1 Corinthians 15:33
Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
I have written about Paul as a team builder. I guess you could say Paul spent his time going around putting together a team of believers. In this verse Paul is addressing something we all experience throughout our life, peer pressure.
Peer pressure is tremendous when we are young and in school.
We develop our social circles and want to be accepted. We want to be a part of something.
Maybe we conform to fit in with the “normal” kids, or maybe we rebel or gravitate to the “weird” and “strange”.
But no matter which way we go we end up accepting the moral standards of the crowd we choose. Continue reading
For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things..
In verse 17 Paul writes:
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
The righteous shall live by faith. So very hard to do. Continue reading
For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
I read this verse and wrote it down. I know it meant something to me but I wasn’t quite clear on how to explain it.
I struggled with the second half, “and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”
The reason for my confused feelings towards this second half was “with the mouth” or talk.
Talk is cheap. Continue reading
2 Thessalonians 3:6-12
Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.
In this letter to the Thessalonians Paul is addressing something that Solomon had said thousands of years before.
In all the things that man can do and occupy his mind, in all things man can chase, all that really is important is your toil, being happy in your toil, your work. For as Solomon said, all else is vanity and striving after wind.
But Paul is also addressing two other aspects of an idle life. Continue reading
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well feed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Why Paul is saying this to the Philippians is not important to what I am writing. But in the verse that precedes these verses Paul writes:
I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it.
Paul is glad the Philippians have taken an interest in him, not because he wants them to take care of him, but because he knows he can lead them to God and Christ and show them the contentment he has discovered in getting his relationship with God and Christ.
This is what led me to write down these verses. Continue reading
If the dough offered as first fruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.
I took some time to read commentaries by biblical scholars and theologians in regards to this verse. All of them seemed to deal with civilizations, tribes, congregations, etc.. They were all saying this verse could refer to the church, meaning Christ was the first fruit, the root, thus making the early Christian church holy. Some of them also referred to the Jews, going back to Abraham as being the first fruit. And some referred to the Gentiles, who through their acceptance of Christ were the first fruit and were made holy.
I took this on a more personal level, which is how I tend to treat the whole Bible. Continue reading
Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity.
Paul breaks it down to one simple word, love.
And he’s not talking about wanting to go over and boink the neighbor.
He’s talking about simply respecting another life.
King Solomon talked about the folly of pride and vanity. Paul is taking that further.
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” By neighbor Paul means every human life, everyone is your neighbor.
It’s a simple concept but don’t confuse simple with easy. Continue reading