1st Corinthians 8

Paul moves into a new subject that the church of Corinth was facing during that time.  Sacrifices being offered to idols as part of normal worship were also then sold once they had met the requirements of sacrifice.

In the second part of the very first verse Paul offers the information that knowledge can make you “puffed up” or proud but charity or love builds you up.

In verse two Paul is making a statement that I find interesting. Depending on how you personally interpret this verse, one way of looking at it is this:  Paul seems to be saying that if a person “thinks” he knows something or possibly this line could be seen as “if a person has formed an opinion about something” he has formed this opinion or feels as if he knows something because of his life experiences.

We know that the sum total of where we are personally today is based around our personal experiences.  We think and feel the way we do because of experiences we have had in our lifetime.

However, Paul follows that up in the 3rd verse by saying the if you love God, people will identify that in your actions and deeds.

So Paul goes back to addressing idols by saying since we know that there is only one God the offerings or sacrifices to another God is nothing.  Means nothing at all………a waste of time.  Therefore the meat offerings are nothing more than cooked meat.

Now he goes into the next verses saying that while we all realize there is only one God, there are others who have come out of those religions or possibly have some doubt that there is only one God so the offerings or sacrifices are more important to those people.

While Paul has preached that we have liberty and are free from the bondage of the law, not everyone feels or walks in that freedom and eating food that has been offered as sacrifices to false Gods is  blasphemous or just plain wrong.  When that person sees you eating the things that are offered as sacrifices or offerings, you become a stumbling block.

So while you may not see yourself as doing something wrong, someone else may feel that what you are doing is wrong and if that is the case then perhaps you should not do that thing that would be offensive to someone else.

By way of an example, many people do not like believe in the drinking of wine.  I personally do not have a problem with it.  In other words if you and I were having dinner together I would not be bothered by the fact that you are having a glass of wine.  While I do not personally drink and would much rather have a cup of coffee, I am not offended by someone who would have a glass of wine.

However, if you are going to dinner with someone who could possibly be offended by your glass of wine, my suggestion would be not to have it.  This was Paul’s point here.  In love, consider the other person before you start to do something that you feel the other person or group of people may have an issue with.

Verses 12 and 13 brings it home when he simply says that when you do something that you know would offend someone else, you are sinning against them.  Just don’t do it.

 

1st Corinthians 7

Paul took the 7th chapter of 1st Corinthians to discuss marriage and relationships between a husband and his wife.  In these 40 verses Paul was very specific about marriage and the proper roles that the husband and wife should play to each other.

I am not going to go into any great detail about this specific chapter for several reasons.  I am going to try and help set the stage to explain the possible logic and reasoning for this chapter.

Please remember as you read and study this chapter that at the time of Paul’s writings the city of Corinth as most likely at the height of their sexual awakening and explorations.  Corinth boasted of their temple to Aphrodite and several statues were eventually erected to prostitutes and sexually virile men and women.

The entire society was wealthy and sexually charged so it was very commonplace to see and hear of sexual games and activities throughout the region.

With this thought in mind it was important to the early church to begin to set some type of standards and limits of what Christians should be participating in.  While Paul seemed to many to be very judgmental  and condemning, it is my opinion that what Paul was attempting to do was to lead the early Church into a relationship with God.

Since this was the very beginnings of the early Church, most of the Christians and citizens of Corinth were perhaps unaware of what was the correct relationship standards between a man and a woman and between married couples.

Paul removed most of the doubt and confusion among the citizens of Corinth and among the congregation at the early Church.

 

Disgusting Comments From A Minister

I want you to take a moment and read this article.   I have  to say that I have never seen nor experienced a time in my life when the church at large seems to be so violent minded and so mean.

We are experiencing a mass exit from most congregations today.  We are experiencing a situation where even in the most contemporary churches we are losing members and regular congregants at an alarming rate.  I have never seen so many churches FOR SALE.

I have been wondering for some time now why so many people seem to be less and less interested in anything to do with Christians or church.  I began to take a long look at the church and the message of some of the churches and now the picture is becoming crystal clear.

In this week’s news was yet another PATHETIC statement from a more well known Christian personality that spewed from his mouth a ridiculous story about Ebola and a potential reason of why this disease is here and growing concerns about it’s existence.  Follow the information below to see:

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/08/06/christian-radio-host-hopes-ebola-will-solve-americas-problems-with-atheism-and-homosexuality_n_5656455.html

There are many things in life that follow a rule that I have:  “It makes sense until you think about it”.

First of all let me voice an opinion and may I add this is only my opinion.  If you don’t have anything sensible to say, PLEASE DON’T SAY ANYTHING.  Since the days of the PTL club and Jimmy Swaggart, I have told many, many people this:  When a minister of the Gospel or a leader in the church falls, he/she doesn’t really hurt themselves on the same level as it hurts the church.

Nothing in the New Testament supports the types of actions that this minister or leader has made.  These statements are not only inflammatory but approaching idiotic.  Not a good witness of the church and certainly not led by the Holy Spirit.

I have gotten weary of the idea that ministers feel as if they can say anything they want to say.  It actually makes me angry to see this happen.  Why? you may ask.  These people are misrepresenting the message of hope.

Jesus was born the ONLY  Son of God and left his heavenly estate to take his place among humanity.  Was born of a virgin and lived a sinless life.  He became the ultimate sacrifice for humanity when he was crucified, while God and His angels watched.  He was laid in a borrowed tomb and rose the third day with the keys to Hell, Death, Sin and the Grave.  He ascended to the right hand of God the Father and has promised us that one day He will return to gather His children home to be with Him for eternity.

He said that he came not to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved.  My daily prayer is that we can all learn to communicate to the world the love of Christ and the reason for our Hope.  Love others as we would want to be loved.

1st Corinthians 6

As we enter into this chapter of 1st Corinthians I want to remind you of some of the culture in this area of the world at this particular time. It seems that Paul almost stays focused on sex.  There was such a division going on in the church at this time and also the whole culture in the area was sexually driven.  Reminds me of the world we live in today.

Paul opens up this chapter with a look at what you should do when you are having a major disagreement between two believers.   Paul asks the question in the opening verse; How could you take a matter before the unjust (unbelievers) before taking it to the believers?

Paul explains that the Christians will judge the world.  If the world is going to be judged by us then we should be able to judge the small matters that happen between us.

As Paul goes on he starts to ask if there is not a wise enough person between all the people in the church to judge people in small matters. Today, we see somethings that happen similarly.  Christians don’t want to get involved in small personal matters and we wind up putting others in a situation where they have no choice but to consult the courts. Yet, we have the knowledge, wisdom and authority to help people work out things if we will just allow ourselves to take that step and help.

In verses 8, 9 and 10 Paul categorized some of the sins that are separating people then AND now from God.  While these things do separate us, God continues to love us.  The damage that is done is often what we do to ourselves.  Our shame, embarrassment and self-imposed condemnation leads us to believe that we are less of a Christian or less committed to Christ.  We tend to make ourselves the judge and jury of ourselves and won’t allow ourselves to – first  and foremost, ask God’s forgiveness of our sins and second ask ourselves to forgive ourselves and move forward knowing that we have been redeemed.

Verse 11 tells the end of the story.  We are washed, sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and the Spirit of God.

Verses 12 to 18 warns us that fornication is a sin that is done with our body parts.  Not only the man with the woman but the woman with the man in that in the act of sex, different from most other sins, our bodies are actually making internal contact with each other.  In this act the two participants become one.

Verse 19 explains that we are the temple of the Holy Ghost.  When you join your body with another in the act of sex you actually are becoming one body and in that act you are actually linking with another and causing sin to occur, also because it takes your mind away from the things of God.

Paul closes what must be a very difficult chapter explaining that we should be glorifying God with our bodies.  In  all things we should be working and doing things to His glory.  In this we grow deeper in His knowledge and grace and are able to walk more clearly and with a clear conscience.