God’s Children, We are His – 5-24-22

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” 1 Corinthians 6:19 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of First Corinthians chapter 6 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

Do Not Sue the Brethren

6 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life? If then you have [a]judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge? I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers!

Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated? No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren! Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor [b]homosexuals, nor [c]sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were [d]sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

Glorify God in Body and Spirit

12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not [e]helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of [f]any. 13 Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.

15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body [g]and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Corinthians 6:4 courts
  2. 1 Corinthians 6:9 catamites, those submitting to homosexuals
  3. 1 Corinthians 6:9 male homosexuals
  4. 1 Corinthians 6:11 set apart
  5. 1 Corinthians 6:12 profitable
  6. 1 Corinthians 6:12 Or anything
  7. 1 Corinthians 6:20 NU omits the rest of v. 20.

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

John 20:31- “but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

This chapter is really a continuation of yesterday’s ideas in a broader understanding of the root problems facing this church. And this church is the church of Corinth – a very modernized ancient city that is extremely similar to the social and moral condition of our modern world.

The problem is first, they forgot who they are and divided themselves. They forgot who they are and that they are the temple. They forgot who they are and forgot to guard against wokeness and compromise. And they forgot who they are – children and heirs to the MOST HIGH GOD. They took their eyes off God and looked at each other and divisions, tolerance, and strife happened.
In a world where their court system was very much like today (back then it was very theatre to watch a court case and as Mr. Depp and Ms. Heard have proven – the world still loves the theatrics of court). Every case could potentially be a public spectacle like Depp v. Heard (or like the old Jerry Springer Show). Potentially the fame or notoriety could give a dopamine rush like none other. But if believers participate in this circus – what does it do to their testimony. It is like winning the battle to learn you lost the war. It’s like spending $100 to save a penny. It’s like God is love and inside of me, while punching someone repeatedly in the face – either God is not love or God is not inside of you and no bloody beaten face wants to stick around to find out which.

1Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints?”

Roughly translated: Huge Sigh and then – ‘there is so much to unpack here. How can I say this so you understand? This behavior is beneath us. Rise up and act like a Christian.’

Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life? If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge?”

Ironically when pride come into your heart and mind, instead of rising up in God’s hand, instead of being built on a rock unshakable, instead of being in full understanding of who God says you are in Him, and instead of meeting the high standards of heaven, people stoop to the lows and depravity of this world. We forget who we are and to come out from among them.  Paul address who we are in Christ in many of his letters.

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:4-10 NKJV

When addressing the church in Ephesus, Paul uses present tense “made us sit” or seated in Heavenly Places – outside of time, space or circumstance. Before the Lord looses us to do great exploits – shouldn’t we first learn who we are in Him and STAND FIRM in that?! We all fail to hold our position and authority from time to time – and worse yet, sometimes we get so excited about it pride in it might begin to pop up and that is dangerous. God takes people down a notch very quickly, when He is not glorified in that fact that He lifted us up.

So it was to the Christians at Corinth’s shame that they did not understand who they were In Him and how terribly the example and witness is to air their dirty laundry in the theatre.

I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers!”

AS you really study and get to know Paul – you can tell he is getting very emotional about this – there is a lot to unpack. These Corinthians do not make small little mistakes when they err – they make huge complex messes when they goof up! Sometimes I feel this is me! It really could be any of us.

Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated?”

Hard truths there. Let’s use an example from my life, where I (thankfully) did something right. I have a friend who literally made 3 times my salary and had a second income earner in her house (aka her husband). They are believers. They were trying to buy a house and had a baby on the way and needed room for the kid. The problem was, they were $3000 plus short in liquid assets. There was nothing left to shift, move, shuffle, or sell when they tried to free up somethings to come up with the down payment. It looked as if their lives were going to get cramped and complicated really soon. I had the money in the bank – it was my emergency fund, it took me years to save that. It was no small amount as a single mom making well under half the national average for the job (small town where everyone’s pay is less). But I had it and that dear sister needed it and she could easily afford to pay me back a little at a time. To this day there has never even been an attempt to pay it back. I was advised to take her to court.

I asked when she thought she would start repaying and soon there was drama from her and she developed deceptive behavior and we had a complete decline in our friendship. Well, I learned she had a few bad situations and was not going to be able to pay me back as we agreed. She could have paid a little less at a time. But her coping skills were obviously too immature. So I gave the money to God – she needs to pay HIM back and I forgave her.  She moved away when the bank foreclosed on her property – to a different state and a different corner of the country. When they come back to visit – I get together and spend time with them. And we never discuss it.
You see her behavior was already reflecting badly on Christians. These are some of the reasons Christian are called hypocrites and worst that sinners – it also make us less trust worthy. I learned these things when I was young and even though I was not serving God like I should have at that time – it was the right thing to do and let God handle it. (Also, fair to note that I forgave, but I did not forget – she’ll never get money from me again unless God steps in and tells me I must.) Also it was right NOT to take it to court and make a huge circus out of it.

No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren!”

And then Paul reveals this! You see the readers knew there was deceptive behavior going on and Paul waited until he unpacked the first part to then reveal the deeper offense.

9a Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived.”

Paul is literally scaring the Hell out of them! He is threatening them with Hell – oh yeah, Paul is not playing! Here is the awful truth.
And you say – But salvation and heaven are a free gift, we do not need to behave righteous or do righteous things to get there. Those are great truths but not related to this point – even though we wish it were.
God saves us, then we enter into a relationship with him and he slowly grows us while we develop our relationship with him. So we get the gift for free but we maintain it through submissive obedience. Sounds like we get the short end of the stick, if we forget who this makes us – more than conquerors,  declared righteous in the Blood of Christ, seated with Him in Glory, and a Child of God! It is definitely a lopsided relationship – we get ALL the stuff and he gets us mess makers and glory.

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”
Paul pulls back and reminds them of where they came from and what God has done for them! HUGE! Paul reminds them of who they are in Jesus – washed a free!

But doesn’t that ALWAYS lead back to these Jew’s verses Gentile’s dietary needs at church gatherings. And since Church was held almost daily – and quite frankly we like to eat what we like to eat – this was a topic and resolve often discussed. However, on the basis that it is a familiar discussion, Paul actually, this time, uses it to make a simile to the body and its functions – because if we remember the context we are talking about division and their version of woke-ism in relation to accepting a particularly scandalous open sexual sin.

12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 13 Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.”

This literally lays the food discussion parallel next to the sexual immorality discussion, point by point. Although we do not know for sure what the question is – it is speculated that the above named court case included some sort of being cheated AND it has to do with sexual immorality. Further speculation regarding the time period – maybe it was a slave issue. Although we do not know for sure. We DO know Corinth was a sexually charged city – with many temples to false gods which required a sexual offering.

15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.”

Paul is the author of the idea that all the believers united are the Body of Christ and explains it in great detail in chapter 12 – soon we will cover it. And here we see that metaphor beginning to take shape. So it is correct to look at this in a personal perspective (my body) as well as look at it in a corporate perspective (the body of Christ). I am the temple and the body of Christ is the church.

18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.” 

Just going to pause here, as Paul must have. He says it’s a sin against ourselves – and it is true. Anyone who has ever fallen into adultery or fornication knows your body feels dirty and shamed. However, Paul’s mind circles back to earlier when he called us a temple! You see in Jewish teachings symbols are strong and important and the revelation that we are the third temple (and amazingly the second temple hasn’t yet fallen when Paul gets this download and starts teaching it) and it completes the symbolism of the temple throughout holy texts. And so his mind is trained to circle back:

19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

And right there – those two verses… I could literally write a book in order to unpack them! Push aside the milk – let’s get a little meat! Lord give us revelation!

First The Temple. Maybe someday I will write a book on that. There may be books written about the subject. And I doubt anyone would want to read about it except me. I digress.
Eden, The Garden, is the first architype of the temple – not the 1st temple, but the first architype. The function of the temple was a place that was to remain pure and God could come to earth to commune with man.  Then man had to travel, in obedience and guided by God to places God prepared to meet man – like Job and his friend meeting to pray and discuss Job’s situation, or like Methuselah who took walk with God, or like Noah was in prayerful place and received the ark download and recorded sacrifices to God, or like Abraham who also practiced sacrifices in the holy place set aside for meeting God, and so on. Until Moses went to the place to meet God (a mountain top) and God said, I want to be closer to my people because God ALWAYs was trying to restore his perfect Eden experience that we were created for. So Tabernacles became the second architype.
And before I give you the full outline of the book and lay out the parts and symbols side by side and how they applied in every temple and architype…. Let us get back to Paul’s revelation here.
Paul grabs ONE of the thousands of parallel details of the temples (and architypes) which is that is belongs to God and not to man.

Which leads to the second POWERFUL idea that comes from the word of God here – we belong to God and not to man, because we were bought with a price. If those terms are old news in your mind – rebuke your mind for being asleep. Give no room to the enemy. This is one of the sharpest swords I have encounter in the Bible.
It speaks to man about his created purpose (Psalms 139).
It speaks to the enemy – marking us as untouchable. The storm brews around us but doesn’t touch us. And that which does touch us it only God and His pruning – because He is ours and we are His. No one can touch us. But if we are literally sleeping with the enemy – how are we God’s? Sin separates us from God – so how can we be the temple? How can we be touched, except we open the door and let it in?

As you can see these are deep – and I can make points and pull out a million verses about our ownership and relationship. Back when we studied Romans and died to self, we gave ourselves in full surrender to God. He has every right to do whatever he wants with us. There are no take-back. All in.

And if we each are God’s circle back to a public theatre court case – that must mock God terribly! What a horrible sight in the spirit. We cannot touch the Lords property in court! And we cannot be touched! Except for the fact that they opened the door and kicked God out to make a joke of themselves. Go ahead and reread it from God’s perspective.

And finally there is a few modern problems that land here in this discussion of all is legal but not wise if I am not my own. These include major body mods for evil, gender dysphoria procedures, abortions, and drug use (both pharmaceutical like vaccines, Adderall, and other chemical treatments as well as marijuana, alcohol, and illegal drugs – not an all-inclusive list). Because if you are a pure and holy temple… no parting inside yourself, no deforming yourself, no sins against yourself – because you do not belong to you.

There is a lot here to think about and have revealed. Think about today’s reading during the course of your day and ask God for insights and deep revelation and realizations!

***

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

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