2 Corinthians 9

2 Corinthians 9: God loves the Giver

                Paul writes the Corinthians and essentially says; ‘I know you want to give, you boast about giving… so I am sending some people to collect for the Lord’ – So agents of the Church come and collect money from the Saints.

Now, Paul remind them that; “…He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” (2 Corinthians 9:6) So we are taught that if we only give a little to the Church we are not going to be blessed as much as if we give a lot. So does that mean a rich person can get more blessings? NO! It means that you are giving a lot according to your means. For example: A poor person might give the church $10, but if that is 10% of their income (tithing=10%) then they have given according to the commandment, and will receive full blessings. What about the rich guy that gives $10 Million? If that is 10% of his income, then he also will receive full blessings.

Paul warns about those who give only for blessings, or give because they feel they are “forced”; “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth the cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7) When we give, we need to give with a cheerful heart!

Summary of 1 Corinthians

Summary of 1 Corinthians

                The Book of 1 Corinthians is a collection of letters written by Paul to the Corinthians around 56 A.D. The underlying theme of these letters was for Paul to address and correct issues of immorality and divisions among members of the church in that area.

In Chapters 1-4: Paul receives reports of “…contentions among you [the Corinthians].” (1 Corinthians 1:11) Paul asks believers to “…see your calling…how that not many…are called.” (1 Corinthians 1:26) Paul explains that God has chosen them, and because of that they need to behave like they have been chosen and become believers in God and in Jesus Christ and let God have a hand in our daily lives.

In chapters 5-11:  Paul exposes all of the unrighteous activities of immorality that was occurring among the Corinthians at Corinth. Their sins included: sexual immorality, issues of marriage, and lawsuits within the church. “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?” (1 Corinthians 6:9)

In chapters 12-14: Paul helps clear up any confusion about the different practices of worship in the Church of Jesus Christ. He helps to correct difficult doctrines that had caused divisions and again more confusion! Paul explains to the Corinthians that “…God is not the author of confusion, but of peace…” (1 Corinthians 14:33) Essentially he is saying that there is no need for people to fight over doctrines, when God only authored one Doctrine, and never meant for it to be confusing.

In Chapters 15-16: Paul explains the topic of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and explains that if He rose on the third day, then WE too can rise once again after death.

1 Corinthians 16

1 Corinthians 16: Stand Fast in Faith

Paul talks about having a weekly collection to help those in need. Paul also speaks to every one of the Corinthians and tells them that they need to “…stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity.” (1 Corinthians 16:13-14)

Paul counsels everyone to hold strong to their faith and be strong in all the trials. He invites everyone to have Charity in all their dealings.

1 Corinthians 15

1 Corinthians 15: Baptisms for the Dead

                Paul preaches to the Corinthians and tells them that the Gospel he preached to them is the word of God and that Jesus Christ did in fact die for our sins; “…that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures; “(1 Corinthians 15:4) Paul explains that the evidence of Him is all around, for many saw His great works and miracles. Paul explains that all men will be resurrected, Paul explains that if there is no resurrection then Jesus Christ also did not rise on the third day; “…if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ is be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:13-14) Paul goes on to make a very bold statement; “For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised.” (1 Corinthians 15:16)

Essentially we learn that if you believe that Christ rose on the third day, then you must also believe that all men will one day be resurrected. Paul goes on to explain the purpose of Jesus Christ and the Fall/Redemption of Mankind through Him;

“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive… Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him…. Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?” (1 Corinthians 15:20-29)

So, Paul is telling us that through the Fall of Adam and Eve, death was brought into the world, but through Jesus Christ we can eventually overcome that death. The Corinthians participated in Baptisms for the Dead and because of this Paul was essentially asking them; ‘if you don’t believe in resurrection, why are you participating in the baptisms of the dead?’ – From this we learn that Baptisms for the Dead were performed in ancient times and that it was for the very purpose of those who did not get a baptism in this life. This practice of Vicarious Work is done today in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Paul goes on to explain what members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints already know as the Plan of Salvation. Paul describes the different bodies; “There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differeth from another star in glory…” (1 Corinthians 15:40-41)

1 Corinthians 14

1 Corinthians 14: Speaking in Tongues

                Paul encourages the Saints (the members of the Church) to “Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts…” (1 Corinthians 14:1) If we are desirous for Spiritual Gifts, we also need to be willing to “…seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.” (1 Corinthians 14:12) Paul teaches the saints about the Gift of Tongues, which is speaking in another known language. Some believe that speaking in tongues is a secret way of communicating in gibberish with God. However, Paul explains that it is not communication, but rather gibberish.

                “…if I come unto your speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine? …how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth now what thou sayest? …I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than then thousand words in an unknown tongue.” (1 Corinthians 6; 16; 19)

                 Essentially Paul is saying that unless someone in the room understands you, it profits no one for someone to speak in an unknown tongue. Speaking in Tongues is not falling on the floor and screaming gibberish… Speaking in Tongues is speaking in different languages, like English, Spanish, German, Japanese, etc.

Paul then explains that there should not be confusion in the Church of Jesus Christ or strife on which church is true, there can only be ONE true Church of Jesus Christ; “…God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.” (1 Corinthians 14:33) The Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are called “Saints” and the LDS church is the Restored Church of Jesus Christ, the same one He established when He was on the Earth.

Paul leaves the Corinthians with lots of knowledge and reminds them that it is their own choice to believe him, however, he explains; “…if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.” (1 Corinthians 14:38)

1 Corinthians 13

1 Corinthians 13: Charity

                Paul speaks about Charity, and explains that he could have all the power in the world, he could have faith and help the poor… but if he has “…not charity, I am nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:2) He explains that when he was a child he did childish things, but now as a man “…I put away childish things.” (1 Corinthians 13:11) He explains that now “…we see through a glass, darkly…” (1 Corinthians 13:12) Paul is most likely speaking about a spiritual veil that has been placed over our eyes so that we see the world without our prior knowledge of our pre-existence. In this manner we are here on earth to learn and to prove ourselves to our Heavenly Father that we might return once more to live with Him.

Paul gives the best definition of Charity;

 “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth…” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

We all need to follow the admonition of Paul, and never let Charity fail us.

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.