1 Co 16 THE POWER OF LOVE
Thursday, December 23, 2021.
1 Co 16:14
Do everything in love: such a simple statement but one of the most powerful when put into practice. If we practice love, we will always consider others before ourselves and work for their edification and good. Paul previously stated that love was the greatest trait, even more important than speaking in tongues, prophecy, insight into mysteries, all knowledge, faith that can move mountains, giving all one possesses to the poor and giving up the body to hardships 1 Co 13:1-3.
Application: we overestimate the importance of talents and gifts and underestimate the power of love—God’s love. Let us strive to make love our primary goal while serving the Lord.
1 Co 15 RESURRECTION DOUBTED
Wednesday, December 22, 2021.
1 Co 15:19
If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied: Paul argued to demonstrate that Christ was raised from the dead and therefore, we too, would be raised with an eternal body. If Christ wasn’t raised from the dead, neither would we, and if this was true, then, we would be most pitied to give our lives for a temporal state of being. But, the truth is that Christ was raised from the dead and He will raise us from the dead when He returns 1 Co 15:22,23.
Application: Our hope is an eternal not a temporal hope. We will be rewarded for our faith with everlasting life with God. We will have resurrected bodies that will be imperishable and experience unspeakable joy in the presence of the Lord.
1 Co 14 LANGUAGE BARRIER
Tuesday, December 21, 2021.
1 Co 14:4
Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church: Paul addressed the many problems that were in the church at Corinth. One of these issues was the misuse of tongues. Paul explained that tongues only edified the speaker, unless there was an interpreter to share the thoughts with the congregation 1 Co 14:5. Therefore, he preferred members to prophesy—speak God’s truth rather than pray in a tongue which no one could understand.
Application: many people still do not follow Paul’s guidelines in regard to tongues. One the far right, they forbid anyone speaking in tongues in church or Bible studies 1 Co 14:39 while the far left, allow whole congregations to speak out in tongues whereas Paul stated two or three, at the most, and one at a time 1 Co 14:27, and if there is no interpreter the tongue’s speaker must be silent 1 Co 14:28.
1 Co 13 LOVE NEVER FAILS
Monday, December 20, 2021.
1 Co 13:8
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away: Paul uses a strong word when describing love, he says it “never” fails. Not five percent of the time or even two percent, but never fails. Of course, he is talking about God’s unconditional love 1 Jn 4:19. Everything else in life will one day end, like prophecies, speaking in tongues and knowledge but love will always remain and will always bring pleasing results.
Application: our human love is very conditional and self-centered. It is only after receiving the Holy Spirit that we can love the way Jesus loves—the sacrificial kind. Paul said that there are three important character traits which will remain forever: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of all is love!
1 Co 12 GIFTS
Sunday, December 19, 2021.
1 Co 12:4-6
4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work: the Trinity is united in the diversity of gifts God grants believers.
The Holy Spirit is responsible for determining the gifts given to each believer 1 Co 12:11. Some of these gifts are wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miraculous powers, prophecy, speaking in different tongues and interpretation of tongues 1 Co 12:8-10.
Jesus determines what office individuals will hold, such as apostles, prophets, teachers, evangelists and pastors 1 Co 12:28; Eph 4:11.
The Father plans how events—workings will be determined to benefit and encourage the Body through such gifts as healings or miraculous powers.
Application: Paul reminded the Corinthians that every gift that they had was given to them by God and was to be used for the common good of the Body 1 Co 12:7. The Greek word for gift is derived from our word charismatic or “charis” meaning grace. So, believers should not be boastful or proud of their gift but recognize that God has given their gift to aid the Body not the individual. We are many parts but only one Body 1 Co 12:12 and must work in harmony for the good of the Body.
1 Co 11 GOD’S HIERARCHY
Saturday, December 18, 2021.
1 Co 11:3
But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God: God has a hierarchy that is obeyed in heaven and should be followed on earth. Paul stated in 1 Co 11:1 to follow his example as he follows Christ. Jesus submitted to the Father in all things, yet that does not make Him inferior to the Father. Ontologically, Jesus and the Father are equally God Jn 1:1, however, in regards to roles, the Father has all authority over the Son and the Holy Spirit 1 Co 15:24; Jn 5:19; Jn 16:13. Jesus, lovingly submitted to the Father Lk 22:42, while the Father announced His loving feelings for His Son Mt 3:17.
We, therefore have a beautiful example to follow. Man is under the authority of Christ, and woman is subject to her husband. Once again, woman is not inferior to man, but submits to hierarchy. Paul then noted the need to work in partnership, as he stated that although woman was created for man Gen 2:18, man since Adam, has been born of woman 1 Co 11:12.
Application: God has commanded a hierarchy to establish order in society. We are to obey all authority to avoid chaos Ro 13:1. When children disobey their parents, and rebel, negative consequences follow. If we refused to obey police authority, lawlessness would prevail. In God’s special realms: the church and the family, He has ordained a chain of command to protect His people from tyranny. This is why Satan tries to overturn everything God has established: by making men and women genderless; children to disrespect their parents; churches to obey the government over God.
1 Co 10 BODY OF CHRIST
Friday, December 17, 2021.
1 Co 10:17
Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf: Paul explained to the Corinthians, the communion symbolism of Jesus’ sacrifice, and how it aided understanding and remembrance. Drinking the wine allowed them to thank Jesus for the blood He shed on their behalf in providing forgiveness of sins. The bread which was broken pictured Jesus’ destroyed body, which God resurrected to provide spiritual life to all who trust in Jesus Jn 3:16. The one loaf of bread is the perfect picture of the body of Christ, in whom all believers share in the daily nourishment provided by Christ.
Application: Jesus’ bodily resurrection provided eternal life. Whoever believed this truth was granted spiritual life Jn 6:51. The loaf of bread symbolized the one body in which Christ is the head Col 1:18. We are all members of that body 1 Co 12:12. Obedience to Christ is necessary for the body to function properly. There is power in unity, not in division Mk 3:25.
1 Co 9 DEDICATION TO GOD
Thursday, December 15, 2021.
1 Co 9:19
Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible: here Paul showed his passion for the Gospel. He stated that he was free, yet he was willing to make himself a slave, to win others to the Good News. He didn’t demand that believers financially support him, although God commanded this. Paul didn’t want to put any stumbling block in front of potential believers, which might give them a reason to reject the Gospel. He was wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove Mt 10:16. He befriended his audience and became like them to win them, although he was still under the Law of Christ and would not participate in sinful acts 1 Co 9:20,21.
Application: are we as dedicated to God as Paul was? He was willing to give up everything to complete his mission, are we? He worked with his own hands to make the Gospel free to others. He punished his body for the sake of the kingdom and devoted his life to serving the Lord. May we become more like Paul in character and action.
1 Co 8 GOD AND HIS HOUSE
Wednesday, December 14, 2021.
1 Co 8:6
Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live: we serve one God in three Persons. The Father is the architect, who planned all things, and the reason we exist. Therefore, the One who deserves our praise and faithful service. The Son is the builder, the general contractor through whom the Father’s plans are fulfilled Heb 11:10. It is through our relationship with Jesus, we live to please the Father. The Holy Spirit was sent by the Father Jn 14:26 and by the Son Jn 16:7, the real estate agent to complete the assignment (we agree to be part of His house). In regards to salvation, He convicts man of his sin and his need for repentance Jn 16:8,9 in building the house of God 1 Pe 2:4,5; Eph 2:22.
Application: Eph 2:18 explains how this relationship works regarding the Triune God. For through him (Jesus) we both (Jews and Gentiles) have access to the Father by one Spirit. The Holy Spirit lives inside of every believer Ro 8:9 through Christ’s sacrifice Eph 5:2 giving us access to the Father in prayer Heb 10:19.
1 Co 7 FOCUSED LIVING
Tuesday, December 13, 2021.
1 Co 7:31
Those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away: Paul believed that the time of the end was near and Jesus would soon return 1 Co 7:29. Because of this, he encouraged believers to live for the kingdom of God, with a sense of urgency and not get preoccupied with meaningless materialism or frivolous temporal worldly endeavours. He encouraged those who could live a single life to do so, as their focus would be on pleasing the Lord rather than their spouses 1 Co 7:32,33.
Application: marriage is a wonderful gift from God, and as a unit, the couple can better produce by using their strengths and talents Ecc 4:9. When external circumstances overwhelm, each spouse can emotionally encourage one another Ecc 4:10, while physically, they can benefit by their number Ecc 4:11. With God as the bond to their relationship, Satan will have a much more difficult time defeating God’s purposes Ecc 4:12.
On the other hand, being single allows one to fully devote himself to the Lord—in serving, pleasing and communing. The time is short and many are fast asleep, so it is our duty to share the gospel while there is still time for people to repent and be saved 2 Co 6:1,2.
1 Co 6 ONE WITH THE LORD
Monday, December 12, 2021.
1 Co 6:17
But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit: Paul stated that union between a man and a prostitute, joined the couple in the body as one flesh 1 Co 6:16. Since Christians are the temple of the Holy Spirit, their bodies are to be used for God’s purposes, thus this union is in the spirit, making the believer one with the Lord.
Application: as Eve was made from Adam, thus they were from one flesh, and in future marriages, the couples would become one entity Gen 2:21-24. Marriage would supersede son/daughter relationships with their parents. From this one unit, offspring would be born from their unique DNA, while even their bodies were not considered their own 1 Co 7:3-5.
Spiritually, we are one with Christ, just as our body has many parts but all work together 1 Co 12:12. We know longer live for our own benefit but live to serve the Lord and further His kingdom. We are better able to accomplish His goals through Bible study and prayer. Daily intimacy is necessary to know the Lord’s will. What married couple could claim to have an intimate relationship, if their spouse spent only one hour on Sunday’s communing together? Yet, many so called Christians spend less time in the Lord’s presence each week.
1 Co 5 NEW CREATION
Sunday, December 11, 2021.
1 Co 5:8
Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth: Paul was reminding the Israelites about the seven Feasts that they were to keep as rehearsals of what would take place. The initial feast of the Passover Lamb was prophesying that Christ would give His life for the people’s sins 1 Co 5:7. Next, Paul referred to the festival of Unleavened Bread which pictured Jesus as the sinless Savior.
Application: Our recognition of Jesus’ sacrifice should create in us a desire to live a holy life characterized by sincerity and truth for the Gospel has transformed us into new creations 2 Co 5:17. The old lifestyle of malice and wickedness should be put off, for we are no longer slaves to sin and death Ro 6:13,14. We have been set free, so let us soar on high like the eagles.
1 Co 4 DISCERNMENT VS DECEPTION
Saturday, December 10, 2021.
1 Co 4:20
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power: Paul told the Corinthians that the kingdom of God was real and powerful, not people pretending with empty words. God proved the reality of His Kingdom by signs, wonders and miracles. The Body was not to function on its own strength or might but by the Holy Spirit’s power Zec 4:6.
Application: people who promote themselves rather than God, are not benefiting God’s kingdom and will be judged and exposed when Christ returns 1 Co 4:5. Part of coming to Christ is dying to self and pride Gal 2:20; Jas 4:6. Just as Paul had to deal with people with self- interests 1 Co 4:8, today we see many ministry leaders, who promote themselves rather than God and pretend to have an anointing from God (God’s power) but are only charlatans. Don’t be one of the naïve Mt 7:15,16.
However, in the end times, Jesus warned that there would be many deceived by false teachers and false Christs, who would have Satanic power to do great signs and wonders Mt 24:24. Discernment through intimacy with the Lord will be needed by all.
1 Co 3 REWARDS
Friday, December 9, 2021.
1 Co 3:8
The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor: the Lord has given all believers certain talents, interests and gifts to be used as He has assigned each their role. Although we have different duties, we have only one purpose—to further the kingdom of God. How well we work towards that goal is the reward we will receive. All of our works will be appraised by fire and our deeds that survive the testing will be rewarded 1 Co 3:13,14. Those works that were carried out in our flesh for selfish reasons will be burned, yet the individual will be saved.
Application: we only have one life to give to God and our rewards in eternity will be based on our actions during this relative short period of time. A shrewd investor would use his time wisely to reap eternal benefits. However, our true motive should be the gratitude we have for Christ’s sacrifice and the love God has stirred up because He first loved us 1 Jn 4:19.
1 Co 2 DEEP THINGS OF GOD
Thursday, December 9, 2021.
1 Co 2:14 Adobe Color: 2e3646
The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit: when unbelievers hear Biblical truth, they cannot accept it, as it appears foolish to them. It is only through the Holy Spirit that one can discern spiritual facts.
Application: there are many mysteries that God has hidden from the people of the world, but now He has revealed to those that love Him 1 Co 2:9,10. If you are a Christian, you have been given the mind of Christ 1 Co 2:16 to understand deep spiritual truths of God through the Holy Spirit 1 Co 2:10. This truth is found in God’s Word and must be diligently studied to discover the deep things of God.
1 Co 1 PERSEVERANCE
Wednesday, December 8, 2021.
1 Co 1:1
Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes: Paul prayed that his people, the Israelites would be saved Ro 10:1. While Paul was preaching to the Jews in Corinth, they opposed his teaching and became abusive causing Paul to leave the synagogue and turn to the Gentiles Ac 18:6,7. Crispus the synagogue ruler, also left and followed Paul leaving a vacancy in their leadership Ac 18:8. Sosthenes was chosen, who despised Paul and had him turned over to Gallio, the proconsul of Achaia for judgment Ac 18:12. When Gallio refused to prosecute Paul Ac 18:15, the people turned on Sosthenes and gave him a beating Ac 18:17.
Fast forward to Paul letter to the Corinthians, he stated that his brother Sosthenes was accompanying him in his ministry. God had answered his prayer and saved a zealot, who had previously lacked Gospel understanding.
Application: don’t be discouraged if God hasn’t answered your prayers for loved ones. Be like the widow that kept on petitioning the dishonest judge, for she finally was granted her request Lk 18:4,5. God is holy and His will is for none to perish 2 Pe 3:9, so continue to be faithful in prayer, believing God will answer your prayers 1 Jn 5:14,15.