Monday’s Blog: Paul Series “1 Corinthians 11”

We continue our study of Paul’s letters this week with 1 Corinthians 11.

Paul begins exhorting the Corinthians to imitate him as he is of Christ. He then uses an example of the customs of their time (hair length and head coverings) to clarify that they are to honor and give glory to Christ, not to him or anyone else. He corrected them for this earlier in 1 Corinthians 3 when they were arguing about who they would follow. Paul’s telling them to follow his example in following Christ.

Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.  

Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you. But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ. Every man who has something on his head while praying or prophesying disgraces his head. But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved. For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head. For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake. Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God. Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him, but if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her? For her hair is given to her for a covering. But if one is inclined to be contentious, we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God.

v. 1-16 (NASB)

God has created a certain order of authority for the proper order of things to work. He is the head of Christ. Christ is the head of man. And man is the head of a woman. The Greek word for “man” is “anér” which means: “a male human being; a man, husband.” The Greek word for “woman” is “guné” which means: “a woman, wife, my lady.” Paul was saying that it is the husband’s job to be the head of his wife. A husband should be the spiritual leader in his home.

Paul continues:

But in giving this instruction, I do not praise you, because you come together not for the better but for the worse. For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that divisions exist among you; and in part I believe it. For there must also be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you. Therefore when you meet together, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper, for in your eating each one takes his own supper first; and one is hungry and another is drunk. What! Do you not have houses in which to eat and drink? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? In this I will not praise you.

For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.

Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.

So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, so that you will not come together for judgment. The remaining matters I will arrange when I come.

v. 17-33 (NASB)

With Easter coming up, we remember what Christ has done for us. The Lord’s Supper is meant to continually remind us of Christ’s sacrifice, and remind us that we have been forgiven and redeemed. Paul said that “whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord ” (v.  27 KJV).

This doesn’t mean when we feel unworthy we are not to take communion. I remember struggling with something and feel beat down. I went to church praying that it wouldn’t be the week they had communion, because I felt unworthy to receive it. When I walked into the sanctuary to sit down, I saw the bread tray out and wanted to get up and leave. As I was praying for God to forgive me and change me, my pastor said if someone is feeling unworthy to receive communion he wants them to know that God’s grace is with them.

The only ones who would be unworthy would be those who have not received Christ’s atonement for their sins. We are only worthy because Christ was worthy. Our worthiness is not based on works. When my husband and I were engaged, we spoke to a priest I had asked to marry us. The priest told me that my husband and his family would not be allowed to receive communion at our wedding because they were not part of that religion. My husband and his family received Christ’s atonement for their sins. They were saved. They should’ve been worthy to receive communion because of Christ, not because of adhering to man-made rules and religion.

In verse 29 above, “For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself,” the Greek word translated “judgment” is “krima,” which means: a judgment, a verdict; sometimes implying an adverse verdict, a condemnation.”

The Bible says that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). When the teachers of the law and Pharisees were going to stone the woman caught in adultery, Jesus said, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

 “No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

John 8:7-11 (NIV)

When Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well, who was married five times and living with a man who was not her husband, Jesus told her all that she had done, not to condemn her, but to forgive her. If He had condemned her, she wouldn’t have run back to her people excited to tell them about meeting Him.

Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.”

John 4:39 (NIV)

Heavenly Father,

We praise You that we have been redeemed in Christ and made worthy because of His sacrifice. May He be honored and glorified in our lives. As we celebrate the sacrifice and redemption of Jesus this Easter, reveal Your love to those who don’t know You. Let them know that by Jesus’ stripes they have been forgiven, saved, healed and restored.

In Jesus’ holy name, we pray. Amen!

Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

John 4:13-14 (NIV)

*This series will continue next week as we study 1 Corinthians 12. Have a blessed Easter remembering the sacrifice Jesus made to redeem you!

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Monday’s Blog: Paul Series “Romans 2”

We continue our study of Paul’s letters in Romans to Philemon. Last week, we studied Romans 1 and learned the benefits of faith and the consequences of unbelief. This week we are studying Romans 2.

The chapter begins with talking about how God shows no partiality (v. 1-16). The amplified Bible says partiality is “undue favor or unfairness; with Him one man is not different from another.”

It can be comforting knowing God is not partial and He loves us all the same, especially when we think we are less worthy than others.

Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

Romans 2:4

It can also be humbling knowing God is not partial. When He blesses us and works in us, it can be tempting to think He loves us more than those who do not know Him or do not submit to Him.

He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous

Matthew 5:45

It can be fearful (reverential fear) and also encouraging knowing God is not partial, because He will judge the world and “render to each person according to his deeds” (v. 6).

… to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation

There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek,  but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.

For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified. For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.

Romans 2:7-16 (NASB)

In the verse above, it says “for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.

But the second half of Romans 2 talks about how the law condemns. So how can we be justified by it if it condemns us?

The answer is in Romans 10:4:

“For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God” (NLT).

We are justified through Christ. He met all the requirements of the law. Trying to obey the law can’t save or change us. Jesus saved us and His Spirit changes us.

I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

Galatians 2:21 (NIV)

Last week, I talked about how God has placed His truth in us and how we suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18-20).

When we rely on the law, rather than Jesus, we suppress the spirit from working in us and being seen through us. We may know what is right and wrong, and are able to teach it to others, but we ruin our testimony when we lack the Holy Spirit’s power to turn from evil and do good.

But if you bear the name “Jew” and rely upon the Law and boast in God,  and know His will and approve the things that are essential, being instructed out of the Law, and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the immature, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth, you, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that one shall not steal, do you steal? You who say that one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the Law, through your breaking the Law, do you dishonor God? For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” just as it is written.

For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.

Romans 2:17-24, 28-29 (NASB)

To summarize this chapter, God will judge the world. So we don’t have to. When our hearts are surrendered to Jesus we can be confident that we will be justified before God and not be condemned.

 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

 Romans 8:1

 

Heavenly Father,

We praise You for sending Jesus to fulfill all the requirements of the law so we can be justified before You. We praise You that You show no partiality, and You love us all the same. Keep our hearts set on Christ and not on the things of this world. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit and transform us from the inside out.

In Jesus’ faithful name we pray, Amen!

 

How did God speak to you through Romans 2? Is there anything He revealed that you would like to share with others? 

 

*Come back next Monday as we talk about what we learned in Romans 3. Use the share tabs below to invite others to join us in this study of Romans to Philemon. You can also subscribe below to receive email reminders of new posts. Have a blessed week knowing you are justified in Christ!

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Monday’s Blog: Ignite The Fire In Your Spirit – God’s Goodness

But if I say, “I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.

—Jeremiah 20:9

We continue our series on igniting the fire in our spirits. Follow this link if you missed the last two messages in this series.

I was talking to a friend last week. He had recently returned from visiting a former colleague of his. While he was at dinner with her, she asked him to share how he came to know the Lord. She was raised in a Christian home, but she said his testimony was different than she had been taught.

All she heard growing up in the church was that we are sinners, but she never heard about the goodness of God. My friend said she listened intently as he talked about God’s love for us, and shared all the good things God has given us. He said now that she knows the Truth, God can work in her heart and she’ll have no choice but to fall in love with God.

When Christ preached, He didn’t beat people down for their sins. He appealed to them in love. He didn’t condone sin. But He didn’t condemn them for it. He had mercy on them and forgave them for their sins.

When God called me to start this website, I asked what He wanted me to tell people in my first post. I heard over and over in my spirit, “Tell them I love them.”

God didn’t say, “Tell them what horrible sinners they are.” And God didn’t lead me to only share His commands. He led me to share the reasons and benefits behind His commands, so people would know God is for them, not against them.

Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, yet I appeal to you on the basis of love…

—Philemon 1:8-9

Satan uses guilt and condemnation to make people think God is disappointed in them.

Revelation 12:10 says, “…for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.”

If Satan constantly accused us before God when he was in heaven, then he’s surely going to accuse us while he’s here on earth.

I wrote a blog a few weeks ago about condemnation. My New Year’s resolution this year was to get rid of all condemnation. It’s only been a few weeks since I made my resolution, but I have noticed a dramatic change in my life. Being free from guilt has made room in my heart for more joy in serving God. My fire is burning more now than ever for the Lord.

By paying close attention to condemnation, I notice how many times I hold on to guilt. It’s so subtle that I didn’t realize it until I started looking for it. I notice it’s mostly the small things that I condemn myself for. For example, when I forget to do something for someone, I get upset with myself and hold on to it for a few hours, or sometimes days, instead of giving it to God and forgiving myself right away.

I also notice I see the Bible in a different light when I read it without any condemnation. When I read the Bible, sometimes I’m tempted to feel overwhelmed, because I need help in so many areas. But when I read it without any condemnation, I see each command as a promise from God, instead of a burden.

When a verse says that we shall do this and we shall not do that, instead of feeling overwhelmed, we should praise God that those are His promises for us. He promises to help us obey those commands, which are meant for our benefit.

Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

John 14:15, KJV

In the past, that verse used to frustrate me. I used to think it meant: If I love Jesus, then I better keep His commandments.

Who can possibly keep all His commandments? No one. Jesus was the only one who could.

I felt God show me that the verse means: If you love Jesus, then you will BE ABLE to keep His commandments.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

—John 15:5

Jesus prayed that God would sanctify His disciples through His Word, which is Truth (John 17:17).

When we read the Bible in faith, the power of His Word waters and produces His fruit in us. When we read the Bible or hear a message preached from the Bible, we will feel uncomfortable at times. That uncomfortable feeling is conviction. Conviction is God making us aware of sin in our lives, so we can cooperate with Him to get rid of those things that are hindering His fruit from developing in us. God’s conviction is not meant to condemn us. It’s meant to help us.

Satan wants to make us think God is condemning us so we feel guilty when we read the Bible. He does this to keep us away from God’s Word. We must stand our ground and not allow ourselves to be condemned, not even for a moment. When we fall into sin, we should confess it to God and repent—turn away from the sin and turn to God. But we shouldn’t condemn ourselves for it. When we read the Bible and God convicts us of sin, we should thank Jesus that He already paid the price for that sin, and thank God that He is helping us overcome it.

But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

—Romans 6:22-23, NKJV

 

Heavenly Father,

We praise You for forgiving us our sins by sending Jesus to save us. Help us not to condemn ourselves, because we know that You don’t condemn us. Show us Your goodness as we study Your Word each day. Shower us with Your love, so we will never be hungry for anything other than You.

In Jesus’ Precious Name, Amen!

 

Questions for my book:

When you sin, do you give it to God and forgive yourself right away? Or do you punish yourself for a few hours, days, weeks, months, or even years?

When you read the Bible do you feel condemnation or conviction?

 

I would love to have you share your comments below. I will be using some of them in my next book: Escaping Boredom In Christianity. Please understand I reserve the right to use any comments on this site in my book. But I will not share any personal information in the book (i.e. names, email addresses, websites, etc.).

Thanks for your comments! Be sure to come back next Monday as the series continues.

*If you have never accepted Christ as your Savior, please click on the “SALVATION” tab at the top of the website. Don’t wait another day!

*All Bible verses are taken from the NIV, unless otherwise noted.

*Subscribe below to receive email reminders of new posts.


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Monday’s Blog: A Simple Resolution

Welcome to 2012! Every New Year my husband and I make a new set of resolutions for ourselves. But sadly, our resolutions barely make it to February before they’re long forgotten.

One year, my husband and I decided to make a few resolutions together. To help us meet our goals, we wrote them on paper, prayed over them and committed them to the Lord. Then we sealed the paper in an envelope and put it in our safe, agreeing not to open it until the end of the year, on New Year’s Eve. That was two years ago and our resolutions are still sitting in our safe sealed. We didn’t open it because we didn’t meet our goals.

This year, instead of coming up with another resolution that won’t last, I decided to ask God if He had a resolution for me. Instead of committing my own resolutions to the Lord and expecting Him to make them succeed, I committed the whole matter to Him. I knew if God would give me a resolution, He would make it succeed.

So in early December I started praying for my resolution. Then, last week God answered my request as I was listening to a preacher on television. God’s response isn’t something I would have thought to pick for a resolution, but yet it makes perfect sense.

His resolution for me is to simply stop condemning myself.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…

—Romans 8:1

I know we are not condemned in Christ. This isn’t anything new to me. However, the last few months I have been falling hard. I told my husband I feel like I’ve slipped back ten years. All the positive changes God has done in my life seem like they are being stripped away, leaving the old me exposed. That scares me.

I’ve been praying about it, thinking I need to spend more time with God, study and pray more, and trust that He will lift me out of this pit. But as I was listening to the preacher teach on condemnation last week, a light bulb turned on and I saw the root cause of my fall.

I had been slowly allowing myself to be condemned over my misbehavior. And ironically condemnation was causing my misbehavior.

Galatians 5:16-18 says, “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.”

Each time my sinful flesh popped up, I should have let the Spirit lead me to receive God’s forgiveness right away. The Spirit would have then drawn me to God and led me away from my flesh.

Instead, I chose to ignore the Spirit and follow my sinful flesh into condemnation. This only caused me to act in opposition to God, which explains why I continued to act worse. I was putting myself under the law that Jesus had already fulfilled.

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

—Galatians 5:24-25

So this new year I’m choosing to keep in step with the Spirit. He will lead me away from the acts of my sinful nature and into His righteous fruit.

How about you? Will you choose to give into condemnation, or receive Christ’s atonement for your sins?

It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.

—Romans 4:13

Join me and stop striving to receive God’s righteousness. Simply receive it!


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Prayer For The Week

Heavenly Father,

Praise You for not condemning us, but setting us free from the power of sin. We know that You have crucified our sinful nature, and utterly destroyed all it’s power to control us. Help us to keep in step with Your Spirit Who will lead us into Righteous living.

In Jesus’s precious name, Amen!

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*As you receive this message, I encourage you to also study God’s Word daily as the Bereans did in Acts 17:11: “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”

*If you have never accepted Christ as your Savior, please click on the “SALVATION” tab at the top of the website. Don’t wait another day!

*All Bible verses are taken from the NIV, unless otherwise noted.



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