Reflections on 1 Corinthians (Part 4)

The Wisdom of God

1 Corinthians 1:18-25 (NLT)

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.

  •  The gospel is nonsense to the person who is rejecting Christ.
  • God transforms us by changing the way we think.
  • The Gospel is powerful to those who are being saved. It is wisdom.
  • “The wisdom of the wise will pass away, and the intelligence of the intelligent will disappear.”
  • The world will never know God through human wisdom.
  • Christians need to be sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ in spite of the fact that this message is offensive to some and nonsense to others.
  • The gospel is foolish to the person who is rejecting Christ.
  • When the Gospel is shared with those who have been called by God to salvation, the message makes sense. God opens their eyes. 

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.
(1 Corinthians 1:2 NLT)

“Reflections on 1 Corinthians” will be continued in future posts.

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Reflections on 1 Corinthians (Part 3)

Divisions in the Church

1 Corinthians 1:10-17 (NLT)
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.

  • Christians are called to live in harmony with other Christians.
  • Christians need to be focused on Jesus Christ, not anyone else. 

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.  (1 Corinthians 1:2 NLT)

“Reflections on 1 Corinthians” will be continued in future posts.

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Reflections on 1 Corinthians (Part 2)

Paul Gives Thanks to God

1 Corinthians 1:4-9 (NLT)

I always thank my God for you and for the gracious gifts he has given you, now that you belong to Christ Jesus. Through him, God has enriched your church in every way—with all of your eloquent words and all of your knowledge. This confirms that what I told you about Christ is true. Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. 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. 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.

  •  Give thanks to God for your brothers and sisters in Christ.
  • Give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • God gives us every spiritual gift we need to carry out the plan He has for our lives.
  • God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
  • There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
  • God will do whatever He says He will do.
  • Together with Christ, we are heirs of God’s glory.
  • One cannot fully enjoy fellowship with Christ while living outside the will of God. 

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.   (1 Corinthians 1:2 NLT)

“Reflections on 1 Corinthians” will be continued in future posts.

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Reflections on 1 Corinthians (Part 1)

Greetings from Paul

1 Corinthians 1:1-3 (NLT)

This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Sosthenes. 
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. 
May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.

  • The church in Corinth was called to live holy lives in the midst of a sin-infested city.
  • We are called to live holy lives in the midst of a sin-infested environment.
  • We are called to experience God’s grace and peace while living in the midst of a sin-infested environment.

 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.                            (1 Corinthians 1:2 NLT)

“Reflections on 1 Corinthians” will be continued in future posts.

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Happy Thanksgiving

Come into His Presence with Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving             November 26, 2015

Let us worship and bow down.

Oh come, let us sing to the LORD;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!

Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!

For the LORD is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.

In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also.

The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.

Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!

For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep of his hand. 
(Psalm 95:1-7 ESV)

Have a happy Thanksgiving.

Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving.

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Give Thanks to the Lord.  Thanksgiving 2017 (Part 6)

The Lord is good.

Psalm 100 is a great Psalm for us to use when we want ideas of how to give thanks to the LORD.  This post will focus on Psalm 100 verse 5.

For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. (Psalm 100:5 ESV)

  • Give thanks to the LORD for He is good and His steadfast love endures forever.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.  Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever.  Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever; (Psalm 136:1-3 ESV)

  • Give thanks to the Lord for He is faithful.

… the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.   (2 Thessalonians 3:3-5 ESV)

  • Give thanks to God for His faithfulness endures to all generations.

Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast. (Psalm 119:90 ESV)

  • Give thanks to God always and for everything.

… giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, (Ephesians 5:20 ESV)

 

Remember to:

  • Give thanks to the LORD for He is good and His steadfast love endures forever.
  • Give thanks to the Lord for He is faithful.
  • Give thanks to God for His faithfulness endures to all generations.
  • Give thanks to God always and for everything.

Have a happy Thanksgiving.

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Enter into God’s Presence with Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving 2017 (Part 5)

Coming into His presence.

Psalm 100 is a great Psalm for us to use when we want ideas of how to give thanks to the LORD.  This post will focus on Psalm 100 verse 4.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! (Psalm 100:4 ESV)

We read, in the Old Testament, about people going to the temple to worship and give thanks to God.  The crowds would gather in the courts that surrounded the temple for a time of worship and giving thanks to the LORD.

Things are different for us today.  As New Testament believers, Jesus is our great high priest.

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16 ESV)

We are able to come before the throne of grace with confidence knowing that God hears our prayers and praises.  We are able to “enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise” every time we pray, regardless of our location and regardless of the time of day.

The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:5-7 ESV)

We can personally praise God and thank God for everything He has done for us or we can gather with other believers and we can praise God and give thanks to God corporately.

 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Colossians 3:16 ESV)

********************

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise!  
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
(Psalm 100:4 ESV)Have a happy Thanksgiving.

We will look at Psalm 100 verse 5 in a future post.

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Knowing God.  Thanksgiving 2017 (Part 4)

For anyone to be truly thankful, they need to be growing in their knowledge of God.

We need to “Know that the LORD, He is God!”

Psalm 100 is a great Psalm for us to use when we want ideas of how to give thanks to the LORD.  This post will focus on Psalm 100 verse 3.

Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
(Psalm 100:3 NLT)

 Know that the LORD, He is God! It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. (Psalm 100:3 ESV)

We learn to know God better by studying Scripture. Listed below are a few of the facts that scripture teaches us about God.

  • There is only one true God.

 There is … one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:4-6 ESV)

For there is one God, …(1 Timothy 2:5 ESV)

  • God created and sustains the universe and everything in it.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. …(Genesis chapters 1 & 2 ESV)

  • God created us.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.  And God blessed them. (Genesis 1:27-28 ESV)

  • God has a plan and a purpose for our lives.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10 ESV)

  • God sent a Savior into the world.

 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:16-17 ESV)

  • God loves his children with an immeasurable love.

 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. (1 John 3:1 ESV)

  • God is our shepherd.

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,  he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.  Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.  (Psalm 23:1-6)

Know that the LORD, He is God!

  • There is only one true God.
  • God created and sustains the universe and everything in it.
  • God created us.
  • God has a plan and a purpose for our lives.
  • God sent a Savior into the world.
  • God loves his children with an immeasurable love.
  • God is our shepherd.

Know that the LORD,
He is God!
It is He who made us,
and we are His;
we are His people,
and the sheep of His pasture.
(Psalm 100:3 ESV)

Happy Thanksgiving

We will look at Psalm 100 verse 4 in a future post.

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Worship the LORD with Gladness.  Thanksgiving 2015 (Part 3)

Psalm 100 is a great Psalm for us to use when we want ideas of how to give thanks to the LORD.  This post will focus on Psalm 100 verse 2.

Worship is a significant part of Thanksgiving.

  • We can worship the Lord with singing.

Worship the Lord with gladness.  Come before him, singing with joy.  (Psalm 100:2 NLT)

Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! (Psalm 100:2 ESV)

Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. (Psalm 100:2 NIV)

When we worship we should do it:

Cheerfully

Willingly

Happily

Gladly

  • We can worship the Lord by serving others.

Serve the LORD with gladness!

In many Scripture passages, the original words for “worship” and “serve” are used interchangeably.  We can also worship the LORD by serving others.  We should look for ways to willingly, cheerfully, happily, and joyfully serve others during this holiday season, and throughout the year.

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,   I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’   “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?   When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?    When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’   “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’  (Matthew 25:35-40)

 Serve the Lord with gladness!

Worship the Lord with gladness. 

Come into his presence with singing!Happy Thanksgiving

We will look at Psalm 100 verse 3 in a future post.

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Make a joyful noise to the LORD.  Thanksgiving 2017 (part 2)

Psalm 100 is a great Psalm for us to use when we want ideas of how to give thanks to the LORD.

This post will focus on Psalm 100 verse 1.

  • Thanksgiving should be directed “to the Lord”. He is the focus of our praise.

Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth! (Psalm 100:1 NLT)

 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! (Psalm 100:1 ESV)

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. (Psalm 100:1 NIV)

Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth. (Psalm 100:1 NASB)

  • Thanksgiving should be done with energy and enthusiasm.

Psalm 95:1-2 reinforces the idea of enthusiastically and joyfully praising and thanking God for all He has done for us.

Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!  Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! (Psalm 95:1-2 ESV)

Psalm 150:3-6 also encourages us to “Make a joyful noise to the LORD”.

Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!

Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!

Let everything that has breath praise the LORD!

Praise the LORD!
(Psalm 150:3-6 ESV)

  • Thanksgiving should be directed to the Lord with energy and enthusiasm.

 “Shout with joy to the Lord.”

“Make a joyful noise to the Lord.”

“Shout for joy to the Lord.”

“Shout joyfully to the Lord.”

“Make a joyful noise to Him.”

Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Happy Thanksgiving

We will look at Psalm 100 verse 2 in a future post.

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