Good Morning, Siblings!
Today’s readings are 1 Corinthians 5-8
We get some clarification and expounding on what Paul was talking about when it comes to eating today as well as lots more wisdom!
1 Cor 5:1-2 lets us know that news has been received by Paul that a member of the assembly is having a relationship with his step mother and this has been found acceptable by at least a portion of the assembly. Paul admonishes:
Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. 1 Cor 5:6
When we come into the fullness of our faith, by dedicating ourselves to live by our Father’s wisdom instead of our own, often the most difficult part of that task is the the letting go of traditions and ways of man that stand in direct contradiction to His Word.
I pray we are bold enough and brave enough to let go of all that keeps us from living in the fullness of our Father’s will.
1 Cor 5:11-13 gives us some pretty clear marching orders. Now notice that this is specifically related to someone who calls themselves a brother. YHWH’s people are held to a higher standard so open sin against YHWH (all sin is a direct rebellion against YHWH) by someone who claims to worship Him is far worse than if the same sin were done by someone who lived in darkness, having not come to the awareness of YHHW or Messiah.
1 Cor 6: 1-8 is a strongly worded indictment against Believers who would take other believers to courts. Paul is really clear in all of this so there is no need for me to expound upon his words but I will, instead, relate some of my own experience. At least a few times in my life I’ve had the misfortune of a relative dying and seeing bitter battles over what they left behind. Two particular family members on opposing sides of my family tree made it a point to leave their wills in a state that pointed out their love for some and their disdain for others – each party their own children. Rather than walking away, the children took the bait (remember that the Greek word for “offense”, skandalon, means to bait, set a trap, or ensnare) and proceeded to fight among themselves. It is like seeing wild animals picking a dead animal clean.
When Paul says “I say this to your shame”, I feel the grief in that statement. It is hard to imagine anyone, having seen it for themselves, not choosing to remove themselves from any possibility of worldly inheritance and instead dedicating themselves to storing up treasures of memories and moments with their loved ones instead. To see a person normally filled with the spirit to so value things of this world as to trade their very soul for them is a haunting experience.
1 Cor 7:12-14 – These passages are a comfort to many. I know a lot of people who are part of a marriage wherein their spouse does not have the zeal and love for the Father that they have. Blessedly, most of them have spouses who are merely complacent but somewhat supportive of their faith but I also know of those whose spouses are openly combative towards faith in the Father. For those of you who mourn over your spouses lack of interest in living a life of faith, this is a comforting passage indeed.
1 Cor 7:7 is a reminder that YHWH will use you where you are. We do not have to look for a mission field, we are always in a mission field. We need only look to Him for the field to become fertile and bear fruit.
1 Cor 8:1-13 Food Offered to Idols. This is a repetitive subject with Paul, which lets us know that it was a prevailing problem among new converts. Make sure you read and take time to understand the details here because he was addressing this in Romans and I know he addresses it in Galatians as well. In just about all instances, people today take it out of context and distort the meaning to their detriment – in order to give license to live apart from YHWH’s wisdom.
In this passage, to their credit, new converts were doing their best to avoid meat that had been sacrificed to idols. Now keep in mind this is a conversation about food and therefore only what YHWH considers to be food is being thought of here. However, Paul knew that these false gods were irrelevant, they did not exist and therefore the food did not change or become defiled by being offered to something that did not exist. Therefore we can purchase this meat in the marketplace and not be concerned about whether or not it was killed in the name of an idol. As Paul said “we are not worse off if we do not eat it and no better off if we do.” HOWEVER, to the weak (which is a reference to the new converts), who were trying to learn YHWH’s commandments and live according to them, this might make us appear as hypocrites or damage our witness in their eyes. And so, if we know that such a person is present, it would be wrong for us to eat this because we could confuse them and become a stumbling block to their young faith as they navigate their way to living according to YHWH’s word.
Please take some time and read carefully over chapter 8 as we really need to have a firm understanding of that in order to understand Paul’s reference to this issue in many of his letters.
I hope you have had a wonderful day. I look forward to more time in the word with you tomorrow!
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!
May YHWH bless the reading of His Word!