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11/3 1 Corinthians 15-16

Paul starts off Chapter 15 with some important evidence about the resurrection of Jesus.  He briefly lists the why and the what and then the who.  It is quite a listing of witnesses.  It wonder if at this point some of the Corinthians had been questioning the truth around the resurrection.  Well Paul gives them the list in which probably many of those witnesses were still alive.  He also includes himself last.

3For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. 6After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

Yep, I guess that was it.  Some were saying that there is no resurrection.  Paul goes on to explain the futility of their thinking.  I can imagine his voice raising louder and louder as he explains to them that without the resurrection there is no Christianity.

12But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.

Paul lists several items that are a result of not believing:

  1. Our preaching is useless
  2. Our faith is useless
  3. We are false witnesses
  4. Our faith is also futile
  5. We are still in our sins.  Dead.

I don’t know about you but I don’t want any of those five things attributed to me and my faith, especially the last one.

November 3, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

11/2 1 Corinthians 12-14

Paul writes one of the best know chapters in the New Testament in chapter 13, the love chapter of the Bible.  This section of scripture pretty much speaks for itself, nothing I can add to it.  See for yourself.

1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Paul writes that when everything else fails, love never will.  Show someone some love today.

November 2, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

11/1 1 Corinthians 11

Paul gives the Corinthians the instructions for the Lord’s Supper.  He is basically is blasting them for how they have been taking the Lord’s Supper in his absence.  We would do well to remember that while some consider it a meal to celebrate what Jesus did for us, it should not be done in a celebratory way.  It is a solemn meal of remembrance.

23For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

Paul then gives them and us a warning about the manner in which we take the Lord’s Supper.

27Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. 29For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.

Each person needs to examine themselves before taking Communion on Sunday.  Today Northside offers the believer the opportunity to participate in the Lord’s Supper.  Let’s make sure we remember.

November 1, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

10/31 1 Corinthians 10

In Chapter 10 Paul gives encouragement to all about being tempted to with sin.  God provides for His people in all situations.

13No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

In verse 23 Paul explains that while everything is allowed, not everything is beneficial or constructive for us.  Just because the laws allow you do something, act a certain way, or do what you want, doesn’t mean it is good for you.  It doesn’t mean God approves.  He calls us to measure it against what will benefit others and I dare say what God would have you do.

23“Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive. 24Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.

Paul then goes on in verse 31 to tell us that whatever we do, do it so that it will bring glory to God.  Also remembering that whatever we are doing should not cause others to sin.  Thinking about the effect we have on others should be first and foremost in our minds.  Remember, the world looks for Christians to mess up or put ourselves in awkward positions so they can say see they are not all that good after all.  They tell us how we should live and look at them.

31So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.

Paul reminds us that he always has the lost in mind?  What about us?

October 31, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

10/30 1 Corinthians 7-9

Paul writes in chapter 7 about marriage and chapter 8 about food sacrificed to idols.  At the end of chapter 9 he gives us his methods for success in his ministry.  Paul explains two very important concepts.

Being sensitive and flexible

Paul states that while he is free and a slave to no man, he willing becomes a slave to everyone.  He chooses to meet people where they are.  Imagine if you wanted to talk to someone about Jesus and you told them that you only have time next Tuesday @ 12 and you will be close to a local fast food place.  Can they meet you then and there?  Would you think they might be a little more receptive if you asked them when and where would be good for them.  Or if someone is a runner, would you become a runner just to talk to them during the cool down.  To what lengths are we willing to go to tell people about Jesus?

19Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 23I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

Being prepared and having purpose

Speaking of running, Paul uses the analogy of running a race to get his point across.  Why even run in a race if your goal is to loose?  Whether it is to beat someone else or your best time, do it with a purpose.  If your goal is not winning someone to Christ, then what exactly is your goal?  We are called to share the Gospel with all unbelievers.

24Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.  25Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

Training is the key.  No one tries to run a race without doing some advance training.  Yep, decided to run a marathon today, so I’m getting up off the couch and heading out the door, be back in 26 miles.  Not going to happen is it.  Neither will you be successful with leading someone to Christ without spending time in God’s word, spending time thinking about how you may approach this person or that one, and most importantly spending time in prayer.

Paul was successful because he was flexible, sensitive, prepared and had a purpose.  Sounds like a winning combo to me.  What about you?

October 30, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

10/29 1 Corinthians 4-6

Paul starts chapter 4 with comments about judging others. What really interested me in this section of scripture is that Paul states that, “I do not even judge myself” and he could care less if someone judges him by human standards.  He has moved beyond that.  Only the Lord can judge him going forward, based on what he does and how he does it.  He knows that his sins have been forgiven.  He has a new life and how he lives it will be the basis for future judgment.  How many times do we stand in judgment of others?  I would dare say, way to many.  Sometimes we don’t even realize that we are doing it.  Judging others that is.  Look how they are dressed.  Look at that car they drive.  For that matter how many times do we judge ourselves harshly?

1So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God. 2Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. 3I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. 4My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. 5Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.

Paul finishes up chapter 6 with these instructions:

18Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. 19Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

Paul reminds us to honor God with our bodies.  The biggest sin in this category is sexual sin.  But I believe there are other things that dishonor God that emanates from the body also.  Luke 6:45 says,  “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” As Christians we need to guard what comes out of our mouth.  Just as the verse says, “You are not your own, you were bought at a price.”

October 29, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

10/28 1 Corinthians 1-3

Paul is writing to the church in Corinth.  In chapter 2 he writes about wisdom and where does it come from.  But he is talking about the wisdom of God and not that of man.  Today many people are touted as having great wisdom, but it certainly is not the wisdom Christians should be looking for.  Our wisdom comes from God.

6We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9However, as it is written:
“No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him”

This Godly wisdom is revealed to us through his Spirit.  There is no other way for us to fathom it.  The world would have us believe that their wisdom is best for us and that this wisdom we receive from God is foolish, weak, and intolerant.  I think we know better.  Give me the wisdom from the creator the universe any day. Follow this link to keep reading

October 28, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment