1 Corinthians 7

1 Corinthians 7

7:1 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.

To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

10 To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband 11 (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife.

12 To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. 13 If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 15 But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. 16 For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

17 Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. 18 Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision. 19 For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God. 20 Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. 21 Were you a bondservant when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) 22 For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ. 23 You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men. 24 So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.

25 Now concerning the betrothed, I have no command from the Lord, but I give my judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. 26 I think that in view of the present distress it is good for a person to remain as he is. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman marries, she has not sinned. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. 29 This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, 30 and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, 31 and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.

32 I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. 33 But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. 35 I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.

36 If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed, if his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry—it is no sin. 37 But whoever is firmly established in his heart, being under no necessity but having his desire under control, and has determined this in his heart, to keep her as his betrothed, he will do well. 38 So then he who marries his betrothed does well, and he who refrains from marriage will do even better.

39 A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. 40 Yet in my judgment she is happier if she remains as she is. And I think that I too have the Spirit of God.

(ESV)

1 Corinthians 6

1 Corinthians 6

6:1 When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers!

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

12 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. 13 “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. 15 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! 16 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.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 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, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

(ESV)

Going Deeper

Going Deeper

1 Corinthians 1-5  (2.9.19)

Grab your Bible, and let’s dig into 1 Corinthians 4 today.

I want to start by focusing on one single verse we read in chapter 4 of 1 Corinthians.

1 Corinthians 4:7

… What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?

This little verse packs a punch. It stands to remind us that everything we are and/or have is from the Lord. It is so common to feel a sense of “I have worked hard to earn what I have or to master the skills I have.” To this viewpoint, I remind you of the following verse:

Deuteronomy 8:17-18 “Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.”

We must realize, God has not just entrusted us with everything we own, but everything we are, our skills, and the number of days we will live. It is all a gift from God! We are privileged to be entrusted with HIS provisions!

On our United States currency it says, “In God we trust.” What a great reminder that our nation needs in these days in which we live. That said, when you and I look at the money we have, we must hear God saying, “With this I have entrusted you!”

This is a great honor and privilege. The problem is we feel so deserving and often feel the money we have isn’t enough. This runs so deep that many turn to debt and credit to spend more than God has entrusted us.

Stop and consider this with me: We are privileged to be alive! This is not to mention, we have money in our wallets and food in our fridges and clothes to wear today. To think that I deserve anything good based on anything I have done is to completely miss the reality of our sin and the beauty of the grace of the gospel!

What I have found is many Christians don’t see it as their privilege to be a good steward, because they don’t see their schedules, their skills, and their stuff as God’s; instead, they believe it is theirs! This is the very important topic of stewardship we must rightly understand and practice.

Read with me David’s prayer in 1 Chronicles 29:13-17 (NLT):

“O our God, we thank you and praise your glorious name! But who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to you? Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you first gave us! We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace. O Lord our God, even this material we have gathered to build a Temple to honor your holy name comes from you! It all belongs to you! I know, my God, that you examine our hearts and rejoice when you find integrity there. You know I have done all this with good motives, and I have watched your people offer their gifts willingly and joyously.”

My heart for each of us is that we are like the people David is speaking of in this passage. They understood everything they had was from God. They understood it was not theirs; it was God’s. Because they understood these things, they stewarded these resources for His glory and not their own.

The problem is we often don’t understand! We think it is our RIGHT. We think it is our STUFF. We think we deserve it. But as a born again Christian, my life is not my own. It belongs to God!

Romans 1:6 says basically that THE HEART OF CHISTIANITY is to BELONG to Jesus! We belong to Him! We belong for His glory!

On Monday we will read the following:

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 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.

This means:

– My money is God’s money.

– My time is God’s time.

– My days are God’s days.

– My stuff is God’s stuff.

– My life is God’s life.

When we really begin to get this, we begin to understand the amazing, undeniable privilege it is to be His, and it changes how we manage our time, our talent, and our treasures.

The Bible says we are created for His glory. We have been bought with a high price for His glory. We have been entrusted with what we have for HIS glory!

So, how are we doing?

How are you doing at managing the time God entrusts to you?

How are you doing at managing the skills God entrusts to you?

How are you doing at managing the finances and resources God entrusts to you?

1 Timothy 6:17-19  As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

Let’s break this down:

1- They are to do good, to be rich in good works …”

The word “good” here is the Greek word “kalos.” It means beautiful. The question is when people see your deeds, do they see the beauty of Christ? Do they say “amazing”?

We are saved by the grace of God through faith in Christ in order to do “kalos deeds”–good deeds, beautiful deeds.

2- “… to be generous and ready to share …”

Are you generous in your lifestyle? How do you know you are living generously or sacrificially? Because it costs you something. It changes your lifestyle. You feel it!

3- “… thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.”

Jesus taught us that the way to true life is narrow. He said it is difficult for the rich to enter the kingdom of God. Why? Why is it hard? Why is the way to life narrow? Because we don’t need a wide road so we can carry all of our trophies and money and possessions and pictures and diplomas to eternal life; we just need Jesus.

Why is the road to eternal destruction wide? Because all that stuff has to fit as we pack it, worship it, and cling to it–straight to hell!

Why is it hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God? Because he wants to have his own kingdom now, and if it means being generous and living for God’s glory and fame and not his own, then he will pass. See, here is the true test. Many of us wealthy, gifted, healthy people have said “yes” to Jesus’ invitation to the feast, but we have our arms so full of this world that we have no time to help anybody else get there with us. Praise God, Jesus Christ is the door, and it is not by my good deeds that I am saved! But hear me today, beloved! When the gospel takes a hold of you, you will set down the treasures of this world and be faithful managers of God’s provisions for God’s glory, and in doing so, you will take hold of the life that is truly life.

I pray we are Christ followers who consider it a great privilege to faithfully manage God’s provisions that He has so graciously entrusted us with for His eternal glory!

Consider these things for yourself:

How do you need to repent?

– For making it about you?

– For boasting in you and not Jesus?

How do you need to take a fresh look at how you make, spend, or manage your money? How do you need to take a fresh look at how you schedule your time and priorities?

May we quickly repent when we see that we have been making it about us. May we steward His provisions well for His eternal glory and others’ eternal good!

By His grace and for His glory,

-Shepherd

Soldiers for Jesus MC

1 Corinthians 5

1 Corinthians 5

5:1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.

For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.

Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

(ESV)

1 Corinthians 4

1 Corinthians 4

4:1 This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.

I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another. For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?

Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! And would that you did reign, so that we might share the rule with you! For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. 10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. 11 To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, 12 and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; 13 when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things.

14 I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. 15 For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 16 I urge you, then, be imitators of me. 17 That is why I sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church. 18 Some are arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power. 20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power. 21 What do you wish? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love in a spirit of gentleness?

(ESV)