Monday, January 30, 2012

Journey Through 1 Corinthians

I Corinthians Journey

Let’s get the demographics out of the way. The church at Corinth was established as reported in Acts 18:1-17. Paul wrote the following letter to address the divisions. Sounds like today, right? I come to you today to tell you about Jesus and what He has done for me and to tell you that He will do the same for you.

Jesus Christ, the King of Glory, came down to this small speck of dust somewhere in the vast greatness of the universe that Jesus created, leaving the splendor and glory of His throne in Heaven, to be born into poverty and a world filled with sin and darkness.

He was Light that is come into this world of darkness is the way the John said it. He came to shine forth as the only source of hope and life to a world of men who lived in absolute darkness of sin and without hope. He came to illuminate our path that we could see those pitfalls that were already there ready for us to plunge into eternity without God.
He came as the source of light and truth to bring a reason for existing to man who was created in God’s own image.

His Light gives us the energy source needed to sustain life. His light brings illumination so that we can what is already there and that Satan is our foe to destroy us because we were blind in darkness and could not see what our adversary was doing. His light gives us the revelation Let’s jump in.
 1Paul called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 2Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their's and our's:
We first read a standard greeting. Then in verse two we see the S WORD. We see two S words. Sanctified we are in Christ and then we are Saints because of the sanctification. Paul in one line simply states that all people who call upon Christ are saints.
 3Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
 4I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;
 5That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;
 6Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:
 7So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
 8Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We are blameless because we are Saints by accepting God’s Grace.
 9God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
 10Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
We as a people are too worried about trash in our churches. A home’s structure will not stand storms if the foundation is cracked. We cannot have divisions if we are to win a lost world. Christian churches that argue over musical instruments the use or lack thereof, when baptisms occur, and most importantly, issues of scripture’s relevance are doomed to fail and mock the very cross of Christ when we cannot see when focus on our own needs.

 11For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
 12Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
 13Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
 14I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;
 15Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.
 16And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.
 17For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
Paul, as usual, pulls no punches. He tells them that God, Jesus Christ called him to preach the Gospel not baptize. As I’ve taught before from the Word, baptism the act thereof is not a saving act. Getting dunked in city water, well water, or river water doers not save anyone from anything except dirt. Salvation comes from Christ, the cross, and the belief.
 18For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
Foolishness. The thought of a man claiming to be God is nothing but stupid to those who are filled with their own wonder. The only thing more ridiculous than a man dying on the cross is the same man saying he will save the world by dying. Crazy, wild stuff!
If you ever meet anyone who claims to be God-
you’ve only got 3 choices:

1. Believe he’s an idiot. Doesn’t know what he’s saying.
Diminished capacity. Mentally unstable.

2. Believe he’s a con-man. Rip-off artist. Swindler
He pretends so can take advantage of you. (plenty around)

3. Believe he’s telling the truth.
In that case- you have to worship & obey him!

You already believe something about Jesus. The question is what?
Is he a Liar? Lunatic? or Lord?
a Deceiver? Deluded? or Deity?
 19For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
 20Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
Paul alludes to Isaiah.
 21For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
Think about this. Who spread Christianity? Jesus is the cornerstone, the centerpiece of Christianity, the reason we worship, but the spread goes to twelve ordinary, diverse, men from simple fisherman to tax collectors to a man, Paul, that pursued and killed Christians in the early days. What did they preach? The crucified, Risen Christ.
 22For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
 23But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
Jews hold the scriptures of old that prophesized the Savior, but they simply refuse to admit Jesus Christ is Lord. The Greeks have too many gods and they worshipped everything. Sounds like today.
 24But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
 25Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
Is God foolish? Is that what Paul is saying? No, no. It is a metaphor just showing that God is well, um, God and that men for all their learned knowledge pales in comparison. New Atheism: A guy named Chris Hitchens claims that the teaching about Jesus is unethical. He believes that the teaching about Jesus becoming a sacrifice for all humanity is wrong and unhealthy. It is unethical. For what it does, according to Hitchens, is absolve people from the responsibility of their actions. Without a sense of responsibility and consequence, chaos will reign unchecked.
That’s something isn’t it. We have so many educated morons claiming to know how it all started based on theories and evolutionary equations-well, um, no they can’t. But hey, at least they are the first ones to tell us how it didn’t start; you know God really didn’t just speak us into existence, right? Man is ever searching for knowledge. Knowledge is growing at an exponential rate as man’s hunger to know all things is every increasing. Man’s desire to have complete control and power over his environment has pushed his power to know and understand to the limits of sanity. We are ever searching for deeper meanings and great discoveries but the one thing we lack is the wisdom to handle all that we know.
 26For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
 27But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
David kills Goliath, Moses, an old, stuttering murderer leads God’s people to freedom, a baby born to a young girl grows up a humble carpenter only to die on a tree at the same time he is saving the world.
 28And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
 29That no flesh should glory in his presence.
 30But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
This is my God, your God, our Jesus! Not Islam’s god, prophet, not Hindu’s Sheeva, but Jesus! Three big words are here and should be looked at: Righteousness. We receive this the moment we believe in Christ. Sanctification is the ongoing work Christ does in our lives as believers. Redemption is the sum of the two parts above. Christ redeemed us, he has made us righteous and He continues to sanctify us by the Holy Spirit.
 31That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
Chapter 2 deals with wisdom. Not mine or yours, but God’s.
1And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
Paul does not boast. He was a well-educated man. Yet, he clings to the only real knowledge in this life; Jesus is the Christ.
 2For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
 3And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
 4And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
 5That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
Paul does demonstrate some key points. We as God’s chosen children like Paul are to witness and spread the Gospel. How can we do this if we are scared and frightened? We think we do stuff all the time. In sports, we catch the game winning throw, or hit a run or basket. “I DID IT!” We say these things. When we witness to people about God, it is not us speaking. Jesus promised his disciples that when they spoke of the things of God, the Holy Spirit would assist them. That friends, has not changed. The Spirit dwells inside of us as Christians. The smartest people on the planet have yet to figure out a way to stop death. Yet, Jesus has. The wisdom of men is oxymoronic ask any woman.
 6Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
 7But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
 8Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
 9But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
In verse six, I think Paul is being a bit ironic or maybe sarcastic to the “educated” people that look down on we mortals. These verses are profoundly simplistic despite the intricate beauty of how they are woven together. God is a mystery. We know him through the son and by study of the Word. God allows us to know what we need to know when we need to know it. There’s not a preacher alive that can say, “I know all about this book. I understand it all.” If they say it, they are lying and just want a donation. Verse nine speaks of the promise to come; Heaven.
 10But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
 11For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
Like I said earlier, God will let us know what God wants us to know. Many of you own Bibles. That in itself is God’s complete manuscript for us.
 12Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
 13Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
 14But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
There isn’t that many men that can really explain how a person is saved. We quote scripture, tell of how our own lives have changed, but when it gets down to it, who among us short of Christ can explain how the Spirit actually transforms a person.
 15But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
This does not mean that Christians judge others, but rather the Christian is different and set apart from those who are of the world.
 16For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.
Even though we cannot truly know the mysteries of God unless he reveals them to us, the sinner turned Christian saint lives life with a focus on Christ.
Just like job evaluations, Paul started out complimentary before addresses the area of need. Chapter three starts out blasting the church for their lack of growth.
1And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
 2I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
 3For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
How many times does a down on their luck person find Jesus in a church, prison, or any place when they feel lost? How many times does person sometimes well, forget about the cross, the grace of God, and you know, worshipping Christ when things in life go smoother than the rough patch that made them realize the Christ void in their life? We focus on ourselves and not Jesus.
 4For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
 5Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
Paul again focus on the issue of divisions in this one church, but really can we not apply it to ourselves and all other churches that at times seem to give people a reason to stay away than invite them in.
 6I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
 7So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
Christian people forget that Jesus saves. We sometimes feel like we are the ones doing it for the church. It’s true. Many Christians forget that each member of the church has a role to play, a job to do for the Kingdom of God. Ultimately, even though God uses us, He, the Father, Son, and Spirit are the ones who save.
 8Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
By no means is this saying salvation is a work based system. However, Christians do get rewards in Heaven.
 9For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
 10According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
We all work through God with God to expand knowledge of God to those who truly do not know.
 11For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Why choose Jesus over the other religious teachings and teachers? Christ is the only one that lives. All others are dead. History if it does nothing else has taught that those other guys have faded into memories whereas Christ despite recent government and court decisions that state otherwise is still on the throne.
 12Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
 13Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
What do you think of when you think of fire? It is a cleansing element without question. Fire strengthens us at times. In the Bible many times, God is seen through/as fire. The day in question is I believe Judgment Day. A consistent principle taught throughout scripture is yes, friends, we will all give account of our lives and our actions on that day.
 14If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
 15If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
Salvation is something once obtained cannot be lost. I know many Christians believe otherwise, but to do so is honestly contrary to the Bible’s teachings. Jesus said no one could take his children from him. Rewards are a different story. Christians can be saved, but not live in God’s will. The true Christian will feel the Holy Spirit convict them when they are out of God’s will. Once that conviction tears away at the heart, the Christian will make amends to repent and ask forgiveness.
 16Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
 17If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
Nothing like being called the temple of God to make you want to put down the doughnut. All kidding aside, God creates us in his image. Once saved, the Spirit dwells within. So pro-choice people, our bodies not really ours.
 18Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.
 19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.
Let us look at this list of people. God used them to accomplish mighty things. In many cases, some men were not wise, but God accomplished much with so little.
Noah - drunkenness
Abraham - lack of trust in God
Lot - drunkenness
Moses - avoiding God's call, killing the Egyptian
Isaac and Rebekah - favoritism
Jacob - stealing the birthright
Joseph - deceiving his brothers
David - adultery and murder
Job - justified himself
Jonah - ran from God
John Mark - left Paul on a missionary journey
Paul - unable to free himself from a "thorn in the flesh"
Ole Peter ran his mouth a lot you know. He fits the verses above quite nicely. Peter himself admitted to Jesus that he was "a sinful man." In one instance, Jesus blessed Peter6 and not five verses later called him "Satan." Peter made the pronouncement that he would never leave Jesus, being even willing to die before denying Him. However, Peter denied knowing Jesus three times after He was arrested and fled.
 20And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.
 21Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are your's;
 22Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are your's;
 23And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's.
To translate verses twenty through twenty-three into a simpler statement: “God knows what you are thinking, you aren’t that great, you belong to Christ therefore you belong to God.

1 Corinthians 4
 1Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
 2Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
 3But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.
Ministers are called. They are to be held to a higher standard. That being said:
 4For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.
God is the judge. Now that is not to say that we as Christians turn a blind or complacent eye to sin and more to the point the people doing the sin. If we look at Christ and His ministry, He walked and talked daily with the the so called by today’s standards, bad types, the whores, the drunks, the low lifes. He had n problem speaking with them because He educated them ontheir need to repent, their need to change, their need for the grace of God. We should be that way if we call ourselves Christians.
 5Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
Again we are not to think sin is commonplace, but as far as the people go, we must night be like the Pharisees of old with our noses up in the air judging every person that does or does not go to our church.
 6And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.
 7For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?
Ever hear someone say, “If preacher X leaves church Y, I’ll stop going”? Why do we do to church? Is it to socialize, an attempt to feel better about ourselves, that Christian friend just kept asking us, is to stand during worship and half-heartedly hum the tune while not bringing ourselves to you know, actually praise the Lord? The preacher or the church’s roll or even the denomination does not matter. What does matter is Jesus Christ at the center of ministry and outreach.
 8Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you.
 9For 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.
Paul says he and the others are appointed to die and that they are like a circus act for all the world to see. When Paul became an apostle, Jesus said he would suffer for the namesake of Christ. All of the disciples turned apostles knew the cost of following Christ. One of the biggest truths detractors cannot grasp if Jesus was just a man, how and why did the church form under ignorant men, and why did these men die for a lie?
 10We 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.
 11Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace;
 12And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:
 13Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.
Paul lays down the line in the sand so to speak by listing the differences between himself and the apostles and the people, the Christians, at the church. The apostles were considered fools because they preached Christ, his gospel, his grace, his love, his truth. Going back to why we go to church, many times, I feel, we, are like the Corinthians. We use our church status, our relationship with Christ whether genuine or not, like a social media, status update. We want people to know we are there on Sunday maybe Wednesday, but Monday-Saturday, it is business as usual. The Corinthians were using their Christian status to look more um, uppity I suppose.
 14I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.
 15For 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.
 16Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.
Paul is in no way attempting to equal himself to Christ, but reminds the church that although there are many instructors in Christ, he is the one that first established the church through the Christ’s gospel. He just simply wants them to remember and return to their roots.
 17For 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.
Paul is preparing the path for a young preacher, his traveling buddy, protégé, Timothy.
 18Now some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you.
Even in this time there are those who run their melee mouths about the church and those who serve Christ.
 19But 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.
 20For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.
 21What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?
The Kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. Does that extinguish the power of the word in the Bible? No. Jesus is the Word of God. Notice the capital W. Paul loves rhetoric too. Think of an older uncle that is not pleased with your behavior as he is trying to watch the game. He hollers to you from the other room, “Don’t make come in there!” Paul is doing that when asking the people if they want to do things the easy way or the hard way. He knew the arrogant, self-righteous, pious people would no doubt at this point is his letter be offended. Keep Paul’s last comment as we read the next line.

Chapter 5
 1It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife.
Some son married his stepmother. Sex. Something God designed has become Satan’s best weapon against us. Lust creeps in and destroys the moral fabric that the Holy Spirit has woven in our marriages if said marriage is between a man and a woman that are Christians. Sorry, lesbians, homosexual males, God’s Word defines marriage no matter how many states add constitutional amendments; one man, one woman. Today, we stand defending marriage. We stand defending our young people from porn, sexting, and other filth. The world calls it entertainment, they call it choice, they call it America. God calls it an abomination.
 2And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.
 3For 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,
Didn’t Paul just write not to judge, but here he is judging the fornication and those involved? The Bible presents the formula in dealing with matters of sin within its own ranks. Paul is going forward in this manner.
 4In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
 5To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Many educated theologians debate this. Here is my simplistic take on it: The body of a believer is a temple for the Holy Spirit. If the person will not repent of the sin, sadly they are giving themselves up perhaps physically to Satan. I dare say Paul is advocating expulsion from the church, but as we will read later, the Church, people, we, are the bridge of Christ, and in being that, we must be found blameless and pure for our Lord. Since we are failed flesh turned saints by the blood, when we fall to sin and we will, we listen to conviction from the Holy Spirit, repent and look to Christ. If the person committing the sin is not saved, that is ultimately what the church family wants to shoot for, introducing the lost to Christ’s grace.
 6Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
 7Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
 8Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
The Bible is making the case that it does take a big sin or a lot of sin to corrupt us
When we allow even a small amount of sin in our lives, it has the ability to spread. We deceive ourselves into thinking that a little sin is acceptable and controllable. Satan has us right where he wants us when we start to believe that we can handle a little sin. As soon as we feel that we are in control, sin can easily take control of us. The truth is that sin sours us from a right relationship with God. It causes us to be puffed up in pride just like dough is puffed up with yeast. Not only can a little bit of sin contaminate our lives, but it also will affect others. Our sin has a way of contaminating our families and polluting the church.
 9I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
 10Yet 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.
Paul says tell them about Jesus, but don’t hang out with them every Saturday night. We have to church, speak to those who are not like ourselves. Follow Christ. He spoke, taught, and extended his grace to the whores and drunks of the world. We should offer to them the witness and love of Christ, but at the same time, we don’t have to hang out at the bars with ‘em, okay.
 11But 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.
 12For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?
Paul’s strong words certainly can apply to sin in general, but his message appears to be directed at the church family and her members who are sinning or refuse to admit they need to stop sinning, fall on their face before God, and get right with Jesus.
 13But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
Strong words from Paul. He says God will judge those outside the church. Put away, deal with, kick out, and eliminate the sin from within the church.
Chapter six is split dealing with civil issues and a return to purity among believers.
1Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?
 2Do 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?
 3Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
 4If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.
 5I 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?
 6But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.
What an embarrassment on a church in generality when two Christians duke it out in court over something stupid. In a nutshell, Paul advises Christians to not take civil matters to a secular, worldly, not Christian, court.
 7Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?
 8Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.
It makes the church look bad in the eyes of the world. The business of the church and her members should be introducing the lost to Christ not airing out laundry in a courtroom.
 9Know 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,
 10Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
Who isn’t mentioned in these verses? Not one of us can get to Heaven based on our own work and sins. Paul mentions these to lead into the next verse slamming the pseudo-use of Christ. You cannot claim Christianity and Christ and still wallow in the same sins.
 11And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Paul reminds THE PEOPLE THAT HEY, SOME OF YOU USED TO BE DRUNK and so on. We are all washed, sanctified, and justified by the Holy Spirit.
 12All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
Those in the Christian realm and those who attack Christianity share a bond. What? I know it sounds crazy, but listen. Certain denominations preach that salvation given freely by Christ on the cross can be lost. Those others who attack Christianity attack the scripture written by Peter inspired by God that says, “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit.” They argue that the scriptures give Christians the right to sin even as a believer. Some in the Christian realm believe that as well. The Bible forbids certain things. We crazy Christians don’t do those things. If grace and salvation worked like an automated carwash, we could sin all we wanted with no regard for Christ, get all nasty with whoever and whatever, ask forgiveness, and repeat the process the next day or night without any thought or reverence to God. It does not work that way, folks.
 13Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.
 14And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.
 15Know 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.
Remember what I said about being the temple? Sex with your marriage partner good. Sex with whore bad.
 16What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
 17But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
 18Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
 19What? 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?
Holy temple again.
 20For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
Sounds pretty simple, right? We should glorify God in our bodies and spirit by living right, teaching others about him, and basically sharing the Gospel by our actions and words.

To be or Not to Be Married

1Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
First, the above verse does not promote homosexuality. This is a verse like the whole of scripture that must be read in context with the following verses.
 2Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
 3Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.
 4The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.
 5Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
Let me simple and clear on verses two-five. Husbands, wives, neither of you have the right to say or do anything in opposition to the other. Have sex with ONLY your spouse a lot.
 6But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.
 7For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.
 8I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I.
 9But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.
Paul stayed single with his eye on Jesus the whole time. He is not saying, “Hey, let everyone hook up and marry for the wrong reason.” If you are in a loving, Christ centered relationship called marriage, it is good, but if you are not married, the lustful temptations will be present. Why do you think marriage partners stray? Are they bored? Yes, probably. Are they bored with you? Not exactly. If they are treated the same way, badly all the time, they will look for positive attention elsewhere, men and women. Be good to your spouse.
 10And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:
 11But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.
 12But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.
 13And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.
 14For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
 15But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.
 16For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?
More times than not it is the lady, the mom, the wife taking the kids to church because the husband is not a Christian or it just doesn’t go for God’s Word saying do not forsake the fellowship. Regardless, the concept remains, do not give up the marriage. Continue to pray despite the hardship that God’s Word will not come back void.
 17But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk.
And so ordain I in all churches.
 18Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised.
 19Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.
 20Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.
 21Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.
 22For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant.
 23Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.
 24Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.
This set of verses may not seem like they are important to this generation, but I believe they are very detailed for this generation. We spend time worrying about what people think of us, don’t we? Many people today go to a church and treat it like a social club. The Jewish customs were just that, customs. In order to be considered holy or right with God, certain events had to happen and so forth. Paul is saying simply, “Let God shine through you despite you.”
 25Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.
 26I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be.
 27Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.
 28But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.
 29But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;
 30And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;
 31And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.
 32But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:
 33But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.
 34There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
In all things we do, God should receive glory. A wife is going to please her husband and so forth. If a person is single they can focus all their time on God rather than the dishes and family outings. Paul is not choosing one over the other, but the truth is, some people are better servants if they are single. Some are better servants with a spouse.
 35And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.
 36But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.
 37Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well.
 38So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better.
 39The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.
 40But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God.
You’re a Christian?
1 Corinthians 8
The most heartbreaking comment anyone can makes to a Christian is, “I did not know you were a Christian.” We are our actions. Peter had the biggest hang up about Jewish customs and meat. Paul addresses somewhat this situation that bothered many people in the church.
 1Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.
 2And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.
 3But if any man love God, the same is known of him.
 4As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.
 5For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)
 6But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
There is one God. Focusing on what we eat is not at all what we should be doing. We should focus living this life for Christ and not worry about useless matters.
 7Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.
 8But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.
 9But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.
 10For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;
 11And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?
 12But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.
 13Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.
Let me sum it up. At this time, young Christians were having trouble understanding the concept of faith. They were still under the impression of the Law that one could not do certain things like eat certain kinds of meat. Remember now that the reason why God gave us the Law, the Commandments was not so we could keep each one because we cannot. The Law was given to show us our need for Him, Christ. Now, let us take this to a modern sense. Paul spoke about him and other, more mature Christians not causing those weaker in the faith to fall. Our actions define us. We do not want to be told by someone, “Wow, you are a Christian, I had no idea.” If we say we are Christians, we will resemble Christ if we are in truth what we say we are.
1 Corinthians 9
 1Am I am not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?
 2If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.
 3Mine answer to them that do examine me is this,
 4Have we not power to eat and to drink?
 5Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?
 6Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?
 7Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?
 8Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?
 9For it is written in the law of Moses, thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?
 10Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.
 11If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?
 12If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.
 13Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?
 14Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
 15But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.
 16For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
 17For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.
 18What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.
 19For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
 20And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
 21To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
 22To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
 23And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
 24Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
 25And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
 26I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
 27But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Verses 1-14 can be summed up simply by saying this: Provide for the minister. Paul denied himself having a family to carry on the work of God. Look at 1-14 again translated into I suppose modern language that all can understand from The Message Bible:
1-2 And don't tell me that I have no authority to write like this. I'm perfectly free to do this—isn't that obvious? Haven't I been given a job to do? Wasn't I commissioned to this work in a face-to-face meeting with Jesus, our Master? Aren't you yourselves proof of the good work that I've done for the Master? Even if no one else admits the authority of my commission, you can't deny it. Why, my work with you is living proof of my authority!
 3-7I'm not shy in standing up to my critics. We who are on missionary assignments for God have a right to decent accommodations, and we have a right to support for us and our families. You don't seem to have raised questions with the other apostles and our Master's brothers and Peter in these matters. So, why me? Is it just Barnabas and I who have to go it alone and pay our own way? Are soldiers self-employed? Are gardeners forbidden to eat vegetables from their own gardens? Don't milkmaids get to drink their fill from the pail?
 8-12I'm not just sounding off because I'm irritated. This is all written in the scriptural law. Moses wrote, "Don't muzzle an ox to keep it from eating the grain when it's threshing." Do you think Moses' primary concern was the care of farm animals? Don't you think his concern extends to us? Of course. Farmers plow and thresh expecting something when the crop comes in. So if we have planted spiritual seed among you, is it out of line to expect a meal or two from you? Others demand plenty from you in these ways. Don't we who have never demanded deserve even more?
 12-14But we're not going to start demanding now what we've always had a perfect right to. Our decision all along has been to put up with anything rather than to get in the way or detract from the Message of Christ. All I'm concerned with right now is that you not use our decision to take advantage of others, depriving them of what is rightly theirs. You know, don't you, that it's always been taken for granted that those who work in the Temple live off the proceeds of the Temple, and that those who offer sacrifices at the altar eat their meals from what has been sacrificed? Along the same lines, the Master directed that those who spread the Message be supported by those who believe the Message.
In relation to chapter 9:15-23, Matthew Henry wrote this:
By preaching the gospel, freely, the apostle showed that he acted from principles of zeal and love, and thus enjoyed much comfort and hope in his soul. And though he looked on the ceremonial law as a yoke taken off by Christ, yet he submitted to it, that he might work upon the Jews, do away their prejudices, prevail with them to hear the gospel, and win them over to Christ.
In my humble opinion, this is at the heart of why we do what we do in the name of Christianity. Why do we go to church and sing? Is church a social club? For many it is. When those in the church act like the world, those who are in church will never come to church based solely on the actions of the self-proclaimed Christian that does not live a life for Christ. Paul preached, taught, presented, lived, and died for the Gospel of Christ. Are we doing that for Christ, the very one that died for us? Paul said, ‘Woe be to me if I do not preach the Gospel.’ It is one thing to do something in ignorance, but to do something you know is wrong or not do something that is right, is more terrifying than the former not knowing.
In verse 24-27, Paul refers to the Isthmian games to make his point. This life, good people, is one big race. Just as athletes prepare to win a race, so must we. We grow in Grace when we spend time with God daily. We must focus our lives on Jesus Christ, what he has done for us so that we can run the race, live our life for him alone.

Paul, in chapter 10 gives a history lesson of Israel’s past. Here is chapter 10 from Holman’s:
1 Now I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers (A) were all under the cloud, (B) all passed through the sea, (C) 2 and all were baptized (D) into Moses (E) in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food, (F) 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from a spiritual rock (G) that followed them, and that rock was Christ. (H) 5 But God was not pleased with most of them, for they were struck down in the desert. (I)
    6 Now these things became examples for us, so that we will not desire (J) evil as they did. (K) [a] 7 Don't become idolaters (L) as some of them were; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and got up to play. (M) [b] (N) 8 Let us not commit sexual immorality (O) as some of them did, [c] and in a single day 23,000 people fell dead. (P) 9 Let us not tempt Christ as some of them did, [d] and were destroyed by snakes. (Q) 10 Nor should we complain (R) as some of them did, (S) [e] and were killed by the destroyer. (T) [f] 11 Now these things happened to them as examples, and they were written as a warning to us, (U) on whom the ends of the ages (V) have come. (W) 12 Therefore, whoever thinks he stands must be careful not to fall! (X) 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful (Y) and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape, (Z) so that you are able to bear it.
   Christ is the Rock on which the Christian church is built; and of the streams that issue there from, all believers drink, and are refreshed. People love verse thirteen when troubles come. It is true that God does test our faith and trust at times, but we must remember that the temptation comes not from God.
Warning against Idolatry
 14 Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. 15 I am speaking as to wise people. Judge for yourselves what I say. 16 The cup (AA) of blessing (AB) that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ? The bread (AC) that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one (AD) body, for all of us share that one bread. 18 Look at the people of Israel. [g] Are not those who eat the sacrifices partners in the altar? (AE) 19 What am I saying then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, but I do say that what they [h] sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be partners with demons! 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot share in the Lord's table and the table of demons. 22 Or are we provoking the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He? (AF)
    Focus on verse twenty-one. The good do not tarry or hang out with the bad. We cannot say we are Christians, ones who imitate Christ by going to a place of worship one day and act like the world the next day. We must be true in our beliefs in every area of worship.
Christian Liberty
 23 "Everything is permissible," [i] [j] but not everything is helpful. "Everything is permissible," [k] [l] but not everything builds up. 24 No one should seek his own [good], but [the good] of the other person. (AG)
    25 Eat everything that is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience' sake, for 26 the earth is the Lord's, (AH) and all that is in it. (AI) (AJ) 27 If one of the unbelievers invites you over and you want to go, eat everything that is set before you, without raising questions of conscience. 28 But if someone says to you, "This is food offered to an idol," do not eat it, (AK) out of consideration for the one who told you, and for conscience' sake. [m] 29 I do not mean your own conscience, but the other person's. For why is my freedom judged (AL) by another person's conscience? 30 If I partake with thanks, (AM) why am I slandered because of something for which I give thanks?
    31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God's glory. (AN) 32 Give no offense (AO) to the Jews or the Greeks or the church of God, 33 just as I also try to please all people in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, (AP) that they may be saved.
The dietary customs were in question in these verses. Again, we are not to hang out so to speak with the unbeliever, but one should not focus on the food presented before them. Let me make it clear for today’s people: I do not drink alcohol. I do not look down on those who do drink like so many did years ago involving food rather than alcohol. Now I will witness to those who are drinking without passing judgment.
Chapter 11
Now I praise you because you always remember me and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you. But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of the woman, and God is the head of Christ. Every man who prays or prophesies with something on his head dishonors his head. But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since that is one and the same as having her head shaved. So if a woman's head is not covered, her hair should be cut off. But if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, she should be covered.
Let us be clear on this: Paul was addressing specific situations and occurrences in the church at this time. We each have a place so to speak. That place as demonstrated in the next verses show ou place isvhonoring God.
A man, in fact, should not cover his head, because he is God's image and glory, but woman is man's glory. For man did not come from woman, but woman came from man. And man was not created for woman, but woman for man. This is why a woman should have [a symbol of] authority on her head, because of the angels. In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, and man is not independent of woman. For just as woman came from man, so man comes through woman, and all things come from God.
Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair it is a disgrace to him, but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her as a covering. But if anyone wants to argue about this, we have no other custom, nor do the churches of God. (1 Corinthians 11:2-16 HCSB)
Is the covering of the head a veil or hair concerning the woman? Both. At this time, roles of men and women were somewhat ambigious. Doesbthis mean that men with long hair are not godly Christians? No, of course not. At the time, long hair on men symbolized at leastbin this area, prostitution. Let us look at the Word concerning The Lord's Supper.

Now in giving the following instruction I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. For to begin with, I hear that when you come together as aurch there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. There must, indeed, be factions among you, so that those who are approved may be recognized among you. Therefore, when you come together in one place, it is not really to eat the Lord's Supper. For at the meal, each one eats his own supper ahead of others. So one person is hungry while another gets drunk! Don't you have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you look down on the church of God and embarrass those who have nothing? What should I say to you? Should I praise you? I do not praise you for this!

Sound familiar? How many churches do we hve right now arguing over when or how many times to partake in The Lord's Supper? At this time, basically, people were abusing the sancity of the act by doing it just to get drunk.
For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: On the night when He was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and said, "This is My body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of Me."

Real simple folks. We do it in memory of Christ.
In the same way, after supper [He] also [took] the cup and said, "This cup is the new covenant established by My blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes.
Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy way will be guilty of sin against the body and blood of the Lord. So a man should examine himself; in this way he should eat the bread and drink from the cup. For whoever eats and drinks without recognizing the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. This is why many are sick and ill among you, and many have fallen asleep. If we were properly evaluating ourselves, we would not be judged, but when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord, so that we may not be condemned with the world.
Therefore, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. If anyone is hungry, he should eat at home, so that when you gather together you will not come under judgment. And I will give instructions about the theer matters whenever I come. (1 Corinthians 11:17-34 HCSB)

Do not participate in the holy ritual symbolizing Christ's sacrifice if we first are not Christians and if we are living a sinful life not apart of Chist's will.

Chapter 12

Now concerning what comes from the Spirit: brothers, I do not want you to be unaware. You know that when you were pagans, you used to be led off to the idols that could not speak. Therefore I am informing you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus is cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.
Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different ministries, but the same Lord. And there are different activities, but the same God activates each gift in each person. A demonstration of the Spirit is given to each person to produce what is beneficial:

to one is given a message of wisdom

through the Spirit,

to another, a message of knowledge

by the same Spirit,

to another, faith by the same Spirit,

to another, gifts of healing by the one Spirit,

to another, the performing of miracles,

to another, prophecy,

to another, distinguishing between spirits,

to another, different kinds of languages,

to another, interpretation of languages.

But one and the same Spirit is active in all these, distributing to each person as He wills. (1 Corinthians 12:1-11 HCSB)

Nothing. We think we know so much, but we do not. Everything occurs in God's time. We come to Christ not by our own intellect, but by the grace of The Holy Spirit. For those you who are Christian, you know that God's Spirit is not easily explained, but we know it is real and living within. The amazing part of God's gifts to us starts with eternity through the shed blood of Christ and Grace at the cross, but extends to every believer. We all have spiritual gifts that we areo use to further the kingdom.

For as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many, are one body-so also is Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body-whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free-and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. So the body is not one part but many. If the foot should say, "Because I'm not a hand, I don't belong to the body," in spite of this it still belongs to the body. And if the ear should say, "Because I'm not an eye, I don't belong to the body," in spite of this it still belongs to the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole [body] were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed each one of the parts in one body just as He wanted. And if they were all the same part, where would the body be? (1 Corinthians 12:12-19 HCSB)

People get too riled up about the denomination. Christian people sealed by the blood of Christ are one people, period. We are the church, we represent the One who heals.
Now there are many parts, yet one body.
So the eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" Or again, the head can't say to the feet, "I don't need you!" But even more, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are necessary. And those parts of the body that we think to be less honorable, we clothe these with greater honor, and our unpresentable parts have a better presentation. But our presentable parts have no need [of clothing]. Instead, God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the less honorable, so that there would be no division in the body, but that the members would have the same concern for each other. So if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
Now you are the body of Christ, and individual members of it. And God has placed these in the church:

first apostles, second prophets,

third teachers, next miracles,

then gifts of healing, helping,

managing, various kinds of languages.

Are all apostles? Are all prophets?

Are all teachers? Do all do miracles?

Do all have gifts of healing?

Do all speak in [other] languages?

Do all interpret?

But desire the greater gifts. And I will show you an even better way. (1 Corinthians 12:20-31 HCSB)

Again, each believer makes up a part of the body, the church body. We need to keep that in mind. We work for the Kingdom of God not for our own benefits, but for Christ. What is the even better way? In a word, GRACE.

John wrote that God is love. We read 3:16 and hear that God so loved....Look at these verses from chapter thirteen:
If I speak human or angelic languages

but do not have love,

I am a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

If I have [the gift of] prophecy

and understand all mysteries

and all knowledge,

and if I have all faith

so that I can move mountains

but do not have love, I am nothing.

And if I donate all my goods to feed the poor,

and if I give my body in order to boast

but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind.

Love does not envy,

is not boastful, is not conceited,

does not act improperly,

is not selfish, is not provoked,

and does not keep a record of wrongs.

[Love] finds no joy in unrighteousness

but rejoices in the truth.

[It] bears all things, believes all things,

hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends.

But as for prophecies,

they will come to an end;

as for languages, they will cease;

as for knowledge, it will come to an end.

For we know in part,

and we prophesy in part.

But when the perfect comes,

the partial will come to an end. (1 Corinthians 13:1-10 HCSB)

We can be the smartest dude in the world, have everything the world offers, but if we do not have love, we are nothing. So if God is love, and we know him not, no ,matter what we think, we do not have anything. Husbands and wives, love one another tenderly and completely as Christ loves us.
When I was a child,

I spoke like a child,

I thought like a child,

I reasoned like a child.

When I became a man,

I put aside childish things.

For now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror,

but then face to face.

Now I know in part,

but then I will know fully,

as I am fully known.

Now these three remain:

faith, hope, and love.

But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:11-13 HCSB)

I once feared those verses about putting away childish things. We grow spiritually in Christ maturity so to speak. Remember that God is love. love as Paul teaches is the greatest, so I.e., therefore Christ, God the Son is the greatest.
Chapter 14

Paul in other instances says to let your yes mean yes and no mean no. The whole chapter 14 reiterates this ideal.

Pursue love and desire spiritual gifts, and above all that you may prophesy. For the person who speaks in [another] language is not speaking to men but to God, since no one understands him; however, he speaks mysteries in the Spirit. But the person who prophesies speaks to people for edification, encouragement, and consolation. The person who speaks in [another] language builds himself up, but he who prophesies builds up the church. I wish all of you spoke in other languages, but even more that you prophesied. The person who prophesies is greater than the person who speaks in languages, unless he interprets so that the church may be built up.
But now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in [other] languages, how will I benefit you unless I speak to you with a revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? Even inanimate things that produce sounds-whether flute or harp-if they don't make a distinction in the notes, how will what is played on the flute or harp be recognized? In fact, if the trumpet makes an unclear sound, who will prepare for battle? In the same way, unless you use your tongue for intelligible speech, how will what is spoken be known? For you will be speaking into the air. There are doubtless many different kinds of languages in the world, and all have meaning. Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker, and the speaker will be a foreigner to me. So also you-since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, seek to excel in building up the church.
Therefore the person who speaks in [another] language should pray that he can interpret. For if I pray in [another] language, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with my understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with my understanding. Otherwise, if you praise with the spirit, how will the uninformed person say "Amen" at your giving of thanks, since he does not know what you are saying? For you may very well be giving thanks, but the other person is not being built up. I thank God that I speak in [other] languages more than all of you; yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, in order to teach others also, than 10,000 words in [another] language.
Brothers, don't be childish in your thinking, but be infants in regard to evil and adult in your thinking. (1 Corinthians 14:1-20 HCSB)

We are to grow as mature Christians, but shy away from evil. Despite the world's stance on evil not existing and the Bible being an outdated ideal written by drug crazed sexist men, it is either real and correct or the biggest hoax committed against all of history.

It is written in the law:

I will speak to these people

by people of other languages

and by the lips of foreigners,

and even then, they will not listen to Me,

says the Lord. It follows that speaking in [other] languages is intended as a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers. But prophecy is not for unbelievers but for believers. Therefore, if the whole church assembles together and all are speaking in [other] languages and people who are uninformed or unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your minds? But if all are prophesying and some unbeliever or uninformed person comes in, he is convicted by all and is judged by all. The secrets of his heart will be revealed, and as a result he will fall facedown and worship God, proclaiming, "God is really among you." (1 Corinthians 14:21-25 HCSB)

Speaking in tongues is a highly debated subject, but here we see in God's Word, the way things are. If you are speaking in tongues and say a non-believer witnesses the ordeal, how is Christ being glorified? Speaking in tongues is not discouraged it serves a purpose and exalts Christ as opposed to sounding as Mr. T said like jibberjabber.
From the Message Bible,
So here's what I want you to do. When you gather for worship, each one of you be prepared with something that will be useful for all: Sing a hymn, teach a lesson, tell a story, lead a prayer, provide an insight. If prayers are offered in tongues, two or three's the limit, and then only if someone is present who can interpret what you're saying. Otherwise, keep it between God and yourself. And no more than two or three speakers at a meeting, with the rest of you listening and taking it to heart. Take your turn, no one person taking over. Then each speaker gets a chance to say something special from God, and you all learn from each other. If you choose to speak, you're also responsible for how and when you speak. When we worship the right way, God doesn't stir us up into confusion; he brings us into harmony. This goes for all the churches-no exceptions. (1 Corinthians 14:26-33 MSG)

The above stated verses give us an indication on how Paul instructed the Corinth church through God's inspiration to function. Now here comes the part that will no doubt anger many liberal feminist, girl power activists. Get ready.

the women should be silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak, but should be submissive, as the law also says. And if they want to learn something, they should ask their own husbands at home, for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church meeting. (1 Corinthians 14:34, 35 HCSB)

Again, women are not being treated like second class citizens, but here in Corinth, women were well, usurping authority and worship was not worship like it needed to be hence he, Paul had to read them the riot act of the rules of engagement from The Lord's Supper to the rules of worship.

Did the word of God originate from you, or did it come to you only?
If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, he should recognize that what I write to you is the Lord's command. But if anyone ignores this, he will be ignored. Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in [other] languages. But everything must be done decently and in order. (1 Corinthians 14:36-40 HCSB)

Paul here like he wrote to Timothy repeats that what he is writing is from God. Paul speaks of how important it is to worship God in an orderly fashion.
What is the Gospel? Man is separated from God because of sin. God sent Jesus out of love to bring us back to him, to provide a way through the cross. If Jesus had just died and stayed dead, what a foolish belief we have, right? Chapter 15 deals with the idea of the resurrection. There are key concepts that one has to understand or at least earnestly believe when considering the Gospel. First, one must not miss the virgin birth. Mary had a little lamb in deed. Jesus, the Son of God, Immanuel, the Son of man, the Cornerstone, was born of a virgin. He lived a winless life, fully man, but also fully God. He died on the cross as a sacrifical substitute for ALL people that heed his call and accept His Grace by acknowledging their need for Him. We turn from sin because we want to live for Him. Finally, we know beyond belief through faith that He, the Living God, the King of kings, through the power of God the Father rose from death's shroud and is alive forever more at the right hand of the Father. Without the resurrection, the point of salvation does not exist. You cannot miss this.
Now brothers, I want to clarify for you the gospel I proclaimed to you; you received it and have taken your stand on it. You are also saved by it, if you hold to the message I proclaimed to you-unless you believed for no purpose. For I passed on to you as most important what I also received:
that Christ died for our sins
according to the Scriptures,
that He was buried,
that He was raised on the third day
according to the Scriptures,
and that He appeared to Cephas,
then to the Twelve.
Then He appeared to over 500 brothers at one time;
most of them are still alive,
but some have fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians 15:1-6 HCSB)

Notice first that Paul states people are saved unless they believed with no purpose. Jesus in the parable of the seeds falling on rocky ground clearly mentioned the people that would hear the message, but would not allow the gospel to take root. Real belief and acceptance saves. This is taught throughout all of scripture. I say this not as a Baptist or overly religious, self righteous blowHard, but as a Christian. What is interesting is how Paul lists the appearances of the resurrected Jesus. Paul lists a number of appearances Christ made in front of Peter, the Twelve, even though Judas was no longer a member and to get this, five hundred people. Skeptics of the Bible deny it's authority for many reasons. One reason they try to argue is the very existence of Jesus. The Gospels were written generally years after the birth, death, and resurrection, but Paul states that many that saw Christ were still living at the time of his epistle to Corinth. It is not out of the realm of reality to think that people looking to discredit the Gospel would arise and scream heresy against Paul for making such outlandish claims, but, still God's Word stands firm after all these years.
Then He appeared to James,
then to all the apostles.
Last of all, as to one abnormally born,
He also appeared to me.
For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by God's grace I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not ineffective. However, I worked more than any of them, yet not I, but God's grace that was with me. Therefore, whether it is I or they, so we proclaim and so you have believed. (1 Corinthians 15:7-11 HCSB)
Paul reminds us that he trashed, hunted down and killed those who loved Christ. There is a word I have repeated that God used so many times before. The word Paul uses to explain his being: GRACE.
Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say, "There is no resurrection of the dead"? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation is without foundation, and so is your faith. In addition, we are found to be false witnesses about God, because we have testified about God that He raised up Christ-whom He did not raise up if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Therefore, those who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished. If we have put our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone. (1 Corinthians 15:12-19 HCSB)
Allow me to keep this simple: If the resurrection of Christ is not real, if it did not happen, boy are we stupid fools. Life is a gift from God Almighty, but let us be real. Life, at times, sucks and blowsblike a tornado in April. If we only have this life to live in and cherish, what a mucked up existence, we have.
But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also comes through a man. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ, the firstfruits; afterward, at His coming, those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father, when He abolishes all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He puts all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be abolished is death. For God has put everything under His feet. But when it says "everything" is put under Him, it is obvious that He who puts everything under Him is the exception. And when everything is subject to Christ, then the Son Himself will also be subject to the One who subjected everything to Him, so that God may be all in all. (1 Corinthians 15:20-28 HCSB)
Remember the Gospel? We had/have a sin debt thanks to one man named Adam. Through Christ, we are healed. At the end of days if you will, the King will return. However, He will not return as a meek, humble man as some think Him to be. Oh no. Just Wait.
Otherwise what will they do who are being baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, then why are people baptized for them? Why are we in danger every hour? I affirm by the pride in you that I have in Christ Jesus our Lord: I die every day! If I fought wild animals in Ephesus with only human hope, what good did that do me? If the dead are not raised, Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die. Do not be deceived: "Bad company corrupts good morals." Come to your senses and stop sinning, for some people are ignorant about God. I say this to your shame. (1 Corinthians 15:29-34 HCSB)
Baptism. In the past in Corinth, people were baptized for those who had previously died. They worked under the assumption that those who were dead, could be prayed or at least baptized into eternity. Paul restates that if our hope in Christ is not real then all we have to live for is right now. Wow, again, life while a gift sucks a lot of the time. Now, he finishes with two epic statements that should sober us up. First, bad company will rub off on us and two, we are given the burden of responsibility Christian people to inform the folks who do not know about God.
The next piece of scripture focuses on the transformation of our dusty, broken, failed, and well, useless bodies compared to what we as Christians will have in eternity.
But someone will say, "How are the dead raised? What kind of body will they have when they come?" Foolish one! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And as for what you sow-you are not sowing the future body, but only a seed, perhaps of wheat or another grain. But God gives it a body as He wants, and to each of the seeds its own body. Not all flesh is the same flesh; there is one flesh for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is different from that of the earthly ones. There is a splendor of the sun, another of the moon, and another of the stars; for [one] star differs from [another] star in splendor. So it is with the resurrection of the dead:
Sown in corruption, raised in incorruption;
sown in dishonor, raised in glory;
sown in weakness, raised in power;
sown a natural body, raised a spiritual body.
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, then the spiritual.
The first man was from the earth
and made of dust;
the second man is from heaven.
Like the man made of dust,
so are those who are made of dust;
like the heavenly man,
so are those who are heavenly.
And just as we have borne
the image of the man made of dust,
we will also bear
the image of the heavenly man. (1 Corinthians 15:35-49 HCSB)
Seriously now, there are many preachers that say we in Heaven will look like Jesus because of verse 49. I cannot even begin to tell you how wrong that is. Anyway, let us move on to the end of this chapter:
Brothers, I tell you this: Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, and corruption cannot inherit incorruption. Listen! I am telling you a mystery:
We will not all fall asleep,
but we will all be changed,
in a moment, in the blink of an eye,
at the last trumpet.
For the trumpet will sound,
and the dead will be raised incorruptible,
and we will be changed.
Paul says in another epistle that to be absent in the body is to be present with Christ. Whenever Christ returns, those Christian saints who live will not taste death.
For this corruptible must be clothed
with incorruptibility,
and this mortal must be clothed
with immortality.
When this corruptible is clothed
with incorruptibility,
and this mortal is clothed
with immortality,
then the saying that is written will take place:
Death has been swallowed up in victory.
Death, where is your victory?
Death, where is your sting?
Now the sting of death is sin,
and the power of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ!
Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord's work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:50-58 HCSB)
Death is something that the Christian should not fear. We as Paul wrote have victory in Jesus.
Chapter 16 concludes the epistle with Paul instructing the church on how to give, complete with his travel itinerary and a command to stay firm in the faith.