Archive for June, 2020

The gods and goddesses at Corinth part 1

June 20, 2020

1 Corinthians chapter 7

Before I start, one needs to say that Paul is giving advice to a local church.  This was a very difficult situation.  If Barclay is correct and I think he is then the local believers had a very low estimation of the human body.  (I will quote him Later on) In other words, it was ok to do whatever including all the sexual vices such as prostitution both male and female! 

Aphrodite had over a thousand prostitutes.   We will be looking at a list of the gods who had temples at Corinth. 

Poseidon, Apollo, Athena, Hera, Hercules, Jupiter, Isis and Aphrodite…

Introduction Notice to 1 Corinthians chapter 7

June 19, 2020

Introduction

This chapter as the same as the last one is not always an easy read because it touches on the most intimate of relationships.  Paul wants to see the Church being Holy and Blameless. The Corinthians had serious issues and this at times makes Corinthians a hard read.  Paul says somewhere else in the scriptures; What ever is good whatever is lovely think about these things.  Unfortunately, Corinthians at times is any thing but good and lovely! Yet, we need to remember that these words were penned by an Apostle, this means the words are holy and God wants to challenge and teach us the way of Christ.  There aren’t many people that don’t have skeletons in their closets.  Let us pray that by the Holy Spirit we can become more like Jesus and walk in his way. Let us see beyond the spiritual shock and awe found in these scriptures, that we may be found on the day of Jesus’ return, holy and blameless through his work at the cross, in his blood and the hope we find in Him, through the resurrection.

1 Corinthians chapter 6 questions.

June 18, 2020

Questions

Verses 1 &2; Describe the two groups; a) The saints b) The unrighteous.

Verses 2 -5; Look at Pauls questions and questioning.  In your own words explain how Paul discourages the Corinthians to take each other to court.

Verse 8; Paul here is very sharp. What does Paul actually mean?

Verses 12- 21; Who does the body belong to?  Why do you think that the Corinthians has a low view of the flesh and at times didn’t see much wrong with sinning?

Today;

  1. How does this chapter speak to the human condition today?
  2. Are there areas in your life that do not measure up to Pauls view?
  3. Why are ethics important to Paul and to Christians in general?
  4. What view of scripture do you take?
    1. Progressive; Take the bits you like and throw the bits you think are outdated?
    1. This is God’s word and it means what it says. Human nature hasn’t really changed in 2000 years?
    1. A third way? (Whatever that might entail)
    1. How does your view of the Bible influence your style of living?
    1. Is it ok or do you need to repent and ask God to show you the way?

1 Corinthians chapter 6 Part 10

June 17, 2020

Summary

This is not an easy chapter to read but the modern Christian needs to do exegesis… What the text meant to the original reader… Then we can ask how it should be interpreted for the Church.   Let us not forget though that Scripture is Holy Scripture so let us not water down what these sins are. As believers we are called to be different and to lead holy and humble lives.  We need to remember before the lord this verse from the beatitudes;

[b]Blessed are the [c]poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

We need to remember it is God’s work in us that brings us to communion with God… Our good works have no salvific value.  It is only by the work of the cross, and the Holy Spirit working in our hearts by the gift of faith that we have any hope of salvation…

1 Corinthians chapter 6 Part 9

June 16, 2020

Joining to the Lord in Corinth was different and on a higher plane;

17 But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. 1 Corinthians 6:17

Sexual acts of prostitution are written off…

Paul continues

18  Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. 1 Corinthians 6:18

Flee Immorality as in “πορνεία” fornication.  It is a sin to join to someone else in this fashion.  There was a lot of πορνεία going on in Corinth… The Corinthians were called to separate themselves from this idolatry… This becomes very clear in What Paul says next;

19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

The Temple motif does not stop… The Corinthian Christian was a temple of the Holy Spirit.  They belong to God.   They were bought with a price… We all know what this price was… The death and resurrection of Christ and by faith and the agency of the Holy Spirit are brought into a relationship with the living God… Not many centuries later the pagan Greek Roman world was to sort of disappear.

1 Corinthians chapter 6 Part 8

June 15, 2020

14 Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power. 15  Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? 1 Corinthians 6:14-15

Let us not forget about the temples in Corinth, they would have had rituals in which they joined themselves to various gods.  In a different fashion as God the Father raised Jesus from the dead, he was also going to raise the Corinthians from death… They needed to be reminded that they were joined to Christ…

He goes on to say

Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! 1 Corinthians 6:15

Of course, not… In Corinth every day there were acts in which people through the act of prostitution believed they become one with a deity…   It was not to be in the Church.

Paul warns the Corinthians about the prostitution that went on in these temples…

16 Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.” 1 Corinthians 6:16

1 Corinthians chapter 6 Part 7

June 14, 2020

The Body belongs to the Lord

1 Corinthians chapter 6 verses 12 to 20

Before we even look at these verses, I think you need to understand that Corinth had many temples and places of worship… In a lot of these temples there were thousands of female prostitutes. For example, the temple of Aphrodite.  Homosexuality was also practised somehow in Corinth, but more work needs to be done to find out perhaps which temples or what context.  I don’t have the answers to these questions yet.  The main theme that is touched on Pauls language is that any sexual sin is a sin against one’s own body… 

Let us now dive into the text;

12  All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. 13  Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. 1 Corinthians 6:12-13

Paul is stating that there are laws but there are also grey areas outside the law.  Perhaps he is talking about natural and unnatural orders of things as he says, that God will one day get rid of both the stomach and the food somehow.  I don’t think Paul is very clear here, but I think some time later in Corinth we will hit this type of section again and then we will be in a better situation to understand precisely what he means. Perhaps when we look at food offered to idols; this will shed light on what he means here.   Anyhow the second part of verse 13 is very clear; “Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body.” 1 Corinthians 6:12-13

For the Corinthians and all Christians Paul gives us a litmus test… Is the Lord honoured in this that we are doing or dishonoured?  (My words)

1 Corinthians chapter 6 Part 6

June 13, 2020

Even though we have been caught up in our sin and there is no way we can save ourselves; This is Pauls answer…

11  Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:11

Jesus has done everything for us so that we can have a relationship with God… If there is hope for the Corinthians, then there is hope for us…  I am doing exegesis but our situation in the 21st century isn’t much different… We have more technology and I suppose we have invented new ways of sinning but the Gospel message of the cross and resurrection is also for us if we only believe and repent.  Repent ‘metanoia’ Change of heart and mind, being sorry for our past life and throwing ourselves on the grace of God. In Christ there is salvation.  I’m not here to judge anyone or to put anyone down… This was the situation in Corinth, we cannot escape it…  we cannot escape it… Day by day we ask God to give us wisdom… 

1 Corinthians chapter 6 Part 5

June 12, 2020

In this section Paul lays it on thick that we were sinners… There are no better or worse sinners, we are all sinners… Paul then gives a list.  This list doesn’t include every sin but some sins that sinners practiced possibly in the temples of Corinth… Historians say that sin wise Corinth was at the top…

Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Here in this list he makes no difference between sexual sins, sins against God, and economic sins… It would be interesting how Paul uses lists in other parts of scripture, but I don’t have time to do this now. 

1 Corinthians chapter 6 Part 4

June 11, 2020

5  I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not among you one wise man who will be able to decide between his brethren, 6 but brother goes to law with brother, and that before unbelievers?
7 Actually, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? 8 On the contrary, you yourselves wrong and defraud. You do this even to your brethren. 1 Corinthians 6:5-8

Summary

1 Corinthians chapter 6 verses 1 to 8

This church is very argumentative, and they have taken many wrong steps.  This is another wrong step along the way, but they are not beyond God’s grace. 

The unrighteous will not inherit God’s Kingdom!

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? 1 Corinthians 6:9

Who will inherit Gods kingdom? we could ask as a side issue…

Jesus said in the beatitudes as a start position

[b]Blessed are the [c]poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. NASB

My view is that the Holy Spirit has to start a work in the persons soul somehow and even then they have to come to a place of humility that they have nothing to give to God but realize salvation starts from Gods side…  It starts from the Work Jesus Christ did for us… We can bring nothing.