1 corinthians

Chapters 1-2

“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.” (1:27-29) This is Paul talking about grace and the foolishness of the gospel versus status and the wisdom of the world. And then he references one of my favourite verses – Jeremiah 9:24. It’s worth taking it from v.23 because it bookends Paul’s thoughts so nicely; “This is what the Lord says: ‘Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom, or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,’ declares the Lord.” To be a fool for Christ. To be humble. To know him. To know his character. This is what the Lord requires. This is perhaps the “secret wisdom” Paul refers to in 2:7. This wisdom is a gift of the Spirit of God who is also a gift to us. (v.12) It seems that Paul is saying that without the Spirit we can have no comprehension or understanding of God. [02-03-2008]

Chapters 3-4

“Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness” [Job 5:13], and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” [Psalm 94:11] (3:18-20) Good to remember these words for those times life feels like a struggle because I don’t fit in this world, and more importantly for when I find myself chasing after what the world values. “For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.” (4:20) Sometime silence can be powerful. Maybe this is why Jesus was silent before Pilate. (Matthew 27:11-14) I was wondering about this yesterday when reading the last chapters of Matthew. [09-03-2008]

Chapters 5-6

These chapters don’t waste time mincing words. Sexual immorality is like a cancer that infects the entire body of Christ – from those who are commiting sexual sin, to those who know what is going on but say or do nothing. The ripple effect touches relationships beyond those at the centre through lies, betrayal, gossip and secrecy. The damage is far reaching. (5:6b) We don’t do a good job of talking about these issues. We say Don’t, but rarely do we explain the reasons Why Not. The harsh instruction of 1:13 seems at odds with the message of God’s love and forgiveness, until we remember that he is also a just and holy God and can not be in the presence of sin. The verses about the lawsuits seem to be Paul saying: sort it out internally. [Is it just me, or does the beginning of chapter 6 (verses 1-8) seem to interrupt the flow? Like verse 9 really should come after 5:11?] “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your body.” (6:19-20) While this is specifically about sexual sin, I think the sentiment can be applied to stewardship and self-control in general. God is sovereign over all things, including our bodies. Was talking with a friend just yesterday about being responsible in how we care for our bodies – what we eat, how we exercise, and even getting good sleep and rest. I sometimes wonder how effective we really are when we are so tired from the busyness of life and church programs. How well do we listen to others? How sensitive are we to the promptings of the Spirit? How many of us are hovering on burn out? Adequate rest is a biggie for me – tiredness can affect my mood and outlook. So, sitting here at the foolish hour of 11:55pm I am going to bed. [16-03-2008]

Leave a Comment