Thursday, May 26, 2011
This coming Sunday we will be focusing on 1 Corinthians 10.1-17. In verse 13 it says: "No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it." This verse is a very reassuring verse ---- in the midst of a plethora of indictments laid against the Corinthians. For instance, in verse 9 Paul says: "We must not put Christ to the test." Paul is referencing the Israelites putting God to the test in the wilderness. Here the Corinthians are putting Christ to the test in their insistence to continue in idolatry. I agree with verse 13, where Paul says that God is faithful in those trials that we all experience in life ---- but what about when we test the Lord in our persistent turning to idolatry, arrogance, and sin? Does the Old Testament give us any clues to what happens when we continue to turn back to our own evil ways?
Thursday, May 12, 2011
This coming Sunday we will be focusing on 1 Corinthians 8.1-13. There is one famous debate that goes on in this passage ---- and that is the debate about eating food that was offered to idols. But, in reality that is not the only issue. There is a huge issue of where you eat this food. In verses 10-11 it says: "For if others see you, who possess knowledge, eating in the temple of an idol, might they not, since their conscience is weak, be encouraged to the point of eating food sacrificed to idols? So by your knowledge those weak believers for whom Christ died are destroyed." It wasn't just about the food -- but it also was about where the food was consumed. Very wealthy people would be invited to temples for parties -- and these parties had a very "public" component to them. Therefore, people could see who was attending. If these rich and "knowledgeable" Christians were seen in these temples -- apparently this would cause some to stumble. I have been racking my brain to think of scenarios that are similar for us in the 21st century -- I think I have some scenarios. But, I would love to hear what you think. In this first century situation people would be invited to these temples for parties -- and the acceptance of the invitation could cause some to fall because it would hurt one's witness. Where does this happen in our modern day context?
Thursday, May 5, 2011
This coming Sunday we will be starting back in 1 Corinthians. We took a break from 1 Corinthians during Lent ----- and now we are back. We will be focusing on 1 Corinthians 6.11-20. In this passage the Apostle Paul is looking at what it means to live a life of Christian freedom and liberty. He says in verse 12: "'All things are lawful for me,' but not all things are beneficial. 'All things are lawful for me,' but I will not be dominated by anything." We oftentimes look at freedom as having the ability to do whatever we want to do. That is a mistake as Christians. As Christians we are not free to do whatever we want to do ----- if that is the case then we are not free from ourselves. But I would love to hear what you all think it means to be free in Christ. What do you think?
Monday, May 2, 2011
In Martin Luther's book, The Freedom of a Christian Man (1520), he writes this statement: "A Christian is a perfectly free Lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all. These two theses seem to contradict each other. If, however, they should be found to fit together they would serve our purpose beautifully." Do you think that these first two statements contradict each other?