1 Corinthians 1
"God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord." 1 Corinthians 1:9.
You know being a grammar nerd, I like to play around with sentence diagrams in my head (isn't everyone else doing that?) and I wonder if we could do a little switcharoo on that "faithful" word there and change the way we think about it. If we thought about it more as a predicate nominative, then it would be something like this: God equals faithful. God is faithful(ness.) Faithfulness is God. God defines faithfulness.
Lose you? Sorry about that. My nerdiness aside, I'm just saying God's faithful. I love that we can count on that. So much is not reliable in this world, so much will let us down, but He never will.
God can do great things when we obey: "But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty." 1 Corinthians 1:27.
This is a comfort to hear when genuine Christians are laughed at, scorned, thought to be without brain cells and generally irrelevant to the human race.
1 Corinthians 2
"But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit, for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God." 1 Corinthians 2:10
Christians recognize and appreciate the great depth contained in the scriptures and found in a relationship led by the Holy Spirit. All the other smartie pants secular discussions begin to sound like a bunch of whatever, compared to the deep things of God found in the Bible and revealed to us by the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 3
"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" 1 Corinthians 3:16.
Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, so we kinda need to take care of them because of that (one reason.) This is the passage that helps us articulate why it matters how we look. We're the billboard for the Lord walking around. Creative hair sculpting flavor, immodest clothing, earrings placed on bizarre and unexpected regions of our body are, in my view, not honoring God's temple. The outside matters.
Maybe someone sees this differently, and would argue that if a Christian is sporting a goth alternative look then that is useful in relating to lost people. I hear you, I can see that. For myself though, I think I can relate to them through my heart pretty well. We don't have to disgrace ourselves on the outside and conform to the world in order to relate to people and be real.
1 Corinthians 7
"Let not the wife depart from her husband, but and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband; and let not the husband put away his wife." 1 Corinthians 7:10-11.
Not my doctrine on divorce, it's the Bible. And why argue with it? Why be scared of it? We should be grabbing hold of it like a life preserver as we're drowning. What's scarier: staying with a difficult marriage or defying God's word? We're supposed to fear Him and Him alone. God's word is our umbrella of protection keeping us happy and safe.
"And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; else were your children unclean, but now are they holy." 1 Corinthians 7:13-14
Well that just fixes all the problems Christians might agonize over if one of them is a believer and the other is not. Paul goes onto say:
"For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?" 1 Corinthians 7:16
Such a ray of hope for a wife who is in a painful marriage with an unbeliever.
Now one of the wonderful things about the Lord is, He is so merciful and gracious that He'll meet us right where we are. So if someone finds out all of this Biblical truth and it is too late, it's all good with the Lord, He meets you right where you are now. Right that very minute. Boom, clean slate. But if we are married, I think we chicks need to seriously never consider divorce for ourselves and we need to never tell another woman that divorce is an option. Let's be the friend who points other ladies to the Lord and tells them: you can do it, you can stick with it, you don't have to do it in your own strength, God will equip you. You'll probably be the only person saying that to her, because the rest of the world says the opposite.
1 Corinthians 9
"For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more." 1 Corinthians 9:19
Humble witnessing, is what I wrote in the margin of my Bible.
Okay Paul cuh-racks me up in this next passage. I can relate: he says he is fighting the good Christian fight, "not as one that beateth the air." 1 Corinthians 9:26.
I can just see him punching the air. Sometimes I feel like I am just punching the air and no good comes from my efforts. Everything I do is futile. That thought is not from the Lord but rather from the Enemy. Who seriously needs to get a life.
1 Corinthians 10
"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31.
Down to the pinky finger, everything we're about needs to be about God's glory. I've had to do some evaluating of our family's activities, and make sure that they are glorifying God, and not just conforming to the world. Or at least not de-glorifying Him. It's hard to make baking cookies glorify Him. I'm not saying we all have to walk around in a nun outfit chanting Latin in order to be about the things of the Lord. Though I think those ladies are the bomb. But for example we chose very carefully our daughter's dance studio. Dance is a powerful art, and dance can be God honoring or dance can be sinfully provocative and warped eroticism, which should be kept within the sanctity of marriage. Hello sleazy establishments for men? They'd not be in business if I'm lying to you. We took a long hard prayerful look to make sure this dance studio honors the Lord with modesty, movement, music, all of those things. We're not shaking our booty around here just because the rest of the world might be doing that.
Glorifying Him is the whole reason we are alive. It's the place where we find true joy. If He's our focus then we can't help but glorify Him, we don't even have to try. It's what spills out of us. If it's not spilling out, we might want to evaluate where our loyalty lies. Whom are we worshipping? That's who we glorify. (Generally if it's not Christ it's our own self.)
1 Corinthians 11
"....the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God." 1 Corinthians 11:3.
This is the Lord's order of things. We have here a picture of the cross at the top, then the dude, then his wife. Children under that. I think today, in many people's hearts, Christ is no where to be found, and ladies see themselves as side by side with their husband, in an equal partnership. Which actually translates into the wife over-riding the husband. This is not God's order of things. This is total chaos. This does not mean that women are airheads and men have this No Girls Allowed sign on their treehouse. Authority is a good thing. Catching hold of this Biblical truth is so freeing. We might think outsmarting or avoiding any authority is freeing but it's actually the opposite: it's bondage. We're only outsmarting ourselves. And that's not very smart. It kind of smarts to think of it but there it is.
1 Corinthians 13
We gotta include that famous thing everyone reads out loud at their wedding, and the King James has it "charity" rather than "love." And you know this is easy to say these pretty words at a wedding but much harder to actually do in marriage. Once the honeymoon is over. Literally. Which is nice that people read it at weddings, knowing that a strong marriage is not always built upon feelings--no one can sustain good feelings--but is rather based on charitable actions. I am crazy about my husband, love the guy to pieces. But there are always going to be ups and downs in marriage, "vexations and grief" as Jane Austen has it. I don't get why we think marriage should be based on feelings every single day forever and ever. Are jobs based on feelings? Do people get up and go to work because they feel like it? I shudder to even think what I'd be like if I based my actions on my feelings. Especially in traffic. "Charity suffereth long, and is kind, charity envieth not, charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth: Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things." 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
1 Corinthians 14
For this next passage, we are going to have a dialogue with Paul. I promise you 100 percent that I am not changing anything he says. It is completely intact from the King James version. I'm only responding the way we chicks might respond when we first hear what he says. Here we go.
"Let your women keep silence in the churches," 1 Corinthians 14:34
I'm frowning. I wonder if I trust this whole Bible situation at all and Paul hasn't even finished his sentence.
"for it is not permitted unto them to speak, but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law." 1 Corinthians 14:34.
I might even have some smug neck action going at this point, and a disapproving grunt. But we keep listening anyway:
"And if they will learn anything let them ask their own husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church." 1 Corinthians 14:35
Now hold up. Who you tryin' ta tell not to speak. Boy you trippin.
"What?" 1 Corinthians 14:36
I'll tell you what. After I pop you upside the head wit dis book.
"Came the word of God out from you?" 1 Corinthians 14:36
I didn't say I wrote no Bible, I'm just saying don't be telling me to be silent. Shoot.
"Or came it unto you only?" 1 Corinthians 14:36
Well all right then. I know it didn't come just to me. I hear what choo saying. Maybe.
1 Corinthians 15
Having forgiven Paul for all that in Chapter 14: Prepare yourself, here is one of my all time favorite scriptures, are you ready?
"I die daily." 1 Corinthians 15:31
Pretty sure my Bible I had when I was growing up says, "I die every day." Don't we all totally get that, in the sense that we choose every day to die to self, and not live for ourselves but rather for the Lord? Giving our life to Him (once we've received our salvation) is a daily, ongoing thing. The crazy thing is, when we die to self, that's when we really begin living. "I die daily" sounds terrible from our culture's way of looking at things. Why would anybody sign up for this Christianity thing? Here's the ad campaign: "Christianity for you, free of charge, all you have to do is die daily." Sounds kind of bleak. But cool chicks like us are thinking eternally. So we realize it's actually the secret to joy. C.S. Lewis said in Mere Christianity that Christianity is kind of the opposite of what you think it's going to be. In not looking for joy, you find it.
Talking of Christ's return: "Behold, I shew you a mystery, We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump, for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." 1 Corinthians 15:51-52.
He's coming back baby. Do a dance, He's coming back. Bust a move, He's coming back.