1 Corinthians 12

1 Corinthians 12: Organization of the Church

                Paul speaks about Spiritual Gifts, and explains that there are a variety of gifts that can be given, a variety of administrations and diversities… but only one Spirit. Paul explains that “…no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” (1 Corinthians 12:3)

Examining what Paul said; ‘…no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.’ This means that no one can claim to believe in Jesus Christ, without feeling the Holy Ghost testify of Him. Therefore we learn a very important principle; Spiritual knowledge can only be found through Spiritual means. Sure, someone can go and testify of Jesus Christ as being the Lord and someone listening to that knowledge can be converted. But, until the person being converted receives the knowledge Spiritually they cannot know and will not truly be converted. For this reason many do not believe in Jesus Christ, some even think believing in God is foolish. Why is this? Because they learn about God or Jesus through worldly knowledge and do not accept the knowledge that can only be gained spiritually.

Paul testifies that; “…by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or fee; and have been all made to drink into on Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:13) This scripture is similar to one we read later when Paul addresses the Ephesians, which reads: “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” (Ephesians 4:5)

                So the question that has caused contentions throughout the world for 1,000’s of years… who is right? Which of all the churches, sects, religions is correct? Paul teaches that the church he belongs to (the one Jesus Christ established) was the correct church and because of that we can only be baptized into one body (or church) and there is only One Lord, One Faith and One Baptism. He said this to both the Corinthians and the Ephesians to convert them to the true church, because they were joining false religions that taught in contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

This is where Paul teaches about the TRUE ORGANIZATION of the Church of Jesus Christ;

“And God hath some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps [administrative offices, programs and provisions in place to help the saints], governments, diversities of tongues.” (1 Corinthians 12:28)

Today, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) claims to be the TRUE church of Jesus Christ. LDS Doctrine believes that the Church Jesus Christ setup before He departed the world, slowly eroded until the last Apostle died and the power and Authority that He had given to them was no longer in the world. This period of time without the Authority (or priesthood) on the Earth was known as the Great Apostasy, which accounts partly for the time we know as the Dark Ages. After centuries of having no Authorized servant on the Earth, God decided to bring forth His church once more in the Last Days. God called a prophet and through that Prophet Jesus Christ restored His church on the earth. That church is known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that has the same organization Christ originally intended; Prophet, Apostles, Teachers, Evangelists and so forth.

1 Corinthians 11

1 Corinthians 11: Hair and Grooming

                Paul invites everyone to be followers of Christ, he explains that the head of man is Christ and the head of Christ is God and the head of the woman is man. Paul explains that when you pray you should not have your head covered; “Every man praying… having his head covered, dishonoureth his head [Christ]” (1 Corinthians 11:4) essentially those who pray with a hat on or having their head covered are being disrespectful to God.

Here is where the idea of a woman needing to cover herself up comes from… “…if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn [to be broken off]…” (1 Corinthians 11:6) So the question is, does a woman need to be covered up? Let’s remember a few things…

“And God said, Let us [Our Heavenly Parents ‘Father and Mother’] make man in our own image, after our likeness… God created man in his own image… male and female…” (Genesis 1:26-27)

So God said ‘let us’ create man in our own image, male and female. Does that mean that we have a Heavenly Mother and Father? I believe we do, and while there isn’t much information about our Heavenly Mother, one LDS Hymn hints that our Heavenly Mother does exist: “When I leave this frail existence, When I lay this mortal by, Father, Mother, may I meet you In your royal courts on high?” (LDS Hymns, 292)

So, if we have a Heavenly Mother and the head of the woman is the man, does that mean that women are beneath men? No. In fact, God puts women as equal to men; “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 11:11) Therefore men and women are equal and in marriage should act as EQUAL partners.

Paul goes on to give some great advice:

“Doth not even nature itself teach you, that if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?” (1 Corinthians 11:14) Men should be clean shaven and properly groomed.

“But if any many seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.” (1 Corinthians 11:16) Anyone who likes to argue the things of God, outside of  constructive discussions regarding faith is contentious and is not welcome among the Churches of God. Basically, different beliefs and religions should be respected. Disagreeing with someone else’s beliefs is ok, but criticizing them for their beliefs is wrong.

“…he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself…” (1 Corinthians 11:29) Do not partake of the Sacrament unworthily, or else you will drink unto damnation.

1 Corinthians 10

1 Corinthians 10: Christ is the Rock

                Paul reminds the Corinthians of the Jews that traveled with Moses through the red sea on dry ground. He reminds them that they were all baptized and did all eat and drink from the “…spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” (1 Corinthians 10:4) Paul says that while many followed Moses, an equal number or more were not well favored in the eyes of the Lord. Paul reminds the Corinthians that “…we should not lust after evil things…” (1 Corinthians 10:6)

We also should not… worship idols, fornicate, murmur or tempt Christ as many of the Jews traveling with Moses did do. After having warned about committing sin, Paul reminds them (and us) that God “…will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13) So is it wrong to Sin? Yes. Are we all guilty of Sin? Yes. Is there a way to overcome our Sin and become closer to Christ? Yes.

Paul tells us that as a body [group] of people who believe in Christ, when they partake of the Sacrament together, they become one Body… because they are all partaking of the same bread. Paul tells us that we should avoid meat that was offered as a sacrifice to an idol, for it had been offered to a devil. Finally, Paul explains that he is “…not seeking mine [his] own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.” (1 Corinthians 10:33) Therefore, as an Apostle of the Lord he freely preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ without cost. He does it for the good of others and not himself.

1 Corinthians 9

1 Corinthians 9: Preaching without Cost

                “Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are not ye my work in the Lord?” (1 Corinthians 9:1) Paul tells the Corinthians that he is a Special Witness of Christ, why? Because he has seen Jesus Christ. Those who believe in Jesus Christ are His disciples, because they are disciplined to follow His commandments. However, those who are Apostles are called of God and given Authority to act in His name. They are also known as the Twelve Apostles (see Matthew 10) Paul also explains that Apostles are FREE, meaning they don’t make money from their work.

Paul explains that as an Apostle he needs to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ; “…the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel, should live the gospel.” (1 Corinthians 9:14) For this reason, those who are called to the Apostleship in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are called to that position for life. Usually these men are retired and financially stable on their own accord as to not charge for their work as Apostles. The Church also, DOES NOT support the Apostles financially, nor does the church support any of the leaders financially throughout the church. Why? Because the Gospel of Jesus Christ should be taught free of charge. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints all those who work as leaders, teachers and ministers are called voluntarily. Most have full time jobs and families while they serve in these holy callings.

The main teachers throughout the church are the Full-time Missionaries who are called throughout the world. These men and women serve 1 ½ to 2 years and support their missions personally, or through friends and family. They serve these full-time positions to focus solely on their mission to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are free from the day-to-day distractions of the modern world, so that they may be more effective teachers and servants of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul humbly explains his mission as an Apostle; “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! For if I do this thing willingly, I have reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel. For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain more.” (1 Corinthians 9:16-19) Paul tells the Corinthians that he is a servant of the Lord and servant unto all men without reward. He preaches the gospel willingly and because he does this, the only reward he receives is a warm feeling of joy and happiness for following the commandments of the Lord and bringing more souls unto Him.

Paul makes the Corinthians think when he says; “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” (1Corinthians 9:24) What is the prize? It is Eternal Life, it is Salvation, it is joy and happiness that only the Lord can give us. It is important to note that it is not bad to want something so great. It is only bad when we do it against our will, we should have a desire to obtain it for the right reasons.

1 Corinthians 8

1 Corinthians 8: Many God’s and Lord’s

                                Paul explains that knowledge is important, however we should not let knowledge go to our head. We should be humble and let Charity edify our knowledge. For “…if any many think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing…” (1 Corinthians 8:2) Those who believe that we as humans have all the knowledge are mistaken. This of course is NOT to discredit science, but we as humans need to understand that there is much more knowledge out there, that we have yet to learn. God of course is all knowing, and we being His offspring will also one day know everything.

Paul explains that there is ONE GOD, however there are multiples “gods” and “lords”; “For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father…” (1 Corinthians 8:5-6) Paul explains that we are perfectly within our rights to eat meat that is offered unto an idol, for an idol is not a god or the God, it is made by man. Paul says that anything we do or do not eat will not affect our spirituality; “…for neither if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.” (1 Corinthians 8:8)

Those with a strong conscience should respect those with a weak conscience and understand that judgment should be left unto God; “…take heed lest by any means this liberty [motivation to do good] of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.” (1 Corinthians 8:9)

1 Corinthians 7

1 Corinthians 7: Marriage

                Paul addresses the Corinthians and explains that; “…It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” (1 Corinthian 7:1-2) Some will argue that Paul is teaching that being single and without sex is more pure than being married with sex. However, I don’t believe that is what Paul was teaching… but rather he was teaching that sex should only occur between a man and woman who are lawfully wedded.

It is interesting to note that Paul (an Apostle of the Lord) speaks of a man having a woman and a woman having a man. He speaks out against fornication, but rather stresses the importance of marriage between a man and a woman. Why? Because Marriage is important in the eyes of God; “…for it is better to marry than to burn.” (1 Corinthians 7:9)

Paul explains that marriage should not end in divorce, divorce should not be considered except in rare cases. Paul does stress that if a marriage starts to crumble that both the husband and the wife should; “…give yourself to fasting and prayer; and come together again…” (1 Corinthians 7:5)

Paul goes on to explain how the husband and the wife (working in equal partnership) should strengthen one another in the Faith of Jesus Christ. Not only should they both strengthen each other in Spiritual matters, but in all matters. Husbands and Wives should lean on each other and show their children a good example. “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.” (1 Corinthians 7:14)

Paul explains that it is wise to get married at a younger age, as to not commit sin. “But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.” (1 Corinthians 7:28) Especially in today’s modern world, where sex is considered ok outside of marriage, it is important to not wait around to get married so as to not be tempted into sexual relations before marriage.

Paul ends by explaining why some people believe it is more pure to be single and without sex; “But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.” (1 Corinthians 7:33-34)

Here is the question; does being married mean you will care only for the things of the world? No, husbands and wives should bring each other sexual joy, along with friendship, and a loving relationship throughout all life and ETERNITY. But husbands and wives should also build one another up in everything from Spiritual matters, to education, work, physical well-being and emotional support.

1 Corinthians 6

1 Corinthians 6: The Temple of the Holy Ghost

                Paul explains that disputes among Christians should not be brought forth in a court of law, but should be accepted and discussed about outside of the law.

Paul asks the Corinthians; “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10) Often times in society, sin and wickedness is portrayed or advertised as being cool, trendy, and acceptable. However, we are not to be deceived by this, what is wicked and ungodly… will always be wicked and ungodly in the eyes of God.
Paul again questions the Corinthians; “…know ye not that your body is a temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God…For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit…” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) This means that we need to treat our body with respect, no excessive piercings (one set for women), no tattoos, eating healthy, exercising and dressing modestly.

1 Corinthians 5

1 Corinthians 5: Sinners in the Church

                Paul speaks to the Corinthians and addresses accusations of sexual immorality among them. Paul explains that those who commit sexual sin are handed over to Satan; “…for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit might be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” (1 Corinthians 5:5) Paul invites everyone to not associate with those who are fornicators or extortioners; “…them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.” (1 Corinthians 5:13)

1 Corinthians 4

1 Corinthians 4: Power and Not Word

                Paul explains that as a disciple of Christ, and even more importantly as an Apostle of the Lord we are servants of God. We must be found faithful and judge not those around us. Paul explains that we “…labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it.” (1 Corinthians 4:12)

                Paul explains that the “…kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.” (1 Corinthians 4:20) This means that Authority to Minister in Christ’s Church is important.

1 Corinthians 3

1 Corinthians 3: Temple of God

                Paul speaks to the Corinthians and explains that he could not speak the full word to them because he fed them with “…milk, and not with meat…” (1 Corinthians 3:2) Why did Paul say this? It is simple as a baby can only handle milk without choking or dying… so it is with those who are babies spiritually. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not learned to its fullest overnight, it takes time and patience to fully understand and appreciate the plan that God has for us in this life. Just with any learning, we must first start off with the basics, in this case milk. The once we are accustomed to the milk we can get to harder foods (deeper knowledge and understanding) until we can handle the chewy stuff, the meat (the deepest doctrine).

Paul goes on to say that WE WILL be JUDGED for our WORKS; “…the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is…” (1 Corinthians 3:13) He goes on to say that if your works are good you will “…receive a reward.” (1 Corinthians 3:14) and if you do badly you will “…suffer a loss…” (1 Corinthians 3:15) Therefore we should work diligently to do good in this life.

Paul ends by not only reminding us that we know NOTHING in the eyes of God; “…the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.” (1 Corinthians 3:19) But Paul also reminds us that our body is a Temple; “Know ye knot that ye are the Temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy…” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)