Category Archives: I Corinthians

I Corinthians 16:22-23 — Come, Lord Jesus

It’s easy to look at this world and all the evil in it and get discouraged.  But as Christians we can have hope.  Why? Paul writes, If anyone does not love the Lord –a curse be on him. Come, O … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 16:13-14 — Being men

I know this tends to get lost in some of the newer translations, but it seems to me that while Paul is talking to all Christians in this letter (I Corinthians 1:2), he does specifically address the men in this … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 16:15-18 — Refreshing others

When we think of serving others, many times we think about simply doing the job God has called us to do.  And certainly that’s important to do. Paul writes, You know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 16:1-4 — When we give

As Paul often did when he visited the churches, he collected offerings to support the poor Christians in Jerusalem. And in his instructions, I think we see several principles concerning our giving. First, give in accordance with your income.  Don’t … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 15:58 — Because we have hope

Nobody said life was easy. And neither did Paul.  He was a man who had been stoned, shipwrecked, persecuted, imprisoned, and even more. What could keep a person going in the face of all these trials?  The hope that he … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 15:51-57 — The final victory

I really love these verses.  Somehow, I’ve never gotten around to committing them to memory, but I think I may just do that over the next several days. It is Paul’s victory cry.  He says, When the perishable has been … Continue reading

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1 Corinthians 15:35-55 — Though we are a dim reflection

I was kind of planning to move on to the next section of this passage, but the more I reflect on this passage, the more I stand in wonder at what we will be. Our new bodies will be imperishable … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 15:35-55 — What we will be

I was talking with some students in their 60s last week, and we were talking about how some researchers were talking about 60 and 65 being the new middle age because of increasing lifespans. I asked them how long they … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 15:1-34 — The importance of Christ’s resurrection

I remember teaching at an English conversation school and overhearing this conversation between another teacher and her students. Student:  What is Easter? Teacher:  Oh, it’s the day that Christians believe Jesus rose from the dead. <dead silence, and probably incredulous … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 15:8-10 — A grace that is not without effect

How do you see yourself? It’s very striking to see how Paul saw himself.  After Saul met Christ, he changed his name to “Paul” which means “little.” Here he had been this Hebrew of Hebrews, a Pharisee, a man full of … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 15:1-11 — The most important thing

We now come to perhaps the most important part of this letter, because it stands at the core of our faith. Paul writes, Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 14:26-40 — That the church might be strengthened

In this passage, Paul gives instructions on how the church service was to be run.  And the main thing to him was that there was to be order, not chaos, in the church. For that reason, if someone spoke in … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 14:26 — Bringing something to give

One excuse people often use as to why they leave the church is, “I’m just not getting anything out of it.” It’s almost as if they expect to be entertained or coddled, and if that’s not happening, they are no … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 14:7-11 — Speaking clearly

In the midst of Paul’s speech about tongues and prophesy, I think there’s a little nugget that we can all take to heart from pastor all the way down to the person in the pew. Paul says, Even in the … Continue reading

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1 Corinthians 14:20-25 — Understanding our gifts

This is one of the harder passages to interpret.  I’ve heard several interpretations on it.  I’m not sure that the one I have is the correct one and it may change in the future, but for what it’s worth, here … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 14:1-31 — Speaking for the strengthening, encouragement, comfort, and instruction of others

We’re in territory that I must admit I have little confidence to speak upon.  I suppose I’m in kind of a weird position.  I’m not one of those that believe that certain gifts such as tongues have disappeared.  I have, for … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 13:13 — What remains

It’s very interesting to consider what Paul says here in the final verse of chapter 13. In talking about the gifts that will pass away when we see Jesus face to face, he contrasts them with what will remain even … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 13:11 — To become mature

Paul says here in verse 11, When 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. From the context … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 13:8-12 — A glimpse of what is to come

As I look at this passage, it strikes me that our spiritual gifts are a glimpse of what is to come when we reach heaven. Paul says, But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 13:1-8 — Making it personal

I must have read this passage a billion times (or close to it), and yet as I read it again today, God brought some new light to it.  Not so much in what the passage means, but in what it means … Continue reading

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1 Corinthians 13:4-8 — What God is like. What we should strive to be.

As I think about this entire book of I Corinthians, it seems a lot of what Paul talks about here concerning love was in sharp contrast to how many of the Corinthians were acting. Paul said that love is patient … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 12:31-13:3 — How we are to use our gifts

In summing up the truth that our spiritual gifts should unite us and not divide us, Paul goes on to show us how we are to use those gifts in one of the most famous passages in scripture. He calls it, … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 12:27-31 — Being eager for gifts

I wonder sometimes how much more God would give us if we would only ask. Too often we refrain from asking because we are afraid we are being selfish, or that in some way our motives our wrong. Now don’t … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 12:12-30 — How we see others in the body

I talked last time about how we see ourselves as a part of the body of Christ.  But how should we see others? Paul writes, The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 12:4-30 — Funny, I don’t feel so special

For  a lot of people in the church, they see the giftings of others in the church and they get an inferiority complex.   They hear that God sees them as a special and as important to the body, but … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 12:4-18 — For God’s purposes, for God’s glory

As I think about the problems of pride and jealousy within the church because of spiritual gifts, I think a lot of it comes down to the fact that we forget our lives, as Rick Warren once put it, is … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 12:4-30 — Gifts given to unite, not divide

As I read this passage, I can’t help but think that Paul still had in the back of his mind the problems of division within the Corinthian church.  He had already dealt with it twice in this letter, and though … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 12:1-3 — Discerning the spirits

If there is one thing that you can count on Satan to do, it’s that he will counterfeit the good things God has created.  In place of a loving marriage, for example, he will promote sexual promiscuity.  In place of … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 11:32 — Though the Lord disciplines you

Before I go on to chapter 12, there is one last point I wanted to touch on.  Paul writes in verse 32, When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 11:27-34 — Searching our hearts

As I’ve mentioned earlier, God does call us to search our hearts whenever we take communion. Paul says, Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 11:26 — Until Jesus returns

One other thing that strikes me as I read this passage concerning communion is the last part of verse 26.  Paul writes, For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 11:26-34 — Proclaiming the Lord’s death

One of the things I wonder is how Paul would view communion as it is taken in the church today, particularly churches that are say, fifty people or more in size. Why do I ask?  Because of the great controversy … Continue reading

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1 Corinthians 11:23-29 — Communion with Christ and each other

This is a passage that people often hear during communion.  Paul writes, For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 11:17-22 — The divisiveness that comes from pride and selfishness

In this passage, Paul once again addresses divisiveness in the Corinthian church.  We have already seen one example of this from chapter 1 where the Corinthians were arguing about which leader they were following (1:10-15). But here in chapter 11, we … Continue reading

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1 Corinthians 11:2-16 — Authority and submission

This is one of the most difficult passages in scripture to try to interpret and apply.  Many people have done so in different ways in relation to head coverings in the church.  Some have said it’s still necessary today, but … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 11:1 — No matter how good our role models are

I’ve mentioned before how important it is to consider carefully who we follow.  There are a number of good leaders out there, but there are a number of bad ones as well.    Because of this, it’s vital that we … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 10:23-33 — Who we are trying to please

We’re finally wrapping up this section today which really started in chapter 8.  And Paul closes by really pinning down one of the key issues the Corinthians had, the issue of who they were living for.  The issue of who … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 10:14-22 — Participating with demons

In Japan, one of the things that many Christians struggle with is how to deal with Buddhist funerals and memorial services. There is some disagreement in how to handle it.  Some people avoid the funerals and memorial services entirely.  Others … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 10:12-13 — Warning and encouragement

In this passage, we see both warning and encouragement concerning temptation. First Paul writes, So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! (12) I think this was especially pertinent for those who thought they … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 10:1-11 — The point of all these stories

A lot of times Christians tend to avoid the Old Testament, and only read the New.  After all all, isn’t that where all the important stuff really is? While it is true the ideas of Christ’s work on the cross, … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 10:1-12 — Disqualified

In chapter 9, Paul warned the Corinthians to be careful that they not be disqualified from the prize.  The main point there was that they should stop being self-centered.  Their self-centered way of thinking, in particular, their insistence on their rights … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 9:24-27 — Whatever it takes

This is a pretty famous passage in scripture.  And it compares our life to a marathon. We are all running the race God has put us in.  The prize we’re running for?  The crown we receive from Christ for accomplishing … Continue reading

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1 Corinthians 9:16-23 — Our attitude in ministry

It can become so easy to become self-absorbed in ministry.  To think, “What am I getting out of this?  Where’s the respect?  Where’s the financial reward?” Yet for Paul, there was an inner fire to preach.  He said, Yet when … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 9:6-15 — Supporting our pastors financially

Why give to the church?  Tithes aren’t a New Testament command. Many Christians try to make this argument.  And quite frankly, I agree that tithing isn’t a New Testament command.  But supporting our pastors financially is. Paul writes, Who serves … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 8-10 — Giving up our rights for the sake of the kingdom

Sometimes as we look at passages in the Bible, it can be easy to take scriptures out of their context and lose the overall force of what the writer is trying to say. That’s why I’m lumping chapters 8-10 together … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 8 — How we wield the knowledge we have

This passage in many ways is very similar to Romans 14.  Because of this, I want to put more of my focus on the first few verses and how it relates to the rest of the passage. Paul writes, Now about … 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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