1 Corinthians 8 (1-13)Food Offered to Idols
Above knowledge, love must reign in the hearts and lives and actions of those who follow Jesus the Christ. When we love God and love others, we are known by God.
Paul addresses a concern that some Corinthian Christians had. They thought that if they ate food which was offered to idols, they would be defiled. Mature Christians know that idols have no real existence; therefore, they have no power over us or over food. There is only one God and one Lord, from whom all things come and for whom all things are. The food we do or do not eat has no impact on our standing before God. Christians who have and understand this knowledge should be aware of those Christians with weaker consciences, and not engage in any behavior that would cause them to stumble.
Favorite verse: (6) Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
1 Corinthians 7:20-40 (20-24) The state in which one is converted and called to Christ is the state in which they should remain and serve Christ. If one comes to Christ while as a slave in the sex trafficking industry or as a free person in the suburbs, as a married person or as a single person, as a circumcised person or as an uncircumcised person, God is able to save them all just the same. He is able to work in their lives no matter where they are or what they have done when they come to know Him as Savior.
(25-40)The Unmarried and the Widowed
Paul points out that those who choose to remain single are better able to focus on the things of God, while those who are married have to focus on their spouse and/or children. In whatever case we may find ourselves, however, we can live lives that are pleasing to God.
Favorite verse: (23) You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men.
1 Corinthians 7:1-19 (1-16)Principles for Marriage
Whether single or married, our lifestyles should be lived as unto God and for His glory. Some have been called to marriage, and others have been called to singlehood. God considers both sacred and can equally use those who are married and those who single to do great things for Him.
Regarding Christians who are married to nonbelievers, Paul writes that one’s Christian faith should be no reason for them to divorce. If they stay together, the Christian spouse has an opportunity to bring their non-Christian spouse to faith in Jesus the Christ by loving them with God’s love and setting a Godly example.
Favorite verse: (16) For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?
1 Corinthians 6 (1-11)Lawsuits Against Believers
Paul recommends that Christians should rather suffer loss when they are wronged by someone, instead of launching lawsuits and dragging that person into court. This is especially the case when Christians have disputes among Christians, and take one another to law before unbelievers. One day, we saints are going to judge angels. Indeed, we saints are going to judge the world. So, Paul asks, why are we not able to settle cases and judge trivial matters among ourselves?
We are also reminded that those who live unrighteous lives will not inherit the kingdom of God. Perhaps unrighteousness described our behavior before we came to know Christ as Savior, but no longer. Now, we have been washed. We have been sanctified. We have been justified in the name of the Lord and by the spirit of God. We have His power to live righteous lives.
(12-20)Flee Sexual Immorality
There may be things that are lawful for us to do, but not all lawful things are helpful to us and our faith. If this is the case, it is better for us to abstain from those lawful, but unhelpful, things. Our bodies are meant for the Lord, and the Lord for our bodies (to fill us and live within us so that we can do great things for His kingdom); therefore, we cannot do whatever we like. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, and they come from God. They were bought with the price of Christ’s blood, and are to be used to glorify God. We are not our own.
Favorite verse: (14) And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.
When God created woman, He made a very special creation. He made us beautiful and unique. He made us strong and resilient, gutsy and spirited, sassy and sweet. And He loves us. God really, really loves His girls. And the Bible is filled with many women – some good, some bad – all of who God made, who God loved, and who we can learn many lessons from.
So far in our Women of the Word series, we have looked at over 110 different female figures in the Bible. They all have something to teach us. So, (drum roll, please). Here is our eleventh series recap:
The daughters of Zion were haughty, flirted with their eyes, were obsessed with their outward appearance, and were judged for their behavior.
1 Corinthians 5 (1-13)Sexual Immorality Defiles the Church
Paul rebukes the Corinthian Christians for allowing immorality to take place among them. He tells them to disassociate from the person who is guilty of this sin, so that the Lord’s church will not continue to be defiled. Just as a small amount of yeast causes an entire loaf of bread to rise, so can a small amount of sin can hurt or damage the entire church. Because of the sacrifice that Christ made for us, we must live righteously and strive to be holy just as He is holy.
We must not be afraid to engage with unbelievers involved in sin, because doing so gives us an opportunity to win them to Christ. We aren’t to judge those outside of the church; we are to love them. We must not, however, have fellowship with believers who are openly involved in sin and are unrepentant about it.
Favorite verse:(13) God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”
1 Corinthians 4 (1-21)The Ministry of Apostles
One day, the Lord will bring to light those things that have been done in darkness and will reveal the purposes of the heart. With this knowledge, it is important that Christians live faithfully, whether they are seen by others or not.
As believers in Christ, none of us should be puffed of because of something that we have. We should instead recognize that all that we have comes from above and is a gift of God’s grace and love towards us.
Paul sarcastically tells the Corinthian Christians that they make think they are already rich and reigning as kings, but as an apostle, he is often buffeted, reviled, persecuted, slandered, and at the point of death. The world considers him and other apostles ‘fools for Christ’s sake’, but they faithfully respond with blessings and love and grace. We can respond in the same manner to those who consider our faith folly because we know that he or she “is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose” (Jim Elliott).
Favorite verse: (8) Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! And would that you did reign, so that we might share the rule with you!
1 Corinthians 3 (1-23)Divisions in the Church
Paul condemns the Corinthian Christians for following human beings instead of following Christ. Some claim to follow Apollos, others claim to follow Paul, and still others claim to follow Cephas. When Christians follow anyone other than Christ, they make way for jealousy, strife and divisions to take place among them. Paul emphasizes that neither he nor Apollos have any power of their own. They simply plant the seed of the Gospel and water it, but it is God alone who gives the increase and causes it to grow.
The foundation of the individual Christian life and the collective Christian body is Christ. We must build on this strong foundation with good works that are as worthy as gold, silver, and precious stones. God will test our works and our faith, and if we build on Christ’s foundation with anything less than the best, our unacceptable works will be done away with just as fire burns wood, hay, and straw. Anyone who is built on the foundation of Christ, however, will be saved. If our work is unworthy, Christ will not do away with us; He will only do away with our works.
We should take care of our bodies and honor God with our lives, because we are the temple of God and His Holy Spirit lives in us.
We should not boast in ourselves. We should not boast in other people. We should only boast in Christ because we are His and He is our’s and God’s.
Favorite verse: (23) And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.