We live in a very selfish and greedy world. Throughout the world, and certainly in the United States which I have seen, the poor will give more to the poor than the rich will.
In the end the rich will be very sorry for their greed, as Jesus clearly pointed out more than once:
“And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.
And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.
And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:
For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living” (Mk 12:41-44).
“And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Matt 19:24).
This is the last chapter here so tomorrow we’ll start with…
1 Corinthians 16
The Collection for the Poor
1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.
“Churches of Galatia” – the fact that the Galatian and Macedonian churches are involved, along with the Corinthians, indicate4s that the collection of this offering was quite widespread.
The Jerusalem saints may have become poverty-stricken because of the famine recorded in Acts 11:28 (c. 44 or 46 A.D.) or because of the persecution of Jerusalem Christians.
2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
“Upon the first day of the week let everyone of you lay by him in store” – every Sunday each person was to bring what he had set aside for the Lord’s work – an amount proportionate to his income. Since it was to be brought on Sunday, the new day for worship (cf. Acts 20:2; Rev 1:10).
Probably it was collected at the worship service, not at home. Justin Martyr indicated (in his Apology, 1.67-68) that in his time (c. 150 A.D.) offerings were brought to the church on Sundays.
3 And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.
For proper financial accountability and responsibility thee approved men would act as auditors and guardians of the funds the Corinthians gave.
4 And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me.
5 Now I will come unto you, when I shall pass through Macedonia: for I do pass through Macedonia.
“When I shall pass through Macedonia” – after leaving Ephesus where he was when he wrote 1 Corinthians, Paul planned to go up to Macedonia, no doubt to visit the Philippians and others in northern Greece, and then to Corinth.
He had originally planned to go to Corinth first and then to Macedonia but thought it best to change his plans (see 2 Cor 1:12-24).
6 And it may be that I will abide, yea, and winter with you, that ye may bring me on my journey whithersoever I go.
“Winter with you” – probably the three-month stay in Greece mentioned in Acts 20:3.
7 For I will not see you now by the way; but I trust to tarry a while with you, if the Lord permit.
8 But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost.
9 For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.
“Many adversaries” – probably a reference to the pagan craftsmen who made the silver shrines of Artemis and to the general populace whom they had stirred up.
10 Now if Timotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear: for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do.
11 Let no man therefore despise him: but conduct him forth in peace that he may come unto me: for I look for him with the brethren.
12 As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren: but his will was not at all to come at this time; but he will come when he shall have convenient time.
13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.
14 Let all your things be done with charity.
15 I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the first fruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)
“House of Stephanas” – evidently the Corinthians had little respect for this household that Paul had baptized (1:16). They were among the first converts in Achaia (Greece), along with the few individuals in Athens who had believed a short time earlier.
16 That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to everyone that helpeth with us, and laboureth.
17 I am glad of the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied.
18 For they have refreshed my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge ye them that are such.
19 The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.
“Aquila and Priscilla” – they had helped Paul found the church at Corinth (Acts 18:1-4).
20 All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with a holy kiss.
“A holy kiss” – the kiss of mutual respect and love in the Lord was evidently the public practice of early Christians – from a practice that was customary in the ancient East.
21 The salutation of me Paul with mine own hand.
22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.
“Maran-atha” – an expression meaning “O Lord come!”, used by the early church as a cry that the second coming of Christ may soon take place.
23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.
Collection for the Poor Saints
Near the end of Paul’s ministry he took up a collection for the poor of the Jerusalem church. Why the Jerusalem church had so much poverty is not clear.
The Jews in Jerusalem may have isolated Christian Jews from the economic system. Paul and Barnabas promised to help (Gal 2:1-10 ). This money was collected by Paul from the Gentile churches which he administered.
These included churches in Philippi, Thessalonica, Corinth, and Galatia. He mentioned this offering on three occasions in his letters.
In 1 Cor 16:1-4, Paul indicated that he wanted the church to put something aside on the first day of each week.
In 2 Cor 8-9, Paul wrote that the churches of Macedonia had given liberally and Titus would oversee the completion of the offering in Corinth.
Finally, in Rom 15:25, Paul stated that at the present time he was going to Jerusalem to deliver the gift. A sense of spiritual indebtedness to the founding church in Jerusalem prompted the offering.
Luke never mentioned the offering specifically in Acts. There is a list of men in Acts 20:4 who accompanied Paul to Jerusalem. (This trip corresponds to the plans of Rom 15:25.)
The importance of this offering for Paul was twofold. First, the offering met an economic need in Jerusalem. Political instability and general economic depression were problems in Palestine.
There were dependent widows (Acts 6:1), and the sharing of property offered only temporary relief (Acts 4:32-37). For this reason Paul was anxious to “remember the poor” (Gal 2:10).
Second, the offering had a theological importance for Paul. The fact that the Gentiles were willing to aid the Jews in this manner validated Paul’s Gentile mission.
The offering was evidence that in the Christian family there was neither “Jew nor Greek” (Gal 3:28).
Being baptism and salvation are not the same, we cannot be saved through mere baptism, nor is baptism need to be saved.
We are saved only through the Jesus Christ.
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
No one can be baptized by another person or even by prayers and be saved. True baptism can only come from the Holy Ghost and that comes by believing in Jesus:
“I [John the Baptist] indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he [Jesus] that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire” (Matt 3:11).
“Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost” (Acts 11:16).
Also, once we are dead we can’t change our beliefs and be baptized:
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Heb 9:27).
“And it came to pass, that the beggar died and was carried by the angles into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died and was buried;
And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments and seeth Abraham afar off, Lazarus in his bosom.
Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:
And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead” (Lk 19:22-23, 27, 31 , see Lk 19:19-31).
The story directly above also explains that before Jesus came everyone that died went to the Hell, but they were separated.
The believers went to a place called “Abraham’s Bosom” and the non-believers went to Hades. They were separated, but could see each other.
When Jesus was crucified I believe He went to hell and took the dead believers to heaven and now that is where all believers go when they die, but the non-believers still go to hell.
I cannot find any scripture in the Bible that specificaly states that, but all scriptures imply it. Possibly the best one would be 1 Pet 3: 18-22.
Jesus did say that He was the king of death and hell and I would think for Him to defeat hell He would have to go there first.
“I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death” (Rev 1:18).
It must be understood that being Baptized in water is not the same as being baptized by Jesus Christ, i.e., being filled withthe Holy Ghost by true belief in Jesus.
The Catholics sprinkle water on babies saying they are baptized, this is not true all the Catholics are doing for the baby is getting it wet.
Tomorrow we will look at…
1 Corinthians 15
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
“Believed in vain” – if you are not persevering in the Christian faith, this is an evidence that you did not have saving faith in the first place (Judas Iscariot, who eventually showed that he was not a true believer).
Many people get confused in what believing in Jesus means. Believing in Jesus is more than just believing in His existence, saying you believe and then hanging out at the bar and getting drunk does not work.
For example, believing in the rising of the sun is just that, your belief, you have no control over it, only God does.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
“James” – this is not James son of Zebedee or James son of Alphaeus (Matt 10:2-3), but the half-brother of Jesus (remember they have different fathers). This James did not believe in who Jesus was until after the resurrection (Jn 7:5).
8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
“One born out of due time” – remember Paul was not part of the original group of apostles. He had not lived with Christ as the others had. His entry into the apostolic office was not at the same time as the others.
Furthermore, at his conversion he was abruptly snatched from his former way of life (Acts 9:3-6).
9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.
12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
15:12-19 – some at Corinth were saying that there was no resurrection of the body and Paul draws a number of conclusions from this false contention. If the dead do not rise from the grave, then:
(1) “is Christ not risen” (v. 13)
(2) “is our preaching vain” (v. 14)
(3) “your faith is also vain” (v. 14)
(4) we are “false witnesses” that God raised Christ from the dead (v. 15)
(5) “your faith is vain” (v. 17)
(6) “ye are yet in your sins” (v. 17) and still carry the guilt and condemnation of sin(7) “they also which are fallen asleep [have died] in Christ are perished”(v. 18)
(8) “we are…most miserable” who “in this life only…have hope in Christ” (v. 19) and put up with persecution and hardship.
13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.
21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
23 But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.
“Every man in his own order” – Christ, the first fruits, was raised in His own time in history (c. 30 A.D.), and those who are identified with Christ by faith will be raised at His second coming. His resurrection is the pledge that ours will follow.
24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
“The end” – the second coming of Christ and all the evens accompanying it. This includes His handing over the kingdom to the Father, following His destroying all dominion, authority and power of the persons and forces who oppose Him.
25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
“For he must reign” – some take this to mean that Christ will literally reign with His saints for 1,000 years on the earth (cf. Isa 2:2-4; Mic 4:1-5).
Hindus have been practicing baptism for 4000 years. As part of their religious purification rites they are immersed in a river or sprinkled with water.
Babylonian, Egyptian and Roman religions also practiced ritual purification ceremonies as is proved by both archeology and ancient literature.
Apuleius, a Roman writer who lived in the 2nd century, wrote of:
“the ancient Roman initiation that was preceded by a normal bath and then a ceremonial sprinkling by the priest of Isis.” [one of the false goddesses].
He said that the ritual of sprinkling and cleansing with water in ancient times was:
“a kind of voluntary death and salvation through divine grace.” (Apuleius 120-180 AD, Metamorphosis, Book 11, 21).
More importantly, Judaism had a number of cleansing and purification rites including baptism (called tevilah in Hebrew).
Water played an important role in their ceremonies and regulations, including immersion in water and sprinkling with water (Ex. 29:4; Lev. 15:13; 16:24; 17:15,16; Num. 8:7; 19:7,8; Deut. 23:11).
John’s baptism was nothing new to the Pharisees or to the Jews. They were very familiar with what we call “baptism”.
In their religion full body immersion (tevilah) had to be done in the running water of a river (called “living water”) or in a mikveh (baptismal pool of rain water in the temple).
It was not a bath for washing in, it was seen as a symbolic immersion for spiritual cleansing, conversion and renewal.
All Gentiles who wanted to become Jews had to go through tevilah/baptism. To this day converts to Judaism are still required to be baptized in a “mikveh”. Ancient mikveh ruins (left) mikveh in the Jerusalem temple (centre) and a modern Jewish mikveh (right).
By the 2nd century the “church fathers” believed and taught that you were not saved unless you were baptized with water:
“The prescript is laid down that ‘without baptism, salvation is attainable by none’ chiefly on the ground of that declaration of the Lord, who says, ‘Unless one be born of water, he hath not life.'” (Tertullian 140-230AD, On Baptism, Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 3, pg. 674-675).
In other words, the church was necessary for salvation! Baptism was put in the place of Christ, because salvation was viewed as being brought about by water baptism (a work of man) rather than only by faith and trust in Jesus and what He has done.
They simply replaced the rituals and laws of the Old Testament with a set of their own:
“But when the time began to draw near… that the Prophet should appear, of whom he had foretold that He should warn them by the mercy of God to cease from sacrificing; lest haply they might suppose that on the cessation of sacrifice there was no remission of sins for them He instituted baptism by water amongst them, in which they might be absolved from all their sins on the invocation of His name.” (Clement, “Recognitions of Clement,” Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 8, pg. 88, emphasis mine).
Due to this belief that being baptized was necessary for salvation, it was a logical conclusion that the earlier you were baptized, and therefore saved, the better – and so infant baptism was introduced. Infant baptism (christening) had been a practice of pagan religions for a long time before it was practiced in the church; sprinkling the baby in pagan religions was supposed to cleanse it from being born in sin and free it from the devil.
Some claimed that: “The Church received from the apostles the tradition of giving baptism even to infants. For the apostles, to whom were committed the secrets of divine mysteries, knew that there is in everyone the innate stains of sin, which are washed away through water and the Spirit” (Origen 248AD, Commentaries on Romans 5:9).Others believe that this refers to Christ’s reign over the course of history and in the lives of His people, who are spiritually raised or born again. This “spiritual” reign is viewed as occurring during the present age.
I believe that latter of the two is correct, but nobody knows for sure, nor does it really matter because I know that however it will be will be great.
We have nothing to worry about and much to look forward to. We can’t even begin to imagine how great things will be:
“But 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 tem that love him” (1 Cor 2:9).
26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
This destruction of death will occur at the end of the second coming events after Christ conquers His enemies (Rev 19:11-12, 20:5-14), at the great white throne judgment (when death and Hades/Hell will be thrown into the lake of fire).
Nobody in the history of time will die, every soul God created will live forever, but where they will live depends on the person – Heaven or Hell.
27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.
28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him that God may be all in all.
“The Son also himself be subject unto him” – the Son will be made subject to the Father in the sense that administratively, after He subjects all things to His power, He will then turn it all over to God the Father, the administrative head.
This is not to suggest that the Son is in anyway inferior to the Father. All three persons of the Trinity are equal in deity and in dignity (1 Jn 5:7). The subordination referred to is one of function.
The Father is supreme in the Trinity; the Son carries out the Father’s will (e.g., in creation, redemption): the Spirit is sent by the Father and the Son to vitalize life, communicate God’s truth, apply His salvation to people and enable them to obey God’s will or word.
This is somewhat confusing and it makes us wonder why God made things the way He did, but we can’t imagine how intelligent He is so we just live by faith and trust Him fully. At least that’s what intelligent people do.
29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?
“They…which are baptized for the dead” – the present tense suggests that at Corinth people were currently being baptized for the dead. But because Paul does not give any more information about that practice, many attempts have been made to interpret the concept.
Three of these are:
1. Living believers were being baptized for believers who died before they were baptized, so that they too, in a sense, would not miss out on baptism.
2. Christians were being baptized in anticipation of the resurrection of the dead.
3. New converts were bring baptized to fill the ranks of Christians who had died.
At any rate, Paul mentions this custom almost in passing, using it in his arguments substantiating the resurrection of the dead, but without necessarily approving the practice. Probably the passage will always remain obscure.
30 And why stand we in jeopardy every hour?
31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.
32 If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? Let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die.
“I have fought with beasts at Ephesus” – this statement can be taken literally or figuratively. But since from Acts 19 we have no evidence of Paul suffering imprisonment and having to face the lions, it is more likely that the expression means that the enemies in Ephesus were as ferocious as wild beasts.
33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
A quotation from the Greek comedy Thais written by the Greek poet Mendander, whose writings the Corinthians would know.
The application of the quotation is that those who are teaching that there is no resurrection (v. 12) are the “bad company,” and they are corrupting the “good morals” of those who hold to the correct doctrine.
34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
“Sin not” – the sin of denying that there is a resurrection and thus doubting even the resurrection of Christ, all of which had a negative effect on the lives they were living.
35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?
15:35-49 – in discussing the nature of the resurrection body, Paul compares it to plant life (vv. 36-38), to fleshly beings (v. 39) and to celestial and earthly physical bodies (vv. 40-41).
36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:
37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:
38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.
39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.
40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
15:40-41 – Here the analogy involves inanimate objects of creation: the sun, moon and stars with their differing splendor, and the earthly bodies (possibly the great mountains, canyons and seas) with their splendor. In it all, God can take similar physical material and organize it differently to accomplish His purpose.
41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
15:44-49 – the contrast here between the natural body and the spiritual body again follows from their two representatives. One is the first Adam, who had a natural body of the dust of the ground (Gen 2:7) and through whom a natural body is given to his descendants.
The other is the last Adam, Christ, the life-giving spirit who through His death and resurrection will at the second coming give His redeemed people a spiritual body – physical, yet imperishable, without corruption, and adaptable to live with God forever.
It will be a body similar to Christ’s resurrected, glorified physical body.
Now don’t think that when Jesus was on earth His body was not like ours, because it was (Jn 20:19-31, 21:12-14).
There is Jesus the man with the natural body and there is Jesus the spirit with the spiritual body, but Jesus was and is always God.
45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
Paul’s final argument about the resurrection of the body: God’s redeemed people must have newly organized, imperishable bodies to live with him. “Flesh and blood” stands for perishable, corrupt, weak, sinful human beings.
51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
“We shall not all sleep” – some believers will not experience death and the grave.
I believe Jesus will come back in my lifetime so I will not die, but don’t quote me on that because God did not tell me that if He had I would say so.
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
This includes those that are dead.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
“The strength of sin is the law” – the law of God gives sin its power, for it reveals our sin and condemns us because of our sin.
But the believer lives by faith, not by the law and therefore cannot be condemned by the law. The believer still sins, but not willfully, those that willfully sin will go to hell – see Heb 10:26-27.
57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
“Your labor is not in vain in the Lord” – our effort is invested in the Lord’s winning cause. He will also reward us at His second coming (Matt 25:21; cf. Lk 19:17; Rev 22:12).
Baptism for the Dead
Joseph Smith taught, “If we can baptize a man in the name of the Father [and] of the Son and of the Holy Ghost for the remission of sins it is just as much our privilege to act as an agent and be baptized for the remission of sins for and in behalf of our dead kindred who have not heard the gospel or fulness of it” (Kenney, p. 165).Numerous proposals have been offered for the meaning of “baptized for the dead” in 1 Cor15:29. Every theory has some problems, but some are more plausible than others:
– One explanation holds that Paul was alluding to some form of “proxy baptism” (an Individual being baptized to secure the salvation of ancestors, relatives or friends who had died without Christ).
There is no indication in this text, however, that Corinthians were being baptized for their ancestors or for other dead pagans—and no evidence that this was ever practiced in the early church.
– Some suggest that the term refers to baptism for believers who had died unbaptized; others that it may have been some ritual rooted in a superstitious belief that baptism itself had almost magical, life-giving powers.
The Corinthian believers may have been influenced by a local cult of the dead at Corinth. On the other hand, if such a pagan background were behind this practice, we would expect Paul to have voiced his disapproval.
– Still others propose that the phrase actually means “baptized in the place of the dead” in the sense of taking the place of Christian martyrs who had lost their lives for the faith.
This kind of baptism would thus have been a rite whereby a living believer symbolically took the place of his or her fallen brother or sister.
This interpretation has some support in the context, since Paul immediately spoke in the following verses (vv. 30-32) of his own endurance of persecution.
1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.
14:1-5 – the basic principle Paul insists on is that whatever is done in the church must contribute to the edification (building up) of the body. This is in keeping with the declaration in 12:7 that gifts are “given to everyman to profit withal.”
It also is in agreement with the principle of love (ch. 13). What is spoken in the church, then, must be intelligible – it must be spoken in the vernacular language or at least be interpreted in the vernacular.
Prophecy is therefore more desirable than tongues (unless an interpreter is present) because prophecy is spoken in the native language of the listeners.
2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.
3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.
5 I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.
“Greater is he that prophesieth” – because he serves the common good more effectively since what he says can be understood and thus edifies the church.
6 Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?
7 And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?
“Pipe or harp” – instruments well known in Greece.
8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?
“The trumpet…prepare himself to the battle” – all Greeks would be acquainted with the sue of the trumpet or bugle for battle signals (cf. Homer’s Iliad, 18.219), and he Jews would be familiar with the use of the ram’s horn (Num 10:9; Josh 6:4, 9).
9 So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? For ye shall speak into the air.
10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.
11 Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.
12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.
13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.
14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.
15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.
16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?
17 For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.
18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:
19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.
20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.
“Be not children in understanding” – just as in the case of infants, have no evil desires or wrong motives in wanting to excel in spiritual gifts as an end in itself.
21 In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.
“In the law” – Cf. Rom 3:10-19, where Paul quotes from a number of passages form the Old Testament, including Isaiah, and then in v. 19 collectively calls them “the law.”
22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.
23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?
24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:
25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.
26 How is it then, brethren? When ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.
28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.
29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.
30 If anything be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.
31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.
32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.
14:34-35 – it seems best to understand vv. 34-35 in the light of the immediate context – vv. 29-33. God gave to women the gift of prophesying (11:5; Acts 2:17, 21:9) but not ruling authority over men (1 Tim 2:11-12).
I am not certain what Paul is saying when he says, “Let your women keep silence in the churches” because of Joyce Meyer, Advent Bangun, Anita C. Hill, Åsa Waldau, Becky Fischer, Beverly Yvonne, Bimbo Odukoya, Bobbie Houston, Darlene Zschech, Heidi Neumark, Ida Robinson, and many more.
35 And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
36 What? Came the word of God out from you? Or came it unto you only?
37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.
38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.
39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.
40 Let all things be done decently and in order.
The Role of Women in Religious Life
in the Greco-Roman World
The religious activities of women in the Greco-Roman world spanned, a wide range and exhibited enormous diversity.
Some mystery cults included ecstatic, orgiastic worship in which women played a prominent role, and priestesses were common in the worship of Greek goddesses.
Some religious festivals in Greece were exclusively for women; an example is the Thesmophoria, which honored the goddess Demeter.
The Bachae, a play by the Greek poet Euripides (5th century B.C.),tells of frenzied religious celebration of the god Dionysus by women who followed his cult.
Other pagan religions created space for significant sexual expression during religious festivals, and fertility cults employed women for the purpose of ritual or sacred prostitution.
On the other hand, within Judaism women’s access to the inner courts of the Jerusalem temple was restricted, and scholars debate whether the synagogues of the time displayed gender segregation.
In 1 Corinthians 14 Paul provided guidelines for orderly worship, including some instructions specifically addressing the activities of women in worship (vv. 33-35).
Evidence from Corinth reveals that the city contained several temples to Aphrodite and Apollo, and Paul’s readers would have been familiar with these and with other cults that were widespread in the Greco-Roman world.
It appears that women have never been treated the way God wanted them to be treated. Even with women lib in the United States men still don’t treat them equal.
We must remember though that the devil runs this world and he is not only evil, but gay.
1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
“Tongues of men and of angels” – Paul uses hyperbole. Even if he could speak not only the various languages that human beings speak but even the languages used by angels – if he did not speak in love, it would be nothing but noise.
“Charity” – the Greek for this word indicates a selfless concern for the welfare of others that is not called forth by any quality of loveableness in the person loved, but is the product of a will to love in obedience to God’s command. It is like Christ’s love manifested on the cross.
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
“All mysteries, and all knowledge” – again Paul uses hyperbole to express the amount of understanding possessed. Even if one’s gift is unlimited knowledge, if one does not possess and exercise that knowledge in love, he is nothing.
“Faith…remove mountains” – a special capacity to trust God to meet outstanding needs. Again Paul uses hyperbole.
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
“Give my body to be burned” – a reference to suffering martyrdom through burning at the stake, as many early Christians experienced. Even the supreme sacrifice, if not motivated by love, accomplishes nothing.
4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
13:4-7 – love is now described both positively and negatively.
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
“Prophecies…shall fall;…tongues…shall cease;…knowledge…shall vanish away” – these three will cease because they are partial in nature and will be unnecessary when what is complete has come.
9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
“See through a glass, darkly” – the imagery is of a polished metal (probably booze) mirror in which one could receive only an imperfect reflection (cf. Jas 1:23) – in contrast to seeing an image clearly and completely, whether the revelation of God’s completed Word through the apostles or that of the person of Christ at His Coming.
The two spiritual gifts of prophecy and knowledge which will pass along with tongues suggest that this “perfect” thing related to revelation rather than to glorification.
13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
Ten (31-40) More Quotes About Jesus
“Each of us is an innkeeper who decides if there is room for Jesus!”
― Neal A. Maxwell
“The gospel declares that no matter how dutiful or prayerful we are, we can’t save ourselves. What Jesus did was sufficient.”
― Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out
“If your heart takes more pleasure in reading novels, or watching TV, or going to the movies, or talking to friends, rather than just sitting alone with God and embracing Him, sharing His cares and His burdens, weeping and rejoicing with Him, then how are you going to handle forever and ever in His presence…? You’d be bored to tears in heaven, if you’re not ecstatic about God now! ”
― Keith Green
“The Bible is the greatest of all books; to study it is the noblest of all pursuits; to understand it, the highest of all goals.”
― Charles C. Ryrie
“If sympathy is all that human beings need, then the Cross of Christ is an absurdity and there is absolutely no need for it.
What the world needs is not “a little bit of love,” but major surgery. If you think you are helping lost people with your sympathy and understanding, you are a traitor to Jesus Christ.
You must have a right-standing relationship with Him yourself, and pour your life out in helping others in His way— not in a human way that ignores God. ”
― Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest – Updated
“The goal of prayer is to live all of my life and speak all of my words in the joyful awareness of the presence of God.
Prayer becomes real when we grasp the reality and goodness of God’s constant presence with ‘the real me.’ Jesus lived his everyday life in conscious awareness of his Father.”
― John Ortberg Jr.
“Jesus is the starving, the parched, the prisoner, the stranger, the naked, the sick, the dying. Jesus is the oppressed, the poor. To live with Jesus is to live with the poor. To live with the poor is to live with Jesus.”
― Jean Vanier
“A Christian community should do as Jesus did: propose and not impose. Its attraction must lie in the radiance cast by the love of brothers.”
― Jean Vanier
“If your salvation was dependent on your ability to read and understand scripture, Jesus would have been an author.”
― Steve Maraboli
“For those who feel their lives are a grave disappointment to God, it requires enormous trust and reckless, raging confidence to accept that the love of Jesus Christ knows no shadow of alteration or change.
When Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened,” He assumed we would grow weary, discouraged, and disheartened along the way.
These words are a touching testimony to the genuine humanness of Jesus. He had no romantic notion of the cost of discipleship.
He knew that following Him was as unsentimental as duty, as demanding as love.”
― Brennan Manning
…the role of women in religious life in the Greco-Roman World.
1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.
3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
“Calleth Jesus accursed…Jesus is the Lord” – one who is regenerated by the Holy Ghost cannot pronounce a curse on Jesus; rather, he is the only one who from the heart can confess, “Jesus is the Lord” (cf.Jn 20:28; also 1 Jn 4:2-3).
The Greek word for “Lord” here is used in the Greek translation of the Old Testament (the Septuagint) to translate the Hebrew name Yahweh (“the LORD”).
4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
“Manifestation…to every man to profit withal” – every member of the body of Christ has been given some spiritual gift that is an evidence of the Spirit’s working in his life. All the gifts are intended to build up the members of the Christian community.
They are not to be used for selfish advantage, as some in the Corinthian community apparently were doing.
My gift from God is to know Jesus, to know Him good enough that I am unable not to trust Him. Jesus Christ guides me and corrects me when I err.
My other gift is to do this blog, yet, as you notice the explanations of these scriptures are not my words, I don’t have the gift to explain them, but I do have the gift to know of the explanation is true or not.
I have read many, many explanations of different scriptures and I know when they are incorrect because I know Jesus. Like I said, aside from my salvation, my biggest gift is to know who Jesus Christ truly is.
8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
“Word of wisdom…knowledge” – gifts that meet the ned of the Christian community when knowledge or wisdom is required to make decisions or to choose proper courses of action.
9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
“Faith” – not saving faith, which all Christians have, but faith to meet a specific need within the body of Christ.
10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
“Working of miracles” – a miracle is an action that cannot be explained by natural means. It is an act of God intende4d as evidence of His power and purpose.
“Prophecy” – a communication of the mind of God imparted to a believer by the Holy Ghost. It may be a predication or an indication of the will of God in a given situation.
“Discerning of spirits” – since there can also be false prophecies that come from evil spirits, this gift is necessary in order to distinguish the true from the false.
“Divers kinds of tongues” – since the Greek word for “tongues” means “languages” or “dialects,” some understand it to refer to the ability to speak in unlearned human languages, as the apostles did on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:4, 6, 11).
Others believe that in chapters 12-14 the term “tongues” refers to both earthly and heavenly languages, including ecstatic languages of praise and prayer. And it could be both.
“Interpretation of tongues” – the communication of the message spoken in a tongue so that hearers can understand and be edified.
I met a lady in 1986 that could speak in tongue and also interpret what she said. I know this to be true because what she said in tongues she said to me and about me, about what my heart would be seeking for and this came true 21 years later.
11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
“As he will” – the Holy Spirit sovereignly determines which gift or gifts each believer should have.
12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, is one body: so also is Christ.
13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
“By one Spirit…all baptized into one body” – The body of Jesus Christ.
14 For the body is not one member, but many.
As the human body must have diversity to work effectively as a whole, so the members of Christ’s body have diverse gifts, the use of which can help bring about the accomplishment of Christ’s united purpose.
Each must properly exercise his gifts of effectively use his position for the good of the whole.
12:14-20 – addressed mainly to those who feel that their gifts are inferior and unimportant. Apparently the more spectacular gifts (such as tongues) had been glorified in the Corinthian church, making those who did not have them feel inferior.
15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?
20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.
21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
12:21-26 – addressed mainly to those who feel that their gifts are superior and most important. These verses provide another indication that some gifts, like tongues, had been magnified as being preeminent.
22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:
23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.
24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honor to that part which lacked:
25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it.
27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
Some gifts may be of greater need, but the gift is not what God honors, but the person performing the gift and He sees everybody the same.
29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles?
30 Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?
31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
The Gifts of Wisdom and Knowledge
Who Flew the Kite?-“I did,” said the wind!-“I did,” said the paper!-“I did,” said the string!-“I did,” said the boy!
But in reality they ALL flew the kite! If the wind had lulled, if the paper had torn, if the sticks had broken, if the tail had caught in the tree, or the boy had fallen, then the kite would have come down! Each had a part to play.
God has placed you in a strategic role! You are important to your Church ministry. Just use your gift to the Glory of God and leave the results to Him.
What you don’t know can get you hurt! In Texas there once lived a Mexican bank robber named Jorge Rodriquez. He had been so successful that the Texas Rangers put a whole posse on his trail.
For months they tried to catch him as he slipped across the Rio Grande. Finally a ranger cornered Jorge in a saloon one night. Quietly the ranger slipped up behind Jorge and put his six-gun to Jorge’s head.
Then the ranger said, “I know who you are and, unless you tell me where you’ve hidden the bank money, I’m going to blow your brains out!”
There was one problem: Jorge did not speak English and the ranger did not speak Spanish. Just then an enterprising little fellow stepped up and said, “Would you like for me to translate for you?” The ranger nodded.
So the translator told Jorge what the ranger had said. Jorge was scared to death and said to tell the ranger he could have the money but please don’t pull the trigger. He told the translator exactly where the money was hidden and then begged for mercy.
The translator took all this in and then solemnly told the ranger: “Jorge Rodriguez is a brave man. He says he is ready to die!”
It’s also possible that what you don’t know spiritually can get you hurt. That’s why God gave us the gifts of wisdom and knowledge.
I. A Good Definition
While these two gifts are closely related, there are some differences. Knowledge is the ability to state facts about something. Wisdom is the ability to take those facts and apply them to life. A simple analogy might help here.
In medical science, the research scientist might discover the facts but the physician puts them to use.
Within a Sunday school class, a teacher might have thoroughly researched the facts and communicated them while someone else in the class might say, “Hey, do you know what this means we ought to do!”
II. A Good Example
Jesus was noted for His knowledge as early as age twelve, when He talked with the Temple elders. Wisdom was also a characteristic of Jesus, according toLk 2:40, 52.
On some significant occasions Jesus demonstrated His wisdom and knowledge. He knew the Scriptures and He knew how to apply them (e.g. rich man; woman taken in adultery).
Compare this toActs 6:3. We are to recognize men with this wisdom as leaders in our Churches today.
III. Good Use of These Terms
Many of our finest Sunday school teachers, preachers, and professors make good use of these gifts.
What Are the Marks of Those with the Gift of Knowledge?
1. They enjoy deep Bible study. 2. They are intrigued with certain passages. Often, like William Carey, they have a love for languages.
3. They research the Bible in a desire to know as much as they can. 4. They occasionally find treasures the rest of us miss.
…the role of women in religious life in the Greco-Roman World.