Author: carmenhsu

December 6, 2019

1 Corinthians 11 – 2019-12-06

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  • 1 CORINTHIANS 11 –  COMMENTARY

  • BIBLE TEXT: 1 Corinthians 11:17-26 (ESV) 

    17 But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. 18 For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part, 19 for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.            20 When you come together, it is not the Lord’s supper that you eat. 21 For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not.

    23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

  • God [What truths about God’s person, activity or character does the text reveal?]

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December 5, 2019

1 Corinthians 11 – 2019-12-05

Journal

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  • 1 CORINTHIANS 11 –  COMMENTARY

  • vv.3-16 “This section focuses primarily on proper attitudes and conduct in worship, not on the marriage relationship or on the role of women in the church[…] If a believer’s actions offend members and could divide the church, then the believer should change his or her ways to promote church unity. Paul told the women who were not wearing head coverings to wear them, not because it was a scriptural command, but because it kept the congregation from dividing over a petty issue that took people’s focus off Christ.”[1]

    vv.4-5 “The covering or uncovering of the head is not merely a sign of individual freedom, Paul insists; rather, it signifies either respect or disrespect for one’s superior in the hierarchy.  Consequently, to display the literal head inappropriately attired in worship is to bring shame upon one’s figurative ‘head’.  If this seems off to modern readers, we might well remember that analogous customs persist in our social world.  For a man to show up at a formal dinner—or in church—wearing a baseball cap would be widely perceived as rude and irreverent.  In ancient Mediterranean culture such a breach of etiquette would bring disgrace not only on the perpetrator of the act but also on the ‘head’ to whom that person was responsible.  Thus, one of Paul’s concerns is that women who pray and prophesy with ‘uncovered’ heads are in effect shaming the men of the congregation.”[2]

    v.5 “The very mention of the word ‘veil’ by Paul would automatically indicate to the Corinthians that the females under discussion in this passage were married.  The veil indicated the women’s marital status.”[3]

    “Paul promulgates his teaching about head coverings for women not in order to restrict their participation in prayer and prophecy but rather to enable them to perform these activities with dignity, avoiding distractions for people whose cultural sensibilities were formed by the social conventions of the ancient Mediterranean world.”[4]

    “For women to have loose hair in public, however, was conventionally seen as shameful, a sign associated either with prostitutes or—perhaps worse from Paul’s point of view—with women caught up in the ecstatic worship practices of the cults associated with Dionysius, Cybele, and Isis.  Paul is concerned that the practice of Christian prophecy be sharply distinguished from the frenzied behavior of prophetesses in pagan worship (cf. 14:26-33, 37-40).  The symbolic confusion introduced by women with loose, disheveled hair in the Christian assembly would therefore be, from Paul’s point of view, shameful[…].”[5]

    v.10 “What does the idiom ‘to have authority upon her head’ mean, and what do ‘angels’ have to do with the argument? […] By telling the women to ‘take charge’ of their own heads, Paul seeks to transform the symbolic connotations of the head covering: the bound hair becomes a fitting symbol of the self-control and orderliness that Paul desires for the community as a whole.  But what about the angels? […]More likely is the hypothesis that Paul thinks of the angels as present with the worshipping community as guardians of order and as participants in the church’s praise to God; parallels to this idea can be found in the Dead Sea Scrolls.  Presumably, then, Paul means that the community ought to behave in a decorous manner because of the presence of these heavenly ‘dignitaries’ in their midst.”[6]

    vv.11-12 “But lest he be misunderstood as wanting to demote women, Paul now argues that man and woman are equal in the Lord and mutually dependent.”[7]

    v.11 “Even though social decorum requires women and men to maintain symbolic distinctions, and even though Paul contends that such distinctions have a basis in creation itself, nevertheless ‘in the Lord’ things are different.  Men and women live in mutual interdependence.  This does not mean that the differences between the sexes are abolished; it does mean, however, that they are both radically dependent on God and that they are called to livr4                  e as complementary partners in Christ.  These statements do not, as is sometimes claimed, contradict or revoke the position that Paul articulated in verses 3-10; rather, they render it more complex.  The hierarchical order that Paul sketched in verses 3 and 7-9 is counterbalanced by other considerations.  For example, the earlier statement that woman is ‘from man’ is now balanced by the argument that ‘man comes through woman’ in childbirth.  The result is that Paul supports a functional equality of men and women in the church.  Women are free to pray and prophesy and exercise leadership of all sorts through the guidance of the Spirit, so long as they maintain the external markers of gender difference, particularly with regard to head coverings.”[8]

  • vv. 17-19

    “A second abuse of worship existed in the Corinthian church regarding how to celebrate the Lord’s Supper.  Apparently, there was a division between the rich and the poor during the celebration of Communion itself.  This lack of unity caused the believers to lose the real meaning behind what they were remembering—the sacrifice of Jesus’ body on the cross.”[9]

    vv.20-22 “We must bear in mind that the Christian gatherings were held in private homes, not in large public places[…] The host of such a gathering would, of course, be one of the wealthier members of the community.  It is reasonable to assume, therefore, that the host’s higher-status friends would be invited to dine in the triclinium (dining room), while the lower-status members of the church (such as freedmen and slaves) would be placed in the larger space outside.  Furthermore, under such conditions it was not at all unusual for the higher-status guests in the dining room to be served better food and wine than the other guests[…] This is the sort of hospitality that was being provided to the church by the wealthier Corinthian Christians.  They may have considered themselves patrons of the community because they were hosting the gatherings, but they were continuing to observe status distinctions in the fare that was served.”[10]

    vv.23-26 “Thus, in Paul’s rendering of the tradition, two closely linked themes stand out: the sharing of the Supper calls the community to think of Jesus’ death for others, and that death is understood to initiate a new covenant.  To be in covenant relation with God is to belong to a covenant people bound together by responsibilities to God and to one another; the character of this new covenant should be shown forth in the sharing of the meal.  The trouble with the Corinthians is that they are celebrating the Supper in a way that disregards this structure of covenant obligations and demonstrates an odd amnesia about Jesus’ death.  By showing contempt for those who have nothing, they are acting as though his death had not decisively changed the conditions of their relationship to one another.  Paul therefore retells the story so as to spotlight the death of Jesus as the central meaning of the Supper.”[11]

    v.27 “The problem is not desecration of the sacred elements but rather offense against Christ himself.  The thought is similar to the idea expressed in 8:12: ‘When you sin against your brothers in this way…, you sin against Christ.’  By mistreating other members of the church, the Corinthians repeat the sort of sin that made the death of Christ necessary[…].”[12]

    v.30 “Insofar as we find this conception disturbing, we reveal our more fundamental discomfort with the very notion of God’s judgment.  Paul’s assertion stands in continuity with Israel’s prophetic tradition from Amos onward, and particularly with the theology of Deuteronomy, which proclaims that curses and misfortunes will fall upon Israel if they disregard the covenant that God has made with them[…]. [Paul] believes that God takes human sin seriously and sometimes acts to discipline those who defy his will.”[13]

    [1] Bruce B. Barton, et al., 1 Corinthians, Life Application Bible Commentary (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale, 1994) 680.

    [2] Richard B. Hays, First Corinthians, Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching (Louisville, KY: John Knox Press, 1997) 184-85.

    [3] David E. Garland, 1 Corinthians, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 2003) 514.

    [4] Richard B. Hays, First Corinthians, Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching (Louisville, KY: John Knox Press, 1997) 191.

    [5] Ibid

    [6] Richard B. Hays, First Corinthians, Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching (Louisville, KY: John Knox Press, 1997) 187-88.

    [7] Frank E. Gaebelein, Gen. Ed. Expositor’s Bible Commentary CD, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1992) notes for 1 Corinthians.

    [8] Richard B. Hays, First Corinthians, Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching (Louisville, KY: John Knox Press, 1997) 188-89.

    [9] Bruce B. Barton, et al., 1 Corinthians, Life Application Bible Commentary (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale, 1994) 682.

    [10] Richard B. Hays, First Corinthians, Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching (Louisville, KY: John Knox Press, 1997) 196.

    [11] Richard B. Hays, First Corinthians, Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching (Louisville, KY: John Knox Press, 1997) 199.

    [12] Richard B. Hays, First Corinthians, Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching (Louisville, KY: John Knox Press, 1997) 201.

    [13] Richard B. Hays, First Corinthians, Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching (Louisville,KY: John Knox Press, 1997) 205-6.

  • BIBLE TEXT:

    1 Corinthians 11:1-16 (ESV) 

    1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

    2 Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you. 3 But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, 5 but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven. 6 For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head.  7 For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. 9 Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10 That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; 12 for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God. 13 Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God.

  • God [What truths about God’s person, activity or character does the text reveal?]

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  • Prayer 

December 4, 2019

1 Corinthians 10 – 2019-12-04

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  • 1 CORINTHIANS 10 – COMMENTARY

  • BIBLE TEXT: 1 Corinthians 10:23-33 (ESV) 

    23 “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. 24 Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. 25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 26 For “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.” 27 If one of the unbelievers invites you to dinner and you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 28 But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience— 29 I do not mean your conscience, but his. For why should my liberty be determined by someone else’s conscience? 30 If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks?

    31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.

  • God [What truths about God’s person, activity or character does the text reveal?]

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November 29, 2019

1 Corinthians 10 – 2019-11-29

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  • 1 CORINTHIANS 10 – COMMENTARY

    v.2 “The Israelites were not immersed in literal water; baptism here suggests identification with and allegiance to the leader of a spiritual community.”[1]

    v.4for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them.  Paul comes to the notion of the rock ‘following’ them very readily because he notices that the location of the rock, as told in different passages in his scriptures (Psalm 78:16 supposes it happened more than once; Exodus 17:1-6; Numbers 20:2-13), is always with God’s people but is mentioned first in one place and then in another and so forth.  Philo, another Jew who was contemporary with Paul, identified the rock as Wisdom, who, thus personified, never abandoned God’s people.”[2]

    vv.6-10 “Paul explains here that all these things were examples (typoi) for us to think about, lest we who also have received the covenant blessings should become displeasing to God by lusting after evil things as Israel did.

    “Then he describes (vv.7-10) what that lusting involved and warns against following their example. Many of Israel became idolaters. The illustration is that of Exodus 32:1-6, where it is said that Israel had Aaron make the golden calf. Exodus 32:6, quoted here, tells how Israel ate a sacrificial meal in dedication to the calf and then got up ‘to play’ (KJV), that is, to dance in ceremonial revelry as the pagans danced before their gods. This may look back to Paul’s discussion in 1 Corinthians 8 about meat sacrificed to idols.[3]

    vv.11-13 “Paul now makes an application for the Corinthians. Paul sets forth the examples he uses as actually having occurred in history (notice the imperfect verb sunebainen, ‘they were happening’) and as having been written down to warn us. The KJV translation ‘ends of the world’ (v.11b) seems to suggest too much, as though Paul thought he and the Corinthians were in the time of the Second Coming. Actually, he is speaking of the stretch of time called ‘the fulfillment’ [or ‘end’] of the ages, which was to continue from Paul’s time into the indefinite future. The warning amounts to this: Do not be smug in your firm stand for Christ. Keep alert lest you fall. [4]

    v.12 “Paul invites his readers to evaluate or test themselves by making a comparison with the characters in the Exodus story.  Like their wandering predecessors, they share in the benefits that God has provided and they are guided and nurtured by God.  But they must be careful not to comport themselves, like ‘most’ of their forebears, as persons who are tempted to idolatry and immorality and thus put God to the test.”[5]

    “Self-testing can give an occasion for realignment, for reorientation, in which one can make certain to steer clear of sexual immorality, idolatry, and a testing of God.  By altering one’s course on the basis of self-examination, one can choose to stand with the exodus forebears who were faithful rather than fall like those who tested God.”[6]

    v.13“The ‘yous’ in the text are both in the plural, meaning that the experience of the testing and the efforts at handling it are never presumed by Paul to be borne by an individual alone.  Paul’s assumption is that any testing you experience is never in isolation. […]  And the bearing of the test, the handling of it, is never supposed by Paul to be done by an isolated individual; others will always be bearing it with the one who is tested.  So the text supposes that God will not test us beyond what all of us can bear together.  Paul’s outlook stands in sharp contrast with the modern tendency to privatize and individualize all religious matters and experiences, even including suffering.”[7]

    vv.14-15 “The apostle’s terse injunction, ‘Flee [present tense] from idolatry,’ applies not only to the weak who through eating might be led into idolatry but also to those with a strong conscience who in leading the weak into sin were guilty. Paul asks the Corinthians to use good sense and determine the truth of what he says.”[8]

    v.16 “For Paul, participation in the Lord’s supper is the fundamental, even defining, community action of believers.  Like no other activity, this fellowship epitomizes believers’ relation to Christ and to one another in pristine clarity.  Cup and bread are the focal symbols.  Koinonia (‘association,’ ‘partnership,’ ‘sharing,’ ‘fellowship,’) and related terminology (‘take part in,’ ‘have a share in’) lace this pericope and ground Paul’s basic supposition that participation and sharing in Christ and the resulting fellowship is exclusively defining.  It sets limits and boundaries that exclude any and all other rival participations.”[9]

    v.18 “As we have seen, when sacrifice was offered, part of the meat was given back to the worshipper to hold a feast.  At such a feast it was always held that the god himself was a guest.  More, it was often held that, after the meat had been sacrificed, the god himself was in it and that at the banquet he entered into the very bodies and spirits of those who ate.  Just as an unbreakable bond was forged between two men if they ate each other’s bread and salt, so a sacrificial meal formed a real communion between the god and his worshipper.  The person who sacrificed was in a real sense a sharer with the altar; he had a mystic communion with the god.”[10]

    vv.20  “and I do not want you to be participants with demons  There was a time when it was fashionable for biblical scholars and theologians—working in a cultural climate influenced by optimistic rationalism—to discount belief in ‘demons’ as antiquated superstition.  By the end of the twentieth century [sic], however, anyone who does not believe in the power of evil afoot in the world is simply closing his or her eyes to the evidence of our times.”[11]

    v.23-11:1 “The question of temple dining and eating food sacrificed to idols is now left aside as Paul addresses the matter of food of questionable origins—food that may have been sacrificed to idols before it comes into the hands of a believer.  To answer the question of how a Christian can act with integrity in a world brimming with idols, he moves from an absolute prohibition based on general arguments about the dangers of associating with anything idolatrous to conditional liberty based on the biblical tenet that the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it (10:26; Psalms 24:1).”[12]

    11:1 “The imitation of Christ is, therefore, focused on the cross.  This is precisely what the Corinthians were failing to perceive in their quest to affirm personal freedoms for themselves.  Paul seeks throughout this section to impress upon them that life in the church is life in fellowship with those weak ones for whom Christ died.”[13]

    [1] Craig L. Blomberg, 1 Corinthians, NIV Life Application Commentary Series (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1995) 191.

    [2] J. Paul Sampley, “First Corinthians”, New Interpreter’s Bible, Vol.X  (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2002)  915.

    [3] Frank E. Gaebelein, Gen. Ed. Expositor’s Bible Commentary CD, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1992) notes for 1 Corinthians.

    [4] Frank E. Gaebelein, Gen. Ed. Expositor’s Bible Commentary CD, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1992) notes for 1 Corinthians.

    [5] J. Paul Sampley, “First Corinthians”, New Interpreter’s Bible, Vol.X  (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2002)  914.

    [6] J. Paul Sampley, “First Corinthians”, New Interpreter’s Bible, Vol.X  (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2002)  914.

    [7] J. Paul Sampley, “First Corinthians”, New Interpreter’s Bible, Vol.X  (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2002)  916.

    [8] Frank E. Gaebelein, Gen. Ed. Expositor’s Bible Commentary CD, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1992) notes for 1 Corinthians.

    [9] J. Paul Sampley, “First Corinthians”, New Interpreter’s Bible, Vol.X  (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2002)  917-918.

    [10] William Barclay, Letters to the Corinthians, The Daily Study Bible Series (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1975) 91.

    [11] Richard B. Hays, First Corinthians, Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching (Louisville,KY: John Knox Press, 1997) 172.

    [12] Craig L. Blomberg, 1 Corinthians, NIV Life Application Commentary Series (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1995) 607.

    [13] Richard B. Hays, First Corinthians, Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching (Louisville,KY: John Knox Press, 1997) 181.

  • BIBLE TEXT: 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 (ESV)

    1 For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 and all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

    6 Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.” 8 We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. 9 We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, 10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. 12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

  • God [What truths about God’s person, activity or character does the text reveal?]

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  • Prayer 

November 28, 2019

1 Corinthians 9 – 2019-11-28

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  • 1 CORINTHIANS 9 – COMMENTARY

  • BIBLE TEXT: 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (ESV)

    24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

  • God [What truths about God’s person, activity or character does the text reveal?]

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  • Prayer 

November 27, 2019

1 Corinthians 9 – 2019-11-27

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  • 1 CORINTHIANS 9 – COMMENTARY

  • BIBLE TEXT:

    1 Corinthians 9:19-23 (ESV)

    19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.

  • God [What truths about God’s person, activity or character does the text reveal?]

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November 26, 2019

1 Corinthians 9 – 2019-11-26

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  • BIBLE TEXT: 1 Corinthians 9:12-18 (ESV) 

    12 If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more?

    Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ. 13 Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? 14 In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.

    15 But I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing these things to secure any such provision. For I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of my ground for boasting. 16 For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship. 18 What then is my reward? That in my preaching I may present the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.

  • God [What truths about God’s person, activity or character does the text reveal?]

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November 25, 2019

1 Corinthians 9 – 2019-11-25

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  • 1 CORINTHIANS 9 – COMMENTARY

    Introduction:

    “At first sight this chapter seems quite disconnected from what goes before but in fact it is not. The whole point lies in this—the Corinthians who considered themselves mature Christians have been claiming that they are in such a privileged position that they are free to eat meat offered to idols if they like. Their Christian freedom gives them—as they think—a special position in which they could do things which might not be permissible to lesser men. Paul’s way of answering that argument is to set forth the many privileges which he himself had a perfect right to claim, but which he did not claim in case they should turn out to be stumbling-blocks to others and hindrances to the effectiveness of the gospel.”[1]

    v.1 “Some at Corinth (2Cor 12:11-12) and elsewhere (Gal 1:1; 1:15-2:10) questioned Paul’s genuine apostleship.  To certify his apostleship Paul gives this proof: that he has seen the Lord Jesus (Ac 9:1-9; 22:6-16; 26:12-18).”[2]

    v.6 “It was Paul’s practice to support himself materially by tent-making (Acts 18:2,3; 1Cor 4:12) in order not to be a burden to the church. Some apparently misunderstood this to mean that he was not on par with other apostles and Christian workers who depended on the church to support them. In not denying that principle, Paul asserts, by way of a question, that he has a right to be supported.”[3]

    v.12 “What Paul affirms in 9:12b is that he has chosen to look the other way, to disregard his rights, to overlook them across the board, because love calls for—and here he can express it in either two ways—making sure that no obstacle is placed in the way of the gospel of Christ or in the way of one who has been the recipient of that gospel—namely, a brother or sister in Christ.  He of the unexcelled rights has chosen not to employ them because of love.”[4]

    v.18 “In spite of the fact that he would take no payment, Paul knew that he received daily a great reward. He had the satisfaction of bringing the gospel freely to all men who would receive it.”[5]

    v.19 “Going beyond his right to financial support, the apostle now discusses other areas of life in which he had forfeited his right to freedom in order to win more to Christ.”[6]

    vv.20-22 “Paul’s model far more closely approximates ‘friendship evangelism’—coming along side and getting to know unbelievers, valuing them as God’s creation in his image in and of themselves, and not just as potential objects of conversion.”[7]

    v.22 “Those with a weak conscience (1Cor 8:9-12) he also wants to be sure to win (v.22). He becomes ‘weak’—that is, he refrains from exercising his Christian freedom, and acts as they do respecting these indifferent things.”[8]

    v.26 “Paul says of himself that he does not contend like an undisciplined runner or boxer. He states that he aims his blows against his own body, beating it black and blue (hypopiazo; see the same word in Luke 18:5). The picture is graphic: the ancient boxers devastatingly punishing one another with knuckles bound with leather thongs. And so by pummeling his body, Paul enslaves it in order to gain the Christian prize.”[9]

    v.27 “Paul had not only to preach the gospel but also to live the gospel. The Christian, confident of God’s sovereign grace, is nevertheless conscious of his battle against sin.”[10]

    [1] William Barclay, 1 Corinthians, Daily Study Bible Commentary (Philadelphia, PN: Westminster Press, 1975), notes on 1 Corinthians 9.

    [2] The NIV Study Bible, study notes for 1 Corinthians 9 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1985), 1746.

    [3] Frank E. Gaebelein, Gen. Ed. Expositor’s Bible Commentary CD, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1992) notes for 1 Corinthians

    [4] Paul J. Sampley, “The First Letter to the Corinthians,” The New Interpreter’s Bible, Vol. X (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2002) 905.

    [5] William Barclay, 1 Corinthians, Daily Study Bible Commentary (Philadelphia, PN: Westminster Press, 1975), notes on 1 Corinthians 9.

    [6] Frank E. Gaebelein, Gen. Ed. Expositor’s Bible Commentary CD, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1992) notes for 1 Corinthians

    [7] Craig Blomberg, 1 Corinthians, The NIV Application Commentary Series (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994) 188.

    [8] Frank E. Gaebelein, Gen. Ed. Expositor’s Bible Commentary CD, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1992) notes for 1 Corinthians

    [9] Frank E. Gaebelein, Gen. Ed. Expositor’s Bible Commentary CD, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1992) notes for 1 Corinthians

    [10] Frank E. Gaebelein, Gen. Ed. Expositor’s Bible Commentary CD, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1992) notes for 1 Corinthians

  • BIBLE TEXT: 1 Corinthians 9:1-12 (ESV) 

    1 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not you my workmanship in the Lord? 2 If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you, for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.

    3 This is my defense to those who would examine me. 4 Do we not have the right to eat and drink? 5 Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? 6 Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? 7 Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk?

    8 Do I say these things on human authority? Does not the Law say the same? 9 For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? 10 Does he not certainly speak for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop. 11 If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12 If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more?

    Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ. 

  • God [What truths about God’s person, activity or character does the text reveal?]

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  • Prayer 

November 22, 2019

1 Corinthians 8 – 2019-11-22

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  • 1 CORINTHIANS 8 – COMMENTARY

  • BIBLE TEXT:  1 Corinthians 8:9-13 (ESV) 

    9 But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? 11 And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. 12 Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.

  • God [What truths about God’s person, activity or character does the text reveal?]

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November 21, 2019

1 Corinthians 8 – 2019-11-21

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  • 1 CORINTHIANS 8 – COMMENTARY

     Introduction:

    “There was some controversy among the Corinthian Christians whether it was per­missible to eat meat from animals used in pagan sacrifices. We might expect Paul to give a simple and clear-cut answer to this problem, for elsewhere in the New Testament there is a flat prohibition against eat­ing such idol meat [Acts 15:28-29]… Paul does not render a simple judgment; instead he launches into a long and complex argument.”[1]

    “A full understanding of the principles and applications of chapter 8 must await the completion of Paul’s argument in chapters 9-10. By then it will be clear that an evangelistic principle of behaving in ways most likely to lead to other’s salvation is foundational to all that Paul says in these three chapters. But substantial initial progress can be made here. Three timeless principles dominate this chapter: what is safe for one Christian may not be for another; true discernment always requires love as well as knowledge; and believers have no right to demand certain freedoms if they in turn prove detrimental to those around them… 1 Corinthians 8 speaks to the gray areas of Christian living.”[2]

    v.1 “Rather than taking sides in the dispute, Paul seizes the occasion to challenge those with ‘knowledge’ to re­consider their actions on the basis of very different standards.  He pro­visionally accepts the slogan that all have knowledge (v.1; but see v.7); nevertheless, he immediately suggests that knowledge is defective if it fails to build up the community in love. Knowledge ‘puffs up.’ […] Here in 8:1 the cause of this prideful puffing up is stated explicitly for the first time: gnosis can lead to arrogance.”[3]

    v.3 “The initiative in salvation comes from God, not from us. It is God who loves first, God who elects us and delivers us from the power of sin and death. Therefore what counts is not so much our knowledge of God as God’s knowledge of us. That is the syntax of salvation. The dominance of this syntax in Paul’s thought is shown in Galatians 4:9, when he commits an error of theological grammar and stops to correct himself in mid-sentence: ‘Now, however, that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God.’ Anyone who understands that the logic of the gospel depends on God’s initiative will not become puffed up by the possession of knowledge.”[4]

    v.8 “The matter is indifferent. So, Paul thinks it is all right but not better if some, with clear moral consciousness, eat meat offered to idols; and it is all right, yes, even necessary, if others, with what he calls ‘weak conscience or consciousness,’ abstain.”[5]

    v.9-13 “The ‘weak conscience’ was not a poorly developed sense of morality or propriety, as modern use of the expression might often imply, but rather the over-scrupulous restrictions they placed on believers’ freedom in Christ. Their inner thoughts unnecessarily accused them and led to feelings of guilt or defilement.”[6]

    “[…]Christians should not behave in ways that lead each other into sin. Verse 9 provides the thesis statement for the paragraph. ‘Stumbling block’ and that which ‘causes [one] to fall into sin’ (v.13) are synonyms and help to explain each other. ‘The exercise of your freedom’ reads more literally ‘your authority’ or ‘your right.’ In short, verse 9 urges Christians not to demand their rights in ways that cause fellow Christians to sin.”[7]

    v.12 “Verse 12b gives the third reason for abstinence: to avoid sinning against Christ. As in Matthew 10:42 and 25:40, treatment of fellow Christians equals treatment of their Lord[…] When there is good reason to believe that exercising one’s freedom in amoral areas will actually lead a fellow Christian into sin, restraint is always right.”[8]

    v.13 “Paul concludes the chapter by encouraging each of the auditors to model his care, his love for others. But ingredient to the chapter is also a call to the stronger-in-faith believers to take their obligations as models more seriously. Modern believers should be more self-conscious about setting a good example in each and every decision and choice and action. Even if it had no effect on others, it would surely enrich our own faithful response to God. And who knows what use God might make of it in the eyes of someone who observes us?”[9]

    How can we live up to the expectations of every weak conscience? We can’t. But Paul wants us to be sensitive to others. He was frustrated with his Corinthian opponents who trampled on the consciences of the weak. He wants us to be sympathetic to those whose faith might be hindered or destroyed by our freewheeling behavior.”[10]

    [1] Richard B. Hays, “1 Corinthians,” Interpretation (Louisville, KY: John Knox Press, 1997) 134.

    [2] Craig Blomberg, 1 Corinthians, The NIV Application Commentary Series (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994) 163-164.

    [3] Richard B. Hays, “1 Corinthians,” Interpretation (Louisville, KY: John Knox Press, 1997) 137.

    [4] Richard B. Hays, “1 Corinthians,” Interpretation (Louisville, KY: John Knox Press, 1997) 138.

    [5] Paul J. Sampley, “The First Letter to the Corinthians,” The New Interpreter’s Bible, Vol. X (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2002) 899.

    [6]   ­

    [7] Craig Blomberg, 1 Corinthians, The NIV Application Commentary Series (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994) 162-163.

    [8] Craig Blomberg, 1 Corinthians, The NIV Application Commentary Series (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994) 163.

    [9] Paul J. Sampley, “The First Letter to the Corinthians,” The New Interpreter’s Bible, Vol. X (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2002) 902.

    [10] Quest Study Bible, study notes (Grand Rapids, MI:  Zondervan, 1994) 1640.

                           

  • BIBLE TEXT:

    1 Corinthians 8:1-8 (ESV) 

    1 Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. 2 If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. 3 But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.

    4 Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.” 5 For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”— 6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

    7 However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. 8 Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. 

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