Biblical Places Spiritual Spaces - Corinth

Laura and the Temple of Apollo Corinth

I have a friend name Alice who is a passionate follower of Jesus who is actively engaged in evangelism and discipleship. One weekend she spoke at a woman's conference on various aspect of the Path of Discipleship to a group and afterward one lady, who was a new believer, came up to Alice and said:

"I loved what you said! That was f_ _ _ing great!"

Alice quickly replied: "Don't you ever use that curse word in my presence again!"

No she didn't. Alice has worked with many new believers. She understands that the process of transformation is just that- a process. She knows that we are responsible to pick the fruit, but not bruise the fruit that God gives.

So what she really said to that enthusiastic lady was "Oh. Thank you very much. What is your name?"

Alice is all about seeing the fruit mature.

How do we help the fruit mature?  Paul shows us through his friends in Corinth.

It was a city were the main product was sex, and anything was allowed. Men and women had no boundaries when it came to sexual preference, or gender fluidity. Morality was subject to the situation at hand. Abortion was a common practice and often encourage by the intellectual elite. Infanticide was encouraged for deformed, unwanted, or wrong sex children.

Does this sound like many cities in North America, Europe, and Asia in the 21st Century?

Welcome to Ancient Corinth!

It is a city located on a narrow isthmus four miles wide on the Gulf of Corinth, which connects the mainland of Greece to the Peloponnesian Peninsula. Any ship sailing from the Adriatic Sea to the Aegean could sail around the lengthy, stormy, rocky coast of the Peloponnese, or sail up the relatively calm waters of the Gulf of Corinth to this narrow isthmus where men would drag the ships on logs across to the Aegean side (now there is a canal cut through). This process usually took a good part of a week, but not to worry. Ancient Corinth was the perfect sailor’s town.


The dominant building in Corinth was the Temple of Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, which sat on the top of the acropolis, above the city. It was staffed by 1000 prostitutes, male and female, who welcomed all worshippers. On every major intersection of the ancient city was a statue of a man, woman, animal, or combination of, in a sexual posture. Sex was the main commodity of Corinth, and the wealthiest citizen who wielded the most political power was the High Priestess of Aphrodite.


The ruins of the Aphrodite Temple and Turkish fortress

 After these things he left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, having recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. He came to them, 3 and because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and they were working, for by trade they were tent-makers.

4 And he was reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath and trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.

The Corinthian Agora - Marketplace 


5 But when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul began devoting himself completely to the word, solemnly testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. 6 But when they resisted and blasphemed, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” 7 Then he left there and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God, whose house was next to the synagogue. 8  Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with all his household, and many of the Corinthians when they heard were believing and being baptized.

9 And the Lord said to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent; 10 for I am with you, and no man will attack you in order to harm you, for I have many people in this city.” 11 And he settled there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. (A.D.52-53)


A mural depicting Paul's dream


 Paul finds a couple skilled in his trade- making tents which is a well-known industry of his home town of Tarsus. Pricilla and Aquila become the first disciples in Corinth, the first of many. Then the rest of the Road Trip 2 Team arrived, and now things began to break out.

Why was Paul fearful? Perhaps it had to do with the many riots which had occurred as a result of his preaching, and the times he had been beaten, imprisoned, and stoned by an angry crowd who thought they had killed him. The pattern of Paul’s ministry up to this point had been to start with the Jews in the synagogue, and once they rejected the message, to focus on the Gentiles. It was at this stage that usually the Jews became jealous and angry and came against Paul, slandering him publicly and bringing false accusations against him. Naturally as he saw more and more Greeks becoming followers of Jesus, he began to become fearful of what was coming next. It what at this point that God spoke specifically to him to tell him two significant things:

  • That no one would attack and harm him while he was in Corinth, and that
  • Many people in Corinth already belonged to God.

This is a very interesting piece of information: God already had people in Corinth who would become disciples of Jesus. All Paul needed to do was his part- speak boldly to those God brought across his path.

Principle: Wherever God calls us to ministry, He is already doing something in the lives of many. Our arrival is not a coincidence, but rather an orchestration of God’s plan to reach humanity. Often, He has placed something in motion, and all we have to do is show up.

12 But while Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him before the judgment seat, 13 saying, “This man persuades men to worship God contrary to the law.” 14 But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, “If it were a matter of wrong or of vicious crime, O Jews, it would be reasonable for me to put up with you; 15 but if there are questions about words and names and your own law, look after it yourselves; I am unwilling to be a judge of these matters.” 16 And he drove them away from the judgment seat.

17 And they all took hold of Sosthenes, the leader of the synagogue, and began beating him in front of the judgment seat. But Gallio was not concerned about any of these things. Acts 18:1-17

 Gallio was the brother the the famous Roman philosopher Seneca.

The Cardo with the platform with the Judgement Seat.


Dr Randy Smith teaching us at the Judgement Seat - Corinth.

The base of a Corinthian column


Paul’s letter, written from Ephesus to his friends in Corinth three years later, focuses on the problems which had arisen in this very new congregation with some answers that are principle for us in our times.

 Chapter 1

1 This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Sosthenes. 2 I am writing to God’s church in Corinth, to you who have been called by God to be his own holy people. He made you holy by means of Christ Jesus, just as he did for all people everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.
3 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. 1 Corinthians 1:1-3 NLT


Apparently after Sosthenes was beaten in from of Gallio, he had his own experience with God, and became a follower of Jesus. He grew in his faith to the point that he traveled to Ephesus and joined Paul’s ministry team.


Principle: Never count anyone out of the Kingdom of God. Those who resist the Message most vociferously often become the most passionate followers of Jesus. (Example- Saul/Paul)


4 I always thank my God for you and for the gracious gifts he has given you, now that you belong to Christ Jesus. 5 Through him, God has enriched your church in every way—with all of your eloquent words and all of your knowledge. 6 This confirms that what I told you about Christ is true. 7 Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8 He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. 9 God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

10 I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. 11 For some members of Chloe’s household have told me about your quarrels, my dear brothers and sisters. 12 Some of you are saying, “I am a follower of Paul.” Others are saying, “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Peter,” or “I follow only Christ.”
13 Has Christ been divided into factions? Was I, Paul, crucified for you? Were any of you baptized in the name of Paul? Of course not! 14 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 for now no one can say they were baptized in my name. 16 (Oh yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas, but I don’t remember baptizing anyone else.) 17 For Christ didn’t send me to baptize, but to preach the Good News—and not with clever speech, for fear that the cross of Christ would lose its power.            1 Corinthians 1:4-17  NLT

Corinthian style capital of a column


Paul brilliantly presented the Gospel to the philosophers in Athens, and there were some coverts to Christ. Here in Corinth, He was to follow a different strategy.

18 The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. 19 As the Scriptures say,
                “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.”
  20 So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. 21 Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. 22 It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom. 23 So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.
24 But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.                 1 Corinthians 1:18-25


Principle: The New Testament audience was composed of functional thinking Jews and form thinking Greeks & Romans. The writers of the Gospels and Epistles proclaim the Message in a manner that their audience would receive.


26 Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. 27 Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 28 God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. 29 As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.
30 God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. 31 Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the LORD.”     1 Corinthians 1:26-31 NLT


God created this world according to a fabric of natural laws- gravity, aerodynamics, sexual relationships, economy, health, orbital mechanics, and much more. Proverbs 8 describes Wisdom as the integral part of His Creation. We know this Wisdom to be Jesus Himself, as Paul states to his friends in Corinth.



Chapter 2

1 When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan. 2 For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. 4 And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. 5 I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.                                       1 Corinthians 2:1-5


Paul took on the best philosophers of his time in his message on Mars Hill. Utilizing his knowledge of Greek history and culture, he made a very compelling argument to the elite citizens of Athens. Yet there was little fruit in the ministry there. But when he came to Corinth, he had abandoned the ‘lofty argument’ strategy, and instead focused on the simplicity of Jesus Christ, and his atoning death on the cross. He decided to rely on God to demonstrate the truth of his words through God’s own demonstration of His Presence and Power.

Perhaps the crowd in Corinth was more receptive to the Gospel message. The Athenian crowd was comfortable, with very little needs. They took pride in their gods, their way of life, and their thinking. The Corinthians were a different breed, caught up in their sensuous culture, and often undisciplined way of life. Perhaps they realized the consequences of sin, and their need for a savior. As the Scriptures say,

“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

James 4:5

The contrasts between the two groups are clear and germane. The soil of Corinth was more fertile than the soil of Athens. As a result, God used the Paul’s Team to bring many into the Kingdom. The history of Christianity for the past two millennium demonstrates that often, if not always, spiritual revival movements begin ‘on the wrong side of the tracks’. It is people often on the fringes of society or ecclesiastical organizations who respond the most to the message of forgiveness of sins and eternal life in the Kingdom of God.


Principle: It is important to know your audience, and be sensitive to what the Holy Spirit wants to say and do. We must follow His lead if we are to see any fruit.


6 Yet when I am among mature believers, I do speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world or to the rulers of this world, who are soon forgotten. 7 No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God—his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began. 8 But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord. 9 That is what the Scriptures mean when they say,
                     “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined
                        what God has prepared  for those who love him.”

10 But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. 11 No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. 12 And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.
13 When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths. 1 Corinthians 2:6-13


Principle: When we receive Jesus as our Lord, He gives us His Holy Spirit, which lives inside us now, connecting our conscience to God’s conscience. Now we can freely know the intimate thoughts of God Himself, something that one who does not have the Spirit cannot.


In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is  given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1:13-14


14 But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. 15 Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. 16 For,
                             “Who can know the LORD’s thoughts?     Who knows enough to teach him?”
But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.            1 Corinthians 2:14 -16


“Natural” men and women will not understand fully the message of the Cross, nor the lifestyle of the giving, serving, loving followers of Jesus. It will take a touch from God for them to fully understand and receive the Gospel.

Principle: We must pray for those whom God has sent us, asking the Holy Spirit to open their hearts and minds to the Message of the Gospel.


Paul was very successful in his evangelistic efforts in Corinth, and the church grew to include people from all levels of Corinthian society. Former temple prostitutes, sailors, Roman military members, government officials, synagogue leaders, butchers, temple workers, doctors, city workers, ship movers- all bringing into the body of Christ their attitudes, habits and former lifestyles. Transformation was happening, but not total, rapid transformation. Listen to what Paul says in a later letter to his friends in Corinth:


17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.                                       2 Corinthians 5:17-20

The spring in Ancient Corinth 



1 Now I, Paul, myself urge you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am meek when face to face with you, but bold toward you when absent! 2 I ask that when I am present I need not be bold with the confidence with which I propose to be courageous against some, who regard us as if we walked according to the flesh. 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, 4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, 6 and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.                                                                                                 2 Corinthians 10:1-6

Principle: We are responsible to teach, admonish, and train in righteousness those whom God has assigned to us.

Chapter 3

​​1 Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in Christ. 2 I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready, 3 for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world? 4 When one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” and another says, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you acting just like people of the world? 1 Corinthians 3:1-4

Problem: Immaturity- we are stuck in worldly thinking

5 After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. 6 I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. 7 It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. 9 For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building. 1 Corinthians 3:5-9

Principle: Discipleship is a team ministry

10 Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:10-11

Problem: Motivation for ministry often is for personal gain.

12 Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. 13 But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. 14 If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. 15 But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames. 1 Corinthians 3:12-15

Principle: God will judge our motivations for ministry and will reward us for ministry built on Christ.

16  Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are. Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.

Problem:  We often use what God has given us in our abilities for our own purposes.

18 Stop deceiving yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world’s standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say,
                                   “He traps the wise in the snare of their own cleverness.”
20 And again,
                          “The LORD knows the thoughts of the wise; he knows they are worthless.”
21 So don’t boast about following a particular human leader. For everything belongs to you—22 whether Paul or Apollos or Peter, or the world, or life and death, or the present and the future. Everything belongs to you, 23 and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God. 1 Corinthians 3:18-23

Principle: God knows what is in your heart. Let us not let our natural thoughts direct our lives, but rather live according to the Big Eternal Worldview.

The Corinthian Forum


Chapter 4

1 So look at Apollos and me as mere servants of Christ who have been put in charge of explaining God’s mysteries. 2 Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful. 3 As for me, it matters very little how I might be evaluated by you or by any human authority. I don’t even trust my own judgment on this point. 4 My conscience is clear, but that doesn’t prove I’m right. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide.
5 So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time—before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due. 1 Corinthians 4:1-5

PRoblem: We often judge according to appearance.

6 Dear brothers and sisters, I have used Apollos and myself to illustrate what I’ve been saying. If you pay attention to what I have quoted from the Scriptures, you won’t be proud of one of your leaders at the expense of another. 7 For what gives you the right to make such a judgment? What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a gift?
8 You think you already have everything you need. You think you are already rich. You have begun to reign in God’s kingdom without us! I wish you really were reigning already, for then we would be reigning with you. 9 Instead, I sometimes think God has put us apostles on display, like prisoners of war at the end of a victor’s parade, condemned to die. We have become a spectacle to the entire world—to people and angels alike.
  10 Our dedication to Christ makes us look like fools, but you claim to be so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are so powerful! You are honored, but we are ridiculed. 11 Even now we go hungry and thirsty, and we don’t have enough clothes to keep warm. We are often beaten and have no home. 12 We work wearily with our own hands to earn our living. We bless those who curse us. We are patient with those who abuse us. 13 We appeal gently when evil things are said about us. Yet we are treated like the world’s garbage, like everybody’s trash—right up to the present moment.                                                  1 Corinthians 4:6-13

Principle: Effective disciples often appear as fools and failures according to worldly standards.

14 I am not writing these things to shame you, but to warn you as my beloved children. 15 For even if you had ten thousand others to teach you about Christ, you have only one spiritual father. For I became your father in Christ Jesus when I preached the Good News to you. 16 So I urge you to imitate me.
17 That’s why I have sent Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord. He will remind you of how I follow Christ Jesus, just as I teach in all the churches wherever I go.
18 Some of you have become arrogant, thinking I will not visit you again. 19 But I will come—and soon—if the Lord lets me, and then I’ll find out whether these arrogant people just give pretentious speeches or whether they really have God’s power. 20 For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power. 21 Which do you choose? Should I come with a rod to punish you, or should I come with love and a gentle spirit?

 1 Corinthians 4:14-21

Problem: We often don’t understand spiritual authority, which comes from God Himself, and take on things He has not given us.

12 Oh, don’t worry; we wouldn’t dare say that we are as wonderful as these other men who tell you how important they are! But they are only comparing themselves with each other, using themselves as the standard of measurement. How ignorant!
13 We will not boast about things done outside our area of authority. We will boast only about what has happened within the boundaries of the work God has given us, which includes our working with you. 14 We are not reaching beyond these boundaries when we claim authority over you, as if we had never visited you. For we were the first to travel all the way to Corinth with the Good News of Christ.
15 Nor do we boast and claim credit for the work someone else has done. Instead, we hope that your faith will grow so that the boundaries of our work among you will be extended.            2 Corinthians 10:12-15 NLT

Principle: We all have our assigned positions in the Kingdom. To some we are spiritual sons and daughters, to others spiritual fathers and mothers.


Corinthian tile design

Chapter 5

1 I can hardly believe the report about the sexual immorality going on among you—something that even pagans don’t do. I am told that a man in your church is living in sin with his stepmother. 2 You are so proud of yourselves, but you should be mourning in sorrow and shame. And you should remove this man from your fellowship.
3 Even though I am not with you in person, I am with you in the Spirit. And as though I were there, I have already passed judgment on this man 4 in the name of the Lord Jesus. You must call a meeting of the church. I will be present with you in spirit, and so will the power of our Lord Jesus. 5 Then you must throw this man out and hand him over to Satan so that his sinful nature will be destroyed and he himself will be saved on the day the Lord returns.
6 Your boasting about this is terrible. Don’t you realize that this sin is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough? 7 Get rid of the old “yeast” by removing this wicked person from among you. Then you will be like a fresh batch of dough made without yeast, which is what you really are. Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us. 8 So let us celebrate the festival, not with the old bread of wickedness and evil, but with the new bread of sincerity and truth.                                                                1 Corinthians 5:1-8

Problem: We don’t understand God’s purposes for the family unit and sex within a committed marriage relationship, and we enter into sexual relationships that hinder our spiritual growth and confuse less mature followers of Jesus, along with those outside the Christian community. Accepting ungodly behavior without church discipline is not good for the so-called believer, nor the Christian community.

9 When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. 10 But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. 11 I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people.
12 It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. 13 God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.”                                                   1 Corinthians 5:9-13

Principle: We are to not separate ourselves from the world, isolating ourselves from those who need Christ, but not allow worldly people to led our brothers and sister astray.


Chapter 6

1 When one of you has a dispute with another believer, how dare you file a lawsuit and ask a secular court to decide the matter instead of taking it to other believers!                               1 Corinthians 6:1

Problem: We use worldly courts to settle disputes within the family of God.

 2Don’t you realize that someday we believers will judge the world? And since you are going to judge the world, can’t you decide even these little things among yourselves? 3 Don’t you realize that we will judge angels? So you should surely be able to resolve ordinary disputes in this life. 4 If you have legal disputes about such matters, why go to outside judges who are not respected by the church? 5 I am saying this to shame you. Isn’t there anyone in all the church who is wise enough to decide these issues? 6 But instead, one believer sues another—right in front of unbelievers!
7 Even to have such lawsuits with one another is a defeat for you. Why not just accept the injustice and leave it at that? Why not let yourselves be cheated? 8 Instead, you yourselves are the ones who do wrong and cheat even your fellow believers.                                                            1 Corinthians 6:2-8

Principle: in the future, we will be the judges of the rebellious angels along with those who reject Christ. We should search out the wise among us to mediate our disputes.

9 Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, 10 or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.

Problem: We call ourselves Followers of Jesus, yet act like those in the world who do not know Him, nor have His spirit inside us.

 11 Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Principle: Before Christ, we acted just like them, but the transforming power of God has changed us. We should never forget our need for Christ!

12 You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything. 13 You say, “Food was made for the stomach, and the stomach for food.” (This is true, though someday God will do away with both of them.) But you can’t say that our bodies were made for sexual immorality. They were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies. 14 And God will raise us from the dead by his power, just as he raised our Lord from the dead.
15 Don’t you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ? Should a man take his body, which is part of Christ, and join it to a prostitute? Never! 16 And don’t you realize that if a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? For the Scriptures say, “The two are united into one.” 17 But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.                                                      1 Corinthians 6:12-17

Problem: We view sex like we view food- when we are hungry we eat. Sex is meant for something much more.

18 Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. 19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 NLT

Principle: Sex is designed as an expression of intimacy. Our ultimacy is with the Lord. Sex outside marriage takes us away from true intimacy. The sexual act engages the entire person. Sex is not self-gratification, but rather self-donation. You must never have physical oneness without whole life oneness.


18 There are three things which are too wonderful for me, Four which I do not understand:
19 The way of an eagle in the sky, The way of a serpent on a rock,

The way of a ship in the middle of the sea, And the way of a man with a maid.
20 This is the way of an adulterous woman:
She eats and wipes her mouth, And says, “I have done no wrong.” Proverbs 30:18-20



Plaster body part images used for advertising a physician's office and the diseases and injuries he has successfully cured.


Chapter 7

Marriage in the Roman World

 There were four recognized forms of Roman marriage.

1) Contubernium- “tent marriage” - marriage between slaves.

2) Usus – common law, after 1 year of living together.

3) Coemptio en manum – the purchase of a woman from her father for contracted years of pleasurable service.

4) Confarretio – contractual marriage with a public ceremony.


Problem: What happens to our relationships when we become followers of Jesus?


1 Now concerning the things about which you wrote, "it is good for a man not to touch a woman." 1 Corinthians 7:1 NASB

This is a question that was asked to Paul by his Corinthian friends. Now he gives his response to this question. 

2 But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.
3 The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. 4 The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife.
5 Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 1 Corinthians 7:1-5

 Possibly referring to #3 Contubernium


6 I say this as a concession, not as a command. 7 But I wish everyone were single, just as I am. Yet each person has a special gift from God, of one kind or another.
8 So I say to those who aren’t married and to widows—it’s better to stay unmarried, just as I am. 9 But if they can’t control themselves, they should go ahead and marry. It’s better to marry than to burn with lust. 1 Corinthians 7:6-9

 Possibly referring to #4 Confarretio


10 But for those who are married, I have a command that comes not from me, but from the Lord. A wife must not leave her husband. 11 But if she does leave him, let her remain single or else be reconciled to him. And the husband must not leave his wife. 1 Corinthians 7:10-11

 Possibly referring to #2 Usus


12 Now, I will speak to the rest of you, though I do not have a direct command from the Lord. If a fellow believer has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to continue living with him, he must not leave her. 13 And if a believing woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to continue living with her, she must not leave him. 14 For the believing wife brings holiness to her marriage, and the believing husband brings holiness to his marriage. Otherwise, your children would not be holy, but now they are holy. 15 (But if the husband or wife who isn’t a believer insists on leaving, let them go. In such cases the believing husband or wife is no longer bound to the other, for God has called you to live in peace.) 16 Don’t you wives realize that your husbands might be saved because of you? And don’t you husbands realize that your wives might be saved because of you? 1 Corinthians 7:12-16

 Possibly referring to #4 Confarretio


17 Each of you should continue to live in whatever situation the Lord has placed you, and remain as you were when God first called you. This is my rule for all the churches. 18 For instance, a man who was circumcised before he became a believer should not try to reverse it. And the man who was uncircumcised when he became a believer should not be circumcised now. 19 For it makes no difference whether or not a man has been circumcised. The important thing is to keep God’s commandments.
20 Yes, each of you should remain as you were when God called you. 1 Corinthians 7:17-20


Principle: Marriage relationships should remain intact when one spouse becomes a follow of Jesus. You will have a significant impact on the spiritual life of your spouse


21 Are you a slave? Don’t let that worry you—but if you get a chance to be free, take it. 22 And remember, if you were a slave when the Lord called you, you are now free in the Lord. And if you were free when the Lord called you, you are now a slave of Christ. 23 God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world. 24 Each of you, dear brothers and sisters, should remain as you were when God first called you. 1 Corinthians 7:21-24

 Possible referring to #1 Contubernium and #3 Coemptio en manum


Problem: Because of our relationship with Christ, should we abandon our earthly marriage relationships?


25 Now regarding your question about the young women who are not yet married. I do not have a command from the Lord for them. But the Lord in his mercy has given me wisdom that can be trusted, and I will share it with you. 26 Because of the present crisis, I think it is best to remain as you are. 27 If you have a wife, do not seek to end the marriage. If you do not have a wife, do not seek to get married. 28 But if you do get married, it is not a sin. And if a young woman gets married, it is not a sin. However, those who get married at this time will have troubles, and I am trying to spare you those problems.
But let me say this, dear brothers and sisters: The time that remains is very short. So from now on, those with wives should not focus only on their marriage. 30 Those who weep or who rejoice or who buy things should not be absorbed by their weeping or their joy or their possessions. 31 Those who use the things of the world should not become attached to them. For this world as we know it will soon pass away.
32 I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him. 33 But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. 34 His interests are divided. In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be devoted to the Lord and holy in body and in spirit. But a married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible.
But if a man thinks that he’s treating his fiancée improperly and will inevitably give in to his passion, let him marry her as he wishes. It is not a sin. 37 But if he has decided firmly not to marry and there is no urgency and he can control his passion, he does well not to marry. 38 So the person who marries his fiancée does well, and the person who doesn’t marry does even better.
39 A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. If her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but only if he loves the Lord. 40 But in my opinion it would be better for her to stay single, and I think I am giving you counsel from God’s Spirit when I say this. 1 Corinthians 7:25-40


Principle: We should all do what God is leading us to do. It will be different for many of us. It is acceptable to be single and devote your service to the Lord. Single Christian can focus on the work of the Kingdom unhindered by caring for a spouse. If you are married, your relationship with your spouse is a higher priority that the ministry that God has called your to.


The Temple of Apollo, where animals were sacrificed and dragged down to the butcher shops, where they were cut into steaks and served at nearby cafes.

Chapter 8


1 Now regarding your question about food that has been offered to idols.


Problem: Is it permissible to eat at the restaurants next to the butcher shops that cut up to animals used in temple sacrifice?


Yes, we know that “we all have knowledge” about this issue. But while knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church. 2 Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn’t really know very much. 3 But the person who loves God is the one whom God recognizes.         

1 Corinthians 8:1-3


Principle: contentions over secondary issues such as this are less important than treating each other in a loving manner.


Laura & Michael standing in an ancient butcher shop

4 So, what about eating meat that has been offered to idols? Well, we all know that an idol is not really a god and that there is only one God. 5 There may be so-called gods both in heaven and on earth, and some people actually worship many gods and many lords. 6 But for us,
There is one God, the Father,
by whom all things were created,
and for whom we live.
And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ,
through whom all things were created,
and through whom we live.
7 However, not all believers know this. Some are accustomed to thinking of idols as being real, so when they eat food that has been offered to idols, they think of it as the worship of real gods, and their weak consciences are violated. 1 Corinthians 8:4-7


Principle: Not everyone is in the same place spiritually. We are only responsible to obey what God has told us.


8 It’s true that we can’t win God’s approval by what we eat. We don’t lose anything if we don’t eat it, and we don’t gain anything if we do.


Principle: Dietary laws have nothing to do with gaining God’s favor. He has already given us all His favor.

9 But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble. 10 For if others see you—with your “superior knowledge”—eating in the temple of an idol, won’t they be encouraged to violate their conscience by eating food that has been offered to an idol? 11 So because of your superior knowledge, a weak believer for whom Christ died will be destroyed. 12 And when you sin against other believers by encouraging them to do something they believe is wrong, you are sinning against Christ. 13 So if what I eat causes another believer to sin, I will never eat meat again as long as I live—for I don’t want to cause another believer to stumble. 1 Corinthians 8:8-13


Principle: It is more important to not cause a less mature brother or sister to stumble than to exercise your own freedom. It is better to curtain your freedom for the sake of a brother or sister, even if their theology is in error.


Corinthian cows


Chapter 9


Paul explains How he has curtained his freedom for their sakes:


1 Am I not as free as anyone else? Am I not an apostle? Haven’t I seen Jesus our Lord with my own eyes? Isn’t it because of my work that you belong to the Lord? 2 Even if others think I am not an apostle, I certainly am to you. You yourselves are proof that I am the Lord’s apostle.
3 This is my answer to those who question my authority. 4 Don’t we have the right to live in your homes and share your meals? 5 Don’t we have the right to bring a believing wife with us as the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers do, and as Peter does? 6 Or is it only Barnabas and I who have to work to support ourselves?
7 What soldier has to pay his own expenses? What farmer plants a vineyard and doesn’t have the right to eat some of its fruit? What shepherd cares for a flock of sheep and isn’t allowed to drink some of the milk? 8 Am I expressing merely a human opinion, or does the law say the same thing? 9 For the law of Moses says, “You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating as it treads out the grain.” Was God thinking only about oxen when he said this? 10 Wasn’t he actually speaking to us? Yes, it was written for us, so that the one who plows and the one who threshes the grain might both expect a share of the harvest.
11 Since we have planted spiritual seed among you, aren’t we entitled to a harvest of physical food and drink? 12 If you support others who preach to you, shouldn’t we have an even greater right to be supported? But we have never used this right. We would rather put up with anything than be an obstacle to the Good News about Christ.
13 Don’t you realize that those who work in the temple get their meals from the offerings brought to the temple? And those who serve at the altar get a share of the sacrificial offerings. 14 In the same way, the Lord ordered that those who preach the Good News should be supported by those who benefit from it. 15 Yet I have never used any of these rights. And I am not writing this to suggest that I want to start now. In fact, I would rather die than lose my right to boast about preaching without charge. 16 Yet preaching the Good News is not something I can boast about. I am compelled by God to do it. How terrible for me if I didn’t preach the Good News!
17 If I were doing this on my own initiative, I would deserve payment. But I have no choice, for God has given me this sacred trust. 18 What then is my pay? It is the opportunity to preach the Good News without charging anyone. That’s why I never demand my rights when I preach the Good News.                                                                                                 1 Corinthians 9:1-18


Now Paul explains his philosophy of cross cultural ministry


19 Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ. 20 When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. 21 When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ.  22 When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ.

 Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. 23 I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.
24 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:19-27


Principle: Our focus in life should not be just satisfying ourselves and exercising our freedom, but curtaining our liberties and fitting in with those we are with, building relational bridges and friendships, so that we can be the “Salt and Light” (Matthew 5) to those God has placed us with. We should have an eternal focus in life, making our time count for eternal purposes. Personal discipline is a vital ingredient in our mission from God.


"Caesar" Inscription 


Chapter 10


1 I don’t want you to forget, dear brothers and sisters, about our ancestors in the wilderness long ago. All of them were guided by a cloud that moved ahead of them, and all of them walked through the sea on dry ground. 2 In the cloud and in the sea, all of them were baptized as followers of Moses. 3 All of them ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all of them drank the same spiritual water. For they drank from the spiritual rock that traveled with them, and that rock was Christ. 5 Yet God was not pleased with most of them, and their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
6 These things happened as a warning to us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did, 7 or worship idols as some of them did. As the Scriptures say, “The people celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged in pagan revelry.” 8 And we must not engage in sexual immorality as some of them did, causing 23,000 of them to die in one day.
9 Nor should we put Christ to the test, as some of them did and then died from snakebites. 10 And don’t grumble as some of them did, and then were destroyed by the angel of death. 11 These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age.
12 If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. 13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1 Corinthians 10:1-13


Principle: The Hebrew Scriptures are a good example of a people who experience God’s presence, provision and witnessed His power, yet they forgot about the priority of God as Number 1 in their lives.  We all are just like them, and at any minute can succumb to the onslaught of satan’s tactics to keep us ineffective in our mission.


14 So, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols. 15 You are reasonable people. Decide for yourselves if what I am saying is true. 16 When we bless the cup at the Lord’s Table, aren’t we sharing in the blood of Christ? And when we break the bread, aren’t we sharing in the body of Christ? 17 And though we are many, we all eat from one loaf of bread, showing that we are one body. 18 Think about the people of Israel. Weren’t they united by eating the sacrifices at the altar?
19 What am I trying to say? Am I saying that food offered to idols has some significance, or that idols are real gods? 20 No, not at all. I am saying that these sacrifices are offered to demons, not to God. And I don’t want you to participate with demons. 21 You cannot drink from the cup of the Lord and from the cup of demons, too. You cannot eat at the Lord’s Table and at the table of demons, too. 22 What? Do we dare to rouse the Lord’s jealousy? Do you think we are stronger than he is?
23 You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial. 24 Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others.

Principle: As followers of Jesus, we should not engage in honoring demonic forces by engaging in traditional rituals as we did in the past. Leave your old culture and beliefs behind, and now fully adopt God’s culture and His ways.

25 So you may eat any meat that is sold in the marketplace without raising questions of conscience. 26 For “the earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it.”

Principle: There is no spiritual significance to eating food that has been considered by worldly religions as consecrated to a false deity.

  27 If someone who isn’t a believer asks you home for dinner, accept the invitation if you want to. Eat whatever is offered to you without raising questions of conscience. 28 (But suppose someone tells you, “This meat was offered to an idol.” Don’t eat it, out of consideration for the conscience of the one who told you. 29 It might not be a matter of conscience for you, but it is for the other person.) For why should my freedom be limited by what someone else thinks? 30 If I can thank God for the food and enjoy it, why should I be condemned for eating it?
31 So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Don’t give offense to Jews or Gentiles or the church of God. 33 I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved.
11:1 And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ. 1 Corinthians 10:14 - 11:1


Chapter 11

Principle: We should always consider the needs of other before our own, giving consideration to their thinking even if it is wrong or immature.


In this passage, Paul uses the word “conscience”many times in a effort to communicate a spiritual principle.


Conscience: Greek suneídēsis; from suneídō, to be conscious of. Conscience, to be one's own witness, one's own conscience coming forward as witness. It denotes an abiding consciousness whose nature it is to bear inner witness to one's own conduct in a moral sense (Titus 1:15). It is self-awareness.
(I) Particularly, a knowing of oneself, consciousness; and hence conscience, that faculty of the soul which distinguishes between right and wrong and prompts one to choose the former and avoid the latter

Though not a synonym, the related term súnesis (G4907), perception, understanding, the ability to understand concepts and see relationships between them, should be distinguished from suneídēsis. Súnesis is the moral awareness which generally precedes action. However, in the NT there is something of the meaning of súnesis in suneídēsis. The latter is a moral awareness that springs from and is conditioned by one's knowledge of God and his duties to Him.


Let’s follow a logical progression of thought.

Your Conscience is the meeting place of your body, soul & spirit. When we become spiritually connected to God through the Holy Spirit, we suddenly have a divine input into our conscience.

Your divinely connected conscience is the breeding ground for your character;

Your character is the source of your convictions;

Your convictions are the basis for your decisions;

Your decisions lead to your actions;

Your habitual actions form your behavior.


How do we change behavior?

Work on changing character.

 Allowing God’s presence in your conscience will cause deep character changes.


2 I am so glad that you always keep me in your thoughts, and that you are following the teachings I passed on to you. 3 But there is one thing I want you to know: The head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. 4 A man dishonors his head if he covers his head while praying or prophesying. 5 But a woman dishonors her head if she prays or prophesies without a covering on her head, for this is the same as shaving her head. 6 Yes, if she refuses to wear a head covering, she should cut off all her hair (reductio ad absurdon)! But since it is shameful for a woman to have her hair cut or her head shaved, she should wear a covering.


Problem: We ignore social customs which results in behavior that may be legalistic and give a false testimony to our community. We insist that local customs be replaced with ‘Biblical” customs, which have no intrinsic meaning for spiritual life. What do we do with existing customs?


Greek men wore their hair short, while Jewish men wore their hair long. Greek men had their head uncovered during worship while Jewish men covered theirs. Long hair was considered sensual for women, and uncovered hair in public was an indication of promiscuity. Prostitutes in Corinth often had very short hair. Slaves had their heads covered, freemen not.


7 A man should not wear anything on his head when worshiping, for man is made in God’s image and reflects God’s glory. And woman reflects man’s glory. 8 For the first man didn’t come from woman, but the first woman came from man. 9 And man was not made for woman, but woman was made for man. 10 For this reason, and because the angels are watching, a woman should wear a covering on her head to show she is under authority.
11 But among the Lord’s people, women are not independent of men, and men are not independent of women. 12 For although the first woman came from man, every other man was born from a woman, and everything comes from God.

13 Judge for yourselves. Is it right for a woman to pray to God in public without covering her head? 14 Isn’t it obvious that it’s disgraceful for a man to have long hair? 15 And isn’t long hair a woman’s pride and joy? For it has been given to her as a covering. 16 But if anyone wants to argue about this, I simply say that we have no other custom than this, and neither do God’s other churches.                      1 Corinthians 11:2-16


Spiros Zodhaites, Key Word Study Bible:  “Paul advice is to examine the symbolism of the custom, and if it has nothing in it that is contrary to God’s Word or order, accept it. Do not allow contentions to arise regarding customs which symbolize something that is proper (v13,16). In this case, the Greeks believed that by not covering their heads, the men declared their independence as contrasted to the slaves who had to cover themselves. The women covered themselves, symbolizing the protectiveness that they enjoyed from their husbands. Paul intimated that there is nothing wrong with this, because in creation, God created man, and from man there came the woman; but remember that man, who prays without a covering also has a head and that is Christ (v.3)

 In verse 11 he equates both man and woman in the Lord, but in spite of this equity, in creation and order of things, the husband is still head of the family. God made him physically stronger, in order to protect the wife. He ought to recognize his position as protector and she ought to her protector and abide under his care. God is responsible for the difference in the make-up of male and female and no man should at any time endeavor in any way to diminish the difference between the two either in physical or emotional constitution, appearance, or function in life. Since the custom of head coverings showed beautifully that which is true in creation and also in the order of things, why should the Corinthian Christians living in Greece reject Greek customs and assume Jewish ones? The decision was left entirely to the Corinthians as we see in v.13: ‘ “Decide in regard to it your own selves.’

 Therefore, these are personal decisions which must be exercised in following a custom as long as the symbol is good and there is no contrary teaching involved in the symbolism. This whole Scripture teaches that existing customs, as long as they are not contrary to morals and Scripture, are to be adhered to for the sake of unity and not to be flaunted.

The phrase at the end of v.10 ‘because of the angel,’ means that when a young women covers her head or wears her hair like a woman it accomplishes four things: 1) She gives a visible attestation to her womanhood. 2) She shows that she recognizes her husbands protectiveness. 3) She does not disturb a good custom. 4) She knows that heaven is pleased by her actions. She does what she does ‘on account of the angels’”



  • Examine the symbolism of local customs, and if it has nothing in it that is contrary to God’s Word or order, accept it. Do not allow contentions to arise regarding customs which symbolize something that is proper.
  • Men and women are equal before the Lord, but because of his physical strength, the husband I is the protector and provider for the family.
  • God is responsible for the difference in the make-up of male and female and no man should at any time endeavor in any way to diminish the difference between the two either in physical or emotional constitution, appearance, or function in life.


17 But in the following instructions, I cannot praise you. For it sounds as if more harm than good is done when you meet together. 18 First, I hear that there are divisions among you when you meet as a church, and to some extent I believe it. 19 But, of course, there must be divisions among you so that you who have God’s approval will be recognized!
When you meet together, you are not really interested in the Lord’s Supper. 21 For some of you hurry to eat your own meal without sharing with others. As a result, some go hungry while others get drunk. 22 What? Don’t you have your own homes for eating and drinking? Or do you really want to disgrace God’s church and shame the poor? What am I supposed to say? Do you want me to praise you? Well, I certainly will not praise you for this! 1 Corinthians 11:17-22


Problem: Corinthians were gathering for their ‘love feasts’ (communal meals, a time of fellowship and participation in the Lord’s Supper), but were forgetting about the reason for the gathering.


For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread 24 and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it.” 26 For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again.
27 So anyone who eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord unworthily is guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 That is why you should examine yourself before eating the bread and drinking the cup. 29 For if you eat the bread or drink the cup without honoring the body of Christ, you are eating and drinking God’s judgment upon yourself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and sick and some have even died.
31 But if we would examine ourselves, we would not be judged by God in this way. 32 Yet when we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned along with the world.
33 So, my dear brothers and sisters, when you gather for the Lord’s Supper, wait for each other. 34 If you are really hungry, eat at home so you won’t bring judgment upon yourselves when you meet together. I’ll give you instructions about the other matters after I arrive. 1 Corinthians 11:23-34


Principle: Christian gatherings are for the benefit of serving one another, worshipping together, and participating in the solemn sacrament of communion, a time of recognizing and celebrating what Jesus did on the cross for us all. We should prepare ourselves spiritually to receive this symbolic sacrament, taking time to “clear the table’ of our sins, asking forgiveness, and forgiving others before we symbolically receive Christ’s forgiveness.


Chapter 12


1 Now, dear brothers and sisters, regarding your question about the special abilities the Spirit gives us. I don’t want you to misunderstand this. 2 You know that when you were still pagans, you were led astray and swept along in worshiping speechless idols. 3 So I want you to know that no one speaking by the Spirit of God will curse Jesus, and no one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit.


Problem: The Corinthians misunderstood the purposes of supernatural empowerments, often using these with prideful attitudes, considering their own Holy Spirit supernatural gifts as more important than others.

4 There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. 5 There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. 6 God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.
7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. 8 To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. 9 The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. 10 He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said.

 11 It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.

Principle:  The Holy Spirits imparts abilities to each person in the Body of Christ for specific works of service to other members of the Body. These include words of wisdom, words of knowledge, extraordinary faith, healing physical and emotional injuries, speak word’s from God’s heart, discern activity in the spiritual realm, speak in an earthly or heavenly language, and understand these languages.


12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. 13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.


Principle: Christianity is the most inclusive movement in world history.

14 Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. 15 If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?
18 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. 19 How strange a body would be if it had only one part! 20 Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 21 The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”
22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. 23 And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, 24 while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. 25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.
27 All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.

 28 Here are some of the parts God has appointed for the church:
first are apostles, second are prophets, third are teachers, then those who do miracles, those who have the gift of healing, those who can help others, those who have the gift of leadership, those who speak in unknown languages.
29 Are we all apostles? Are we all prophets? Are we all teachers? Do we all have the power to do miracles? 30 Do we all have the gift of healing? Do we all have the ability to speak in unknown languages? Do we all have the ability to interpret unknown languages? Of course not! 31 So you should earnestly desire the most helpful gifts. But now let me show you a way of life that is best of all.


Principle: We each have different supernatural empowerments that fit together to benefit the entire congregation and body of Christ. God places us where where are best able to serve. We should pray for all the Holy Spirits manifestations to be present and working in our local body.


Enjoying a meal in Ancient Corinth with Cari, Pierre, Francine, Jilda, Randy, Dottie and Laura.

Chapter 13

1 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.


We have various understandings of this passage, but to Paul’s audience, who frequently went to the local amphitheater to see actors in plays, the message was perfectly clear. The two key worlds in understanding the vision behind the verses are:

Sounding Brass:   χαλκὸς ἠχέω / chalkos echon  (sounding brass):  a metal drum that was used by Greek actors to simulate the voice of a god backstage.

Clanging Cymbal: κύμβαλον ἀλαλάζον / kymbalon alalazon (loud clanging cymbal): a piece of copper sheeting that was dropped to simulate the sound of thunder. 

In many Greek dramas, characters were interacting with the gods. The actors stood onstage while others in the “orchestra” area in front of the stage spoke the parts. When "and actor (hypocritos) spoke the part of a god, he usually leaned over into a large brass drum and spoke the god’s lines, giving it a deep “godlike” affect. At the same time, a stage hand would drop a copper sheet which would make a sound like thunder. This is still done in modern stage.

Notice the stage at the amphitheater at Beth Shean with Laura, Mikaela and Baby Moselle. Do you see the cutouts at the front of the stage? This is where the brass drums were placed.

  Paul says if I do all these things without love, I “simulate” being a Christian, just as those Hypocrites  “simulated” being gods.  His audience in Corinth understood the conventions of Greek Drama.  They receive very clearly a message that often gets muddled in our modern interpretations of this famous passage.


Principle: Without the supernatural empowerment of love, we become actors, pretending to be followers of Christ.

4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
8 Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! 9 Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! 10 But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.
11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 12:1 - 13:13


Principle: The Bible shows that ‘Other-Centered Living’ is the most important element of the Christian life. This includes considering other’s needs before our own, sacrificing our own rights, forgiveness, and trusting God in all aspects.


"Java Jake" Spence enjoying a cup of espresso

Chapter 14

1 Let love be your highest goal! But you should also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives—especially the ability to prophesy. 2 For if you have the ability to speak in tongues, you will be talking only to God, since people won’t be able to understand you. You will be speaking by the power of the Spirit, but it will all be mysterious. 3 But one who prophesies strengthens others, encourages them, and comforts them. 4 A person who speaks in tongues is strengthened personally, but one who speaks a word of prophecy strengthens the entire church.

prophēteúō;), prophet. To prophesy.
1) To foretell things to come;  The foretelling or foreannouncing may be, and often is, the responsibility of the prophet, but is not the essence of that office.  2) to declare truths through the inspiration of God's Holy Spirit whether by prediction or otherwise. 3) To tell forth God's message, hence the noun prophḗtēs (G4396), prophet, is the proclaimer, one who speaks out the counsel of God with the clearness, energy, and authority which spring from the consciousness of speaking in God's name and having received a direct message from Him to deliver. Thus one may prophesy without being a prophet in the strict sense of the word.

Problem: The Corinthian congregation was more focused on personal spiritual fulfillment than what was beneficial for the entire body. They came to a gathering to receive rather than serve.

5 I wish you could all speak in tongues, but even more I wish you could all prophesy. For prophecy is greater than speaking in tongues, unless someone interprets what you are saying so that the whole church will be strengthened.
6 Dear brothers and sisters, if I should come to you speaking in an unknown language, how would that help you? But if I bring you a revelation or some special knowledge or prophecy or teaching, that will be helpful. 7 Even lifeless instruments like the flute or the harp must play the notes clearly, or no one will recognize the melody. 8 And if the bugler doesn’t sound a clear call, how will the soldiers know they are being called to battle? 9 It’s the same for you. If you speak to people in words they don’t understand, how will they know what you are saying? You might as well be talking into empty space.
10 There are many different languages in the world, and every language has meaning. 11 But if I don’t understand a language, I will be a foreigner to someone who speaks it, and the one who speaks it will be a foreigner to me. 12 And the same is true for you. Since you are so eager to have the special abilities the Spirit gives, seek those that will strengthen the whole church.
13 So anyone who speaks in tongues should pray also for the ability to interpret what has been said. 14 For if I pray in tongues, my spirit is praying, but I don’t understand what I am saying.
15 Well then, what shall I do? I will pray in the spirit, and I will also pray in words I understand. I will sing in the spirit, and I will also sing in words I understand. 16 For if you praise God only in the spirit, how can those who don’t understand you praise God along with you? How can they join you in giving thanks when they don’t understand what you are saying? 17 You will be giving thanks very well, but it won’t strengthen the people who hear you.
18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than any of you. 19 But in a church meeting I would rather speak five understandable words to help others than ten thousand words in an unknown language.
20 Dear brothers and sisters, don’t be childish in your understanding of these things. Be innocent as babies when it comes to evil, but be mature in understanding matters of this kind. 21 It is written in the Scriptures:
“I will speak to my own people through strange languages and through the lips of foreigners. But even then, they will not listen to me,” says the LORD. (Isaiah 28:11)
22 So you see that speaking in tongues is a sign, not for believers, but for unbelievers. Prophecy, however, is for the benefit of believers, not unbelievers. 23 Even so, if unbelievers or people who don’t understand these things come into your church meeting and hear everyone speaking in an unknown language, they will think you are crazy. 24 But if all of you are prophesying, and unbelievers or people who don’t understand these things come into your meeting, they will be convicted of sin and judged by what you say. 25 As they listen, their secret thoughts will be exposed, and they will fall to their knees and worship God, declaring, “God is truly here among you.”
26 Well, my brothers and sisters, let’s summarize. When you meet together, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given, one will speak in tongues, and another will interpret what is said. But everything that is done must strengthen all of you.

Principle: Do what is best for others when you gather for worship and study, rather than just meeting out own needs. Gatherings in the Body of Christ should be others orientated, rather than self-orientated. You should come to a church gathering to service, rather than just receive. Most importantly, all that is done should be to strengthen, encourage, and comfort the members of the Congregation.

Cultural Context Note: Spiros Zodhiates, Key word Study Bible:

“Across the bay from Corinth was Delphi, Greeces most famous center of oracles. It was impossible that what was happening in Delphi did not affect the Corinthians since inter commerce was common. As in many other cities, there was also a Corinthian treasury in Delphi. Those who wanted to consult the Delphic oracle first sacrificed a sheep, goat, boar, or other animal, after which, if the omens were favorable, they, they went into the room adjoining the Adyton, or inner shrine. At the inner shrine, they waited their turn, which was determined by lot unless they had received from the Delphians the promanteia, or prior right of consultation. No women were admitted. The handed questions written on leaden tablets, many of which have been discovered. The pytha, or priestess (not a priest),  who delivered the oracle was a peasant woman over 50 years of age. At the height of the oracles fame, there were three priestesses. After purfying herself in the Castalian fountain, drinking of the water of the Kassotis, and eating a laurel leaf, she took her seat upon a tripod which was placed over the casm in the Adyton. Intoxicated by the fumes from the chasm, she uttered incoherent sound which were interpreted  in hexameter verse by a waiting poet. The interpretation, which was always obscure and frequently equivocal, was handed over to the inquirer who usuall returned home moew mystified  than she had come. (Source Stuart Rossiter, Greece, London: Ernest Been, Ltd. P 400)

Problem: The cultural chaos of religious ceremonies in Corinth was creeping into the assembly of the Corinthian Church.

27 No more than two or three should speak in tongues. They must speak one at a time, and someone must interpret what they say. 28 But if no one is present who can interpret, they must be silent in your church meeting and speak in tongues to God privately.
29 Let two or three people prophesy, and let the others evaluate what is said. 30 But if someone is prophesying and another person receives a revelation from the Lord, the one who is speaking must stop. 31 In this way, all who prophesy will have a turn to speak, one after the other, so that everyone will learn and be encouraged. 32 Remember that people who prophesy are in control of their spirit and can take turns. 33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all the meetings of God’s holy people.
34 Women should be silent during the church meetings. It is not proper for them to speak. They should be submissive, just as the law says. 35 If they have any questions, they should ask their husbands at home, for it is improper for women to speak in church meetings. 36 Or do you think God’s word originated with you Corinthians? Are you the only ones to whom it was given? 37 If you claim to be a prophet or think you are spiritual, you should recognize that what I am saying is a command from the Lord himself. 38 But if you do not recognize this, you yourself will not be recognized.
39 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and don’t forbid speaking in tongues. 40 But be sure that everything is done properly and in order.

Problem: Women were apparently imitating the priestess at Delphi by uttering words and sounds that were not understood, and confusing others in the meetings.

Here are some definitions and references that help.

Woman: gunḗ; gen. gunaikós, fem. noun. Woman, Wife

But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved.   1 Cor11:4


Speak: laléō; To talk at random, as contrasted with légō (G3004) which involves the intellectual part of man, his reason. It is used especially of children with the meaning of to talk much. Laleo refers to the mere utterance of sounds without the speaker necessarily knowing what he (or she) is saying or others understand. Lego on the other hand is saying something that is a product of one’s thoughts.


Principle: In Corinth, wives should not disrupt meetings by saying things no one can understand. There should not be any confusion in considering pagan rituals to be meaningful parts of a Christian worship service.

Wives should follow their husbands lead during Christian gatherings and ask him questions privately. Woman are permitted to speak in meetings, if they speak in an understanding manner, and in line with the order of the meeting.


My brother Pierre and I enjoying a moment in Corinth


Chapter 15

Problem: Some of the Corinthians had forgotten the essential message of the Bible- The Gospel

1 Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. 2 It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place.3 I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me.

1) Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said.

2) 4 He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.

3)  5 He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve.

4)  6 After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died.

5)  7 Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles.

6)  8 Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him. 9 For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I’m not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God’s church. 10 But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me—and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace. 11 So it makes no difference whether I preach or they preach, for we all preach the same message you have already believed.

Richard Bauchham in his book Jesus and the Eyewitnesses wrote this:

The Gospels were written within living memory of the events they recount. Mark’s Gospel was written well within the lifetime of many of the eyewitnesses, while the other three canonical Gospels were written in the period when living eyewitnesses were becoming scarce, exactly at the point in time when their testimony would perish with them were it not put in writing. We need to recognize that, historically speaking, testimony is a unique and uniquely valuable means of access to historical reality. Testimony is the category that enables us to read the Gospels in a properly historical way and a properly theological way. It is where history and theology meet.

               Richard Bauchham. Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony


Principle: The Historical Evidence for the Resurrection is confirmed and accepted among all the First Century Churches. Jesus proved his Divinity and His promises by raising to life after his public execution. He was seen by many in his resurrected body.

12 But tell me this—since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead? 13 For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. 15 And we apostles would all be lying about God—for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. 16 And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. 18 In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! 19 And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.

Here is what just a few scholars and historians say about the Resurrection:

The resurrection is not merely important to the historic Christian faith; without it, there would be no Christianity. It is the singular doctrine that elevates Christianity above all other world religions.                             Adrian Rogers


The truth of the resurrection gives life to every other area of gospel truth. The resurrection is the pivot on which all of Christianity turns and without which none of the other truths would much matter. Without the resurrection, Christianity would be so much wishful thinking, taking its place alongside all other human philosophy and religious speculation.                                        John MacArthur


The foundation of our religion is a basis of fact - the fact of the birth, ministry, miracles, death, resurrection by the Evangelists as having actually occurred, within their own personal knowledge.                                               

Simon Greenleaf, Professor of Law, Harvard University.


No matter how devastating our struggles, disappointments, and troubles are, they are only temporary. No matter what happens to you, no matter the depth of tragedy or pain you face, no matter how death stalks you and your loved ones, the Resurrection promises you a future of immeasurable good.    Josh McDowell                                                                                            


If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn’t rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead.                                                Timothy Keller

Principle: The Resurrection of Christ is the Hinge of Christianity: everything depends on the historical reality of Jesus’ promises and his demonstration that He is God.

20 But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.
21 So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. 22 Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. 23 But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back.
24 After that the end will come, when he will turn the Kingdom over to God the Father, having destroyed every ruler and authority and power. 25 For Christ must reign until he humbles all his enemies beneath his feet. 26 And the last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For the Scriptures say, “God has put all things under his authority.” (Of course, when it says “all things are under his authority,” that does not include God himself, who gave Christ his authority.) 28 Then, when all things are under his authority, the Son will put himself under God’s authority, so that God, who gave his Son authority over all things, will be utterly supreme over everything everywhere.
29 If the dead will not be raised, what point is there in people being baptized for those who are dead? Why do it unless the dead will someday rise again?
30 And why should we ourselves risk our lives hour by hour? 31 For I swear, dear brothers and sisters, that I face death daily. This is as certain as my pride in what Christ Jesus our Lord has done in you. 32 And what value was there in fighting wild beasts—those people of Ephesus—if there will be no resurrection from the dead? And if there is no resurrection, “Let’s feast and drink, for tomorrow we die!” 33 Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.” 34 Think carefully about what is right, and stop sinning. For to your shame I say that some of you don’t know God at all.


Principle: Jesus will return to Earth and set everything in order, restoring Earth to its original sinless condition where he will dwell with his followers (family) for eternity. We will return with Him.

35 But someone may ask, “How will the dead be raised? What kind of bodies will they have?” 36 What a foolish question! When you put a seed into the ground, it doesn’t grow into a plant unless it dies first. 37 And what you put in the ground is not the plant that will grow, but only a bare seed of wheat or whatever you are planting. 38 Then God gives it the new body he wants it to have. A different plant grows from each kind of seed. 39 Similarly there are different kinds of flesh—one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish.
40 There are also bodies in the heavens and bodies on the earth. The glory of the heavenly bodies is different from the glory of the earthly bodies. 41 The sun has one kind of glory, while the moon and stars each have another kind. And even the stars differ from each other in their glory.
42 It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. 43 Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. 44 They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies.
45 The Scriptures tell us, “The first man, Adam, became a living person.” But the last Adam—that is, Christ—is a life-giving Spirit. 46 What comes first is the natural body, then the spiritual body comes later. 47 Adam, the first man, was made from the dust of the earth, while Christ, the second man, came from heaven. 48 Earthly people are like the earthly man, and heavenly people are like the heavenly man. 49 Just as we are now like the earthly man, we will someday be like the heavenly man.
50 What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever.
51 But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! 52 It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. 53 For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.
54 Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. 57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

J.R.R. Tolkein was a professor of English literature at Oxford University who wrote The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. He received criticism from his academic friends on his writings of fantasy tales. In response he penned an essay “On Fairy Stories” , in which he pointed out that in all ancient literature and stories mankind desired;

1) to interact with someone not from this world;

2) Experience the greatest love;

3) See Justice triumph over evil;

4) Escape death.

Principle: We who are followers of Jesus will live forever. Even if we die in this life, we will live in eternity in physical bodies that will not wear out.


Chapter 16
1 Now regarding your question about the money being collected for God’s people in Jerusalem. You should follow the same procedure I gave to the churches in Galatia. 2 On the first day of each week, you should each put aside a portion of the money you have earned. Don’t wait until I get there and then try to collect it all at once. 3 When I come, I will write letters of recommendation for the messengers you choose to deliver your gift to Jerusalem. 4 And if it seems appropriate for me to go along, they can travel with me.

Principle: We should eagerly contribute to the work of missionaries who travel to far corners of the world, as well as ‘just around the corner’.

5 I am coming to visit you after I have been to Macedonia, for I am planning to travel through Macedonia. 6 Perhaps I will stay awhile with you, possibly all winter, and then you can send me on my way to my next destination. 7 This time I don’t want to make just a short visit and then go right on. I want to come and stay awhile, if the Lord will let me. 8 In the meantime, I will be staying here at Ephesus until the Festival of Pentecost. 9 There is a wide-open door for a great work here, although many oppose me.
10 When Timothy comes, don’t intimidate him. He is doing the Lord’s work, just as I am. 11 Don’t let anyone treat him with contempt. Send him on his way with your blessing when he returns to me. I expect him to come with the other believers.
12 Now about our brother Apollos—I urged him to visit you with the other believers, but he was not willing to go right now. He will see you later when he has the opportunity.

13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. 14 And do everything with love.
15 You know that Stephanas and his household were the first of the harvest of believers in Greece, and they are spending their lives in service to God’s people. I urge you, dear brothers and sisters, 16 to submit to them and others like them who serve with such devotion. 17 I am very glad that Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus have come here. They have been providing the help you weren’t here to give me. 18 They have been a wonderful encouragement to me, as they have been to you. You must show your appreciation to all who serve so well.

Principle: We should actively care for those involved in the ministry.

19 The churches here in the province of Asia send greetings in the Lord, as do Aquila and Priscilla and all the others who gather in their home for church meetings. 20 All the brothers and sisters here send greetings to you. Greet each other with a sacred kiss.
22 If anyone does not love the Lord, that person is cursed. Our Lord, come!
23 May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.
24 My love to all of you in Christ Jesus. 1 Corinthians 14:1 - 16:24

Principle: We are all real people walking out our mission with the Lord. 

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