1 Corinthians 13

Chapter 13

1 Corinthians 13:1-13, Faith, Hope, Love

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, open our spiritual eyes to see the truth, open our spiritual ears to hear the truth, open our spiritual minds to understand the truth, and soften our spiritual hearts to obey the truth. Help us engage in Your word not for head knowledge but the transformation of hearts and renewal of minds, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

VV 1-3, 1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have
not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all
my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Speaking in tongues without love is annoying and noisy. Prophetic gifts, word of knowledge, and faith, without love, is of valueless. Even selfless giving and martyrdom without love will not be profitable in God’s eyes.

VV 4-7, 4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love is patient and kind, not jealous, not boastful, not proud, not rude, not dishonouring to others, not self-seeking, not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, does not rejoice in evil and injustice but in truth, never gives up, always trusts, always hopes, always persevere,

VV 8-10, 8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

Love persists. Prophecies will fail, tongues will cease, and knowledge will disappear. We do not have a perfect and complete revelation of prophecy until the Lord’s second coming.

VV 11-13, 11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. 13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. Love is not a spiritual gift but it is the first fruit of the Spirit.

A child speaks, understands, and thinks like a child. A man speaks, understands, and thinks like a man. We do not have perfect vision and knowledge until the Lord’s second coming, but we have faith, hope, and love and the greatest of all is love. Greek has several words for love. The Greek word for love in this passage is “agape”. Agape is the highest form of love, divine, sacrificial love. The other Greek word used in other passages of the bible is phileo, which means brotherly love. But in this passage, Paul was speaking about agape, and not phileo.

Application:

Love is not spiritual gift but a fruit of the Spirit. The first and greatest fruit of the Spirit is love, Galatians 5:22-23. Love covers a multitude of sin, 1 Peter 4:8. The greatest of all the commandments is love, horizontal love for other people, and vertical love to God, Matthew 22:23. We are to love one another as Christ love us, John 13:34.

Galatians 5:22-23, NIV, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.”

1 Peter 4:8, And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”

Matthew 22:23, Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’

John 13:34, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another”.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your teaching on this love chapter. Help us to obey Your commandment to love You with all our hearts, souls, and minds and to love our neighbours as ourselves. Help us to love others just as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

1 Corinthians 12

Chapter 12:

1 Corinthians 12:1-31, Spiritual gifts

V
V 1-3, 1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: 2 You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.

Paul enlightened his audience on spiritual gifts. They were once idol worshipers. No one speaking by the Holy Spirit can curse Jesus. No one can call Jesus as Lord except by the Holy Spirit.

VV 4-11, 4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another, gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to

another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another, different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one, and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

The same Holy Spirit gave Christians a diversity of spiritual gifts. The same Lord gave us a diversity of ministries. Spiritual gifts are the word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, speaking in tongues, and interpretation of tongues. Not every Christians will receive all the spiritual gifts. The Holy Spirit imparts spiritual gifts to Christians individually according to their level of faith, ministries, and God’s grace.

VV 12-14, 12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For, in fact, the body is not one member but many.

Christ is the head of the body, the church. Christians are the different parts of the church. The same Holy Spirit baptise every Christians into the church, irrespective of whether they are Jews, Gentiles, slaves, or free people.

VV 15-18, 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. 19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be?

Paul asked four rhetorical questions. A hand cannot say that it is not part of the body. An eye cannot say that it did not belong to the body. The whole body cannot say that it is an eye or an ear. Every Christian has a

specific and important role to play and operate in the body of Christ, the Church, under the headship of Christ. VV 20-26, 20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, 24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

The church had many parts but only one body. The eye is not independent of the hand, and the head is not independent of the feet. No member can work in isolation. Every member is dependent on other members to operate in unison. The weaker members depend on stronger members to lend a hand. The less honourable members depend on the more honourable members for protection. The body of Christ should not be divided by factionalism, sectarianism, and personality cults. If one member suffered all members suffered with him. If one member is honoured, all members rejoiced with him.

VV 27-31, 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. 28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that, miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.

The church is the body. Christians are members of the body. Christ is the head of the body, Colossians 1:18. God appointed different ministers to work in the church viz. apostles, prophets, teachers, miracle workers,

healers, helpers, administrators, speakers of tongues, and interpreters of tongues. Paul asked seven rhetorical questions, all with negative answers. Not everyone is an apostle, prophet, teacher, miracle worker, healer, speaker of tongues, and interpreter of tongues. We should desire and ask the Holy Spirit for the best gifts. In the next chapter, Paul will reveal an even more excellent gift, that is love.

Colossians 1:18, “And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.”

Application:

There is a diversity of spiritual gifts, such as word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, tongue-speaking, and tongue interpretation. There is a diversity of ministries, such as apostles, prophets, teachers, miracle workers, healers, etc. We should desire and ask the Holy Spirit for spiritual gifts appropriate to our faith and ministry, Luke 11:13.

Luke 11:13, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we are members of the body of Christ. We are dependent on others and we cannot operate in isolation. Help us to play our respective roles in the church serving in the appropriate ministry. We pray for the Holy spirit’s impartation of spiritual gifts based on Your grace, our faith, and our ministry, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

1 Corinthians chapter 11

Chapter 11

1 Corinthians 11:1-34, Head covering & Lord’s Supper

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we come to You with soft hearts, obedient hearts, listening ears, and open eyes, in Jesus’ nane, Amen.

V 1, Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.

Paul encouraged his audience to imitate him just as he imitated Christ.

VV 2-3, 2 Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you. 3 But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

Paul laid down the hierarchy of authority between God, Christ, man, and woman. Man is the head over woman, Christ is the head over man, and God is the head over Christ.

VV 4-8, 4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head. 5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved. 6 For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, let her be covered. 7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man is not from woman, but woman from man. 9 Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man. 10 For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.

In the culture and custom of the first-century world of Corinth, a man should keep short hair and a woman should keep long hair but not vice versa. A man should not cover his head and a woman should cover her head but not vice versa. Based on this culture and custom, Paul instructed women to cover their heads but forbid men to cover their heads during prayer. This was a specific instruction for the Corinthians Christian of the first century world and do not apply to Christians of the 21st-century world.

VV 11-16, 11 Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. 12 For as woman came from man, even so, man also comes through woman; but all things are from God. 13 Judge among yourselves. Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him? 15 But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 But if anyone seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God.

Men are not independent of women, and women are not independent of men. Eve came from Adam, men came from women but all people are created by God. Paul asked two rhetorical questions concering head covering. The Corinthians Christians should follow the culture and custom of their times over head covering. In those days, it was considered glorious for women to keep long hair and wear head coverings. However, we do not have this custom today. Therefore, women need not any wear coverings in church or during prayer.

VV 17-22, 17 Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. 18 For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. 19 For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you. 20 Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. 21 For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.

Paul admonished the Corinthians Christians over divisions, sectarianism, and factionalism. Unlike today, the Lord’s Supper in the first-century Church was a full fellowship meal called the love feast. A love feast is equivakent to our pot luck dinner dinner. In the love feast, many of them behaved rudely, fighting for food, behaving like gluttons, and drunkards. Paul asked three more rhetorical questions.

VV 23-26, 23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25, In the same manner, He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.

Paul gave instructions concerning the Lord’s Supper. On the night before the Lord was betrayed, He took bread, gave thanks, broke, and gave them to the disciples to eat as symbolic of His broken body. In the same way, He took the cup of wine and invited them to drink it as symbolic of the new covenant in His blood. They were to do this as often as they could in remembrance of Him and to proclaim His death until His second coming.

VV 27-34, 27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

Participants of the Lord’s Supper should examine themselves for any unrepentant sin before partaking in the Lord’s supper. God will judge and punish those who partook the Lord’s supper in an unworthy manner.

VV 30-34, 30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world. 33 Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 34 But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment. And the rest I will set in order when I come.

Paul warner that eating the Lord’s supper in an unworthy manner could result in ill health and even death. Paul encouraged them to onserve the Lord’s Supper and love feast in an orderly, friendly, courteous, and respectful manner.

Application:

Paul’s ruling on head covering for women during prayer and in church was a specific ruling to the Corinthian Christians in the first century world. This is not a universal ruling for every generation to observe. However, the brethren churches today still observe this ruling because of this passage. This is why interpretion should be based on hermenuetic to bridge the gap between “there and then” and “now and here”.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we praise You and thank You for all that You have done for us in our lives. Thank You for opening up Your Word to us and helping us unravel, understand, and interpret the difficult passage on head coverings for women, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

1 Corinthians, chapter 10

Chapter 10: 1 Corinthians 10:1-33,Types, temptations, and idolatry

Prayer:

 

Heavenly Father, we come before You again on bended knees, open spirits, open eyes, open ears, and obedient hearts. We offer our bodies to You as living sacrifices to serve You and sacrifices of praise to worship You, in Jesus’ name, Amen.  

 

VV 1-2, 1 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 

Paul alluded to the Exodus story. God protected the Israelites of the Exodus with a pillar cloud in the day and a pillar of fire at night. God miraculously parted the Red Sea for them to walk on dry ground. The pillar of cloud and fire were foreshadows of the Holy Spirit. Passing through the Red Sea was a foreshadow of water baptism. 

 

Exodus 13:21, “And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night”.

 

Exodus 14:21, “Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided.”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VV 3-5, 3 all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

The Israelites ate manna and drank water from the rock. Manna and rock were foreshadows of Christ. Water was a foreshadow of the Holy Spirit. Out of the estimated two million Israelites who crossed the Red Sea, only men,  Joshua and Caleb, entered the promised land. All the rest perished in the wilderness. 

 

Exodus 16:31, “And the house of Israel called its name [a]Manna. And it was like white coriander seed, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.”

 

 

Exodus 17:6,Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.”

 

    VV 6-11, 6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. 7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” 8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; 9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

Greek for examples is “tupos”, which means type or foreshadow. These things were foreshadows of Christ. Paul warned his audience against idolatry, sexual immorality, disobedience, and grumbling against God. He quoted Exodus 32:6 and Numbers 25:9 and Numbers 21:9. The bronze serpent was a foreshadow of Christ. 

 

Exodus 32:6, “And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings, and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.”

 

Numbers 25:9, “And those who died in the plague were twenty-four thousand.”

 

Numbers 21:9, “So Moses made a bronze serpent and put it on the flag pole; and it came about, that if a serpent bit someone, and he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.”

 

 

VV 12-13, 12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

 

You can claim the promise of 1 Corinthians 10:13 for overcoming temptations. God will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear and will make a way for you to overcome it. 

 

VV 14-18, 14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to wise men; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 17 For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.18 Observe Israel after the flesh: Are not those who eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? 

 

Paul encouraged his audience to run away from idolatry. Paul asked two rhetorical questions concerning Holy Communion. The cup of the Holy Communion represents the blood of Christ. The bread of the Holy Communion represents the body of Christ. 

 

VV 19-22, 19 What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? 20 Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons. 22 Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?

Paul asked three more rhetorical questions. Idols are not “gods” but demons of satan. You cannot drink the cup of communion and the cup of demons. You cannot have fellowship with God and with demons or you will provoke the wrath of God. 

 

VV 23, 23 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. 24 Let no one seek

 

 

 

his own, but each one the other’s well-being. 25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience’ sake; 26 for “the earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness.”

 

All things are lawful but not all things are helpful or edifying. You should look out for one another’s well-being and not be a stumbling block to others. You should eat whatever is sold in the market without asking any questions for your conscience’s sake because all things belonged to God. Paul quoted Psalm 24:1.

 

Psalm 24:1, “A Psalm of David. The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.”

VV 27-28, 27 If any of those who do not believe invites you to dinner, and you desire to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no question for conscience’ sake. 28 But if anyone says to you, “This was offered to idols,” do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for conscience’ sake; for “the earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness.” 

 

When invited to a dinner, eat whatever is served without raising any questions. But if you knew that the food was offered to idols, you must not eat them for your conscience’ sake. 

 

VV 29-33, 29 “Conscience,” I say, not your own, but that of the other. For why is my liberty judged by another man’s conscience? 30 But if I partake with thanks, why am I evil spoken of for the food over which I give thanks? 31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

Paul asked two more rhetorical questions. Whatever we eat, drink, or do, do them all for the glory of God. 

 

Application:

 

 

 

 

 

    You can claim the promise of 1 Corinthians 10:13 if you are going through temptations. God will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear and will make a way for you to overcome them. 

 

You should not eat food offered to idols because this may cause a weaker Christian to stumble and for your conscience’ sake. 

 

Prayer:

 

Heavenly Father, help us to run away from idolatry, sexual immorality, disobedience, and murmuring against You. Help us not to eat food offered to idols so as not to be a stumbling block to weaker Christians and for our conscience’ sake, in Jesus’ name, Amen.