This is part 2 of our series in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. As we dig deep into this passage, we’re not only learning what a Biblical definition of love is, but also in what ways our cultural view of love is wrong. I pray you allow this passage to confront your beliefs and even to cut deeply as your own worldview is shown to be in conflict with God’s Word.
In chapter 10 of 1 Corinthians, Paul moves from universal principles to the specific issue the church at Corinth was dealing with: idolatry.
Idolatry is something we don’t understand well in our own culture. We tend to mix the 1st and 2nd commandments when we define idolatry as anything someone elevates over God or makes more important than God.
But in the case of OT Israel and the church at Corinth, they don’t desire to put anything above God, but they do incorporate other deities into their worship of Yahweh.
Paul will use the culture of OT Israel to show the Corinthians that in their similar culture, their struggle is infusing parts of their culture into their worship of God, and that is disqualifying them from serving God well.
In the same way, we need to pay attention. We DO determine how to exercise our Christian freedoms based on our culture and the people we’re serving so we remove obstacles, but we don’t buy into or embrace everything about our culture or any culture.
An outline of this passage could be: 1. The Situation 2. The Sin 3. The Solution
Paul will show that no matter the situation, we have the ability to please God. This is a challenge from Paul to the Corinthians to please God in their culture by understanding how God wants them to live.
As we study together, ask yourself: In what ways might my culture unintentionally be affecting the way I think about who God is and how I am to serve Him?
It’s been a joy to study this familiar passage and athletic metaphor in its entire context within 1 Corinthians. I’ve been so encouraged to consider my own life and my use of Christian freedoms – both partaking and refraining – with this passage in mind.
Here, Paul encourages the Corinthians to:
1. Run to Win 2. Run with Purpose 3. Run According to the Rules
And so should we.
As we complete this chapter of 1 Corinthians, I pray you’ll take some time this week to truly consider Paul’s teaching and consider how in your own life you can best use your freedoms – whether by refraining or partaking – to remove obstacles, win people, and share in their blessing of growth in Christ.
I’m continually amazed at how relevant and appropriate this passage is to the times we are living in. I find myself wanting to be done with giving up our freedom to gather and I long to be together again. But, studying this passage has given me so much joy that we can choose to not meet together for a time for the benefit of others.
My hope and goal, though is that we gain a long term perspective. This “present distress” we’re living under will pass, but the Truth from this passage remains. Let’s carry the lessons over into the spiritual areas of our lives and deal with our Christian freedoms on a spiritual level.
An outline of this passage could be: The proper practice of giving up Christian freedoms means to…
Make it your decision
Avoid poor theology
Be sure it’s temporary and situational
Know your obligations
We’ll be in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23. Last time, we covered the first 2 points in verses 19-20, so after a quick review, we’ll move on verses 21-23 and points 3 – 5.
As always, I’m looking forward to being together again and hoping it’s soon. But in the meantime, I’m praying for each of you, especially that you are growing in your walk with the Lord.
In Luke 24:13-33, the story of the road to Emmaus, we gain insight into what Jesus’s followers were feeling, thinking, and confused about. It helps answers the questions His followers had in the days following His death and even after they knew the tomb was empty, but still didn’t understand what that meant.
The crux of this passage is verse 21, where the two followers, traveling the road to Emmaus, say, “But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel.”
And here lies the problem: Their hope was misplaced in what they wanted to happen or what they thought should happen, instead of what God planned and what He wanted them to place their hope in.
It’s not enough to have hope – it must be in the right thing – and Jesus explains to His followers in this story just what the right hope is.
An outline of this passage could be:
The Setting of the story of Hope
The Wrong kind of Hope
The Source of Hope
The Right Response to Hope
My family and I wish you and yours a joyous day celebrating the resurrection of our Savior.