The (too?) Familiar Words of 1 Corinthians 11

How often have we heard the words spoken before the Lord’s Supper? And like with anything that becomes familiar, how often are they overlooked?

This week we come upon the words of institution for the sacrament of communion. These are words passed on to Paul that he has then given to the church. In choosing what the memory verses would be, I thought this would give us a good opportunity to memorize and study anew these words. Maybe memorizing them will be easy for some, since they are familiar. But even though we know the words, memorizing them is another story.

It’s the difference between hearing a song on the radio and being able to sing along and having no music playing and being able to sit down and write the lyrics. To be able to produce on our own these great words will help us to appreciate what can so easily be neglected.

Memory Verse for 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 for iPhone

Paul Concludes his Section On Freedom and Responsibility

1 Cor 10.31

This week we get into Paul’s final section on the issue of freedom and responsibility for the Christian. Much of the discussion has used the issue of food and food offered to idols as the backdrop and we return there in the latter half of chapter ten.

As you read these verses, try to make sense of them in light of the preceding couple chapters. What is Paul trying to get across?

If you are looking for some takeaway, our memory verse for this week is not a bad place to start.

Memory Verse for 1 Corinthians 10:31 for iPhone

God Will Not Let Us Be Tempted Beyond What We Can Handle

Memory Verse 1 Cor 10.13

This week’s memory verse from 1 Corinthians 10 was a verse I remember memorizing when I was a kid. It is from 1 Corinthians 10:13 and it says:

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

This are hopeful words. We all face temptation and I think we are reminded here that even Jesus Christ, who became man, faced them, too. In the midst of temptation we should know that our God is faithful. He is with us and desires that we remain faithful to him, so he provides ways for us to resist temptation. It is not something we can do alone, but because he provides we do not have to be slaves to sin. We can endure because we can have patience to see it through that comes from our faith in Christ.

This is just a great verse to know by heart for God will encourage us with these words as we face the trials that surely will come in this life.

Memory Verse for 1 Corinthians 10:13 for iPhone

Racing In Order to Receive the Prize

Memory Verse 1 Cor 9.24

Paul loves his illustrations and sports are metaphors are not under-represented. Here in 1 Corinthians 9:24 he talks about runners. Running is a sport that I just don’t get. I see running as a means to an end, such as running in order to get to a soccer ball. But my personal opinion aside, running certainly has its fans and it most certainly has an ancient history.

Running is not just something you can do without any work involved. Paul’s audience knew how athletes, even ones with natural gifts, had to train themselves. If you were to enter a race, you prepare for it and put your body through intense workouts. That is Paul’s image here, but he of course, is alluding to something greater than a race. Nonetheless, that image is powerful and deserving of some thoughtful meditation and even memorization.

What race is God calling us to? What does it mean for a Christian to hit the gym in preparation for God’s work?

Memory Verse 1 Corinthians 9:24 for iPhone

A Review of the First Half of 1 Corinthians

Now halfway through 1 Corinthians, let’s get nostalgic and take a walk down memory lane.

(Quick editorial note: This is not exhaustive. But that’s why we read the Bible, not just summaries!)

Week 1 – 1 Corinthians 1:1-17

Memory Verse 1 Cor 1.1-3

Here we are introduced Paul, who writes with the authority of one who is sent by God, and to Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth and the saints every where who call upon Jesus Christ as Lord. It will be a letter tailored for Corinth, but in no way limited to this one group.

In this section we also find out one of the problems arising in this church, that is there is quarreling and divisions among the body as people are aligning themselves to certain teachers. Paul comes down clearly against this.

Week 2 – 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

Memory Verse 1 Cor 1.22-23

The response to the issues of Corinth is the cross of Jesus Christ. The cross is a message that is not always attractive, indeed it appears foolish to the world. But the “foolishness” of God is wiser than men. Therefore, we shouldn’t boast in any associations with a certain teacher, nor in ourselves. If we are to boast, we should only boast in the Lord.

Week 3 – 1 Corinthians 2:1-16

Memory Verse 1 Cor 2.12

The cross is the wisdom of God and in chapter two Paul writes how we receive this wisdom from God by his Holy Spirit. The natural person doesn’t understand the things of the Spirit, but we can have judgment and discernment because God has gifted it to us.

Week 4 – 1 Corinthians 3:1-23

Memory Verse 1 Cor 3.6

Having taught on the wisdom of God in the cross and from the Spirit, Paul returns to the issue of divisions in the church and seeks to correct Corinth’s view of Paul, and other teachers. Paul is just a worker, given a certain assignment, just like Apollos, but through it all it is God who truly is at work. They work together with a common goal, always building upon the one foundation of Jesus Christ.

Week 5 – 1 Corinthians 4:1-21

Memory Verse 1 Cor 4.7b

Paul continues on the topic of how the church should view its teachers, like Paul or Apollos. Their incorrect view has led to boasting and being puffed up. Instead Paul wants them to follow his example and make sure they do not go beyond what is written–which is an especially troublesome territory that lends to speculation and arrogance.

He doesn’t want them to think that they can continue in the way that they have gone without any oversight. Paul has some stern words about the manner in which he’d return with rebuke.

Week 6 – 1 Corinthians 5:1-13

Memory Verse 1 Cor 5.7

Corinth has had issues with divisions and quarreling and now Paul mentions the sexual immorality that has made its way into the church, like a leaven that is affecting the whole dough. To make matters worse, some think that their tolerance of sexual sin is to their credit and they boast (see a pattern?) in their behavior. Paul points them again to the cross, arguing that Christ sacrificed himself as our Passover lamb to remove the leaven–the sin–from our lives. He says the church shouldn’t embrace the sin, the very thing Christ died to remove. In fact, Paul says to cast the man who has committed the sin out of the church.

Week 7 – 1 Corinthians 6:1-20

Memory Verse 1 Cor 6.19-20

The wisdom the church ought to have received from the Spirit is not being manifested in the body as they are neglecting their call and responsibility and instead are taking their issues and submitting them to secular courts. This is a poor witness to the world about the call of God’s church to be judges of all things, and it is shameful that the world sees the sinful practices that should not be part of the kingdom of God.

Perhaps quoting the Corinthians’ argument, Paul confronts the notion that freedom in Christ makes all things permissible now. It is true that we have freedom in Christ, but we are freed from sin, not for sin. Some practices may be allowed, but that does not mean it is good for the person or for the body. After all, our body is not our own, rather we have been bought with a price. The believer is now, miraculously, a temple of the Holy Spirit, so we should glorify God with our bodies.

Week 8 – 1 Corinthians 7:1-40

Memory Verse 1 Cor 7.22

Having discussed sins, and specifically sexual sins, that are not in line with the kingdom of God, Paul turns toward some questions the Corinthians had and teaches about what sort of sexual relationships are appropriate. He relates these questions to the broader issue of our calling in Jesus Christ. Whether married or single, and Paul then goes on to include Jew or Greek and slave or free, we all have callings. Paul may encourage singleness, but to him it comes down to our ability to serve God wholeheartedly.

Week 9 – 1 Corinthians 8:1-13

Memory Verse 1 Cor 8.6

The topic of freedom in Christ comes up again and this time in relation to the eating of food offered to idols. Here Paul urges people to consider sacrificing their “right” to do what is greater: to love their brothers and sisters. If they use their knowledge to disregard the needs of others, they are puffed up and sinning not only against their fellow believer, but against Christ as well, since we are all members of his body.

So there you have it. Eight chapters down, eight more to go. If I missed something that stood out to you, don’t let me get away with it!

Paul now in chapter nine continues the discussion of our freedoms and rights, and how we at times ought to sacrifice our rights for a greater purpose.

Bible Memorization Helps Flavor Our Speech

Memory Verse 1 Cor 7:22

This last week I had multiple conversations about how the language we use tends to reflect the language and words we around–both the speech we hear and text we read. This is all the more reason to devote ourselves to God’s word. We should let it sink deep within us and allow it to then flavor our own speech.

Memorization is a wonderful means to accomplish this goal.

That being said here is this week’s memory verse for chapter seven.

Memory Verse 1 Cor 7:22 for iPhone