1 Corinthians 6:1-8

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, May 29, 2023 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

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

Paul just rebuked the believers in the Corinthian church for letting the sexual sin of incest not only exist in their church but being boastful about it in the last section. Now, he continues his lecture to them by getting into how to handle legal disputes among them.

There are a few important things to note before digging into the details of this passage. Paul makes it clear up front in verse 1 that what he’s saying only applies to disputes among believers. This does not apply when an unbeliever is involved in the dispute. Additionally, this section only refers to non-criminal disputes. He implies in Romans 13:3-4 that criminal cases should be handled by the government. The legal matters referred to in this section are property or civil disputes.

However, by using the phrasing “how dare you,” Paul is strongly urging believers to take their legal matters before Christians who can help them, rather than commanding them. So there is still a door left open for Christians to take cases to the secular courts in some situations. Roman law of Paul’s day allowed Jews to use their own authorities to settle property disputes. It’s likely that this same line of thought would apply to Christians, as they weren’t yet that far removed from the Jewish traditions at this point. Paul was also a Roman citizen, so he would have been able to use the Roman courts as well for any legal matters.

Today, we have a very different system than the Jews and early Christians in the first century. There are no specific religious courts in our society that Christians can use to handle our legal matters. Paul’s concern for the early believers at Corinth was how this would affect things at the second coming of Christ (verse 2). If believers can’t even handle small civil matters among themselves, how will we with Christ judge the world one day? We have become co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17), so we will reign and judge the world with Him when the end of times comes. So if they can’t even handle these petty little earthly matters, how will they judge on that day?

Paul emphasizes his case even more in verse 3, where he points out that Christians will judge angels. However, Paul does not give us any details of what exactly that means. Perhaps it means that Christians will have a part in judging the devil and his fellow fallen angels. Or, this may mean that Christians will rule over the heavenly angels with Christ someday, as we are co-heirs with Him.

Scholars disagree on the tone of what Paul says in verse 4, whether he is being sarcastic or as a rhetorical question. Either way, an “outside” judge, meaning an unbeliever, would have a different worldview than those who have faith in Christ. They will likely see matters in a different light, and they would not necessarily be looking at matters through a perspective of God’s love and justice as a believer would.

In verses 5-6, Paul lets them know that they should be ashamed of themselves for not being able to handle these matters within the church. There should be some believer among them who is wise enough to handle this! That would be much better than having Christian brothers fighting with each other in front of the secular courts over a small matter that probably isn’t important in the grand scheme of things. That gives the believers a bad name and does not represent the name of Jesus well to those who do not yet have faith in Him.

Paul does recognize in verse 7 that legal matters may need to be handled at times, but the fact that they are having these disputes among fellow believers shows their spiritual immaturity. They are not living out the love that God has shown them when they cause injustices to happen among their fellow believers. He points out in verse 8 that some of those believers are the ones who are causing these injustices and the need for legal authorities to step in. Their love for their fellow believers should be strong enough that they would be willing to suffer some wrongs against them for the sake of unity in the church.

How do we apply this passage to our modern world? Does this mean that believers should never take another believer to court for any reason? Depending on the situation, that answer could be yes. Jesus gave us a process for handling disputes among believers in Matthew 18:15-20. If all of us truly followed that and did our best to love one another with the love of Christ, then there would be little need for believers to take one another to court.

However, the problem is that we don’t follow that procedure from Jesus and we don’t always love one another as we should. We are spiritually immature and we are weak when tempted by the ways of this world. But as believers in Christ, we should be different than the nonbelievers in our society. We should hold ourselves and each other to a higher standard – the standard of being obedient to God in all things out of love and honor for Him.

We do have a court process that we can use when dealing with unbelievers, and I believe that also applies to those who may be Christians in name only who are not truly striving to live out their faith. But we should be careful to practice spiritual maturity and follow the instructions of Jesus before immediately turning to the secular ways of this world to handle matters among our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, just as Paul encourages the Corinthians to do.

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Building Godly Saints

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, May 26, 2023 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

One of the most tragic things we are seeing today is the all-to-common display of being religious without God. I wrote about Christian Atheists several years ago, and I emphasized the issue of letting God be our Savior, but we do everything else as though God does not exist; we do not consult Him or even let Him have some input. That is not how the Christian life is to be lived. The Christian life is meant to be a process of sanctification – of growing closer to Christ and more in holiness. While we have a role to play in this process, this blog post is more about how God builds His saints, which is His side of the sanctification process.

Paul describes each of us, the believer individually and collectively, as the temple of the Holy Spirit. We are supposed to be those in whom God dwells. The fact that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit should make us understand the image of the physical temple that Solomon built. The stones for the temple, dug from the quarry, were cut and carved at the quarry so that no human made cutting tool would be seen or heard on the actual temple site. Obviously for the temple itself, stones had to be cut and carved for the pillars, walls, roof, etc., but God would not allow anyone to do such cutting on site. All the cutting had to be done at the quarry and then the stones transported to the temple site. Think about that. Think about the engineering genius it took to do that. No army of modern architects could do that today!

Whenever Israel built altars for spontaneous worship, with the exception of the Altar of the Tabernacle/Temple, these altars were to be constructed with uncut stones. No human tool was to be used on those altars for cutting the stones or even for making mortar to hold the stones together. I remember seeing the artistic depictions of the heroes of the Old Testaments worshiping at their altars, and they look like a mason put them all together: smooth, neatly stacked, and mortared like a rock wall. That’s actually not what the command describes for how to build altars. Instead, they are supposed to be built with mere naturally formed rocks.

I picture Jesus thinking of this as He wrapped up the Sermon on the Mount: how we are to build upon rock instead of sand. Sand is merely rock that has been broken down and ground to powder and fine grains. The issue of building upon rock is that it is solid and doesn’t move, nor does it bend or conform to our desires. We have to build in accordance to the rock, not make the rock conform to our dream building. That is what happens when we build with sand. Sand is easy to mold and easy to shape. But it also easily erodes away. It is easy to remove, and anything built upon sand will collapse when the wrong storm hits.

When God builds His saints, He does not want input from them on how to do what He is doing. He is the potter; we are the clay. He is the builder; we are the stones. He does not use human “tools” or human “designs” to build. He uses His tools and His designs. Our job is to submit to His design. As God deals with and removes the sin, the dross, the impurities, and all that junk that will only weaken the pure material, it is going to hurt, but it will be extremely worth it. God is building a temple for Himself, and He is using us believers as the stones for it.

But one thing God will not use as a building material is chocolate. C.T. Studd wrote one of the most sensational essays I know of about the Christian life, called The Chocolate Soldier. I cannot recommend reading this enough. Studd writes how chocolate is wonderfully sweet, lovely, and desirable to eat, but it makes for a terrible building material when strength is needed. The Christian is not to be a softy that goes weak and wobbly in times of heat. Heat is only to cure us and make us stronger. Studd gives multiple Biblical examples of those who were made of chocolate and those who were made of the Godly stuff.

Today, most of Christendom wants us to be chocolate. They want us to be sweet, unoffensive, kind, easy to get along with, and easy to mold and shape. Instead, we need to be solid, firm, unwavering, and unyielding in our pursuit of Christ. The supposed 11th Commandment of “Thou shalt be nice” does not come at the expense of the other Ten, as many proclaim by practice or words. I’m not saying we should not be kind and loving, but I do see over and over again that people will attack our position as being “unkind” and “unloving” when in reality, what they really mean is, “You are not letting me live my life as I want.” God does not build His saints with such soft character. He knows what He wants each person to be doing and what they will face, so He is going to do what needs to be done to get them ready for it. The coach of a sport, who understands what the game or competition is going to be like, prepares his athletes to be able to play the game at full strength for the duration. Why should we expect God to do differently?

But God is not going to cater His training and His building to our whims and desires. Instead, He creates the job and purpose for us based on the character and drives that He put in us. God needed someone who would have such great zeal for the Gospel that absolutely nothing would faze him or slow him down, so he created a man for that job: Paul. Every time God used a man (or woman), He used that man as He designed him. He did not allow man’s molding of another to play a factor. Understand that God is not the only designer of a man; so is the world. And the world will always seek to conform man to its image, just as God created man in His image. God has His own tools to make the stones for His temple; the world has its own tools. God does not want any of man’s tools, any of the world’s tools, used on the stones for His temple. He will not let sinful man corrupt His creations.

Does that mean we have to be perfect for God to use us? Yes and no. Yes, in that God’s standards are perfection and that He will bring us into a point of perfection. No, in that it is not dependent upon us to be perfect. We have only two obligations: to believe and obey. There is a story of a man who used two pots to carry water to water the king’s plants. But one pot leaked through a crack. The man would use the full jar to water the plants and only half the water of the cracked pot was used. The cracked pot asked the man why he kept using him when he leaked and could not be used to fully water the king’s plants. The man said he knew of the pot’s crack and always carried him on the same side of the path, where he had planted seeds. That cracked pot had been watering the path all along. God knows our strengths and our weaknesses, and He uses them to build precisely how we will be maximally useful for His kingdom and His purposes. God builds His way, and He has chosen us to be part of His construction. Let us worship Him for such a privilege.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.


1 Corinthians 5:9-13

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, May 22, 2023 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.
What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”
- 1 Corinthians 5:9-13

The part of Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church that we’re looking at today is definitely a continuation of the previous section, so make sure you go back and read that part first for the context. The short version is that there was someone claiming to be a believer in their church who was committing incest, and the other believers were allowing that to happen and perhaps even celebrating it. Paul gave them a pretty harsh rebuke for the fact that they had not properly punished this man’s sin.

Verse 9 is the verse that scholars say indicates that there was a letter that Paul wrote to them before 1 Corinthians. Paul clearly says “I wrote to you in my letter,” indicating that there was a letter written prior to this one. However, the verb in Greek could also point to something that he wrote previously in this same letter. Scholars do not have any additional evidence of this previous letter, but it is still possible that it exists but was not considered worthy of the canon of Scripture or did not pass the canon test, so it has been lost to time.

But as for the content that Paul is writing to the people, he gives them more clarity on this situation of sexual immorality in their midst. It is clear that the believers in Corinth did not fully understand what it meant to not associate with sexually immoral people. The city of Corinth was notorious for being full of immorality of all kinds, so following that command would have been exceedingly difficult!

Paul makes an important distinction here in verse 10, that he’s not referring to the worldly people who are immoral, i.e. unbelievers. He also clarifies by referring specifically to other types of immorality – the greedy, swindlers, or idolaters. If Paul had truly meant that the believers could not even associate socially with people committing all those types of immorality, then they could not have continued to function as people in their society!

The point Paul is making here is that people who are willingly and actively committing sexual or other types of immorality should not be welcomed into the church community as brothers and sisters. If unbelievers do those things, it’s because they are chasing after the things of this world, not following Jesus. If believers do those things willfully while claiming to follow Christ, that is an entirely different thing.

Paul clarifies this even more in verse 11, telling them that they must not associate with people committing those types of immorality who claim to be a brother or sister. That’s the important part – whether the person claims to be a follower of Jesus or not. While Christians are not to completely dissociate from the world, they are to make sure that such sins are not infiltrating their fellowship. If people are actively pursuing such immorality and sinfulness, that will only corrupt those who are striving to follow Jesus.

Paul further commands them to not even eat with those immoral people. This eating could be referring to sharing a meal together, which is a symbol of sharing community. Or it could be referring to the Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion. Taking Holy Communion together unites them in the faith, and those who are actively committing immorality should not be united with those who are striving to live lives that are pleasing to God. There need to be some boundaries so that the true followers are not being drawn away from the faith by those who choose to live in evil ways.

In verses 12-13, Paul makes another important distinction. Believers who are in the church are not to judge those outside the church. Spiritual discipline only applies to fellow believers, those who have committed to follow Jesus along with us. Through our faith, we make ourselves subject to Jesus, and we desire to be obedient to Him because of what He has done for us. Those who do not have such faith are not in that kind of position, therefore we are not to judge them as they are outside the fellowship of believers.

But that is not to say that those outside the church will not be judged. God will take care of judging them on Judgment Day. While it is our responsibility as believers to share the good news of the gospel message of Jesus Christ with them so that they, too, can join our fellowship and experience the salvation that only comes from God, it is not our responsibility to judge their actions before they become believers.

The quotation provided at the end of verse 13 (“Expel the wicked person from among you”) is an adaptation of Deuteronomy 22:24 and Deuteronomy 24:7. In both of those references, it says, “You must purge the evil from among you.” If the immoral person remains in their fellowship, the rest of the people are much more likely to be corrupted by those immoral actions.

This passage definitely seems harsh to our modern ears. We may respond with, “But how is that showing God’s love to the person who is sinning if we kick them out of the church?” If it is helping them follow God’s rules for living, then it is showing them God’s love. If we let that person remain in our fellowship, what negative consequence is there for their wrongdoing? How will they learn that they should not willfully commit those immoral acts?

Sometimes, God calls us to this tough love for the sake of other believers. If you have new believers in your fellowship and they see a more mature believer committing sexual immorality, the new believers will see the body’s acceptance of that immorality and learn that it is ok, when in fact it is not. We must strive to put evil out of our midst so that it does not corrupt those within the church. We are still called to love that person and of course we should continue to pray for them, but sometimes the most loving thing that can be done is speaking God’s truth into their life, and being ready to welcome them back into the body of believers when we see evidence of their repentance.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.


Because I am the Lord

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, May 19, 2023 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Over the past two weeks, I wrote about distinguishing the holy from the unholy and living differently. Today, I take that main concept and give the proper reason for it: because God is the Lord. We are to avoid and shun sin because God is the Lord. We are to do good because God is the Lord. Many people may argue that this is not a good enough reason, but in truth, it is the only reason we should need. God is God. He is the Creator of this universe. He made each and every one of us. He is the potter; we are the clay. Who are we to tell God what He can or cannot do with us? God rules over all, and because He is Lord, He gets to make the calls.

I caught something when I was reading through Leviticus. Leviticus 18 is the infamous chapter about sexual immorality, but at the end of the chapter, God warns Israel that they were about to go conquer Canaan not because they were special but because the Canaanites were wicked people doing these very sins. God also warned Israel that if they did the same things, they would be spit out for the same reason. God concludes the chapter in verse 30 saying all that would happen because God is the Lord. Chapter 19 then lists several commands of what not to do and several commands of what to do. Each, if not all of them, are commanded because “I am the Lord.” That phrase “I am the Lord,” in justifying why those commands were issued, is repeated 11 times between Leviticus 18:30 and chapter 19.

We are to be obedient to the Lord because He is the Lord. We are to shun evil deeds because He is the Lord. There is no other reason that we need to be obedient to God. While every command does have a logical reason for it that we may not see until we get the fuller picture, all we need to know is to obey God because God is the Lord. He is the God over all gods. He is the Lord over all lords and the King over all kings. He spoke the entire universe into existence, and it obeys Him at His word. Man is the only creature that dares to defy God. The wind and the waves obey God. The sun, moon, and stars obey God. As R.C. Sproul once said, “There is not a single rogue atom in this universe.” Yet, there we are, mankind, who day after day defies God in our wretched sin. And then we have the gall to complain to God that His commands are unfair, unjust, and too restrictive.

The commands of God are not burdensome. They are not a heavy burden. They are life and life abundant. To the Christian, the commandments of God are supposed to be a joy. We don’t like them because we still have sin and rebellion in us. Sin defies God for no other reason than God said it. If anyone else said the same thing, it’s not a problem. Sin hates it because God said it. But to the Christian, we are commanded to be dead to sin and alive to Christ. Jesus said that to love Him is to obey His commandments, and He does not make those commands a heavy burden. Why? Because if He is living in us, He is doing the heavy lifting. The Christian life is Jesus living His life in and through us. So, we really are just going along for the ride and participating in it.

For the past 2 ½ years, my pastor has been preaching through the book of Exodus, occasionally taking time to go through other things while in the midst of it, and as of writing this article, we are in the Ten Commandments. One thing that he has pointed out that I never really saw before was that Israel was not just saved from slavery. Israel was saved so that they may serve the Lord. This is a theme throughout Exodus and their entry into the Promised Land. Israel was not delivered from slavery in Egypt to just be free people doing whatever they wanted to do. They were delivered from slavery so they would be God’s people, to be His messengers to the world, and to be the people who would reveal Him. Israel was to obey God and to worship God because He is the Lord and He is the one who delivered them from slavery. The Ten Commandments were not just meant to showcase the moral standards but to show how the Christian life is meant to be lived.

That same purpose is carried on to us. As a lamb’s blood was smeared on the doorposts to have the angel of death pass over the houses of Israel, so the Lamb of God’s blood was smeared on the cross so that God’s judgment upon sin would pass over us. As Israel was delivered by the mighty hand of God from slavery in Egypt, so we are delivered by the mighty power of the Holy Spirit from slavery to sin. And as Israel was given commands on how to live under their new master, the Lord, so we are given commands on how to live under our new master, Jesus Christ. If we proclaim Jesus to be Lord, why do we struggle with obeying Him? If Jesus is our Savior, why are we not grateful enough to Him to be obedient to Him? The answer is simple, and Israel provides the example: God needed to take Israel through the wilderness not merely to get them out of Egypt, but to get Egypt out of them. Israel still returned to the idolatrous practices they had learned while in Egypt including making that dreaded golden calf. Likewise, we still retain our sin, and it takes the wilderness of the Christian life on this earth to work that sin out of us in a process we call sanctification.

God is the Lord. He is the ruler and the king. We are to serve Him and obey Him if for no other reason that He is the Lord. Even the sinful man is to be obedient to the Lord because He is the Lord. God is God; there is no other. God is the Lord; we won’t get another one. He is not going to resign, nor will He let another steal His glory. His commands are final, and there is no appeal to change them. The only appeal we have is to plead for His mercy on His terms. He is the Lord. Everything is done His way, even if we rebel against Him. Our job is to submit to Him and to believe Him because He is the Lord. He sets the rules. He is the potter; we are the clay. Who are we to tell our Creator what to do? I praise the Lord that He chose to save me. As for me, I will serve the Lord, and it is a pleasure and a joy to obey His commands.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.


1 Corinthians 5:1-8

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, May 15, 2023 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this? For my part, even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. As one who is present with you in this way, I have already passed judgment in the name of our Lord Jesus on the one who has been doing this. So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.
Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
- 1 Corinthians 5:1-8

Just before this section, Paul rebukes the Corinthian church for potentially listening to false teachers. He threatens to discipline them when he comes there next, though that choice is theirs; would they straighten up before then, or keep being arrogant and listening to false teachers?

In the passage we’re looking at today, Paul brings down some judgment on them for another big sin: putting up with a man who committed incest. The Corinthian church was no stranger to sexual immorality. The city of Corinth was known for its “loose living,” which is really not that much different than the United States today.

In verse 1, we see what the situation is: a man has been sleeping with his father’s wife. The Greek word used here is porneia, which refers to any kind of sexual relations outside of marriage. The wording in Greek also indicates that this woman was the man’s stepmother, not his biological mother. Paul states that this was such a detestable thing to do that not even the pagans would tolerate this!

But rather than the Corinthian church being ashamed of this awful sin occurring in their midst, they were actually proud of it (verse 2)! Paul had just rebuked them for their arrogance a few verses ago, but they need to hear it again, especially in this context. They should have been in mourning for their brother in Christ who committed this sin, but they were proud of it. They should have immediately put them out of their congregation, but they didn’t. The Corinthian church clearly needed an attitude adjustment. They needed to shift their focus from the culture around them to God’s ways.

Paul is not physically present with the Corinthians, which is why he’s writing this letter, but he knows enough about the situation there to pass his judgment on the offending man (verse 3). He has been with them before and knows their hearts, and he is likely also discerning this judgment from what the Spirit is telling him.

Paul reminds them of his authority again in verse 4 when he says, “I am with you in spirit.” He has apostolic authority over them as one of their leaders. But at the same time, he is not the primary authority; that role is left to Jesus. This is indicated when he said the judgment is “in the name of the Lord Jesus” in the previous verse and “the power of our Lord Jesus” here. Church discipline is to be handled very carefully and in the name and power of the Lord Jesus.

Verse 5 appears very harsh when Paul says to “hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh.” Paul is definitely telling the church to excommunicate this man over this sin, but he is also implying that if some kind of physical punishment occurs to him, perhaps that would cause him to repent. The goal, of course, is that “his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.” There needs to be repentance in order for this man’s soul to be saved. Perhaps he could rejoin the congregation once he has repented, but for the time being, they need to keep him away so he doesn’t lead others astray.

Paul continues the reprimand in verse 6, again condemning the people for their boasting about this. He brings up a metaphor of yeast, which is generally equated to sin in Scripture (i.e., Matthew 16:6). Just as a little bit of yeast can work through the whole batch of dough, so one person’s sin can work through the entire congregation.

What’s the solution to this problem? Remove that yeast from the dough (verse 7). If they remove the person committing such an awful sin, then it won’t infect them anymore. Then the church will be unleavened – no yeast (no sin) – which is how they should be. They were removed from participating in the culture of the world when they became believers and became new creations in Christ. The only way they can be purified into this new creation is through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, who was the once-and-for-all Passover lamb.

Paul ties this all together in verse 8: “Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” Keeping the festival refers to recognizing Jesus as that sacrifice that can bring them forgiveness of their sins. They don’t remember Jesus as their sacrifice through sinful ways but rather with sincerity and truth.

Paul’s urging them to “keep the Festival” tells them that they should live their Christian lives by sacrificing their worldly ways and being as holy as possible (see also Romans 12:2 and 1 Peter 2:5). In order to do this, such sin as this man committed cannot be tolerated in their congregation. It must be disciplined in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Our world today is caught up in sin just like the culture of Corinth was in the first century. What sins are we allowing in our congregations, rather than removing them? What sins are the yeast that spreads among our dough? If we see others doing something that is tolerated by the Christians in leadership over us, then we may assume it’s okay to do that and continue that sin. This is not acceptable in God’s eyes. Perhaps the Church today needs this same rebuke that Paul gave to the Corinthians.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.


Live Differently

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, May 12, 2023 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Following up from last week, there is a problem when our preachers do not teach us how to distinguish the holy from the unholy. One of the central messages of the Bible is to live differently from everyone else. A severe problem with modern evangelicalism is that we are so focused on Jesus dying for our sins, which yes is an absolutely central thing, that we do not look at other central issues. A few months ago, I wrote about other central messages in the Bible. One of them is that we must live differently from the world and its culture. It is not enough to just say, “I believe in Jesus.” We have to live in obedience to Jesus. I’m not calling for legalism nor perfection, nor am I saying that “Jesus started the salvation process, but it is up to us to keep it.” Jesus said that those who He knows are those who obey Him, not those who merely claim His name.

The Sermon on the Mount is considered the most profound and life-changing sermon ever given, especially to the original audience. Jesus corrected many false teachings that the Pharisees had put on the people, and He took the Law and showcased its original purpose. Anyone can hate an enemy, but we are to love them. It’s not enough to restrain yourself from choking the holy snot out of them; even that desire is murder. It’s not enough to refrain from having sex with someone who is not your Biblically married spouse; just the picturing the act in your mind is committing the adultery in your heart. We are not to worry about our food, health, clothing, or shelter. We are instead to focus on God and let Him provide for us. We are also to test what we hear because not all teachers are genuine, and they actually seek to devour us. All of these ideas have one central theme: you are to be different from everyone else around you, not just the worldly peers, but even your religious peers. So many youth in youth groups are totally lost because they compare themselves to those who are just as worldly and ungodly as those outside the church. And before someone says, “Who made you holier than thou?” Well, as my former pastor said once, “We need people who are ‘holier than thou.’”

The more I have read the Bible, the more I see this theme of how we must be different. God told the children of Israel over and over again to drive out the Canaanites because of how readily and easily they would lead Israel astray. Over and over again, God said, “Don’t live like them.” Many people today do not like Leviticus 18 because it shuts down all forms of sexual deviancy. But most who read that chapter tend to miss the last third of it. After God describes the sexual sins, He told Israel that the Canaanites were committing these sins. God was giving Israel the promised land partly because they were special but also because Canaan was wicked. But if Israel committed those sexual sins, God would remove them from the land as well. It wasn’t just the idolatry. Idolatry and sexual sins are often interlinked.

“But that’s Old Testament. We are not under the Law.” Really? Let’s look at the New Testament then. It’s still the same message. Romans 12:2: Do not conform to the world, or to the pattern of this world. James 4:4: Friendship with the world is enmity with God. The book of Acts actually goes into depth on this very issue. Acts 15 is the second “church fight” recorded in church history. The Judaizers wanted the Gentile believers to get circumcised, and the Gentile believers replied that the point of that was for you to be separate, and you aren’t doing it yourselves. The Apostles convened to discuss this. Their decision was that the Gentiles were not to be required to be circumcised because that went with other laws that the Judaizers and the Jewish believers were never able to keep anyway. That said, there still needed to be separation, so they commanded the Gentile believers to have nothing to do with idols, to restrain from blood, to restrain from strangled animals (in their fight for life, animals being strangled would produce adrenaline that would affect the meat, so it was often used in idolatrous practices to get “power”), and to avoid sexual immorality. There still had to be separation from the world. While the Jews were separated from the rest of the world due to their language, culture, laws, etc., and while today we no longer need to follow the ceremonial or Israeli-kingdom laws, the moral laws still apply to us as Gentile believers, and we still need to be different from the world around us.

God’s commands to live differently are accessible. They are understandable. They are clear – so clear that we tend to not like them because they stop our sinful desires from being able to do what they want to do. God’s expectations for us to live are clear. They are not ambiguous; they are not mean-spirited; they are not “limiting”; they are life and life abundant. They are not some distant, vague, and unknowable thing. They are near to us, and to the born-again believer, they are dear to us. Jesus said His yoke is easy, and His burden is light. God commands are not a burden to the believer. They are a joy. God’s word is not some unrelatable book to some distant tribe no one knows anything about, but it is a treasure to our heart that we cherish and love. Yes, it draws some thick lines, but those are for our benefit, to guide us into true freedom and a productivity and action that we could not dream of being without.

Live differently. That will mean you will stand out, stick out, and have a target on your back in a world that loves mediocrity and for no one to rock the boat. But nobody who just mingled in the world ever did anything of any value. God wants us to be different. We are in this world, but we are not of this world. We live here temporarily in enemy territory, seeking to save souls from destruction before God comes to wipe it all out. If we remain attached to this world, when God comes to destroy it, we will go down with it. Do not get attached to it lest they pull you down with them, which is precisely what they desire.

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1 Corinthians 4:14-21

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, May 8, 2023 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

I am writing this not to shame you but to warn you as my dear children. Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I urge you to imitate me. For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.
Some of you have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you. But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline, or shall I come in love and with a gentle spirit?
- 1 Corinthians 4:14-21

Paul delivered some pretty harsh words to the believers at Corinth in the previous section. He called out their boasting of their faith, and how they were acting as if they were more mature than they actually were, and he shared how humbled he and the other leaders were in contrast to that. Now, Paul moves on from that to explain to the Corinthians how they could correct this in their lives.

Paul begins in verse 14 by sharing his intent in writing his harsh words in the previous section – not to shame them but to warn them. He was only harsh with them because he needed to be for their own sake. Their actions could produce serious negative consequences for their lives, and Paul loves them enough to speak the truth in love to them. He knows that there cannot be love without truth, and there cannot be truth without love, so he follows up that hard truth with an expression of love for these believers.

In verse 15, Paul recognizes that they have not had a lot of good influences (“fathers”) up to that point in their Christian walk. But because Paul is their spiritual father, he feels that he has the right and the responsibility to correct them when he sees them going astray. This idea is important for us today as well. We often want to correct anybody and everybody who we see doing something that we think is not good for their faith, but the relationship piece is vitally important. We need to have earned the right and responsibility to speak the truth in love into that person’s life through having a Christian relationship with them.

Because of this relationship, Paul commands the Corinthian believers to become imitators of him in verse 16. Back in verse 6, Paul shared that he and Apollos are examples for them to follow, but here he provides a stronger command regarding that.

But Paul knows that they need to have living people as examples to follow rather than just his letters, which is why he tells them in verse 17 that he’s sending Timothy to them. Paul is also Timothy’s spiritual father. If Timothy has been trained to imitate Paul, and the Corinthians imitate Timothy, then the Corinthians in turn will be imitating Paul, who is their primary physical example for living out the Christian life.

There is some debate among scholars as to whether Timothy was the messenger who delivered this letter to the church in Corinth. The fact that Paul says he sent Timothy could imply that Timothy was the one with whom he sent the letter. But the Greek verb also could be taken to mean that Paul sent Timothy in the past before he sent the letter. This is supported by the fact that Paul does not mention Timothy in the greetings of this letter, implying that Timothy was not with Paul when this letter was written.

But regardless of how Timothy and this letter got to the church in Corinth, Timothy is there to be a faithful witness to the people. Timothy will remind them ot how Paul lives out his Christian life and the fact that Paul practices what he preaches. Paul is not simply giving them instructions to follow that he himself ignores, but Paul is living this out. He knows it can be done, but he also knows that the believers in Corinth need some extra help to figure out how to live obedient lives to God.

Paul knows that some of the Corinthian believers have become arrogant in their faith (verse 18), as evidenced by his rant in the previous section. There were false teachers among the church who were trying to undermine Paul’s authority. They likely thought they could get away with it once Paul was no longer present with them, but Paul found out about that and saw that this needed to be corrected.

Because of that, Paul promised to come visit them again soon, Lord willing (verse 19). While sending Timothy would be a good first step, Paul knew that the situation in Corinth was much more severe and would require him to personally visit, assess the situation, and make corrections as needed. While this letter would serve as a warning, Paul knew through discernment by the Holy Spirit that it would not be enough to correct their ways.

False teachers can easily become a powerful force for evil in the church, so Paul needed to be there in person to fix that rather than simply talking about it in a letter. “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power” (verse 20). When a child needs to be disciplined, which is a more effective punishment – using words or laying down an actual punishment? Talk is cheap, as the saying goes, and Paul knew that back in the first century. He could not let the kingdom of God in Corinth be ruined by false teachers who were spreading lies about him and about the message of the Christian faith.

Paul was definitely coming to visit the believers in Corinth, but the tone of his visit would be their choice. In verse 21 he writes, “What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline, or shall I come in love and with a gentle spirit?” If they don’t correct their ways before Paul arrives, he would show up with the rod of discipline to correct their ways. But if they get the problem taken care of on their own (and with Timothy’s help) before Paul gets there, he would be much more gentle toward them. It’s their choice based on their actions after receiving this letter. Would they listen to Paul’s words, truly take them to heart, and change their ways? Or would they keep on letting the false teachers ruin them and being boastful of themselves?

What would you do in your own life? Have you received a rebuke like this before? How did you respond to it? Sometimes, harsh words (even spoken in love) can cause us to become defensive, caught up in our own pride that we are right in that situation. Or, if we are following Paul’s instructions, we should receive reprimand when it is needed and change our ways. The mark of a disciple of Jesus is a true desire to follow Him, no matter what that looks like in our lives.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.


Distinguish the Holy from Unholy

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, May 5, 2023 1 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

We live in a post-modern culture where truth cannot be known and that all things are up to one’s own understanding, thinking, and preferences. The very concepts of right and wrong are blurred. This mindset has not merely crept into the church but nearly completely overtaken it. It has become increasingly difficult to find a church where the preacher actually says, “Thus says the Lord” and preaches straight from Scripture, rightly dividing it, correctly interpreting it, and then applying that truth to our lives. Instead, most of what is out there is one man’s opinion, often in direct violation of what God actually said. Then when someone calls them out on it and says what God actually said, the reply is, “I don’t reject what God said; I reject your interpretation of it.” One of the main jobs of a prophet, a priest, or a preacher is to declare what God said and to draw the line between what is holy and what is unholy. There is so much mixture today that few actually believe that such a line can be drawn.

Leviticus 10 is the account of Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu giving strange fire before the Lord and being killed on the spot for not being obedient to God’s commands. Nadab was in line to be the next high priest and had seen the presence of God while he was with Moses and Aaron at times when God showed Himself. Yet for some reason, both he and his brother thought they could do things their own way, and it cost them their lives. In this fierce rebuke, God tells Moses and Aaron to not mourn their deaths because of their disobedience, but that the job of the priest was to teach the people how to distinguish the clean from the unclean, the holy from the unholy.

It is very hard to find people out there who are willing to draw the line and say, “This is of God and that is not, and here is where God shows us what is what.” Anything that comes from God is good and true. Anything that does not have its origin in God, even what appears good, is corrupt and skeptic at best. Many will argue, “How do we know if its from God or not?” The simple answer is to read the Bible. One pastor I know gives this guideline: “If you want to know what the will of God is, take a look at what the world is doing and do the opposite. You will be pretty close.” One big clue about what is clean and holy versus unclean and unholy is whether it is something the world’s system promotes and teaches.

In the days of the Old Testament, the world’s culture was marked by the surrounding nations, particularly their idolatrous practices. Over and over again, God told Israel to destroy their idols and to destroy all the high places where idols were worshiped. God knew what would happen if those cultures remained around, and yet Israel never did fully chase them out and destroy them all. As a result, they kept turning back to idolatry so they could be like the nations around them. The question lingers: why did they keep turning back?

The answer is rather simple: the priests were not teaching how to distinguish the holy and unholy. It was a command for a king to make a physical copy of the Law by hand so he would know what God commanded of them. Yet there is no record of any king do such a thing. The only ones I can think who might have would be David, Solomon, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, and maybe Josiah after he found the book of the Law. Even then, these kings struggled to follow it even if they did make the copies. We do know that there were feasts held in Nehemiah’s day that hadn’t been kept since leaving Egypt. We know Judah went into captivity for 70 years to give 490 years their sabbath rest. That went back before David. The priests weren’t doing their job, and God had a severe message for them.

In Ezekiel 22, God calls out the false priests who refused to distinguish the holy from the unholy. He called them conspirators against God and ravenous wolves, devouring the people instead of equipping them and arming them. The only reason they lived that long was because God chose to intercede upon His own wrath to save them. There was no intercessor, no one like Moses to plead before God to save those wicked, idolatrous sinners. God sent Jesus to be that Intercessor. God chose to send Jesus to be the one who would teach things correctly. Jesus would then pass to us the Holy Spirit. One of the Spirit’s primary jobs is to convict the world of its sin. If we don’t know what is holy and unholy, we simply are not listening to God. And more than likely, if we are thinking that way, we are probably trying to harbor an idol the Holy Spirit is telling us to tear down.

But God has also allowed false teachers to remain present. It’s not merely because they are tares among the wheat and to pluck them out would pluck out the good wheat. It is also to test and prove the true and false believer. God told Moses that false prophets would regularly come, and they were to be tested by whether what they said would turn out to be true. Those that did not were to be put to death. This was rarely carried out except by true prophets like Elijah after the Mt Carmel incident. Why? Because the people didn’t carry out this command to test the prophets and stay true to God’s word.

You cannot take anything that the world and the God-hating system has created and redeem it. God has already judged it. It will burn. While God can take a sinful soul and redeem it, He is not going to redeem anything that the world has created. There is no amount of decorating anything the world gives us in Christianese to make it salvageable. Our own righteousness is as filthy rags before God; that is something good corrupted by sin. But this is worse. Instead of a good thing tarnished by evil, this is an evil thing that we attempt to make good, and that will never happen. You cannot make the unholy to be holy. Only God can make something holy, and He has already set the limits for where that line is to be drawn. Our job is to believe that line and declare it.

Teaching the difference between the holy and the unholy is one thing, but living it out is another matter. I’ll address that next week.

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What Is God's Will For Me?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, May 2, 2023 0 comments

by Eric Hansen

“What is God’s will for me?”
“How do I know God’s will for me?”
“How do I know what God wants me to do?”

These are very common questions that many Christians ask, whether they are new or seasoned believers. These questions also plagued me for years, and I only recently just discovered the answer to them. Through this blog post, I want to share my journey of how I discovered the answers to these questions and how you can discover them for yourself as well.

First, we should examine what God’s will is for Christians as a collective whole, meaning what each one of us is responsible for carrying out regardless of what spiritual gifts we are blessed with.

1 Peter 2:13-15 instructs us to submit ourselves, for the Lord’s sake, to every human authority so that by doing good we should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Now, this doesn’t mean we should blindly go along with whatever the politicians say we should follow (especially if it goes against the characteristics or attributes of God, such as supporting homosexuality or abortion). But, the idea is we should not simply rebel because we disagree with what is said or done, because through these times we can glorify God. Instead of being wrapped up in anger, judgment, or envy (for example when certain people gain favor more than others by political decisions), we should stay faithful in our dependence on our Father to demonstrate we don’t need worldly possessions to be joyous (see verses 11-12 of the same chapter).

At its core, this basically equates to the general will of God being that we are to glorify Him in and through all things – the good and the bad, the ups and the downs, the happiness and the sorrows. In apologetics, there’s the concept of the “common moral law,” meaning whether you’re a believer or not, you understand things such as murder is wrong, stealing is bad, etc. The same principle applies here in that regardless of our gifts, we all as Christians know we should glorify God in our circumstances and situations.

So now that there’s an understanding of responsibility shared between all Christians, how does the individual discover God’s will specific to them?

Through the Holy Spirit, we are given various gifts to glorify God in specific ways. While this won’t be an in-depth examination of each gift, the categorical listings are Administration, Apostleship, Helping, and Teaching (1 Corinthians 12:28); Discernment, Faith, Knowledge, Leadership, and Wisdom (1 Corinthians 12:8-10); Exhortation/Encouragement, Giving, Mercy, and Service (Romans 12:8-10); and Pastoring and Evangelism (Ephesians 4:11). Some of these gifts are mentioned in shared verses and elsewhere in the Bible, but this is a starting point toward a deeper study. There are two ways you can start examining where God may be leading you and wanting you to go, and both will happen eventually.

The first way is to look at what abilities you currently possess and what brings you joy. For me, it is programming and teaching/education. Initially, I pursued pastorship as a youth pastor, yet it didn’t feel like I was doing anything more than pounding a round peg in a triangle hole. I’ll explain a bit more of this in the next way. However, having looked at the abilities God had already blessed me with, I started asking God what ways I can use my programming skills to further God’s kingdom. This has led me to start my own freelancing/consulting business where I develop websites for nonprofits and faith-based organizations like churches, ministries, missionaries, etc.

The second way to examine where God may be leading you is to speak to one or more mature Christian people about discovering your gifts and how they can be used. When I did this, I was given an assessment quiz by each of them (to this day I’ve taken 2 different quizzes). There is no standardized assessment for this, but the questions are generally topical (i.e.: “On a scale of 1-4 how often do you help those in need?”). Each time they have come back with similar results leading more toward teaching and evangelism. So I took this as, “Hey, God’s wanting me to be a pastor!” Since then, I’ve learned there’s more than one way to teach, evangelize, and share the gospel with others.

It is important to get an outside perspective on this though. You may know yourself better than your pastor knows you, but the truth of the matter is we also tend to be our worst critics. There may be ways you can build up your gifts in “unconventional ways” as well. For example, I work in the A/V and live streaming area of my church, which has nothing to do with websites, but I can share my wisdom with others to help them grow in that position as well. I would have never gone after this if I didn’t talk to my pastor and asked how I can serve the church, and I am so far away from the pulpit that I can just focus on God’s Word.

Any Christian serious about fulfilling God’s will may often need to ask these questions and follow both of these steps. During these times, we have to remember it’s okay to ask questions and not know, as long as we seek the answer from wise believers. One of the worst things we can do as Christians is be stagnant in our faith breeding good works.

Also, it’s important to remember that God can change your gifts as He pleases. So one day you may have the gift of amazing teaching but the next you’re standing in the choir or collecting tithes, or even just sitting in the pews instead of standing in the pulpit. It’s wise to understand that God knows where we need to be and to be content with where He has us.

In the end, it really doesn’t matter what we do as long as we are obedient to God and glorify Him. As the body of Christ, we are to help each other function as a collective whole, but in all we do, we should first and foremost do it by showing God’s love to others. As we continue to grow in our faith, we should definitely seek deeper ways to glorify and demonstrate Him, but we often make it more complicated than it really needs to be. He has already revealed to us the ways in which we can do these things, we just need to start taking steps out of our comfort areas and put our dependence on Him.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.


1 Corinthians 4:6-13

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, May 1, 2023 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

Now, brothers and sisters, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other. For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?
Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! You have begun to reign—and that without us! How I wish that you really had begun to reign so that we also might reign with you! For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like those condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to human beings. We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored! To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world—right up to this moment.
- 1 Corinthians 4:6-13

Just before this passage, Paul talked about how we are to live as servants of Christ. We are not slaves; we do have the freedom to live how we want to. But as servants, we choose to be obedient to God and to submit to the authority of Jesus Christ. Here, Paul shows the Corinthian church the contrast between how he and Apollos live in this way so that the people might learn from them.

Paul begins in verse 6 by explaining how he and Apollos are to be examples to the believers. He knows that the people will learn better through example rather than abstract teachings, so they have applied these concepts to themselves to the best of their abilities. But they are only examples; the people should still look to the Scriptures first – “Do not go beyond what is written.” This phrase in Greek contains the word commonly translated as “it is written,” which would imply the entire Old Testament as well.

If the believers do continue to follow Scripture, along with the examples of Paul and Apollos, then they will treat all equally, not treating one believer better than the other based on who they follow or how well they are living out the Christian life. They will not become prideful or conceited in their own Christian walk nor that of a teacher or leader that they are following. This is what Paul was talking about just before this in verse 5: “Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.”

Paul gives 3 rhetorical questions in verse 7. The Christians in Corinth were boasting about their talents, positions, etc. so Paul puts them in their place by reminding them that everything they have received came from God. Even if we have to work for things, our abilities still come only from God. Why do we boast as though we managed to do these things on our own without God’s help? Everything that we have is truly from God and we can’t take credit for any of it.

To emphasize this point further, Paul uses irony in verse 8 to highlight their boasting. The Corinthians think they have what they need and they think they are rich; they think they’re fully mature already rather than recognizing their need to humble themselves before God. They are acting like they’re in charge of things, which Paul identifies as “reigning.” Paul takes this one step further by sharing that even he and the other apostles aren’t even in that position yet! If the ones who are teaching them aren’t even that far along in their Christian walk yet, then the spiritually immature Corinthians are definitely not at that point.

In verse 9, Paul shares how it seems like God put the apostles on display as those who would be condemned to die in the arena. In the first-century Roman world, men condemned to death would be put on display and publicly killed in the Colosseum. The word Paul uses here translated as “spectacle” alludes to that, showing the level of humility that God has already given to the apostles. With the phrasing “us apostles” here, it is likely that Paul is including Peter, Barnabas, Apollos, and other prominent Christian workers associated with spreading their message.

Paul keeps the irony going in verse 10 when he lists a few strong contrasts: “We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored!” Paul knows very well that he and the other leaders are much more spiritually mature than the Corinthian believers, though he is not boasting about that fact. Paul also knows that the Corinthians know they are less mature, which is why these statements are so powerful. If those who are actually wise are considered fools, how much more foolish are those who think they are wise but aren’t! The same applies to the contrasts of strength vs weakness and honor vs dishonor.

In verses 11-13, Paul makes sure that the Corinthians know the difficulties that he and the other leaders have gone through. He lists off physical discomforts they have experienced and then emotional ones, both of which are not easy for them to go through. For all of the verbal abuses they experienced – curses, persecution, and slander – he explains how they not only endure all of it but react in ways that are contrary to what the world says they should do.

This emphasizes that if your life is going well from an earthly perspective, that often does not come from following God. Being a believer and being obedient to God often cause what we see as difficulty in this life. Blessings do not necessarily indicate following God’s will, just as hardship and rough times do not necessarily indicate a lack of following God. Many who are still maturing in their faith often stop following God because they experience difficult times, but becoming “the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world” (verse 13) is how Paul knows that they are on the right track with following God. That resistance is the devil trying to stop them from fulfilling the mission that God has for them.

How is your life going? Are you prideful and boasting when you should be humble? Are you experiencing resistance in life because of living out the mission that God has for you? Do some self-examination this week and pray about how God is working in your life, and ask Him to correct your attitude where necessary so that you can be a better witness for Him.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.