Favorite Corinthian verse

In preparing the lessons for next week, I admit to a bit of dread at having to work through 1 Cor. 7. But once I got into the chapter (you know what’s coming), it was a thrill. Especially this passage, verses 29-31:

And I say this, brothers and sisters: The time is short. So then those who have wives should be as those who have none, those with tears like those not weeping, those who rejoice like those not rejoicing, those who buy like those without possessions, those who use the world as though they were not using it to the full. For the present shape of this world is passing away.

I can’t say it’s my favorite (Don’s choice has been an old favorite as well), but it is a new passage that has taken on great meaning to me. First, because it’s poetic, lyrical language is just right for the sentiment it expresses.

Second, it expresses in a profound way what I often feel about this world, even if I’m not the best at its practice: a sense of that distance from this world’s activities in light of the approaching end.

Third, it reminds me of Eccl. 3 in a roundabout way. There, there is a time for everything. Here, though the whole approach and thought is different, there is no time for any of this. These belong to the passing order, to the universe which dissolves already in its turning, to the hard, definite shapes which blur before our eyes as they fade into nothingness. The tears dry because the reason for crying already is forgotten; the laughter ceases with the quick expiration of the mirth. This world’s doing and going and being are too little for such eternal souls. This ephemeral planet cannot hold up the weight of celestial yearnings and strivings and reachings.

A new set of circumstances will not make things better, Paul tells us in chapter 7, so just stay where you are. Until that door swings wide at angels’ trumpets and that great cloud of witnesses jumps to its feet to welcome home the souls of those who held all things on earth lightly, tentatively, and loosely, knowing that reality was not in these, nor true satisfaction.

#1-corinthians, #end-times, #favorite-bible-verses

Favorite Verse From 1st and 2nd Corinthians

1) Today’s Nudge: “From 1-2 Corinthians, choose a favorite verse or short passage and explain why it’s special to you”:

My favorite verse in 1-2 Corinthians is 2 Corinthians 10:5:

“casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”

This verse provides us the key to living a successful Christian life. We must be willing to “bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” Paul obviously employed this principle in his life, for he stated in Galations 2:20:

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

2) “Name a commentary or book on some part or the whole of these two letters that you find especially helpful”:

I’ve used the Bible as its own best commentary in this article http://mbriley.preachersfiles.com/2006/01/09/the-6-8-10-principles/, emphasizing the “6-8-10” principles found in 1st Corinthians Chapters 6, 8, and 10.

#argument, #captivity, #cast, #commentary, #crucified, #exalt, #faith, #favorite, #god, #knowledge, #obedience, #passage, #principle, #thought, #verse

My favorite verse is this one, “And I w…

My favorite verse is this one, “And I will very gladly spend and be spent for your souls…” (2Co 12.15a). To me, that epitomizes the spirit of Christianity.

I Cor 8:13

“Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.”

If Paul was willing to give up something that was clearly right simply for the sake of his brother, shouldn’t I be willing to sacrifice in like manner? Shouldn’t our brethren in the Christian church be willing to give up something they believe to be right (the instrument) for the sake of love for us?

It’s a simple argument & I’ve not yet heard a good reply to it. The powerful thing about this argument is that you don’t even have to labor to show the presumptuousness of the instrument (which, of course, can be done). You simply show that brotherly love trumps any type of food or musical instrument or whatever, and then you ask: “Do you love me more than your piano?” If so, they will give it up. If not, they fail to follow the example Paul set forth (cf. I Cor. 11:1) and they lack the greatest gift of all (love, I Cor. 13).


Catholicism on the move

Two items came to my attention yesterday about developments in the Catholic Church.

First, the pope released a document, “The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church.” From the noise, it would appear to be a major pronouncement, but it remains to be seen if their approach will change. Don’t hold your breath. In a striking phrase, Benedict is being touted as the “pope of the word of God.” With the bashing of fundamentalists, it appears to be another move to preempt them and keep from losing ground to those sad and despised souls who take the Bible literally.

The other item is talk between the Catholics and a few Protestant groups on the mutual recognition of each side’s baptisms. The Catholics want to make it easier for others to convert. So says one article about the main benefit of the talks:

For Catholic parish life, the accord would be advantageous in cases where someone baptized in the Reformed traditions wishes to enter full communion with the Catholic Church or wishes to marry a Catholic.

The Catholic Church recently invited Anglican bishops over to their side, and facilitated that move. The impression is the Catholics are hungry for converts, and they’ll take them where and how they can get them.

#baptism, #bible, #catholic-church, #catholicism

Daily Nudge: favorite Corinthian verse — and news

From 1-2 Corinthians choose a favorite verse or short passage and explain why it’s special to you. Paul runs the gamut of subjects and approaches in these two letters, so there’s something for everyone.

While you’re at it, name a commentary or book on some part or the whole of these two letters that you find especially helpful.

Tomorrow is a holiday here, so some churches have activities planned, a weekend camp session, cookouts, things like that. What’s happening among the saints in your part of the world?

#commentaries, #corinthian-letters, #favorite-bible-verses, #nudge