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Bible Day 327: 1 Corinthians 4-6 - 10-31-2016, 03:01 PM

1 Corinthians continued

Chapter 4


In this chapter Paul continues his masterfully subtle passive-aggressive exchange with Apollos (first mentioned in 1 Cor 1:12, then discussed in 1 Cor 3:4-10) over who should get credit for converting whom.

He begins by stating that Christians are stewards of the mysteries of God (1 Cor 4:1-2). Paul doesn't want to be judged and asks Christians not to judge until the time comes (1 Cor 4:3-5). The whole argument with Apollos is just a misunderstanding (1 Cor 4:6-7).

We are rich with God's wisdom (1 Cor 4:8) and we shouldn't care that it is foolishness in the eyes of those who prefer logic and reason instead:

1 Corinthians 4:9-10
9 For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.
10 We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised.

As we can see, being a fool is good. Being despised is honorable. Check mate, atheists!

Being persecuted feels so good:

1 Corinthians 4:11-13
11 Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace;
12 And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:
13 Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.

So to conclude the passive-aggressive exchange with Apollos, Paul doesn't want to shame those who think they owe their conversion to Christianity to Apollos (1 Cor 4:14), because ultimately Paul is the origin of it:

1 Corinthians 1:15 For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.

Take that, Apollos!

Even though Paul has not met Jesus when Jesus was still alive, he knows the details of Christian dogma better than any other apostle:

1 Corinthians 4:16-18
16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.
17 For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.
18 Now some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you.

Now, some could say that Paul is boasting here, and sinning with the same pride he accused others of in previous passages. That is not true; the true humbleness of Paul lies in his acceptance of his authority.

Get ready, malcontents - Paul is coming:

1 Corinthians 4:19-21
19 But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power.
20 For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.
21 What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?

Get ready, because Paul is coming! Were you naughty or good this year? Paul knows and he will bring either his rod or his love to you!

Chapter 5


This chapter deals with the delicate matter of fornication, laying the foundation for the later discussion of female submission (in the upcoming chapters).

There are rumors that the recipients of this letter have been engaging in fornication (1 Cor 5:1-2). Paul accepts this hearsay as solid evidence, allowing him to judge (yes, apparently the time for judging as discussed in 1 Cor 4:5 has already come):

1 Corinthians 5:3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,

Paul judges in the name of Jesus (1 Cor 5:4-5). Christians should purge sinners from their midst (1 Cor 5:6-8).

The best way of dealing with sinners is to shun them:

1 Corinthians 5:9-11
9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: 10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.
11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

Jesus might have dined with tax collectors and other sinners, but for us simple mortals the best way of avoiding sin is to break all of the relations with the sinners.

God will deal with the sinners, He'll judge them (1 Cor 5:12-13).

Chapter 6

Christians should behave like mafia - if there is a problem, we need to solve it ourselves rather than going to the secular so called justice system:

1 Corinthians 6:1-2
Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?
2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

That is because we Christians can and should judge:

1 Corinthians 6:3-4
3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.

It's a shame to go to secular courts and show all of our private dirty laundry before unbelievers:

1 Corinthians 6:5-6
5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?
6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.

Of course, the fact that Christians take other Christians to court is the ultimate proof that they are unworthy sinners (1 Cor 6:7-8).

Here is a partial list of the sinners worthy of God's Wrath:

1 Corinthians 6:9-10
9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Of course those who accept Jesus are washed from these sins (1 Cor 6:11). All things are lawful (1 Cor 6:12), but here we come back to the fornication: it is bad because our bodies belong to God (1 Cor 6:13). God can help us (1 Cor 6:14).

Since our bodies belong to Jesus, if a Christian man goes to a prostitute he makes Jesus fornicate:

1 Corinthians 6:15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.

Eww!

Joining bodies with prostitutes is not good (1 Cor 6:16), because we should be joining with God instead (1 Cor 6:17), and therefore flee fornication (1 Cor 6:18), because our bodies are temples of God:

1 Corinthians 6:19-20
19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

To be continued...
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