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Bible Day 329: 1 Corinthians 10-12 - 11-03-2016, 04:48 PM

Chapter 10

This chapter continues with the dietary issues.

Paul begins with reinterpreting the Old Testament from a Christian point of view. All Jews were baptized because of passing through the sea (1 Cor 10:1-2). That was a somewhat dry version of a baptism (after all, it was only the Egyptians who got wet in this adventure), but it was a baptism nonetheless. Paul also compares eating manna to Christian Lord's Supper, because the Old Testament Jews follow Jesus even if they had no idea they did (1 Cor 10:3-4). However, the problem with Jews is that some of them are sinners, and as Christians we need not to follow their footsteps (1 Cor 10:5-10).

The history of the Jews needs not to repeat itself:

1 Corinthians 10:
11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

Temptation is bad (1 Cor 10:12-13). Idolatry is even worse (1 Cor 10:14).

True Christians™ are wise men who have the right judge everyone else, including Paul:

1 Corinthians 10:
15 I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.

The Lord's Supper with wine and bread is good (1 Cor 10:16) because symbolically we are all crumbs of the same bread:

1 Corinthians 10:17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

Similarly, Jews are part of the meat they offer to God (1 Cor 10:18). The problem is with the Gentiles, who sacrifice their offerings to devils instead of to God (1 Cor 10:19-21). Partaking in such offerings will make God jealous (1 Cor 10:22). So even though some things are allowed by law, it's best not to do it - what's more important, legalities or making God happy (1 Cor 10:23). Worry about other people's wellbeing (1 Cor 10:24).

What follows is one of the most relevant passages of this chapter:

1 Corinthians 10:25-26
25 Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake:
26 For the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof.

Who cares if the meat comes from an animal which has never seen light, spent all of its miserable life in pain and in a tight space together with other animals? God doesn't care and we shouldn't either. God created animals for us to use as we see fit, without worrying about ethical issues (by the very definition, ethical rules cannot be applied to animals). Basically, what you don't know cannot hurt you.

The same goes when visiting, even visiting heathens - who cares where the steak has been, if it's good, eat it (1 Cor 10:27). However, when someone tells you that your steak has previously been at an altar for false gods, that's a whole different story (1 Cor 10:28). So when we compare with what was said in Chapter 8, it is OK for Paul to eat pagan sacrificial meat because he knows these idols are false anyway (1 Cor 8:4-9), but we should not eat it because of conscience (1 Cor 10:29-30).

Paul concludes by stating that anytime we eat, we have to remember first and foremost to glorify God (1 Cor 10:31-33).

Chapter 11

Here we go back to the really important stuff: gender inequality!

True Christians™ have to follow the words of Paul (1 Cor 11:1-2).

That includes the very important issue of the inferiority of women:

1 Corinthians 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

Men are supposed to pray with their heads uncovered (1 Cor 11:4) but women with their heads covered (1 Cor 11:5-6). That's because while men are the image and glory of God, women are just the fancy decorations of their men:

1 Corinthians 11:7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.

Just in case you thought that maybe the gender inequality thing is just briefly mentioned, Paul explains the matter in greater detail:

1 Corinthians 11:8-10
8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man.
9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.

You can't really spell out the Godly reasons for female subjugation in terms simpler than these!

Back to the women praying, while women need to be covered (1 Cor 11:11-13), that cover is simply made of long hair (1 Cor 11:15); and vice versa, since long hair is the cover for women it is not a good hairstyle choice for men (1 Cor 11:14).

The rest of the chapter is devoted to incorrect Christian social intercourse procedures. There are divisions and heretics (1 Cor 11:18-19), which means that when these divided people get together they aren't really participating in the Lord's Supper (1 Cor 11:20). The Lord's Supper is not a party or an occasion to get a free meal (1 Cor 11: 21-22). The Lord's Supper is a symbolic event in which we remember Jesus' sacrifice (1 Cor 11:23-26).

Whoever thinks that the long litanies of drug side effects are a thing of modern times, is totally wrong. Here is Paul's version of adverse side effects of participating in the Lord's Supper:

1 Corinthians 11:27-30
27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

Basically, if a sinner partakes in the Lord's Supper, he (or she) is guilty of Jesus death, brings damnation to himself, and that can lead to weakness, sickness, and death.

The way to prevent the side effects is to judge, judge, judge:

1 Corinthians 11:31-32
31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

In conclusion, fill up your hungry bellies before you leave home, and participate in Lord's Supper because you're worthy and not out of hunger (1 Cor 11:33-34).

Chapter 12

This chapter deals with spiritual gifts given by God to some True Christians™. Paul does not want us to be ignorant on this subject (1 Cor 12:1). After all, it's thanks to Paul that we won't be condemned forever:

1 Corinthians 12:2-3
2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.
3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

You have to admire the True Christian™ humbleness of Paul in these verses!

There is a great diversity of gifts (1 Cor 12:4-5), but they all come from God (1 Cor 12:6-7). That can include gifts of wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, doing miracles, prophesying, knowing spirits, speaking in tongues, understanding tongues (yes, the two latter are two totally different things; 1 Cor 12:8-10). This diversity is akin to the diversity of senses in a body - each part has its function (1 Cor 12:11-22).

There is no such thing as less honorable parts of the body:

1 Corinthians 12:23-25
23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.
24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked.
25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

Suffering of one member is the suffering of all (1 Cor 12:26). Everybody has his place (1 Cor 12:27), and each church has members who were given diverse gifts to fulfill each social function (1 Cor 12:28-30). Nonetheless, it's OK for the anus to earnestly covet the head (1 Cor 12:31).

To be continued....
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