1 Corinthians 14:1-15:58
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First Corinthians chapter 14 is an interesting chapter. I personally have not spoken in tongues - nor heard it as far as I know. But, I do know many people that have both spoken in tongues and heard it and have heard interpretations. I do think Paul makes it clear in this chapter that both speaking in tongues and prophecy are gifts. I do think we do well to pay attention to Paul's conclusion to today's readings in verses 15 through 17: "Well then, what shall I do? I will do both. I will pray in the spirit, and I will pray in words I understand. I will sing in the spirit, and I will sing in words I understand. For if you praise God only in the spirit, how can those who don't understand you praise God along with you? How can they join you in giving thanks when they don't understand what you are saying? You will be giving thanks very nicely, no doubt, but it doesn't help the other people present." Bible.org's commentary on speaking in tongues is at this link.
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in First Corinthians titled "The Measure of a Gift" is at this link.
I don't know if you've ever heard Billy Graham say that he likes to read the newspaper in one hand with the Bible in the other hand? I will try to provide an example of how we can do this today, thanks to an article a couple of years ago in Newsweek titled "In Search of the Spiritual" at this link. This is an opportunity to read Paul's words today in First Corinthians chapter 14 on orderly worship, and then compare to what you read in this Newsweek article. I'll let you work out your own conclusions. Be like Billy Graham - read the news of the day in one hand with the Bible in the other hand. Tim Challies (one of my favorite bloggers) has an interesting take on this Newsweek article on his blog at this link.
(On some more Billy Graham / magazine notes, did everyone catch the Newsweek magazine article in 2006 about Billy titled "Pilgrim's Progress"? You can read it online here. Billy is now over 90 years old - below left is a TIME cover from 15 years ago. And below right is another TIME cover from 2007 with an article about Billy ministering to President's which you can read at this link.)
The One Year Bible Companion book dives into the question "Does 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 mean that women should not speak in church services today?" I encourage you to pick up this book, as it is invaluable in going through the One Year Bible and covers great questions like this. I will share with you a little bit of their answer on this today - "Women have much to contribute and can participate in worship services. In the Corinthian culture, women were not allowed to confront men in public. Apparently some of the women who had become Christians thought that their Christian freedom gave them the right to question men in public worship. This was causing division in the church. Paul was asking the women not to flaunt their Christian freedom during worship. The purpose of Paul's words was to promote unity, not to teach about women's role in the church." Thank you Tyndale for this Q & A.
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in First Corinthians titled "Spiritual Gifts and Self Control" is at this link.
We read beautifully true words from Paul today in First Corinthians chapter 15 verses 3 & 4: "I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me--that Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, as the Scriptures said." And then there are some interesting words from Paul in verses 17 through 19: "And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless, and you are still under condemnation for your sins. In that case, all who have died believing in Christ have perished! And if we have hope in Christ only for this life, we are the most miserable people in the world." He immediately follows up these verses with this statement in verse 20: "But the fact is that Christ has been raised from the dead. He has become the first of a great harvest of those who will be raised to life again." This is quite a chapter from Paul about the Resurrection of Jesus and the Resurrection of the dead! I think the key question we each need to ask ourselves is: do you believe that Jesus was born on this earth 2,000 years ago, is the Son of God, lived a sinless life, died on the cross for your sins, and on the third day rose from the dead? This is the question on which all of Christianity - and your personal faith in Jesus - hinges. So, what say you?
In verses 5 through 8 today six resurrection appearances of Jesus' are mentioned. Below is a full list of Jesus' resurrection appearances from Zondervan's NIV Study Bible:
1. The empty tomb (not an appearance per se - but no body was in the tomb - the first indication of the resurrection)
2. To Mary Magdalene in the garden
3. To the other women
4. To two people going to Emmaus
5. To Peter
6. To the ten disciples in the upper room
7. To the 11 disciples in the upper room (including Thomas this time - see painting below)
8. To seven disciples fishing on the Sea of Galilee
9. To the 11 disciples on a mountain
10. To more than 500
11. To James
12. To the disciples at His ascension
13. To Paul on the road to Damascus
One of my favorite paintings of a resurrection appearance of Jesus' is by the Italian artist Caravaggio from the year 1603 titled "Doubting Thomas":
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in First Corinthians 15 titled "A Refresher Course on the Resurrection of the Dead" is at this link. Below is a great image for First Corinthians chapter 15 verse 2 from today's readings:
Today in First Corinthians chapter 15 verses 42 through 44 and 49 we read: “So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. . . And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.” Have you thought much about heaven? Have you considered life after death? Do you believe that there will be a resurrection of the dead? Do you believe that your body will be raised imperishable? That your body will raised in glory? In power? Do you believe that there is a spiritual body, just like we now know our earthly body? Are you looking forward to bearing the likeness of Jesus in heaven? On a side note, Randy Alcorn's book "Heaven" is a fantastic look at life after death for those whose lives have been surrendered to Jesus. Please please read this book if you haven't yet! It will change your perspective on heaven!
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in First Corinthians 15 titled "A Refresher Course on the Resurrection of the Dead" is at this link. Below is a great image for First Corinthians 15 verse 54:
Worship God: Our First Corinthians chapter 15 readings today about Jesus' resurrection reminded me of the Newsboys song "He Reigns!" I had not seen the video to this song until just now, but I love the video! Watch the video all the way to the end to see all God's children on the beach singing and dancing "Glory, Glory! Alleluia! He Reigns!" Also, notice how the video changes from night / dark at the beginning to Day / Light as it progresses! Reminds me of how our hearts change when we finally decide to surrender them on over to Jesus...
Do you know that He Reigns? Click here to meet our Reigning Lord!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins." 1 Corinthians 15:17 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you wholeheartedly believe in the Resurrection of Jesus. Pray that you wholeheartedly believe in your resurrection after death, if you have a saving faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!