Show Notes

#076 This is our fourth of eight episodes in our mini-series entitled, Paul’s Treatises | Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians. On this episode we’re going to overview the last ten chapters of the book of 1 Corinthians in which Paul answers questions of the Corinthians regarding difficulties they were having in their gatherings as a body.

We need to remember this was all new stuff for believers gathering to worship the Lord. The church included Jews and Gentiles both coming from backgrounds ranging from temple to idol worship to agnosticism and atheism. 

Corinth was a cosmopolitan trade city filled with luxury and a culture seeped in the worldly trappings of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. To “Live as a Corinthian” meant to live in gross immorality reinforced and encouraged by prostitution practiced at pagan temples. Of course this was no different than cultures throughout the history of mankind where every man was allowed to do whatever was right in his own eyes.

What Paul had been teaching in Corinth while he was with them and founding the church, and now reinforcing in this letter was counter cultural then and has remained so to this day. As we covered in our last episode on the opening six chapters, Paul was teaching believers how to live as people not of the world but in the world; surrounded by people living in a culture who were in the world and of the world. 

When Christ set us free from sin and condemnation, from the penalty of the law and death, and from Satan and his dominion what did he set us free to do? This is what Paul is addressing in this letter. Conflict in this freedom arises from two extreme sides. 

From the Gentile/pagan side comes the thought that given God’s grace is unlimited we can now do what you want to satisfy the desires of our flesh without consequences from God as the grace of Jesus covers everything we do. Maybe not all-in to immersion, but at least up to our knees and waist in the squaller of pleasures. This thought has remained in the church to this day.

From the Jewish side comes the thought of legalism and adherence to the law. When we were held in bondage to sin we were not capable of keeping the law. But now set free from sin we are obligated and capable of adherence to the law which will be the measure and standard for behavior within the church. This thought has also remained in the church to this day.

Paul was letting the Corinthians know, and is letting us know today, that nothing has changed since the beginning. God who is holy, chose and redeemed us in Christ who were dead in our trespasses and sin, to be his sons and daughters and co-heirs with Christ in a coming kingdom. God is going to dwell with us into eternity on earth in a kingdom of God that will have no end. 

God through Jesus by the Holy Spirit has given us everything we need in this life to live a godly life. Yet when we first become believers, while we know something has happened and we’ve been changed, have lived no other life other than our formal life of sin and corruption. Paul is instructing the Corinthians and us today how to live our new life in Christ that is wholly antithetical to our former life when we were in and of the world.

Even in 2022 we buck against Paul and God arguing we know a better way. Who was Paul anyway, telling the Corinthians and us what to do and how to live. Ancient culture and modern times are judex opposed. We’ve evolved morally and culturally to accept sex, drugs, and rock and roll and rebellion against the order God established for creation. We have the big bang theory, evolution, and humanism all of which the science and psychology academies accept and endorse. So we’ll believe in Jesus, receive his grace, and do what we want no matter what Paul and God say.

With all that as an introduction, let’s get started. 

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