“But Not Everything is Beneficial”

12 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. —1 Cor. 6:12-13 NIV

When we accepted Jesus as our Savior, we were set free from the bondage of sin. We no longer were bound to satan and the flesh. Just as our physical freedom has limits, so does our Spiritual freedom have limits.  The physical limits are set by the laws of the land.  Our Spiritual limits are set because of our love for our Lord and Savior. Free to do anything?  Yes, but would doing just anything the flesh wanted glorify our Lord? No, of course not.  The flesh is weak and if we give into fleshly desires, they will become our master. We are free to choose who we serve. We can serve Jesus and live or we can serve the flesh and die. We are free to give into temptations, but that doesn’t mean that we should. There are dire consequences to choosing a sinful lifestyle.

14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.–James 1:15 NASB

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“You Were Once Like That”

11 Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. – 1 Cor. 6:11 NLT

 1 Cor. 6:7-11 NLT

If we are unable to forgive our brothers and sisters for these things, we are no further along than we were when we were living a sinful lifestyle. What, then, shall we say to those who have not yet accepted Christ? If we continue in our old lifestyle, we might want to question whether we actually repented of our sins or just had an emotional experience at the altar? True repentance does not leave the heart and mind empty, it fills us with the Holy Spirit so that satan cannot come back and take up residence in our lives. Oh, he will send one of his demons to check up on us, but it is up to us to make sure he doesn’t get a room and stay. That is what we used to be and do. But now, we are forgiven and washed in the blood. We have been cleansed “just as if” we had never sinned and we are being sanctified daily.

23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it​.–1 Thess. 5:23-24 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“If You Have Legal Disputes”

4 If you have legal disputes about such matters, why go to outside judges who are not respected by the church? – 1 Cor. 6:4 NLT 

1 Cor. 6:1-6 NLT

Can you imagine what it would be like to attend a congregation where everyone agreed to take their complaints against each other to the congregation and accept their decision? Wouldn’t this be a good example for the world to see? Paul says we should be able to judge the trivial things ourselves. Anything short of salvation is trivial. Why do we ask the world to judge between us? Is it ego, greed, or revenge? Since we have access to heavenly wisdom, who could be wiser in judging than God’s children? We are all one family, the family of God. For us to ask the world to settle our disputes is somewhat like hanging out the family’s dirty laundry. The world is probably never going to recommend that we just forgive each other and move along since they look on humility and meekness with scorn. But that is exactly what the Holy Spirit recommends for members of the body.

31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.—Eph. 4:31-32 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“Remove the Evil Person”

13 God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you. – 1 Cor. 5:13 NLT

1 Cor. 5:9-13 NLT

Paul is not suggesting that we never associate with worldly people whose lives are controlled by their fleshly desires. Just as Jesus said, we “are in the world but not of the world”. We hold ourselves to different standards. We are not to think of ourselves as “better than” nor are we to think of ourselves as “holier than” anyone. What we are to do is to separate ourselves from our Christian brothers and sisters who have chosen to live unholy lifestyles. We are as Paul puts it to “expel the wicked person from among you.” This seems harsh to us. We had rather hide behind verses such as “judge not lest you be judged” and “pull the plank out of your own eye before you point out the toothpick in your brother’s eye”. (my paraphrase) We must keep the Temple of Christ clean and holy.

1 Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.—2 Cor. 7:1 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“Get Rid of the Old Yeast”

7 Get rid of the old “yeast” by removing this wicked person from among you. Then you will be like a fresh batch of dough made without yeast, which is what you really are. Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us. – 1 Cor. 5:7 NLT

1 Cor. 5:6-8 NLT

Paul continues to emphasize the necessity of having a humble mindset. We must live our lives with humility and the attitude of a servant. Jesus is our example of serving others in our daily lifestyle. The leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees is their teaching of the necessity to keep the Law. In the Old Testament law, the Jewish people could eat no leavened bread during the Feast of the Passover. They were even required to get all the leaven out of their houses so nothing could be tainted with the leaven. They had to celebrate the Passover each year. This required them to kill a sacrificial lamb each time. But Jesus is our sacrificial Lamb and he was sacrificed once for all sin of all times. He does not need to return to the cross each year. Jesus is the bread of Life and because of this, we are not required to follow the old ways. In fact, to do so is to add to the plan of salvation things that God does not require of us. The leaven that we need to avoid in our life is pride and the desires of the flesh. We replace those things with the fruit of the Holy Spirit who now lives in us. We are”new creations” in Christ Jesus and He has fulfilled the law for us.

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.–Matt.5:17 NIV

“Not Just A Lot of Talk”

20 For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power. – 1 Cor.4:20 NLT

1 Cor. 4:18-21 NLT

Paul is really concerned about the puffed up and arrogant attitude some of the Christians at Corinth have developed. This example of the things happening at Corinth is a great reminder for us not to bring people to Jesus and then leave them as “babes in Christ”. It is very important that we take the time to mentor and disciple them in a Holy lifestyle. New converts do not understand the dangers of following the flesh any more than a newborn understands what he/she needs. They just know they are hungry and they need a parent to give them the right food. So do new converts. They need someone to make sure they are getting the right message until they get past the “milk of the Word’. The Kingdom of God is not just a matter of talking and walking but it is a matter of the power of God and that power must be understood and used properly.

4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.—1 Cor. 2 :4-5 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“For I Became Your Father”

15 For even if you had ten thousand others to teach you about Christ, you have only one spiritual father. For I became your father in Christ Jesus when I preached the Good News to you. – 1 Cor. 4:15 NLT

1 Cor. 4:14-17 NLT

Paul has not been trying to shame the Christians at Corinth, but rather his intention is to teach them as a Father would teach his children. He wants them to have a closer relationship with Christ and to do this, they are going to have to have a change of attitude. He tells them that although they may have legions of angels watching over them, they have only one Spiritual Father and that is himself. Spiritual parents are the people who prayed for us and brought us to repentance through the preaching and/or teaching of the Gospel. They have, as it were, birthed us into the Gospel. Then as our spiritual parents, they feel a great responsibility to teach us how to live a Holy lifestyle. So, Paul wants the Corinthians to imitate his lifestyle of humility and obedience. Paul has sent to them Timothy, who is his Spiritual son, to help them to stay on course. Paul is reminding them that he not only talks the talk but he walks the walk. Again, it is a message, not only to the Corinthians but to us today.

14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy​.​”​​​-​– 1 Peter 1:14-16 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“When We Are Cursed, We Bless”

11 To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. 12 We work hard with our own hands.When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; 13 when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world—right up to this moment. –1 Cor. 4:11-1​3​ NIV

Paul expands on the difference in attitude and lifestyle that he, Apollo, and Peter have as compared to the Christians in Corinth. They have given up all their earthly possessions and now they do not have an extra set of clothes nor a home of their own here on earth. They work hard physically so that they will not be a financial burden on the new converts. They respond to cursing, persecution and slandering with blessings, kindness and patient endurance. They are willing to be treated as the lowest form of life here on earth so that God might be glorified. Is it necessary for all of us to go through this kind of treatment? No, but we must have the attitude and the willingness to do it, if that is what Jesus calls us to do.

3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.—Romans 5:3-5 NIV

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.—Romans 8:18 NIV


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“You Think”

8 You think you already have everything you need. You think you are already rich. You have begun to reign in God’s kingdom without us! I wish you really were reigning already, for then we would be reigning with you.– 1 Cor. 4:8 NKJV

1 Cor. 4:8-10 NLT

Paul continues to admonish the Christians at Corinth about their attitude. They are boastful of their salvation as if they had done something to earn it. They have made assumptions and “gone beyond what is written”, even though they have no way of having knowledge that Paul, Apollo, and Peter would not have access to. They mistakenly think that because they are saved, they are already rich and powerful here on earth. Paul contrasts their attitude to the way he, Apollo and Peter think and act. They are mistreated, abused, imprisoned and “made spectacles” for the world and the angels to look upon. They have become fools for Christ’s sake, but the Corinthians are “puffed up”, thinking they are wise. Paul, Apollo, and Peter have become weak so that Jesus might show His strength through their weakness.  They have given up their honor for the sake of the glory of God.
They have come to understand what John the Baptist meant when he said:

30 He must become greater; I must become less.”–John 3:30 NIV

And we need to have that same attitude. We can do nothing of heavenly value without Christ but we can do all things through Christ.

13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.–Phil. 4:13 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“Why Do You Boast?”

6 Now, brothers and sisters, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other. 7 For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?—1 Cor. 4:6-7 NASB

”Do not go beyond what is written” is an excellent admonition for us today as well. God is omnipotent and doesn’t need anyone to add anything to His written word. In fact, He warns us against doing just that.

18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book;–Rev. 22:18 NASB

God also warns us against adding any other requirement for receiving salvation.

10 Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? 11 But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.”—Acts 15:10-11 NASB

These instructions are so all of us will be preaching and teaching the same message. The message is that when Jesus died for our sins and said “it is finished”, there wasn’t and still isn’t anything else needed. We are all the same in that we were all born in sin and need a Savior. We received salvation by grace through faith, not by anything we did or could do. Since all we did was receive a gift, what reason could we possibly have for boasting?

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous