2nd Corinthians 1:9
Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.
When I read this verse I knew I wanted to write about it. It wasn’t clear on my thoughts or how to explain them. I knew this verse meant something to me.
I turned to reading the commentary written about this verse by John Gill. Continue reading
For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh.
An old phrase comes to mind when I read this verse; do as I say, not as I do. Of course I wanted to find out where that phrase originated.
I discovered it was first coined by an English jurist named John Selden in a book he wrote in 1654. The book was published posthumously, 35 years after it was written. It’s title, “The Table-Talk of John Selden”. Continue reading
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.
Verses 3 and 5 were the two verses I wanted to write about, but as I read them I realized it would be best to post these verses in the context of which Paul had written them. Now let me break out both verses and give you my thoughts, with each verse standing on its own. Continue reading
Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?
Paul is writing about the worldly and the spiritual, and how we allow the world to dictate our lives.
…when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods.
This verse is written in the past tense, but rewrite it in the present tense, and you can see how timeless these words can be. Continue reading
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
In this verse, Paul sums up who we are as individuals.
Whose approval do we seek every day? Is it our parents’, our spouse’s, our boss’s or maybe the approval of our peers? Are we trying to fit in with the crowd, trying to be cool and hip? Are we doing what others expect of us?
We want to be respectful of others and we certainly don’t want to harm others, but who are we trying to please? Are we trying to please the world, or God?
Maybe we’re distorting our intrinsic sense of righteousness in order to fit in with the world? Continue reading
2 Corinthians 10:12
Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.
In this verse, Paul tells us that we are all individuals. Each of us has our own strengths and weaknesses, to compare each other and make judgements about individuals as compared to others or the group, well that’s just vanity. It’s folly, like the old phrase apples to oranges. Continue reading
1 Corinthians 14:6-8
Now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played? And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle?
When reading these verses I couldn’t help but think of the correlation between what Paul has written and music.
In verse 6 Paul is telling the followers of Christ that he will not and should not speak words to simply hear himself speak. For what use are words if they do not communicate? What use are they if they have no meaning or knowledge to share? They’re just noise.
Paul likens this to music. He uses the sounds of instruments to demonstrate his point. Continue reading
1 Corinthians 15:35-38
But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body.
In these verses Paul is answering the question many nonbelievers and believers ask about the resurrection. It is a very difficult concept for humans to wrap their heads around, especially when asked from a worldly point of view. Even though I have faith and belief in Christ and the resurrection, I still have a hard time understanding what it is or what it will be. Continue reading
1 Corinthians 10:29
I do not mean your conscience, but his. For why should my liberty be determined by someone else’s conscience?
Paul asks the question, why should another person dictate to me my sense of right and wrong? God has endowed us with an innate sense of right and wrong. This sense, is only changed by the world. We become driven by the world, its desires and pitfalls. Continue reading
1 Corinthians 7:17
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.
The Bible verses I cite are taken from the English Standard Version. In the ESV, titles are given to different sections. The section which verse 17 begins is titled; “Live As You Are Called”.
I really like that title, and I think that could be the mantra for every one of us. It’s like a mission statement for each individual. Paul is telling us that we are all unique individuals and each one of us has our own talents, quirks, ways of thinking and no one way is the only right way; except the way of love and righteousness. Continue reading