Archive for April, 2020

1 Corinthians 3, 4

April 30, 2020

4 For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men? 1 Corinthians 3:4 NASB

‘Are you not mere men’ This isn’t easy to translate.  Literally are you not men? This is the exact literal translation, but this must also be in relation to ‘fleshly’.  St Paul is giving the practical explanation of the jealousy and quarrels and what it is. ‘Mere men’ works but I also think the King James works here as well with the word ‘carnal’. St Paul in this verse is showing them where they have gone wrong.

1 Corinthians 3, 3

April 29, 2020

1 Corinthians 3, 3

3 for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? 1 Corinthians 3:3

As we said earlier that we were going to hit another word of flesh, “Fleshly”.  Earlier they were living the life of pleasure but here the meaning gets deeper… and he mixes it with the word jealousy and strife(quarrels)… Hmm ‘zealous for their quarrels’ that their leader is the coolest leader. Have we seen this in the 21st century? I think so.  We all need to learn from these Corinthian believers and grow up.

g4559. σαρκικός sarkikos ; from 4561; pertaining to the flesh, carnal:–
flesh(1), fleshly(4), material things(2).

g2205b. ζῆλος zēlos ; prob. from 2204; zeal, jealousy:–
fury(1), jealousy(9), zeal(6).

g2054. ἔρις eris ; a prim. word; strife:–
quarrels(1), strife(8).

1 Corinthians 3, 2

April 28, 2020

Baby Food

1 Corinthians 3, 2

2 I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, 1 Corinthians 3:2

This is a hard saying… The Corinthians are inside the fold of the Church here… They are believers in the Gospel, but they haven’t reached that maturity yet… I’m sure hearing St Paul say this, they would have felt devastated.  Obviously, he spells it out in the next verse.  (The use of milk and not solid food, this idea is also found in the book of Hebrews.)

We also need to stop and think about St Pauls words; Are we mature or immature?

 

In the next verse we are going to find out, and we need to listen very carefully… Especially Pastors of the flock some of which are full of pride…  I’m not a Pastor but I can see that to follow Christ we start from humility and true humility not based on our wage packets.  Matthew wrote and Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit”.   One cannot come to Christ without the Holy Spirit showing you the state of your internal heart and mind… There could be a lot of bones there that need to be thrown out.  Are there bones in your closet? How can you help the needy if you are only thinking about yourself?  Yes, the secular world have their stars to worship such as a footballer stars or screen artist stars… Corinth suffered from this as well… My icon is …

Let me focus on the congregation now.  The main gripe in this section of Corinthians was those who followed the different groups.  Obviously, this situation got out of hand otherwise Chloe’s people wouldn’t have reported it to St Paul… Poor Sosthenes who is the person who oversaw this church synagogue.  He saw this but he couldn’t sort the problem out…    It is going to get sorted out now as St Paul in a gentle manner digs into the root of the problem.

1 Corinthians 3,1

April 27, 2020

Chapter 3, 1

So previously we saw that we cannot in our natural self-understand the deep thoughts of God… God is beyond us and we are trapped in our sins.  But then St Paul injects hope into his writing… But we have the mind of Christ….  I suppose at that moment the Corinthian Christians may have been thinking that hmm “We have had a great time sinning when we should have known better.”

This will be spelled out to them in a loving and discipling way!…

1 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:1

The Corinthian lifestyle was indeed the way of the world and the flesh… Earlier St Paul spelled out the difference between the spiritual mind of God and the fleshy mind of man.  Now he Is getting personal.

Let’s go a little deeper and look at this word flesh in chapter 3, 1

Carnal sarkinos (4560), (a) “consisting of flesh,” 2 Cor. 3:3, “tables that are hearts of flesh” (KJV, “fleshy tables of the heart”); (b) “pertaining to the natural, transient life of the body,” Heb. 7:16, “a carnal commandment”; (c) given up to the flesh, i.e., with almost the same significance as sarkikos, Rom. 7:14, “I am carnal sold under sin”; 1 Cor. 3:1 (some texts have sarkikos, in both these places, and in those in (a) and (b), but textual evidence is against it). It is difficult to discriminate between sarkikos and sarkinos in some passages. In regard to 1 Pet. 2:11, Trench (Syn. Sec.lxxi, lxxii) says that sarkikos describes the lusts which have their source in man’s corrupt and fallen nature, and the man is sarkikos who allows to the flesh a place which does not belong to it of right; in 1 Cor. 3:1 sarkinos is an accusation far less grave than sarkikos would have been. The Corinthian saints were making no progress, but they were not anti-spiritual in respect of the particular point with which the apostle was there dealing. In vv. 3–4, they are charged with being sarkikos. 1 Corinthians 3:1

From WE Vine word pictures of the New Testament

The word for flesh here is sarkinos (flesh) i.e from the definition above is living in the body and don’t read too much into it yet.  In advance I will say that sarkikos is a lot stronger, but we haven’t got to that verse yet.  So here they are getting a telling off, that they are living the life of the ‘natural man (at the moment) and he calls them infants! Or a simple minded and immature person’.  I will let you decide which one is the better reading because they are both values with negative connotations… Nothing to shout about.

Questions for 1 and 2 Corinthians

April 26, 2020

Chapter 1

  1. What was Corinth like?
  2. What gods lived in Corinth?
  3. Who was Sosthenes?
  4. In the first 10 verses: How many times is Jesus Christ mentioned?
  5. Why is this important?
  6. How is God’s wisdom different to human wisdom? (From verse 18)
  7. What sort of people did God choose? (Verse 26)

Chapter 2

  1. How did Saint Paul show his humility at Corinth?
  2. Explain a few things about the Holy Spirit the third person of the Trinity? (From Chapter 2)
  3. From human nature without the Holy Spirit, can God be known? (Consider chapter 2 verse 10 and onwards.)

 

Going Deeper.

‘There were no serious problems at Corinth’

Do you agree? (make sure you have considered opposing points of view including your point of view)

This is a 1000-word essay question.  As well as the resources found at this website find other resources that will help you to give a coherent answer.

Examples of sites.

https://biblehub.com/

https://www.biblegateway.com/

You can go to YouTube.  There is some good stuff but also bad.  I would ask your Pastor to guide you on resouces.

 

1 Corinthians 2, 16

April 25, 2020

Verse 16

St Paul quotes for Isaiah 40,13 NASB

16 For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:16

The fuller quotation below ads a little bit more meat to this.  God is Lord no one instructs Him! Yet we are considered more than mere specks because while we were sinners God came down and died in our place… This is too hard a thing for me to fathom.  We appropriate it by grace and faith.

13  Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD,
Or as His counselor has informed Him?
14  With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding?
And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge
And informed Him of the way of understanding?
15 Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,
And are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales; Isaiah 40:13-15

1 Corinthians 2, 15

April 24, 2020

Verse  15

15 But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. 1 Corinthians 2:15

The next quotations nails this meaning.

1 Corinthians 2, 14

April 23, 2020

Verse 14

14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 1 Corinthians 2:14

So it is seen as foolishness to the natural man (mind). So, this is quite deep.

1 Corinthians 2, 13

April 22, 2020

verse 13

13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. 1 Corinthians 2:13

So, what does Saint Paul mean here?

My basic point is we can say that spiritual is something that is happening from within a human soul. People can’t see into the human soul but God understands the soul because he created it.

It does raise questions… Can the natural man know anything about God?  St Paul answers this in Romans 1 and 2.   This is not our remit though…

1 Corinthians 2, 12

April 21, 2020

verse 12

12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, 1 Corinthians 2:12

 

The interests of the world can be selfish.  Going out to party on a Friday night, sleep in, have illicit relationships to gratify oneself and dump those partners on one-night stands.  Go to the pub… This is the world, the flesh and the Devil… That does not mean that a person of the world cannot show love and care for his loved ones of course he/she can… At the most extreme level even Hitler showed love to Eva Braun.

However, I suppose I am talking about soteriology. Salvific data.  What would the common man know of Gods love…  St Paul is saying “In Christ Jesus” so this is a very special thing the world cannot know God. But in Christ we can know the things of God. We are brought into relationship with God as he shares his love in our hearts.

Just to clarify something I said earlier.  Many Christians were into the Friday nights in a bad way until that special moment  of conversion when a believer leaves behind the world, the flesh and the devil.