priest, and their family were to live of the gifts brought to the temple.


1 Corinthians 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?"


Paul is saying, can't you see that this is not speaking of oxen, but of men who labor for the Lord?


The law as stated (in Deut. 25:4), "Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out [the corn]."


1 Corinthians 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."


There would be no reason for a person to plough, if he could not reap of the harvest. Work brings a reward. Our labor is not in vain. Man works to feed and clothe his family. Paul is saying to these people, just because this work is for the kingdom of God, does that mean that the workers will not be able to live of the offerings? Of course, the answer is obvious. Those who work in the ministry should take their living of the ministry. Those who minister should not minister for great wealth or even for the pay, but they must be paid so they can continue another day.


1 Corinthians 9:11 "If we have sown unto you spiritual things, [is it] a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?"


God's law is if you sow, you shall reap. Paul is saying here, that they sowed spiritual things, which are much better than the carnal things they shall reap. What shall a man gain, if he win the whole world and lose his own soul? The spiritual is much to be desired.


These people are hesitant to pay the living needed by Paul and Barnabas, because the labor they had done was beneficial to the spirit and could not be seen with the eye. Paul is reminding them how much more valuable the spiritual is than the carnal. If they had all the carnal wealth in the world and had no spiritual awakening, they would be poor indeed.


1 Corinthians 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."


Paul says to them, even though it was his right to have a living from those he had ministered to here, he did not require it, because he did not want them thinking that that is why he ministered to them. Paul is not asking for himself, but teaching them a principal. He does say, if anyone had a right to be supported of you in the ministry, it was me.


Apparently, the church had financially supported other ministers. "Suffer": False teachers sought money. Paul wanted to be certain he was not classed with them, so he endured not accepting support, so as not to offend.


We will continue with this in the next lesson. It is enough to say that Paul gave them a truth here that has helped many a preacher. Ministers must eat and sleep just like everyone else. They need clothes for their backs and a car to get to church in. If they spend all their time working for God, they have no time left to make the money needed for these things. Preachers, or ministers, are supposed to spend their time in prayer, and study of God's Word, and in ministering to God's people. They are not to do earthly jobs. They belong to God 24 hours a day. They have no spare time.


1 Corinthians Chapter 9 Questions


1. What does Paul call himself in verse 1?


2. Who did Paul say he had seen?


3. What was the purpose of this chapter written by Paul?


4. Who had sent Paul to minister to these people?


5. In verse one, what are some of the things Paul reminds them of?


6. Why should these people, of all he had ministered to, accept him as an apostle?


7. Verse 3 shows what about Paul's ministry?


8. Where should the apostle's living come from?


9. What was Paul talking about in verse 5?


10. What were the women with Paul doing with him?


11. Where do we find one Scripture that answers this question?


12. Where do we find in the Scriptures that women traveled with Jesus as well?


13. What other minister of the gospel does Paul speak of in verse 6?


14. How had Paul made his living?


15. Was this where his living should have come from?


16. What woman does history tell us gave heavily to Paul's ministry?


17. What ridiculous things was Paul comparing ministering with no pay to in verse 7?


18. What law was Paul speaking of in verse 8?


19. Give the statement that had been made in the law of Moses?


20. He that ploweth should plow in ______.


21. Those who work in the ministry should take their living from the __________.


22. Paul said they had sown unto them spiritual things, and should reap _______ things.


23. Why were the people reluctant to pay Paul and Barnabas for their labors?


24. Why did Paul make his own living by making tents?




1 Corinthians Chapter 9 Continued

1 Corinthians 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?"


Paul knew the Mosaic law. He was a Pharisee of the Pharisees. The high priest and his family lived of the offerings in the temple. The Levitical tribe had no land allotment. They were to share with the altar the offerings made thereon.


Old Testament priests were supported by the tithes of crops and animals, as well as of financial gifts.


1 Corinthians 9:14 "Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel."


If a person is a full-time minister of the gospel, there is no time left to make a living at another job. Some of the offerings made by the people to the church should be used for a salary for the minister of the church. Usually a board is set up, and they determine what the church can afford to pay the minister.


1 Corinthians 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."


Strangely enough, this instruction that Paul had given the church on taking care of their minister was not to receive for himself, but that they might take care of those after him who came to minister. Paul was very independent, and did not want it said that he had gone into this as an avocation. He was not in the ministry for the benefits that he might gain. He was called by the Lord Jesus Christ as a minister.


He was compelled to do this. His desire was to do the will of the Lord. Paul learned to be abased and to abound. In other words, he had learned to be content during the bad times as well as the good times.


He did not let anything keep him from carrying the message God had given him. Paul was proud that he did not have to depend on sustenance from those he had converted to Christianity.


Paul was genuinely overjoyed for the privilege of serving the Lord and did not want material support to rob him of it in any way.


1 Corinthians 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!"


Paul tells them here that he has nothing to brag about. As we said Paul was compelled to preach to everyone who would listen. The moment he encountered the great Light (Jesus Christ), Paul's entire life was changed. He had been zealous to capture the Christians and imprison them, because he thought he was doing God's will. Now he knows that he is doing God's will, and he is even more zealous to tell of Jesus. Paul wanted to please God all the time; he was just not fully informed. That is the way with many people today that are off in error. They are just not fully informed. They want to do the will of God but they just do not know what His will is for their lives.


After Paul became fully informed, he used the rest of his life to preach the good news of Jesus Christ. Paul was not caught up in boasting, but in thanksgiving that he had learned the truth.


"Woe": This means that God's severest chastening is reserved for unfaithful ministers (Heb. 13:17; James 3:1).


1 Corinthians 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."


Paul was called of God to carry this message. He had a choice to do it or not. He willingly chose to carry this message of Christ.


"Against my will": This does not indicate that Paul was unwilling to obey but that his will had no part in the call itself. Since it was God's sovereign choice and call, he received not a "reward," but a "stewardship" (a valuable responsibility or duty to be carefully managed).


Since he followed the will of God, there will be a great reward awaiting him in heaven. "Dispensation", in the verse above, means administration. The gospel then, was given to him to administer.


1 Corinthians 9:18 "What is my reward then? [Verily] that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel."


As we said in a previous lesson, Paul decided to work as a tentmaker to make his own way, so he could give freely to all who would receive the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul explains that great power had been given unto him pertaining to the gospel. He refused to use that power to further himself.


"My reward" meaning not money, but the privilege of preaching the gospel without support, was Paul's reward, so that he set aside his liberty.


1 Corinthians 9:19 "For though I be free from all [men], yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more."


By choice, he set aside his right to be supported, and thus "enslaved" himself to self-support, in order to remove a potential offense and win more people to Jesus Christ.


1 Corinthians 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;"


This, and the verses following, explains a lot of the things that most do not understand about Paul. Paul brought the gospel message to each group in a different way. He did not alter their customs, but brought the gospel message to each within their customs.


When Paul was ministering to Jews, he was quick to remind them that he was a Jew. He would tell them that he was a Pharisee of the Pharisees.


Within the limits of God's Word and his Christian conscience, he would be as culturally and socially Jewish as necessary when witnessing to Jews. He was not bound to ceremonies and traditions of Judaism. All legal restraints had been removed, but there was the constraint of love.


He kept the law, to impress those who were under the law that he was not trying to do away with the law. He wanted, at any cost, to be allowed to tell them of Jesus (their Messiah).


1 Corinthians 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."


He proclaimed grace through the sacrifice of Jesus, when he was speaking to Gentiles. To these people, he was a Christian and nothing more. He tried to reach each group where they were.


Paul was not suggesting the violating of God's moral law, but, as he explained, not being lawless toward God, but abiding by the law of Jesus Christ (James 1:25; 2:8 and 2:12).


1 Corinthians 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."


"Weak": Meaning he stooped to make the gospel clear at the lower level of comprehension, which Paul no doubt had done often while dealing with the Corinthians themselves. "All things ... all means": Within the bounds of God's Word, he would not offend the Jew, Gentile or those weak in understanding. Not changing Scripture or compromising the truth, he would condescend in ways that could lead to salvation.


1 Corinthians 9:23 "And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with [you]."


Paul explains that his goal is to further the gospel. Whatever it takes for Paul to be allowed to bring the gospel message, is what he is doing. Paul's aim is to take the gospel message to everyone.



In verses 24-27 we find that liberty cannot be limited without self-control, since the flesh resists limits on its freedom. Here, Paul speaks of his personal self-control.


1 Corinthians 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."


The Greeks enjoyed two great athletic events, the Olympic games and the Isthmian games and because the Isthmian events were held in Corinth, believers there were quite familiar with this analogy of running to win.


Racing was very prominent in Corinth in those days. The races were very similar to what is done in the Olympics today. Again, Paul is giving an example that they will understand. Life is very much like a race. We are all trying to make it to the finish line. Christianity is a race that is run on a narrow path. We are to look straight ahead to the Lord. Our path is lit by the Light of Jesus.


We must never stop, until the end is reached. We must not wander off the track and lose our way. We must never turn back. This race is for everlasting life. The prize that the Christian wins is everlasting life with the Lord Jesus. We must run and not be weary.


1 Corinthians 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."


These young men that ran in the physical race took good care of their bodies. They did not indulge in strong drink, or in anything else that might cause them not to be strong. They disciplined their lives, so their body would be in good condition to run.


The very worst thing a Christian can do is to eat or drink anything that will alter their ability to think. Christians must be totally free of drugs and alcohol, so they will be able to think clearly enough to make correct decisions. Christians must live disciplined lives as well. We must not allow ourselves to get involved in worldly things.


"Temperate" meaning self-control, which is crucial to victory. Corruptible crown here is referring to those who race in the Olympic or Isthmian games and winning a wreath of greenery which was given to the winner of the race. But the incorruptible crown is for those who Christ will reward at his return who have been faithful to His Testimony"


1 Corinthians 9:26 "I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:"


Paul is saying, you don't run just to be running, but to finish the race. He is saying, he is not preaching just to hear himself speak, but to get results. There must be a goal in ministering, just as there is a finish line in a race. "Beating the air" just means action in futility, a metaphor to boxing to illustrate the point that he was no shadow boxer, just waving his arms without effect.


1 Corinthians 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."


Paul is saying here, that he practices what he preaches. He disciplines himself to the teachings of the Bible. He not only preaches the gospel, but lives the gospel, as well. He does not allow his body to rule his spirit. He disciplines himself, so that he will not be a hypocrite when he is teaching others. Paul lives the Christian life before all that he ministers to.


1 Corinthians Chapter 9 Continued Questions


1. What do the ministers live of?


2. Why did Paul know the Mosaic law so well?


3. What tribe had no land allotment?


4. They which preach the gospel should live of the _________.


5. Why had Paul instructed them about giving?


6. Paul said, he would rather die than do what?


7. Paul's ministry was not an avocation, but a _____.


8. What is Paul saying in this?


9. Why are many in error today in their belief?


10. Paul was not caught up in boasting, but in ____________.


11. Was it within Paul's power to refuse his call to preach?


12. What type salary did Paul receive for his work?


13. What is Paul's reward?


14. Verse 19 says that Paul has made himself what?


15. What was Paul to the Jews?


16. Why had he done this?


17. What did Paul become, when he was speaking to non-Jews?


18. Why must every little thing that Paul did and said not be taken for general doctrine?


19. Why did Paul do this?


20. Paul's goal was to further the _______.


21. What is Paul really speaking of, when he speaks of running a race?


22. Describe the race of the Christian.


23. What one thing was needed to be able to run a good race?


24. What is about the worst thing a Christian can do?


25. What is meant by "beating the air"?


26. Paul not only preaches the gospel, but ______ the gospel, as well.





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1 Corinthians 10



1 Corinthians Chapter 10

We'll begin by saying that Ancient Israel's 40 year journey between Egypt and Canaan is a sobering illustration of the misuse of freedom and the dangers of overconfidence. The Israelites misused their new found freedom, fell into idolatry, immorality and rebelliousness, disqualifying themselves from receiving the Lord's blessing.


1 Corinthians 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;"


"Moreover ... ignorant". This transition leads from the lack of self-discipline and subsequent disqualification spoken of in the preceding (chapter 9:27), to an illustration of it in ancient Israel.


"All our fathers" meaning Paul is referring to ancient Israel, of whom he was a descendant. He asked his readers to remember what had happened to Israel in the wilderness, because of freedom without self-control.


"Under the cloud": Guided by God's presence as a cloud by day and a column of fire at night (See Exodus 13:21).


"Through the sea", meaning the Red sea, which opened for Israel to pass through and closed to drown the Egyptian army.


1 Corinthians 10:2 "And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;"


Israel was immersed, not in the sea, but "into Moses." Indicating their oneness or solidarity with him as their leader.


1 Corinthians 10:3-4 "And did all eat the same spiritual meat;" "And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ."


Paul does not intend to imply that the manna was not literal food. It was clearly designed for ordinary nourishment. It was spiritual in the sense that it was supernaturally provided by the Spirit of God. Likewise, the water that was received from the rock was real water. It was spiritual in the sense that it was given through God's direct intervention.


"That Rock was Christ": The Rock was not a theophany (a visible revelation of God). Rather, it was a "type" of Christ. It prefigured the provision that Christ would ultimately make for His people. But also, it is intended to mean that the source of supply was Christ and not the rock. This passage is an impressive affirmation of the preexistence of Jesus Christ.


The Jews had a legend that the actual rock Moses struck followed them throughout their wilderness wanderings, providing water for them. Paul says they have a Rock providing all they need, but it is Christ. Rock (Petra), refers to a massive cliff, not simply a large stone or boulder, signifying the pre-incarnate Messiah (Christ), who protected and sustained His people.


1 Corinthians 10:5 "But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness."


This is an understatement. Because of Israel's extreme disobedience, God allowed only two of the men over 19 who had originally left Egypt (Joshua and Caleb), to enter the Promised Land; all the others died in the wilderness including Moses and Aaron who were disqualified from entering the Land.


1 Corinthians 10:6 "Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted."


We can learn from their mistakes, if we will. They murmured against God over and over. It seemed they were never satisfied.


They died in the wilderness because of their failure of self-discipline and consequent indulgence of every desire. Four major signs characterized them;


(1) Idolatry (verse 7);


(2) Sexual immorality (verse 8);


(3) Testing God (verse 9); and


(4) Complaining (verse 10).


1 Corinthians 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."


The Israelites were barely out of Egypt when they fell into idol worship. (Exodus 32), records the story.


This is speaking of the time when Moses had gone to meet with God and get the tables of the Ten Commandments. They had no excuse, because God had spoken to them from the mountain and given them orally the Ten Commandments, even before Moses went to get them on the tables of stone. They believed something had happened to Moses, and they had Aaron to form them a golden calf to worship. The problem with these people, and with those caught up in false worship today, is that they wanted a god they could see with their physical eyes to worship. God is Spirit. If you can see something with your physical eye, it is part of God's creation. It is not God.


1 Corinthians 10:8 "Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand."


(Exodus 32), records the story of some (3,000), who were executed by the Levites for instigating an immoral orgy at Sinai. There was a plague the next day (in Exodus 32:35), and the additional (20,000), could have died in that plague. I couldn't find an exact reference to the timing here so it could mean within a 24-hour period (one day), which could cover two days.


1 Corinthians 10:9 "Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents."


We can read of this (in the 21st chapter of numbers), which records the story of the people questioning the goodness and plan of the One carrying them through the wilderness, the Protector and Provider, the spiritual Rock, Christ pre-incarnate.


I will give just one Scripture here that shows the Lord sent serpents when they spoke against God and Moses.


Numbers 21:6: "And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died."


"Tempt" (in verse 9), above means to test thoroughly. They had questioned God over and over. It is very dangerous to test God, as they found out.


1 Corinthians 10:10 "Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer."


Murmuring was very displeasing to God. Paul had said that he had learned to be content in whatever condition he was in now. Possibly, this was added, because they had sent a letter speaking negative things about Paul. You remember that this letter is in answer to problems they were complaining about.


"Destroyer": This incident is recorded (in Number 16:3-41), and has to do with the report of the spies. The same angel had slain the firstborn of the Egyptians (Exodus 12:23), and the (70,000 men), because of David's census (2 Sam. 24:15-16), and again to the entire Assyrian army that was besieging Jerusalem (2 Chron. 32:21).


1 Corinthians 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."


Paul is telling them to study the Word of God and learn from the mistakes of others. Do not be so stiff-necked, that they had to learn the hard way. The end of the world is a statement that means the end of the ages or the last days of redemptive history before the messianic kingdom. Paul felt that the return of the Lord was near.


1 Corinthians 10:12 "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall."


This is just saying; don't be so proud that you cannot learn. Learn from others mistakes, so you will not make the same mistake yourself. Paul is saying, be ever conscious of yourself. Examine your own self, so the Lord will not have to. Remember that prides goes before the fall!


1 Corinthians 10:13 "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it]."


To try and explain this scripture, I'm going to start by quoting (James 1:13-15), then explain those scriptures in detail.


Verse 13: "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:"


The same Greek word that is translated "trials" is also translated "temptation" here. James' point is that every difficult circumstance that enters a believer's life can either strengthen him if he obeys God and remains confident in His care, or become a solicitation to evil if the believer chooses instead to doubt God and disobey His Word. God cannot be tempted. God by His holy nature has no capacity for evil, or vulnerability to it. Nor does He Himself tempt anyone. God purposes trails to occur and in them He allows temptation to happen, but He has promised not to allow more than believers can endure and never without a way to escape. They must choose whether to take the escape God provides or to give in.


Verse 14: "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed."


"Drawn away": This Greek word was used to describe wild game being lured into traps. Just as animals can be drawn to their deaths by attractive baits, temptation promises people something good, which is harmful. "His own lust" refers to the strong desire of the human soul to enjoy or acquire something to fulfill the flesh. Man's fallen nature has the propensity to strongly desire whatever sin will satisfy it. "His own" desires the individual nature of lust, it is different for each person as a result of inherited tendencies, environment, upbringing and personal choices. The Greek grammar also indicates that these "desires" are the direct agent or cause of one's sinning. "Enticed" is a fishing term that means "to capture" or "to catch with bait". It is a parallel to "drawn away."


Verse 15: "Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death."


Sin is not merely a spontaneous act, but the result of a process. The Greek words for "has conceived" and "brings forth" liken the process to physical conception and birth. Thus, James personifies temptation and shows that it can follow a similar sequence and produce sin with all its deadly results. While sin does not result in spiritual death for the believer, it can lead to physical death.


Those who turn to the Holy Spirit when going through various temptations, will be given the power to resist Satan's deceit. But, there can be no doubt as to following the Holy Spirit's guidance. Believers must learn to trust God's leading in all things without fear or doubt so that our faith is strengthened. That's the reason God allows us to go through various trials and tribulations.


Another excellent scripture for those suffering from an unexpected loss and begins to question God as to why appears in (2 Cor. 1).


2 Cor. 1:3-4: "Blessed [be] God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;" "Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God."


In other words, when someone is going through such heartbreaking trials such as the loss of a loved one, those who have been through those same trials may be used of God to bring comfort to those who are suffering. And I might add, that we won't always understand why some things happen, but we should never doubt that God is with us and is mourning with us as we go through those times.


1 Corinthians 10:14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry."


"Wherefore" In Greek means dioper or a strengthened form of dio. Literally means "for this very reason.


This is probably some of the best advice Paul could give in this city where idolatry was everywhere. Paul says, run the other way from idolatry. This is very good advice for us today, as well.


1 Corinthians 10:15 "I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say."


Paul reminds them here, that they were wise enough to line up with those who know Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. He expresses strongly that they must take heed to his teachings, if they are to remain in good standing with the Lord. Think this out carefully, before you do any of these worldly things.


1 Corinthians Chapter 10 Questions


1. Who is Paul speaking of in verse 1 when he says, all?


2. What two things had they all done?


3. What did the wandering in the wilderness for the forty years form?


4. What was the spiritual meat?


5. The water from the Rock and the Manna symbolized whom?


6. Who was the Bread?


7. Now these things were our __________.


8. What particular time in the wanderings of the Israelites, was verse 7 speaking of?


9. Where was Moses when this happened?


10. Why must we not worship things we can see with our physical eye?


11. Verse 8 says God killed how many in one day for committing fornication?


12. Some were destroyed of ________, when they tempted God.


13. Why did these things happen to them?


14. What was meant by "the end of the world"?


15. What lesson can we learn from verse 12?


16. When we are tempted, what will God do for us?


17. Who was Paul speaking to in verse 14?


18. What did Paul call them in verse 15?



1 Corinthians Chapter 10 Continued

1 Corinthians 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?"


"The cup of blessing" is the proper name given to the third cup during the Passover Feast. At the last Passover with the disciples, Jesus used the third cup as the symbol of His blood shed for sin. That cup became the one used to institute the Lord's Supper. He set the cup apart as a token of salvation blessing before passing it to the 12.


"Communion": Means "to have in common, to participate and have partnership with." Commemorating the Lord's Supper was a regular and cherished practice in the early church, by which believers remembered their Savior's death and celebrated their common salvation and eternal life which reflected their perfect spiritual oneness.


"The blood of Christ" is a vivid phrase used to represent Christ's sacrificial death and full atoning work.


"The bread" symbolizes our Lord's body as the cup symbolized His blood. Both point to His death as a sacrifice for the salvation of men.


John 6:54-56 "Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day." "For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed." "He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him."


We are in Jesus and He is in us, when we take communion remembering what He did for us. He has brought us life. He is life, and when we partake of Him, we have partaken of life. He is our life.


1 Corinthians 10:17 "For we [being] many are one bread, [and] one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread."


When we partake of the body of Jesus, we become part of His body. We are one with Jesus, and He is one with the Father.


John 10:30 "I and [my] Father are one."


God is Spirit and, we are spirit as well, if we receive the Lord. Our spirit and the Spirit of the Lord become one.


When we studied (chapter 6:17), we discussed sins of the body as the scripture states: "But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit". Illicit relationships by believers are especially reprehensible because they profane Jesus Christ with who believers are one. We further stated that this argument should make such sin unthinkable, as should all deliberate sin.


Romans 12:5 "So we, [being] many, are one body in Christ, and everyone members one of another."


1 Corinthians 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."


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


1 Corinthians 10:18 "Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?"


"Behold Israel". In the Old Testament sacrifices, the offering was on behalf of all who ate. By such action, the people were identifying with the offering and affirming their devotion to God to whom it was offered. Paul was by this, implying how any sacrifice made to an idol was identifying with and participating with that idol. It is completely inconsistent for believers to participate in any such worship.


1 Corinthians 10:19 "What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?"


Since an idol is a nothing, then to eat of the sacrifice used for that would not join you to anything. Remember, the idol is a nothing.


Idols and the things sacrificed to them have no spiritual nature or power in themselves, but they do represent the demonic.


1 Corinthians 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."


If pagan worshippers believe an idol was a god, demons act out the part of the imagined god. There is not a true god in the idol, but there is a satanic spiritual force.


Gentiles, in the sense it is used here, means the heathen world. The heathens know not God and they do sacrifice to the devil, because they know not God. Devils in the instance above, is demonic beings and could just as easily been translated demons. Christians should have no fellowship with devils or demons, whichever you choose to call them.


1 Corinthians 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 two are totally incompatible. Paul is trying to make it very clear that you must be on one side, or the other. You cannot ride the fence. Remember that Paul is telling them to break away from all connection to the worship of Aphrodite. Many times, people who come to Christ will drag some of the filth along with them into the church.


Paul is saying this is unacceptable. To "drink of the cup of the Lord", means that you have partaken of Him. He is the Light of the world. You cannot mix darkness with Light.


1 Corinthians 10:22 "Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?"


Our God is a jealous God. One of His names is Jealous. God tolerates no competition and will not allow idolatry to go unpunished.


The first of the commandments is "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." We must be very careful not to even think, or speak of another god.


In (verses 23-30), Paul gives 4 principles for Christian liberty:


(1) Edification over gratification (verse 23);


(2) Others over self (verse 24);


(3) Liberty over legalism (verses 25-27); and


(4) Condescension over condemnation (verses 28-30).


1 Corinthians 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."


The liberty the Christian has must not be used to do anything that might provoke God. The liberty a Christian has, must be used in such a way to build God up. We should never use the privilege the Lord has afforded us for self-edification, or to further some little pet project. All things should be done decently and in order.


Previous we discussed liberty and that even though a Christian may be fully justified in doing something in front of other less mature believers, if those believers do what you are doing. But consider it to be a sin, then it is a sin to them and you become guilty of that sin yourself. The example used previously regarding food that had been sold in the market that had been originally prepared as an offering to idols and the excess was later sold, and then was eaten by Paul. As Paul knew that the idols were nothings, as long as he blessed the food it was okay for him to eat it. But some of the Jews thought it to be sin even though some of them would eat it.


Here is a definition of liberty: Christ's law is a perfect law of liberty. It is perfect or complete in that it is a system which contains laws and commandments which are not grievous. And yet, it is a system of grace and liberty (1 John 5:3; Gal. 5:1-13). We have liberty from sin when we obey it (Acts 2:38; Rom.6:1-12). Christ's system is the ideal combination of law and liberty. Also, Christ's law does not contain the onerous requirements as did Moses' law (Gal. 4:5).


1 Corinthians 10:24 "Let no man seek his own, but every man another's [wealth]."


One of the main causes of sin in our society today is greed. God promised to take care of our needs, if we are His. He did not promise to take care of our greed. When we have food and shelter, we should be content.


If we spend our time trying to help someone else succeed, we will be blessed of God in the doing. Or put another way as (in Philippians),


Phil. 2:3 "[Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.


1 Corinthians 10:25-26 "Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, [that] eat, asking no question for conscience sake:" "For the earth [is] the Lord's, and the fullness thereof."


When you are offered meat to eat, don't run an investigation to find out where it came from. If it had been offered to an idol, it would not have been a sin to eat it, but the person eating it might have had a guilty conscience about eating it anyway. Don't ask, and then there will be no guilt.


1 Corinthians 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."


This scripture in found in (1 Timothy), settles this.


Timothy 4:4-5 "For every creature of God [is] good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:" "For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer."


Eat whatever is set before you, but pray over it to make it clean. If you do not ask where it came from, then you do not feel guilty.


1 Corinthians 10:28-29 "But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that showed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth [is] the Lord's, and the fullness thereof:" "Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another [man's] conscience?"


Even if you are the guest of an unbeliever and don't want to offend him, it is better to offend the unbeliever and not eat for the sake of the weaker Christian who would be offended to eat, since love to other believers is the strongest witness we have (John 13:34-35).


"My liberty judged of another" meaning offending a weaker brother with one's freedom will cause the offended person to condemn us.


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


We can't truly offer thanks to God for some food by which we cause another believer to stumble.


1 Corinthians 10:31 "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."


Everything we are and everything we have is by the grace of God. We should continually praise God for everything. When we drink something, praise God for it. When we eat something, praise God for it. Every happening in your life, praise God for it. We are what God allows us to be. Praise God!


Christian liberty, as well as the most common behavior, is to be conducted to the honor of God.


1 Corinthians 10:32 "Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:"


Paul practiced this. He did not offend others in their beliefs. He ministered to them in their own customs. Some were saved, and some were not. They have a right to believe what they choose, the same as we have a right to believe what we believe. Witness to them, and allow them to make their own decision. They are a free-will agent the same as we are.


1 Corinthians 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."


This chapter ends with Paul explaining, one more time, that he ministered to people where they were. He observed their customs to get his foot in the door to minister to them. He did not preach a negative message. Paul taught the good news of the gospel to everyone who would receive it. Paul tried not to step on toes. He was all things to all men that by all means he might save some. The ultimate object of Paul, which should be our object as well, was to get as many as he could saved.


1 Corinthians Chapter 10 Continued Questions


1. What is "the cup of blessing" which we bless?


2. What does the bread we break symbolize?


3. What are we to do each time we take communion?


4. John 6:56 :says, he that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in __ and _ in ____.


5. Who is our life?


6. We being many are one ________.


7. They which eat of the sacrifice are partakers with the _____-.


8. An idol is a __________.


9. The Gentiles sacrifice to _________.


10. Gentiles in verse 20, are who?


11. What does away with darkness?


12. What does verse 21 really say?


13. Our God is a _________ God. What is the first commandment?


14. All things are lawful for me, but all things are not ___________.


15. All things should be done ________ and in _______.


16. Whose wealth should we seek?


17. What is one of the main causes of sin in our society?


18. Why should you not ask where some meat came from?


19. The earth is the Lord's, and the __________ ________.


20. What makes food pure for the Christians?


1 Corinthians Chapter 10 Continued

1 Corinthians 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?"


"The cup of blessing" is the proper name given to the third cup during the Passover Feast. At the last Passover with the disciples, Jesus used the third cup as the symbol of His blood shed for sin. That cup became the one used to institute the Lord's Supper. He set the cup apart as a token of salvation blessing before passing it to the 12.


"Communion": Means "to have in common, to participate and have partnership with." Commemorating the Lord's Supper was a regular and cherished practice in the early church, by which believers remembered their Savior's death and celebrated their common salvation and eternal life which reflected their perfect spiritual oneness.


"The blood of Christ" is a vivid phrase used to represent Christ's sacrificial death and full atoning work.


"The bread" symbolizes our Lord's body as the cup symbolized His blood. Both point to His death as a sacrifice for the salvation of men.


John 6:54-56 "Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day." "For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed." "He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him."


We are in Jesus and He is in us, when we take communion remembering what He did for us. He has brought us life. He is life, and when we partake of Him, we have partaken of life. He is our life.


1 Corinthians 10:17 "For we [being] many are one bread, [and] one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread."


When we partake of the body of Jesus, we become part of His body. We are one with Jesus, and He is one with the Father.


John 10:30 "I and [my] Father are one."


God is Spirit and, we are spirit as well, if we receive the Lord. Our spirit and the Spirit of the Lord become one.


When we studied (chapter 6:17), we discussed sins of the body as the scripture states: "But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit". Illicit relationships by believers are especially reprehensible because they profane Jesus Christ with who believers are one. We further stated that this argument should make such sin unthinkable, as should all deliberate sin.


Romans 12:5 "So we, [being] many, are one body in Christ, and everyone members one of another."


1 Corinthians 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."


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


1 Corinthians 10:18 "Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?"


"Behold Israel". In the Old Testament sacrifices, the offering was on behalf of all who ate. By such action, the people were identifying with the offering and affirming their devotion to God to whom it was offered. Paul was by this, implying how any sacrifice made to an idol was identifying with and participating with that idol. It is completely inconsistent for believers to participate in any such worship.


1 Corinthians 10:19 "What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?"


Since an idol is a nothing, then to eat of the sacrifice used for that would not join you to anything. Remember, the idol is a nothing.


Idols and the things sacrificed to them have no spiritual nature or power in themselves, but they do represent the demonic.


1 Corinthians 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."


If pagan worshippers believe an idol was a god, demons act out the part of the imagined god. There is not a true god in the idol, but there is a satanic spiritual force.


Gentiles, in the sense it is used here, means the heathen world. The heathens know not God and they do sacrifice to the devil, because they know not God. Devils in the instance above, is demonic beings and could just as easily been translated demons. Christians should have no fellowship with devils or demons, whichever you choose to call them.


1 Corinthians 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 two are totally incompatible. Paul is trying to make it very clear that you must be on one side, or the other. You cannot ride the fence. Remember that Paul is telling them to break away from all connection to the worship of Aphrodite. Many times, people who come to Christ will drag some of the filth along with them into the church.


Paul is saying this is unacceptable. To "drink of the cup of the Lord", means that you have partaken of Him. He is the Light of the world. You cannot mix darkness with Light.


1 Corinthians 10:22 "Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?"


Our God is a jealous God. One of His names is Jealous. God tolerates no competition and will not allow idolatry to go unpunished.


The first of the commandments is "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." We must be very careful not to even think, or speak of another god.


In (verses 23-30), Paul gives 4 principles for Christian liberty:


(1) Edification over gratification (verse 23);


(2) Others over self (verse 24);


(3) Liberty over legalism (verses 25-27); and


(4) Condescension over condemnation (verses 28-30).


1 Corinthians 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."


The liberty the Christian has must not be used to do anything that might provoke God. The liberty a Christian has, must be used in such a way to build God up. We should never use the privilege the Lord has afforded us for self-edification, or to further some little pet project. All things should be done decently and in order.


Previous we discussed liberty and that even though a Christian may be fully justified in doing something in front of other less mature believers, if those believers do what you are doing. But consider it to be a sin, then it is a sin to them and you become guilty of that sin yourself. The example used previously regarding food that had been sold in the market that had been originally prepared as an offering to idols and the excess was later sold, and then was eaten by Paul. As Paul knew that the idols were nothings, as long as he blessed the food it was okay for him to eat it. But some of the Jews thought it to be sin even though some of them would eat it.


Here is a definition of liberty: Christ's law is a perfect law of liberty. It is perfect or complete in that it is a system which contains laws and commandments which are not grievous. And yet, it is a system of grace and liberty (1 John 5:3; Gal. 5:1-13). We have liberty from sin when we obey it (Acts 2:38; Rom.6:1-12). Christ's system is the ideal combination of law and liberty. Also, Christ's law does not contain the onerous requirements as did Moses' law (Gal. 4:5).


1 Corinthians 10:24 "Let no man seek his own, but every man another's [wealth]."


One of the main causes of sin in our society today is greed. God promised to take care of our needs, if we are His. He did not promise to take care of our greed. When we have food and shelter, we should be content.


If we spend our time trying to help someone else succeed, we will be blessed of God in the doing. Or put another way as (in Philippians),


Phil. 2:3 "[Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.


1 Corinthians 10:25-26 "Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, [that] eat, asking no question for conscience sake:" "For the earth [is] the Lord's, and the fullness thereof."


When you are offered meat to eat, don't run an investigation to find out where it came from. If it had been offered to an idol, it would not have been a sin to eat it, but the person eating it might have had a guilty conscience about eating it anyway. Don't ask, and then there will be no guilt.


1 Corinthians 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."


This scripture in found in (1 Timothy), settles this.


Timothy 4:4-5 "For every creature of God [is] good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:" "For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer."


Eat whatever is set before you, but pray over it to make it clean. If you do not ask where it came from, then you do not feel guilty.


1 Corinthians 10:28-29 "But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that showed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth [is] the Lord's, and the fullness thereof:" "Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another [man's] conscience?"


Even if you are the guest of an unbeliever and don't want to offend him, it is better to offend the unbeliever and not eat for the sake of the weaker Christian who would be offended to eat, since love to other believers is the strongest witness we have (John 13:34-35).


"My liberty judged of another" meaning offending a weaker brother with one's freedom will cause the offended person to condemn us.


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


We can't truly offer thanks to God for some food by which we cause another believer to stumble.


1 Corinthians 10:31 "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."


Everything we are and everything we have is by the grace of God. We should continually praise God for everything. When we drink something, praise God for it. When we eat something, praise God for it. Every happening in your life, praise God for it. We are what God allows us to be. Praise God!


Christian liberty, as well as the most common behavior, is to be conducted to the honor of God.


1 Corinthians 10:32 "Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:"


Paul practiced this. He did not offend others in their beliefs. He ministered to them in their own customs. Some were saved, and some were not. They have a right to believe what they choose, the same as we have a right to believe what we believe. Witness to them, and allow them to make their own decision. They are a free-will agent the same as we are.


1 Corinthians 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."


This chapter ends with Paul explaining, one more time, that he ministered to people where they were. He observed their customs to get his foot in the door to minister to them. He did not preach a negative message. Paul taught the good news of the gospel to everyone who would receive it. Paul tried not to step on toes. He was all things to all men that by all means he might save some. The ultimate object of Paul, which should be our object as well, was to get as many as he could saved.


1 Corinthians Chapter 10 Continued Questions


1. What is "the cup of blessing" which we bless?


2. What does the bread we break symbolize?


3. What are we to do each time we take communion?


4. John 6:56 :says, he that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in __ and _ in ____.


5. Who is our life?


6. We being many are one ________.


7. They which eat of the sacrifice are partakers with the _____-.


8. An idol is a __________.


9. The Gentiles sacrifice to _________.


10. Gentiles in verse 20, are who?


11. What does away with darkness?


12. What does verse 21 really say?


13. Our God is a _________ God. What is the first commandment?


14. All things are lawful for me, but all things are not ___________.


15. All things should be done ________ and in _______.


16. Whose wealth should we seek?


17. What is one of the main causes of sin in our society?


18. Why should you not ask where some meat came from?


19. The earth is the Lord's, and the __________ ________.


20. What makes food pure for the Christians?





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1 Corinthians 11



1 Corinthians Chapter 11

1 Corinthians 11:1 "Be ye followers of me, even as I also [am] of Christ."


Paul is saying, he tried to live a life before them that they could follow. We know we have discussed, over and over, that the best sermon a person can preach is the life they live that others can see. I believe that is what Paul is saying here. He had tried to be a Christian example that they could follow. Paul is saying, follow the pattern that I have given you, because my walk is full of Christ.


1 Corinthians 11:2 "Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered [them] to you."


"Ordinances" here, means traditions. In the strict sense used here, a synonym for God's Word. The definition is: Ordinance (Christian), Protestant term for religious ritual.


In the strict sense used here, traditions are a synonym for God's Word (compare 2 Thess. 2:15). The New Testament sometimes uses the word in a negative way, referring to man-made ideas or practices, especially those that conflict with Scripture (compare Matt. 15:2-6; Gal. 1:14; Col. 2:8).


Paul is answering the letter they had written them, and says that they need to remember the traditions he had set up for them. In all of this, these are traditions of men.


2 Thess. 2:15: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."


1 Corinthians 11:3 "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman [is] the man; and the head of Christ [is] God."


Christ is the head of the church as its Savior and Lord. He is also the Lord over every unbeliever. Someday all will acknowledge His authority.


"Man": Men have authority over women in the basic order of creation. The husband is the head of the house. In this sense, he rules over the woman. This is in the flesh realm, and not in the spirit.


"For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body."


As the Lord delivered His church from the dangers of sin, death and hell, so the husband provides for, protects, preserves and loves his wife, leading her to blessing as she submits.


"God": Christ has never been in any way inferior to the Father. But in His incarnation, He willingly submitted Himself to the Father's will in humble obedience.


The family on earth is a replica of the family in heaven. Father God is over all. All believers in Christ are the bride of Christ. We are all sons of God by adoption. Male and female genders are in the flesh for the earth, and have nothing to do with the spirit of mankind. The family on earth should still observe the man being the head of his family. The law of the land at the time that Paul wrote this was the basis for part of this tradition. The problem is that many do not differentiate between the spirit and the flesh. Paul is trying to teach them a way to live peaceably upon the earth. In many of the countries in the world today, this tradition is still the law of the land.


1 Corinthians 11:4 "Every man praying or prophesying, having [his] head covered, dishonoreth his head."


"Covered ... dishonoreth": This is probably a reference to men wearing a head covering, which seems to have been a local custom. Jews began wearing head coverings during the fourth century A.D., although some may already have been wearing them in New Testament times. Apparently, Corinthian men were doing the same, and Paul informs them that it is a disgrace. Paul is not stating a universal law from God, but acknowledging a local custom, which did reflect divine principle. In that society, a man's uncovered head was a sign of his authority over women, who were to have their heads covered. For a man to cover his head was to suggest a reversal of proper roles.


This is also saying that a man should not pray in public with his hat on. We read that the head of man was Christ. When he is praying or prophesying, it should be obvious that Christ is his head and show proper respect.


1 Corinthians 11:5 "But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with [her] head uncovered dishonoreth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven."


Wherever and whenever women do pray and proclaims the Word appropriately, they must do so maintaining a proper distinction from men.


"Uncovered": In the culture of Corinth, a woman's covered head while ministering or worshiping was a symbol to signify a subordinate relationship to her husband. The apostle is not laying down an absolute law for women to wear veils or coverings in all churches for all time, but is declaring that the symbols of the divinely established male and female roles are to be genuinely honored in every culture. As in the case of meat offered to idols (in chapters 8 and 9), there is nothing spiritual about wearing or not wearing a covering. But manifesting rebellion against God's order was wrong.


"Dishonors her head": "Head" may refer to her own self being disgraced by refusing to conform to recognized symbols of submission or to her husband, who is disgraced by her behavior.


1 Corinthians 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."


"Shame ... to be shorn": In that day, only a prostitute or a feminist would shave her head. If a Christian woman rejected the covering that symbolized her submission in that culture, she might as well have shaved her head, the shame was similar.


1 Corinthians 11:7 "For a man indeed ought not to cover [his] head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man."


Though men and women were both created in God's image (Gen. 1:27), it is man who bears the glory of God uniquely by his role. Like God, he is given a sphere of sovereignty as the earthly sovereign over God's created order.


Genesis 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."


1 Corinthians 11:8-9 "For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man." "Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man."


What Paul is probably referring to here is the fact that God made man from the dust of the earth. He made him in His own image. Woman was taken from the rib of man next to his heart. She was not made from his heel bone, for him to walk on her, neither was she made from his head bone to rule over him. She was to walk with him side by side as his helpmeet.


The word "woman" means taken from man. They two shall be one flesh. The man and his wife are one in the flesh. Man, was lonesome, and God made him a mate.


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


The word "man", in this verse, means a human being, or mankind. Later on, another word is translated man which means a male person.


Genesis 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."


Even though the woman came from the rib of man, she was also made in the image of God. God created man (mankind), in his own image from (Genesis 1:27, see above).


1 Corinthians 11:10 "For this cause ought the woman to have power on [her] head because of the angels."


The man's head is to be uncovered, to symbolize his being made in the image and glory of God; and the woman's head is to be covered to acknowledge that she was made of man, and that she is in subjection to him. By acknowledging such, she is not a helpless slave to her husband; but, rather, by humbling herself in such a way, she has power on her head because of the angels. God places the angels to help and protect her in her needs.


1 Corinthians 11:15 "But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for [her] hair is given her for a covering."


Women are to be submissive by wearing the symbol of authority so as not to offend these most holy and submissive creatures who watch the church (Matt. 18:10). Who were present at the creation and when God designed the order of authority for men and women.


Matt. 18:10 "Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven."


1 Corinthians 11:11 "Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord."


Now we see that Paul is saying something entirely different. Surely one could not be without the other. Woman could not be without man, but man could not be without a woman to birth him either. All believers, male and female, are equal in the Lord and complementary in the Lord's work. Their roles are different in function and relationships, not in spirituality or importance.


1 Corinthians 11:12 "For as the woman [is] of the man, even so [is] the man also by the woman; but all things of God."


We know that God is Creator of all mankind. It is not any of our business how He goes about it. God had all of this figured out from the foundation of the world. This is all part of the plan God had for mankind. Long before the temptation in the Garden of Eden, God told man to populate the earth. There is no sin in the creative act, if it is done in the way God planned from the beginning. The sin in the garden was not the fact that this husband and wife slept together, but in the fact, they disobeyed God.


1 Corinthians 11:13 "Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?"


"Is it comely": Aside from apostolic command, Paul asked, in effect, "Isn't it self-evident that women should not be uncovered?


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


The term can convey the idea of basic human awareness, i.e., the innate sense of what is normal and right. The male hormone, testosterone, speeds up the loss of hair in men. Estrogen causes women's hair to grown longer and for a longer time. Women are rarely bald, no matter how old. This physiology is reflected in most cultures in the custom of longer hair on women. God has given her hair as a covering to show tenderness, softness and beauty.


If a man had long hair, it would be as if he is saying, he is ashamed of Christ who is his head. "Nature" in the verse above, means something within you. Your own good sense tells you long hair on a man is a shame.


I believe the reason that Paul has brought the thing about the hair up is, he is trying to explain that women should not wear their clothes and cut their hair to appear to be a man and that men should not wear long hair and appear to be a woman. He is speaking out against homosexuality and lesbianism.


If you are a woman, be proud that you are a woman, do not try to be a man. The same goes for the man. Be proud that you are a man. Do not try to be a woman. God did not make any mistakes, when He made you. In the Old Testament, there was an occasion for a man to grow his hair long, when he took the Nazarite vow. He was humbling himself before God for a period of time. At the end of the vow, he would cut his hair and sacrifice it. This was very much like the fast Christians enter in today, when praying for some specific thing. The long hair here, was short lived.


Again, the meaning of "Uncovered" as it was explained (in verse 5). In the culture of Corinth, a woman's covered head while ministering or worshiping was a symbol to signify a subordinate relationship to her husband.


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


"No such custom": Neither the Lord, the apostles, nor the churches would allow female rebellion. Women were to maintain their distinctively feminine hairdos; and when custom dictated, they should wear a covering.


1 Corinthians Chapter 11 Questions


1. Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of _________.


2. What is the best sermon a person can give to others?


3. What had Paul tried to be before him?


4. What does "ordinances", in verse 2, mean?


5. Traditions are of _____.


6. The ______ is the head of the wife in the family.


7. Who makes up the body of Christ?


8. What part of the Bible is true?


9. Who make up the bride of Christ?


10. What does verse 4 mean about the man not having his head covered?


11. Is there anything wrong with a woman praying or prophesying?


12. What is the woman's covering?


13. Why did they shave a woman's head?


14. God made man from the _______ of the _________.


15. Woman was made from _____ ____.


16. In Genesis chapter 1 verse 27 man means what?


17. What does woman mean?


18. Why are there male and female genders on the earth?


19. Does not nature itself teach you, that, if a man has long hair, it is a ________ unto him?




1 Corinthians Chapter 11 Continued

Verses 17-34: The early church love feasts usually closed with observance of the Lord's Supper. The worldly, carnal church at Corinth had turned those sacred meals into gluttonous, drunken revelries. Beyond that, wealthy believers brought ample food and drink for themselves but refused to share, letting their poorer brethren go away hungry.


1 Corinthians 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."


Worse is a comparative Greek word which refers to moral evil.


It seems from this, that the church gathering was in error in many ways. A person must go to church for the right reasons and conduct themselves while they are there to make themselves better Christians. If they are practicing things that are not right in the sight of God, it would be better if they did not assemble.


1 Corinthians 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."


This church was torn by dissension.


This is nothing exclusive to only that day. Even today nearly every church is divided. You remember on the day of Pentecost that they were of one accord. Little things are what separate a church. Whoever had written to Paul had written of the division. They were probably trying to get Paul to side in with them. Paul is saying, I believe it must even be true.


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


"Approved ... manifest": Factions revealed who passed the test of spiritual genuineness and purity. This is speaking of different groups in the church separating themselves off from the others, because of some little minor difference.


1 Thess. 2:4 "But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts."


"Heresies" is defined as: Doctrine rejected as false by religious authorities. In Christianity, the orthodox theology of the church is thought to be based on divine revelation, and heretics are viewed as perversely rejecting the guidance of the church.


1 Corinthians 11:20 "When ye come together therefore into one place, [this] is not to eat the Lord's supper."


One of the worst problems was that they had been taking communion daily, and it had become such a routine thing, that much of the meaning had been lost in the practice. The Lord's Supper was being eaten every time they came together in homes, or wherever they met. It had become habit, and not a true remembrance of what the Lord had done for them. Paul is saying that the reason to come together in one place is not just to take communion.


The love feast and communion celebration had become so perverted that it was a sinful, selfish mockery. They could not legitimately say it was devoted to the Lord, since it was not honoring to Him.


1 Corinthians 11:21 "For in eating every one taketh before [other] his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken."


The abuse seems to be that they had come together to eat and not to take of the communion supper. Possibly, at this time they were using fermented wine, since it speaks of being drunk.


1 Corinthians 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."


They were gathering together for the wrong reasons. All of this had nothing to do with worshipping God. They had forgotten that the real reason to come to church is to fellowship with God and learn of His ways. They had made a party out of going to church. It sounds familiar, doesn't it? We hear that we must have all kinds of parties and recreation at the church or no one wants to come.


If they intended to selfishly indulge themselves, they might as well have stayed at home.


1 Corinthians 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:"


Now, Paul is giving them what the true communion is all about. Since Paul was not there at the last supper, this had to be a revelation from God. It could however, been related to him by the apostles that were present at the Last Supper.


While the information was not new to the Corinthians, because Paul had previously "delivered" it, still it's an important reminder. This description of Christ's final supper with His disciples is one of the most beautiful in all of Scripture, yet it was given during a strong rebuke of carnal selfishness. If this letter was written before any of the gospels as most conservative scholars believe, then Paul's instruction was the first biblical record of the institution of the Lord's Supper, given directly from the Lord and not through his reading of any other apostles.


1 Corinthians 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."


Since they had been taking the communion table so lightly, Paul is reminding them that the bread that they take in this communion symbolizes the very body of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is also, saying that they must remember His great sacrifice for all of mankind each time that they take communion.


1 Corinthians 11:25 "After the same manner also [he took] the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink [it], in remembrance of me."


The fruit of the vine that they took in the communion symbolized the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. The life was in the blood. The fact that they were handling the communion cup in a manner displeasing unto God was what had really upset Paul. He is reminding them of the seriousness associated with the communion cup.


The Old Covenant was practiced repeatedly by the blood of animals offered by men; but the New Covenant has been ratified once and for all by the death of Christ. "In remembrance of Me": Jesus transformed the third cup of the Passover into the cup of remembrance of His offering.


1 Corinthians 11:26 "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come."


My own personal belief is, that the Lord should be remembered several times a year, or even more often, if you are doing exactly what this says, remembering Him in the communion. We find that to become repetitious about the communion, can cause us to overlook the true meaning of communion. We start doing this systematically, as these people did here, and forget why we are doing this. When we do this from obligation, we have lost the total meaning of it. Communion should be very special. The Bread symbolizes the very body of the Lord which He gave for the salvation of mankind. The cup of the vine symbolizes the very blood of the Lord which was shed to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin.


The gospel is presented through the service of communion as the elements are explained. They point to His physical incarnation, sacrificial death, resurrection and coming kingdom.


1 Corinthians 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."


This shows the seriousness of the taking of communion. Without true recognition of what the elements are, means that a person does not believe that they are, in fact, representing the body and blood of Christ. That person would be classifying them as just food for his body. You can see why this would be so dangerous. The Lord Jesus is the Savior of those who believe, not those who doubt.


To come to the Lord's Table clinging to one's sin does not only dishonor the ceremony, but it also dishonors His body and blood, treating lightly the gracious sacrifice of Christ for us. It is necessary to set all sin before the Lord (verse 28), then partake so as not to mock the sacrifice for sin, by holding on to it.


1 Corinthians 11:28-29 "But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of [that] bread, and drink of [that] cup." "For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body."


When you examine yourself, then you do not need to be judged of the Lord for this. If we try our own motives, then we will not take the communion so lightly.


The unworthiness here, is speaking of someone taking communion not really believing. It would be as if you were mocking the communion.


"Not discerning the Lord's body": When believers do not properly judge the holiness of the celebration of Communion, they treat with indifference the Lord Himself; His life, suffering and death.


1 Corinthians 11:30 "For this cause many [are] weak and sickly among you, and many sleep."


"Sleep" here means physical death. The offense was so serious that God put the worst offenders to death, an extreme but effective form of church purification.


Here are other examples of those who would not or didn't repent.


Luke 13:1-5 "There were present at that season some that told him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices." "And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered such things?" "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." "Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?" "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."


Acts 5:1 "But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife", as is told (in verses 1-11).


1 John 5:16 "If any man see his brother sin a sin [which is] not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it."


1 Corinthians 11:31 "For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged."


He is just saying, consider what you are doing, before you sin against God. If we judge ourselves, then we will do the correct thing and not need to be judged of others.


1 Corinthians 11:32 "But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world."


Paul is speaking here, to those who have made commitments to God. He says, even the judgment of God is for your own good to straighten you out before judgment falls on you from the world. Paul is saying, straighten this out in the church, before you are judged by an evil world.


Believers are kept from being consigned to hell, not only by divine decree, but by divine intervention. The Lord chastens to drive His people back to righteous behavior and even sends death to some in the church (verse 30), to remove them before they could fall away.


1 Corinthians 11:33 "Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another."


Christians should not be like the world which is trying to push to the head of the line. Christians have a meek spirit which is patient and allows others to go first, if they wish to. It seems that Paul is having to teach basic Christian principles to these who should already be aware of all this. Why do they have to bring this up to Paul? Why could they not have determined these things themselves? They do not need someone from the outside to determine something that their own consciences should have taken care of.


1 Corinthians 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."


If you are coming just to eat, don't do it. Eat at home before you come, so that your greediness will not be apparent to all the people. It seems that the communion had been mixed in with the eating of meals which would have been really bad. We do know that they had started taking communion every time they met.


To mix communion with a regular meal would be to discredit the communion. They had even begun to use bread that was leavened at this point which discredits the sinless nature of the body of Christ.


There is no point in gathering together to sin and be chastened.


Paul tells them here, that he will try to straighten out the other things of lesser importance when he comes.


1 Corinthians Chapter 11 Continued Questions


1. They were coming together not for the ________, but for the ______.


2. What would be a reason that would be better, if they did not assemble?


3. What had Paul heard that was one of their problems?


4. How did this differ from the day of Pentecost?


5. What does "heresies" in verse 19, mean?


6. What had they been doing that had made them take the communion too lightly?


7. Instead of a true remembrance of Christ, it had become a ________.


8. What makes the author believe the wine was possibly fermented that they were using for communion?


9. What? have ye not houses to eat and drink in? or _________ ye the church of God, and shame them that have not?


10. They had made a ________ out of going to church.


11. What does Paul tell them all over again to make them realize what communion is?


12. Since Paul was not at the last supper with Jesus, this has to be a ____________.


13. Where can you find some more Scriptures on the communion?


14. What symbolized the body of Jesus?


15. What symbolized the shed blood of Jesus?


16. When Jesus took the cup of communion, what did He say?


17. As oft as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the _________ __________ till he come.


18. What can repetitious taking of the communion cause?


19. What is wrong with taking communion from obligation?


20. What happens to you, if you eat the bread and drink the cup unworthily?


21. What should we do before we take communion?


22. What causes us to drink damnation unto ourselves?


23. For this cause, many are ______ and _________.


24. What is verse 33 trying to teach about the difference in the Christian and the world?


25. If a man hunger, let him ____ at _______.





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1 Corinthians 12



1 Corinthians Chapter 12

The section running from (12:1 to 14:40), focuses on spiritual gifts in the church, dealing with a vital, but controversial Subject. The false religion situation in Corinth caused counterfeit spiritual manifestations that had to be confronted. The church was being informed on this subject by Paul and its behavior would be regulated by the truth and the Spirit.


1 Corinthians 12:1 "Now concerning spiritual [gifts], brethren, I would not have you ignorant."


We see that the early church had much confusion about the gifts of the Spirit. There is more to Christianity than just the salvation experience. We find that many churches stop with the salvation experience, and believe that these other gifts went out with the apostles. This is primarily because of spiritual ignorance on these points. We tend to believe in only the things that have happened to us personally. This being a young church here at Corinth, they possibly had not gotten deep enough into Bible study to make them aware that there was more than salvation available to those who desired it. Another way of saying this is "gifts of the Spirit". When a person becomes a new creature in Christ, they are a babe at first. As they study the Word of God and the Holy Spirit reveals truth to them they grow into mature Christians.


Spiritual gifts are divine enablement's for ministry that the Holy Spirit gives in some measure to all believers and that are to be completely under His control and used for the building of the church to Christ's glory.


These had to be distinguished from the mystical experiences call "ecstasy" (meaning supernatural, sensuous communion with a deity), and "enthusiasm" (divination, dreams, revelations, visions), that were found in the pagan religions of Corinth.


1 Corinthians 12:2 "Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led."


The situation in Corinth, before Paul established the church there, had been idol worship and heavy involvement with the false religion of Aphrodite. "Gentiles" here, is speaking of people before they became Christians. Christians are spiritual Israel after they become a Christian. They are no longer Gentiles, they are Israelites. The Hebrew people were natural Israelites. Christians are spiritual Israelites. Idol worship had been very prevalent here in Corinth prior to Paul.


Incredibly, some church members were mimicking certain dramatic and bizarre practices of the mystery religions in which they had been formerly involved. The practice of ecstasy, considered to be the highest expression of religious experience, involved supposed supernatural interaction with a deity, induced through frenzied hypnotic chants and ceremonies. The practice frequently included drunkenness and sexual orgies, to which the devotees willfully yielded themselves to be led into gross sin.


"Dumb idols": The pagan worship at Corinth involved a pagan exercise of "tongues". The practice of "ecstatic utterances" was common in the cults and in the worship of various Greek gods and goddesses.


1 Corinthians 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."


To denounce Jesus as God in the flesh, was what this was speaking of that caused them to be accursed. Notice, what those who are speaking by the Holy Ghost call Jesus. They call Him Lord. It is one thing to know Jesus as your Savior, but it is an entirely different thing to know Him as your Lord. When He is your Lord, you have turned your will over to His will. It is the Holy Ghost within that calls Jesus Lord. To know Him as Lord, means that you have totally submitted your will to Him.


Some of the Corinthians were fleshly and given over to ecstasies that were controlled by demons. In that condition, they claimed to be prophesying or teaching in the Spirit while demonically blaspheming the name of the Lord whom they were supposed to be worshiping. They had been judging the use of gifts based on experience and not content.


What a person says and believes about Jesus Christ is the test of whether he speaks from the Holy Spirit. He always leads people to Christ's lordship.


1 Corinthians 12:4 "Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit."


"Diversities" here, means distinction, variety, difference. Then this is saying, there are many different gifts, but all gifts come by the same Spirit.


James 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."


The differences in the gifts are as wide as the people receiving the gifts.


These "diversities of gifts" or categories of giftedness are not natural talents, skill, or abilities, such as are possessed by believers and unbelievers alike. They are sovereignty and supernaturally bestowed by the Holy Spirit on all believers (verses 7 and 11), enabling them to spiritually edify each other effectively and thus honor the Lord. The varieties of gifts fall into two general types, speaking and serving (see verses 8 and 10).


The speaking or verbal gifts, (prophecy, knowledge, wisdom, teaching and exhortation), and the serving, non-verbal gifts (leadership, helps, giving, mercy, faith and discernment), are all permanent gifts that will operate throughout the church age. Their purpose is to edify the church and glorify God.


The list here and (in Romans 12:3-8), is best seen as representative of categories of giftedness which the Holy Spirit draws from to give each believer whatever kind or combination of kinds He chooses (verse 11).


Some believers may be gifted categorically, similar to others but are personally unique as the Spirit suits each grace gift to the individual. Miracles, healing, languages and the interpretation of languages were temporary sign gifts limited to the apostolic age and have therefore, ceased. Their purpose was to authenticate the apostles and their message as the true Word of God, until God's written Word was completed and became self-authenticating.


1 Corinthians 12:5 "And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord."


This, based on an individual, means that a person administers the gift God has given them in his own unique way. I believe this goes even further than individuals and is speaking of different denominations, who might not "cross every T and dot every I", the way another denomination does. But is still administering the gifts the Holy Spirit has given them to the best of their ability. One may call themselves Methodist and another call themselves Baptist, but they are serving the same Lord. I could have used any other protestant church, but everyone is very familiar with these two. No harm was intended.


Bottom line is that the Lord gives believers unique ministry arenas in which to fulfill their giftedness and provides varieties of power to energize and accomplish them.


1 Corinthians 12:6 "And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all."


I always say, it is alright to be a Baptist, if you are a Christian Baptist, not a Baptist Christian. Or a Methodist, or an Assembly of God, or a Pentecostal, etc. We are all worshipping the same God. We may be taking a little different route to get to heaven, but we all have the same destination. Read (Ephesians chapter 4), to understand better. Why do we Christians fight each other about denomination, when we should be banning together fighting the atheist and those who do not look to Jesus as their Savior?


1 Corinthians 12:7 "But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal."


It is not for God's profit for us to have the gifts of the Spirit. It is to help us be more effective ministers. How would you like to build a house without a hammer? The gifts of the Spirit are the tools that we build with. They are our very present help. Manifestation is something that is made real. The world cannot see God with their physical eyes. They see the followers of Jesus. We must be so full of the Lord Jesus that when they look at us, they will not see us, but will see Christ in us. A very good friend of mine explains Jesus in us, this way. He says, we are the glove, and Jesus is the Hand in the glove. We Christians are a kingdom in exile. Our King is in exile, as well. He is Jesus Christ. We will be in exile, until Jesus comes back to this earth and sets up His Kingdom. He is King of kings and Lord of lords. We are better workers, if we have the Holy Spirit inside of us guiding us and teaching us as we minister.


"Manifestation of the Spirit: No matter what the gift, ministry or effect, all spiritual gifts are from the Holy Spirit. They make Him known, understood and evident in the church and in the world, by spiritually profiting all who receive their ministry.


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


"Wisdom" is an understanding that is a gift from God. "Knowledge" is accumulated learning. In this case, there would be a supernatural ability to accumulate learning through the teaching of the Holy Spirit. Wisdom is from above and knowledge is from within. I know many of older people who never went past the second grade in school who have great wisdom. Many of them can understand the Bible better than some of the highly educated people. Wisdom is a gift from God. You do not earn it, or accumulate it. Knowledge is accumulated learning. The gift of knowledge could be explained by someone who studies his Bible regularly and the Holy Spirit helps him understand what it is saying.


In the New Testament, "wisdom" is most often used of the ability to understand God's Word and His will, and to skillfully apply that understanding to life.


"Word of knowledge": This gift may have been revelatory in the first century, but it is today the ability to understand and speak God's truth, with insight into the mysteries of His Word, that cannot be known apart from God's revelation. Knowledge majors on grasping the meaning of the truth; wisdom emphasizes the practical conviction and conduct that applies it.


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


Everyone has their measure of faith. This is not speaking of that, but a supernatural knowing and trusting in God. This is the faith that moves mountains. We read in (John 14:12 on), that all believers can heal the sick with the power of Christ working in them. This is speaking of something more. Some have been anointed of God to pray for healing. This, again, is a supernatural ability to heal, such as Paul had. Peter had so much of this gift operating in him, that his shadow falling on people healed them.


Faith: Distinct from saving faith or persevering faith, both of which all believers possess, this gift is exercised in persistent prayer and endurance in intercession, along with a strong trust in God in the midst of difficult circumstances (Matt. 17:20).


"Healings": A temporary sign gift used by Christ (Matt. 8:16-17), the apostles (Matt. 10:1), the seventy (Luke 10:1), and a few associates of the apostles, such as Philip (Acts 8:5-7). This ability was identified as a gift belonging to the apostles (2 Cor. 2:12).


Although Christians today do not have the gifts of healings, God certainly still hears and answers the faithful prayers of His children (James 5:13-16). Some people feel that healing should be common and expected in every era, but this is not the case. Physical healings are very rare throughout the Old Testament record. Only a few are recorded. There was never a time before the coming of Christ when healings were common. Only in His lifetime and that of His apostles was there a veritable explosion of healing. This was due to the unique need to accredit the Messiah and to authenticate the first miracles of the gospel. Jesus and His apostle temporarily banished disease from Palestine, but that was the most monumental era of redemptive history and called for such authentication.


To normalize healing would be to normalized the arrival of the Savior. This gift belonged to the sign gifts for that era only. The gifts of healings were never used solely for bringing people physical health. Paul was sick but never healed himself or asked another human to heal him. His friend Epaphroditus was near death (Phil. 2:27), and Paul did not heal him. God intervened. When Timothy was sick, Paul did not heal him but told him to take some wine (1 Tim. 5:23). Paul left Trophimus "sick at Miletus" (2 Tim. 4:20).


Healings were not the everyday norm in Paul's ministry, but did occur when he entered a new region, i.e. Malta, where the gospel and its preacher needed authentication (see Acts 28:8-9). That healing was the first mention of healing since the lame man was healed in Lystra (Acts 14:9), in connection with the arrival of Paul and the gospel there. Prior to that, the nearest healing was by Peter (in Acts 9:34), and the resurrection of Tabitha (in 9:41), so that people would believe the gospel Peter preached (9:42).


1 Corinthians 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:"


You would think at a glance that working of miracles would be the same as healing, but it is not. This is speaking of things like the water turning to blood on Moses command. It would also, be things like the Red Sea parting. We know from reading the Old Testament, that there were people who had the gift of telling of things in the future. That is what a prophet is. God reveals things to them that will happen in the future. Discerning of spirits is a very important gift to have. We can be deceived into thinking that someone is of God, when they are not, if we do not have this gift. We are told to try the spirits and see whether they are of God or not. All believers in Christ are to do that, but this means that a person filled with this Spirit can determine right off whether they be of God or not.


Not all believers in Christ speak with tongues, but it is a manifestation of the Spirit of God. This just means, if your native language is English, you might speak in Hebrew or French, or some other language foreign to you. This is true, because the Bible says that every man heard them in his own language.


Acts 2:6-10 "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 they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans?" "And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?" "Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia," "Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,"


We see also, why it would be important for someone in a congregation to be able to interpret for everyone, if the message from God was to be understood by all. Even in the natural world, an interpreter is very useful to men of different languages who want to communicate with each other.


In (chapter 14), we will again discuss "tongues" in much more detail, which the Corinthians seemed to have abused so greatly.


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


We must notice from this, that we are not limited to receiving just one of these gifts from God by the Holy Spirit. We can have as many of these gifts as we desire, if we will be willing to use them fully to minister with. Notice "severally, as he will". Several means more than one. These are free gifts from God by the Holy Spirit of God. We must show a desire to receive them, and then we must use them for God's purposes and not our own.


"One and the selfsame Spirit": While stressing the diversity of gifts (verses 4-11), Paul also stressed the singular source in the Spirit. This is the fifth mention, in this chapter, of the source of gifts being the Holy Spirit. It emphasizes that gifts are not something to seek, but to be received from the Spirit "as He will". It is He alone who "works" or energizes (verse 6), all gifts as He chooses.


1 Corinthians Chapter 12 Questions


1. The early church had much confusion about the ______ of the ______.


2. What do many churches in our day stop with?


3. When does most churches believe these gifts stopped?


4. What do all of us have a tendency to believe?


5. When a person first comes to Christ, they are a _______.


6. When were they Gentiles?


7. What false religion had there been in Corinth before Paul came?


8. All believers in Christ are _____________ Israel.


9. No man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus __________.


10. No man can say that Jesus is Lord, but by the ____ _____.


11. What caused them to be accursed?


12. What is the difference in knowing Jesus as your Savior and knowing Him as your Lord?


13. Now there are ________ of gifts, but the same Spirit.


14. "Diversities" in verse 4, means what?


15. There are differences of _______________, but the same Lord.


16. What does the author believe verse 5 is speaking of?


17. We may be each taking a different road to heaven, but we all have the same ____________.


18. Instead of other denominations, who should we ban together and fight?


19. Whose profit are the gifts for, us or God?


20. What is a manifestation?


21. We Christians are actually a ________ in exile.


22. Explain Jesus in us.


23. What is the difference in wisdom and knowledge?


24. Everyone has their measure of ______.


25. Who had so much of the gift of healing operating in his life that his shadow healed people?


26. Name some of the workings of miracles that were different from healing.


27. Name some of the prophets.


28. Explain discerning of spirits.


29. Explain the need for an interpreter.


30. What is meant by, severally as he will?



1 Corinthians Chapter 12 Continued

1 Corinthians 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."


Paul used the human body as an analogy for the unity of the church in Christ. From this point on to (verse 27), he used "body" 18 times.


This is part of the teaching that we had earlier on the fact that all Christians make up the body of Christ, and Christ Himself is the head. Jesus is also, the tree of life that we are grafted into if we are believers. We are nothing in and of our self, but we are the power of God working on this earth, when we do all things in the name of Jesus. It is His power that we have been given authority to use, if we are believers. We will also, find that Jesus is the Vine, and we are the branches. We get our strength and power to exist from the vine. He is the Cornerstone, and we are the lively stones as well. We could go on and on. The truth is, if we stand alone, we can do nothing of ourselves. He is our strength. We are also told, that when we become a Christian, we no longer live, but Christ liveth in us. We are part of Him.


Galatians 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."


We all have our part to play in the body of Christ.


1 Corinthians 12:13 "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit."


Galatians 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."


There is only one Way and that is Christ. We were flesh, filled with death, until we accepted life in the Lord Jesus Christ. All Christians have been grafted into the Tree of Life (the Lord Jesus Christ). We are adopted children of the Father. Our adoption was paid for with the blood of Jesus Christ.


Romans 12:5 "So we, [being] many, are one body in Christ,"


Look with me, at what baptism does for us.


Romans 6:3-8 "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?" "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." "For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also [in the likeness] of [his] resurrection:" "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin." "For he that is dead is freed from sin." "Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:"


It is the Spirit of Christ within us that makes us one with Him.


Baptized: The church, the spiritual body of Christ, is formed as believers are immersed by Christ with the Holy Spirit. Christ is the baptizer who immerses each believer with the Spirit into unity with all other believers. Paul is not writing of water baptism. That outward sign depicts the believer's union with Christ in His death and resurrection. Similarly, all believers are also immersed into the body of Christ by means of the Holy Spirit. Paul's point is to emphasize the unity of believers. There cannot be any believer who has not been Spirit baptized, nor can there be more than one Spirit baptism or the whole point of unity in the body of Christ is convoluted. Believers have all been Spirit baptized and thus are all in one body. This is not an experience to seek, but a reality to acknowledge.


"Drink into one Spirit": At salvation, all believers not only become full members of Christ's body, the church, but the Holy Spirit is placed within each of them. There is no need or divine provision for any such thing as a second blessing, a triumphalistic experience of a deeper life, or a formula for instantly increased spirituality. Christ's salvation provision is perfect and He calls only for obedience and trust in what has already been given.


1 Corinthians 12:14: "For the body is not one member, but many."


By his illustration of how every part of a human body is essential to the function of that body, Paul showed that unity is an indispensable need of the church; but divinely provided diversity within that unity is also necessary. His words additionally implied that some selfish members were discontent with their gifts, wanting the gifts they had not been given (verse 11). With that attitude, they in effect questioned God's wisdom and implied He had made a mistake in assignments. In seeking showy abilities and power, they also became vulnerable to carnal, demonically counterfeited gifts.


The church you attend is one body, but it is made up of many members. That is what this is saying, as well. That is what Paul is saying, it takes all the parts rightly fit together to make the whole.


1 Corinthians 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?"


So many times, someone will feel that their contribution to the body is not the same as someone else, and they will feel that they are not of the body. Paul is showing, here, how ridiculous that is. If the body was just made up of hands with no feet, look what a mess the body would be. We are all unique. Each one of us fits into the body to make up the whole. If you have ever worked a jigsaw puzzle, you see thousands of little pieces, and no two of them are exactly alike. Each one has a place. If even one piece is missing, the puzzle cannot be finished. You may not be a corner piece, but the puzzle is not complete, until your contribution is made.


1 Corinthians 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?"


What a silly question to ask. This is the same as above. What a problem to be able to see, and not to hear.


1 Corinthians 12:17 "If the whole body [were] an eye, where [were] the hearing? If the whole [were] hearing, where [were] the smelling?"


Each person is a unique individual. God made you for a specific purpose. No one else can take your place in the kingdom of God. If you do not fulfill the position that God has for you, then there will be a place not filled.


1 Corinthians 12:18 "But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him."


Paul dealt with the foolish and carnal Corinthians who were discontent with what had been given them sovereignty for the edification of the church and the glory of its Lord.


Are you working in a church that is so small that you feel as if you are forgotten? We see from the verse above, that each of us is exactly where the Lord would have us, if we have submitted our will to His will. Some may feel, because they are not the pastor of the church that God could not possibly have anything for them to do in this body. God knows what your abilities and your desires are. He has you where you will do the most good. As I said in another verse, you are unique. No one can do the job that God has called you to do as well as you can do it.


1 Corinthians 12:19 "And if they were all one member, where [were] the body?"


We see that the over all plan is not always what we had in mind. You cannot be someone else. Be the very best that you can be in the capacity that the Lord has called you to.


1 Corinthians 12:20 "But now [are they] many members, yet but one body."


Every person in the church is an integral part. If you happen to be the janitor instead of the missionary, realize that the church would be a mess, if you did not do your job. Be the very best janitor in the world. When we were trying to say something to make our children realize their importance in the place God has chosen for them to labor, we told them, if they were a garbage collector, be the best in the name of the Lord. No honest job is to be looked down on. We cannot all be surgeons. Be what you can be, and do it as unto the Lord.


1 Corinthians 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."


"No need": While some in Corinth were bemoaning the fact that they did not have the showy gifts, those who did were belittling those with the quieter and less prominent gifts. The "eye" and the "head", which are highly visible and the focus of all who engage each other, represent the people with public gifts. They so overestimated their own importance that they disdained those whom they perceived as less gifted and less significant. They were apparently indifferent. ("I have no need"), and self-sufficient.


1 Corinthians 12:22″Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:"


If you did not have a big toe, you could not balance yourself to stand. You see the lesser job might not appear to be important at a glance, but it gives balance to the whole body.


1 Corinthians 12:23-24 "And those [members] of the body, which we think to be less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor; and our uncomely [parts] have more abundant comeliness." "For our comely [parts] have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honor to that [part] which lacked:"


This is just showing, that even the jobs that are not out front, are just as important as those that are out in view. Rich and poor, old and young, white and black, all make up the family of God.


Paul's answer to the pride of the more visibly gifted was to engage his analogy again and remind them that the more fragile and less lovely, in fact, ugly parts of the body which are not publicly "presentable" are given the great respect for their necessity. He spoke of the internal organs.


The thing that bonds us together is the Lord. We are all family.


1 Corinthians 12:25 "That there should be no schism in the body; but [that] the members should have the same care one for another."


"Schism" means gap or split. It can, also, mean division or rent. In the beginning, the church was of one accord. Together we stand, divided we fall. If one has a problem, it should be the problem of all. If one rejoices, we should all rejoice with him.


God has designed visible, public gifts to have a crucial place, but equally designed and more vital to life are the hidden gifts, thus maintaining the perspective of unity, all are essential to the working of the body of Christ.


1 Corinthians 12:26-27 "And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it." "Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular."


If there is an injury to any part of the body, the whole body hurts.


This is a call to mutual love and concern in the fellowship of believers which maintains the unity that honors the Lord. There is one body in which all function, yet never do they lose their personal identity and the essential necessity of ministry as God has designed them to do it.


Just because we are part of the larger body, does not mean that we are not individuals with Christ. He saved all of us, one at a time


Once again (in verses 28-30), Paul emphases the sovereignty of God. He does so by illustrating the individuality and unity of the body by a repeat of the representative categories of ministries, calling and giftedness.


1 Corinthians 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."


Apostles ... prophets: Their purpose was;


(1) To lay the foundation of the church;


(2) To receive and declare the revelation of God's Word through signs, wonders, and miracles. "Apostles" refers primarily, to those 12 chosen by our Lord plus Paul and Matthias.


There was also secondary serving as messengers of the church such as Barnabas, Silas and Timothy.


Prophets were especially gifted men in the local churches, who preached God's Word. Any message preached by a prophet had to be judged by the word of the apostle. Teachers could be the same as pastor-teachers, but probably should be broadened to include all who are gifted for teaching in the church, whether they have the office of pastor or not.


The following Scripture gives a view of how serious it would be to vary from the true message.


Galatians 1:8 "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed."


The apostles, in the verse above, are watchmen of the church. In this case, it was Paul who had established this church. Prophets are not only those who through the anointing of the Holy Spirit tell of the future, but would be the person who brought the message to the church. God has a specific message for each individual church. The minister (prophet or prophetess), should bring the message God has for that particular group on that particular day.


We find also, that God has given others a special understanding of the Scriptures, so that they can teach the Word with powerful anointing. Notice in all of this, that God puts His Word before miracles and other things. Miracles and healings are each a unique gift in themselves, and God has chosen someone in each church to fulfill this calling.


Sometimes one person will have more than one of these offices to fulfill. We must not be influenced by signs and wonders above the Word. The Antichrist will be able to call down fire from heaven. All miracles and healings must stay within the realm of the Word. If we are to do the particular thing, there will be an example in the Bible.


Helps, even though it is one of the most important jobs, is usually unsung. They fill in the gap, and do it so quietly that usually no one notices. God notices always. Governments are like the deacons and elders of the church. They see to the day to day function of the church. They must be godly people.


Diversities of tongues just mean that certain people in the church generally bring to the assembled people messages from God to the congregation in a tongue other than the native tongue. All of these are important functions in the church.


1 Corinthians 12:29-31 "[Are] all apostles? [are] all prophets? [are] all teachers? [are] all workers of miracles?" "Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?" "But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way."


Each of these rhetorical queries expects a "no" answer. The body of Christ is diverse and God sovereignty designs it that way.


Each person functions in the office the Lord has called him or her. This is the only time permissible to covet. The best gifts are preaching the Word, of course.


1 Corinthians Chapter 12 Continued Questions


1. Who make up the body of Christ?


2. Who is the Vine?


3. If He is the Vine, who are the branches?


4. For by one ________ are we baptized into one body.


5. Who, or what, is the Tree of Life?


6. We were baptized into __________ death.


7. After we are baptized, how should we walk?


8. If we are planted in the likeness of His death, we shall also be in the likeness of His _______________.


9. What had to be destroyed?


10. The body is not one member, but ________.


11. What does the author relate our part in the whole as?


12. Each person is a ___________ individual.


13. Who can do the job that God has called you to do?


14. Whatever work we do, we should do it as unto the ________.


15. Who make up the family of God?


16. What does schism mean?


17. An injury to any part of the body hurts _____ _____ ______.


18. Jesus saved all of us _____ at a time.


19. Give the works in the church listed in verse 28.


20. What is the apostle in this situation?


21. What was their main function?


22. What are some of the functions of the prophet?


23. What are the special abilities of the teacher?


24. Are signs and wonders dependable, explain?


25. What is one calling that is usually unsung?


26. Who would be part of the ministry of governments?


27. Explain the function of tongues.


28. When is the only time permissible to covet?





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1 Corinthians 13



1 Corinthians Chapter 13

Spiritual gifts were present in Corinth (verses 1-7); right doctrine was ever in place (11:2); but love was absent. This led to the quarrels and exhibitions of selfishness and pride that plagued the church, notably in the area of spiritual gifts. Instead of selfishly and jealously desiring showy gifts which they don't have, believers should pursue the greatest thing of all, love for each other.


This chapter is considered by many the greatest literary passage ever penned by Paul. It is central to his earnestly dealing with spiritual gifts (chapters 12 - 14), because after discussing the endowment of gifts (in chapter 12), and before presenting the function of gifts (in chapter 14), he addresses the attitude necessary in all ministry in the church (chapter 13).


1 Corinthians 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."


The word that was translated "charity" is agape, which means love. This use of love is not the kind of love that has conditions. It is not "I love you because", but "I love you in spite of". This type of love is the kind the Lord Jesus has for all of us. While we are yet in sin, Christ gave his life for us. This is the God kind of love. The nearest thing to that kind of love on this earth is the mother's love for her child. Even that falls very short of being the perfect love that God has for mankind.


"The tongues of men": That this gift was actual languages is established (in Acts 2:1-13), affirmed in this text by Paul's calling it "of men", clearly a reference to human language. This was the gift which the Corinthians prized so highly, abused so greatly, and counterfeited so disastrously. God gave the ability to speak in a language not known to the speaker, as a sign with limited function.


"Tongues of angles": The apostle was writing in general hypothetical terms. There is no biblical teaching of any special angelic language that people could learn to speak.


Love: Self giving love that is more concerned with giving than receiving. The word was not admired and thus seldom used in ancient Greek literature, but it is common in the New Testament.


Without love, no matter how linguistically gifted one is to speak his own language, other languages, or even (hypothetically), the speech of angels, his speech is noise only. In New Testament times, rites honoring the pagan deities Cybele, Bacchus, and Dionysius included, ecstatic noises accompanied by gongs, cymbals and trumpets. Unless the speech of the Corinthians was done in love, it was no better than the gibberish of pagan ritual.


1 Corinthians 13:2 "And though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing."


You may even be filled with the knowledge of God to overflowing, but without love, no one will listen. "Prophecy", in this instance, has to do with predictions. Paul speaks of this gift as the most essential one because it brings God's truth to people. Even this gift must be ministered in love.


"Understanding all mysteries" This encompasses gifts of wisdom, knowledge and discernment, which are to be exercised in love.


"All faith": This refers to the gift of faith, enduring, believing prayer; which is useless without selfless love for the church.


We must place our faith in God's ability and not in our own ability. All things we might do are no use at all, unless we are full of love for God and man.


1 Corinthians 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."


In all the lessons, you see it is more important why you do something, than in the actual doing. The woman gave all she had, which was very little monetarily. Jesus said she had given more than those who gave great sums, because she gave all she had. The Lord does not want us to figure out some formula about giving and receiving. He wants us to give from a free heart, expecting nothing in return.


God who sees in secret will reward you openly. It is not the fact of giving all that he owns that is important. If he did not give it from a loving heart, he should have kept it. It will do him no good. We are not to give begrudgingly, or of necessity.


2 Corinthians 9:7 "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, [so let him give]; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver."


You may give your body to be burned, but that is not what God wants from you. He does not want you to die for Him; He wants you to live for Him. Everything I do with love in my heart is better than ten times that much without love.


In the previous comments of (verses1-3), the focus is on the emptiness produced when love is absent from ministry. In the (verses from 4-7), the fullness of love is described, in each case by what love does. Love is action, not abstraction. Positively, love is patient with people and gracious to them with generosity.


Negatively, love never envies or brags, or is arrogant, since that is the opposite of selfless service to others. Never rude or overbearing, love never wants its own way, is not irritated or angered in personal offense, and finds no pleasure in someone else's sin, even the sin of an enemy.


On the positive side again, love is devoted to truth in everything. Regarding "all things" within God's righteous and gracious will, love protects, believes, hopes and endures what others reject.


1 Corinthians 13:4 "Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,


Now, we see a description of this type of love in action. How can you tell if I have this type of love? This type of love is willing to suffer for the ones he loves. This is speaking primarily of love for God, but extends to mankind as well. This type of love is a positive. This type of love overlooks shortcomings in others. It is even patient, until they can change.


This perfect love, spoken of here, never wants what someone else has, or wonders why they did not get that too. They are happy for the one who does have it. "Vaunteth", in the verse above, means boast. Someone who truly loves will not boast and brag to make someone else feel little.


This being "puffed up" is speaking of pride. We must never act proud and cause someone else pain in the doing. True love thinks of other's feelings, before they think of their own.


1 Corinthians 13:5 "Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;"


"Unseemly" means indecently, or shamefully. A person who has love in his heart would not embarrass others and God doing things that would be a shame. He would always do the decent thing. Love in the sense of " seeketh not her own" could be very well covered by the word charity. It would mean that other's needs would be more important to them, than their own needs.


This person, full of love, would not go around with a chip on his shoulder looking for someone to knock it off. He would be a peace maker. He would have the mind of Christ and would not be thinking evil thoughts. His mind, stayed on Christ, would have no room for negative thoughts.


1 Corinthians 13:6 "Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;"


The person, who has the kind of love that this is speaking of, does not find pleasure in earthly things. His pleasure is in pleasing God. The truth would be his motto. We see from the whole armor of God that all Christians must wear, what part truth has.


Ephesians 6:14 "Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;"


You see you are not only to speak truth, but to have it tightly bound around you. The true Christian with this godlike love does not love to make a lie, but gets real joy from telling the truth.


1 Corinthians 13:7 "Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things."


Paul thought it all joy to suffer for Christ. This verse above, is speaking of being willing to bear whatever persecution comes our way, in the name of the Lord. This "believeth all things", has to do with faith in God.


Abraham believed, and it was counted unto him as righteousness. This means continues to believe, even in the face of problems. Christians have hope of the resurrection.


Matthew 10:22 "And ye shall be hated of all [men] for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved."


We see from this Scripture that there is something to endure. It also tells us how long it will be required of us to endure.


1 Corinthians 13:8-10 "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." "For we know in part, and we prophesy in part." "But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away."


These verses refer to love's lastingness or permanence as a divine quality. Love outlasts all failures. Paul strengthens his point on the permanence of love by comparing it to the spiritual gifts which the Corinthians so highly prized: prophecy, knowledge, and languages, all of which will have an end. There may be a distinction made on how prophecy and knowledge come to an end, and how the gift of languages does. This is indicated by the Greek verb form used. In the case of prophecy and knowledge, they are both said to "be abolished" (in both cases the verb indicates that something will put an end to those two functions).


(Verses 9-10), indicate that what will abolish knowledge and prophecy is; "that which is perfect." When that occurs, those gifts will be rendered inoperative. The "perfect", is not the completion of Scripture, since there is still the operation of those two gifts and will be in the future kingdom. The Scriptures do not allow us to see "face to face" or have perfect knowledge as God does (in verse 12).


"The perfect" is not the rapture of the church or the second coming of Christ, since the kingdom to follow these events will have an abundance of preachers and teachers. The perfect must be the eternal state, when we in glory see God face to face and have full knowledge in the eternal new heavens and new earth. Just as a child grows to full understanding, believers will come to perfect knowledge and no such gifts will be necessary.


On the other hand, Paul uses a different word for the end of the gift of languages, thus indicating it will "cease" by itself, as it did at the end of the apostolic age. It will not end by the coming of the "perfect," for it will already have ceased. The uniqueness of the gift of languages and its interpretations was, as all sign gifts, to authenticate the message and messengers of the gospel before the New Testament was completed.


"Tongues" were also not a sign to believers, but unbelievers, especially those unbelieving Jews. Tongues also cease because there was no need to verify the true messages from God once the Scripture was given. It became the standard by which all are to be deemed true. "Tongues", was a means of edification in a way far inferior to preaching and teaching.


In fact (chapter 14), was designed to show the Corinthians, so preoccupied with tongues, that it was an inferior means of communication, an inferior means of praise, and an inferior means of evangelism. Prophecy was and is, far superior. That tongues have ceased should be clear from their absence from any other books in the New Testament except Acts. Tongues ceased to be an issue of record or practice in the early church, as the Scripture was being written. That tongues have ceased should be clear also from its absence through church history since the first century, appearing only sporadically and then only in questionable groups.


1 Corinthians 13:11 "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood a