Paul about the Corinthians

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Paul shows the Corinthians the way of God with Israel in the wilderness, as instruction with regard to His way with us, telling the Corinthians that the things which happened to them were types or figures which serve as patterns for us. This is an important principle, and one that should be clearly understood, in order to benefit from it. It is not Israel who is the figure, but what had happened to Israel, which shows God’s way with them. The events themselves happened to Israel and they were written for our instruction who find ourselves at the end of the ages.

Corinth was a city of Achaia, situate on the isthmus, which joins Peloponnesus, now called the Morea, to the rest of Greece. Being so strategically in place for trade, the people of the city grew in riches, which led them into luxury, vulgarity, and all manner of corruptness. Corinth was a beautiful city, the center of pleasure for the whole empire, and it was devoted to two things. Those things were the pursuit of pleasure and wisdom. It was a Greek city, and its inhabitants loved to philosophize, and they were given to what Paul calls, “the wisdom of words. So the two major forces that were active in this city, creating the atmosphere in which the Corinthian church had to live, were these: intellectualism and sensualism. In the city of Corinth there was a temple that was dedicated to the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, and part of the worship of the Greek goddess was the performance of certain religious ceremonies that involved sexual relationships; therefore, the priestesses of this temple were really prostitutes, and there were around 10,000 of them attached to the temple.

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The city was openly given over to the practices of self-indulgence. It was regarded as a normal, proper part of life and no one ever thought twice about it. The people here were continually confronted by the doctrines and ideas of men following the great philosophers. They were people given over to the love of wisdom. Yet even here Paul planted a church, mostly of heathen converts who he wrote this letter to from the city of Ephesus to correct various sins that they were guilty of, and to answer some questions that they had asked him. In order to discourage the Corinthians from participation with idolaters, and comfort in any sinful practices, he gives them the example of the Jews, the church under the Old Testament. They enjoyed great privileges, but, having been guilty of terrible grievances, they came under very distressing punishments. In these verses he brings up their privileges, which were basically the same as ours. Then he gives account of their wrong doings and their sins and punishment and plagues, which are provided as an example to us, a warning against similar sins, so we can avoid the similar punishments.

The first epistle of Paul to the Corinthians captures the problems that they faced living in their time. To be ignorant means to be lacking in knowledge or training, unlearned, lacking knowledge or information as to a particular subject or fact, uninformed, or unaware. “For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. ” God Himself led the Israelites through the desert during their long exodus from Egypt.

He took on the form of a pillar of fire, clearly visible at night, and a pillar of cloud during the day. Exodus 13:21 says “By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. ” In Exodus 14:22 the Bible says “and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. Then in Numbers 33:8, we are told that, “They left Pi Hahiroth and passed through the sea into the desert, and when they had traveled for three days in the Desert of Etham, they camped at Marah. ” Paul tells the Corinthians, who boasted of their wisdom and knowledge not to be ignorant of the presence of God, the same presence that was with the Israelites in the desert in the form of a cloud. Also to be mindful of the protection, miracles, and favor God shows to them just as he showed the Israelites when he parted the red sea and they all walked through it on dry ground.

Baptize means to immerse in water, or sprinkle, or pour water on, in the Christian rite of baptism, to cleanse spiritually; initiate or dedicate by purifying, perform a ceremonial immersion in water, or application of water, as an initiatory rite or sacrament,Use baptism in a Sentence See images of baptism Search baptism on the Web Religious sacrament marked by the symbolic application of water to the head or immersion of the body into water and resulting in admission of the recipient into the community of Christians, or a ceremony, trial, or experience by which one is initiated, purified, or given a name. Corinthians 10:2 “They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. ” New Testament writers often compared Jesus’ words and deeds with Moses’ to explain Jesus’ mission. for example, the rejection of Moses by the Jews that worshiped the golden calf is likened to the rejection of Jesus by the Jews that continued in traditional Judaism. Acts 7:39-43, “But our fathers refused to obey him. Instead, they rejected him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt. They told Aaron, ‘Make us gods who will go before us.

As for this fellow Moses who led us out of Egypt—we don’t know what has happened to him! ’ That was the time they made an idol in the form of a calf. They brought sacrifices to it and held a celebration in honor of what their hands had made. But God turned away and gave them over to the worship of the heavenly bodies. This agrees with what is written in the book of the prophets: ‘did you bring me sacrifices and offerings forty years in the desert, O house of Israel? You have lifted up the shrine of Molech and the star of your god Rephan, the idols you made to worship.

Therefore I will send you into exile beyond Babylon. ’” Exodus 32:1, “When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, ‘Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him. ’” Paul brings in the perfect example of the similarities between the Israelites and the Corinthians by comparing the leaders they were baptized into. Moses was a type of Jesus Christ.

Both were born into a time where a cruel leader was oppressing the Jews. Exodus 1:15,16 “The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah ‘When you help the Hebrew women in childbirth and observe them on the delivery stool, if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live. ’” Matthew 2:16 “When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Also, both Jesus and Moses were a prince. Exodus 2:10 “When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, ‘I drew him out of the water. ’” Acts 7:21-22 “When he was placed outside, Pharaoh’s daughter took him and brought him up as her own son. Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action. ” Heb 1:2 “…spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. ” Both of them gave up their throne.

Heb 11:24 “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God…” Phil 2:6-8 “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! ” Also, their own people rejected both, as deliverers.

Acts 7:23-27 “When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his fellow Israelites. He saw one of them being mistreated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defense and avenged him by killing the Egyptian. Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not. The next day Moses came upon two Israelites who were fighting. He tried to reconcile them by saying, ‘Men, you are brothers; why do you want to hurt each other? ’ But the man who was mistreating the other pushed Moses aside and said, ‘Who made you ruler and judge over us? ” Matthew 12:24 “But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, ‘It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons. ’” Matthew 27:22 “‘what shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ? ’ Pilate asked. They all answered, ‘crucify him! ’” Matthew 23:37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. ” Then both deliverers take a gentile bride.

Exodus 2:15,16,21 “But Moses…went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well…. Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters…Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage. ” Moses and Jesus were in many ways the same just as the Israelites and the Corinthians were the same. The definition of spiritual is incorporeal, as distinguished from the physical nature, closely akin in interests, attitude, outlook, of or pertaining to the spirit as the seat of the moral or religious nature, of or pertaining to sacred things or matters, religious, devotional, or sacred. They all ate the same spiritual food. ” Food is any nourishing substance that is eaten, drunk, or otherwise taken into the body to sustain life, provide energy, promote growth, whatever supplies nourishment to organisms, or anything serving for consumption or use. Exodus 16:12 says, “I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God. ’” Numbers 11:9, “When the dew settled on the camp at night, the manna also came down. Deuteronomy 8:3, “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. ” God provided a food for the Israelites that was spiritual just as Jesus gave his disciples during the last supper. Luke 22:19, “And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me. ” Mark 14:2, “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take it; this is my body. ’” Matthew 26:26, “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take and eat; this is my body. ’” The spiritual food is representative of the free gift of God that is deliverance. “And drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. ” This verse can be cross-referenced with Numbers 20:11, “Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff.

Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. ” Exodus 17:6, “‘I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink. ’ So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel. ” The rock is another representation of Jesus’ presence with the Israelites in the desert. Matthew 16:18, “…on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. ” This shows yet another way that God cared for them. Taking care of their needs and making sure of their survival.

The similarity between the Israelites and the Corinthians is shown yet again as they were both given a spiritual drink. The drink representing God’s presence and deliverance from evil was given just as when Jesus gave the drink during the last supper. Luke 22:20, “In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. ’” Matt 26:27-28, “Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. ” Mark 14:23-24, “Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they all drank from it. ‘ This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,’ he said to them. ” “Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. ” To be scattered is to be distributed or occurring at widely spaced and usually irregular intervals, Dispersed, disorganized, Distracted, or disorganized. Psalm 141:7, “They will say, ‘As one plows and breaks up the earth, so our bones have been scattered at the mouth of the grave. ” Num. 26:65, “For the LORD had told those Israelites they would surely die in the desert, and not one of them was left except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. ” Even though God was with the Israelites and protected and provided for them, they disobeyed and lost faith in him and sinned as a whole. This displeased God and he punished them. They ended up dieing, their bodies scattered across the dessert. But the verse doesn’t just say they died there as if by natural causes. It says that they were scattered.

This is because they died at the hand of God, by the plague, the sword, fiery snakes, fire from heaven, or the destroying angel. We know for certain that the Bible does use examples to teach and instruct. An example is one of a number of things, or a part of something, taken to show the character of the whole, a pattern or model, as of something to be imitated or avoided, an instance illustrating a rule or method, as a mathematical problem proposed for solution, an instance, especially of punishment, serving as a warning to others, a precedent, or parallel case. Corinthians 10:6, “Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. ” One’s heart is the center of the total personality, especially with reference to intuition, feeling, or emotion or the center of emotion, especially as contrasted to the head as the center of the intellect, the innermost or central part of anything, the vital or essential part, core. To set one’s heart on, or to have one’s heart set on something, means to wish for intensely; determine on. Evil is morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked and characterized or accompanied by misfortune or suffering.

These deeds and effects of them were examples for the Corinthians to serve as a warning to refrain from redoing the past mistakes of the Israelites in the wilderness. Paul is telling them not to indulge their carnal appetites and to turn away from the lust for the feasts taking place in the temples of the idols. Idolaters are worshipers of idols, or those who blindly or excessively admire or adore another. 1 Corinthians 10:7, “Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: ‘The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry. ” This cross-references to Exodus 22:6, “So the next day the people rose early and sacrificed burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings. Afterward they sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry. ” Indulging is yielding to an inclination or desire; allowing one to follow one’s will satisfying, or gratifying. Revelry is taking great pleasure or delight making merry; indulging in boisterous festivities, often an occasion of merrymaking or noisy festivity with dancing, masking.

When it tells us that they sat down to eat and drink, it is understood that it is referring to a feast taken in honor of the golden calf. Exodus 32:1 “When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, ‘Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him. ’” It seems that the people of the church in Corinth would be inclined to such a thing since it was all around them so Paul tries his hardest to caution them against it.

The Greek word translated as sexual immorality or fornication is “porneia”. It is used generally to refer to any sexual sin. It includes any form of illicit sexual intercourse like adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, and intercourse with animals. Porneia became synonymous with life in the 1st century, reflected by their attitude toward adultery, their attitude toward divorce, “Roman women were married to be divorced and were divorced to be married. Some of them distinguished the years, not by the names of the consuls, but by the names of their husbands. Also Their attitude toward family, “Caligula lived in incest with his sister Drusilla, and the lust of Nero did not even spare his mother Agrippina. ” And their attitude toward homosexuality, “It were better not to need marriage, but to follow Plato and Socrates and to be content with the love of boys. ” God’s disapproval of sexual immorality is seen in the fact, out of seven lists of evil in the writings of Paul, porneia is listed in five of them, and is the first in each of them. 1 Corinthians 5:9-11, 6:9-10, Galatians 5:19-22, Ephesians 5:3-5, and Colossians 3:5.

Verse 8 of 1 Corinthians chapter 10 says, “We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. ” Numbers 25:1, “While Israel was staying in Shittim, the men began to indulge in sexual immorality with Moabite women. ” Numbers 25:9, “but those who died in the plague numbered 24,000. ” Psalm 106:14, “In the desert they gave in to their craving; in the wasteland they put God to the test. ” The Corinthians, we are told were addicted to fornication and saw no evil in it so Paul shows an example of God’s disapproval of this sin with the Israelites.

To test is to subject to a test, try, to determine the presence or properties of a substance, or to administer a test. “We should not test Christ, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. ” Numbers 21:4-9, “They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, ‘Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the desert? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food! ’ Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died.

The people came to Moses and said, ‘We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take the snakes away from us. ’ So Moses prayed for the people. The LORD said to Moses, ‘Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live. ’ So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived. ” John 3:14-15, “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. In 1 Corinthians 10:9 when it says they tested God it means they unnecessarily exposed themselves to temptations and dangers while counting on God’s grace and power to keep them from the consequences. 1 Corinthians 10:10, “And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel. ” To grumble is to complain in a surly manner, mutter discontentedly, to rumble or growl, give a muttered complaint, or to express or utter with murmuring or complaining.

Numbers 16:41, “The next day the whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. You have killed the Lord’s people,’ they said. But when the assembly gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron and turned toward the Tent of Meeting, suddenly the cloud covered it and the glory of the LORD appeared. Then Moses and Aaron went to the front of the Tent of Meeting, and the LORD said to Moses, ‘Get away from this assembly so I can put an end to them at once. ’ And they fell facedown. Then Moses said to Aaron, ‘Take your censer and put incense in it, along with fire from the altar, and hurry to the assembly to make atonement for them.

Wrath has come out from the LORD; the plague has started. ’ So Aaron did as Moses said, and ran into the midst of the assembly. The plague had already started among the people, but Aaron offered the incense and made atonement for them. He stood between the living and the dead, and the plague stopped. But 14,700 people died from the plague, in addition to those who had died because of Korah. ” Some of the members of the church were inclined to grumbling against other members and ministers of the word and against the rules and ordinances of Christ.

A warning is something that serves to warn, gives notice, caution of danger, impending evil, possible harm, or anything else unfavorable, to admonish or exhort, as to action or conduct, or counsel to desist from a specified undesirable course of action. 1 Corinthians 10:11, “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. ” They are historical facts designed to teach great lessons, since God still deals on the same principles.

The ends of the ages refer to the New Testament dispensation in its successive phases. No new dispensation shall appear till Christ comes as Judge. Till then the “ends,” being many, include multiple successive periods. Paul is saying that all of their punishments happened as the will of God as they were deserved and not by chance. They were done so we can see that we need to avoid the deed to escape the punishment. These things happened for us in the end age to give us the advantage of being able to look back on them. “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! To be careful is to be cautious in one’s actions to do things with accuracy and mindfulness, to be attentive to potential danger, error, or harm, and to be thorough and painstaking in action or execution. And to be firm is to be steadfast or unwavering, as persons or principles. Many of the Israelites thought they were standing firm because of the many privileges God gave to them but they were made examples of because they did not stand through their temptations. So Paul warns those in the city of Corinth not to think that they are safe from any punishment or from falling into sin when they give into it.

Temptation is enticement or allurement, or state of being tempted. 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to us all…” Common is belonging equally to, or shared alike by, pertaining or belonging equally to an entire community, nation, or culture, public, widespread, general, ordinary, of frequent occurrence, usual, familiar. “…And God is faithful…” To be faithful is to be strict or thorough in the performance of duty, true to one’s word, promises, vows, steady in allegiance or affection, loyal, constant, reliable, trusted, or believed. … He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. ” To be able to endure is to be able to hold out against, sustain without impairment or yielding, to continue to exist, last, to support adverse force or influence of any kind; suffer without yielding; suffer patiently, to have or gain continued or lasting acknowledgment or recognition, as of worth, merit or greatness. Peter 2:9, “if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment. ” No one can be tempted by anything without the permission of God. Even the devil himself need permission to do anything on earth to a man Job 1:12. Learn from the examples set before you. This is what the apostle Paul is telling the Corinthians. Paul exhorts them to learn the lessons of their forefathers.

Paul gives us examples of their being less than faithful to, and outright rebellious against, the Lord, for which God was not pleased. God was not pleased with His people on account of their unfaithfulness. Yes, they ate the same spiritual food; they were fed on the Word of God. They confessed their faith in and obedience to God, but they then fell away and worshiped other gods, a cycle constantly repeated in the Old Testament. The first epistle of Paul to the Corinthians is a very, very important letter for us because it so thoroughly captures the problems that we face as moderns living in this modern age.

The reason is, of course, that Corinth was the most American city in the New Testament, it was a resort city, the capital of pleasure in the Roman Empire. We need to apply these lessons to our lives as much as the Corinthians needed to apply them to theirs. We need to remember to stay away from idols, not to test God or grumble against the Lord, and to take the escape route from temptation that God is faithful to provide because if we don’t then we will go through terrible trouble.

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