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"Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."
1 Corinthians 10:31
Strategic Sea Crossroad
The city of Corinth is located in Southern Greece, in what was the Roman province of Achaia, about 78km West of Athens. The lower part of Greece, the Peloponnese's is connected to the rest of Greece by a 7km wide Isthmus, which is bound on the East by the Saronic Gulf and on the West by the Gulf of Corinth. Corinth is near the middle of the land bridge and is prominently situated on a high plateau. For many centuries, all North-South traffic had to pass through, or near, this ancient city. Since travel by sea around the Peloponnese's involved a treacherous 400km voyage that was dangerous and time consuming, many captains chose to transport their ships on skids, or rollers, across the Isthmus, directly past Corinth. Corinth was a leading naval power and rich commercial city with colonies in Sicily and Corfu. An attempt to dig a canal across the Isthmus was begun by the Emperor Nero during the First Century A.D., but this was not successfully completed until the end of the 19th Century in 1893. Up to the 12th century, ships were still dragged on rollers across the narrow land bridge.
A Major Sports Capital
The Isthmian Games, one of the two most famous athletic events of the day (the other being the Olympic Games), was hosted by Corinth, a major athletic capital. These Isthmian games were held in the spring of every second year, beginning in 582 B.C., in honour of Poseidon. At the Isthmian Games in 336 B.C., Alexander the Great was chosen to lead the war against the Persians.
Cosmopolitan and Carnal Corinth
Even by the pagan standards of its time, Corinth was notorious for its moral corruption. The term "Corinthian girl" meant prostitute. To Corinthianise came to mean drunken debauchery, moral depravity and gross perversion. The Apostle Paul lists some of the specific sins for which the city was notorious: "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the Kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God." 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
Aphrodite and the Acropolis
Corinth had an acropolis (a high city), which rose 2,000 feet and was used both for worship and defence. The most prominent edifice on the acropolis was a temple to Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. The Temple of Apollo was constructed in Corinth 550 B.C. It was still operating in Paul's time, but was destroyed by an earthquake shortly afterwards. Corinth was one of the largest cities in the Roman Empire with a population of 800,000 and one of the most corrupt.
Wealthy, Worldly and Wicked
The first city of Corinth was partially destroyed by the Romans in 146 B.C. It was rebuilt and repopulated as a Roman colony in 44 B.C. by Julius Caesar. From 29 B.C., it was the capital of the Senatorial province of Achaia. Its cosmopolitan population of Romans, Greeks and Jews were very wealthy, worldly and arrogant. Not many were of noble birth. However, benefiting from this prosperous and strategic crossroads and host to important athletic games, there was tremendous wealth in Corinth. Along with that new money came a snobbery and arrogance which also infected the church. Idolatry was a central part of Corinthian culture. They worshipped the Roman god, Poseidon (the god of the sea) and the Greek goddess, Aphrodite (the goddess of love). A temple dedicated to the Roman Emperor Octavia (Augustus) was also later destroyed in an earthquake.
Who Wrote the Letter to the Corinthians?
This letter to the Corinthians was written by the Apostle Paul while he was on his third Missionary journey. The church in Corinth was founded by Paul on his second Missionary journey "After these things Paul departed from Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome); and he came to them. So, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers. And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath and persuaded both Jews and Greeks." Acts 18:1-4
When and Where
The Epistle to the Corinthians was written in the first half of A.D. 55, from Ephesus (1 Corinthians 16:8: "But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost." and in 1 Corinthians 16:19 "The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Priscilla greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house."
How was the Church in Corinth Established?
When most of the Jews resisted the Gospel, Paul left the synagogue, but not before Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, his family and many other Corinthians were converted (Acts 18:5-8). Paul ministered in Corinth for over a year and a half. "And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the Word of God among them." Acts 18:11 "Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized." Acts 18:8
Contentious, Carnal and Childish
The Corinthian church proved to be exceptionally divisive, carnal and immature. After the gifted Apollos had ministered in the church for some time, a group of his admirers established a clique which refused to have anything to do with the rest of the church. Another group developed which was loyal to Paul. Another claimed special allegiance to Peter. "Now I plead with you, brethren, by the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe's household, that there are contentions among you. Now I say this, that each of you says, 'I am of Paul,' or 'I am of Apollos,' or 'I am of Cephas,' or 'I am of Christ.' Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?" 1 Corinthians 1:10-13
Worldliness, Weakness and Wickedness
The most serious problem of the Corinthian church was worldliness and an unwillingness to divorce from the carnal culture of Corinth. The Corinthian church had failed to mature in its discipleship. Instead it had developed disastrous division, disturbing immorality and disgusting legal attacks on fellow believers, deplorable idolatry, disgraceful gluttony and disorderly practices in worship.
In the World but Not of the World
The two biggest battles for any congregation is how to keep the church in the world, engaged in effective Evangelism and how to keep the world out of the church, so that God's people can be Holy. This conflict between Evangelism and Holiness confronts us today. Most pastoral problems can be put under one of these two headings. Just as a rescue boat needs to be in the sea to rescue the perishing, the sea must not be in the boat. A rescue boat which takes on too much of the sea will be sunk and of no use to anyone. The church must be in the world, rescuing the perishing. The world must not be in the church.
Compromised and Corrupted
Corinth, as a typical seaport, was a cesspool of sexual immorality. Almost anything was acceptable in Corinth. It would appear almost anything was also acceptable in this new church of Corinth. One can discern how the Greek culture had infiltrated, infected and polluted the church.
Democracy vs. the Rule of Law
Democracy is a pagan Greek concept. Not that many people today would recognise what the Greeks called "democracy." Greek democracy was only for men of the upper classes. Neither women nor slaves had the vote under Greek "democracy" and two thirds of Athens were slaves. Nevertheless, one does not see democracy in the Bible. The Biblical concept is of a representative state based on laws, either a constitutional monarchy, or a constitutional republic. But Law is king. Lex Rex. The Biblical principles for government include: separation of powers, checks and balances and the rule of Law - based upon God's Law.
For many centuries the prevailing ethos was Rex Lex. The king is the law. The king's word is law. However, the Reformers inverted that term to Lex Rex. The Law is king. The king is under the Law. The king is obligated to rule in accordance with God's Law. Constitutional representative government is the Biblical standard. Not the tyranny of the majority. Not 50% plus one. Because man is depraved, democracy would not solve any problems.
Democracy Chose Barabbas and Crucified Christ
The mob that screamed for the release of Barabbas and the crucifying of Christ may have been democratic, but it was evil. So in the crucifixion of Christ we see democracy in action. The mob chose a murderous terrorist to be released and condemned to death the Lord of Glory.
The Idolatry of Sports
Sport was of supreme importance to the Greeks, as seen in the Olympics and the Isthmian Games. Sports and athletics were effectively the national religion of Greece. Statues of the ideal human form predominated in Greek culture. They worshipped the human body in an idealised, unrealistic fashion.
Separating the Physical from the Spiritual
The worst aspect of Greek thinking was the separation of the physical and the spiritual. To the Greeks the body and soul were entirely separate. The Greeks believed that the body was not really integral to the soul. Their thinking was that when the body decays at death, the soul is set free.
Body, Mind and Spirit
However, that is not the Biblical perspective. The Biblical concept is expressed in the maritime distress signal S.O.S (Save Our Souls). Souls and bodies are firmly attached. To save someone's soul, in the SOS sense, is to save their bodies from dying, because everybody is a living soul.
Comprehensive Fulfilment of the Great Commission
For centuries, Missionaries understood Missions to be ministering to body, mind and spirit. So Missionaries in the 19th century first established hospitals, or medical clinics, to minister to the body, schools to minister to the mind and churches, or chapels, to minister to the spirit. This comprehensive understanding of fulfilling the Great Commission has been integral to Christian civilisation.
Indulgence and Idolising
However, to the Greeks, their distortion of both body and soul led them to do one of three things with their bodies: They either indulged their bodies, since what is done to the body does not affect the soul, or they ignored their bodies and tried to live an ascetic life, free from physical desires. Or they idolised their bodies, making statues of the perfect body and effectively worshipping these completely unrealistic bodies.
God Has a People for His Temple
To these carnal Corinthian Christians, the Apostle Paul reminds them: "You are God's building." 1 Corinthians 3:9. God used to have a Temple for His people. Now He has a people for His Temple. "Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
"You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men." 1 Corinthians 7:23.
The Resurrection of the Body
Many religions believe in an afterlife. Only Christianity believes in the Resurrection of the body. That is why Christians have traditionally practised burial, "in sure and certain hope of the resurrection of the body from the dead". Jesus Christ is "the Resurrection and the Life". Hence Abraham buried Sarah. Abraham was buried. Joseph gave instructions that, after his body was buried in Egypt, it was to be carried back to the Promised Land to be buried in the land of his fathers. 400 years later, the children of Israel remembered this and carried the bones of Joseph back to be properly buried in his own land. It is important to note that the children of Israel never became Egyptians, not even after 400 years in Egypt. They were still Hebrews, Israelites. A nation is an ethno-linguistic people group of a shared faith.
Cremation is a Pagan Practise
Today too many Christians have accepted the pagan concept of cremation. The Greeks and Romans cremated their dead. The Ancient Vikings used to practise cremation until they were converted to Christ. From then on the Scandinavians consistently practiced burial. The Hindus cremate to this day. It is deeply disturbing that, in the latter part of the 20th Century and the beginning of the 21st Century, so many in the church have abandoned over 19 centuries of Christian tradition and adopted the pagan practice of cremation. The burial service is a clear Christian testimony "in sure and certain hope of the Resurrection of the body." "But now Christ is Risen from the dead and has become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the Resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the Kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death." 1 Corinthians 15:20-26
"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him." 1 Corinthians 2:9
When Pagan Greek Thinking Infects the Church
We can also see the pagan Greek attitude to the body in how so many Evangelicals today have abandoned the Christian tradition and practise of dressing up in one's best for worship in Church on Sunday morning. For 19 centuries, Christians have seen the attitude of our body in kneeling for prayer as normal, both for family devotions and at church services. Only in the latter part of the 20th Century and the beginning of the 21st Century has most of the Evangelical church abandoned the practise of kneeling in prayer. Those who have lived under a monarchy know what it is to kneel in submission before their monarch and most importantly before the King of kings and Lord of lords.
To Kneel or Not to Kneel - That is the Question
Today, some kind of egalitarian republicanism has infected the Church where most Christians find no occasion when they need to kneel before the King of kings and Lord of lords, our Creator and Eternal Judge. In Romans 12:1, the Apostle Paul wrote: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service."
Run to Win
"Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified." 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Catastrophic Carnality in Corinth
The carnal Corinthians had a catastrophic catalogue of crisis. There was division. Cliques had arisen centered on leadership cults. Immorality and immodesty was prevalent within the congregation. This was also seen in hairstyles and clothing. A litigatious spirit infected the church, where even church members were threatening lawsuits and taking fellow believers to court, rather than settling matters amongst themselves in accordance with Biblical principles. Idolatry was infecting church worship. Corinthian Christians were mixing the worship of God with pagan practices. A radical and aggressive feminism was seeking to abolish gender distinctions between men and women. The Lord's Supper was being abused with drunkenness and gluttony. Instead of the Lord's Supper as a serious, solemn and spiritual ordinance, focussed on Christ's sacrifice on the Cross of Calvary, the love feast had become a farce.
Charismatic but Chaotic
Corinth was plainly a charismatic church, rich in the gifts of the Spirit, but it was also a chaotic and carnal church lacking character and integrity. Paul commented that if any unbeliever came into their service they would conclude that the church members were out of their minds, insane! "Let all things be done decently and in order." 1 Corinthians 14:40
Do You Understand What True Love Is?
In carnal Corinth, the concept of love had been disastrously distorted. In Greek there are four words that are translated into English as love. The term love has such a widespread application that its meaning can often be distorted. When you can use the same word for: I love ice cream and God is Love, we must know that our language is inadequate to explain the Biblical concept of Love. There are four words for love in Greek: Eros, Philae, Storge and Agape:
Eros is lust, infatuation, attraction to the body, an emotional bond, conditional, reactive, dependent on the flesh and temporary (body).
Philae, often described as Philadelphia, brotherly love, is an affection, a liking, intellectual, reciprocal, dependant, long lasting, mental and emotional (soul).
Storge is family affection, service and loyalty (soul).
Agape is a uniquely Biblical word to describe God's Love. Agape is spiritual attention, unconditional, volitional, commitment, sacrificial and permanent. Whereas Storge and Phileo deals primarily with the soul and Eros with the body, Agape is a uniquely spiritual love. Agape love is the love of God. It is sacrificial, willing to pay the price for someone you love. Biblical Agape love is not a feeling, it is an act of your will (spirit).
Love is Not a Feeling - It Is an Act of Your Will
In 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, the Apostle Paul makes clear what true love is: "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away."
An Overview of the Main Subjects Dealt with in Corinthians
The first chapter of Corinthians deals with division in the church. Conflict.
The second chapter deals with wisdom - both human and God's wisdom. Confusion.
The third chapter deals with worldliness in the Church. Compromise.
The fourth chapter deals with the mysteries of God, which ministers must teach as servants and stewards. Contemplation.
The fifth chapter deals with immorality in the Church. Corruption.
The sixth chapter deals with our bodies as Temples of the Holy Spirit. Consecration.
The seventh chapter deals with principles of marriage. Commitment.
The eighth chapter deals with idolatry. Conscience.
The ninth chapter deals with the Christian pattern of self-denial. Conduct.
The tenth chapter deals with victory over temptation. Conquest.
The eleventh chapter deals with modesty and the Lord's Supper. Communion.
The twelfth chapter deals with the gifts of the Spirit. Calling.
The thirteenth chapter deals with our motives and attitudes in love. Consecration.
The fourteenth chapter deals with prophecies, tongues and order in church services. Christ-centeredness.
The fifteenth chapter deals with the Resurrection of the body. Consumation.
The sixteenth chapter deals with collections and co-workers. Co-operation.
Confronting Contemporary Carnality
First Corinthians is an extremely relevant Book to the problems of our age. It deals with division, leadership cults, worldliness, immorality, marriage, divorce, singleness, gender distinction, gifts and callings, pride, greed, gluttony, lust, idolatry and litigations. It reminds us of the primary tactics of the enemy: "Corrupt and conquer" and "confuse, divide and conquer."
Resist Corruption and Refuse to be Confused
We need to resist corruption and refuse to be confused. We need to understand the times and rightly divide the Word of Truth, so that we are not confused, divided or conquered. The Corinthians had become selfish, confused, corrupted and compromised. Their intellect had been perverted. Their conscience had been seared and darkened. Self-indulgence was a result. Christian liberty does not mean the right to do as we like, but the right to do as we ought.
Protect the Family
The family is the basic building block of society. Family is foundational. Corruption and undermining of the family affects the church and all of life.
Respect the Lord's Table
The Lord's Supper was established on the night in which our Lord Jesus Christ was betrayed. It celebrates His undying love for His people. The Lord's Supper is a symbol of the New Covenant in His Blood. The bread is a symbol of His body, which is broken for us. The fruit of the vine is a symbol of His Blood shed for us. A man ought to examine himself and be careful not to eat or drink in an unworthy manner. "But let a man examine himself and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world." 1 Corinthians 11:28-32
"For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, 'Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me'." 1 Corinthians 10:23-24
"…it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved…" 1 Corinthians 11:6
"Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonour to him? But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her…" 1 Corinthians 11:13-15
Men and Women are Different and Have Different Responsibilities
God has made men and women differently. Women should not be afraid of being feminine. Men should not be afraid of being masculine. Long hair on a man is a disgrace. Long hair on a women is her glory. Women must have their heads covered when they pray. Men must uncover their heads to pray. Men can be conscripted to the Army. Women should not be conscripted. To women alone belongs the burden and privilege of being pregnant, giving birth to children, being the life-givers and caregivers of babies. Men are called to provide for, guide and protect their family. Men are called to lead in families, church and state. Mothers are to be homemakers, shaping and raising the next generation.
War Against the Family
In our godless, rebellious and confused age, there are those aggressively campaigning for the removal of all gender distinctions. According to them, men should have access to women's bathrooms and showers. Women should be conscripted into the army and serve in combat. There are also those who advocate that women should be ministers of congregations. Sadly, too many males are all too willing to hand over their spiritual and other responsibilities to women.
Feminism has been catastrophic for civilisation. As women have poured into the workplace, children have been raised by state-run schools and child-care facilities. Unemployment of men has skyrocketed. Taxes have exploded. The cost of living has escalated. Inflation is rampant. Far more seriously most families are now dysfunctional. Many children are born into broken homes. Many children are raised in single-parent homes. Most men have left the church.
Churches have become more feminine. Most men feel alienated from the church. Few males today are real men and few females today are real women. Even less of the males are gentlemen. Sadly, very few females today are ladies. Feminism has actually been waging a war against femininity and the family.
Confusing and Corrupting Children
In this gender-confused age, children are the main victims. While women are filling the workplace, children are coming back from state schools, hostile to Christianity, to empty homes, or rather apartments, buildings, even houses, seldom homes. Instead of mothers and fathers raising the next generation in the way that they should go, in the fear of the Lord, the state is indoctrinating, subverting and seducing an entire generation into secular humanism, evolutionism, situation ethics, perversion and debauchery.
The crime and violence of angry young people in criminal gangs, engaged in substance abuse, drunkenness, drugs and sexual immorality, is catastrophic for society and civilisation. As goes the family, so goes the nation. Strong homes are essential for a healthy society. "…Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?" 1 Corinthians 1:20
The Message of the Cross
"For the message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." 1 Corinthians 1:18
"But we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called… Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God." 1 Corinthians 1:23-24
"For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 3:11
"Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us." 1 Corinthians 5:7
"Yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we live." 1 Corinthians 8:6
"…woe is me if I do not preach the Gospel!" 1 Corinthians 9:16
Strength to Resist Temptation
"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." 1 Corinthians 10:13
The Gifts of the Spirit
"There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills." 1 Corinthians 12:4-11
Active Members are Essential for a Healthy Body
A healthy church needs those who have wisdom and knowledge to teach. Those who have faith to lead and pray. Some people have a healing gift. From the beginning the Lord commanded His Disciples to go out, preach the Gospel and heal the sick.
Preach the Gospel and Heal the Sick
That is why the healing symbol of a Red Cross is a universally accepted sign of a hospital. Christianity invented hospitals. The nursing profession was founded by Bible-believing Christians in response to the injunctions of Christ. Many Missionaries, such as Dr. David Livingstone and Dr. Kenneth Fraser, were also medical practitioners. Establishing hospitals and clinics have frequently been an essential part of Missionary strategy.
Body, Mind and Spirit
Schools to minister to the mind, hospitals to minister to the body and churches to minister to the spirit.
Answers to Prayer and Discernment of the Word
The working of miracles and the proclamation of the Word of God is essential to the growth of the Church through the ages. Discernment must be the least popular gift. However, it is absolutely essential, living as we do in the age of confusion and deception. "For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints." 1 Corinthians 14:33
The Gift of Tongues
From the Day of Pentecost the Gospel was proclaimed in many languages. Learning to communicate in other tongues and being able to interpret from other tongues is an essential part of the fulfilment of the Great Commission. On the Day of Pentecost, this ability was granted, miraculously. For most it is a long and disciplined study to acquire other languages for the purposes of Bible translation and teaching. Some Missionaries, such as William Carey and David Livingstone seem to have had a miraculous gift of tongues and interpretation. They acquired and mastered many languages. David Livingstone preached the Gospel in many languages, which had never before heard the Word of God. William Carey completed the translation of the whole Bible into six languages and New Testaments and Gospels into a further 29 languages! "For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ." 1 Corinthians 12:12
Your Attitude and Motive is Vital
The gifts of the Spirit have been given to believers to serve God and His creatures. If we use these gifts as ends in themselves and covet the public gifts, such as speaking in tongues, it avails nothing. "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing." 1 Corinthians 13:1-3. Attitude is everything. Our attitudes and motives are vital.
Three Essentials for Every Church
John Calvin taught that there are three essentials for every church: Faithfully teaching the Word of God, administering the sacraments Biblically and exercising church discipline consistently. If any of those three are missing, it is not a church. "Watch, stand fast in the Faith, be brave, be strong." 1 Corinthians 16:13
Solus Christus! Sola Scriptura! Soli Deo Gloria! Sola Gratia! Sola Fide!
Christ alone is the Head of the Church. Scripture alone is our ultimate authority. Everything should be done for the glory of God alone. Salvation is by the grace of God alone, received by Faith alone. "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you." 1 Corinthians 16:23
Belief Affects Behaviour
Wrong living is directly related to wrong thinking. Bad beliefs lead to bad behaviour. Everything has consequences. "But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 15:57-58
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa