Wednesday, September 14, 2016

1 Corinthians 3:1-11


1 Corinthians 3:1-13

Life Application New Testament Commentary
The discussion regarding whether the Corinthian believers should eat food that had been sacrificed to idols begins here and continues through 1Co_11:1. Most likely, this first section deals with meals served in the pagan temples, and the discussion in 1 Corinthians 10:23–11:1 deals with food purchased in the marketplace and served in private homes. The Corinthians had written to Paul with questions regarding these issues, but their exact questions are unknown. The believers concluded that their knowledge of God and the fact that the idols had no power allowed them to continue to eat meals in the temple. Paul dealt with that issue in this first section.

1Co 3:1  Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn't talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in the Christian life. 1Co 3:2  I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren't ready for anything stronger. And you still aren't ready, 1Co 3:3  for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn't that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren't you living like people of the world?

At some point we were all young Christians. Most of us would read the Bible or get in a group to further our knowledge of our religion. Even though the Corinthians did not have a new testament they did have Paul’s teachings. It appears that those teachings were not used to any useful extent.

1Co 3:4  When one of you says, "I am a follower of Paul," and another says, "I follow Apollos," aren't you acting just like people of the world? 1Co 3:5  After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God's servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us.

By following Paul or Apollos they were missing the message that they were supposed to follow Christ.

1Co 3:6  I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. 1Co 3:7  It's not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What's important is that God makes the seed grow. 1Co 3:8  The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. 1Co 3:9  For we are both God's workers. And you are God's field. You are God's building.

My wife is an avid gardener. She plants in the spring and the flowers do their thing. By June the fruits of her labor have shown their glory. She was Apollo or Paul, tending the garden. The rain or water was the true converter of the seed.

1Co 3:10  Because of God's grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. 1Co 3:11  For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ.

By teaching something other than what was intended by Paul or Apollos, it could be considered “false witness”.

Proverbs 19:5 ESV: A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will not escape.

Proverbs 19:9 ESV: A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will perish.

Exodus 20:16 ESV :“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

1Co 2:6-16

Wisdom from the Spirit

1Co 2:6  Yet when I am among mature believers, I do speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world or to the rulers of this world, who are soon forgotten. 1Co 2:7  No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God—His plan that was previously hidden, even though He made it for our ultimate glory before the world began.

I use the LANTC frequently. I can write about the verses above but their discussion is so much more complete that what I could have done.
Life Application New Testament Commentary
2:6-7 The Corinthians were accustomed to philosophical debate—whether engaging in it or simply listening to it. But, as Paul already noted, he did not come to them with philosophy; he came with the simple gospel message. When Paul did not entertain his listeners with philosophical debate, many probably criticized him, considering him unlearned and his message unimportant. Paul was not teaching a philosophy, however, nor was he debating speculative notions, for these never saved anyone. The kind of wisdom that belongs to this world offers nothing. Paul didn’t bother with the worldly wisdom in order to impress anyone.
Instead, when he was among mature Christians, Paul did speak with words of wisdom, but this was the highest wisdom because it came from God. The “mature” Christians were not those with advanced training but those who had been enlightened by the Holy Spirit and had received salvation, as contrasted with those who had rejected it (1Co_1:21-23; 1Co_2:14). Because of the Holy Spirit’s guidance, believers could grasp this secret wisdom of God, referring to God’s offer of salvation to all people made available through Jesus’ death on the cross. This plan was “secret” because only through God’s wisdom and the insight given by his Spirit can people begin to comprehend it. Attempting to understand this plan with human wisdom and through philosophical discussions will take people nowhere. Only God, through the Holy Spirit, can reveal it (1Co_2:10).
This plan had been made before the world began. God knew the entire cycle of the creation, fall, and salvation through his Son before he made the earth and placed Adam and Eve on it. This reveals God’s great plan for the human race—that despite their downfall, he would bring some to glory.

1Co 2:8  But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord.

So who were the rulers? Pharisees, Sadducees, King Herod and Pilate. Imagine if they knew who they were executing. What Christ could offer them in return for their love and respect. But that was not the plan Jesus had to die on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins. Without that we would be as lost as the rulers were.

1Co 2:9  That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him."

There are books on Heaven and stories about people dying and the returning. The most impressive of those is 90 minutes in Heaven but even he did not really see heaven.

1Co 2:10  But it was to us that God revealed these things by His Spirit. For His Spirit searches out everything and shows us God's deep secrets. 1Co 2:11  No one can know a person's thoughts except that person's own spirit, and no one can know God's thoughts except God's own Spirit. 1Co 2:12  And we have received God's Spirit (not the world's spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.

The subject of the Holy Spirit is vast and cannot be explained completely within this Blog. If you have received Christ, then you have the Holy Spirit within you. We serve a triune God so the Holy Spirit is one of three. Life Application New Testament Commentary the Spirit searches out everything and shows us even God’s deep secrets, means that only the Spirit can reveal to believers God’s profound nature and wonderful plan, especially that formerly hidden mystery that is now revealed—salvation through Jesus’ death and resurrection.

1Co 2:13  When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit's words to explain spiritual truths. 1Co 2:14  But people who aren't spiritual can't receive these truths from God's Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can't understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.

Have you ever been in a discussion and something very wise comes out of your mouth and you wonder where that came from. Reread 1Co 2:13 and there is your reason. On the other hand, have you ever tried to explain God to an atheist. Even with the Holy Spirits assistance
They look at you like you are crazy. I know I have tried to explain the gospel many times to those that are not nor wish to be Christians. You feel like you are beating your head against the wall.

1Co 2:15  Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. 1Co 2:16  For, "Who can know the LORD's thoughts? Who knows enough to teach Him?" But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.

Life Application New Testament Commentary
2:15-16 Because believers have the Spirit, they understand these things. They are able to make right judgments—not necessarily about all matters, but certainly about spiritual matters such as salvation or God’s future blessings, and they will be able to make the necessary discernments regarding them. Paul quoted from Isa_40:13 to show that a Christian is not subject to nonbelievers’ judgments about spiritual matters because nonbelievers can’t understand. For them to judge believers’ faith in salvation by the cross is to judge the Lord’s wisdom. Paul wondered who was ready to take human wisdom up against God’s wisdom. Who among the detractors knew the mind of the Lord so as to bypass the simple message of the cross?
In contrast to those who do not have the Spirit and do not know the mind of the Lord, believers do have the mind of Christ. Believers understand fully, as did Christ himself, the significance of the cross and what it meant for mankind’s salvation.
No one can completely comprehend God (Rom_11:34), but through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, believers can understand spiritual truths. Believers have insight into some of God’s plans, thoughts, and actions because, with the Spirit within, they have access to the mind of Christ. Through the Holy Spirit, believers can begin to know God’s thoughts, talk with him, and expect his answers to their prayers. Paul could allow his detractors in Corinth to jeer at him, for they had no right to make judgments on him or his message—because he had the mind of Christ and they did not.