1 Corinthians – Don’t Fool Yourself

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“Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Paul breaks out into a terrible catalog of sins that is a commentary on the civilization in which the Corinthian Church was growing up. There are certain things which are not pleasant to talk about, but we must look at this catalog to understand the environment of the early Christian Church; and to see that human nature has not changed very much. There was a great deal of sexual sin in the city of Corinth. It was a permissive society with a philosophy similar to that which we see in our world today. It must have been hard to be a Christian in this atmosphere of Corinth. Just like our world today. Paul is very clear that unless you turn from sin to God, you will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Homosexuality was a cancer in the Greek and Roman civilization. The down fall of the Roman empire was due in part to homosexuality. There were idolaters. Idolatry is an example of what happens when we try to make religion easier. An idol did not begin by being a god; it began by being a symbol of a god; its function was to make the worship of the […]

1 Corinthians – Accept the Injustice

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“Even to have such lawsuits with one another is a defeat for you. Why not just accept the injustice and leave it at that? Why not let yourselves be cheated? Instead, you yourselves are the ones who do wrong and cheat even your fellow believers.” 1 Corinthians 6:7-8 The last thing Paul says is that there is still another alternative: “Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? But you yourselves wrong and defraud, and that even your own brethren.” What he is suggesting here is that these matters that are brought for settlement cannot be all that important when you consider the damage and injury that would be done by bringing them to secular court to settle. After all, what is the loss of a few hundred dollars or a thousand dollars, or a hundred thousand dollars, if the whole cause of Christ and the gospel is going to lose attractiveness in the eyes of those who need it in the world around? So, Paul calls the Corinthians back to an awareness of what they do as believers in the eyes of others when they give way to these aggressive, self-centered, self-serving defensive methods which insist on getting their rights at all costs. When we take others to court, it is a form of lust. Perhaps somebody is saying, “Well, what has that got to do with lust?” Lawsuits usually arise out of greed, out of covetousness, out of a desire to retain certain material benefits. Therefore, a lawsuit is an attempt to force another person to yield to you what you regard as your right, and this is really another form of lust. The dictionary definition of lust is: “Any obsessive craving or desire.” So, you can see how someone who is greedy, grasping, and determined […]

1 Corinthians – Believers will Judge the Angels

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“Don’t you realize that we will judge angels? So you should surely be able to resolve ordinary disputes in this life.  If you have legal disputes about such matters, why go to outside judges who are not respected by the church?  I am saying this to shame you. Isn’t there anyone in all the church who is wise enough to decide these issues?  But instead, one believer sues another—right in front of unbelievers!” 1 Corinthians 6:3-6 Our Christian witness is so important. One of the reasons I was so long about returning to church was because I saw people that profess to be a Christian doing things that I would not do. I know that this is only an excuse. I have come to realize that so many times people turn to God by the way we act. We must be the light in this dark world. If we show the world that we cannot take care of our own deputes, how in the world can we be able to judge the angels. Paul is telling the Corinthians wake up we have God’s wisdom in order to judge the problems in the church. I don’t understand why and how we are going to judge the angels, but I believe it. If we are open to God and His leading, God will prepare us for that day. The apostle does not use the word stupid here, but his implication is that these people are very foolish for doing what they are doing. They were obviously engaging in lawsuits, dragging them before the Roman courts, and having all their quarrels and dirty linen washed in public and settled by a secular court. You can see Paul’s argument then: “Is it not rather ridiculous that you people who are going to have to […]

1 Corinthians – Believers will Judge the World

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“When one of you has a dispute with another believer, how dare you file a lawsuit and ask a secular court to decide the matter instead of taking it to other believers! Don’t you realize that someday we believers will judge the world? And since you are going to judge the world, can’t you decide even these little things among yourselves?” 1 Corinthians 6:1-2 Paul is dealing with a problem which specially affected the Greeks. The Jews did not ordinarily go to law in the public law courts at all; they settled things before the elders of the village or the elders of the synagogue; to them justice was far more a thing to be settled in a family spirit than in a legal spirit. The Jewish law expressly forbade a Jew to go to law at all in a non-Jewish court; to do so was considered blasphemy against the divine law of God. Paul is not saying that Christians should not go to the law. If Christians did not use the law, they would suffer great loss at the hands of the unsaved. He is saying that Christians should not go to the law against each other. The differences between believers are not to be taken to secular court. It affects our Christian witness. What made the matter still more fantastic to Paul was that, in the picture of the golden age to come, the Messiah was to judge the nations and the saints were to share in that judgment.  So, Paul demands, “If some day you are going to judge the world, if even the angels, the highest created beings, are going to be subject to your judgment, how, in the name of all that is reasonable, can you go and submit your cases to men and to […]

1 Corinthians – Remove Evil from the Church

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“It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.” 1 Corinthians 5:12-13 Paul says that he is not to judge people on the outside. That is not his business. He is to judge those inside the church. God will judge those who are on the outside. It is the business of the church to judge evil which is in the church. We see in 2 Corinthians that the man that was in sin returned to the church because of the church confronting this man’s sin. He is now back in fellowship with God. We see David when he was told about his sins he repented and God said that David was a man after His own heart. Today it takes courage to deal with sin in the church, but without dealing with the sin, the church will only be a social gathering. The people within the Church has special privileges and therefore special responsibilities. They had taken an oath to Christ and can therefore be called in question for how they keep it.  Paul comes to an end with the definite command, “you must remove the evil person form among you.” There are times when a cancer must be cut out; there are times when drastic measures must be taken to avoid infection. It is not the desire to hurt or the wish to show his power that moves Paul; it is the pastor’s desire to protect his infant Church from the ever-threatening infection of the world. “Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the […]

1 Corinthians – The Pure Church

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“When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin.  But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people.” 1 Corinthians 5:9-11 Paul had previously written to them and had condemned these sins. Corinth was a city given over to immorality. There were a thousand priestesses at the temple of Venus or Aphrodite who were nothing more than prostitutes. The whole city was given over to this immorality in the name of religion. Here they were allowing this man into their fellowship and to eat with them. They patted him on the back and accepted him as one of their own when they knew he was living in sin. The church thought they could drop down to the level of the world. Paul was not saying that the people in the church were to leave the world. Paul never meant that; he would never have recommended a kind of Christianity which withdrew from the world; to him it was something that had to be lived out in the world. “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.” (Matthew 5:13) What good is the church if the church allows sin to be in the church? When the church is like […]

1 Corinthians – Too Much Yeast

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“Your boasting about this is terrible. Don’t you realize that this sin is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old “yeast” by removing this wicked person from among you. Then you will be like a fresh batch of dough made without yeast, which is what you really are. Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us. So, let us celebrate the festival, not with the old bread of wickedness and evil, but with the new bread of sincerity and truth.” 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 Too much yeast will ruin the bread. What does yeast do to the bread? You put it in the dough, set it in a warm place, and the bread begins to rise. When it gets to a certain height, the bread is put in the hot oven. If the bread is allowed to rise higher and higher, the bread will be corrupt and rotten. Yeast is the sin in the church. If sin is allowed to stay in the church, at some point the church will be destroyed. The Corinthian Church was boasting about what a wonderful church they had. They were closing their eyes to the sin in the church. They were bragging about their activities. They were bragging about sending missionaries. They were bragging about souls being saved. What hypocrisy. There are many folks who feel that being busy in Christian work covers a multitude of sins. Paul says that their bragging was not good.  Paul is saying, Let’s have sincerity and truth in the church. The church was very insincere. They had gross immorality in the church. They felt that they could get by with this, and they pretended that everything was alright. They were pretending that they were telling the truth and […]

1 Corinthians – Judge the Sin

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“Even though I am not with you in person, I am with you in the Spirit. And as though I were there, I have already passed judgment on this man in the name of the Lord Jesus. You must call a meeting of the church. I will be present with you in spirit, and so will the power of our Lord Jesus.  Then you must throw this man out and hand him over to Satan so that his sinful nature will be destroyed and he himself will be saved on the day the Lord returns.” 1 Corinthians 5:3-5 This is one of the problems with sin in our churches today. We don’t judge sin. We just condone sin in our churches. We say that if we tell someone that they are sinning we don’t love them. We say that Jesus loved everybody. Yes, He did but He also judged sin. If we don’t tell a person that he is sinning and he needs to change his way, we really don’t love them. They will be judged on the day-of-judgment. God will judge them and they will spend eternity in hell. Paul is telling us that unless we judge the sin, this person will be destroyed. It is our responsibility to warn the people of their sins. “When the watchman sees the enemy coming, he sounds the alarm to warn the people. Then if those who hear the alarm refuse to take action, it is their own fault if they die. They heard the alarm but ignored it, so the responsibility is theirs. If they had listened to the warning, they could have saved their lives.  But if the watchman sees the enemy coming and doesn’t sound the alarm to warn the people, he is responsible for their captivity. They will […]

1 Corinthians – Sin in the Church

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“I can hardly believe the report about the sexual immorality going on among you—something that even pagans don’t do. I am told that a man in your church is living in sin with his stepmother. You are so proud of yourselves, but you should be mourning in sorrow and shame. And you should remove this man from your fellowship.” 1 Corinthians 5:1-2 The church at Corinth was not only a divided church, but it was also a disgraced church. There was sin in the church and the church was slow to do anything about the sin. This sounds like our churches today. No church is perfect, but human imperfection must never be an excuse for sin. Jesus told us that the church should be a hospital for sinners, but He also told us that we must be holy. We cannot follow Jesus and continue to sin. We need to be mourning over sin, especially in the church. The people at Corinth was puffed up. They were proud that their church was an open-minded church. That fornicators could be members in good standing. When a Christian brother or sister sins, it is time for the family to morn and seek to help the fallen believer. The offending brother in Corinth was dead as far as the things of the Lord were concerned. He was out of fellowship with the Lord and with those in the church who were living a separated life. Yes, we are in the world, but if we are disciples of Jesus Christ, we are not to be part of the world. Personally, I don’t want to be part of a church that accepts sin. When God saved me and filled me with the Holy Spirit, I don’t want anything to do with the sin of the world. […]

1 Corinthians – Discipline

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“Some of you have become arrogant, thinking I will not visit you again. But I will come—and soon—if the Lord lets me, and then I’ll find out whether these arrogant people just give pretentious speeches or whether they really have God’s power.  For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power. Which do you choose? Should I come with a rod to punish you, or should I come with love and a gentle spirit?” 1 Corinthians 4:18-21 We all need discipline if we are to accomplish anything. This is one of the problems in our world today; our children do not know disciple. A child needs to be broken, but not destroyed. Until a colt is broken, it is dangerous and useless, but once it learns to obey, it becomes gentle and useful. Pride is a terrible thing in the Christian life and in the church. The Corinthians had become puffed up, even to the point of saying, “Paul will not come to us! His bark is worse than his bite.” Paul has been patient with the church’s disobedience, but now he wanted them to know that the time has come for discipline. Paul knew that with a child it was not enough just to be a good example. There also needs to be discipline. Paul would have preferred to come with meekness and deal with their sins in a gentle way, but their attitude made this difficult. The arrogant Corinthians had no problem talking big the way children often do; but they could not back up their talk with their walk. Their religion was only in words. Paul was prepared to back up his talk with power that would reveal their sins and God’s holiness. It is a principle of […]