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1st Corinthians 11

Paul gives us an interesting insight into the “law” of the church that is under grace.

Verses 1-15 describe Paul’s reminders of how we are to conduct ourselves when we go to church and how men and women ought to pray.  Women should have their heads covered and men should have their heads uncovered, men should have short hair, women should have long hair, etc.

There are some denominations and some religious organizations that will go to extra lengths to require or even in some cases DEMAND that men and women follow these rules to a tee.  Whole churches have been formed with these laws at the forefront.  HOWEVER, verse 16 brings the entire instructions into a different light.

Verse 16 says:  But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.  Meaning that if you disagree with these “rules” then you are not bound by them.

This also bears a reason that I explain to many people.  Find out what the Bible actually says.  Find out what it means and immerse yourself in the Word.  Don’t allow someone to force you into believing something without finding out for yourself exactly what God says about it.  Find out what God’s heart is and get to know who Jesus is by finding out what His Word has to say in it’s entirety, not just what fits your situation or upholds your belief system.

Verse 17 – 34 Paul gives specific instructions on taking communion.  Jesus left us a “tradition” or a “ritual” of taking communion.  In so taking communion we are doing this as a remembrance of the crucifixion.  We are compelled to examine ourselves and we are required to ask forgiveness and prepare our hearts before God BEFORE we partake of this communion.

I can’t wait for the next three chapters.  Chapter 12 and Chapter 14 in regards to spiritual gifts.  Of course, being Pentecostal, these are two of my favorite chapters describing the use of Spiritual Gifts in the church.  HOWEVER, (as we would say it in the south) RIGHT SMACK IN THE MIDDLE OF THESE TWO CHAPTERS IS THE CHAPTER THAT IS DEDICATED TO EXACTLY WHAT THIS WHOLE BLOG IS ABOUT.  LOVE.

1st Corinthians 9

Evidently at some point Paul was taking criticism from an outside source that was attacking him.  While we can’t be totally sure what is actually happening, I feel we can be reasonably sure that Paul was being treated badly by someone.  Most likely it came as an inside job. In other words, someone was not happy with the way Paul was conducting himself OR because his ministry was doing well and this was a voice of jealousy.

Paul opened this chapter being somewhat obsessed and pre-occupied by the criticism that he was getting from someone in the area. His questions were directed by the fact that he was not married yet blameless  as far as his actions were concerned.

In verse 5 it is pretty apparent that some of Paul’s opposition was also perhaps criticism that he possibly took to heart.  Paul took exception to the fact that someone else was traveling with their wife or family member but they apparently did not want Paul traveling the same way.

It seemed there may have been other evangelist that had started to get paid and/or perhaps Paul was pointing out that not only did they pay their own way but they also earned a “fair wage” doing jobs.  However, at the same time Paul was confident enough to tell you to follow him as the example of how you should live your life.

The remainder of this chapter Paul seems to be reminding people that he has some power and  authority  over the church (I personally believe that this could have been the beginning of the first denomination.

He is quick to point out that he is abused for the gospel and that he literally has to beat his body into subjection.