Friday, February 05, 2016

It's Time To "Lay Down the Law" - Part 14

Corinthians 1 and 2 are most remarkable! If I were not doing a word study I would love to just ramble on for hours on these two scrolls. Apologies ahead of time for the length of this one. I want to get to Galatians! Let's look at Paul's introductory salutation:

1Co 1:1 Paul, called as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,
1Co 1:2 To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:
1Co 1:3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Please notice; Believers are saints. No man or no man's organization can "create" saints. This fact alone should keep you away from any "religion" that proposes to name saints, especially the RCC! Also, please notice how Paul references both Yehovah and Yeshua.

To set the stage; Sha'ul is addressing a problem in Corinth that still plagues the church today. People were dividing into groups and following after individual men. Sound familiar? Yes, our many Christian denominations today are a direct result of emphasizing men's teachings instead of God's. Paul also admonishes these saints and specifically points out another problem they are having:

1Co 5:1 It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father's wife. (Corinth had a sizable Jewish population)
1Co 5:11  ... I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler--not even to eat with such a one.
1Co 5:12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church?
1Co 5:13 But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES. (See Deut. 17:7)

So, why is it that some churches nowadays allow similar behavior within the congregation? It is because they are NOT following Christ! But, before I get carried away, let's continue with the word study.  : )

1Co 6:1 Does any one of you, when he has a case against his neighbor, dare to go to law (kree'-no) before the unrighteous and not before the saints?
1Co 6:2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law (kree-tay'-ree-on) courts?
1Co 6:3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life?
1Co 6:4 So if you have law (kree-tay'-ree-on) courts dealing with matters of this life, do you appoint them as judges who are of no account in the church?
1Co 6:5 I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not among you one wise man who will be able to decide between his brethren,
1Co 6:6 but brother goes to law (kree'-no) with brother, and that before unbelievers?

[Note: The word "law" is used in this set of verses 4 times. None of them have anything to do with Torah, directly. The words in Greek are pronounced; "kree'-no" and "kree-tay'-ree-on". "Kree'-no" means to; distinguish, decide, condemn, or damn. "Kree-tay'-ree-on" means; a rule of judging criterion. Paul is using "civil" law to point out the difference between the breaking of law and judgment in general society as compared to breaking Torah. I've continued with Chapter 6, btw, because it's important. Paul is telling these folks they must impart judgment and justice on themselves to keep themselves and their congregation "clean", Torah-wise. Also, please notice once again how we MUST get past our native language to understand Scripture. The word "law" here is not Torah, but some think it is.]

1Co 6:7 Actually, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits (kree'-mah) with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded?
1Co 6:8 On the contrary, you yourselves wrong and defraud. You do this even to your brethren.
1Co 6:9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous (the opposite of "Right-Standing in Torah") will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,
1Co 6:10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.
1Co 6:11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

[Note: Folks, how many churches nowadays say it's OK to do these things because none of us are perfect and cannot follow Torah perfectly? The Bible says the exact opposite! When you have the Spirit of Yehovah-Yeshua in you, you will not want to go near these things! And if you do make a mistake, as all of us are capable of doing, you will feel shame and guilt and will want to very much come back to the Spirit you once had! You see folks, "once saved, always saved" is a lie! And if we keep on sinning, after knowing the truth, we are condemned. If your church has these sins in it's midst and permits them, run away, as quickly as possible! Our guide in these things is always Torah.]

1Co 6:12 All things are lawful (ex'-es-tee) for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.
1Co 6:13 Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body.
1Co 6:14 Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power.
1Co 6:15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be!
1Co 6:16 Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, "THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH."  (See Gen. 2:24)

1Co 6:17 But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
1Co 6:18 Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.
1Co 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
1Co 6:20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

[Note: I've actually had Church folks argue with me, telling me these verses are saying we can do anything, but because we have Christ. They claim it's OK and we are forgiven, because Paul is saying, "All things are lawful for me". Guys, these verses are saying the exact opposite! It's saying DO NOT allow these things to have control over you and your body because if you do, Christ is NOT in you! Again, Paul is using civil/societal law to show that a particular behavior may indeed be "lawful", but not good! In the state of Nevada, in America, prostitution is legal. This does not make it good! Nor does it make it OK in light of Torah. This also brings up the concept of man thinking he can decide what is good or bad. Man cannot do this! This is why we were given Torah (to know what is good or bad). Think about it! If you are against Torah, you are against it's author - Yehovah!

This plucking out verses or portions of a verse is a trick the Church uses all the time. Context is everything! In fact, historically speaking, Paul is describing Gnosticism, an early Church error (thinking one can do everything because of divine protection). Another error the Church makes is to proclaim a single verse over and over again, as if it is the ultimate summation of ALL Scripture. The best example is probably John 3:16!

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

I've had people repeat this to me over and over again, saying that, because they believe in Jesus everything is fine - they have eternal life! As wonderful as this verse is, making one verse your foundation is very problematic. It ignores the rest of Scripture. The Bible is like a 5000 piece puzzle. One puzzle piece can be expounded upon and loved, but one must have the puzzle box top (the whole picture) to fully understand where the single piece fits. This overall picture is the very CHARACTER and KNOWLEDGE of GOD HIMSELF! Knowing and loving the ENTIRE picture is the GOAL, not just emphasizing one small piece, as beautiful as it may be. Please remember, there will be those who say they love Jesus, but are told to, "depart from Me"! We must try our best to "know" the whole picture of GOD. Please consider the following verses and go and read its context:

Matt 7:21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.

Luke 6:46 "Why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?

Both verses reference the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew should be read from Chapter 5 through 7. What does Yeshua say to "do"; what is the context of this famous Sermon? Most people have never been told that the famous Sermon on the Mount is all about TORAH! So, if you call Him Lord, do you mean it? If you mean it you will do what He says to do! If not, He is NOT your Lord, no matter how much you love and believe in John 3:16! The whole picture is necessary!]

... continuing to Ch. 9 ...

1Co 9:8 I am not speaking these things according to human judgment, am I? Or does not the Law also say these things?
1Co 9:9 For it is written in the Law of Moses, "YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING." (See Deut. 25:4) God is not concerned about oxen, is He? ...
1Co 9:20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law;
1Co 9:21 to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law.

[Note: The words "law" in this section means Torah. In Ch. 9 (verses 1-19 approx.) Paul is giving a speech on his Apostleship credentials and arguing that workers such as himself should expect a little material reward for their efforts. In essence, this is a plea to place something in the offering, just as most of us have heard a pastor do in a church. However, Paul also explains how he has accepted none of this reward and has done all this work free of charge! In the following verses, to 21, Paul is showing how he teaches people from different cultures and backgrounds by adjusting his teaching technique to fit the expectations of the listener. The Church has taught that Sha'ul actually becomes a Gentile when he speaks to Gentiles and a Jew when he speaks to a Jew. This is LUDICROUS, of course, and is simply an effort to justify anti-Torah sin in the church. The reason people will say this is because of verse 20. The phrase, "though not being myself under the Law" is true! Then Paul complicates things further, in verse 21, when says he's not without the law of God, but under the law of Christ. Whoa! Wait a minute! You've been arguing Torah all this time and now you and Paul say we're not "under the Law"? Yes! This conundrum has been explained in many ways, so here is my take on it. I always go back to Yeshua when these issues come up with Paul. I listen to the warning Peter gave us concerning Brother Sha'ul. BTW, we believers in the Messiah, who have accepted the free gift are under a more stringent set of rules than the letter of Torah only! What did Jesus say?

Mat 5:17 "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.
(to Fill Full!)

Mat 5:18 "For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

(has heaven and earth passed away?)

Mat 5:20 "For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
(we actually must SURPASS these Experts in TORAH! Remember, "Righteousness" means Right-Standing in Torah)

and ...

Mat 5:27 "You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY';
(the LETTER of the LAW - TORAH)

Mat 5:28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
(the SPIRIT of the LAW - TORAH)

You see? Torah still exists. It is still valid. We are not under the LETTER of the LAW. We are under the SPIRIT - a much more stringent "work"! We must have the Spirit of Christ in us to hold ourselves to the Spirit of the Law and therefore Torah!

Later on, Sha'ul will say we are under Grace, not the Law. This is saying the same thing Jesus said. We are under the Spirit, not the Letter. But this doesn't mean the Law is gone or done away with!

People seem to go two ways with Paul. They either become a "Paulist"; one who believes he did away with Torah, or, an anti-Paulist; ones who think Paul is an anti-missionary or antichrist figure. Actually, Sha'ul is neither:

Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?
Rom 6:2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?

Tit 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,
Tit 2:12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,
Tit 2:13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,
Tit 2:14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.
Tit 2:15 These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you.]

... continuing,

1Co 14:34 The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says.
1Co 15:56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law;
(See Hos. 13:14)

[Note: So much more to say, but I better end it here. BTW, verse 34 is yet another study! Verse 15:56 is simply saying that sin is measured and defined by Torah.]

The Observer

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