Tuesday, January 28, 2014

1 Corinthians Chapter 10 Part Two

1 Corinthians 10:18

Likewise in the worship of Israel, the participants identified with what was sacrificed and with each other. “Behold Israel”. In the Old Testament sacrifices, the offering was on behalf of all who ate. By such action, the people were identifying with the offering and affirming their devotion to God to whom it was offered. Paul was, by this, implying how any sacrifice made to an idol was identifying with and participating with; that idol. It is completely inconsistent for believers to participate in any such worship.

1 Corinthians 10:19-21

The same was true of pagan worship. It was true that an idol was nothing (1Co_8:4; cf. Psa_115:4-7), but the ultimate reality behind pagan religion was demonic. Since an idol is a nothing, then to eat of the sacrifice used for that would not join you to anything. Remember, the idol is a nothing.
Idols and the things sacrificed to them have no spiritual nature or power in themselves, but they do represent the demonic.
Pagan sacrifices were offered to demons, not to God. Through his minions “the god of this age” blinded unbelievers and kept them from the truth (2Co_4:4). If pagan worshippers believe an idol was a god, demons act out the part of the imagined god. There is not a true god in the idol, but there is a satanic spiritual force.
A gentile, in the sense it is used here, means the heathen world. The heathens know not God and they do sacrifice to the devil, because they know not God. Devils in the instance above, is demonic beings and could just as easily been translated demons. Christians should have no fellowship with devils or demons, whichever you choose to call them.
There could be no union for good between Christ and Belial (2Co_6:15). The two are totally incompatible. Paul is trying to make it very clear that you must be on one side, or the other. You cannot ride the fence. Remember that Paul is telling them to break away from all connection to the worship of Aphrodite. Many times, people who come to Christ will drag some of the filth along with them into the church.
Paul is saying this is unacceptable. To "drink of the cup of the Lord", means that you have partaken of Him. He is the Light of the world. You cannot mix darkness with Light.
So those who were the temple of God (1Co_3:16; 1Co_6:19) should shun the temple of idols (cf. 2Co_6:14-18). No magical contamination was conveyed, but the corrupt character of the participants would be harmful for believers (1Co_15:33). Being participants with demons was unthinkable for those who are participants with Christ (1Co_10:21; cf. 1Co_10:16). 

1 Corinthians 10:22

Most importantly such behavior displeased God (cf. Deu_32:21). Did the “strong” Corinthians (1Co_8:7-10) require the same discipline as Israel? (1Co_10:7; Exo_32:28, Exo_32:35) Our God is a jealous God. One of His names is Jealous. God tolerates no competition and will not allow idolatry to go unpunished.
The first of the commandments is "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." We must be very careful not to even think, or speak of another god.
In verses 23-30 Paul gives 4 principles for Christian liberty: (1) Edification over gratification, v.23; (2) others over self, v.24; (3) liberty over legalism, verses 25-27 and (4) condescension over condemnation, verses 28-30.
1 Corinthians 10:23-24

The principle of freedom (everything is permissible; cf. 1Co_6:12) was to be regulated by love for others. The liberty the Christian has must not be used to do anything that might provoke God. The liberty a Christian has must be used in such a way to build God up. We should never use the privilege the Lord has afforded us for self-edification, or to further some little pet project. All things should be done decently and in order.
Previous we discussed liberty and that even though a Christian may be fully justified in doing something in front of other less mature believers, if those believers do what you are doing but consider it to be a sin, then it is a sin to them and you become guilty of that sin yourself. The example used previously regarding food that had been sold in the market that had been originally prepared as an offering to idols and the excess was later sold, and then was eaten by Paul. As Paul knew that the idols were nothings, as long as he blessed the food it was okay for him to eat it. But some of the Jews thought it to be sin even though some of them would eat it.
Here is a definition of liberty: Christ’s law is a perfect law of liberty. It is perfect or complete in that it is a system which contains laws and commandments which are not grievous, and yet, it is a system of grace and liberty (I Jn. 5: 3; - Gal. 5: 1-13). We have liberty from sin when we obey it (Acts 2: 38; Rom. 6: 1-12). Christ’s system is the ideal combination of law and liberty. Also, Christ’s law does not contain the onerous requirements as did Moses’ law (Gal. 4: 5).
Activities that are not beneficial or constructive or that do not promote the good of others (cf. 1Co_10:33) should be avoided. One of the main causes of sin in our society today is greed. God promised to take care of our needs, if we are His. He did not promise to take care of our greed. When we have food and shelter, we should be content.
If we spend our time trying to help someone else succeed, we will be blessed of God in the doing. Or put another way as in Phil.2:3 “[Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

1 Corinthians 10:25-26

For a Christian who bought meat at a market with the intent of eating it at home, Paul recommended that selections be made without reservation. No one could contaminate what God had made clean (cf. Act_10:15) since everything belongs to Him (Psa_24:1). When you are offered meat to eat, don't run an investigation to find out where it came from. If it had been offered to an idol, it would not have been a sin to eat it, but the person eating it might have had a guilty conscience about eating it anyway. Don't ask, and then there will be no guilt.

1 Corinthians 10:27-30

For a Christian who accepted an invitation to anothers home Paul recommended eating from all the fare without scrupulous reservation. This scripture in found in1 Timothy settles this.
Timothy 4:4-5 "For every creature of God [is] good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:" "For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer." Eat whatever is set before you, but pray over it to make it clean. If you do not ask where it came from, then you do not feel guilty.
But if another Christian guest piped up (cf. 1Co_8:7-13) that the food had been part of a pagan sacrifice, the knowledgeable Christian should defer to the uninformed scruples of the weaker brother. To exercise his rightful freedom to eat might cause the brother with the scrupulous conscience to follow that example and cause him to sin (cf. Rom_14:14-23).
A knowledgeable Christian did not need to alter his convictions to accord with the conscience of a weaker brother (1Co_10:29), but he did need to alter his behavior when in the weaker brother’s presence. Even if you are the guest of an unbeliever and don’t want to offend him, it is better to offend the unbeliever and not eat for the sake of the weaker Christian who would be offended to eat, since love to other believers is the strongest witness we have, (John 13:34-35).
“My liberty judged of another” meaning offending a weaker brother with one’s freedom will cause the offended person to condemn us.
Otherwise the weak brother might act against his conscience and harm himself (cf. 1Co_8:11), which would bring denunciation on the strong brother. We can’t truly offer thanks to God for some food by which we cause another believer to stumble. What the knowledgeable Christian could enjoy privately with thankfulness became in the presence of the weaker brother a contemptible act eliciting condemnation (why am I denounced [blasphēmoumai] because of something I thank God for? cf. 1Co_8:12; Rom_14:16, Rom_14:22). An echo of 1Co_8:13 concluded the matter.

1 Corinthians 10:31-33

The principle which summarized Paul’s response to the question of eating food offered as a pagan sacrifice was an application of the command to love God and neighbors. Christian behavior should be for the glory of God. Everything we are and everything we have is by the grace of God. We should continually praise God for everything. When we drink something, praise God for it. When we eat something, praise God for it. Every happening in your life, praise God for it. We are what God allows us to be. Praise God!
Christian liberty, as well as the most common behavior, is to be conducted to the honor of God.
Also it should build up the church of God by leading some to new birth (1Co_10:33) and others to maturity in the process of salvation (justification, sanctification, glorification; cf. 1Co_1:30). Christians should avoid behavior that would cause others — whether Jews (cf. 1Co_9:20), Greeks (cf. 1Co_9:21), or the church of God… to stumble (lit., “fall”; cf. 1Co_10:12). Paul practiced this. He did not offend others in their beliefs. He ministered to them in their own customs. Some were saved, and some were not. They have a right to believe what they choose, the same as we have a right to believe what we believe. Witness to them, and allow them to make their own decision. They are a free-will agent the same as we are. (Interestingly this reference to Jews separate from the church shows that the NT church did not replace the Jewish nation. This argues strongly for premillennialism.)
The One who perfectly exemplified love for God and others was Christ (cf. Rom_15:3; Php_2:5-8). Displaying the same spirit in his ministry, Paul urged the Corinthians to follow his example in this matter of food from a pagan sacrifice. This chapter ends with Paul explaining, one more time, that he ministered to people where they were. He observed their customs to get his foot in the door to minister to them. He did not preach a negative message. Paul taught the good news of the gospel to everyone who would receive it. Paul tried not to step on toes. He was all things to all men that by all means he might save some. The ultimate object of Paul, which should be our object as well, was to get as many as he could saved. They should allow their freedom to be regulated by love.

Romans Chapter 8 Part Two

Romans 8:15-17

In contrast with the control of sin, which enslaves to the point of fear, believers have received the Spirit of sonship. The word translated “sonship” (huiothesias) means “placing as a son” and is frequently translated “adoption” (as in, e.g., Rom_8:23). Believers are adopted sons (Gal_4:5; Eph_1:5), not slaves (Gal_4:7); so they need not be enslaved to sin or in fear. In New Testament times adopted sons enjoyed the same privileges as natural-born sons. So, instead of cowering in slave-like fear, Christians can approach God in an intimate way calling Him Abba, Father. “Abba” is a Greek and English transliteration of the Aramaic word for father (used elsewhere in the NT only in Mar_14:36; Gal_4:6). Unregenerate people are slaves to their fear of death because of their life of sin, and to fear their final punishment.
A very similar Scripture is in I Corinthians 2:12 "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God."
The “Spirit of adoption” isn’t a reference to the transaction by which God adopts us, but to a Spirit produced awareness of the rich reality that God has made us His children, therefore we can come before Him without fear or hesitation as our beloved Father.
When God adopted us into his family, then that made us heirs to all he possesses. We will be joint-heirs with Jesus as we read in v-17 of Romans 8.  There are 3 places in the New Testament Abba is used; one here in Romans; once in Mark chapter 14 verse 36 and once in Galatians chapter 4:6.
Mark 14:36 "And he said, Abba, Father, all things [are] possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt."
Galatians 4:6 "And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father."
We see in all of these 3 verses that this name is reserved for only the children of God to call Him by meaning Daddy or Papa and connotes tenderness, dependence, and a relationship free of fear or anxiety.
Besides being adopted into God’s family as sons, believers also are His children (tekna, “born ones”) by the new birth (Joh_1:12; 1Jn_3:1-2). And the Holy Spirit who gives believers life testifies with (not to) their spirit(s) of the fact of the new birth.
In many families children inherit their parents’ estates; each child is an heir and the children together are co-heirs. Similarly, since Christians are God’s children, they are His heirs (cf. Gal_4:7), and they are co-heirs with Christ. In Roman culture for an adoption to be legally binding, seven reputable witnesses had to be present, attesting to its validity.
God’s Holy Spirit confirms the validity of our adoption, not by some inner, mystical voice, but by the fruit He produces in us and the power He provides for spiritual service.
Notice, this first Spirit in the sentence above is Capitalized meaning the Holy Spirit of God (or the Spirit of the risen Christ this Spirit within us is God's Spirit. There is plenty of evidence in our lives when this Spirit dwells within us, because we allow Christ to live through our actions and deeds. We become Christ like.
They are recipients of all spiritual blessings (Eph_1:3) now, and in the future they will share with the Lord Jesus in all the riches of God’s kingdom (Joh_17:24; 1Co_3:21-23). Sharing with Jesus Christ, however, involves more than anticipating the glories of heaven. For Jesus Christ it involved suffering and abuse and crucifixion; therefore being co-heirs with Christ requires that believers share in His sufferings (cf. Joh_15:20; Col_1:24; 2Ti_3:12; 1Pe_4:12). In fact believers do share in His sufferings; if indeed translates eiper, which means “if, as is the fact” (cf. Rom_8:9). Then after the suffering they will share in His glory (2Ti_2:12; 1Pe_4:13; 1Pe_5:10). If you are a believer, you are an heir of God. We will then inherit eternal salvation, God Himself, glory and everything in the universe.
Unlike the Jewish practice of the primacy of the firstborn son, under Roman law the inheritance was divided equally between the children, where the law more carefully protected possessions that had been inherited.
“Joint heirs”: God has appointed His Son to be heir of all things. Every adopted child will receive by divine grace the full inheritance Christ receives by divine right.
“Suffer with Him” is proof of the believer’s ultimate glory in that he suffers, whether it comes as mockery, ridicule, or physical persecution, because of his Lord.
Romans 8:18

Goal of sanctification
In one sense this verse is the conclusion of the preceding paragraph in which believers are assured of being heirs of Christ’s coming glory. However, Paul reminded his readers that sharing in the glory of Christ in the future required sharing “in His sufferings” in this life. But after careful figuring (Logizomai, I consider) Paul concluded that our present sufferings are far outweighed by the glory that will be revealed in (as well as to and through) us. In short, this describes the trails and tribulations that we go through in this life on earth. Paul puts this clearly in 2 Cor. 4:17 when he says: “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory”.
Paul’s own testimony lists a seemingly unbearable litany of sufferings and persecutions he endured throughout his life, ye he viewed them as weightless and lasting for only a brief moment. To Paul the future glory he would experience with the Lord far outweighed any suffering he experienced in this world. Paul understood that the greater the suffering, the greater would be his eternal glory.
Paul can speak from first-hand about suffering. He was stoned, shipwrecked, and so many times left for dead: suffering was no stranger to him.
“Glory”: Looks forward to the resurrection of the body and the subsequent complete Christ likeness which is the believer’s eternal glory.
We can easily see that this present suffering is minor compared to the great glory we will receive when Jesus recognizes us as His when we stand before Him in heaven.
This future glory is so great that present sufferings are insignificant by comparison. Also the glory is forever, whereas the suffering is temporary and light (2Co_4:17). Certainly this truth can help believers endure afflictions. Rom_8:18 also serves as a topic sentence for the following discussion on the relationship between believers and the whole Creation, both in their afflictions and in their future glory.
Romans 8:19-21

The interrelationship of man with the physical creation of which he is a part and in which he lives was established in God’s sentence of judgment on Adam after the Fall (Gen_3:17-19). In Rom_8:19-21 Paul demonstrated that this relationship has a future aspect in connection with God’s program of salvation for people. He declared, The Creation waits in eager expectation (lit., “for the strained expectation [apokaradokia is used only one other time in the NT, in Php_1:20] of the Creation keeps on eagerly awaiting”) for the sons of God to be revealed. The creature or creation eagerly looks forward to the revelation of the sons of God in the Millennium (the 1000 year earthly reign) because that is the time when the curse will be lifted and creation will be restored to Edenic conditions.
Everyone who believes in Jesus the Christ is also earnestly awaiting the coming of Christ and our eternal life as a son of God. While we are in a fleshly body, it is our most blessed hope. When we leave this body and are in heaven with Jesus, it will be a reality.
The verb for “eagerly waits” (apekdechomai) is used seven times in the New Testament, each time to refer to Christ’s return (Rom_8:19, Rom_8:23, Rom_8:25; 1Co_1:7; Gal_5:5; Php_3:20; Heb_9:28). The revealing of the sons of God will occur when Christ returns for His own. They will share His glory (Rom_8:18; Col_1:27; Col_3:4; Heb_2:10), and will be transformed (Rom_8:23). All of nature (inanimate and animate) is personified as waiting eagerly for that time.
The reason for this eager anticipation is stated in Rom_8:20. For the Creation was subjected to frustration. The Greek word mataiotēti  (“futility, frailty, purposelessness”; cf. Eph_4:17; 2Pe_2:18) describes the change and “decay” (cf. Rom_8:21) that prevails in all created things. This was not a voluntary subjection because the created world as such had no choice. Instead it was a decree of God, the sovereign Creator, who subjected it. (This probably refers to God, not, as some have suggested, to Adam.) And yet it was in hope, that is, in anticipation of a coming day when the “frustration” would be removed (cf. Rom_8:24-25). God judged the totality of His Creation along with people for their sin (Gen_3:14, Gen_3:17-19).
When God’s program of salvation for people is completed and the children of God together experience their glorious freedom from sin, Satan, and physical decay, then the Creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay. Vanity has several meanings. Futility, emptiness, frailty, folly, all references to the curse of Genesis and considers the whole thing as unnecessary. Creation did not actively participate in the Fall.
This refers to the inability to achieve a goal or purpose. Because of man’s sin, God cursed the physical universe and now, no part of creation entirely fulfills God’s original purpose.
“Delivered from the bondage of corruption”: There will be no more death. The creature or creation looks forward to the Millennium when redeemed man is glorified and will never again have to face God’s curse.
God had cursed the physical Creation as a part of His judgment on people for sin because of their position and authority over the Creation as God’s representatives (Gen_1:26-30; Gen_2:8, Gen_2:15). Similarly, since God’s program of salvation for people is one of a new Creation (2Co_5:17; Gal_6:15), the physical world also will be re-created (Rev_21:5). This will take place in two stages. First will be the renovation of the present cosmos in conjunction with the return to earth of the Lord Jesus and the establishment of the messianic kingdom on earth (Isa_11:5-9; Isa_35:1-2, Isa_35:5-7; Isa_65:20, Isa_65:25; Amo_9:13). The second stage will be creation of “a new heaven and a new earth” (Rev_21:1; cf. 2Pe_3:7-13).

Romans 8:22-23

In one sense Rom_8:22 is an appropriate conclusion to the preceding paragraph, summing up the present cursed state of the physical creation. Paul said, We know (oidamen, continuing state of knowledge that grows out of perception) that the whole Creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth (lit., “keeps on groaning together and keeps on travailing together”) right up to the present time. “Groaneth and travaileth in pain” refers to Adam’s fall, which has caused misery from then until the present. The present sufferings of creation are the “birth pangs” of the new age to be born, the Millennium. From the Fall until now, creation has been groaning over the pointlessness of having been made subject to a curse. It eagerly looks forward to the time when the curse will be lifted.
Until Jesus' sacrificial death on the cross, there was no promise of everlasting life. Mankind died with no hope of everlasting life. The atonement (payment) for sins up until Jesus crucifixion was just for 1 year at a time. The blood of an animal could not do away with sin, it could only cover it.
The emphasis on “together” in these verbs does not include believers in Christ, who are specifically mentioned in Rom_8:23, but involves the various parts of the natural Creation. At the same time Rom_8:22 introduces this new paragraph, which sets forth the hope of future deliverance from suffering under the curse of sin.
Paul had begun this section by referring to the believers’ “present sufferings” (Rom_8:18), a subject to which he returned in Rom_8:23. Believers are described as the ones having the first-fruits of the Spirit. This is an appositional use of the genitive and means that the Holy Spirit is “the firstfruits” (aparchēn) of God’s work of salvation and re-creation in believers. Elsewhere the Holy Spirit is called “a deposit (down payment or earnest) guaranteeing our inheritance” (Eph_1:14; cf. 2Co_1:22), a similar idea. A farmer’s “firstfruits” were the initial harvesting of his first-ripened crops. This first installment was a foretaste and promise that more harvest was to come. Similarly God the Holy Spirit, indwelling believers, is a foretaste that they will enjoy many more blessings, including living in God’s presence forever.
Because of “present sufferings” (Rom_8:18) believers, like the Creation, groan inwardly (cf. Rom_8:22; 2Co_5:2) as they wait eagerly (from apekdechomai, the same word used of the Creation in Rom_8:19 and of the manifestation of hope in Rom_8:25) for their adoption as sons, which is identified as the redemption of their bodies. The word “adoption” (huiothesian, “placing as a son”; trans. “sonship” in Rom_8:15) describes a believer’s legal relationship to God as a result of God’s grace received by faith. The Holy Spirit is the first installment of the glory yet to follow.
In the first chapter of James, we read of the Christians being firstfruits. James 1:18 "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures."
In 1 Corinthians chapter 15 V-23 we read, "But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming."
This is really speaking of those who received the baptism of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost. Receiving the Spirit of God inside of you is a first fruit promise of the resurrection.
Definition of Pentecost:(from Greek pentecoste, "fiftieth day") Christian festival commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus, occurring on the Jewish Pentecost, after Jesus' death, resurrection, and ascension. The disciples began to speak in the many languages of the people assembled there, a sign that the disciples should spread the Christian message throughout the world. Jewish Pentecost was a thanksgiving feast for the first fruits of the wheat harvest and was associated with remembrance of God's gift of the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai. Christian Pentecost is celebrated on the Sunday concluding the 50-day period following Easter. It is also the name of the Jewish celebration of Shavuot ("Festival of Weeks").
The believer groans because of the conflict experienced in 7:14-24, from which he needs a final and complete deliverance. This is the ultimate answer to 7:24. "O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?"
Christ will deliver us by the resurrection and glorification of our bodies. Not the physical body only, but all of man’s remaining fallenness.
(Regeneration, however, describes a believer’s relationship to God as a result of the new birth.) Israel had received adoption by God (Rom_9:4), a reality undoubtedly growing out of her covenantal ties with God (Deu_7:6-9). In one sense each believer has already received the adoption because he has “received the Spirit of sonship” (lit., “adoption,” Rom_8:15) and is a son of God (Gal_4:6-7). At the same time, as Rom_8:23 states, believers still anticipate their adoption in its completeness, which is said to be “the redemption” (apolytrōsin; etymologically the Gr. word describes a release or deliverance or manumission achieved by a ransom payment [lytron]; of their bodies. This is called the revelation of the sons of God (Rom_8:19) and “the glorious freedom of the children of God” (Rom_8:21). It will occur at the Rapture of the church when believers will be raised and transformed with glorious bodies (1Co_15:42-54; 2Co_5:1-5; Php_3:20-21; 1Th_4:13-18). Paul called that day “the day of redemption” (Eph_4:30).

Romans 8:24-25

God has promised that a believer’s body will finally be delivered from sin and its effects by the work of His Son. Those who respond by faith to that promise have hope, a confident expectation of that bodily redemption (cf. Gal_5:5). This is the final step of salvation and it was in that anticipation that we were saved. Unlike the English word “hope,” the New Testament word contains no uncertainty; it speaks of something that is certain, but not yet realized. The believer’s ultimate destiny is to share in the very glory of God and that hope will be realized because Christ Himself secures it. Without the clear and certain promises of the Word of God, the believer would have no basis for hope.
The redemption of the body (Rom_8:23) obviously has not yet occurred (Who hopes for what he already has?), but it is hoped for and eagerly anticipated (wait is from apekdechomai; cf. Rom_8:19, Rom_8:23) with steadfast endurance (patiently is lit., “through endurance”) in present sufferings (Rom_8:18).