Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

Index by Subject

Mining the Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 1:10-13

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With this text, Paul gives his first of many admonitions to the church at Corinth. The Corinthians were acting carnally (cf. 3:1-4) in that they were fomenting strife within the congregation.

Division is an unacceptable condition among those who name the name of Christ. Those who cause it are to be quickly rejected by godly men (cf. Titus 3:10). Interestingly, in this situation, the Corinthians were dividing over men who themselves were godly and unified. The exaltation of men over truth is a common problem, causing division even today.

The present denominational view of unity is not advocated by Paul. While those today call for compromise, the abandonment of doctrine and an “agreement to disagree”, Paul calls upon the Corinthians to “all speak the same thing” and to be “perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Christian unity must aspire to the same standard practiced by the Son and the Father (cf. John 17:20-23). Nothing less will do!

Mining the Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 1:4-9

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In this text, the apostle expressed thanks for the blessings the Corinthians had received from Jesus. These blessings to which he referred were the spiritual gifts such as tongue speaking, prophecy, etc. With these, the “testimony of Christ was confirmed” in them (vs. 6). This is a primary purpose of such spiritual gifts. They not only equipped each one who received them, they also confirmed the teaching that each one imparted to others.

Paul, as did the rest of the New Testament writers, commonly looked forward to the coming of Jesus Christ (7). From His departure, recorded in Acts 1:9-11, the emphasis has ever been upon his eventual return. The angels affirmed that He, “will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”

In these introductory words, we see a foreshadowing of admonitions to come. Paul’s mention of spiritual gifts as blessings that enrich in verses 4-7 presage his admonition of their abuse of such gifts in chapters 12-14. His continual references to Jesus (9 times in the first 9 verses) serve to center the Corinthians minds upon the Christ, rather than their own divisive tendencies to inappropriately elevate mere men (cf. 1:10-15, 3:1-6).

Mining the Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 1:1-3

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Paul, in greeting the Corinthians in his first epistle to the church there, identifies himself as an “apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God.” This was his common greeting, necessitated by the Judaizers who constantly attacked his legitimacy as an ambassador of the Lord.

The letter is written to “the church of God which is at Corinth.” This is not a proper name for the church, but rather a phrase designating ownership. The church belongs to God. The church consists of those who have been called out of the world, separated through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. As such, it is proper only to refer to it as belonging to God, or Jesus (cf. Romans 16:16).

The Greek word ekklesia, from which the English term “church” derives, denotes sanctification. The church is called out, or separated from the world. This is accomplished when an individual, by calling “on the name of Jesus Christ”, is cleansed from sin. He is reconciled to God, and is rightly called a saint. This sanctification, as pointed out here by Paul, is accomplished in Jesus Christ. His sacrifice makes us holy, and separates us from the world.

Mining the Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 5:1-5

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In these verses, the apostle deals with a particular situation involving sin in the congregation. He identifies a man who was guilty of having sexual relations with his father’s wife. The wording here would indicate a stepmother.

However, Paul does not deal with the man himself. In fact, he says that he has already judged in the matter (vs. 3). The man was guilty, and stood condemned before God.

Here Paul is addressing the Corinthians lack of action. He tells them that they should have already removed the man from their midst, and called their refusal to do so an act of pride (cf. vs. 2, 6).

Here Paul reveals the congregational action that is required when an individual is in rebellion to God. By Christ’s authority the congregation is to come together, and mark and banish him as one unworthy of Christian fellowship. Other reasons for this action follow in later verses, but in verse 5 he states one of the most compelling ones, “that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”

Brethren, congregational discipline saves men’s souls.

Mining The Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 8:1

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1 Corinthians 8:1

“Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.” Someone might, in reading this statement, think that Paul was “anti” knowledge. This is certainly not so. Paul does not condemn, or even minimize, the value of knowledge. Rather, he here condemns certain attitudes that can be present in those who have knowledge.

If it is not tempered by love, knowledge can cause a man to be prideful and dismissive of others. This was the case with regard to the eating of meat offered up to idols. Some knew such was acceptable to God, and as a result were dismissive of their weaker brethren who did not have that knowledge. Rather than refraining from eating, to protect their brother, they instead were willing to risk their brother’s eternal welfare as they flaunted their superior knowledge of God’s will. Such is antithetical to Christ’s cause (vs. 12-13). Love must temper our knowledge!

Mining The Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 3:1-4

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1 Corinthians 3:1-4

Paul here admonishes the Corinthians for being “carnal.” The word is the greek sarkikos, and means: pertaining to the flesh… by implication, unregenerate (from Strong’s).

This designation is the opposite of “spiritual”, and indicates that the flesh was winning in its conflict with the Spirit in their lives (cf. Galatians 5:17).

What was their sin? They were divided. Rather than expressing love for one another, and “endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3), they were “behaving like mere men.”

It is not godly to be a strife bearer and envious. To be so is antithetic to Christ’s cause. Those who are His must show their love to one another as brothers and sisters in Christ (1 Peter 2:22). One way this is done is to “all speak the same thing” and to be “perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (cf. 1:10).