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1 Corinthians 10: Idolatry, Freedom, and the Glory of God Print E-mail

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I love to sit down to a good meal. In a few weeks, many of us will be gathering around the table with our families to enjoy some Thanksgiving turkey and dressing (or whatever else we eat on Thanksgiving). My family will be doing that at Glennaís grandmotherís house in Tennessee. We will literally go over the river and through the woods to sit and feast with her family. We will lay out all the food (too much food) on her big table, say a prayer of thanksgiving, and enjoy a great meal. Of course, there are some rules for such gatherings around the table. Growing up, my mother did her best to teach me table manners. They included things like not wearing a hat, but wearing a shirt, not leaning back in my chair, but sitting through the whole meal, and of course, never, ever talking with your mouth full. Iím sure there were more, something about elbows and not reaching over people, but you get the idea: table manners were important.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 17 November 2015 )
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1 Corinthians 9: My Rights for the Gospel Print E-mail

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What would you be willing to give up so that someone could hear the gospel? Would you give up your job or your pay? Would you give up your house, where you live? Would you give up your comforts and ease? What would you give up for someone else to hear the gospel?

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 17 November 2015 )
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1 Corinthians 8: Our Knowledge, Our Love, Our Rights Print E-mail

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When I was a youth minister in college, I was approached one Sunday night by an older lady in the church who said that she needed to speak with me. We went into my office and I could tell that she was struggling with exactly what to say. She told me that she was concerned about something that I was doing as the youth minister and she wanted me to consider a change. What was the issue that prompted this discussion? She was concerned at my wearing shorts to church on Sunday nights. When you hear that, where does your mind go? If I remember correctly, mine probably started listing off all the reasons why what I wore to services was no big deal, especially shorts on a Sunday night. I probably had a whole theological dissertation written in my head about how shorts would help me reach out to lost teenagers and that she would need to produce some Scripture that addressed the way I dressed. But God in His kindness and grace kept me from saying all that. And you know why? Because I really did love this dear sister in the Lord. We didnít agree on this issue, but that did not change how I felt about her as a person. Through Godís grace, love triumphed in that situation. (I wish I could say the same about all of the other similar situations I have had).

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 17 November 2015 )
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1 Corinthians 7:17-40: Identity with Christ Print E-mail

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Your identity with Christ transcends all others. Whether you are black or white, rich or poor, old or young, who you are in Christ is more important. People place great importance on these issues and go to great lengths to protect or secure a certain identity. Recently, there was a lady in the news, Rachel Dolezal who convinced people that she was African American because she felt like she identified with that race. She lied about her race for years and was able to become the leader of an NAACP chapter in Washington. She went to great lengths to change her identity because she seemingly wanted to fight for racial equality. She thought that the best way to accomplish this was to attempt to change her own identity.  Whether you are talking about race or something else, it is obvious that identity is important to people. But for the Christian, our identity as followers of Christ transcends all of these others, including singleness or marriage.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 29 October 2015 )
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1 Corinthians 7:1-16: To the Married and Unmarried Print E-mail

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The gospel has more to say about marriage and singleness than we often realize. It is not good news for part of our lives, but the good news for all of our lives. We have seen already in 1 Corinthians how the gospel applies to division, wisdom, lawsuits, and sexuality. In response to a letter than apparently the Corinthians had sent him, Paul will go on to write about how the gospel applies to marriage and singleness (ch. 7), idolatry (ch. 8-10), worship (ch. 11-14), and our understanding of resurrection (ch. 15). And this is just one letter in the New Testament. The truth is that there is no situation or circumstance or experience to which the gospel does not apply. The good news is meant for every inch of our lives.

Last Updated ( Monday, 19 October 2015 )
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1 Corinthians 6:12-20: Glorify God with Your Body Print E-mail

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Christians have consistently struggled with the topic of the human body. Many heresies have arisen due to faulty understandings of the spiritual and the physical. For example, the Gnostics taught that all matter, including the body, is evil. The Manicheans taught a similar idea concerning the body, along with the followers of Marcion. These heresies all rested on the Greek idea of dualism: the spirit/soul is good while the material/body is evil. The idea that matter is evil led these groups to develop unbiblical ideas concerning God, Christ, man, and salvation. For example, if all matter is evil, then how could God really come in the flesh? Such ideas led to false teaching on the nature of Christ (fully divine, but not fully human).

Last Updated ( Friday, 16 October 2015 )
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