Monthly Archives: April 2015

I Corinthians 7:29-31 — Because our time is short

Our lives are really but a breath. I was talking to a friend recently whose wife’s father passed away at age 44 due to a heart attack.  That’s kind of scary, because I’m very near that age myself.  Tomorrow is … Continue reading

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1 Corinthians 7:17-24 — Trying to undo your past

All of us have regrets in life.  I know that I do.  I can see how I have hurt people in the past, and I wish I could undo all that. On a lesser level, I look at decisions I’ve … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 7 — When it’s wise to put off marriage. When it’s wise not to.

For a variety of reasons, many people not only in Japan, but in America as well are putting off marriage until their late 20s and into their 30s. In some ways, that’s probably a good thing.  There was no way I … Continue reading

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1 Corinthians 7 — Good to be single?

Looking at this passage, it would be easy to say that Paul was less than enthusiastic about the institution of marriage. He never says with exuberance, for example, “Yes!  Marriage is a great thing!  Get married.” Instead, he says things … Continue reading

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1 Corinthians 7:10-16; 39-40 — Marriage and divorce

It’s kind of hard to decide how to parse this passage because it keeps jumping between subjects.  But I thought since I talked about marriage last time, I’d keep with that topic here. And here, Paul re-emphasizes Christ’s ideal for … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 7:1-5 — Sex in marriage

The need for sex is a very strong one.  I think one reason God created us that way was so that people would come together in marriage and have children together. And yet, as I mentioned yesterday, there are special … Continue reading

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1 Corinthians 6:13-20 — The problem with sexual sin

All sin is of course bad.  But Paul here says there is something unique about sexual sin, particularly for the Christian. He says, Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? (15a) He explains further later, … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 6:12-20 — What freedom in Christ does not mean

One of the key things that Paul taught in his letters was freedom from the law.  That we are no longer under law, but under grace.  But much as people do in this time, people in Corinth were corrupting that … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 6:1-11 — How we present ourselves to the world

Lawsuits just seem to be a way of life in the States.  You can get sued by anybody for just about anything, no matter how ridiculous your claim might be. Lawsuits are much less common in Japan, but we still see … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 5 — When brothers and sisters flaunt their sin

I mentioned yesterday that I needed to make some clarifications in the things that I said.  Basically, there are two things I want to note. First, I don’t believe Paul is saying that we need to disassociate ourselves with brothers … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 5 — Proud of tolerating sin?

Tolerance.  I’ve talked about this somewhat in another blog, and it’s one of the key buzzwords in American society. And as I’ve said, showing tolerance is fine in that you can disagree with a person and still be at the … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 4:14-21 — Who we follow

As we go through life, there are any number of people that we look up to as our examples, starting with our parents, then teachers and coaches, to pastors and so on. And hopefully, all of them are good mentors … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 4:6-13 — Warnings against pride

C.S. Lewis once called pride, “The Great Sin” in his book Mere Christianity.  Why?  Because it’s pride that builds walls between us and God, and also builds walls between us and others. We see the former right at the beginning … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 4:1-5 — Proven faithful

The apostle James wrote, Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. (James 3:1) Those are pretty sobering words for me, because I am often … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 3:5-9 — How we approach our work for the Lord

In a lot of ways, I’m kind of reiterating what I said yesterday, but certain things kind of struck me as I reread the passage today and I wanted to highlight them. One thing is the privilege that we have … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 3:5-23 — With what we are building up the church

It’s interesting pulling this whole passage together.  Usually when I have read it in the past, I’ve taken different parts of it and looked at them individually, but I’ve never really read it as a whole. What is Paul talking … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 3:1-4 — Immature

In the previous chapter, Paul talks about those who are mature (6) and  those who are spiritual. (15) But at the beginning of this chapter, he makes clear that the Corinthians fit neither description.  He said, Brothers, I could not address … Continue reading

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1 Corinthians 2:6-16 — To know the mind of God

The thing about dealing with an invisible God is that you will never know anything about him unless he reveals himself to you.  And even when he does, what he tells you will be beyond you unless he gives you … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 2:1-5 — Speaking with power

This is a passage I’ve been thinking about recently whenever I’ve given messages at church.  Honestly, it’s something I need to keep more in mind whenever I write these blogs as well. Paul wrote, When I came to you, brothers, … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 1:26-31 — No room for boasting

In illustrating the “foolishness of God,” Paul uses the people in the Corinthian church as an example. Now if you were going to save as many people as possible, wouldn’t you start with the rich, powerful, wise, and influential?  Wouldn’t … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 1:18-25 — The futility of human thinking and wisdom

A few weeks ago, as I was preparing a pre-Easter message for my church, Paul’s words in verse 18 here struck me. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 1:10-17 — Elevating people over Christ

I suppose it’s natural for people in the church to look up to Christian leaders as their example, and as the ones they admire. After all, these leaders have been following Christ longer, and presumably have more wisdom and knowledge … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 1:1-9 — Sanctified and called to be holy

The church in Corinth, as we will see throughout this book, had its share of problems, many of them serious. That said, it’s really amazing the things Paul said about the church.  He called them “sanctified in Christ” and called … Continue reading

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Romans 16:25-27 — The One Who establishes us

And so we finish off Romans.  I think it’s been one of the more fun books that I have blogged through.  And as we do, we finish up where we started.  With a reminder that salvation is ultimately the work … Continue reading

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Romans 16:17-20 — That we may not be naive

Here, towards the end of his letter to the Romans, Paul gives the church a warning. I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching … Continue reading

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Romans 16:1-16 — Working hard, tested, and approved

Here in this passage, we see Paul sending greetings to different people in Rome.  These were people who Paul really appreciated.  Some supported him financially, others worked side by side with him in ministry, others had spent time in prison … Continue reading

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Romans 15:30-33 — Supporting those on the front lines

It is easy, sometimes, to forget that we are in a spiritual war.  But we are. And many people are out on the front lines sharing the gospel.  Some are doing ministry at home.  Others are in foreign countries.  But … Continue reading

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Romans 15:23-29 — Sharing with those from whom we receive spiritual blessing

Money is always a touchy subject.  And talking about tithing always is within the church.  A lot of Christians argue that tithing is not a New Testament teaching, and I believe they’re right.  (There are others that do differ with … Continue reading

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Romans 15:14-22 — That people may see and understand

It is easy to look at people like the apostle Paul, and think that only people like him are called to be ministers.  It is true that he was given a special grace to take the gospel out to the … Continue reading

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Romans 15:1-7 — Accepting others where they are

If there is one thing I think we’d all like, whether we admit it or not, it’s the ability to change others.  To make others act in a way more palatable or acceptable to us.  Maybe it’s bad habits people … Continue reading

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