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Bible Day 330: 1 Corinthians 13-16 - 11-05-2016, 04:44 AM

Chapter 13

This short chapter deals with charity. Charity is more important than knowledge and all of the other spiritual gifts (1 Cor 13:1-2). Even when we give a lot but without charity, it doesn't count (1 Cor 13:3). Charity is good (1 Cor 13:4-7).

As opposed to other spiritual gifts, charity never fails:

1 Corinthians 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

That's because other gifts are partial/imperfect, while charity is perfect (1 Cor 13:9-10).

As adults we should understand this, that charity is the greatest gift of all (1 Cor 13:11-13).

Chapter 14

In this chapter Paul deals with the important gift of prophesying, contrasting it to the useless gift of speaking in tongues.

Prophesying is the second best gift after charity (1 Cor 14:1). While people who speak in tongues that are unintelligible for other people are kinda useless (1 Cor 14:2,4), people why prophesy are actually useful (1 Cor 14:3-4).

Paul would prefer that people stop speaking in tongues all together (take that, Pentecostals!), except with an interpreter:

1 Corinthians 14:5-6
5 I would that ye all spake with tongues but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.
6 Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?

Paul continues to prove his point that speaking in tongues doesn't have any practical purpose (1 Cor 14:7-9, 12), because meeting between two people who don't speak the same language is not the best ground for a meaningful conversation (1 Cor 14:10-11). Those who speak in tongues should be able to interpret (1 Cor 14:13). A True Christian™ should pray in a language he understands (1 Cor 14:14-15). It's not a good image for the Unsaved if we preach in gibberish we cannot interpret:

1 Corinthians 14:16-17
16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?
17 For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.

Now, Paul, with his characteristic modesty, says he is better at speaking in tongues than anyone else, he just chooses not to do it:

1 Corinthians 14:18-19
18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:
19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.

So, don't be like little kids (1 Cor 14:20) and don't speak in tongues unless you want the unbelievers to think you're mad (1 Cor 14:21-23).

Now, prophesying is an entirely different matter:

1 Corinthians 14:24-25
24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:
25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.

Everything we do should be done for glorifying God (1 Cor 14:26). So if someone really really has to speak in tongues, then he needs to have an interpreter (1 Cor 14:27) or shut the hell up:

1 Corinthians 14:28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.

Also, Paul knows that Christians often try to speak all at once. He instructs us to do so one at a time, so we can actually listen to one another and learn something (1 Cor 14:29-31). God is the ultimate author of all prophecies (1 Cor 14:32-33, 36-27).

While we at the subject of speaking in church, there is one very important thing to remember:

1 Corinthians 14:34-35
34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.
35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

So let ignorants be ignorant (1 Cor 14:38), we should all want to prophesy and not forbid to speak in tongues (1 Cor 14:39), and in conclusion:

1 Corinthians 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

Chapter 15

This chapter deals mostly with the issue of resurrection of Jesus. However, Paul begins by listing all of the things Christians owe to him. He is the one who taught us about Jesus (1 Cor 15:1-8). So even though Paul persecuted Christians at first (1 Cor 15:9), God trusted Paul and for a good reason, too:

1 Corinthians 15:
10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

While some might say that Paul sins here with pride, I disagree. It takes a truelove modest man to acknowledge that he is the best!

What follows is a convoluted argument which can be summed up as "we have to be right because if we were wrong that'd mean we're wrong" (1 Cor 15:11-23). Now we're waiting for Jesus' second coming, when even death will be destroyed (1 Cor 15:24-28). Basically, if all of this wasn't true, then we True Christians™ wouldn't be wasting our time by preaching and obeying the Bible (1 Cor 15:29-33).

Beware of the evil deceptions (1 Cor 15:33) and don't sin (1 Cor 15:34). Fools will ask you how resurrection is even possible (1 Cor 15:35-36). What follows is a complicated metaphor which boils down to this: there are different types of everything (species, celestial bodies, etc), and the same goes for people: we have physical bodies now but we will have spiritual bodies after resurrection (1 Cor 15:37-49). The resurrection will not be literally in our physical bodies:

1 Corinthians 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

Once the last trump comes (1 Cor 15:52), when the world ends, we will all be changed from corruptible/natural to incorruptible/spiritual, dead ones included (1 Cor 15:51-54).

In other words - do not fear death (1 Cor 15:55-57), but have faith in God (1 Cor 15:58).

Chapter 16

Finally, thelast chapter deals with specific business relating donations and other church issues of his time. Paul is asking for donations (1 Cor 16:1-4). He will spend some time in Corinth after passing through Macedonia, and he might stay over for winter (1 Cor 16:5-7), and later he plans to go to Ephesus (1 Cor 16:8). Paul has many opportunities but also many enemies (1 Cor 16:9). If Timotheus comes he should be listened to (1 Cor 16:10-11), but Apollos won't be able to come (1 Cor 16:12). Keep the faith and charity strong (1 Cor 16:13-14). Speaking of charity, keep these donations coming, not let it be like the last time when you didn't donate enough (1 Cor 16:15-18). You have greetings from churches of Asia (1 Cor 16:19).

Kiss each other:

1 Corinthians 16:20 All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss.

Paul concludes the letter with his greetings and wishing that the grace of Jesus along with Paul's own love towards us be with us (1 Cor 16:21-24)
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