Friday, October 20, 2017

The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Church at Corinth
Chapter 15:1-8
The Reality of the Risen Christ and of Faith in Him Having so Done

1 Moreover brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you, which ye have also received, and wherein ye continue,
2 And whereby ye are saved, if ye keep in memory, after what manner I preached it unto you, except ye have believed in vain.
3 For first of all, I delivered unto you that which I received, how that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures,
4 And that he was buried, and that he arose the third day, according to the Scriptures,
5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve.
6 After that, he was seen of more than five hundred brethren at once: whereof many remain unto this present, and some also are asleep.
7 After that, he was seen of James: then of all the Apostles.
8 And last of all he was seen also of me, as of one born out of due time.

Related Scripture

Verse 1 - Galatians 1:11
Verse 3 - Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24
Verse 4 - Jonah 2:1
Verse 5 - John 20:19
Verse 8 - Acts 9:5

It is the apostle’s business in this chapter to assert and establish the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, which some of the Corinthians flatly denied, Whether they turned this doctrine into allegory, as did Hymeneus and Philetus, by saying it was already past (Read 2 Timothy 2:17 - 18 ), and several of the ancient heretics, by making it mean no more than a changing of their course of life; or whether they rejected it as absurd, upon principles of reason and science; it seems they denied it in the proper sense. And they disowned a future state of recompences, by denying the resurrection of the dead. Now that heathens and infidels should deny this truth does not seem so strange; but that Christians, who had their religion by revelation, should deny a truth so plainly discovered is surprising, especially when it is a truth of such importance. It was time for the apostle to confirm them in this truth, when the staggering of their faith in this point was likely to shake their Christianity; and they were yet in great danger of having their faith staggered. He begins with an epitome or summary of the gospel, what he had preached among them, namely, the death and resurrection of Christ. Upon this foundation the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead is built. Note, Divine truths appear with greatest evidence when they are looked upon in their mutual connection. The foundation may be strengthened, that the superstructure may be secured. Now concerning the gospel observe,I. What a stress he lays upon it: Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached to you.

It was what he constantly preached. His word was not yea and nay: he always preached the same gospel, and taught the same truth. He could appeal to his hearers for this. Truth is in its own nature invariable; and the infallible teachers of divine truth could never be at variance with themselves or one another. The doctrine which Paul had heretofore taught, he still taught. It was what they had received; they had been convinced of the faith, believed it in their hearts, or at least made profession of doing so with their mouths. It was no strange doctrine. It was that very gospel in which, or by which, they had hitherto stood, and must continue to stand. If they gave up this truth, they left themselves no ground to stand upon, no footing in religion. Note, The doctrine of Christ’s death and resurrection is at the foundation of Christianity. Remove this foundation, and the whole fabric falls, all our hopes for eternity sink at once. And it is by holding this truth firmly that Christians are made to stand in a day of trial, and kept faithful to God. It was that alone by which they could hope for salvation, for there is no salvation in any other name; no name given under heaven by which we may be saved, but by the name of Christ. And there is no salvation in his name, but upon supposition of his death and resurrection. These are the saving truths of our holy religion. The crucifixion of our Redeemer and his conquest over death are the very source of our spiritual life and hopes. Now concerning these saving truths.

Observe:

They must be retained in mind, they must be held fast, so the word is translated, (Read Hebrews10:23 ): Let us hold fast the profession of our faith. Note, The saving truths of the gospel must be fixed in our mind, revolved much in our thoughts, and maintained and held fast to the end, if we would be saved. They will not save us, if we do not attend to them, and yield to their power, and continue to do so to the end. He only that endureth to the end shall be saved, (Read Matthew 1022).

We believe in vain, unless we continue and persevere in the faith of the gospel. We shall be never the better for a temporary faith; nay, we shall aggravate our guilt by relapsing into infidelity. And in vain is it to profess Christianity, or our faith in Christ, if we deny the resurrection; for this must imply and involve the denial of his resurrection; and, take away this, you make nothing of Christianity, you leave nothing for faith or hope to fix upon.II. Observe what this gospel is, on which the apostle lays such stress. It was that doctrine which he had received, and delivered to them, en protois —among the first, the principal. It was a doctrine of the first rank, a most necessary truth, That Christ died for our sins, and was buried, and rose again: or, in other words, that he was delivered for our offences and rose again for our justification (Read Romans 4:25 ), that he was offered in sacrifice for our sins, and rose again, to show that he had procured forgiveness for them, and was accepted of God in this offering. Note, Christ’s death and resurrection are the very sum and substance of evangelical truth. Hence we derive our spiritual life now, and here we must found our hopes of everlasting life hereafter.III. Observe how this truth is confirmed,1. By Old-Testament predictions. He died for our sins, according to the scriptures; he was buried, and rose from the dead, according to the scriptures, according to the scripture-prophecies, and scripture-types. Such prophecies as Psalm16:10 ; Isaiah 53:4-6 ; Dan. 9:26-27; Hosea 6:2 . Such scripture-types as Jonah (Read Matthew 12:4 ), as Isaac, who is expressly said by the apostle to have been received from the dead in a figure, (Read Hebrews 11:19) . Note, It is a great confirmation of our faith of the gospel to see how it corresponds with ancient types and prophecies.

By the testimony of many eye-witnesses, who saw Christ after he had risen from the dead. He reckons up five several appearances, beside that to himself. He was seen of Cephas, or Peter, then of the twelve, called so, though Judas was no longer among them, because this was their usual number; then he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once, many of whom were living when the apostle wrote this epistle, though some had fallen asleep. This was in Galilee, Mt. 28:10 . After that, he was seen of James singly, and then by all the apostles when he was taken up into heaven. This was on mount Olivet, (Read Luke 24:50). Compare Acts. 1:2, Acts. & 1:5-7 . Note, How uncontrollably evident was Christ’s resurrection from the dead, when so many eyes saw him at so many different times alive, and when he indulged the weakness of one disciple so far as to let him handle him, to put his resurrection out of doubt! And what reason have we to believe those who were so steady in maintaining this truth, though they hazarded all that was dear to them in this world, by endeavoring to assert and propagate it! Even Paul himself was last of all favored with the sight of him. It was one of the peculiar offices of an apostle to be a witness of our Saviour’s resurrection (Read Luke 24:48 ); and, when Paul was called to the apostolical office, he was made an evidence of this sort; the Lord Jesus appeared to him by the way to Damascus, (Read Acts. 9:17). Having mentioned this favor, Paul takes occasion from it to make a humble digression concerning himself. He was highly favored of God, but he always endeavored to keep up a mean opinion of himself, and to express it. So he does here, by observing:

That he was one born out of due time ,[as] an abortive, ektroma, a child dead born, and out of time. Paul resembled such a birth, in the suddenness of his new birth, in that he was not matured for the apostolic function, as the others were, who had personal converse with our Lord. He was called to the office when such conversation was not to be had, he was out of time for it. He had not known nor followed the Lord, nor been formed in his family, as the others were, for this high and honorable function. This was in Paul’s account a very humbling circumstance.

By owning himself inferior to the other apostles: Not meet to be called an apostle. The least, because the last of them; called latest to the office, and not worthy to be called an apostle, to have either the office or the title, because he had been a persecutor of the church of God”
Matthew Henry

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Church at Corinth
Chapter 14:24-25

24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is rebuked of all men, and is judged of all,
25 And so are the secrets of his heart made manifest, and so he will fall down on his face and worship God, and say plainly that God is in you indeed.

Related Scripture:
Verse 25 - Isaiah 45:14

[I]n so much that sometimes a person who comes into your assembly out of mere curiosity, or possibly with some ill design, is not able to command himself under the impression which the word of God thus spoken makes upon him." It is very possible that, as in the known cases of Nathaniel and the woman of Samaria, (Read John 1:47; John 4:18.)* some secret facts relating to a stranger might, in some instances, be revealed to a prophet; perhaps, in some cases, the ill designs which had brought them into the assembly, when they came only as spies: and this was well suited to the purpose of producing, through grace, strong convictions of the presence of God with Christians. The passage, however, may be so understood, as to include any remarkable correspondence between what was spoken and the thoughts and state of mind whereof such a stranger might be conscious. Many memorable instances of which still happen, where ministers preach in an experimental manner, and lasting effects are often produced in consequence of such impressions.” Thomas Coke

*Editor’s thought:
Just a side note herein; The full passage of the above-mentioned scripture (John 4:18) recounts the meeting of the said woman and Jesus. Him, being Who He was, that is to say, the Son of God, knew all about her past. Not through hearsay, but through the knowledge of the Holy Spirit that revealed that information to Him.


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Church at Corinth
Chapter 14:12

12 Even so, forasmuch as ye covet spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel unto the edifying of the Church.

Brethren:

In all gifts of the Holy Spirit, those which lift up others are the best to seek after. In particular, our speech. Recall if you will the words of the Apostle James, on the role of the tongue, and how it is used, both for blessing and for cursing, and how he admonishes us, that it should not be for the latter, but always for the former. Likewise, our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, had also said that what proceeds out of the mouth, are the issues of the heart.
(Read Matthew 6:21, 12:34-35, 15:18-19; James 3:10)

Henceforth, friends, seek you, all things that edify and lift up those that hear your words and all deeds that you do during your day.


“‘If spiritual gifts,” says he, ‘delight you’, let the end be edification. Then only may you reckon, that you have attained an excellence that is true and praiseworthy; when the Church receives advantage from you. Paul, however, does not hereby give permission to any one to cherish an ambition to excel, even to the benefit of the Church, but by correcting the fault, he shows how far short they come of what they are in pursuit of, and at the same time lets them know who they are that should be most highly esteemed. He would have a man to be held in higher estimation, in proportion as he devotes himself with eagerness to promote edification. In the meantime, it is our part to have this one object in view; that the Lord may be exalted, and that his kingdom may be, from day to day, enlarged.”
John Calvin

Monday, October 16, 2017

My confession of faith, as written in the Holy Scriptures.

1 Moreover brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you, which ye have also received, and wherein ye continue,
2 And whereby ye are saved, if ye keep in memory, after what manner I preached it unto you, except ye have believed in vain.
3 For first of all, I delivered unto you that which I received, how that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures,
4 And that he was buried, and that he arose the third day, according to the Scriptures,
5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve.
6 After that, he was seen of more than five hundred brethren at once: whereof many remain unto this present, and some also are asleep - 1 Corinthians 15:1-6

15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the first begotten of every creature.
16 For by him were all things created which are in heaven, and which are in earth, things visible and invisible: whether they be Thrones, or Dominions, or Principalities, or Powers, all things were created by him, and for him.
17 And he is before all things, and in him all things consist.
18 And he is the head of the body of the Church: he is the beginning, and the first begotten of the dead, that in all things he might have the preeminence.
19 For it pleased the Father, that in him should all fullness dwell.
20 And through peace made by that blood of that his cross, to reconcile to himself through him, through him, I say, all things, both which are in earth, and which are in heaven.
Colossians 1:15-20

Friday, October 13, 2017

The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Church at Corinth
Chapter 13:1-13

1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and Angels, and have not love, I am as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2 And though I had the gift of prophecy, and knew all secrets and all knowledge, yea, if I had all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and had not love, I were nothing.
3 And though I feed the poor with all my goods, and though I give my body, that I be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing.
4 Love suffereth long: it is bountiful: love envieth not: love doth not boast itself: it is not puffed up:
5 It doth no uncomely thing: it seeketh not her own thing: it is not provoked to anger: it thinketh no evil:
6 It rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth:
7 It suffereth all things: it believeth all things: it hopeth all things: it endureth all things.
8 Love doth never fall away, though that prophesyings be abolished, or the tongues cease, or knowledge vanish away.
9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10 But when that which is perfect, is come, then that which is in part shall be abolished.
11 When I was a child, I spake as a child: I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see through a glass darkly: but then shall we see face to face. Now I know in part: but then shall I know even as I am known.
13 And now abideth faith, hope and love, even these three: but the chiefest of these is love.



Thursday, October 12, 2017

The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Church at Corinth
Chapter 12:18, 24, 28

18 But now hath God disposed the members every one of them in the body at his own pleasure.
24 For our comely parts need it not: but God hath tempered the body together: and hath given the more honor to that part which lacked,
28 And God hath ordained some in the Church: as first Apostles, secondly Prophets, thirdly teachers, then them that do miracles: after that, the gifts of healing, helpers, governors, diversity of tongues.

Related Scripture:
Ephesians 4:11

Brethren:

Just a quick thought this morning. Take note of each verse and how it contains this one concept. God has done.

God has disposed
God has tempered
God has ordained

In each of these God has worked His will.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Church at Corinth
Chapter 12:3-11

3 Wherefore I declare unto you, that no man speaking by the spirit of God, calleth Jesus execrable: also no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the holy Ghost.
4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 And there are diversities of administrations, but the same Lord.
6 And there are diversities of operations, but God is the same which worketh all in all.
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man, to profit withal.
8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom: and to another the word of knowledge, by the same Spirit:
9 And to another is given faith by the same Spirit: and to another the gifts of healing, by the same Spirit:
10 And to another the operations of great works: and to another, prophecy: and to another, the discerning of spirits: and to another, diversities of tongues: and to another, the interpretation of tongues.
11 And all these things worketh one and the selfsame Spirit, distributing to every man severally as he will.

Related Scripture:

1 Corinthians 12:3 : Matthew 16:17; Mark 9:31
1 Corinthians 12:3 : John 13:15; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Philippians 2:11
1 Corinthians 12:11 : Romans 12:3; Ephesians 4:7

Brethren:

In verse three we read the word execrable, which according to Webster's Dictionary, Ed. 1913, means to be accursed. Recall if you will Jesus speaking upon the unpardonable sin. (See Matthew 12:31-32; Mark 3:28-29)

As Paul writes to the Corinthians, only those that are filled with the Holy Spirit of God can say that Christ is Lord and Savior. Therefore conversely, all deniers would be guilty of the above-mentioned sin.

Now, make note friends, that as we've seen in various studies that the reference to being all one body in Christ, we are all different parts of that body. Paul now further elaborates some of the various parts each of us might have, and to be used by our Creator.