Tag Archives: Church

1 Corinthians 16- Tithing in the New Covenant

Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. 1 Corinthians 16:1

As we come to the last Chapter of 1 Corinthians, many might glance over it and see nothing really significant to learn here, but at a second glance, Paul gives us very valuable teachings and  early Church history that we can apply to the Church today. Here we see the topics of tithing  for the New Covenant Church.

The topic of “tithing” has always been confusing when applying it to the Church, the questions arise how do we apply the tithing command from the Old or Mosaic Covenant to the New Covenant? I emphasize this because Christians need to remember you are in the New Covenant with Christ, you are not an Israelite in the Mosaic Covenant, otherwise you would still be dead in your sins.

The Tithe was a commandment of God and a tax to support the Levitical priest line. The priest line, who were from the line of Aaron, didn’t inherit any land or have an occupation other than serving God and the Temple. Therefore the Priests couldn’t financially support themselves or their families, so God commanded a tithe be given to them. Now the “Tithe” wasn’t just money either, it was also food, as the Priests didn’t have any land to farm for themselves. So God provided for the Priests through the people, as all things are provided by God anyway

Now applying this to the New Covenant, obviously we don’t have a Levitical Priest line anymore, however we are all Priests through Christ (1 Peter 2:5) However not all Christians dedicate their full lives to serving God, many Born Again Christians also work and can support themselves. There are many Christians who do dedicate their lives to serving God and the Church, such as a full-time Pastor or Bishop, we should financially support them, as Jesus said “Freely give, as you have freely received” (Matthew 10:8)

We see in the book of Acts, the entire Church community supported each other, “and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.” Acts 2:45   The Apostle Paul said this to the early Church quoting The Lord Jesus Christ “I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” (Acts 20:35) As Christians we should have a heart of generosity, willing to support the Body of Christ, or those who are in need. 

The Apostle Paul also says this about supporting your Church leaders “Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer is worthy of his wages.” (1 Timothy 5:17-18)

While in the New Covenant, there is no longer a “Tithing Law of 10%” in place, with regenerated hearts, we should have a giving and generous heart. But when Churches require Christians to give 10%, there is actually no Biblical law for that in the New Testament. Here we see the Apostle Paul taking up a collection for the saints (Christians), As Paul also said  we as the Body of Christ need to support each other, to fulfill our work in The Lord, the Great Commission, Amen!

1 Corinthians 14- Order Of Creation

Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. 1 Corinthians 14:34-35

These scriptures are probably some of the most controversial scriptures possibly in the whole Bible. The question is how do we interpret and respond to them? I’ve heard arguments that these verses were added at a later date, I’ve heard arguments that this was just a cultural issue with the Church of Corinth, regardless of what your interpretation is, we must deal with these scriptures in honesty and obedience.

The Apostle Paul says a little later “What I am writing to you is The Lord’s command” (V37) So this totally destroys the idea that this was just Paul’s prejudice towards women. The Apostle Paul is stating these are commands he received personally from The Lord Jesus Christ. So either Jesus is your Lord (Master) or he’s not. If Jesus is your Lord, then you must be obedient to his words and commands.

The full context of this paragraph of scripture is order in the Church. Yes women are filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2) and women can prophesy and speak in tongues, however when it comes to a Church structure , there is supposed to be order. Remember earlier Paul taught us the order of creation “ the head of every man is Christ, and the head of every woman is man, and the head of Christ is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3)

This is a creation order from God, the woman was created from the man , and the woman was created for man (1 Corinthians 11:8-9) Now in a liberal crazy world we live in , this concept is unacceptable to the world, but this is the reality of creation. You either believe the word of God or you reject the word of God, there is no in between

Regardless of what the world says, Men and women are different and were born for different roles. I, as a man, can’t conceive and deliver a child, that is biologically impossible. That’s the reality of creation, we are different , and we were made and designed for each other. This doesn’t mean the man is greater than the woman, it means we were designed for different roles from God for serving family and the Church

The Apostle Paul dives more into this in 1 Timothy Chapter 2, The Apostle Paul says “ I do not permit women to have authority over a man,  Adam was formed first, then Eve” (1 Timothy 2:12-13) A couple things here we can clarity:

  1. This is not a cultural issue specifically aimed at Corinth, as Paul teaches on this multiple times, specifically in his letter to Timothy
  2. The issue is regarding creation order, God created Adam first, and Eve was created from Adam’s rib
  3. The Apostle Paul specifically mentions that these are commandments from Jesus Christ himself
  4. We can’t reject parts of the Bible we don’t agree with, if you reject one part of the Bible , you reject all authority of the BIble

1 Corinthians 14- Order of The Church

How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. 1 Corinthians 14:26-28

We often hear a judge yell “Order in the Court” when there are multiple people talking at one time, well this is what Paul is saying here for the Church. God is not the author of confusion (v33) The Church of Corinth had multiple people talking at one time, one person was singing a psalm, another person was speaking in tongues, another person was prophesying. But it was all just mass confusion instead of edification for the Church

Again we see those words here again in this Chapter, Paul says “Let all things be done unto edifying” It’s great when we sing Psalms or Hymns together, but if someone is singing and another Christian is preaching, it doesn’t work. We as the body of Christ need to be in sync with each other. It’s not about me and you, its about us and Christ. 

On our recent video chat, brother Fred mentioned at a prayer meeting, there are multiple people praying at one time, this actually is not Biblical. And it’s not surprising why , because it’s just causing mass confusion. There might be an edifying message or prophecy, however nobody can hear or understand it, therefore its not edifying to the Church

The Apostle Paul states here “If there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the Church, let him speak to himself, and God” If nobody understands what you are saying, then by scripture you are to remain silent in the Church. Now I think this bruises more egos than anything. If you have the gift of tongues , there is a time and place to use this gift, according to scripture

Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. 1 Corinthians 14:29-33

God is not the author of confusion, we need to remember and understand this. I’ve visited a Church where people were rolling on the floors and people were randomly speaking out, is this a Biblical structure of the Church? The Apostle Paul says No, and to be honest with you me and my wife walked out, because it was pure madness. 

As brother Fred also said “People are trying to create an upper room experience” , as we said before, we are not the Holy Spirit, we can’t create an upper room experience, only God Almighty can do this. One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is self control (Galatians 5:23) If we have no control over ourselves is this really from the Holy Spirit? God wants a Church of order and not chaos Amen!

1 Corinthians 12- We Are The Church

Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.  1 Corinthians 12:27-31

I think the opening statement here by Paul , sums up most of his teaching on the Church. Paul said “Now You Are The Body of Christ” You Are The Church! We as Christians waste so much time debating who is the correct denomination or raising money for buildings, the simple understanding is you are the Church, as a Born Again believer in Christ, the Holy Spirit lives inside of you, you are now the Temple of God, there is no denomination in the Kingdom of God, everywhere you go, there is the Church! Think about that!

Most of you know I live in Pennsylvania, and Penn State football is huge in our area. I’ve been to a few games at Beaver Stadium where they can seat over 100,000 people, tied for the largest stadiums in the country. And during the games they chant “We Are” and then the crowd roars “Penn State” this is obviously a pretty cool experience hearing that many people chanting the same thing.

Now what if we were as excited to be part of The Church? Do you get excited to assemble with our brothers and sisters, or is it a dread or a box to check off for the week? Imagine all Christians united chanting “We Are The Church” But unfortunately many Christians refuse to worship together, some even communicate with each other, over man-made interpretation of traditions. As Jesus said “They honor me with their lips , but their hearts are far from me” (Matthew 15:8)

Again Paul here is emphasizing , we all have different gifts and different roles of the Holy Spirit, this should not be a reason to divide or be envious of your brothers and sisters, we are all on the same team! Right? Jesus is our Lord, we are his hands and feet , fulfilling the Great Commision and building God’s Kingdom, why would you be angry if a brethren demonstrates a gift of the Holy Spirit? Going back to the football analogy, is everyone the Quarterback? Is everyone the Head Coach? Is everyone a lineman? Of course the answer is no , we all play different roles and functions, but everyone is important, this is the same with the Church!

The Apostle Paul finishes with a strong message “But covet earnestly or desire greatly , the best gifts, yet show I unto you a more excellent way” Just imagined if everyone actually followed the will of God, used their gifts given to them by the Holy Spirit, and worked in unison with each other? The gates of Hell would not prevail against this Church as Christ said, this is the excellent way, be obedient to God and love your brothers and sisters because We Are the Church, Amen!

1 Corinthians 12- The Body of Christ Part 3

And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. 1 Corinthians 12:21-26

We know that the Church, the Body of Christ, has alot of issues today, just as it had alot of issues at the Church of Corinth, just as Israel had alot of issues forever, why? Because we are all fallen people, anytime you have people involved in something, its going to get messed up. I only say this, because alot of people have this misperception that the Church should be perfect, that every Church is going to have the perfect Pastor, and the perfect Youth group, and the perfect leaders, but the reality is no Church is perfect. Why? Because we are the Church, and while we are filled with the Holy Spirit, and being sanctified daily, we are still going to make mistakes and fall short from time to time

The Apostle Paul says here “the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you” Part of our issue of being human, is we have an issue with pride and ego, we puff ourselves up and compare ourselves to other Christians, rather than just working together. But as Paul is saying One Christian can’t say to another Christian, there is no need for you in the Church, remember we are all called by Jesus Christ, we are his sheep, Christ has chosen us before the foundation of the world. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like your brother or sister, Christ has chosen them , and Christ is our Lord

The scripture says “There is no schism or division in the body (Church), but that the members (Christians) should have the same care for one another. Remember what Jesus said “The first will be last, and the last will be first” (Matthew 20:16) Sometimes it seems like Church has become a competition among Christians to see who is the greatest, doesn’t that sound familiar with the Apostles? (Matthew 18)

But we should all honor each other equally, and the weakest of faith in Body should be cared for the most. I know reading some of these words probably makes some of you cringe, I understand, I’ve dealt with my share of difficult members , however we love them because Christ loves us first! 

This is part of being a family, we didn’t pick who our brother, sister , or cousin was, right? We don’t pick who God has called to be our family either, we learn to love and embrace our differences and talents. Being part of a Church, is part of sanctification, you will really see who has the fruit of the Holy Spirit, when your involved with a group of different people

I love what Paul says here “if one member suffers, we all suffer, if one member be honored, we all rejoice” We the Church are in this together as a team, as a family, as the Body of Christ Amen!

1 Corinthians 12- The Body of Christ Part 2

If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. 1 Corinthians 12:15-20

We continue to look at Pauls teaching on how the Church is the Body of Christ. As Paul taught earlier, we are all One Body (Church) by the Holy Spirit and we all have been given gifts as the Holy Spirit wishes. There are many different gifts and many different callings to Christians, but together we are One Body of Christ. When we put all these gifts and talents together, we are an unstoppable force for the Kingdom of God. Sadly many Christians neglect each other, and we don’t get to see all the potential that can happen with a united Body of Christ

Paul uses the illustration of a physical human body for us to understand our roles as Christians within the Church. If the foot shall say because I am not the hand, I am not of the body (Church), don’t we see alot of this today in the Church. Well your a Catholic, your not part of the Body of Christ, well your a Baptist, your not part of the body of Christ. We like to pretend we are the Holy Spirit and we can determine who is saved and who is not, focus on our mission as disciples of Christ and let the Holy Spirit do his work!

Now I know comparing roles and denominations is not an accurate portrayal, I was just trying to demonstrate the point, we divide and discriminate within the body of Christ, just because we don’t know or understand a brother or sister. The Church is a diverse family with many different talents and experiences. However we are all united through Jesus Christ, our Lord and God

As Paul is teaching here, one Christian may have a different gift or calling, where another has another totally different gift or talent, that doesn’t mean one is greater than the other, or one doesn’t belong to the Body. The foot is a valuable part in itself as is the hand is a valuable part, if they were removed from the Body, it would make a noticeable difference. The Body is more strengthened with a strong hand and a strong foot, with all the parts working together , the parts can compliment and empower each other

Not everyone is going to be called to be a Pastor, not everyone is going to be called to be a Sunday School teacher, however every role and part of the Body of Christ is important, nobody is greater than the Head of the Church, which is Jesus Christ! Amen!

1 Corinthians 12- The Body of Christ Part 1

For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. 1 Corinthians 12:12-14

It’s no secret there is alot of division within Christianity, if you don’t believe me, spend some time on your favorite social media app and ask a general question about Christianity. I see Christians spend more time arguing with each other than evangelizing to the unsaved. And some may believe they are doing the right thing or have zeal for God, but it’s complete disobedience to Christ and quenching of the Holy Spirit

The Apostle Paul says here “For as the body (the Church) is one, and has many Members (Christians) There is only One Church, the Body of Christ. There are not multiple denominations , this is a completely man-made idea. The fact that Christians can’t even tolerate each other enough to worship together, has to grieve the Holy Spirit. You confess to be part of the body of Christ, yet you reject parts of the Body of Christ, this is not Biblical. To me demonstrates the heart condition of many professing Christians

As a Born Again believer we belong to the Body of Jesus Christ, it’s not an organization membership. This is not a political movement, your soul was bought by the blood of The Lamb. You are not your own anymore, you were bought with a price. Yet we want to inject our power and authority into the Body of Christ. If you want to know why your “Church” is spiritually dead, it’s because of disobedience. The Holy Spirit has left most Church buildings already, because the reality is most of the people didn’t want the Holy Spirit there

Paul goes on to say “For by One Spirit (Holy Spirit) We are all baptized into One Body (Church)” I see black Churches, I see white Churches, I see Hispanic Churches, I even see Chinese Churches today, none of this is Biblical. Paul goes on to say it doesn’t matter if you are Jew or Gentiles (nationality) we are all One through Jesus Christ!

But we as Christians , segregate ourselves into different groups and call ourselves different names, so it can be more pleasurable to worship? This is blasphemy, the Church model we are using was not God’s design, and you wonder why it’s failing? And now today the modern Church has gotten so far away from the Word of God, most of the Churches are not even recognizable anymore, a den of thieves!

What denomination are you? You are either Born Again or dead in Sin, Amen!

1 Corinthians 5- Set Apart

I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. 1 Corinthians 5:9-11

The Apostle Paul states “I wrote you in the epistle not to keep company or associate with fornicators nor sexually immoral” Now as we have been reading through the Epistle of Corinthians, this Church had a lot of issues, which is why it’s the largest letter to the Churches. Paul makes it clearer in his statements, he is referring to those who call themselves Christians, yet still live dead in their sins

Notice Paul says “Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters, for then must you need to get out of the world” Paul is saying you can’t avoid every sinner in this world because then you wouldn’t be able to exist in this world. However those who Paul is instructing to not associate with are those who claim to be Christians and yet still don’t produce the fruit of a Christian

In today’s Christianity, many Churches are being forced to inject LGBTQ people, not only as members of the Church, but also as leaders. Now anyone who knows the Bible or traditional Christian doctrine, knows this is in clear violation of God’s law. However it become unpopular to standby Biblical truth and many Churches are caving in to be accepted by the world, which is totally the opposite mission Jesus wanted for us

For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person. 1 Corinthians 5:12-13

Now I understand these statements may anger some people, however notice what Paul says here “But them that are without God judeth” Paul is saying we are not judging people who are outside the Church. People who are not Born Again, and don’t claim to be a Christian, we would expect them to be sinners, therefore we let God judge them. We can share the gospel with them, but it’s not our responsibility to pass judgment on them

However those who claim to be part of the Body of Christ, should submit themselves to the leadership of the Church, as Jesus Christ should truly be their Lord and Master. If someone who claims to be a Christian and refuses to repent or change their sinful lifestyle, they then need to be cut off from the body of Christ, Amen

1 Corinthians 5- Immorality In The Church

It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, 1 Corinthians 5:1-3

Often the theme among Churches today is “Come As You Are” and yes that’s a good saying and we should invite people to come to Christ, however does that mean we should stay as we are in Christ? Absolutely not, when we are Born Again in Christ, we become transformed, a new creation. The things of the past are the past, and we continually become sanctified by the Holy Spirit conforming to the image of Christ

So how do we deal with the sin that remains within the Church body? Well for the most part , the Churches typically don’t address or deal with sinful lifestyles of believers, but is this the Biblical model of the Church? Let’s see how Paul the Church of Corinth, here “It is reported commonly that there is fornication or sexual immorality among you” Notice Paul says this is a common practice, this is not a one time event where someone messed up, this has been a normal behavior of the Church to allow immorality to continue in the Church

Notice the Church’s response , Paul says “You are puffed up or proud, shouldn’t you be mourned or stricken with grief” The other members of the Church didn’t even care there was known immorality going on, however if they all truly were Born Again with the Holy Spirit, would they have this same response? The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin (John 16:8) This would be a sign of a healthy Church, the fact that the Church has no concern for sin among the Body, it’s a flag for false converts

In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 1 Corinthians 5:4-5

See Paul’s response here “Deliver such as one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh” Now in today’s age they would say “Paul is a legalist” or “Paul is not very Christian” but notice why Paul is doing this, “that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus”

Is it unloving to rebuke someone of their sin? No, it’s actually unloving to allow people to die in their sins and eventually go to Hell. If you truly believe the gospel, then you would warn someone of the errors of their ways. Now are there more loving ways to approach this? Yes , we need to try to and reach people with the love of Christ and not with a hammer!

Tomorrow will continue to look at how Paul dealt with sinful practices within the Church!

1 Corinthians 4- Church Family

I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you. For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me. For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church 1 Corinthians 4:14-17

There is a growing trend in Christianity where Christians no longer are members of a congregation. Many will use the excuses, they don’t agree with the doctrine, or they can’t agree with the pastor, or they just can’t get along with the other Christians, these are all personal issues and not a Church issue. 

Being part of a Church community is essential to your spiritual growth. If you can’t even be around other Christians now, what are you going to do in the New Heavens and Earth? Church families are never going to be perfect, because guess what, nobody is perfect, except Christ. The Holy Spirit will use these opportunities of differences to refine and sharpen you. But the main point is , nobody can go through this Christian walk alone

Notice how Paul addresses the Church here “ I write these things not to shame you, but as my beloved sons or children” Paul, being the Shepherd of this Church, feels like these people are his spiritual family. This is a concept throughout the New Testament, the Church is a family of believers

Recently on Twitter, a professing “Christian” criticized me for calling my fellow brethren, brothers and sisters. Brother Damon Gray quickly refuted this argument using the words of Jesus Christ “Whoever does the will of God, is my brother, sister, and mother (Mark 3:35) We are all brothers and sisters through Jesus Christ, this is why you should not neglect your local Church community, they are the family God has given you

Paul says “For this cause I sent you Timothy, who is my beloved son” now was Timothy the biological son of Paul? Of course not, Timothy was a gentile and Paul was Jewish, however Paul became Timothy’s spiritual father, as he did for many Christians he mentored over the years

This brings up another good point, we need to have spiritual mentors in our lives. Many Christians go astray because they are “lone wolves”, they don’t try to learn from a more mature Christians, they don’t use their gifts of the Holy Spirit with the rest of the body of Christ. 

If you are a Born Again Christian, you are my brother and sister in Christ, don’t neglect your Church family, they need you just as much as you need them, Amen!