1 Corinthians 11

1 Corinthians 11

11:1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you. But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven. For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head. For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10 That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; 12 for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God. 13 Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God.

17 But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. 18 For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part, 19 for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized. 20 When you come together, it is not the Lord’s supper that you eat. 21 For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not.

23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. 31 But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.

33 So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another—34 if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home—so that when you come together it will not be for judgment. About the other things I will give directions when I come.

(ESV)

Going Deeper

Going Deeper

1 Corinthians 6-10 (2.16.19)

Grab your Bible and let’s go deeper into 1 Corinthians 6

1 Corinthians 6:13-20 … The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Sexual intimacy is a great gift of God for a husband and wife to enjoy with each other behind closed doors. It is not what disciples of Jesus Christ pursue by themselves or with anyone who is not your spouse.

The question is, how might you be making sexual immorality a gray issue in your life?

Read Genesis 2:24-25 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

Here we see God’s definition for marriage and our first insight into His wonderful gift of sexual intimacy that He gives to a husband and a wife. This is a joining of two lives to become one that is unlike any other in creation. This is what Paul is getting to in 1 Corinthians 6. He is saying there is a wonderful Christ-centered reason why God made marriage for a husband and a wife.

He is also saying there are terrible repercussions for our lives when we look for sexual intimacy outside of marriage.

There is an ever-increasing temptation for the bride of Christ to compromise her testimony by looking to sinful, worldly entertainment or sexual engagement outside of marriage for her satisfaction and joy instead of in Christ or the one place God gave us to exercise our sexual intimacy, in committed marriage.

God designed sexual intimacy for marriage alone. When it is enjoyed in this context, it is like a raging fire that is enjoyed as it burns safely in the hearth of your home’s fireplace. Outside of God’s ordained context of marriage, sexual immorality will reap great destruction in your life, like a raging fire burning anywhere else in your house but the fireplace.

The problem is, sin and society have really stolen God’s intention for marital intimacy.

What this has meant for the church is we have removed talking about and celebrating this wonderful gift from our lives. It has become a taboo subject! Rarely do we talk about marital intimacy within the church family and rarely do we talk about it at home.

We have essentially left this topic to be learned, discovered and celebrated on the world’s terms.

If the church is not talking about it and married couples are not talking about it, who is? Movies, TV, music, internet, books, magazines, co-workers, and news media.

The problem is, when we remain removed from rightly talking about, acting on, and celebrating God’s design for marital intimacy the world continues to teach us the wrong thing.

In the vacuum left by the silence of our church family, our kids and even our spouses are shaped with a view of sex and intimacy that is not at all what God intended.

How does this apply to you and those you are doing ministry with? Do you love each other enough to bring up this topic so that you can be an encouragement to each other–to help each other when struggling with temptations to lust or unhealthy engagement outside of marriage or an unhealthy absence of sexual intimacy within your marriage? Are you willing to go so far to even get professional counseling if needed to address this area of unhealthiness in your life? If we hear the severity of consequences that Paul is speaking of in our passage that comes from sexual immorality then we will be willing to take it this serious.

We must talk about it because if we don’t we will be left to the endless flood of godless ideals to convince us to partake or engage outside of God’s perfect plan for this area of life.

Understand: The world’s agenda when it comes to sex is to “profane” it.

Profane = to make it common–to treat something sacred with irreverence.

So, profanity comes from the word profane.

So, when we say “Oh, God,” in just a flippant common way instead of exalting His name and worshipping the true Go, we use it as a casual response to life and make it common. Or we use it as a swear word to illustrate the emotion of disgust. Like saying, “Jesus Christ”.

Like this, our culture’s agenda is to profane sex removing all mystery and holiness and sacredness and selflessness and make it common and casual. This only causes the mind to think about it as something that is simply for personal selfish pleasure, or status, or adventure.

Our culture wants to make sex simply about physiology and biology.

And so when they teach it to our kids in sex ED, it is all about mechanics.

Put this here and that there until you get a result. And, oh yeah, if you do not want babies or diseases, then wrap this on this first.

We have been convinced by our culture that they get it and we don’t.

This is why for far too many people they are captured by the world’s casual, mechanical, free-market idea of sex.

This is why so many struggle with pornography.

Many have come to believe that it is purely mechanical and, therefore, ok. Or that “THEY”, the world out there, understands sex more than we the church or God does and so we go investigating on the web or in movies or with other people to get a taste of what is perceived to be the good life, sexually.

This will only continue to happen until we take back sexual intimacy for marriage alone and truly begin to enjoy intimacy the way the Creator designed it to be enjoyed.

As our scripture today states, the consequences are major when it comes to sexual immorality. The emotional and spiritual scars that lust and sexual intimacy outside of your marriage brings is as deep as it gets according to the Bible. And I have never seen anything in my 20 years of pastoral counseling to be more true.

Stop and meditate on a few other exhortations from God’s word regarding this area of our lives:

“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!” (Psalm 119:9-10)

“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5)

“Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.” (1 Peter 2:11)

“Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.” (Hebrews 13:4)

“But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28 NIV)

Let me ask you, what are you exposing yourself to lately? Are you engaging in a relationship that is crossing sexual boundaries outside of marriage? Remember sexual intimacy of any kind is for marriage alone. It is not for love, commitment, fun, or whatever other reason one can think of to justify it.

Do you struggle with pornography? Do you have accountability on your phone or computer? Do you have access to unhealthy cable TV or Netflix? Many of these should be considered when fighting this fight. Access is a huge part of our ongoing temptation.

http://xxxchurch.com and https://www.covenanteyes.com are great resources for accountability software that doesn’t limit your access and brings others alongside to see what you are seeing. Or maybe it is time to get rid of the smartphone and go back to a flip phone.

Consider Proverbs 5 and replace the “immoral women” with “pornography” and read it again.

Proverbs 5:1-14 My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding,

that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge.

For the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil,

but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.

Her feet go down to death; her steps follow the path to Sheol;

she does not ponder the path of life; her ways wander, and she does not know it.

And now, O sons, listen to me, and do not depart from the words of my mouth.

Keep your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house,

lest you give your honor to others and your years to the merciless,

lest strangers take their fill of your strength, and your labors go to the house of a foreigner,

and at the end of your life you groan, when your flesh and body are consumed,

and you say, “How I hated discipline, and my heart despised reproof!

I did not listen to the voice of my teachers or incline my ear to my instructors.

I am at the brink of utter ruin in the assembled congregation.”

Brothers and sisters: There is too much to lose to not fight this fight. Are you letting others into your life to fight this fight with you? We must confess, repent, and grow from any ungodly practices of sexual immorality.

1 Corinthians 6:18-20 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

I am praying for you. I am praying that you look to honor God with this area of your life. I am praying that you risk and ask your brothers/sisters how they are doing in this area? That you work together to seek God and put up measures of real accountability and fight together to honor God in this way.

I leave you with the words of Paul in Romans 12:1-2.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

By His grace and for His glory,

-Shepherd

Soldiers for Jesus MC

1 Corinthians 10

1 Corinthians 10

10:1 For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.” We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, 10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. 12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. 18 Consider the people of Israel: are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar? 19 What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22 Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

23 “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. 24 Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. 25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 26 For “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.” 27 If one of the unbelievers invites you to dinner and you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 28 But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience—29 I do not mean your conscience, but his. For why should my liberty be determined by someone else’s conscience? 30 If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks?

31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.

(ESV)

1 Corinthians 9

1 Corinthians 9

9:1 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not you my workmanship in the Lord? If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you, for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.

This is my defense to those who would examine me. Do we not have the right to eat and drink? Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk?

Do I say these things on human authority? Does not the Law say the same? For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? 10 Does he not certainly speak for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop. 11 If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12 If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more?

Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ. 13 Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? 14 In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.

15 But I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing these things to secure any such provision. For I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of my ground for boasting. 16 For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship. 18 What then is my reward? That in my preaching I may present the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.

19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

(ESV)

1 Corinthians 8

1 Corinthians 8

8:1 Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.

Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.” For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”—yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? 11 And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. 12 Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.

(ESV)