New Testament In a Year: August 31 – 1 Corinthians 12

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1 Corinthians 12
(1-11) Spiritual Gifts
Believers have been given many different spiritual gifts. Some have the gift of healing, some are gifted with wisdom, and others have the gift of prophecy. There are a variety of gifts, services, and activities in the body of Christ, but it is one and the same God who empowers and gives them all. No gift is better or greater or more valued than any other. They can each be equally used by God for service in His Kingdom.

(12-31) One Body with Many Members
Paul compares the body of Christ to a human body. The human body is made up of many members – head, eyes, mouth, ears, hands, heart, feet – and yet it remains one body. All parts of the body work together. No member is less important than the other. The body would be useless if the entire body was an eye. Where would the hearing and the smelling be? Or imagine if the entire body was a foot. How would we see and handle things? With this example, we see how it is silly to disregard those believers who have different gifts or abilities as if they are not needed in the body of Christ. Whether Jew or Greek, slave or free, male of female, we have all been baptized into the same Spirit and are one in Christ.

Favorite verse: (6) And there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.

New Testament In a Year: August 30 – 1 Corinthians 11:17-34

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1 Corinthians 11:17-34
(17-34) The Lord’s Supper
Communion or the Lord’s Supper is a way for us to remember the broken body of Christ and the shed blood of Christ from His death and burial. It is also a way for us to be reminded of and look forward to His second coming. Before we take communion, we are to examine our hearts and lives and make sure we are walking rightly with Christ. As we all know, man looks on the outward appearance (which includes religious rituals and rites), but God is much more concerned about the inner soul and spirit and heart of those who follow Him.

Favorite verse: (22) What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not.

New Testament In a Year: August 29 – 1 Corinthians 11:1-16

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1 Corinthians 11:1-16
(1) Jesus the Christ is one who we should never hesitate to imitate. All His ways are true, upright, and altogether perfect. In following Him, we can never go wrong. He is our perfect example. We can also imitate those who are faithfully striving to follow Christ, and we should strive to faithfully follow Christ, so that others will be able to imitate us.

Favorite verse: (1) Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

Women of the Word: Joanna and Susanna

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Joanna and Susanna are two women who are introduced in the book of Luke and served alongside Christ during His earthly ministry. Luke 8:3 describes Joanna as “the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household.” Susanna is mentioned alongside her, and Scripture says, “these women were helping to support them [Jesus and His twelve disciples] out of their own means.”

Luke 24:10 goes on to say that Joanna was among the group of women who visited Jesus’ tomb after His resurrection. This Scripture specifically mentions Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, but it is possible that Susanna was among the “others with them” who told the apostles that Jesus was risen. Continue reading

New Testament In a Year: August 28 – 1 Corinthians 10:19-33

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1 Corinthians 10:19-33
(23-33) Do All to the Glory of God
Paul repeats what he pointed out in 1 Corinthians 6: all things may be lawful for us to do, but not all lawful things are helpful to us and our faith. We should refrain from engaging in those lawful things that do not build us up in Christ. We should also refrain from doing things that may offend the conscience of other believers, even though it may have no effect on our conscience. We do not live for ourselves alone. All that we do should be done for the benefit of others and for the glory of God.

Favorite verse: (31) So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

New Testament In a Year: August 27 – 1 Corinthians 10:1-18

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1 Corinthians 10:1-18
(1-18) Warning Against Idolatry
The history of Israel is written out in the Old Testament as an example for us to live righteously and not imitate the idolatrous lifestyles that many of the Israelites lived before God. It is common for all people to be tempted; however, we do not have to fall by it. If we rely on God and His faithfulness, He will provide a way for us to endure temptation.

Favorite verse: (12) Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.

New Testament In a Year: August 26 – 1 Corinthians 9

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1 Corinthians 9
(1-27) Paul Surrenders His Rights
Paul wants to be known for preaching the Gospel. Even though he has the right to be financially supported by the Corinthian Christians, he willingly gives up that right to avoid his Gospel witness becoming tainted. Just as soldiers make a living by fighting, and farmers make a living by their produce and animals, so those who preach the Gospel should be able to make a living by preaching the Gospel. Paul, however, would rather preach the Gospel free of charge so that others will know he is sincere and committed to his calling, and not just in it to make money.

Paul makes himself a servant to all people in order to win many of them to Christ. Paul becomes as one who does not know Christ, not by participating in sin, but by setting aside his preferences, and identifying with those who are lost in order to see them saved. For the sake of the Gospel and with the goal of seeing all people saved, Paul becomes ‘all things to all people’ – Jew, under the law, outside of the law, weak. He sets aside himself and steps outside of his comfort zone in order to bring others to Christ.

Just as a runner runs and just as a boxer fights to win a perishable price, Paul runs with a purpose to glorify God and receive an imperishable reward. Just as athletes practice self-discipline regarding eating and exercising to keep their bodies in shape, Paul practices spiritual self-discipline so that his own faith will remain strong.

Favorite verse: (22) To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.

New Testament In a Year: August 25 – 1 Corinthians 8

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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.