1st Corinthians 1

First Corinthians opens with Paul’s Greetings and Prayers of Thanksgiving saying that he thanks God for the folks in Corinth and prays for their enrichment through the testimony of Jesus.

As we move into verse 10 Paul warns the saints against the reports of division in the church and that they need to be “perfectly joined together in the same mind”.   He explains that he has learned of “contentions” among the people.

One definition of “contentions” is heated debate.  Heated debate often leads to hate speech or disagreements to the point that you are not able to speak to each other in love.  You avoid each other, you turn your head and pretend not to see each other and perhaps find it difficult to even pray for each other.

This is not unlike some of the things we see in the church to this very day.  Sometimes our strong wills are such to the point that we want to control others or perhaps “put them in their place”.  Here Paul is warning the church against this type of action.

It is strongly believed that part of this disparagement between the folks in the church at the time was over baptism.  Some people may have been telling people that they were baptized by Paul while others were saying that they had been baptized by someone else.  Some questioned others of the genuine nature of their baptism to the point that they perhaps even questioned the other persons salvation.

Paul closes this first chapter by explaining that the Gospel is not made for earthly wisdom.  In verse 18 he says that “the preaching of the cross is foolishness to those who don’t believe but for those of us who DO believe it is the power of our very faith”.

I love verse 23 and 24 where he explains that the preaching of the crucifixion is foolish to some and a “stumbling block” to others but to the believing heart it is actually the “power of God” and the “wisdom of God”.

Verse 27 is a much quoted scripture and one that bears memorization.  “God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and He has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty”.

When I read this my mind actually goes to the money that we spend in research to answer questions that no one seems to be asking or even worse, we spend millions of dollars to prove things we already know.  They could actually give me only a small percentage of this money and I could answer their questions.  (Just a thought).

Most of this first chapter could be summed up in the Good News that if we as a church would or could become united with one mind and concentrate on the preaching of the gospel, Christ’s crucifixion and work together we could accomplish great things like they did in the early church in the book of Acts.

It seems to me that this letter could have been written to our modern day church just as well.  Our contradictions, hate speeches, division and diversions demonstrate to the world exactly what we don’t want or need.  Division.

A house divided against itself will surely fail.  A house divided against itself will have no future.  I wonder if this was a prophetic word to use today instead of a simple letter written by Paul to the Church of Corinth.

Corinthians

I promised some time ago that I would begin sharing the book of Corinthians with you and give you some of my ideas and thoughts about one of the most enlightening books of the New Testament.

Let’s take a look at the book of Corinthians and I will begin with 1st Corinthians and we will be focusing on the positive power of the love of God and Christ Jesus.

1st Corinthians is widely believed to have been written by the Apostle Paul.  Most theologians will most likely agree that the language or perhaps more properly said, the phraseology that is used in both of these letters leads most to agree that Paul was the author.

The date of this letter was around A.D. 56 at a time that the city of Corinth was the considered one of the key cities in Greece.  It was located close to the water and was a major commercial trading zone for the entire region.

One of the most recognizable sights of this era was the Temple of Aphrodite.  It was known for its legal prostitution and hedonistic way of life.  With a population of over 700,000 Corinth was a center for Greek philosophy and idol worship.

Regardless of all the circumstances Paul was placed in, he was still able to establish a thriving church there during his second visit which was around A.D. 51 or A.D. 52.

The quick explanation of 2nd Corinthians is that after he left Corinth and was in Ephesus establishing the Ephesian Church he received a letter requesting his opinion on certain activities and occurrences that were happening in the church.  His response to those matters were addressed in his second letter.

One of my favorite chapters in the entire Bible is 1st Corinthians 13 which we will spend some time on as we move through this study.

All Of The Bad News

It seems like daily I am seeing the morning news, internet news and radio news.  All of the news seems to be sad, disheartening, challenging and all around horrible.

I have some good news.  JESUS is alive and well.  He has extended His love to us.  He came as the Son of God, lived here on earth and then sacrificed His life that we could experience His extended love and live with Him in His eternal kingdom for ever.

While He was on this earth He extended His love, in His death, burial and resurrection He left us the promise that if we would confess with our mouth that He was the Son of God and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you would be saved.

I invite you to experience the love of God and the love of Jesus today by inviting Him into your heart, cleanse you of your sins and then find a Holy Bible and begin to learn who Jesus is.  You will find He is the answer to everything you have been searching for all of your life.

Sunday School

I attend a great church here in the L.A. area.  One of the things I enjoy about our church is our Sunday School.  We have a really nice group of about 15-20 people in my class with two really great teachers.  Normally, we follow a suggested reading and printed class lessons but today was a little different.

Our Sunday School books did not arrive on time for our class this morning so instead of reading from our printed books our teacher asked us to read or recite our favorite Bible verse or chapter.  This turned out to be quite a blessing.

It’s so much fun and quite enlightening to hear from others and their lives,  what gives them encouragement and even hearing some of the trials they face in their lives. This morning we heard from some who had simple verses and others had longer chapters.

The chapter that most inspired was the 13th Chapter of 1st Corinthians.  One of the brothers read the entire chapter, one of sisters read a couple of verses.  This too has been one of my favorite chapters in the Bible.  My comments were very simple.  I strongly believe that this is one of the keys to a successful Christian life.  It holds all of the keys that represent Christ.

I  have decided to do a complete study on the 13 chapter of 1st Corinthians and you will see more of that very soon.

I hope that your church has Sunday School and that you enjoy it as much as I do.

Ric Overton

Disturbing News

I spent part of the day today reading various stories in the news.  I was actually disgusted by some of the things I read about how Christian people react to various kinds of people.  I read stories about how drug addicts were not welcome to attend morning worship services until they were able to “get themselves together”.  I read an interesting article about how an alcoholic was expected to “clean  himself up” and perhaps the most irritating of all was from a Pastor who left a scathing message to a waiter whom he “assumed” was gay (he was not).

What are we thinking church?  Where is our mind?

In the process of simply being friendly we would never say these types of things to people.  I am praying that we are not actually telling people how Christ like we are while we are using this type of language and saying these types of things in an effort to win them into the Church.

Forget  the whole idea of judging…..this is simply wrong.  There are no other words for it. When was the last time that we quit shopping in a grocery store because one of the people that was employed by the grocery store was divorced?  Why do you support your electric company, telephone company, gas station (you get the point) but refuse to welcome them into the Church because they don’t fit our standards?

Mostly I think it has to do with ignorance or the inability to see the other persons side  or to “walk a mile in their shoes”.  Of course there is also the stupid factor.  When we open our mouths without our mind being in gear.  However, none of the above is an excuse, reason or explanation for these types of actions.

Remember that we represent the Master.  The Son of God who died on the cross for our sins.  All of our sins, not just the sins we approve of because “we all fail” OR the sins that we have committed that we don’t want anyone to find out about (the sins by the way that we yell the loudest about)(we yell about  them mostly because they were done in secret and no one will ever find out).  NO NO NO Christ died for ALL of our sins and we as believers should welcome everyone with our arms outstretched.

Trust me Jesus is going to whether you do or not.  Hopefully and prayerfully, he will do the same for you.

Ric Overton

Understanding the Mind Of Christ

Is it possible to understand the mind of Christ?

I have a wonderful church.  Our Pastors truly demonstrate that God like love and message that I was seeking when I originally came here for the first time.  Our Wednesday night prayer meeting and Bible study is presently surrounding Our Mind.  We are studying the effects of doubt and unbelief on the mind and it is a terrific study.

One thing I wanted to point out in today’s post is how to discover the mind of Christ.  This I believe is one of the “mysteries and secrets of God”

2 Timothy 2:14-16

King James Version (KJV)

14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.

15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

Here is the key. Study, Study and Study.  When you learn  you generally do so by studying. We spend an extraordinary amount of time looking at T.V. reading various magazines.  We watch religious programming, read religious magazines, perhaps even spend time reading blogs like this one.  At the very best these words are from anointed teachers and speakers. At the very worst we are allowing someone to teach us false teaching.  I see both on a regular basis.

The best way is to take several versions of the bible, several opinions perhaps consult the “least religious” venue “Google” to find the answers to questions that we  are asking ourselves.  Consult the scriptures themselves.  Go straight to the Word Of God and understand what God is trying to tell and teach you. Relying on your Pastor, Sunday School Teacher, etc. to tell you what God wants  from you and you accept that thing blindly without finding out for yourself is a recipe for disaster.

I am very fortunate to have teachers and Pastors that are grounded in the Word.  Their teaching is solid.  However, just because my Pastor says it is so, doesn’t make it so.  What makes it so is when I get home and have my personal quiet time, I refer to my notes and verify if it truly comes out of the Word of God.

This is one  of the steps you HAVE to make in order to know the mind of Christ.  Study His Word.  Trust BUT verify.

Ric Overton

How Do You Handle The Good News?

I was just thinking about the Good News!

How can you keep it inside?  It’s hard to imagine how you can be promised everlasting life, the blessings and peace that passes all understanding, healing for your body and to say the least having a friend that “sticks closer than a brother” Proverbs 18:24 and not be excited.

There are times when we tend to “cast our pearls before swine” Matthew 7:6 which simply means that you are sharing Good News to people who are not prepared to hear it or just don’t care.  It can also mean that we are sharing with people things that are spiritual and should be shared only after they are led to Christ.

But, the reality is that sometimes I get so excited about the things God has done for me that I have to tell somebody.

Let’s be sure when we do this that we have prepared the soil of their souls by sharing the Good News of the Gospel.

Ric Overton

Welcome To Our Very First Post

Our Purpose

The purpose of this site is to discuss the GOOD news about Christ.  The best way to start is to tell you who we are NOT.

We are NOT judgement hungry Christians.  While we do believe that there is a REAL God with REAL expectations of our lives, we do NOT believe that we are somehow super human beings with super human powers that have never been affected by life.

There is so much GOOD news about the Christian life that we are going to spend our precious time “thinking on the good things” Romans 10:15 and the things that bring life to our daily living:  Phillipians 4:8.

So, if you are an unbeliever, WELCOME – if you are a believer who is here to criticize, WELCOME – if you are here in search of something new – WELCOME

I pray that our site will in some way encourage you and add joy to your life.  I pray that our teaching and exhortation will bring you happiness and increase your peace.  Most of all I pray that you might learn the real nature of Christ and that we can be a part of drawing you closer to Him.

Ric Overton

Sharing Good News !!!