(1 Corinthians 1:2) Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
Since they are waiting for Christ's coming, this implies that he comes at their death;that everyone encounters Christ at death and they are received into the kingdom of heaven at that time. It doesn't make sense for them to be exhorted to wait for Christ's coming if it occurs thousands (millions?) of years after they have died.
(1 Corinthians 1:10) Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
The gospel is generally rejected by those influential people of this world. But I should note that these same people argue amongst each other about philosophical truth; some are atheists, some agnostics, some New Age, most are pragmatists and utilitarians — whatever gets the job done is right, and whatever is beneficial for the most people is good. These have one thing in common: disinterest in pleasing the God who created them.
The gospel didn't match Greek philosophy and so it was rejected by the Greeks. The Jews were looking for a Messiah who would rid them of Roman rule; Christ's death by crucifixion was a sign to them that he was not this political Messiah.
The worldly wise and powerful of this world will not want to hear the message of the gospel. Therefore, of necessity, God had to use the weak and foolish to deliver his gospel message. Even Christ himself was considered lowly and deserving of death by both Jewish leaders and Roman leaders. We must choose which kingdom we give our allegiance to. True Christians will not fit in very well to this world.
Paul is referring to some yet-future day of glory.We cannot even imagine the awesomeness of our future life in the new heavens and new earth.Paul is not referring to entering heaven after death because many have experienced this; the final glorious goal is not heaven. In the new heavens and new earth we will literally see and hear with our bodily senses; we do not have these in heaven. The heart of man is the soul, a spiritual aspect of our being. This endures after death.
This glorious future is only for those who love God. Those who habitually commit mortal sin simply do not love God. Their sin will drive them away from him on judgment day, at their death when Jesus reveals himself to them and asks them to follow him.
(1 Corinthians 3:10) According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
Some teach this refers to the bema seat judgment of Christ in which we receive rewards in heaven for work performed on earth. I reject this notion. It turns our life on earth into a works-based struggle to earn as many rewards as we can so we can enjoy the benefits for eternity. We will never earn enough rewards so we will always be dissatisfied and think we could have done better if only.... I am surprised this teaching has such appeal to those who reject the notion that works have a role in salvation. Rather than accept the true biblical notion that we are judged based on our works (which is easy for true believers) they prefer we strive to maximize our rewards by working really hard every day. This, in my opinion, destroys any benefit of the saved-by-faith-only doctrine.
Paul is discussing works unto the Lord, to ministry, to religious service. Those who are true servants of Jesus, who correctly teach and preach the true gospel; their good works will be judged and those workers will be rewarded. For the others, well, they will end up in the new heavens and new earthbut after suffering the burning of the bad fruit of their works. This refers to purgatory.
The common understanding of Christians as the temple of God is as a nice allegory.But if the Holy Spirit dwells within each redeemed person, isn't that the essence of what a temple is? a physical place within which God's Spirit dwells and where the souls of the redeemed can come to interact with God; to worship and to praise him? As the redeemed of God, Christians interact with God in their minds and thoughts and will and feelings. We come into the temple, for example, when we choose to pray or sing praises; God inhabits these activities and we unite with him, much as we unite with each other when we converse with each other. The unity at such times is real and literal, not merely a nice allegory.
The apostles were stewards and ministers.
(1 Corinthians 4:5) Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
(1 Corinthians 4:6) And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.
I should mention that, when a Catholic, I never felt comfortable calling priests father. They didn't seem like spiritual fathers at all and those that seemed to understand Christianity were complete strangers to me; I did not learn the faith from them at all. Most did not obey the Church's directives and many did not seem to have a very clear understanding of what apostolic and biblical Christianity was all about. Examples of their disobedience...
(1 Corinthians 4:17) For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.
This is a strange church; I wonder if these people are even Christians at all? Likely there were many in the congregation who were holy and devout — Paul is not addressing these. Usually we think every word of the New Testament is addressed personally to us; this is not the case. It's like the altar calls of modern churches in which everyone is asked to get saved but everyone already is. How many times do you feel obligated to go up for the altar call to get saved? if you sit it out you must not really be saved?
Christians are to shun those who have committed mortal sin and not repented of it, especially if it is ongoing. In fact, these are to be put out of the church altogether. This implies a strong church authority that can enforce its edicts. Someone has to stand at the door and deny this person access; I would not want to be that person. This is why expecting Catholic priests to deny communion to certain public figures is misguided.
It is awkward to shy away from people needing shunning, certainly there is to be an emotional distancing. Perhaps aloof politeness is still expected but nothing more.
Why on earth would these Christians be happy in hearing that one of them was sinning so grievously? There should have been a scandal.
I suppose the responsibility for enforcing falls to the pastor-bishop who must regularly confront the person who refuses to honor his shunning. Not a fun job, in my opinion. This implies that the Corinthian church had no suitable qualified pastor-bishop. The rich pleasure-seeking mob ruled that church. A church with no holy pastor-bishop leading it is no church at all.
Since they are waiting for Christ's coming, this implies that he comes at their death; that everyone encounters Christ at death and they are received into the kingdom of heaven at that time.It doesn't make sense for them to be exhorted to wait for Christ's coming if it occurs thousands (millions?) of years after they have died.
(1 Corinthians 5:11) But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
This hints at the notion that Christianity should be a society with its own laws, political institutions, and even courts. Certainly the Christian church became this rather early, both Orthodox in the east and Catholic in the west.
Paul states that the unjust wicked people of the secular political ruling institutions can not be trusted as righteous judges. Certainly this is true; even in our modern civilization the strangest legal cases occur in which Godly people are persecuted and the wicked and depraved are released. But Christendom, although seeming like a good idea,in actuality destroyed the lively faith life of Christians. Even the Reformers wanted the state to control religion but it backfired every time it was attempted.
At the great white throne judgmenteveryone will reveal the influences in their lives for all the world to see. Wicked spirit beings who have vexed us will be judged for their corrupting influence and for making living a Godly life harder.
Paul's point seems to be that if we can accurately determine that spirit beings are influencing us, surely we should be able to accurately discern the influences of other people. But in looking over the history of the Church I would say Paul's high regard for such Christian skills as these is misguided; the clergy placed Christians at large in a subservient position as lay people while they became aristocrats living a life of luxury on the people's backs. Certainly many bishops were holy men who served the people and defended the Christian faith, but all too many were not.How can we be sure that only the Godly bishops were judges? Paul is sometimes an idealist thinking too highly of people.
At the great white throne judgmentevery person will indeed be able to judge accurately, but until that time this is not generally true; in this current era in which our soul see through a glass darklywe should not assume everyone has such clear vision, this includes the bishops and other church leaders. But perhaps at the time Paul wrote this the Roman judicial system was so corrupt that it in general would have been better if Christians turned to each other to resolve their disputes.
This idea of Paul's didn't "stick" and it's just as well. He seemed to think there should be courts for Christians having Christian judges. The problem is, of course, that the same people who are educated enough to act as judges are also the same people who have the know-how to take advantage of others. Sadly, even the bishops all-too-often exploited or neglected the laity.
This verse hints that Paul would have been a supporter of Christendom, that society should be Christian with laws reflecting Christian values.
Being wise enough to judge cases between people is not all that is required; these judges require the authority of having their decisions enforced; unlikely that the losers of these court cases will willingly agree to unhappy verdicts. And now we have entered the realm of politics, of power. Also, will the Romans stand idly by while the Christians establish their own society having judges, laws, police, jails, etc.?
(1 Corinthians 6:7) Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer [allow] yourselves to be defrauded?
We should allow ourselves to be ripped-off by our fellow Christians rather than take them to court. I would claim that if they are ripping us off, they are probably not really Christians at all but, rather, wolves in sheep's clothing. Why should we passively sit by while a so-called fellow Christian ruins our life? Shouldn't we seek justice if only to bring into the open what kind of people these are, to protect future victims?
An example of this in real life: the Catholic bishops didn't want the pervert priests they had been shuffling around from parish to parish to be taken to court. My response: kick out these bishopswho prefer to pervert justice. These are no bishops at all; not teachers and defenders of the true faith.
Why is Paul so naive? What else is he wrong about? Perhaps the answer is that Paul's audience of this passage is the strong influential leaders who are trying to rip off others of the same as they jockey for power, prestige, and wealth — in short, dishonest politicians. Perhaps these are not harming the Christians at large who lived holy lives. Paul doesn't really think they will find Christian judges to settle disp utes; he is hoping to convert some of them into becoming true Christians by pretending they already are and mocking them for not living up to Christ's standards of holiness. As I think more about this it occurs to me that Paul was often interacting with these strong influential leader types of people. For example, in the second letter to the Corinthians he spent much of the letter defending his authority.
Paul rather abruptly and masterfully transitions from the topic of court cases to the unholiness, wickedness, and depravity of some so-called Christians. The link is: they only needed to settle disputes among each other because they were ripping off each other.
Fraud is a rather serious crime involving deliberate deception and trickery to steal their possessions or money, or harm them in some way. What kind of Christians were these?
(1 Corinthians 6:9) Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
Paul has just been talking about Christians defrauding Christians; he then immediately gives this list of sins. We should expect that those who are defrauding their fellow Christians are regularly committing these sins. What kind of church was this in which Christians were doing these things?
A list of people who are not saved...
The goal of life is to inherit the kingdom of God, to end up spending eternity in God's kingdom, the new heavens and new earth.I emphasize this point often because Christians often refer to heaven as being their final destination, such lines as "will you go to heaven when you die?" and such. But there is not one passage in the Bible saying this.
The list of people who are not saved continues...
Another masterful transition: from the topic of sin to the topic of grace.
In the context, it seems Paul is referring to people who still regularly and habitually do the things listed in the previous verses. Perhaps he is hoping that by mocking them they will have a conversion experience.
Upon conversion, the sins of Christians are forgiven. Notice that Christians are both sanctified and justified while non-believers are neither sanctified nor justified. Many Protestants claim that justification means salvation while sanctification means growing in holiness after being saved. But in this verse I don't see much difference in these two terms; they both refer to what occurs to a true believer. Without either there is not true redemption. In other words, those who are not sanctified are not truly saved.
I wish the Church had this view all those centuries rather than attempting to dominate everyone by making them obey rules not essential to the faith. It would be better for the Church to instruct about the consequences of doing certain things and then let people decide for themselves.
The second word "all" doesn't mean all;it means all of those things specified before; all the things that are lawful. The first word "all" doesn't mean all either; it means all things which are holy and righteous.
Two examples of bad things people do in their pagan worship of idols...
Paul hints at the topic of eating meat which was sacrificed to idols, that it might stumble someone if they see him eating it, and that is the only reason he should not do it. He discusses this at length later.
It seems Paul is saying that one day the belly will be destroyed as well as eating food. Perhaps this refers to conditions in the new heavens and the new earth;he is slowly working towards the lengthy topic of the resurrected body and its functioning.
Fornication and adultery are mortal sins; they result in the loss of salvation. The sex act joins together the souls of two people in a way that should only be reserved for those who are married, joined together for eternity, till death do us part.
This verse is not a figure of speech but is strictly literal.A true temple of God is a physical object in a physical location where God is present and worshippers come to worship. The Jewish tabernacle and temples had this role, as does the human body of each of the redeemed. Just as God's presence resided on the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant in the tabernacle and temple, so also the Holy Spirit resides in each baptized believer. Just as the sins of the people resulted in the presence of God departing from the temple, so also the Holy Spirit departs the body in those who sin. Our soul enters into the temple, into our body, and worships God there; by our actions and thoughts. This supports my creative frame theoryin which the soul attaches itself to the body a trillion trillion trillion times a second; it enters the body just as a worshipper enters the temple.
Once we have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which is imparted via baptism,we are no longer our own; in being baptized we have officially announced to the world and to God that we are turning our life and will over to God. Sadly, many are not taught this true teaching of baptism and it becomes merely an act performed in obedience. But this is not what the apostles taught, nor what the early churchbelieved and practiced.
Yet another masterful transition by Paul to the topics of marriage and of consecrated lifelong singleness.
Some seem to think being unmarried is somehow abnormal. Others place such a high value on singleness it might seem being married is somehow inferior to being single. By single I assume they are living a life dedicated to the Lord. Paul clears it all up.
The question Paul seems to be answering is whether being single is somehow spiritually superior to marriage. This was a common heresy back then, to refrain from relationships between men and women to prove they are devoted only to God. This clashed with the culture of the day which demanded everyone be married, usually in marriages arranged by their parents.
Note that Paul seems to only grudgingly allow for marriage as an option. Because of this the Church has had wrongheaded views of marriage and singleness over the centuries.
I think Paul here is referring to people who wish to be single but can't, because of a lack of self-control or because they are too tempted. For those, they should seek to be married. Thus, the social pressure to refrain from marriage in order to be truly holy should be ignored; we should know ourselves and our limitations. The emphasis of the Catholic Church on celibacy for all Christian leaders, even for those not called to this, is misguided.
Paul is still on topic of whether or not being single is better than being married. If someone who is married wants to deny their role in marriage and live as if they are single (thinking it is better to do this) Paul corrects this thinking; Marriage has certain obligations.
(1 Corinthians 7:5) Defraud [refuse] ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency [lack of self-control].
It's OK to abstain for a short time as part of a devotional practice, but not long-term. Paul doesn't mention what the person might do if their partner refuses them — perhaps they might commit adultery.
Even though Paul is not commanding people to be married as the Jewish culture of the day demanded, you can tell he personally has a strong preference for it; but only for those who must do so to avoid sin; he would prefer to command them to be single if he had his way about it. His bias is very strong but he resists the urge to command his preferences on the faithful. I wish the Catholic Church had practiced such restraint as Paul did; instead they institutionalized all kinds of non-essential practices and doctrines.
Paul was single when he wrote this. If he had been married in the pastwhy would he now think it better that everyone was single? Perhaps it was because he had experienced the benefits first-hand of having the time and focus to serve the Lord wholeheartedly. If he had been married before, presumably his wife had died at some point a while before all this.
Paul considers being single as a gift. Those who are married have other gifts — but it doesn't seem Paul is considering being married as a gift in the same category as marriage, only singleness.
Clearly Paul prefers consecrated singleness to marriage, but he doesn't command it.
Paul strongly wants to encourge the unmarried to remain that way — he reveals his bias.
Even more clearly we see Paul's bias in favor of consecrated singleness. It is only out of weakness that people should be married.
Not everyone can get married, therefore, some are doomed to a life of burning.
This verse clearly refers to marriage for the purpose of avoiding sin due to sexual desire. It makes no reference to marriage for the purpose of raising children. Therefore, contraception is not unbiblical since this passage does not link the procreative elements and the unitive elements of the sex act.
The entire passage in chapter 7 makes no reference whatsoever to having children. This is very surprising if, as the Catholic Church teaches, contraception is immoral. If the purpose for marriage is in avoiding sexual sin as this verse indicates, then surely contraception is allowed.
In the Greek and Roman culture of the day, women were free to abandon their husbands (and vice versa) via a permanent separation equivalent to divorce. But I find it odd that Paul would address women doing this first and in more detail than of men.
So therefore, I think Paul now addresses married men who might think they should become single again, based on Paul favoring it. The poor wife is apparently a victim in this situation with no legal rights whatsoever.
I believe Paul here, in referring to a wife departing her husband, means she is kicked-out by her husband, as the next verse makes clear (if she were leaving of her own volition to live the consecrated single life, she would not wish to remarry.) She should not willingly leave, only if forced to do so through abuse or divorce.
More evidence that Paul is discussing a woman who is kick-out by her husband since Paul mentions she should prefer to be again reconciled if possible. She would have no such preference if she was initiating a permanent separation or divorce.
If the man divorces her she should not remarry because this is not a valid divorce in God's eyes; you can't divorce someone because you want to live a single life unto the Lord. The poor woman in this case is still considered to be married by God even though her husband is an idiot and has abandoned her.
This verse and verse 10 imply that both men and women were able to initiate a divorce.
Paul doesn't say it but he seems to be referring to the situation after someone converts; about how those around him react to it; about whether their spouse wants to divorce them.
It appears to be morally acceptable for a person to divorce their spouse when they convert to Christianity if their spouse remains a non-Christian. Paul, however, personally thinks it is better to not divorce in such a situation unless the non-Christian initiates the divorce.
It seems to me that the words "clean" and "unclean" are commonly misunderstood.
Paul's concepts here are foreign to us Christians today. If we were to say a sentence such as Paul's in 7:14 we would be laughed out of church. Two concepts...
All this is based on the Old Testament notion of a holy clean nation called-out by God. Foreigners could join this nation and become holy and clean too. What is missing in all this is consideration of personal sin. In other words, being clean and holy as Paul is using the terms does not mean you are heaven-bound. What seems to be implied is that if you are unclean and not sanctified you will not be saved since you are outside of God's protection and grace.
This verse is an example in which Paul is wrong; he is tangled-up in his Jewish perspective and can't free himself from it. What is remarkable is that the Holy Spirit allows it in scriptureand that this verse is, in fact, inspired, inerrant, and infallible. This doesn't bode well for those believing in Sola Scriptura;interpretation is everything. This passage (and much of the Old Testament) forms part of scripture not because the ideas expressed are true and correct, but because they give insight into Paul's perspective.
How can someone save someone else? Apparently it doesn't always work. When someone becomes a Christian and their spouse wants to divorce them over it, it is pointless to refuse even if you think you will be able to get them saved. This seems to imply that we are under no obligation to try to get someone saved if there doesn't seem to be much hope of it succeeding.
Each person is to live their life based on the circumstances that God provided.
This passage about virgins seems to assume a two-phase marriage...
Phase 1: Often when the woman is too young to get married she is pledged to be married.
Phase 2: When the woman is old enough, they get married.
Paul is advising the man on whether or not he should cancel phase 2 due to the current situation and states it is not a sin to cancel it. He doesn't address the topic of the woman's welfare in this case: whether she feels rejected and abandoned, whether she becomes destitute, etc.
This section is from Paul, not from God. The whole extended passage is steeped in the false views of the day regarding marriage, sex, and the roles of men and women in that culture.
Paul's qualification is he has been shown to be trustworthy, but we should note this does not guarantee correctness for all ages. In his day his views on this topic were the best that could be expected but he did not attempt to correct social unjustness. For example, he did not address slavery either.
Due to the circumstances of the day, Paul thought being unmarried was preferable. We might wonder what he means by "present distress"? Could it be economic hardship for Christians or persecution of Christians? And what about the women who likely needed a husband to look after them in the culture of the day?
Notice Paul is directing his comments primarily to men, those who are in charge of the culture of his day. The women have few rights and depend on the men to treat them justly.
There was no persecution or economic hardship in that day. Certainly the Jews ever more and more harassed Christians. Christians probably have as much hardship in life today as they did back then; does that mean we should not get married either? In verse 29 Paul says the time is short.
The usual interpretation is: If you are married, stay married; if you are not married, stay single. This is Paul's general advice based on his assessment of their "present distress." It is wrong to get divorced so they must remain married if they are. But for those who aren't, beware the "present distress."
This interpretation doesn't make any sense in the context. Nowhere else is Paul referring to people who are already married; the question is whether or not they should get married.
I wonder what became of those women who were "dumped" after Paul came through town with this teaching; likely they became destitute, in the same predicament as widows. The society of the day did not provide for people such as these.
It is remarkable that Paul had to mention it is not a sin to get married. Perhaps he merely wanted to let them know that even if they went against Paul's recommendation it wasn't necessarily a sin. But he mentioned again that, even though it is not a sin to get married, they will have trouble if they ignore Paul's recommendation.
The time is short. If we knew we would die soon and come into the presence of Christ would we not change our habits and focus more on prayer and charity? Well the time is short; all will die someday and we don't know when — it could be later today.
These Christians were not living in a time of persecution nor of economic hardship. The destruction of Jerusalem and the temple would occur in a couple of decades but this would not affect the Christians in Corinth. The madman Nero would martyr Christians in Rome in a decade or so but that wouldn't affect them either. The era of general Roman persecution of Christians was a long way in the future; all the recipients of his letter would have already died by then.
This world passes away.It doesn't leave us; we leave it — when we die. But we get it back again as paradise in the new heavens and new earth.Sometimes we may have a great life situation but it goes sour because of war or other change in society. For the Christians, their world will soon be racked in persecution. We are to keep our hearts on the final goal and remain aloof from the cares of this world.
(1 Corinthians 7:34) There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
The implication is that a married woman is not holy in body. This passage provided the basis for the wrong view of the Church that married sex (or any other kind) is bad.
Verses 32 to 35 clearly state that the unmarried state in which a person consecrates their lives to God is superior to that of marriage. This is exactly what occurs in Catholic orders yet Protestants mock them for doing this. Weird.
This verse seems to assume that an unmarried woman will not become destitute; that she will have ways to have her material needs provided.
(1 Corinthians 7:36) But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely [improperly] toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age [she is past her youth and able to be married], and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.
Notice that the woman has no say in the matter, she is powerless, it is completely up to the man. Of course, this is true even today; if a man won't propose the woman can't force him to. What is odd here is that the discussion is entirely from the perspective of the man. This requires us of today, now that we have equal rights for women, to consider issues from both sides and to adapt our views accordingly. (This does not mean we should accept Liberal Christianity; that system rejects Christ's teaching at its very heart.)
It is hard to imagine why the woman no longer being young would have any bearing on the matter. Perhaps the thought is that the man is only allowed to marry her once she is old enough, but they were engaged before that, when she was too young to get married.
Some think verses 36 to 38 refer to the father who has a social obligation to give his daughters in marriage. But based on Paul's teaching that a consecrated single life is superior, the father would do well to refrain from allowing his daughter to be married (but only if she agrees to it) so she could remain a consecrated single woman. Presumably the father would take care of her financial needs. (But who would do this when the father died?) Anyway, the grammar of this verse for this idea is extremely awkward at best.
(1 Corinthians 7:37) Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well.
Is it possible this verse refers to a man not marrying the woman but looking after her needs for the rest of their lives? In other words, they remain engaged but never get married?
This verse sounds like it refers to the father who is giving his daughter in marriage, and perhaps does mean this. I suppose Paul wants to recognize the father's role in all this. Perhaps after hearing Paul's teaching there were cases in which the father would not allow his daughter to be married so he could "do better."
Verses 36 & 37 don't seem to refer to the father at all so if verse 38 does refer to the father, there is a sharp jump in meaning and context. But the next verse, verse 39, also has a clear jump in meaning so perhaps Paul is merely tacking on afterthoughts as they occur to him.
(1 Corinthians 8:4) As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.
(1 Corinthians 8:7) Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.
Some Christians, out of a false view of the workings of the spiritual realm and of the power of Christ over the powers of darkness; these Christians think the act of offering food to idols in some way contaminates the food. Paul refers to this kind of thinking as being weak.
Even though those with wrong views are weak in their faith, those having correct views should strive to not confuse these by doing things that would cause them to stumble in their faith. In other words, if someone thinks eating food offered to idols is idolatry, Christians should avoid eating food offered to idols so as to not stumble these weak Christians.
Though I am sympathetic to Paul's concern, there is a real problem here. This means that Christians cannot live out their freedom in Christ because somewhere there might be a Christian weak in faith who gets stumbled. For example, Catholics would have to give up most of their devotions and liturgy because some Protestants somewhere consider it idol worship. Paul has not thought this one through to its logical conclusion. Another example: fundamentalist evangelical Protestants would have to give up their doctrines of Sola Fide (saved by faith only)and Sola Scriptura (Bible only)because Catholics and Orthodox Christians consider these as false doctrines (which they are.)
(1 Corinthians 8:10) For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;
Apparently, pagan temples offered meals attended by some Christians strong in their faith. This reminds me of the Hari Krishna or Sikh Gurudwara services having food as part of the service. Yes, I would eat food at these; it's the best food in the world. No, I would not consider this food to be contaminated by demons. If a weak Christian saw me eating this food I would say to them, "get a life; learn the faith; don't judge other Christians by your unbiblical standards." I am not as sympathetic to the weak and narrow-minded Christians as Paul was. (But Paul doesn't consistently follow his own guidelines;he allows them to speak in tongues even though some associate it with pagan idolatry.)
Paul entertains the notion that his role as apostle may not extend to every Christian group. Perhaps he is not being completely serious since he is dealing with some hard-hearted people. But clearly he considers his apostolic authority to extend to those he had a particular relationship with; to those he shared the gospel with and planted churches.
Some commentaries assume the word sister refers to a believing wife who is a "sister in the Lord". Maybe so. If not, it would make sense for men to take care of their sisters in a society in which women could become destitute unless a man took care of them. If a woman's husband died or if they never married (as Paul was promoting)once the father died they would have no one to take care of them except their brothers. If they had no brothers or their brothers were deadbeats, well, they were in trouble.
Some claim Paul wasn't married because his wife was never mentioned, but this logic doesn't make sense. For example, Peter was married and his wife was only mentioned once in passing;Peter never mentioned her in his writings.
The apostles had the right to material and financial support from the Christian churches. Paul chose to not use this right so they wouldn't think he was just in it for the money. But note that later when in prison he did accept support.
(1 Corinthians 9:10) Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.
(1 Corinthians 9:12) If others be partakers of this power [privilege] over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer [endure] all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.
In Old Testament Israel the priests ate the sacrifices (but not the burnt offerings); it was their source of food.
(1 Corinthians 9:15) But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.
Should we take Paul at his word here or is he exaggerating? Does Paul really prefer death to accepting material and financial assistance? I think the theme is stumbling your brother; if receiving financial support causes a weak Christian to apostatize, Paul would rather die of starvation than see that happen.
Paul's use of the term "glory" in the previous verse seems to have triggered this sudden change of topic to Paul's calling and its origin.
Paul is careful to state that Christians are free from law. They are under Christ's law, not the Old Testament Mosaic law. Fundamentalist evangelical Protestants often claim that Christians are no longer under the obligations of the law but the New Testament doesn't support this notion.
(1 Corinthians 10:13) There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer [allow] you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
The easiest way to avoid sinning is to choose to not sin; there is no way of escape for someone who doesn't make that choice. All humans are tempted to sin, some more so than others based on their temperment, their training as a child, their influences, their conviction and commitment to holiness.
This verse clearly states that God never allows us to be tempted to sin so strongly that we can't resist. In other words, for those who so desire, it is possible to not sin at all! For those who do sin, their only excuse is that they allow themselves to do so because they are not fully committed to living holy and righteous lives. Of course, we require God's power and infilling of the Holy Spirit, but we can thwart this by choosing to sin. Thus, sinning causes more sinning. Many Christians do not consider not sinning to be a learned behavior that can be improved by practice, much as mastering a musical instrument requires practice.
With every temptation to sin there is also present the knowledge of what we must do to avoid the sin. The question is whether or not we will choose to avoid it.
The Eucharist is a sacrifice, the sacrifice of Christ's body. Just as the Israelite priests ate the sacrificed animals, so also Christians partaking of the consecrated bread and wine partake- of Christ's body and blood.
Just as Christianity has a sacred meal, so do pagan and other non-Christian religions. If you are practicing an anti-Christian religion you cannot also be a true Christian. The Eucharist doesn't work for other than true Christians; it does not bless God, it is not worship of God, it does not impart blessings to the partaker.
(1 Corinthians 10:28) But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof:
Notice: for the man's sake and for conscience sake, seemingly referring to two people. But Paul clarifies in the next verse he is referring only to the one person. I wonder how many other verse contain this kind of confusion which the writer doesn't clarify.
Paul considers meat to be part of the fulness of the earth.
Paul asks why his freedom is constrained by the conscience of somebody else? In refusing food that the other person sacrificed to idols, Paul is sending two messages, one intended, the other unintended...
This highlights the difficulty of communicating accurately. In these two verses Paul has miscommunicated once per sentence! Fortunately he goes on to explain it all.
The hierarchy of authority...
Paul forgets to mention that woman are subject to Christ. Perhaps he really believes that, for women, Christ works through the men in authority (husbands, fathers, and church leaders.) Or perhaps Paul is merely discussing the topic of authority — verse 1 supports this notion.
The natural condition is short, uncovered hair. Women require special treatment as we shall see because they are considered inferior in that patriarchal society and require special protection.
Just as it was a disgrace for a women to be shaved, so also it was a disgrace for a woman not to wear a head covering in church. He flips it in the next verse, a typical thing for Paul; to examine a question from all angles.
Paul assumes everyone believes it is bad for a woman to be shaved; probably it is a punishment for living improperly, to shame her. He says those women who don't wear head coverings in church should be punished in the same way. This verse loses its meaning in a society that doesn't practice shaving women's heads to shame them for punishment.
A very patriarchal society, discriminating of women. Paul doesn't try to correct this, in fact, he seems blind to it, assuming it to be true and correct. And he goes to great lengths to prove his view, as the following verses show. Notice his appeal to scripture, to the Old Testament. But his proofs are weak and his argument unconvincing. Even apostolic teaching must be judged using the lens of historical time.
A terrible argument! Since woman was created from the man, from Adam's side, therefore, the woman is inferior and subservient to the man.
Woman's only reason to exist is because Adam was lonely and needed a companion. But what does this have to do with all the other women after that? Paul seems to assume the circumstances of the origin of something determines its nature; I think Paul was influenced by the philosophers of the day too much.
Adam was created before Eve, therefore, he was not created for her. Eve was specifically created so Adam would have a suitable helper.Notice Paul is using an event occurring long ago to demonstrate the proper relationship between these things forever into the future. This is exactly the same kind of argument Catholics use in supporting their doctrines about Mary. Since Mary said yes and thereby brought the Messiah into the world, she is forever in this role of obtaining the graces of redemption as the mother of the redeemed, as the mother of the Church.I believe the Catholic doctrines concerning Mary.
Wearing a head covering protects a woman from the spiritual onslaughts of wicked spiritual beings. Perhaps this is because these wicked spiritual beings work through people, through men — the head covering stops men from lusting after women who have such beautiful long hair? After teaching that women are objects it is natural Paul needs a way to protect them; just cover them up. I should think he would hold the men accountable for their improper covetousness.
This passage about head coverings for women assumes they are dressed modestly, yet their hair is attractive. It must be covered because this makes the statement, "I belong to God".
In God's view, everyone is equal. Christian women and Christian men are equal in dignity; both are needed and useful. But Paul merely mentions it in passing.
Eve came from Adam's side; men (in fact, all humans) are born from the wombs of women.
I think Paul assumes his arguments were convincing, but they are scrambled and idiotic. This is why most Christians say this passage is merely cultural and not binding on Christians today. I take it to the next step — he was just plain wrong, but in his cultural context, the conclusion made sense.
Is this cultural, only true in Paul's day? Paul seems to be appealing to natural lawbut perhaps the concept he has in mind is the cultural norms of the day which are binding as social law; certainly Paul often mentions we do or don't do things based on the effect on others.
Paul uses this argument about hair length to demonstrate his previous teaching about head covering; he assumes people agree with his view about hair length. Just as the woman is to have long hair as a covering, so also she is to cover her head in church.
Four kinds of hair for women (from good to bad)...
All the churches practiced head coverings for women in church yet Paul acknowledges that some objected. Three things we learn from this...
They were coming together to eat the Lord's supper but because of their wrong attitudes and disrespectful treatment of one another it was no longer the Lord's supper at all.
The bishop of this church was either one of the offenders or did not have control of this church.
It is hard to imagine why any Christian would get drunk in a public gathering of fellow Christians. I wonder if such as these are really Christians at all? I wonder the same of various so-called Christian crossover music artists or entertainers or politicians or businessmen.
(1 Corinthians 11:22) What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.
The list continues...
(1 Corinthians 12:10) To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers [diverse] kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
The list continues...
(1 Corinthians 12:28) And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments [administrations], diversities of tongues.
This list includes Church leadership, ministering to others, and miraculous kinds of activities.
Notice there is no mention of ordination via the sacrament of holy orders. It mentions apostles, prophets, and teachers but not bishops, priests, and deacons. This oversight does not bode well for the Church's later emphasis on these three; it smacks of revisionism, that the apostles did not really pass on those three leadership roles after all.
(1 Corinthians 13:2) And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
Paul lists the attributes and characteristics of love...
The list continues...
Some Christians seem to allow for "righteous anger". Certainly this has its place, but we should note that Jesus only displayed this against two categories of people: (1) corrupt and unholy religious leaders who deceived the people, and (2) those who were using religious traditions for monetary gain. I suspect that what is often called "righteous anger" should really be called "rage addiction".
We should not ignore transgressions against us because we need to protect ourselves against repeat offenders. But we should allow for the possibility of true repentance, however, this doesn't always take place. It is not a virtue to allow ourselves to be exploited unless we are doing it purposively, perhaps because it is the best (or only) option.
The list continues...
I personally don't understand how people can watch movies or play video games having violence, moral filth, and depravity; or in which the characters are committing mortal sins. I make an exception for historical accounts because we should know history; the good and the bad, but it should be tastefully presented. But I wouldn't want to make a strong case about this other than to note that if everyone boycotted everything unseemly, the world would be a far better place.
The list continues...
Paul has been discussing tongues and translations,prophecy and knowledge.These things are temporary, of use to us only while in this current world. In the new heavens and new earth,these kinds of things will no longer be part of our daily experience as they won't be needed. In the current world we must strive to connect with God but then it will be automatic; we will always and forever live in God's direct presence.
Some who wish to deny that the gifts of the Spirit are for today interpret this ceasing and vanishing as occurring after the apostolic era, once John the apostle died, once all the books and letters of the New Testament were written. But this implies that the perfect comes thenwhich directly contradicts their very premise that the apostolic era was superior and that now the gifts of the Spirit are no longer in operation.
Some claim this vanishing and ceasing occurs at each person's death. But how do we exercise love once dead; love requires interaction with others? Strangely, these same people usually reject the Catholic notion that us who are still alive can interact with those who have died. Catholics accept this notion in praying to Saints and accepting of apparitions of Mary.
Sadly, most churches have rejected prophecy as practiced in the early church. But weirdly, many of the Charismaticchurches that do practice the gifts of the Spirit do it in direct violation of Paul's guidance in chapters 12 and 14 of this letter! In the early church, the bishops quickly usurped the ministry of the prophets as they divided Christians into clergy vs. laity.
The childish things Paul is referring to in his analogy is prophecy, tongues, and the word of knowledge (and presumably all the other gifts of the Spiritas well); when in the new heavens and new earthwe will not use these. Once there, we will not struggle to know truth, to stay fixed on Jesus, to strive to live a life of virtue. We will have no need to share the gospel with those who speak other languages. These "childish things" will no longer be needed. Rather, we will live fully and completely in love.
In our current world we can't see clearly; our soul is not fully activated; we are buffeted by wicked spirits in the spiritual realm.I think God has made us so dull to protect us from this, much as a child is innocent of the horrible things that may be going on around them.
Notice that God doesn't change how he views us; we finally become perfect but he is always and eternally perfect. And his perfection is far superior to ours. Each of us created creatures becomes perfect in the sense of being at the maximum possible.
Verses 10 — 12 contrast the present time with the new heavens and new earth,but verse 13 does not; it merely compares the 3 theological virtues: faith, hope, and loveand declares love to be superior in some way.
Some Bible commentators make much of this and claim that hope and faith will still exist in the afterlife, but a side effect of this claim is that the word "hope" here has a different meaning than elsewhere.I personally have no opinion about this one way or the other. Certainly we will have human aspirations, goals, and motivations in the new heavens and new earth; perhaps some aspect of faith and hope are part of these.
Paul's main point in this verse is that love is superior to faith and hope. Whereas faith and hope are directed inward, toward ourselves; love is directed toward others, toward God and neighbor. We must spend a certain amount of time on ourselves, for example, we must brush our teeth, but loving others is simply a more significant aspect of life.
(1 Corinthians 14:5) I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.
(1 Corinthians 14:6) Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?
It is hard to understand how people can use chapter 14 to support their use of tongues in church services. Verse 7 states that even musical instruments are useless unless you can distinguish melodies within the individual notes. In like manner, speech without language, syntax, grammar, and most importantly, meaning, is useless — which is exactly what speaking in tongues is, as Paul makes clear.
Speaking in tongues is like rocking back and forth and humming — it provides comfort, but it doesn't communicate anything to anyone.
Sometimes when I hear of the difficult life someone has had and wish I could have been God and made it all different, I sense empathy that almost hurts. I groan within and almost out loud, calling to God why do we have to suffer so, and when will we all finally get true rest in the new heavens and new earth.That is what speaking in tongues is like. I can't for the life of me imagine why anyone would want to do this in church, to make this kind of thing the main event in church?
(1 Corinthians 14:23) If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?
(1 Corinthians 14:26) How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
Paul drastically restricts their use of tongues during the church service. Most churches I have been to that practice the public use of tongues totally ignore (disobey?) this verse. In my view, the true nature of the gift of tongues is speaking in a foreign language known by some of the listeners. I wonder if Paul is subtly mocking the Corinthians by requiring that interpreters must interpret every utterance in a foreign language so that those who don't speak that language can also understand the message (and it then becomes prophecy for them). It would soon become clear that (1) those claiming to be speaking in a foreign language were not really doing this at all, and (2) those claiming to interpret were really not doing so at all. This would restore the proper use of the gift of tongues to speaking in a foreign language understood by at least some of the listeners. Paul used this gift often as he travelled to various regions where they spoke various languages. During the birth of the Church at Pentecost there were present many from far-off lands who spoke many languages, and the disciples wandered among them speaking in their various languages. The gift of tongues does not have to be miraculous to be a true gift of the Spirit; if someone speaks multiple languages they can us this skill and it qualifies as the gift of tongues.
The risen, resurrected Christ showed himself to the apostles: first to Peter, then to the 10 others (Judas was no more.)Paul calls these 11,the 12. Jesus honored Peter's role as head among the apostles by visiting him first.
But of course, he visited some of the women disciples even before that (Paul doesn't mention them),seemingly to honor those humble, faith-filled disciples as being pre-eminent before the leadership. Within a few decades the church leaders reversed this.
The risen, resurrected Christ visited more than 500 others. Some had died since Paul wrote this letter to the Corinthians. Then in the next verse Jesus visits the apostles — again, he visits the humble disciples first, then the leaders.
This is not James the disciple, but another James,probably the leader of the Church of Jerusalem. Notice that many church leaders, later called bishops, are called apostles. Certainly the book of Acts agrees with thisand Paul refers to himself as an apostle.
(1 Corinthians 15:10) But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
Paul claims to have worked harder in his ministry then the other apostles. Perhaps he means he had to make up for his humble beginnings as one who persecuted Christians.
It is unclear who Paul is referring to, those that don't believe in the resurrection. Certainly the Sadducees did not believe this but these did not become Christians. Perhaps it's the same bunch that sent the forged letter to the Thessalonians.In any case, Paul wishes to set the matter straight.
Apparently these false teachers taught that Christ rose from the dead, but we won't. Perhaps they taught that Christ was an apparition, a phantasm, and only seemed to rise from the dead. This was the view of the early heresy Docetism.
The apostles preached very vehemently and clearly that Christ was resurrected. Paul wonders why some would ignore this preaching and claim there is no resurrection of the dead after all? Basically, some who were connected with the Church in some way felt they could simply ignore which ever apostolic teachings they choose to. The Catholic Church makes the same claim of having infallible teaching but, sadly, they have radically altered the gospel message (as have the Protestants.)
Paul reverses the argument: if there is no such thing as a resurrection for us, then neither did Christ rise either. It is unclear why Paul thinks this is a good argument; it is certainly a possible argument (but a false one) that Christ rose but we won't.
Perhaps Paul is merely stating an obvious fact, that if there is no resurrection at all (for anyone) then Christ didn't rise either (since there is no resurrection.)
The doctrine of the resurrection of Christ is a cornerstone of true, apostolic Christianity. The Nicene Creed confirms it as true and all variations of true Christianity believe it. This includes Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Protestants, others. Those groups which deny this are not Christian at all.
Since the apostles so strongly taught the doctrine of the resurrection of Christ; those who say the apostles are mistaken are, in effect, calling them liars, invalidating their apostolic credentials.
Notice Paul again mentions the idea that if there is no resurrection of the dead then Christ could not have been resurrected either. This seems to be a key component of the heresy he is refuting; they say there is no such thing as the resurrection of the dead for anyone, including Christ.
Notice the apostolic pedigree — the teaching is of God, from God. All the key elements of apostolic Christianity, of true Christianity, must contain the true gospel message.
Paul leaves no stone unturned; he mentions all possible options. The final option is if there is no resurrection at all, for anyone. In this case certainly Christ did not rise (there being no resurrection at all.) The same as verse 13.
Similar to verse 14. Paul assumes the correctness of the whole Old Testament narrative about the fall of humanity and the need for redemption of our sins, of our sin nature. Without the resurrection of Christ to solve this problem, there is no hope for fallen humanity. And if we are all irretrievably doomed, why bother to have faith at all?
It appears there was some worry that only those alive at the time of some soon-to-occur event would enjoy the benefits. But Paul corrects them by informing them that for most, death will occur, and they will enjoy the benefits of redemption even after having died.
Christ reigns for the entire Church age.Some claim that he begins his reign only after the rapture and that he reigns only during an earthly 1,000 yearmillennium. There is no such thing as this rapture and millennium; most verses used to refer to the rapture actually concern the resurrection at Christ's second coming, and most verses used to refer to the 1,000 year earthly millennium actually concern the new heavens and new earth.During the Church age, Christ is putting his enemies under his feet. At the second coming of Christ, he will complete the task.
Once evil, sin, and death is judged forever, there is no longer any need for Jesus to act in the role of judge. After that he abandons that activity. Some (many?) claim there is no time in the eternal state nor is there any time for God. But notice that Jesus as second person of the Trinity acts within the bounds of time. Time is part of God's nature.
Why would Paul refer to baptism for the dead this way if he were referring to a heretical practice? He implies that this baptizing for the dead actually accomplishes something. This is foreign to most Protestants because they jettisoned such ideas as being too Catholic. But it's biblical so we must accept it.
Certainly if baptizing for the dead accomplishes something, then baptism accomplishes something as well. Baptism is more than merely an act performed in obedience to Christ. During baptism with accompanying faith, the Holy Spirit indwells the new believer,their sins are remitted, and they become members of the body of Christ — they join the Church of Christ. Two errors...
Fundamentalist evangelical Protestants consider this to be a "difficult verse." It is only difficult because they choose to reject its clear meaning (and the clear practice of the early Church.)
Probably this rite of baptism of the dead was similar to offering a mass on behalf of a dead person. God honors the intent and blesses the dead person. This implies that our prayers can affect the dead. It also implies that the dead are in a condition in which it is beneficial to be prayed for — this is purgatory in a nutshell. The souls of most dead people are being improved in some way as they wait for the final resurrection and entry into the new heavens and new earth.
This verse is strictly literal.The beasts referred to are people as well as the spirits empowering and influencing them. Humans are just animals, created creatures having a body and associated soul. Animals, especially carnivores, are preoccupied with hunting and killing; so it is with people who actively oppose God and his work among humans. They are literally beasts.
Paul illustrates the point he made back in verse 14. It is foolish to struggle and suffer to defend teachings and doctrines which are not true. An example is anti-Catholics who seek to destroy the Catholic Church by misrepresenting its teachings. (Certainly there are untrue teachings, and some Catholics are not very good Christians if they are even Christians at all, and this includes popes, bishops, priests, deacons, brothers, sisters, nuns, abbots — you name it.)
Paul quotes from the Greek poet Menander of Athens from hundreds of years previous, "Bad company corrupts good character."
Paul seems to imply that the reason people deny truths of the gospel is because they wish to live sinful lives.
This is no objection at all except that the question is not honest.
Here's my answer: the body is raised up by the soul simply attaching itself to the body again.The resurrection body is exactly the same as this body.What is different is the conditions in the spiritual realm where the soul resides. There will be no more evil influences and this will have a tremendous effect on even the physical realm. Tree branches will still fall during storms, but no creatures will ever be harmed.
It should be easy to understand the resurrection, after all, everyone has seen how a seed is thrown into the ground and dies (stops being a seed), only to be transformed into a glorious plant. Of course, human resurrection is nothing like this. The decaying corpse does not grow to become the resurrected body.
The body after resurrection (the wheat) is different than the body before resurrection (the seed.) In my view, what has changed after the resurrection is the spiritual realm and who controls it, not the way the universe operates.But no matter, Paul didn't know about modern science back then so his descriptions are rather folksy.
Each kind of seed grows into a particular kind of plant. Thus, each of us will be unique in the new heavens and new earthjust as we are unique now. I'm not sure how this kind of information helps anybody understand the resurrection but, no matter. Perhaps they had all kinds of wrongheaded ideas that everyone will be exactly the same after the resurrection, that we will lose our individual identity as Buddhism and Hinduism teach.
The next few verses seem to be about the topic of different kinds of physical objects. Paul emphasizes this so strongly, it must be very important to those living at that time. He points out the various kinds of objects — living and non-living — seemingly to illustrate that after the resurrection there will still be different kinds of objects.
Is Paul taking about stars and planets or about spiritual beings? As the next verse shows, he is talking about stars and planets.
By referring to animals and stars and planets in his discussion, I must assume that Paul is teaching that these will all exist in the new heavens and new earth.In other words, the new heavens and new earth will be exactly like this world, but without sin and evil!
I doubt if Paul is implying that stars and planets have souls just as humans have souls.
Paul is contrasting our current body (the natural body) with our resurrected body (a spiritual body.)
This verse illustrates that Paul is talking about the spiritual realm, not the physical realm. The soul/spirit influences events and conditions in the physical realm: wicked and evil spirits have a bad effect on it; holy and pure spirits have a good effect on it. Currently, there is a war in the spiritual realm. The wicked and evil spirits have caused pain, suffering, and death — and God allows this for a while, for his plans and purposes.
The use of terms in these verses can cause confusion if we are not careful...
A surprising verse. Ultimately, us humans will have had both kinds of bodies, natural and spiritual, earthy and heavenly, just as Christ did! In this sense we will become deified,a concept, often misunderstood, of the Eastern Orthodox churches.
The phrase "flesh and blood" refers to our current carnal condition in which our souls are entangled with the wicked and evil spirits in the spiritual realm. Flesh is the body; blood is the soul — the life is in the blood,and the soul is the part of us that is truly living.
Everyone will be resurrected some day, even those who have already died. This is a mystery because the fact can't be determined without Divine revelation — only Christianity teaches this; every other religion has missed it.
Those who are alive when the general resurrection occurs will not first die, they will be raptured so to speak. This true-rapture occurs at the second coming of Christ; there is no other resurrection after this. I mention this because millennialism has some usually-ignored side-effects...
The book of Revelation speaks of this trumpet,the final of the 7 trumpets;these are the only trumpets integral to the plot in the book of Revelation. (Look it up for yourselfand you will see that I'm right.)
(1 Corinthians 15:54) So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
What labor is Paul talking about? Why, it is the work of the Lord? And what is that? The only work Paul ever mentions is living virtuouslives, honoring God, including partaking of the Eucharist in a worthy manner.
We are to abound in the work of the Lord. We are to do this always, meaning, we are to not sin. We are to be steadfast and unmovable, not tempted to sin.
Our work in the Lord is not in vain. For one thing, in pleasing God we are fulfilling our purpose for having been created in the first place. We find our utmost joy and fulfillment in pleasing God. In addition, those who live a life of faith and virtue will be redeemed and will spend eternity with God in the new heavens and new earth.What greater joy and benefit could there possibly be?
(1 Corinthians 16:12) As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren: but his will was not at all to come at this time; but he will come when he shall have convenient time.
King James Version