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 The Resurrection
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 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.
In my opinion, the speaking in tongues has got to be one of the most confusing mysteries of God.
Tomorrow we’ll look at…
1 Corinthians 11 The Covering of Woman’s Heads
1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
Notice the order: (1) Christ is the supreme example; (2) Christ’s apostle follows His example; (3) we are to follow the apostle’s example.
2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
11:2-16 – Paul is not correcting belligerent Christian women who are coming to the assembly with their heads uncovered, for the praises them for doing what they have been taught (v. 2). Rather, he wants them to understand why (v. 3) it is that when praying or prophesying men’s heads are to be uncovered and women’s covered.
Due to God’s creation plan for man and woman as evidenced in the creation order or Gen 1-2, the distinctions in male and female roles need to be observed at those times during which God allows women to perform seemingly male roles of leadership and teaching (see 1 Tim 2:12).
So when leading in pubic prayer and when exercising the spiritual gift of prophesying, women are to demonstrate the authority which is over them. This passage does not teach that women when they go to the church must have their heads covered.
It does however reveal role differences that are as old as humanity. Paul’s arguments are not based upon culture or first century practices, but upon God’s plan at creation.
God did not place women below men, as men have like to believe. The veil over a woman’s head is just that, nothing more. For example, only women can give birth, that does not place them below men, if anything it would place them above. God has made men and women to be equal.
3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.
5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.
6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.
7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.
9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.
“Power on her head” – understood by some refer to the woman’s authority as co-ruler with man in the creation (Gen 1:26-27). Others take the phrase to refer to the man’s authority as property recognized by the woman in her had covering.
“Angles” – perhaps mentioned here because they are interested in all aspects of the Christian’s salvation and are sensitive to decorum in worship (cf. Eph 3:10; 1 Tim 5:21) and were observers of God’s creation plan (Job 38:7).
11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.
12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.
13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?
11:13-14 – “Comely…nature itself” – believers must be conscious of how their actions appear, in light of what is considered to be honorable behavior.
14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?
15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
16 But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.
In worship services, Paul and the churches in general followed the common custom of the men wearing short hair and the women long hair. Paul was basing his remarks on common custom in the churches.
17 Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.
18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
“Divisions” – the divisions Paul is talking about is religion, God in the Old Testament and Jesus also spoke against religion. Jesus Christ never preached about a certain religion, He preached the word of God and His kingdom. Man created religion.
19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper.
21 For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.
“Is hungry…is drunken” – the early church held the agape (“love”) feast in connection with the Lord’s supper. Perhaps the meal was something like a present-day potluck dinner.
In good Greek style they brought food for all to share, the rich bringing more and the poor brining less, but because of their cliques the rich ate much and the poor were left hungry.
22 What? Have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.
23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
“In remembrance of me” – as the feast of passover was a commemorative meal, so also the Lord’s Supper is a memorial supper, recalling and portraying Christ’s death for sinners.
25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.
Paul is not saying we are to make a show of this but to honor Jesus at all times in all that we do. Jesus told us not to live by the traditions of the Jews (Matt 15), as the Catholics do.
27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
“Examine himself” – a person should test the attitude of his own heart.
29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
“Chastened” – as God’s redeemed children we are disciplined – just as a human father disciplines his child – so that we might repent of our sins and grow in grace (2 Pet 3:18; Heb 12:7-11).
33 Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.
34 And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.
Tongue-Speaking in Christian and Pagan Worship
Speaking in tongues was a recognized part of the life of the early church. In Acts 2 tongues are identified as foreign languages understood by the various pilgrims in Jerusalem,
In 1 Corinthians, however, it is unclear whether tongues were unlearned foreign languages, angelic languages or inarticulate groanings “that words cannot express” (Rom 8:26).
Whatever the case may have been, Paul desired that tongues be translated so that all present might benefit.
Some argue that there were parallels to tongue-speaking in the pagan world, but these supposed correspondences can be misleading.
It is true that other cultures knew of various sorts of ecstatic speech, which could sometimes include either unintelligible speech or foreign words and phrases.
Some pagan rites (with the aid of alcohol or drugs) worked people into a state of delirium.
At pagan oracles, ecstatic priestesses sometimes delivered messages purported to be from gods. People would describe these priestesses as “raving,” but that usually referred to the fact that their meaning was obscure.
A pagan oracle might have been delivered in everyday Greek, but its meaning might still have been puzzling or confusing, even to but Greek-speaking audience.
The words were understandable, but their message was unclear.
A famous example concerns the legend of Croesus, king of Lydia, who sought the advice of the oracle at Delphi regarding whether or not he should wage war against Persia.
He was told that if he did, a great kingdom would fall.
Croesus attacked, believing that the oracle was signifying his own victory, but he was defeated and his own kingdom fell.
Thus, although the priestess at Delphi may have spoken in an ecstatic manner, the real issue was the ambiguity of her message.
This form of ecstatic speech must be distinguished from the Christian practice, in which the unknown tongue would evidently be immediately translated into speech understood by the congregation.
Of course, the unrestrained use of tongues in worship may at times have resembled the rantings of pagan worshipers.
This may have accounted for Paul’s concern in 1 Cor 14:23, where he pointed out that an unbeliever might enter the service and hear uninterpreted tongues and “say that you are out of your mind.”