Paul Speaks About Spiritual Gifts – 1 Cor 12

At first reading of chapter 12, one might be inclined to see little application for us today. Paul is speaking to the Corinthians about “spiritual gifts” – the likes of which ended with the age of the apostles. But Paul is stressing to us here that we are all unified as one body in Christ. The church is not the building we worship in, but rather the body of saved Christians (living or dead). Furthermore, everyone has their own talent even today. Some make good elders, others preach the gospel, others teach bible classes. Still others, visit the sick or cook meals for shut-ins. Everyone serves in their own way, and uses their own “gifts” as part of the body of the church.

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

1 Cor 8, 1 Cor 9, 1 Cor 10, 1 Cor 11, 1 Cor 12

___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

Paul Warns and Rebukes the Corinthians – 1 Cor 10-11

Though most of the Corinthians were Gentiles, Paul refers to the Israelites led by Moses as “our fathers”,  because all Christians share the same spiritual ancestry (Galatians 3:7-8, 29).  The word “for” in the first sentence connects this chapter to the points that Paul has been speaking to in chapters 8-9 that, among other things, declares that Christians must be willing to “give up” things that they may even see as their own “rights,” if that behavior is detrimental or a stumbling block to others.  Concerning verse 7, McGarvey says “The ‘playing’ which Paul refers to (quoted from Exodus 32:3-6, 19, 25) was familiar to the Corinthians, who had indulged in such licentious sportfulness in the worship of Bacchus and Venus…Eating at the feast of idols was the very privilege for which the Corinthians were contending.”

English: the first of the Epistles to the Colo...

English: the first of the Epistles to the Colossians (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The wrongness of that behavior should be obvious to them, but even eating at the idol temples, as many would, could present a temptation to fall into the old ways of idolatry and sexual immorality.  Therefore, Paul says in verse 12 “…let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.”  But he continues in verse 13 by saying that “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”   These words should be a comfort to the faithful.  No matter what temptation we are presented with, God will always provide a way out – but we have to choose to take it!

Finally, in verses 23-33, Paul deals with the issue of eating food that had been sacrificed to idols.  Much of the meat that was sold in the markets could have come from such a source.  Paul makes it clear that idols are nothing in reality, and that eating such would not be a sin by itself.  But if it was a matter of conscience, that was different; and the conscience referred to might be that of a brother in Christ.  For if someone else believed it was wrong to eat such food, the Christian should not do it in their presence or in a view that would offend or jeopardize the salvation of someone else.  Our own liberty does not include damaging the sensibilities or faith of another.

Paul speaks of a very important tradition in verses 17-33 of chapter 11 – one that was instituted by the Lord Himself – the Lord’s Supper.  Incredibly, they had turned the observance of the Lord’s Supper into a meal, with some even becoming drunk.  Just as bad, the wealthy would bring enough food to be gluttons, and leave the poor hungry.  This was not fellowship, and it was not “in remembrance” of the Lord; and by doing this, one was eating and drinking “judgment on himself.”  Paul admonishes them not only to observe the Lord’s Supper properly, but with reverence, with each one “examining” himself while doing so.

It is difficult for many of us to realize at times the complete turn-around that many of these Corinthians had made, or the struggles that they continued to have in doing so.   The society they lived in, and had participated in fully, was pagan; and idol-worship, drunkenness and revelry, as well as promiscuity, were a way of life.  It was certainly not any easier for them to be holy than it is for us today.

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

1 Cor 8, 1 Cor 9, 1 Cor 10, 1 Cor 11, 1 Cor 12

___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

Paul Speaks About Caring for the Souls of Others – 1 Cor 8-9

Chapter 8 has Paul dealing with the subject of meat that has been offered to idols. This would have been a common practice in Corinth at that time. Paul makes a point to emphasize that they, as Christians, know that idols are not representative of anything that really exists, and that they serve the one true God and the Lord Jesus Christ. So they do no sin by eating meat that has been offered to idols. But if someone who is weak and lacks knowledge sees them doing so, they may be caused to stumble. The lesson is clear to us also that we must take care. There may be things we do that are not sinful, but if they seem sinful to someone else, we must be sensitive to how our example might represent (to them) an excuse for sinful behavior on their part.

In chapter 9, Paul basically tells the Corinth brethren that he gives up his “right” to support by them. Those who proclaim the Gospel have the right to be supported for that work, just as any laborer. But Paul does not want that support to be a source of strife within the congregation, particularly in light of those who already are causing strife.

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

1 Cor 8, 1 Cor 9, 1 Cor 10, 1 Cor 11, 1 Cor 12

___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

Paul’s Letter to Titus – Titus 1-3

It seems clear that Paul wrote this letter to Titus sometime between the first and second letters to Timothy — before his final imprisonment. In the first chapter, we find that Paul has been to Crete, where he left Titus to help appoint some elders in the towns where they had established churches. this chapter again lists the qualification elders should have, which (not surprisingly) pretty much mirror those listed in 1 Timothy. The reason for the urgency in establishing elders all around is that Paul is aware that there are false teachers there, and he warns Titus to be prepared.

Sometimes known as Candia, Bible-time Crete is a large island in the Mediterranean Sea, about 150 miles long and 50 miles wide. The ship carrying Paul to Rome passed along the southern coast of Crete, where it encountered a storm (Acts 27: 7-11). People of Crete were among those at Pentecost (Acts 2: 11). Between Paul's first and second imprisonments, he and Titus visited Crete (Titus 1: 5). Tradition says that Titus was bishop of Crete and that he died there in his old age. In one ancient writing, Titus is called Bishop of Gortyna. Paul's letter to Titus talks about the conditions on Crete. A village near Ionion.

Sometimes known as Candia, Bible-time Crete is a large island in the Mediterranean Sea, about 150 miles long and 50 miles wide. The ship carrying Paul to Rome passed along the southern coast of Crete, where it encountered a storm (Acts 27: 7-11). People of Crete were among those at Pentecost (Acts 2: 11). Between Paul’s first and second imprisonments, he and Titus visited Crete (Titus 1: 5). Tradition says that Titus was bishop of Crete and that he died there in his old age. In one ancient writing, Titus is called Bishop of Gortyna. Paul’s letter to Titus talks about the conditions on Crete. A village near Ionion.

In the second chapter, he also advises the young preacher on preaching sound doctrine, conducting himself as a good example, and encouraging the young men to do so as well. He speaks of the importance of the influence of the older women, and even admonishes bondservants about “showing good faith so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.

In chapter 3, Paul tells Titus to remind everyone to submit to the authorities and be obedient. He also stresses that they should not be quarrelsome, particularly where the law is concerned. It would seem here that he is speaking of the law of Moses, as he mentions it in the context of arguing about genealogies. He finishes the letter telling Titus to come to him in Nicopolis (Greece), where he has decided to spend the winter.

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

Titus 1, Titus 2, Titus 3, Philemon, Jude

___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

The Love of Money – 1 Timothy 6

In chapter 6, Paul speaks to Timothy of those who are bondservants. This would include those who were akin to indentured servants, as well as those who were actual slaves. Slavery abounded in those times, and the Roman empire was built upon it. Whatever lot they were in, Paul’s point was that they should regard their masters as n”worthy of honor” and conduct themselves in such a manner that unbelievers would see that Christians were honorable themselves.

Rembrandt's Timothy and his grandmother, 1648.

Rembrandt’s Timothy and his grandmother, 1648. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Paul urges Timothy to teach and be an example to all that godliness and humility are worthy characteristics, and much more important than anything of the world. He says in verse 6 that “godliness with contentment is great gain,  for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.” And it is in verse 10 that the oft misquoted verse about money is given “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” He closes in verse 20, repeating the theme that has been stated in scripture so often about not leaning on one’s own understanding: “avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” for by professing it some have swerved from the faith.

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

1 Tim 6, 2 Tim 1, 2 Tim 2, 2 Tim 3, 2 Tim 4

___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

Paul’s Instructions to Timothy on Teaching and Leadership – 1 Timothy 4-5

Just as Jesus warned of false teachers (Matthew 7:15), Paul warns Timothy while he was at Ephesus of such men in chapter four. As he exhorts Timothy in his teaching, Paul says in verse 12: “let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers tan example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” This is one of the passages that lead many to believe Timothy to be much younger than he probably was. Paul is speaking here in relative terms. Timothy was old enough by the time of this writing to have had much experience at teachings, having traveled a great deal with and without Paul to do so.

Ephesus-003In chapter five, Paul tells him that the church should take care of its widows, but those who have others to care for them should be taken care of by their own people — the right thing to do, of course. Verse 23 is used by some to excuse all sorts of alcohol use. The verse actually says “No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.” The words “a little” are key here, and such wine was not so strong as what people drink today anyway. Water was often not very pure in many places, and anyone who had “frequent ailments,” as Timothy apparently did, would benefit from the substitution.

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

1 Tim 1, 1 Tim 2, 1 Tim 3, 1 Tim 4, 1 Tim 5

___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

Qualifications for Deacons and Overseers – 1 Timothy 3

In the third chapter of Paul’s first letter to his young charge, Paul talks about the qualities that should be found in men who serve as elders and deacons. Referring to them here as overseers, Paul says that elders should be the husband of one wife, above reproach, hospitable, and (among other things) able to manage his household well. Otherwise, he says, how can they be expected to care for God’s church?

Painting of a Russian Orthodox deacon leading ...

Painting of a Russian Orthodox deacon leading an ektenia (litany). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The qualities he lists for deacons are very similar, and notice that how their wives conduct themselves is judged to be important as well. The role of women in the Lord’s church is not one to be taken lightly; and it is (unfortunately) often under-valued by men and women alike. In the case of the wives of deacons and elders, one can see that in a well-functioning congregation, these women play a critical role in assuring the instruction of the young, caring for men and women of all ages, and instructing and leading young women in their walk with the Lord. Indeed, it is a fact that the Lord’s church could not function properly at all without the aid of godly women.

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

1 Tim 1, 1 Tim 2, 1 Tim 3, 1 Tim 4, 1 Tim 5

___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

Paul’s Opening to Timothy – 1 Timothy 1-2

In Paul’s first letter to Timothy, he calls him “my true child in the faith.”  paul had great affection for Timothy, and had entrusted him with much important work. He had sent him to the Thessalonians when he had been concerned about their faith. He had left him at Ephesus, where one of his most cherished bodies of brethren dwelled. Now his encouragement for his young companion in this letter comes not only with discussion of the mistakes and sins of those they both know, but also with instruction for those things the brethren will most need from Timothy.

Rembrandt's Timothy and his grandmother, 1648.

Rembrandt’s Timothy and his grandmother, 1648. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chapter two contains scripture that is most often misunderstood, and even maligned or flatly ignored — especially in this age. In the middle of telling Timothy how men should behave, he talks about how women should adorn themselves modestly. Of course, dressing modestly is certainly expected of both men and women even today. But the description Paul gives here is a warning against the way that women were dressing and behaving in those days as part of a “new Roman woman” movement of the day.

The movement was one that encouraged such women to both dress and behave in a sexually provocative manner, as well as assert themselves into situations that were taboo for the times. The admonishment for women not to teach or exercise authority over a man (verse 12) clearly refers to the assembly (worship) — not in everyday life. This can be seen from the context, which is set in verse 8.

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

1 Tim 1, 1 Tim 2, 1 Tim 3, 1 Tim 4, 1 Tim 5

___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

Do Not Grow Weary of Doing Good – 2 Thess 3

In the final chapter of his letter to the brethren at Thessalonica, Paul again admonishes them against idleness. In fact, he tells them that those among them who will not work, should not eat. It is the will of God that everyone who is able to work should contribute to their own welfare, and not be a burden to others. They are not to treat such people as enemies, but should not have anything to do with them, so as to shame them. Of this he says:

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.

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

1 Thess 4, 1 Thess 5, 2 Thess 1, 2 Thess 2, 2 Thess 3

___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

The Law, the Spirit, and the Flesh – Romans 7-8

In Romans 7, Paul makes an analogy of sin and the law by using marriage. He points out that as long as a man is alive, his wife is bound to him by law. But once he is dead, she is free to marry again. The analogy is more for the understanding of the Jews at Rome that he was addressing, but it had relevance for the Gentiles as well.Paul tells them that they likewise had died to the Law of Moses and now they were bound to another, through Jesus Christ. We are free from the death of sin.

The Romans of the Decadence

The Romans of the Decadence (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In chapter 8, he tells them that they are now in the Spirit, and not in the flesh. Those who set their mind on the Spirit live accordingly. But those who set their mind on the flesh are hostile to God. What he means by someone like this is that those are the people who are slaves to sin, and to whom fleshly, worldly pleasures are the most important things in their lives. Such people are hostile to God because serving Him would mean denying themselves. Paul says not only will those people not submit themselves to God, they simply cannot do so. Those who are in the flesh in this way cannot please God — not until they change their hearts.

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

Romans 5, Romans 6, Romans 7, Romans 8, Romans 9

___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.