(1 Corinthians 15:12-19)
I wrote in my last post and have done so on other occasions also, that where there is no resurrection, there is no Christianity.
Resurrection is the central core of what Christianity is all about. Christianity does not exist without it and it was the resurrection of Jesus Christ when the fulness of Christianity commenced. That is why resurrection is so important to us because without it, there is no Christian religion.
But not all who call themselves Christians truly believe this to be the case. Not all truly accept that Jesus Christ was raised and that a resurrection awaits all who live and have lived on this earth, either to be resurrected to life eternal in Jesus Christ or eternal damnation apart from Him.
So let us look at what Paul says about this issue in these few verses.
(1 Corinthians 15:1-11)
There are many, many things we have to learn in relation to walking in Christ, and there are often many different opinions about what we believe.
But Christianity, when it is all boiled down, has only a very few critical teachings by which we receive the gift of God’s salvation. The few fundamental foundations of Christianity include things like repentance, faith, baptism, receiving the Holy Spirit, eternal judgment and as Paul tells us here, the one foundation of primary importance is the resurrection.
The foremost and most important aspect of the resurrection is of course the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead after He was sacrificed on our behalf. It is in His resurrection that we now have the chance to find salvation and this is the point that Paul emphasises in this chapter.
(1 Corinthians 14:36-40)
In these last few verses of this chapter of 1 Corinthians 14 we see Paul make a couple of fascinating statements. And these are statements we need to listen to carefully with respect to the contents of this chapter because Paul makes it clear that these words are not just his thoughts and ideas, but they are the commands from the Lord.
The essence of what is written in this chapter primarily deals with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, specifically relating to speaking in tongues and prophesying. He also speaks about running the church in an orderly fashion and provides a template for how a general worship meeting should be conducted. I covered all of these matters in some detail in my previous posts on this chapter, and you can flip back to those using the “previous” tags and keys at the top or bottom of this post.
But in summary here we should look at what Paul is emphasising as being of importance, not just from his words but by the command of the Lord.
(1 Corinthians 14:26-35)
Over the years I have attended a number of different church meetings as my wife and I travel around the country. It seems that every church has a different form of worship, some very good and others that could be better. Some I have attended were so loose that it didn’t appear there was any structure at all.
The most important thing that needs to be done in any church meeting is that it be conducted in an orderly manner. And this is the focus of what Paul is conveying to the Corinthian church.
In these few verses Paul lays down a clear plan for what needs to be done to conduct an orderly meeting of the church. There is perhaps only one point missing that should be added to this list and there are other things that could be included, but these verses give the basic structure that should be adhered to in an orderly meeting.
(1 Corinthians 14:20-25)
One of the great concerns Paul had with the Corinthian church was about speaking in tongues, and especially the use of the spiritual gifts in the church setting.
The church in Corinth had obviously asked Paul about the spiritual gifts for he was answering their various questions. Of most importance Paul was telling them that if they desired the spiritual gifts, they should seek those that would assist in the ministry and the building up of the church.
Now speaking in tongues is one of the most common of the spiritual gifts for it is the sign of the spirit given to those who have received the Holy Spirit, either through laying on of hands or where God has directly intervened to give them the Holy Spirit. Examples of both instances can be readily seen in Acts 19:1-6 and Acts chapter 2 respectively.
But what is most important about tongues, as well as all the other gifts, is knowing when to use them properly and in an orderly manner, and Paul speaks to this issue in this and subsequent sections of this chapter.
(1 Corinthians 14:13-19)
In my recent posts I have been looking at the gift of tongues and breaking down some of the false teachings and myths. The only truth we should listen to is the truth that is from God as written in the bible, and much of the truth about speaking in tongues is contained in the words of this chapter of the bible.
I have covered the fact that tongues was not just given to the early church for the purpose of spreading the gospel and that after the gospel age they were no longer necessary. This teaching, common in the modern church, is a lie perpetrated by those who have not received the gift of tongues and who do not understand the purpose and power of the gift of tongues.
Now this section of scripture further strengthens the fact that tongues are not for spreading the gospel. We see Paul discuss one of the purposes tongues are for and he also shows another proof why tongues were not for spreading the gospel.
(1 Corinthians 14:6-12)
As I mentioned in my last post, there is a commonly held myth in the modern church that tongues were given only to the early church so that they could spread the gospel. Likewise it is held by these same people today that there is now no need for tongues.
Both of these beliefs are false. Tongues are a gift from God and are as much available to believers today as they were in the early church. But they are not and never were given to teach or to proselytise or make disciples in the early church.
And in this section of scripture, Paul absolutely smashes that idea out of the park. It is a false teaching in the modern church and should be discarded and rejected if you seek the truth.
(1 Corinthians 14:2-5)
This chapter of Paul's letter to the Corinthians covers a great deal about speaking in tongues. In it we learn much about what speaking in tongues is, and what it is for.
Be built up by speaking in tongues
There are many myths in the modern church about the gift of tongues and if people would read and understand this chapter, many of those myths would be torn down.
Speaking in tongues is important for the development of our walk with Jesus Christ. The gift is given to us for a very definite purpose, and this chapter covers a number of the aspects of that purpose.
So let us do some myth busting and see what this is all about in these few verses, and we will continue the discussion of tongues and the ramifications of having or not having the gift as we continue in the next few posts.
(1 Corinthians 14:1)
In several of my recent posts I have looked at the gifts of the spirit and the love of God. The love of God is the only thing that is eternal for God is love and He is eternal.
The gifts of the spirit do not continue on forever but that does not mean they are not important. In fact they are critical to us now in this age if we want to find the path of God’s love.
I have made this point also in my most recent posts where I have discussed both the gifts of the spirit and the love of God. Just because love is the “more excellent way” as Paul indicates in 1 Corinthians 12:31, we cannot ignore the need for the gifts of the spirit. Just because “love never ends” as we saw in 1 Corinthians 13:8, it does not mean we should ONLY pursue love to the exclusion of th gifts of the spirit sent by God.
I have made both these points in previous posts and now we see Paul saying exactly that here in this verse also.
(1 Corinthians 13:13)
There are a few scriptures in the bible that are so well known that many people, even non-Christians know them or recognise them when they hear them. For example, John 3:16 or Psalm 23. And this verse too is another of those that are well known, especially among Christians.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. – (1 Corinthians 13:13)
Geometrically speaking, the strongest design that can be made is a triangle. And triangles are used to strengthen many building structures so they do not break or fall. Likewise when someone is trying to be located, authorities will triangulate their position to pinpoint exactly where they might be.
So too this triangle of faith, hope and love is powerful and strong, and in this triangle also the way to Christ and the way of God is located.