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1 & 2 Corinthians

1 Corinthians Chapter 9: Paul’s Apostleship and Example

Feb 13th, 2010 | By | Category: 1 & 2 Corinthians, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

Verse 1 is not an abrupt change of subject but a continuation of the same subject, as shown by 1 Corinthians 10:23-26, which talks about conscience and the eating of meat offered to idols from another standpoint. Therefore, chapter 9 is a parenthetical thought of the principle of not using our liberties indiscriminately. Paul was momentarily digressing on the importance of considering the conscience of others. Our liberties must be curbed at times if we would become members of the Little Flock.

Why did Paul ask this question? His personal sacrifice and behavior were another evidence of his faithfulness and apostleship. He curbed his personal liberties, even though he had “power to eat and to drink.” His behavior was obviously different from that of the others in that he greatly restricted himself. With regard to meat and drink, he was very careful not to offend anyone. If any of the Corinthians were awake, they should have noticed that Paul was sacrificing a lot in order to enhance his message. Even if they differed with him in doctrine, they should have respected his desire to serve and please God. As Jesus said, “If you cannot accept my teachings, at least appreciate the works that I am doing” (John 10:25,38; 14:11 paraphrase). If the Jews accepted Jesus’ works, then maybe later on, they would also accept his teachings. He was trying to reach through the barrier of Jewish prejudice and training. The Apostle Paul was speaking similarly here, and the Corinthians should have observed his deeds.

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1 Corinthians Chapter 8: Agape Love edifieth, Meat Offered to Idols, Stumbling Brethren

Feb 13th, 2010 | By | Category: 1 & 2 Corinthians, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

Those who decry too much study of the Bible and doctrine say it is not edifying; they claim that the main thing is love for God and Christ. Only in this First Epistle to the Corinthians did Paul give knowledge a negative value. Several times Paul spoke about how knowledge puffs up and promotes conceit, pride, and vainglory, but this epistle is the only place where he does this. In all of his other epistles, Paul spoke of knowledge favorably, saying it is desirable and essential for growing in grace. Even in the next epistle, his Second Epistle to the Corinthians, Paul spoke very favorably about knowledge. The problem being addressed in this first epistle is that the Corinthians’ use of knowledge had a deleterious and damaging effect.

A lot of our thinking is askew because it is based on emotion and feeling. Each one of us personally has to adjust, for our definition of “love” must square with God’s definition. Surely we would not do a lot of things that God has done if it were a matter of our feelings. God had Jesus crucified—a sobering question is, Would we have done so? God saw that in the long run, the Crucifixion was both for the everlasting welfare of Jesus himself—for the honor to which he would be exalted—and for the redemption of mankind.

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1 Corinthians Chapter 7: Courtship, Marriage and Divorce, Circumcision

Feb 13th, 2010 | By | Category: 1 & 2 Corinthians, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

Chapter 7, however, is different in that it was a response to a letter the Corinthian brethren had written to him: “Now concerning the things [plural] whereof ye wrote unto me.” Apparently, the class had written about problems that were disturbing them, and Paul now began to address these problems.

“It is good for a man not to touch a woman.” What question would have prompted this statement? Paul was asked about familiarity between the sexes, about the association of a man with a woman, before marriage. The question was something like, “In the single state, where should the line be drawn in Christian behavior?” The word “touch” needs to be defined as used in the New Testament and in this context.

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1 Corinthians Chapter 1: Sectarianism in the Church, Worldly Wisdom

Jan 31st, 2010 | By | Category: 1 & 2 Corinthians, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

1 Corinthians Chapter 1: Sectarianism in the Church, Worldly Wisdom 1 Cor. 1:1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, The words “to be” and “our,” which are italicized and thus supplied in the King James Version, should be omitted to realize the simplicity […]

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1 Corinthians Chapter 2: God’s Wisdom vs. Man’s Wisdom

Jan 31st, 2010 | By | Category: 1 & 2 Corinthians, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

Verse 1 repeats the same point. Paul took a lot of time on the subject of wisdom, drumming away at the Greeks’ wrong concept. But he introduced one extra thought here: “not with excellency of speech,” that is, oratory. The Greeks wanted to excel in oratory and admired those who did. A powerful, distinct voice was a requirement so that a large audience could hear. Eloquence, an extensive vocabulary, and knowledge of the philosophies were revered. Although a good manner of delivery is helpful, Paul wanted them to see that the message was more important than the messenger.

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1 Corinthians Chapter 3: Carnality and Immaturity of the Corinthians

Jan 31st, 2010 | By | Category: 1 & 2 Corinthians, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

One can associate with an organization to do witness work and then for 40 years preach baby milk to others and be so absorbed in the work that he himself is not fed. The nature of the witnessing is proper because babies should not be fed meat, but the problem is that the individual does not develop. And so the Corinthians were faithful in all utterance to others, giving all the knowledge they had, but they themselves did not progress mentally with the meat so that they could grow up from babyhood to adulthood. That was the principle here in verses 1-3. Otherwise, Paul’s earlier commendation would be a contradiction.

Paul identified the Corinthians, for the greater part, as babes. They would be babes in character development and in discerning only the basics “until Christ be formed” in them (Gal. 4:19). The goal of a follower of Christ is to copy the Master as much as possible in the imperfect life on this side of the veil. Paul wanted to speak to the Corinthian brethren on more advanced spiritual things, but he could not do so because of their condition as babes. Nevertheless, he would try to bring some benefit out of the confusion that existed in the church at Corinth.

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1 Corinthians Chapter 4: Stewardship and Judgment and Inflated Egos

Jan 30th, 2010 | By | Category: 1 & 2 Corinthians, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

Paul commended those of Berea for hearing with all readiness of mind and then searching the Word of God before judging whether these things were so (Acts 17:10,11). He commended them for critically analyzing his teaching, even though he, an apostle, was doing the instructing. The Bereans tried to square Paul’s teachings with God’s Word. Thus we should not be concerned about what others may think. We need the whole Word of God, including the Old Testament, and should not specialize in just certain books of the Bible. An elder may be blessed with talents along one line, but he should not teach that all Christians are being judged on the level of that specialty.

Paul used constructive sarcasm in speaking of the attitude of the Corinthians—their boastings, their pride, their glory. They felt that they did not need anyone and that they were on their own, whereas there was much they still needed to learn, especially from an apostle. Paul said in effect, “Even now you are reigning as kings, yet at this present hour, we are having the opposite experience.” They thought that they were “full” and “rich” and at the mark of perfect love, and that now they could sit back on their laurels as mature Christians.

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1 Corinthians Chapter 11: Headship in Christ, Partaking Worthily

Jan 5th, 2010 | By | Category: 1 & 2 Corinthians, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

It is important to realize that divisions must come eventually. The “heresies” (or sects) were the attitudes “I am of Paul,” “I am of Apollos,” etc. Different brethren followed different individuals, all the while thinking they were doing God a service. The attitude of some was, “Since Christ is the Head of the Church, how can saying, ‘I am of Christ,’ be wrong?” The error was their use of the pronoun “I” instead of saying, “We are all of God in Christ.” Harmony in the class would be impossible unless the Corinthians were straightened out on this matter.

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1 Corinthians Chapter 12: Gifts of the Spirit, All Members of the Body of Christ

Jan 5th, 2010 | By | Category: 1 & 2 Corinthians, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

Paul gave a practical illustration of the various members of the one human body. If any one member (such as an ear) occupied the whole, not only would the body be destroyed, but also the result would be a monstrosity. The danger was that some brethren in the Corinthian church were becoming high-minded about the gifts they had received. Paul treated the problem in a masterful way. Not only did he use the illustration that there are many members in the one body, but in addition, he used a standpoint that is generally overlooked. He used the body as a picture from two different standpoints, that is, from two types of reasoning. Most sermons are based on the standpoint of the many members being one body and of the varieties of service.

1. Verses 15 and 16 read, “If the foot [or ear] shall say, Because I am not the hand [or eye], I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?” Paul wrote these verses from a passive, introspective, negative standpoint. The foot was discouraged, thinking it was not part of the body because it did not have the particular gift or opportunity of service that the hand had. And in discouragement, a Christian can feel, “The Lord is not dealing with me because I do not have the opportunities of service that others have.” Each Christian should examine himself honestly and do something according to his own talent(s) and ability.

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1 Corinthians Chapter 14: Ground Rules for Speaking in Tongues and Prophesying

Jan 4th, 2010 | By | Category: 1 & 2 Corinthians, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

The primary reason to be able to both speak in a tongue and prophesy was to edify the Church. The secondary value was to be able to go out and publicly expound to those who were in unbelief. Paul was trying to get the brethren in the class not to war against each other, not to be factional, not to show off with their gifts, and not to boast of which leader they followed. In other words, his main purpose was to unify the brethren and to create a good atmosphere for Christian development and growth of the fruitage of the Spirit, let alone for the benefits that would accrue to others through such a ministry.

Paul did not criticize the possession of tongues in his day. In fact, he said, “I would to God that all had this personal, private experience in understanding,” but he wanted the brethren to go further and interpret and be a blessing to others. “Greater is he that prophesieth” was his thought. Evidently, unknown tongues were the most common mechanical gift back there, but they were also a lower gift. However, if one could interpret as well as speak in an unknown tongue, that was a higher step, more or less equivalent to prophecy.

Why did Paul say, “I would that ye all spake with tongues”? If all of the Corinthians spoke in tongues, they would not be examining one another with such statements as “I can speak in tongues, but you cannot.” The Corinthians might even have prayed that their wife or friend would get this gift, but receiving a gift was God’s doing. Paul hoped they could all speak in tongues so that envy and jealousy would not be prevalent in their midst. When an individual consecrated, he got one of the gifts but not necessarily the gift of tongues. However, the brethren misunderstood because more people got tongues than any of the other gifts.

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