Essay notes on 1 Corinthians

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John Johnson's notes on 1 Corinthians
Chapter 9 verses 1-18: Paul is explaining to us that ministers of the gospel are to live from the fruits of the places where they spread the gospel. As churchgoers we are to give the carnal fruit of money to ministers in exchange for the spiritual fruit of the gospel which God gives to us through the minister. Because he ought to be able to focus upon the gospel rather than worrying about his finances. Paul and Barnabas know this, but Paul is unwilling to force the church at Corinth to provide for his needs, because he is afraid it will hinder the gospel if he presses them for money. From this I encourage all of you to recognize God as your source. When life gets rough and you're wondering how the ends will meet, just follow the Spirit wherever he leads and watch His power enacted in your life. When you do your part, He will always do His. Sow seeds to others in times of poverty. When your grades are low in college, tutor a younger student. When you are almost out of money, buy a meal for a homeless man. Every fiber of your being will scream at you to be selfish and hoard your time and money, but that is when you will find giving the most beneficial. That is when you will learn to rely on the Lord. (Trust me, it's a lot better to have him running your life than yourself. He's a lot bigger, a lot smarter, and a lot richer than you.) When you live in the practice of blessing others, God will bless you. As a man sows so shall he reap. Chapter 9 verses 19-23: Here Paul tells us, “For though I be free from all men, yet I have made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.” and then describes becoming a Jew to the Jews and a Greek to the Greeks, to those without the law without the law and to the weak becoming weak. Why would Paul so readily change him self? To further the gospel, or as he puts it, “that I might gain all the more.” I encourage you my friends, to put others perpetually before yourself. Selfish people are rarely joyful, and they are never consistently so. Adapt the periphery of yourself to benefit others. Perhaps a great modern way to state this passage would be, “I became a Baptist to the Baptists and a Presbyterian to the Presbyterians and a Methodist to the Methodists and a Catholic to the Catholics.” and so on and so forth. Many Christians have trouble blending with Christians of opposing theological bents. The truth is that you need to get over the differences and spread the gospel. A Charismatic woman should not run up and down the isles screaming hallelujah during a Presbyterian's hymn. Nor should a Presbyterian woman file into a Charismatic church and tell everyone “speaking in tongues is from the Devil.” Neither action is productive toward a cohesive body of Christ. This is not love. It is Pride. In summary, serve all men with love. Fellowship with those different from you, seeking to understand them rather than judge them (whether within or outside the body of Christ so long as you do not compromise your faith). Chapter 9 verses 24-27: Paul tells us that when many people run the same race, only one man receives a prize. Therefore, run the race that you may obtain the prize, and that the world is searching for a corruptible crown while we are running after an incorruptible prize. “So run,” he tells us, “that ye may obtain.” Run, dear friends, as a winner runs. Learn from the experienced. Know your destination. Keep your pace. Never cease. Start at the beginning, and when you get to the end, STOP. However before a man runs he must walk. Before you walk my dear friends, I encourage you to sit. Sit in the presence of the Lord with a Bible in your hand and one question upon your lips: “Father, what do you have for me?” one request to make of Him: “Holy Spirit, guide me through your word.” Wait for him to reveal Himself and His guidance to you. If you are having trouble hearing from God, bring your body into subjection. In other words, fast. Deny sins